W. C. T. U. Entertainment on Saturday Ev’g, April 9, ‘87 to be Held at Massasoit Hall, Strasburg… [opening lines of broadsheet].

Featuring songs of the American Civil War


There is an old saying that you’ll catch more flies with teaspoon of honey than with a barrel of vinegar. But, what if you are selling vinegar?

Here is a broadsheet program for an evening’s entertainment at Massasoit Hall in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania sponsored by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

The W. C. T. U. was a women-led mass social reform movement that promoted abstinence from alcohol along with evangelical Christianity.

In order to get their message out to the men of Strasburg, many of whom were, no doubt, Civil War veterans, and to provide an alternative to their drinking, the W. C. T. U. here sponsors a program of music from the American Civil War or other patriotic songs and tableaux. The war had ended just over twenty years earlier, but the sentimental and stirring songs still resonated.

The songs here include “Battle Hymn of the Republic;” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home;” “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp;” “The Rocky Hills of Gettysburg;” and “Marching Through Georgia.” Dramatic tableaux were also part of the entertainment and included “The Standard Bearer,” “Columbia,” and “Coming for Rations.” There were also two “illustrated songs” which likely contained elements of both song and tableau: “Hospital Scene” and “All Quiet Along the Potomac.”

A note on the bottom of the broadsheet reads “Please bring this programme with you.” It appears that the program was handed out (in the street?) to potential attendees. Four merchants in Strasburg may also benefited from this publicity campaign; advertisements for their businesses appear on the back of the program. They may have helped pay for the printing of the broadsheet and also potentially benefitted from the association with the Woman’s Christian Temperance Association.

Civil War patriotism resonating decades later and here associated with a women’s temperance reform movement.


Description: W. C. T. U. Entertainment on Saturday Ev’g, April 9, ‘87 to be Held at Massasoit Hall, Strasburg… [opening lines of broadsheet].

[Strasburg, Pennsylvania]: Strasburg Free Press Steam Job Print [1887]. [2]pp. Broadsheet. 9½ x 4½ inches. Ceam colored wove paper. Folds and creases; two short closed tears and minor abrasions; good.

[3725199]

Price: $75.00

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