Three Pamphlets Among Many

At the library we’re all working away as hard as we can, trying to wrap up certain projects between now and the end of the fiscal year.

Still, I have to mention a couple pamphlets that I came across this week while cataloging bound pamphlet volumes. This particular volume had a number of temperance items, so I wasn’t surprised to see also this item:

The utility of ardent spirits: an address for an anti-temperance society / by Amicus Justitiae. Boston: Light and Horton, 1835.

But as it turns out, this is not actually an anti-temperance pamphlet of 32 pages. It is a satire. Read this, where the writer delineates the way that consuming strong drink and ardent spirits will prevent a family from running up debt:

A retailer of ardent spirits received an application from the wife of a man whom he was in the habit of supplying daily with large draughts of New England rum on credit, for some flour, sugar, and other necessary articles for the family, which she wished to obtain on her husband’s account. The retailer replied that ‘he could not supply her with those articles on the credit of her husband, as he should never get his pay for them, but if she would bring the money, he would be happy to furnish her.’ Thus you may perceive, the poor woman was prevented from incurring a debt which she had no means of discharging, and the family restrained from a luxurious indulgence in flour and sugar; and all through the influence of New England rum. (page 22)

Well, there you have it: a case of daily rum consumption keeping a woman from running her family into debt.

Then there’s the

Proceedings of the Congressional total abstinence society, at a meeting held in the hall of the House of representatives, Friday, February 25, 1842. New York: American Temperance Union, 1842.

They met at 7 p.m. right there in the Capitol. There were speeches. There were resolutions. There were testimonials. And, yes, the Hon. Mr. Wise of Virginia publicly signed the pledge.

And finally, I can’t resist adding mention of:

The man in the moon and moonshine in general: lecture for the benefit of the Charitable Fuel Society / by C.A. Adler, Providence, Nov. 20th 1851. [Providence, R.I.: Charitable Fuel Society, 1851].

I honestly don’t quite know what to make of this piece, which consists of 24 pages similar in tone to this:

The man in the Moon! Were I to deny the existence of such an individual, I should run the danger of being mobbed and stoned, or at least of being pronounced a German infidel, a dangerous disciple of Strauss; in the papal states the holy inquisition might take me up and burn me as a heretic; yet, though I have strained my eyes to the utmost, I never could discover any trace of him, and I have often thought it might be with him, as it is with ghosts and true love; everybody speaks of them, but very few have seen them. (pages 8-9)

Well, whatever, it’s here in our Pamphlet Volumes collection should someone want to work through the rest of it.

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Published in: on 10 March 2009 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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