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-We here open a new department for the notice of such miscellaneous topics as do not properly fall under any of the other divisions of the Almanac; but the quantity of other matter to be inserted in this number is so great, as to limit the space allotted to this department to a few pages only.


THE evils of intemperance and drunkenness have been known and lamented ever since the means of intoxication were discovered; but since the method was found out of extracting alcohol from fermented vegetable juices, these evils have been multiplied a thousand fold. In this country, more than twenty years since, the use of distilled spirit, under different names, had become so general, and the vice of intemperance so prevalent, as to excite the fears of patriots and Christians, not only for the national morals, but for the existence of all our institutions of government, learning, and religion.

In the year 1813, a society was organized in Boston, by the name of the "Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance." The objects of this society, as expressed in its constitution and first report, were to suppress the "too free use" of distilled or ardent spirit as drink; to substitute some other and wholesome drink for laborers in the place of this "poison"; and to discourage and do away the custom of offering it as a token of friendship or hospitality. For a number of years this society was considerably active and decidedly useful; and its influence has been more or less salutary till the present time. But no great and striking progress was made in the cause of Temperance, till the formation of the American Temperance Society in 1826. The object of this latter society from its commencement, has been, to do away all use of ardent or distilled spirit as drink; to promote temperance by means of entire abstinence from alcohol. The members of this society, and the members of societies auxiliary to it, are pledged to abstain from the use of ardent spirit, except as medicine. Through the agency, direct and indirect, of the American Temperance Society, great and surprising changes have taken place in this country, in relation to the use of ardent spirit; and the subject has attracted the attention of most of the nations of Europe.

The almost universal use of ardent spirit in this country arose principally from three causes: first, from the love of excitement natural to our race; secondly, from the cheapness and ease with which excitement could be obtained from a small quantity of alcohol; and thirdly, from the very general belief, that the use of a small quantity, or in

other words, the temperate use of it, was really beneficial. From this last cause, however, more than from all other causes, no doubt, arose the prevailing use of ardent spirit, and, of course, almost all the evils of intemperance and drunkenness in the country. The belief, that a moderate use of it was good for the stomach, the spirits, the blood, and physical strength, had taken, as is well known, strong and deep hold upon the public mind. Every body knew and admitted, that it was wrong and injurious to drink much; but almost every body was satisfied at the same time, that it was right and wholesome to take a little.

Now this belief was either correct or incorrect. If correct, the proper course was to drink ardent spirit moderately; and it was the proper business of Temperance Societies to exert their influence to keep the temperate users temperate, and to bring the intemperate users to the same practice.

But if the belief in question was grossly incorrect, then the proper course was, not only to call the public attention to the enormous and growing evils of intemperance, but, if possible, to undeceive the public mind concerning the nature and use of ardent spirit; and thus to lay the foundation broad- and deep for the ultimate and entire suppression of the use of it as a common drink.

Fortunately for the cause of humanity, the truth on this subject was at length not only perceived, but felt; and through the active labors of the friends of temperance, within the last seven years, vast numbers have been fully convinced, that distilled spirit used as a drink is not good, but injurious and poisonous; that the use of it is not fitted to the physical constitution, or moral condition, of the human family.

All sorts of arguments, bearing upon the subject, have been brought forward to change the public mind; but the most successful argument has been that derived from personal experience. All that have been in the habit of using ardent spirit, whether moderately or immoderately, and have exchanged this habit for that of entire abstinence from it, have declared, without a known exception, that they are decidedly better without it, than they ever were with it.

This argument from personal experience is plain, practical, and perfectly unanswerable. It can be understood without studying books of anatomy, chemistry, or medicine. It can be brought to the test by every drinker of ardent spirit, temperate or intemperate, who will take the pains to try it. And the friends of temperance maintain, that the experience of the vast numbers who have tried it, and found it perfectly satisfactory, added to the admitted evils of intemperance, lay upon the remaining drinkers of ardent spirit the strongest moral obligation to make the experiment of abstinence, and to make it fairly and fully.

Since the formation of the American Temperance Society in 1826, more than 5,000 temperance societies have been formed, and more than


twenty of them State societies, within the United States, many men of the first respectability for character, talents, and influ ence; and the whole number of members amounts to about a million. And it is believed, that the temperance reformation has exerted a very salutary influence upon the personal habits of a still greater number of persons, who have not united with any temperance society.


It is stated in the Sixth Report of the American Temperance Society, that since the temperance reformation commenced in this country, more than 2,000 persons have discontinued the business of making ardent spirit, and more than 6,000 left off selling it; - that more than 5,000 drunkards, having ceased to use intoxicating drinks, have become sober men; that 700 vessels are now navigated without using it; and though they visit every clime, at all seasons of the year, and make the longest and most difficult voyages, the men are uniformly better in all respects than when they used it;—that out of 97 vessels belonging to New Bedford, Mass., 75 sail without ardent spirit; - and that on aocount of the increased safety to property, it has become common for insurance companies to insure those vessels which carry no spirituous liquors for a less premium than others.

The reformation has exerted a visible and most happy influence on a great many towns and villages, on manufacturing establishments of various kinds, on communities engaged in agricultural employments, and on the laboring classes of all pursuits. Of these classes, the least exhausted by fatigue, the most cheerful and happy at the close of the day, and the most refreshed and invigorated when the morning returns, are they who make no use of distilled spirit as drink.

But notwithstanding much has been done in the way of reform, very very much remains to be done. The use of ardent spirit as drink is still a great national calamity, as well as national sin ; and great impediments still lie in the way of its removal. These impediments are very much alike in all parts of the country, and are chiefly to be found, 1st, in the indifference of many worthy men, who take no part in temperance meas ures, who withhold their names from the books, their counsel from the deliberations, and their encouragement from the labors of temperance societies; — 2dly, in the custom of what is called temperate drinking, still kept up by many respectable persons, whose example does all that is done toward making it respectable to drink ardent spirit at all; and 3dly, in the various branches of the traffic in ardent spirit. On these several and very great impediments to the progress of the temperance reform, the limits of this article will not allow us to remark. They are therefore referred to the serious consideration of those whom they more especially concern; and who will do well to remember, that no habit or employment, resulting in more injury than benefit to the general welfare, can be justified on the ground of any advantages, real or imaginary, which it may bring to individuals.




Vice-Presidents; John Marshall, Gen.

Lafayette, Wm. H. Crawford, Henry Clay, John C. Herbert, Robert Ralston, John Mason, Samuel Bayard, Isaac McKim, J. H. Cocke, Bishop White, Daniel Webster, Ch. F. Mercer, Jeremiah Day, Richard Rush, Bishop McKendree, Philip E. Thomas, Dr. Th. C. James, John C. Smith, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Louis McLane, Gerritt Smith, J. H. McClure, Gen. Alex. Macomb, Solomon Allen, Gen. Walter Jones, Fr. S. Key, Samuel H. Smith, and Joseph Gales, jr. — Managers. Rev. J. Laurie, Rev. S. B. Balch, Rev. O. B. Brown, Rev. Wm. Hawley, W. W. Seaton, Rev. Wm. Ryland, Dr. H. Hunt, Rev. R. Post, Hugh C. Smith, Moses Sheppard, J. H. B. Latrobe, and R. C. Coxe. Rev. R. R. Gurley, Secretary. Richard Smith, Treasurer. John Underwood, Recorder. - These were the officers of the society for the year 1833. The officers are elected annually on the 3d Monday in January.

This institution was founded in December, 1816, at the city of Washington, chiefly through the instrumentality of the Rev. Robert Finley, of New Jersey. The subject of colonizing the free people of color was proposed by Mr. Jefferson to the Legislature of Virginia as early as 1777, - the place being left undetermined in the plan. In 1787 Dr. Thornton, of Washington, formed a project for establishing a colony of free blacks on the western coast of Africa, and publicly invited those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to accompany him; but the plan failed for the want of funds. Previous to 1801, the Legislature of Virginia twice debated, in secret session, the subject of colonizing the free colored population, and in 1801 passed a resolution, instructing Mr. Monroe, then Governor of the State, to apply to the President of the United States, and urge him to institute negotiations with some of the powers of Europe, possessed of colonies on the coast of Africa, to grant an asylum, to which our emancipated blacks might be sent. A negotiation was opened with the Sierra Leone Company, but without success. In 1816 a resolution was passed by the Legislature of Virginia, requesting the Executive to correspond with the President "for the purpose of obtaining a territory on the coast of Africa, or at some other place, not within any of the States or territorial governments of the United States, to serve as an asylum for such persons of color as are now free, and may desire the same, and for those who may hereafter be emancipated within this Commonwealth." Thus the existence of the evil of slavery demanded and suggested its remedy. The public mind calling for some action on the subject, it was deemed wise and proper to proceed to the formation of a Colonization Society. Accordingly, in the year 1816, as above mentioned, a meeting was called at Washington, at which

were present Judge Washington, Mr. Clay, John Randolph, Mr. Mercer, Mr. Finley, Elias B. Caldwell, F. S. Key, &c. Most of these gentlemen addressed the meeting. Mr. Randolph said: "If a place could be provided for their reception, and a mode of sending them hence, there were hundreds, nay, thousands, who would, by manumitting their slaves, relieve themselves from the cares attendant on their possession." This meeting proceeded to form a Society, which was denominated the - American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color." Bushrod Washington was elected its first President. Among the Vice-Presidents were Messrs. Crawford, Clay, Rutgers, Howard, Gen. Jackson, Rev. R. Finley, &c. The second President was Charles Carroll. The second, which is the fundamental, — article of the Constitution of the Society avers: "The object to which its attention is to be exclu sively directed, is to promote and execute a plan for colonizing, with their consent, the free people of color residing in our country, in Africa, or such other place as Congress shall deem most expedient. And the Society shall act, to effect this object, in coöperation with the General Government, and such of the States as may adopt regulations upon the subject." It will thus be seen to be the policy of the Society, not to interfere with vested rights, — not to invade the Constitution, act upon the slave population, except through the medium of the mas ter. It will also be seen, that from the first it has looked for the accomplishment of its objects, to any very extensive degree, to legislative aid, rather than to private liberality, while with the assistance of the latter," it has been engaged in laying the foundations of a republic, which is destined, it is believed, to be a lasting blessing to the Continent of A£ rica, and an undecaying monument to the honor of America.


nor to

Any citizen of the United States, annually contributing one dollar to the funds of the Society, is entitled to membership. Thirty dollars constitutes a life membership.

There are three General Agents now acting under the authority of the Society in the Northern, Middle, and Southern Departments of the United States: the Rev. Joshua N. Danforth is in the first; Rev. Henry B. Bascom in the second; and John G. Birney, Esq. in the third. These officers have the general superintendence of colonization affairs in their respective districts, are invested with the power to appoint sub-agents for the States individually, are expected to visit ecclesiastical bodies, legislatures, and chief towns, to correspond extensively, and in general to advance the objects of the Society.

In the year 1819, the Rev. S. J. Mills and Rev. E. Burgess visited Af rica under a commission from the Society on an exploring expedition. In

* The whole sum expended by the Society, during the sixteen years of its existence, is about $160,000.

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