Cherokee Phoenix


Published September, 24, 1828

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Doctor D. M. Reese, a respectable physician of New York, in work recently published, considers intemperance as prolific mother of human miseries, and is of opinion that if mankind were universally temperate in all respects, cassualty [sic] and old age would be the chief passports to the grave.- He notices several species of Intemperance: Intemperate Drinking, Intemperate Eating, Intemperate sleeping, Intemperance in clothing, Intemperate Labor, depraved Appetites, 'c.- Hamp. Gaz.

Intemperance in Clothing.- Dr. R. points our the ill effects on health of tight lacing, and remarks that almost every professional man has witnessed the fatal results of this abomination. He dissected the bodies of two young females, who had died of disease caused by tight lacing and found 'the adhesion of parts and the derangement of structure truly frightful.' He adds, 'the ingenuity of the ladies, perhaps, could not be exerted than in contriving some method of preventing such havoc as is annually occasioned among them from tight lacing and thin dressing.'

Eating Opium and Snuff.- Dr. R. states, as a fact well known to the faculty, that hundreds of females in our large cities are in the daily use of taking opium. 'This is neither more nor less than a fashionable way of getting drunk, and ought to be frowned upon by every husband and father.'

Dr. R. says he has known two instances of death from eating snuff, 'a habit which is perhaps increasing among the ladies of our country with a rapidity only equalled by the ravages of ardent spirits, and which is no less rumous [sic] to health and destructive to life.' 'This practice has its origin in using the Scotch snuff as a tooth powder, a fondness is soon acquired for it, and hundreds among us, especially among our females, get drunk upon it every day of their lives.' The effects are paleness of countenance, torpor of body, stupor of mind, disease of a stomach, lungs, 'c.

Drinking malt liquor to excess.- In Great Britain diseases are increased in number and fatality by the large quantity of malt liquors drank in their community. Sudden deaths are frequent among those who drink habitually and excessively of these liquors.

Cold Water.- Dr. R. says 'that death seldom occurs from drinking water, except in constitutions, previously impaired by some of the other species of intemperance.'

Drinking Ardent Spirits.- This is the worst kind of intemperance, and in criminality; the magnitudes of its evils, outweighs all the rest. Dr. R. proposes the following expedients for removing these evils:

'Would it not be productive of salutary effects, if in collecting the interments, when it could be distinctly ascertained that this vice had produced death; that in publishing the report, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly, it should be so stated? Instead of their being marked, fits, drowned, suicide, murder, dropsy, apoplexy, or sudden death,' let them be officially announced in glaring capitals, RUM! DEATHS FROM RUM!! This would open many eyes and might contribute to the most desirable object which can interest the friends of humanity. If the fact were known, and when known, distinctly stated by our city authorities, that out of forty deaths among our adult population, in one week, thirty of them were occasioned, manifestly, by RUM! surely it would cause the sot to tremble over his glass, and abandon his fatal habits.

To my medical brethren, I would respectfully proffer this fraternal counsel; let us no longer make drunkards, by prescribing spirituous tinctures or medicated wines; let none of us carry the use of the lancet to such excess, as to render the subsequent use of ardent spirits, either convenient or indispensable; let us no longer conceal from our patients, their vicious agency in producing their diseases, from a timorus [sic] prudence, or from the fear of incurring their displeasure. But, when they wonder at their ill health, let them not 'perish for lack of knowledge,' but let us reply to their inquiries into the cause of their maladies, Rum! sir, rum madam; and when they urge their former habitual use of it, as a plea for their continuance in their iniquity, let us hold up the terrors of death, and present them with a view of the judgment to come and yawning gulf , an interminable hell, as the fearful alternative, that haply we may save one soul from irretrievable despair.


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From the New York Observer


The following article was prepared by one of the Editors of this paper for the Christian Almanac of 1829.

1. The quantity of ardent spirits consumed in the United States; in the year 1820, according to Mr. Pitkin, was 31,725,417 gallons, or about four and a half gallons for every person.- At the same rate, the quantity consumed at the present time, is 56,000,000 gallons, which at fifty cents the gallon, is 28,000,000 dollars.

2. The cost of the liquor is but a small part of the cost of intemperance. 'time,' as Dr. Franklin says, 'is money;' and who can doubt that the time which is spent by the intemperate over their cups, and in recovering from the stupor of intoxication, is worth many times more than the trifle which they pay for their dram. When it is remembered, that whiskey sufficient to prostrate an ordinary drunkard for six hours, can be purchased for six cents, it will not be thought extravagant, if we estimate the time killed by 56,000,000 gallons of spirit at as many millions of dollars. If we suppose that only one-half of the quantity is consumed by drunkards, and that one pint of spirit destroys only six hours of the drunkard's time, the value of the time destroyed, reckoning it only at four cents and hour, would be 53,760,000 dollars.

3. It is inferred from the result of inquiries extensively made in our principal towns, that three fourths of all the pauparism [sic] in our land is the consequence of intemperance.

The Executive Committee of the American Temperance Society, after giving from official documents the number and cost of paupers in the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the States of Massachusetts and New -York, estimate the whole number of paupers in the United States at 200,000, and the cost of their support at 10,000,000 dollars. Of this sum, 7,500,000 must be set down to the score of intemperance.

4. The Directors of the American Temperance Society estimate, and no one will doubt that three fourths of all the crime in the country is the result of intemperance.

The number of persons committed to the City Prison and Bridgewell in New York, for various crimes and misdemeanors, from the 1st of January, 1822 to the 20th of November 1826, was 11,535, equal to nearly 2400 annually, or about one every sixty-three of the population. In Philadelphia, the number of persons in the Mayors Court, arrested for various offences [sic], between 1813 and 1823, was on an average 1653 annually, or one in sixty-four of the population. A writer in the North American Review, computes the number of persons in Boston who live by vice and crime, at 2,000, which is equal to one in thirty of the population. From these facts, we think it safe to infer that, in the whole United States, at least 60,000 persons, (which is only one in two hundred of the population,) are either tenants of our prisons, or live by vice and crime. The expense of watching the movements of this army of criminals, of seizing and trying them, of maintaining them in prison; and the losses which the community sustain by their thefts, burglaries, arsons, frauds, murders, 'c. are unknown, but must be immense; and three fourths of the whole must be set down to the account of intemperance.

5. The relatives of intemperate persons suffer misery and shame on their account.

The number of drunkards in the United States, i.e. of those who are frequently intemperate, and either habitually or occasionally drunk, has been variously estimated from 500,000 down to 300,000. It seems to be generally admitted, that the habitual drunkards are at least one in every hundred of the population, or 120,000 in all. If we take into view only the habitual drunkards, and consider that each of them on an average has eight relatives as near as father, mother, wife, child, sister, or brother, we shall perceive that intemperance dooms nearly One Millon persons to the disgrace and suffering necessarily connected with a relationship so intimate.

6. Of all Persons who die in the United States after they arrive at adult age, one out of three is probable intemperate.

In New-Haven, Conn. the number of persons over 20 years of

age, who died in 1826, was 94; and, of this number, more than one-third, according to a published statement of the Medical Association of that city, were intemperate;* and, 'on referring further back,' they say, 'we find a similar proportion for the two years preceding.' If this proportion is found in New-Haven, a city certainly as highly distinguished for morality as any in the United States, we have no reason to believe that it is less in the country at large. The whole number of persons in the United States, at the present time, of adult age, is about 6,000,000; of this number, if nothing is done to check the progress of intemperance, 2,000,000 will probably die intemperate.

7. The number of persons in the United States who die by excessive drinking every year, is at least thirty thousand.

In Portsmouth, N. H. which had at the last census 7,327 inhabitants, 21 persons, or three for every thousand, dies by excess in drinking, according to the bill of mortality of 1826. At this rate, the number in the whole United States would be 36,000 per annum. A distinguished physician of Philadelphia, after commenting upon the bill of mortality of that city for the year 1826, estimates the number of deaths by intemperance at 335, which is nearly three in every thousand of the population.+ The estimate, of thirty thousand lives annually destroyed in the whole country by intemperance, he fears, if the truth were fully know, would be found too small. In New-Haven, Conn. which had at the last census 8,327 inhabitants, the number of persons whose deaths were caused or hastened, directly of indirectly, by intemperance in 1826, according to the statement of the Medical Association, was, as we have already intimated, at least 31, or four for every thousand. At this rate, the number in the whole United States would be forth-eight thousand per annum! and this statement, let it be remembered, is founded on the private record of the physicians, and is therefore worthy of entire confidence, and might with more propriety be adopted as the basis of calculation for the whole country than any statements or estimates derived from bills of mortality.

8. By the premature death of these thirty thousand persons, the country loses the profits of their labor, for the period which would have been added to their lives in case they had remained temperate.

If we suppose this period to be on an average ten years, we cannot estimate these profits at less than 30,000,000 dollars; for, let it be remembered, with a trifling exception, the whole 30,000 would be in the prime of life, there being few deaths by intemperance among those who are under twenty or over sixty years of age. We are certainly within bounds when we say, that a temperate person, in the prime of life, earns on an average, every year, one hundred dollars more than is necessary for his individual support. How else, indeed, could men support their families?- and yet, at this low rate, each of these 30,000 persons, if he had been temperate, and had lived ten years longer, would, besides supporting himself, have earned one thousand dollars which would have been expended in increasing the comforts of his children or others dependent upon him. By intemperance, all this (amounting for the 30,000, to 30,000,000 dollars) is lost.

9. In addition, to the losses above enumerated, there are many others, which, although amounting to an immense sum in the aggregate, do not admit of estimate; such are the loss of vessels and cargoes by the intemperance of seamen; the loss of life and property by fires, accidents, and casualties of various kinds, originating in the carelessness of the intemperate; the mischiefs arising from the mismanagement of business by intemperate agents, 'c. 'c, 'c.

For the purpose of exhibiting more clearly the cost of intemperance, we subjoin a bill, in which the above items are introduced in their order.

The people of the United States to Intemperance,


1. To 50,000,000 gallons of spirit at

fifty cents per gallon $28,000,000

2. 1,944,000,000 hours of time wasted

by drunkards, at four cents per hour $53,760,003

3. To the support of 150,000 paupers


4. To losses by depravity of 45,000


unknown, butimmense.

5. To the disgrace and misery of

1,000,000 persons, (relatives of drunkards,) incalculable.

6.' 7. To the ruin of at least 30,000

and probably 48,000 souls annually

infinite! unspeakable!

8. To loss by the premature death of

30,000 persons in the prime of life


9. To losses from the carelessness and

mismanagement of intemperate seamen, agents, 'c. 'c.

unknown, but very great.


Certain pecuniary loss (in round numbers)


To which add 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th items,




Thus it appears that, independently of items which cannot be estimated, our country pays or losses at the rate of one humored and twenty millions of dollars per annum by Intemperance!- This sum is five times as large as the revenue of the United States' government; it would pay off our national debt in six months; it would build twelve such canals as the Grand Erie and Hudson canal, every year; it would support a navy four times as large as that of Great Britain; it is sixty times as much as the aggregate income of all the principal religious charitable Societies in Europe and America; it would supply every family on the earth with a Bible in eight months; it would support a missionary or teacher among every two thousand souls on the globe! How prosperous might this country be,-what blessings might it confer upon the world, if it were only relieved from the curse of Intemperance!


*I.e. in the language of the statement, their deaths 'were caused or hastened, directly or indirectly, by intemperance.'

+ It is evident from remarks of this physician, that bills of mortality afford a very imperfect account of the number of deaths by intemperance. In many instances, he says, to avoid wounding the feelings of surviving relatives, the death of a drunkard is reported under the head of inflammation of the brain, insanity, 'c. and he thinks that one-half of the adults reported under the heads 'apoplexy, Casualties, Dropsy, Drowned, Found Dead, Palsy, and Sudden,' are justly referable to ardent spirits.


Ardent Spirits overboard.- Captain Harding, of the ship Franklin, lately lost on her passage from Liverpool to Portsmouth, N. H. in a postscript to a letter giving an account of his shipwreck, says, 'I would remark, for the benefit of any one who may have the misfortune to suffer shipwreck, that as soon as I discovered the ship would be lost, I ordered all the ardent spirits, on board the ship to be thrown overboard-the consequence was that the men were orderly and obedient throughout the whole of that distressing scene, to which I attribute, under Providence, our preservation.'

N. Y. Adv.