No License. A Question to be Settled in the State of New York, 19th of May, 1846…
Temperance “Extra” – issued in the form of an illustrated textile broadside
“Citizens of the State of Nfw [sic] York, Look at the Following. Will You Vote License?”
On May 19, 1846, an important vote was to be held in New York State. Citizens in each town were to vote whether or not merchants could obtain licenses to sell hard liquor. This extra, printed on cloth and issued by The Journal of the American Temperance Union, urges citizens to vote “No License.”
To make their case, the American Temperance Union issued this broadside to show, via “rum tax” statistics and by graphic, cartoon-like or vignette illustrations, the ill effects of drinking hard liquor and its effect on the broader community:
Benjamin F. Butler, Esq., placed the yearly loss to the United States from the use of ardent spirits at, – – – – $150,000,000. Making a loss to the State of New York of, $18,000,000. What has the income from 20,000 licenses done to compensate for this? Now the rumsellers ask to do the evil to the State, and pay, – NOTHING.
An adjacent cartoon drawing shows a farmer burdened with “pauper” and “criminal” taxes while a licensed tavern owner and his clients look on. The tavern owner jeers: “At him boys. Ha! ...You vote License and maintain my rights and your liberties.”
Other vignette illustrations include “The Drunkard’s Home” (a hovel, complete with a pig in the doorway), “The Liquor Dealer Shown His Victim” (the deathbed scene of a husband and father), and “The Town Meeting.” This final illustration depicts a dying alcoholic woman who dared to speak out at a town meeting against licenses to sell rum: “I shall soon stand before the Judgment Seat of God—I shall meet you there, you false guides, and be a witness against you all.”
The textile broadside is printed in three columns. In the center, there are three temperance poems: “Who Will Vote License?,” “The Ballot Muster for the 19th of May” (by Rev. P. Clark), and “Song of the Revellers. Old Song—Go Get Your License.”
The concluding words of the broadside extra are a call to action: “As goes New York on the third Tuesday of May, so goes the rest of the Nation. Remember that, temperance men. On the third Tuesday of May, be at your posts.”
Description: No License. A Question to be Settled in the State of New York, 19th of May, 1846…
New York: Journal of The American Temperance Union, March 25, 1846. p. Illustrated “Extra” textile broadside. 23 x 18½ inches. 4 vignette illustrations. Printed in blue in three columns on cream colored cloth. Folds; foxing; some staining along bottom edge; good.
Not in Threads.
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