Cherokee Phoenix


Published April, 1, 1829

Page 1 Column 3b-4b


From the New York Observer.


The population of this City is about 200,000 of whom one-half are under eighteen years of age, leaving only 100,000 men and women to support 3,300 dram-shops. On an average, then, 15 men and 15 women support one dram-shop. How many of the fifteen shall we deduct for those who do not buy liquor by the gill? If we say one-half, (and for the reputation of the city, we dare not say less,) we shall have then have seven men and seven women to support each dram-shop. Deduct one more for the keeper of the dram-shop, and another for his wife, and we then come to the conclusion that six-tippling men and six tippling women, drink so much that the mere profits on what they drink, will pay the price of a retailer's license, and a fair proportion of the rent, food, fuel clothing, and other necessaries of one family.

And how much is this? The retailer's license costs him $10- the rent of his shop and house is on an average at least $150- and the food, fuel, clothing, and other necessary expenses of his family, cannot be less than $350- say in all, $500. If he does not clear five hundred dollars then he does not make a living profit by his business, and if we suppose that only one-half of this sum is derived from the sale of spirituous liquors, it will be $250, or, on an average, more than twenty dollars for each of his drinking customers!

It is generally conceded that in the sale of liquor, the retailer makes a profit of one hundred per cent. The customer then who pays him a profit of twenty dollars, purchases to the amount of forty dollars. Forty dollars a year is about one shilling a day. One shilling will purchase two glasses at six pence, or four at three pence- on an average, say, three glasses for the shilling. Each drinking customer of a dram-shop, drinks then, on an average, three glasses a day.- and his bill for drink, is forty dollars a year!

The man who is in the habit of drinking three glasses of ardent spirits every day is wedded to his glass. His cup is his idol. Drinking, with him, is the summum bonum. To gratify this appetite, he will sacrifice his health, his reputation, his property, his family, all his prospects here, and his hope of heaven hereafter. He is a ruined man. And can it be that there are forty thousand such men and women in this city? Alas! There is too much reason to fear that this is the fact.*

If we view these facts in their bearing upon our public elections, we shall find that whatever may be said of the morality or the patriotism of those Aldermen whose to trust to the votes of drunkards for their re-election, they have not miscalculated the strength of their party. Of the 50,000 male adults in this city, probably 40,000 are qualified to vote, and of this number, the keepers of dram- shops and their drinking customers, (reckoning six for each shop,) are a majority. But their strength does not consist in numbers alone. They have every thing else which gives efficiency to party. They are of one heart and one mind-they meet every day, on the corners of every street- under circumstances-calculated to produce oneness of feeling and purpose-and when the day of election comes, they are prepared with their officers, each at the head of his little platoon, to march to the polls and bear down all opposition-for what resistance can our sober citizens present to this organized mass of vice. Divided, irresolute, unacquainted with each other, and shrinking from all noise and bustle, they shun the contest, and leave the government of the city and the country in the hands of the enemy.- Thus it has been heretofore, and thus it is to be feared it will be hereafter.

But gloomy as the prospect if, we are not without hope, and our hope is under God, in our young men, who have not yet tasted the fatal cup. If they can be prevailed upon still to abstain, and to persevere in their abstinence, in ten years the control of the city will be in their hands, and we shall then have in the office those who will dare to respect the feelings of virtuous men, and to maintain the true interests of the community.

*We arrive at the same result by a different process. In New-Haven which is proverbial for the morality of its inhabitants, the physicians say that of all the adults who die, one in three is intemperate. If in New-Haven the proportion is one in three, no one acquainted with the two cities will consider it extravagant to say that in New-York the proportion must be two in five. There are 100,000 adults in New-York, and two-fifths of this number is 40,000.


Page 1 Col. 4b


A retail trader, about fifteen months ago, made a Purchase from a wholesale merchant, on a credit of sixty days. At the end of the credit, he was applied to for payment. He begged a longer indulgence, which was granted. The second period arrived, and he was applied to again, when he very abruptly answered, it was not convenient, and you must call again. He was afterwards called upon every week or two for a year, and the answer every time was 'call again!' At last the account was put into the hands of another person for collection, which, when presented by the latter person he declared positively that he had paid. But it being proved to the contrary, he then declared he never purchased the goods, and knew nothing about them. This also being proved to the contrary, he said they were delivered to a drayman (sic) or porter, who proved that he had received the goods and sold them again, all his refuges of lies failed him. He said he had nothing to pay with. On inquiry it was found that his last excuse was indeed true, for he really had nothing to pay with.

We would ask, what has been the cause of all this crime and mischief? What the foundation of all these falsehoods? The answer is at hand. It is that evil spirit, Whiskey!

Four years ago this man's credit stood as fair as almost any person's in the community. He had by his industry and frugality, acquired a handsome property; he had bought a lot and built himself a neat brick house with a handsome store in front, and had it well filled with goods. His interesting family, consisting of an amiable wife, and six lovely children appeared now to be happy and comfortably provided for, and no doubt, looked forward to many happy days. But, alas! alas! What is their present situation! A miserable, drunkard sot of a husband! a poor bloated, intemperate, snarling, cross, wretched father!


Page 1 Col. 5a Philadelphian.

Reader, are you in the habit of using ardent spirits? Do you find it hard to resolve to abstain from ardent spirits, entirely, except as a medicine? Are you feeling that a resolution to do this would be a great act of self-denial? Then we can tell you what you feelings have been, as you cast your eyes over the above incident. You said in your heart, 'there is no danger in my case-for I shall never drink more than a temperate man can do innocently.- Others may go into excess= and lose their property, and health, and reputation-but I shall never do it.' Just so, very likely, this man thought, four years ago, when he read similar accounts. He did not think it possible, that in four short years, his example would be held out as a warning of the ruinous tendency of drinking a very little-of drinking ardent spirits very temperately. There is an old proverb which men would do well to regard in this case.--'What has been may be again. It would be nothing strange if four years should make the same melancholy change, in some who now are enjoying the fruits of their industry and frugality. There is no safety but in entire abstinence.- Cen. Cts.