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Bowen, Henry (1794-1874) A mirror for the intemperate

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08600 Author/Creator: Bowen, Henry (1794-1874) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Broadside Date: 1830 Pagination: 1 textile sheet ; 53 x 51 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08600 Author/Creator: Bowen, Henry (1794-1874) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Broadside Date: 1830 Pagination: 1 textile sheet ; 53 x 51 cm.

Summary of Content: Temperance broadside with poems and extracts such as "Ode to Rum" and "Set Down that Glass." Also includes some illustrations. Printed on cloth for Nathaniel Boynton by Henry Bowen's Chemical Print. Mounted on cloth covered board; dimensions include mounting.

Background Information: During the 1820s and 1830s, evangelical reformers launched a series of crusades to eradicate sin and make the nation live up to Christian values--campaigns to suppress urban prostitution, enforce the ...Christian Sabbath, and curb the drinking of hard liquor. In initiating these crusades, evangelicals devised the methods and tactics that would later be used in more radical reforms to abolish slavery and win women's rights.
In the decades before the Civil War, the campaign against liquor was the key unifying reform, drawing support from middle-class Protestants, skilled artisans, clerks, shopkeepers, free blacks, and Mormons, as well as many conservative clergy and Southerners who were otherwise hostile to reform. Called the temperance movement, the antebellum crusade against hard liquor in fact advocated "intemperance"--teetotal abstinence from all alcohol.
In part, the rise of temperance agitation represented a response to an upsurge in heavy drinking. By 1820, the typical adult male consumed more than 7 gallons of absolute alcohol a year (compared to about 2.8 gallons today). Consumption had risen markedly, since farmers distilled corn to make cheap whiskey, which could be transported more easily than bulk corn.
But the rise of the temperance movement was not simply a response to increased drinking. As the following excerpts from a temperance broadside reveal, the movement reflected broader concerns that alcohol led to economic waste, polluted youth, created crime and poverty, and led men to physically abuse their wives.
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Full Transcript: Extract from the dying Declaration of Nicholas Fernandez, who, with nine others, were executed in front of Cadiz Harbor in December, 1829, for Piracy and Murder.
Parents into whose hands this ...my dying declaration may fall will perceive that I date the commencement of my departure from the paths of rectitude and virtue, from the moment when I become addicted to the habitual use of ardent spirits--and it is my sincere prayer that if they value the happiness of their children--if they desire their welfare here, and their eternal well being hereafter, that they early teach them the fatal consequences of Intemperance!"See More

People: Bowen, Henry, 1794-1874

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: TextileTemperance and ProhibitionAlcoholPoetryReform Movement

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform

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