Imatges de pÓgina


The first Annual Meeting of the Maine Temperance Society, was held in the Meeting-House of the South Parish, in Augusta, on Wednesday, January 23d, 1833.

The meeting was called to order by Hon. ETHER SHEPLEY, President of the Society, and the throne of Grace addressed in Prayer by Rev. L. PORTER, of Augusta. A respectable number of members were present, and several local Temperance Societies were represented, as follows:

Gorham Temperance Society, by Josiah Pierce.

Norridgewock Temperance Society, William Allen, jr. Esq. and John Loring.

Foxcroft and Dover Temperance Society, Joseph Crooker and Gidcon

New Gloucester Temperance Society, Otis C. Gross, Esq.
Knox Temperance Society, John Haskell.
Freedom Temperance Society, John True, Esq.
Monson Temperance Society, B. R. Lake, Esq.
Orono Temperance Society, John Bennoch, Esq.
Litchfield Temperance Society, Isaac Smith, Esq.

J. L. Child, Esq. of Augusta, J. Pierce, Esq. of Gorham, and Col. J. A. Morrill of Limerick, were appointed a Committee to receive, sort and count the votes for the officers required by the Constitution. The following gentlemen were elected.


His Excellency SAMUEL E, SMITH, Augusta.

CHARLES WILLIAMS, Esq. Augusta, Auditor.


THEO. S. BROWN, Esq. Vassalboro'.
S. K. GILMAN, Esq. Hallowell.

BART. NASON, Esq. Augusta,
Hon. SAM'L M. POND, Bucksport,
ex officio.
On motion, Voted to excuse Gov. Smith from performing the du-
ties of the Chair, during the present meeting; and Mr. Shepley
continued to preside.

A Committee, consisting of Messrs. Brown of Buckfield, Thurston of Winthrop, and Cogswell of Berwick, were appointed to ascertain what alterations, if any, are requisite in the Constitution. Subsequently the Committee reported that it is expedient to change the time of the annual meeting from the fourth Wednesday in January, to the first Wednesday in February in each year. The Report was accepted, and the Constitution so far altered accordingly.

The Corresponding Secretary, Mr. Pond, presented a Report of his doings during the past year, embracing extracts from his correspon

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dence with gentlemen in most of the towns in the State, and exhibiting much statistical and other matter, calculated to encourage the friends of Temperance to proceed with vigor in the important work before them. After Mr. P. had read from his Report about an hour, he asked and obtained leave, to suspend further reading for the present; and the meeting adjourned till half past six o'clock.

At the time appointed, the Society met agreeably to adjournment. A large and respectable number of people attended. Mr. Pond resumed the reading of his Report, and concluded by several pertinent suggestions. After he had concluded,

Mr. SHEPLEY addressed the meeting in an able and elegant manner. He exhorted all the friends of human happiness to come up to this cause as a common cause,-laying aside all political, sectarian and personal differences, and to engage in the great and good spirit of "good will to man," in the laudable object of this Society. He pourtrayed, in vivid colors, the crimes, pauperism, degradation, misery, and infamy consequent upon an indulgence in too free an use of dis. tilled liquors, and expressed it as his settled conclusion, that if public sentiment could be rendered so powerful as to prevent the use of ardent spirit, the greatest cause of human wretchedness would be removed from among men.


He was followed by S. REDINGTON, Esq. of Vassalborough, who bore witness to the salutary effects resulting from an entire disuse of ardent spirits. His remarks were characteristically pertinent and highly entertaining. A few years ago, he observed, he was engaged as Commissioner to construct the Canada Road.' After some time, by some means, a barrel of rum was procured and used among the laborers. Its effects were most pernicious. The men became riotous; some had to be dismissed, who before had been peaceable; and he had no doubt, but that single barrel of rum was more than $500 damage to the State.

He sup

Rev. D. THURSTON of Winthrop, moved, That the Society recommend to the friends of Temperance throughout the State, to hold Temperance Meetings in every school district throughout the State, where practicable, for the purpose of advancing the cause. ported his motion by some remarks. Our hopes were upon the youth of our country; the youth would attend these meetings, and a good foundation might be seasonably laid against the evils of intemperance. He believed youth ought to be so educated, that they would no sooner think of using ardent spirits, than opium or arsenic.


The motion was also advocated by Mr. Pierce, very spiritedly and happily; by Mr. Pond of Bucksport; Mr. Adams of Vassalboro'; Dr. Phelps of Fairfield; Mr. Brown of Buckfield, and Doct. Wells of Freeport. The question being put from the Chair, the motion prevailed without division.

Voted, to accept the report of the Corresponding Secretary, and that a number of copies be printed equal to the number of School Districts in the State.

On motion of Mr. LORING, Voted, That this Society recommend to the clergymen of every denomination in the State, to take some suitable occasion in the course of the year, publicly to call the attention

of their congregation to the evils of Intemperance and invite them to engage in the Temperance Reform.

About fifty gentlemen, not before members, many of whom were members of the Legislature, applied for membership, and were received on subscribing the Constitution.

As the meeting was about to be dismissed, several members, among whom were Gov. Smith, Ex-Gov. King, and other highly respectable gentlemen, came forward and contributed between forty and fifty dollars towards defraying the expenses of the Society. And the meeting was dissolved.




The 8th Article of our Constitution, provides that "The Executive Committee may, from time to time, adopt such measures as they think calculated to promote the objects of this Society; and raise funds, when necessary, by voluntary contribution or subscription;" and the 9th Article provides that "At each annual meeting, a report shall be presented, exhibiting the operations of the Society for the past year, and the state and progress, so far as it can be ascertained, of the Temperance Reformation."

The Executive Committee, in performance of the duty that seemed to be required of them by the 8th Article, were of opinion that they could not better "promote the objects of this Society," than by causing to be circulated extensively through the State, Dickinson's Appeal to American Youth, and Kittredge's, Cranch's, Sewall's and Wayland's Addresses; and to employ an Agent to travel through the State, for the purpose of organizing Societies in those towns where it had been omitted; and, generally, to aid in increasing the members of the Societies already formed; to excite if possible, a greater zeal, more industry, and an increased perseverance, in those engaged in the Temperance Reform; and to recommend such measures, as would tend to produce such a regular system of operations, by the town and county societies, in connection with this Society, as would enable us, annually, to spread before the community a thorough knowledge of those operations and their effects. But, before the Committee could undertake to execute their designs, it was necessary to "count the costs," and ascertain if it were immediately practicable, to "raise funds" sufficient to defray the expense that such measures would necessarily incur.

By an estimate made by the Committee, it was calculated that it would require about twenty two hundred dollars to meet all the objects then contemplated during the year. It was confidently believed that that sum might be raised by "voluntary contribution or subscription," without much delay; that three hundred dollars might be obtained in the County of York; four hundred dollars in the County of Cumberland; three hundred dollars in the County of Lincoln; four hundred dollars in the County of Kennebec ; one hundred dollars in the County

of Waldo; one hundred and fifty dollars in the County of Hancock; fifty dollars in the County of Washington; two hundred dollars in the County of Penobscot; one hundred dollars in the County of Somerset; and one hundred and fifty dollars in the County of Oxford. A correspondence upon this subject was immediately commenced, with such gentlemen, in the several Counties, as were understood to be the friends and advocates of the good work; and it was soon ascertained that this mode of raising that sum was hopeless; and the Committee were compelled to relinquish the measures contemplated, which required pecuniary aid to carry them into execution. Under these circumstances, the only remaining mode of operation, to effect the objects of the Society, devolved upon the Corresponding Secretary, under the injunction in the 7th Art. of the Constitution, which requires that "it shall especially be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to collect information from the several Temperance Societies in the State, and under the direction, and with the assistance of the Executive Committee, publish, from time to time, in the journals of the day, such articles as the cause of Temperance may require."

At the time of the organization of the Society, on motion of the member from Wayne, it was resolved, "That every Temperance Society in this State be requested to furnish, as soon as may be, to the Corresponding Secretary of this Society, the actual number of the members of such Society, the number of cases of reformation which have occurred in such Society, and all other information which may be necessary to ascertain the success and actual strength of the friends of Temperance throughout the State."Soon after, the Corresponding Secretary addressed the Secretaries of the several local Societies in the State, through the medium of the public papers, printed in the State, for the purpose of calling their attention to certain facts, which it was deemed important to ascertain. At the expiration of six months, having received only about twenty communications, in answer to the queries suggested, the Corresponding Secretary procured to be printed, a number of Circulars, containing thirty-six questions,* sufficient to enable him to send one into each town in the State; and directed them to the Secretaries of the town Societies, or to the Town Clerks, in the several towns; and subsequently, wrote to more than three hundred persons residing in those towns, from which no answers had been received.

There are in this State about three hundred towns-from one hundred and sixty two only, have the facts solicited, been communicated, and from many of those, but partially and imperfectly. Nearly all this labor of the Corresponding Secretary, and the expense of his correspondence, would have been saved, had the local Societies been auxiliary to the County Societies, and required to make an annual report to them; and to complete a system, it would only be necessary that the County Societies should be auxiliary to this Society, and make an annual report to the Corresponding Secretary. The Corresponding Secretary here takes the liberty to recommend, that such a system be immediately adopted; and that the local Societies so alter their Constitutions, as to provide that their annual reports be made and

* See Appendix A.

transmitted to the County Societies, about the middle of December; and the County Societies provide by their Constitutions for making and communicating their annual report to this Society, about the first of January in each year. This system would enable this Society to embrace in its annual report, all the facts and occurrences reported by the local Societies, to nearly the end of each year.

The Corresponding Secretary, pursuant to the requirement in the 7th Article of the Constitution, commenced " publishing, from time to time, in the journals of the day," such articles as "he thought the cause of Temperance required." He communicated, six numbers to as many publishers of papers in this State; the facts and arguments in which, were designed to prove "ardent spirits unnecessary." He communicated also, to several papers, extracts from the correspondence with the Secretaries of the local Societies, with the request to the publishers, that they should publish in their papers, his communications, that might appear originally in other papers; in this way, hoping to obtain their publication in all the papers in this State; but, finding that they were published only in the papers to which they were communicated, and that he should fail in his object of giving them an extensive circulation, he ceased to continue his communications. Had there been a Temperance Paper, of extensive circulation, published in this State, he would have continued to perform that duty.

The result of his correspondence will now be given. It has been ascertained that there is a County Temperance Society in the


Hon. WILLIAM A. HAYES, of South Berwick, President.
Doct. GEORGE PACKARD, of Saco, Secretary.

"By the Constitution, (says the Secretary,) there is an annual meeting in June, but the Society does not always observe it. The meetings of the Society are not regular, but are determined by a vote of the Society. There have generally been as many as three or four a year; at which addresses have been delivered and speeches made. All members of the Town Societies are members of the County Society; and as our meetings have always been at the time, either of our Supreme or Common Pleas Court, there have been present some, undoubtedly, from every town in the County. As to tracts-we have circulated none but the addresses which have been delivered before our Society, and afterwards published. These have been very extensively circulated. As to a general report, none has been made.

"There never were but two Distilleries in this County-one in this town (Saco) and one in Kennebunk. Both are now closed. Distilleries have been called, Í believe, the "Devil's Machine Shops." The one here has been purchased for, and is now used as, a Machine Shop for our Factories.

"You ask as to our prospects-they are not so flattering as the friends of Temperance could wish. There is, indeed, a wonderful reform in the community, as a body; but there is a large part, who are not reached by the means we have hitherto used. They will not go to hear addresses-they will not read anything which speaks against their favorite indulgencies; and all the means employed, seem to fail of producing an effect upon that portion of the community which is in the greatest danger.

"There is a leaven, however, in the mass of the community, which it is to be hoped will, eventually, leaven the whole lump. The most respectable and inf ential men in our community, are on the side of Temperance; and by their precept and example, are endeavoring to convince others that the principle of total abstinence from ardent spirits, is the only correct one-and that the path which it marks out is the only one that is safe. May the blessing of God rest upon their, and your labors, in promoting this cause."

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