The author of the following pages has had no experience in “book- making,” and this, his first effort has been made during the few leisure hours, which could be found amid the duties of a laborious profession. This little volume is therefore recommended to the public, not so much on account of its merits as a composition, as for the intrinsic importance of the facts stated, and the principles developed in it. The immediate object in view is to convey correct information; the ultimate motive is to do good.
This volume was written with the design, not only of accurately informing the public of the origin of the recent revival of Temperance throughout the United States, but also of setting forth definitely the foundation and principles of the “Washington Temperance Society” of Baltimore, with which this revival mainly originated.
A new era has dawned upon the Temperance cause. A moral revolution, in the form of the reformation of thousands of drunkards, is now sweeping over the United States like a whirlwind. It meets with little opposition. All see, and few will not admit, that it is founded in right and truth. Thousands of the most abandoned drunkards are being reclaimed from their habits, and are taking their proper stations, as good and useful members of the community. Reformed men are visiting the different sections of the country, under the designation and office of “Temperance Missionaries,” – men who have themselves been but recently reclaimed from intemperance, and who are now devoting their time, and using their influence, to rescue others from their degradation, to the same position of safety, which they themselves now occupy.
All these extraordinary movements are but the developments of a system established in Baltimore two years ago, and have had their beginning in the Washington Temperance Society of this city. To trace the foundation, progress and principles of this society, is the design of the following pages.
Baltimore, April 5th, 1842.
“We, whose names are annexed, desirous of forming a society for our natural benefit, and to guard against a pernicious practice, which is injurious to our health, standing and families – we do pledge ourselves as gentlemen, not to drink any spirituous or malt liquors, wine or cider.”
THE FOUNDATION, PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE WASHINGTON TEMPERANCE SOCIETY OF BALTIMORE