Cherokee Phoenix


Published April, 8, 1829

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Intemperance a great national evil.- Upon our national wealth it eats like a canker; upon the heart-strings, and life-blood of our citizens, it preys like a vulture; it break up the very foundations of immortal intellect; it matures depravity into open and fearful crime; and it buries the deathless soul in the depths of eternal woe. A nation of drunkards cannot exist. Intemperance would forge chains strong and heavy enough to hold in bondage a nation of giants. Let this evil diffuse itself through the family circle- let it prevail at the polls of your elections- let the drunkard be honoured (sic) with a seat in Congress- and reel into the senate chamber-and nod on the bench-and doze in the jury-box, and liberty is at an end. I tremble for the fate of my country when I reflect upon the prevailing intemperance of the present day, in connection with the freedom of our institutions and the expression of the elective franchise. If liberty shall here find her grave, that grave will be dug by drunkards' hands. If the knell of departed freedom shall here toll, it will toll amidst the revels of national intoxication. If the march of intellect, in this Western hemisphere, shall be arrested, it will be arrested by the swolen (sic) torrent of intemperance; and, then , these heavens will be hung with mourning, and this earth be wet with tears. Should ignorance and despotism and all their attendant evils prevail, they will prevail through the influence of ardent spirits; and then, this air that is full of songs, will whisper only sighs.- Do you as where the danger is?- I answer, it is everywhere, in every city, and through all the country, ardent spirits are filling the channels of death to overflowing. This is the master sin-the giant evil-the burning curse. It is not enough to say, that intemperance is greater than this or that individual calamity. It is probably not too much to say, that this single injury upon the physical, intellectual, moral, and eternal interests of our country, than all those evils which are ordinarily deemed special calamities, combined together. Yes; marshal in one dread army, under one flag, all the judgments that ever desolate this devoted world of sin and death-blasting mildew, hail storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, epidemics, famine, war, conflagration, shipwrecks repine, murder-blow the trumpet long ' loud ' call them to one combined universal, dreadful onset-let them bear down withfell(sic) purpose ' with unwanted wrath, upon this terrestrial citadel of man, and strew their path with ruin as they pursue their onward march: and here is one MONSTER- one plague of plagues- one scorpion of scorpions-one curse of curses, that can single handed outdo them all.--His name is LEGION. His spirit is fierce as a wounded tiger-uncontrollable as a famished wolf- and malignant as a desolating fiend. His footsteps must be arrested or the nation is undone.--N. S. S. Beman.

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The duty of temperate men, especially of Christians in relation to intemperance. It is not enough for Christians to be temperate; reformation will never take place, till the members of the church of God banish the bottle from their sideboards and their houses. If it is kept at all in their habitations, let it occupy the same shelf shelf with the phial of laudanum, or the solution of arsnic (sic); and be sure to write POISON upon the label. But Christians must go one step farther. I am convinced that deep and thorough reformation can never take place while Christians; for the paltry consideration of a little money, furnish others with the means of destroying both body and soul forever. It is easy to make the stale plea, that men who love to drink will have their dram, whether Christians sell it to them or not. The same might be said of dealing out poison, in any shape, for the destruction of human life. There are other questions far more important, to be settled. Is it right-is it for the glory of God--is it for the good of the church--is it for the salvation of souls? These questions ought to be answered upon the Christian's conscience and upon the book of God. The time must come when a professor of religion would blush to publish in the newspaper, that he is a dealer either in wholesale or retail drunkenness--that he is a vender of Cogniac (sic) Brandy, of Jamaica Rum, and of Irish whiskey! Would to God, that the merchants in this city would take a stand on this subject, which would render them an example for the imitation of the world. Let them just resolve, and carry this resolution into immediate effect, that they will neither buy nor sell another barrel of this article; and this one act would reform the city and the surrounding country--it would render modern Troy more illustrious than the ancient--it would carry down the streams of mercy into the ages of the Millenium (sic)- and continue to do good till the Judgement Day.'-----Ibid.


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It is not enough that our mechanics, our laborers, our strong men, our gifted and our youth, are engaged in the great work.

Our women must be with us, or we cannot hope to prevail!--our mothers, our wives, and our daughters-the other half, and in such matters, but for the most influential half of our whole population. It is not enough that we confederate together abroad, as men, to discourage the use of strong drink, in our workshops, in our taverns, or in the highway--to make sobriety one of the qualifications of a ruler-to encourage the culture of the grape,or the use of cheap and safe wines that would be accessible to the poor, and not lead to a desire for anything dangerous-to labor night and day for the overthrow of the Destroyer- it is not enough that we do all this, if the wives and mothers, and sisters of our country, continue to make our very homes a snare to us, every sociable coming together; every fire-side interview, every joyous event, an excuse for tampering with the shadow, or playing with the skirts of the enemy. As for what we may do-

_______'We but wear 'our strength away in wrestling with the air,'

So long as women persist in pouring the fiery drug into the caudle-cup of the babe-mingling it with the food of the infant-substituting fever for health and sorrow for strength-countertesting (sic) the stream of pearl,(sic) and hiding the treachery with flavor, and color, and perfume; for all these things are to be done, before the youthful purity of taste can be perverted. What are we to do when we have, under one pretence or another, brandy mixed with our food-our sauces-our jellies, our cakes, and our pies-with whatever is intended to be better and richer than usual? What are we to do, as men; after we have been made to relish the flavor of ardent spirit, in this way; from our cradle to our grave, accustomed to it in our pap; taught in our very childhood, to sit up to the table and throw off a glass of wine, like a man; of Portuguese wine too; such as the Portuguese themselves never drink, for we, like the English, have it with what we call a body to it. in other words, evercharged (sic) with brandy; in a glass of our own too; for where is the child without a wine-cup of his own? Fifty years ago, we had few or no drunkards. Now we have three hundred thousand. Fifty years from today; if our youth should persevere, taking counsel together, not to reprove the aged; for they were unworthy of the cause; not to stay the Destroyer with a wall of brass, or a sword of fire; not to try the gathered brow, not the strong arm; but gently, and patiently to discourage their younger brethren, their associates and all that are with them in the great business of life; I do believe, judging by what is already done, that in fifty years from today, this, our great national reproach would be no more.--Neals Address.