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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Temperance in the Victorian Era

Drinks All Round - A Temperance Family in Massachusetts

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

Drinks All RoundDRINKS ALL ROUND. – Joe Harris was a whole-souled merry fellow, and very fond of his glass. After living in New Orleans for many years he came to the conclusion of visiting an old uncle in Massachusetts, whom he had not seen for many years. Now there is a difference between New Orleans and Massachusetts, in regard to the use of ardent spirits; and when Joe arrived here and found all the people temperate, he felt bad, thinking with the old song that “keeping the spirits up by pouring spirits down” was one of the best ways to make time pass, and began to feel that he was in a pickle. But on the morning after his arrival in town, the old man and his sons being out to work, his aunt came to him, and said, “Joe, you have lived in the south, and no doubt are in the habit of taking a little something to drink about eleven o’clock. Now I keep some here for medicinal purposes; but let no one know it, as my husband wants to set the boys a good example.” – Joe promised, and thinking he would get no more that day, took, as he expressed it, “a buster.” After that, he walked out to the stable, and who should he meet but his uncle. “Well,” says he, “I expect you are used to drink something in New Orleans, but you find us all temperance here, and for the sake of my sons I don’t let them know that I have any brandy about; but I just keep a little out here for my rheumatism; Will you accept a little?” Joe signified his readiness, and took another big horn. Then continuing his walk, he came to where the boys were building a fence. After conversing a while, one of his cousins said, “Joe, I expect you would like to have a drink; and as the folks are down on liquor, we keep some out here to help us on with our work.” Out came the bottle, and down they sat, and he says by the time he went home to dinner he was as tight as he could well be, and all from visiting a temperance family. – American Paper.