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When. I am. On. The following program is the second in a series of readings on Abraham Lincoln entitled like an asocial prophet. The readings and commemoration of the Illinois sesquicentennial are done by Marvin saying our speech instructor at Northern Illinois University. Today's reading encounter with DRAM DRAM dealers and dramatics Mr. S. R.. Six years after Abraham Lincoln made his speech to the young man's Lyceum in Springfield Illinois on the urgent need to rule out most violence and democracy. He spoke with similar force on a subject of serious social concern that social concern exists today. Perhaps the problem is more significant. In any
event what Lincoln said during his temperance address before the Springfield Washington Temperance Society in Springfield Illinois on February 22nd 1842 is amazingly contemporary in the speech you probably will be startled as was I when I first read it with that sound advice before I read Lincoln's words on temperance. Let me clarify a few matters. You may have been slightly puzzled when I mentioned the Springfield Washington temperance society. According to Ray baseless although the society members were frequently referred to as the Washingtonians the society's name was not Washingtonian as generally has been assumed. Beyond the name of the organization there is the question as to Lincoln's possible membership. There is no certainty that he ever belonged to the association. Finally you may be wondering about the temperance society's overall activity when Lincoln addressed it. It essentially was endeavoring to reform in neighborhoods through the experiences of reformed DRAM Addicks. And it was at the
pinnacle of its crusading zeal when the young but mature Lincoln shared of his prophetic vision. I choose to title his address and counter with a dram gram dealers and dramatics DRAM was a synonym for liquor in 1842. Aside from this strange sounding word carefully note how modern is his message. He almost sounds like a sensitive physician of our own century speaking on the same subject. Listen now to Abraham Lincoln as social prophet. Although the temperance cause has been in progress for nearly 20 years it is apparent to all that it is just now being crowned with a degree of success. There are two on parallel to the list of its friends is daily swelled by the additions of fifties of hundreds and of thousands. The cause itself seems suddenly transformed from a cold abstract theory to a living
breathing active and powerful chieftain going forth conquering and to conquer the citadels of his great adversary are daily being stormed and dismantled his temples and his altars where the rites of his adulterous worship have long been performed and where human sacrifices have long been want to be made daily desecrated and deserted. The Trump of the conquerors famous sounding from hill to hill from sea to sea from land to land and calling millions to his standard and a blast. For this new and splendid success we heartily rejoice that that success is so much greater now than here to fore is doubtless owing to rational causes and if we would have it to continue we shall do well to inquire what those causes are. The rougher heretofore waged against the demon of intemperance has somehow or other been Iranians either the champions engage or the tactics they adopted have not been the most proper of these champions for the most part have been preachers lawyers and hired agents. Between these and the
mass of mankind there is a want of approachability. If the term be admissable partially at least fatal to their success they are supposed to have no sympathy a feeling or interest with those very persons whom it is their object to convince and persuade. And again it is so easy and so common to ascribe motives to many of these classes other than those they profess to act upon. The preacher It is said advocates temperance because he is a fanatic and desires a union of the church and state. The lawyer from his pride and vanity of hearing himself speak and the hired agent for his salary. But when one who has long been known as a victim of intemperance bursts the fetters that have bound him and appears before his neighbors than in his right mind a redeemed specimen of a long lost humanity and stands up with tears of joy trembling in eyes to tell of the miseries once endured not to be endured no more forever of his once naked and starving children now clad and fed comfortably of a wife a long way
down with woe weeping in a broken heart now restored to health happiness and renewed affection. And how easily it all is done. Once it is resolved to be done however simple his language. There is a logic and an eloquence in it that few with human feelings can resist. They cannot say that He desires a union of church and state where he is not a church member. They cannot say he is vain of hearing himself speak for his whole demeanor shows he would gladly avoid speaking at all. They cannot say he speaks for pay for he receives none and asks for non nor can his sincerity in any way be doubted or his sympathy for those he would persuade to imitate his example be denied. In my judgement it is to the battles of this new class of champions that our late successes greatly perhaps chiefly owing but had the old school champions themselves been of the most wise selecting was their system of tactics the most judicious. It
seems to me it was not. Too much denunciation against DRAM sellers and DRAM drinkers was indulged in this I think was both in politic and on just. It was him politic because it is not much in the nature of man to be driven to anything still less to be driven about that which is exclusively his own business. Least of all where such driving is to be submitted to at the expense of big unitary interests or burning appetite. When the DRAM seller and drinker were incessantly told not in the absence of entreaty and persuasion diffidently addressed by Erling mantra nurturing brother. But in the thundering tones of anathema and denunciation with which the lordly judge often groups together all the crimes of the felons life and thrust them in his face just ere he passes sentence of death upon him that they were the authors of all the vice and misery and crime in the land that they were the manufacturers and material of all the thieves and robbers and murders that infested the earth. But their houses were the
workshops of the devil and that their persons should be shunned by all the good and virtuous as moral pestilences. I say when they were told all this and in this way it is not wonderful that they were slow very slow to acknowledge the truth of such denunciations and to join the ranks of their denounces in a hue and cry against themselves. To have expected them to do otherwise then as they did to have expected them not to meet denunciation with denunciation criminalisation with criminalization and anathema with anathema was to expect a reversal of human nature which is God's decree and never can be reversed when the conduct of man is designed to be influenced persuasion kind on assuming persuasion should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gold. So with men if you would win a man to your
cause. First convince him that you are his sincere friend. There is a drop of honey that catches his heart which say what he will is the great high road to his reason and which when once gained you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgement of the justice of your cause if indeed that cause really be a just one. On the contrary assume to dictate to his judgement or to command his action or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised and he will retreat within himself close all the avenues to his head and his heart. And though your cause be naked truth itself transformed to the heaviest Lance harder than steel and sharper than steel can be made. And though you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision you shall be no more able to pierce him then to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rice straw. Such is man. And so must he be understood by those who would lead him even to his own best interest.
On this point the Washingtonians greatly excel the temperance advocates of former times those whom they desire to convince and persuade are their old friends and companions. They know they are not demons nor even the worst of men. They know that generally they are kind generous and charitable even beyond the example of their more staid and sober neighbors. They are practical philanthropists and they glow with a generous and brotherly zeal that mere theorizes are incapable of feeling benevolence and charity possess their hearts entirely and out of the abundance of their hearts their tongues give utterance love through other actions runs in all their words are mild. In this spirit they speak and act and in the same they are heard and regarded. And when such is the temper of the advocate and such of the audience know good cause can be unsuccessful. But I have said the denunciations against DRAM sellers and DRAM drinkers are on just
as well as in politic. Let us see. I have not inquired what period of time the use of intoxicating drinks commenced nor is it important to know it is sufficient that to all of us anon have at the world the practice of drinking them is just as old as the world itself. That is we have seen the one just as long as we have seen the other. When all such of us as have now reached the years of maturity first opened our eyes upon the stage of existence we found intoxicating liquor recognized by everybody used by everybody and repudiated repudiated by nobody. It commonly entered into the first draft of the infant and the last draft of the dying man from the sideboard of the parson down to the ragged pocket of the houseless loafer. It was constantly found that physicians prescribed it in this that and the other disease government provided for its soldiers and sailors and to have a rolling or raising husking or
hoedown anywhere without it was positively insufferable. So too it was everywhere a respectable article of manufacture and of merchandise the making of it was regarded as an honorable livelihood and he who could make most was the most enterprising and respectable large and small manufactories of it were everywhere erected and which all the earthly goods of their owners were invested wagons do it from town to town bulletin board from Klein to time to climb and the winds wave from nation to nation and merchants bought and sold it by wholesale and by retail with precisely the same feelings on the part of the seller buyer and bystander as are felt at the selling and buying of flour beef bacon or any other of the real necessity is of life universal public opinion not only tolerated but recognized and adopted its use. It is true that even then it was known and acknowledged that many
were greatly injured by it but none seem to think the injury arose from the use of a bad thing. But from the abuse of a very good thing the victims to it were pitied and compassion needed just as now are the heirs of consumptions and other hereditary diseases. Their feeling was treated as a misfortune and not as a crime or even as a disgrace. If then what I have been saying be true. Is it wonderful that someone should think and act now as all thought an act of twenty years ago. And is it just to assail contaminant despise them for doing so. The universal sense of mankind on any subject is an argument or at least an influence not easily overcome. The success of the argument in favor of the existence of an overruling Providence mainly depends upon that sense. And men are not in justice to be denounced for yielding to it in any case or for giving it up slowly especially where they are backed by
interest fixed habits or burning appetites. Another error as it seems to me and which the old reformers fell was a position that all habitual drunkards were utterly incredible and therefore must be turned adrift and damned without remedy in order that the grace of temperance might abound to the tempered van and to all mankind some hundred years thereafter. There is in this something so repugnant to humanity. So on sure noble so cold blooded in feeling this that it never did nor ever can enlist the enthusiasm of a popular cause. We could not love the man who taught it. We could not hear him with patients. The heart could not throw open its portals to it. The generous man could not adopt it. It could not mix with his blood. It looks so fiendishly selfish. So like throwing fathers and brothers overboard to lighten the boat for our security that the noble minded shrank from the manifest meanness of the thing.
And besides this the benefits of a reformation to be affected by such a system were too remote in point of time to warming gauge many in its behalf. If you can be induced labor exclusively for posterity and none will do it enthusiastically. Austerity has done nothing for us. And their eyes are on it is we may practically we shall do very little for it. On this we are made to think we are at the same time doing something for ourselves. What an ignorance of human nature does it exhibit to ask or expect a whole community to rise up and labor for the temporal happiness of others after themselves shall be consigned to the dust. A majority of which community take no pains whatever to suit secure their own eternal welfare at no greater distant day great distance in either time or space has wonderful power to Lall and rendered quiescent the human mind pleasures to be enjoyed or pains to be endured after we shall be dead and
gone. Are but little regarded even in our own cases and much less in the cases of others. Still in addition to this there is something so ludicrous and promises of good or threats of evil. A great way off as to render the whole subject with which they are connected easily turn into ridicule. Better lay down that spade you're stealing Paddy. If you don't you'll pay for it at the Day of Judgement by the powers if you credit me so long I'll take another guessed by the Washingtonians. This system of consigning the habitual drunkard to hopeless ruin is repudiated. They adopt a more enlarged philanthropy. They go for present as well as future good. They labor for all now living as well as all here after to live they teach hope to all despair to non as applying to their cause they deny the doctrine of
unpardonable sin as in Christianity it is taught. So in this they teach that while the lamp holds out to burn the violets sinner me return. And what is the matter of the most profound gratulation they buy the experiment upon experiment and example upon example prove the maxim to be no less true in the one case than in the other. On every hand we behold those who but yesterday were the chief of sinners. Now the chief apostles of the cause drunken devils are cast out by ones by sevens and by Legions and Their own fortunate victims like the poor possessed who was redeemed from his long and lonely wanderings in the tombs are publishing to the ends of the earth how great things have been done for them. To these new champions and this new system of tactics our late successes mainly owing and to them we must chiefly
look for the final consummation. The ball is now rolling gloriously on and none are so able as they to increase its speed and its bulk to add to its momentum and its magnitude even though on learned in letters. For this task none others are so well educated to fit them for this work they have been taught in the true school they have been in that Gulf from which they would teach others the means of escape. They have passed that prison wall which others have long declared impassable and who that has not show dared to weigh opinions with them as to the mode of passing. But if it be true as I have insisted that those who have suffered by intemperance personally and have reformed by the most powerful and efficient instruments to push the Reformation to ultimate success it does not follow that those who have not suffered have no part left them to perform.
Whether or not the world would be vastly benefited by a total and final banishment from it of all intoxicating drinks seems to me not now to be an open question. Three fourths of mankind can vest the pharmacy with their tongues. And I believe all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts. Any thing to refuse their aid in doing what the good of the whole demands show he who cannot do much before that reason excused if he do nothing but says what. What good can I do by signing the pledge. I never drink even without signing. This question has already been asked and answered more than millions of times. Let it be answered once more for the mantra suddenly. Or in any other way to break off from the use of drams who has indulged in them for a long course of years and until his appetite for them has become ten or a hundred fold stronger and more craving than any natural appetite can be requires a
most powerful moral effort in such an undertaking he needs every moral support and influence that can't possibly be brought to his aid and thrown around him. Not only soul but every moral prop should be taken from whatever argument might arise in his mind to lure him back to his backsliding when he cast his eyes around him he should be able to see all that he respects all that he admires and all that he loves. Kindly and anxiously pointing him onward and none beckoning him back to his former miserable wallowing in the mire. But it is said by some that men will think and act for themselves that none will disuse spirits or anything else merely because his neighbors do. And that moral influence is not that powerful engine contended for. Let us examine this. Let me ask the man who would maintain this position most stiffly. What compensation he will accept to go to church some Sunday and
sit during the sermon with his wife's bonnet upon his head. Not a trifle I'll venture. And why not. There would be nothing irreligious in it. Nothing immoral nothing on comfortable. Then why not. Is it not because there would be something egregiously unfashionable in it. Then it is the influence of fashion. And what is the influence of fashion but the influence that other people's actions have on our actions. The strong inclination each of us feels to do as we see all our neighbors do. Nor is the influence of fashion confined to any particular thing or class of things. It is just as strong on one subject as another. Let us make it as unfashionable to withhold our names from the temperance pledge as for husbands to wear their wives bonnets to church and instances will be just as rare in the one case as the other. But say some. We are no drunkards.
We shall not acknowledge ourselves such by joining a reformed drunkard society whatever our influence might be. Surely no Christian will adhere to this objection if they believe is they profess that omnipotence condescended to take on himself the form of sinful man and as such to die an ignominious death for their sakes. Surely they will not refuse submission to the infinitely lesser condescension for the temporal and perhaps eternal salvation of a large earning and on fortunate class of their own fellow creatures. Nor is the condescension very great in my judgment such advices have never fallen victims have been spared more from the absence of appetite than from any mental or more superiority over those who have. Indeed I believe if we take a bitch will drunkards as a class their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and the warm hearted to fall into this vice. The demon demon of intemperance ever
seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity. What one of us but can call to mind some day a relative more promising in youth than all his fellows who has fallen a sacrifice to his repay city. He never seems to have gone forth like the Egyptian Angel of Death commision to slay if not the first the fairest born of every family. Shall he now be arrested in his desolating career and that a rest all can give aid that will and who shall be excused that can and will not fall around as human breath has ever blown. He keeps our fathers our brothers our sons and our friends prostrate in the chains of moral death. Draw the living everywhere we cry Come sound the moral resurrection Trump that these may rise and stand up an exceeding great army come from the four winds o breath and breathe upon the slain that they may live. If the relative Grand your revolution shall be estimated by the great
amount of human misery they levy eight and the small amount they inflict then indeed will this be the grandest the world will ever have seen of our political revolution of 76 we all are justly proud. It is given us a degree of political freedom fine exceeding that of any other of the nations of the earth. In it the world has found a solution of the long mooted problem as to the capability of man to govern himself. It was the germ which was vegetated and still is to grow and expand into the universal liberty of mankind. But with all these glorious results past present and to calm it had its evils too. It breathed forth famine swam in blood and rode on fire and long long after the orphans cry in the widow's wail continued to break the sad silence that ensued these were the price the inevitable price paid for the blessings it bought. Turn now to the temperance
revolution. In it we shall find a stronger bondage broken a viler slavery menu method a greater tyrant deposed in it more of want supplied more disease healed more silo was swayed by it no often starving no widows weeping by it none wounded in feeling none injured in interest. Even the DRAM maker and DRAM seller will have glided into other occupation so gradually as never to have felt the shock of change and will stand ready to join all others in the universal song of gladness. And what a noble ally this to the cause of political freedom. With such an aide its march cannot fail to be on and on till every sign of earth shall drink in rich fruition. The silo quenching graphs of perfect liberty happy day when all appetites controlled all passions subdued all matter subjected my mind
all conquering mind shall live and move the monarch of the world. Why is consummation hail fall of fury reign of reason. All hail. And when the victory shall be complete when there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the earth. How proud the title of that land which may truly claim to be the birthplace in the cradle of both those revolutions that shall have ended in that victory. How noble he distinguished that people who shall have planted and nurtured to maturity both the political and moral freedom of their species. This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth of Washington. We are meant to celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name of Earth long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty still mightiest and moral reformation on that name and eulogy is expected. It cannot be to add brightness to
the sun or a glory to the name of Washington is alike impossible. But none attempted in solemn awe. Pronounce the name and in its naked deathless splendor leave it shining on. Very big difference. Yeah they are going to a social profit. The second at a series of readings on Abraham Lincoln commemorating Illinois sesquicentennial today's reading by Northern Illinois University speech instructor Marvin sang our wasn titled encounter with drab drab dealers and drowned attics next week. The key to the future of agriculture news. We were
a production of WNYC Radio in Northern Illinois University. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Lincoln as a social prophet
Encounter with Dram, Dram Dealers
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Northern Illinois University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3446. This prog.: Encounter with Dram, Dram Dealers, and Dram Addicts.
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Producing Organization: WNIC
Producing Organization: Northern Illinois University
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-25-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:28:46
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Chicago: “Lincoln as a social prophet; Encounter with Dram, Dram Dealers,” 1968-07-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Lincoln as a social prophet; Encounter with Dram, Dram Dealers.” 1968-07-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Lincoln as a social prophet; Encounter with Dram, Dram Dealers. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from