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ago, of special acts prohibiting saloons traffic is turned over to the school fund; within five miles of certain churches and there was presented at Montgomery, and schoolhouses. Then came a modi- when the prohibition bill was under disfied form of town local option, under cussion, the unusual spectacle of a large which towns of 5000 or more inhabitants body of women from Mobile, protesting were allowed to choose between saloons against its enactment on the ground run for private profit and dispensaries that the public school system would be run by the community, the profits going crippled. But the legislature did not to public uses. Up to the 1st of January, heed the protest: and it may be that 1907, of the 67 counties in the state, 22 Alabama, as Georgia already is doing, were “dry" under special acts; 15 had may find new and more suitable sources dispensaries; 21 had licensed saloons; of revenue for its schools, to take the and 9 had both dispensaries and saloons. place of that lost through prohibitory When the legislature met in January, legislation. 1907, a county local-option bill was in- In Oklahoma and in Mississippi, the troduced. The opponents of this meas- transition to state prohibition was made ure urged as a substitute a bill which easy by the continual extension of the would have permitted towns and cities “dry” area under local option. Of the to vote separately, each for itself. The two former territories which constitute liquor interests, perceiving the futility the new State of Oklahoma, Indian Terof opposing all forms of local option, ritory was wholly “dry” under fedfavored the substitute, hoping to prevent eral laws aiming at the protection of the prohibition of the sale of liquor in the Indians, and the Territory of Oklathe cities and larger towns. But the homa was three-fourths “dry” under county local-option bill went through the the operation of local option. ConstituHouse with only two opposing votes, tional prohibition in Oklahoma is as and was passed by the Senate with only drastic as statutory prohibition in Geora single dissenter. Encouraged by this gia, in that it prohibits absolutely the overwhelming victory, the temperance manufacture, sale, barter, or giving away elements introduced at once an “anti- of liquors, except under rigid restricshipping bill.” This bill, which was tions for medicinal use; and it imposes enacted with only three opposing votes a jail sentence upon a physician who prein the Senate and two in the House, scribes liquor for a person not entitled to forbids any person, firm, or corporation it. In Mississippi, out of 76 counties in to accept any liquors for shipment, trans- the state, 69 were “dry" under county portation, or delivery into any prohibition option, and the sale of liquor was fordistrict. The soliciting of orders in “dry” bidden in about nine-tenths of the area districts by liquor drummers is forbid- of the state. Under these circumstances, den, and violation of the law carries a it is not surprising that the legislature, penalty of five hundred dollars fine and which assembled in January of this year, six months' imprisonment at hard labor. took up the question of prohibition as After this heavy blow, the liquor interests the most urgent matter before it, and may well have thought that the worst by the middle of February enacted a had happened. But the same legislature rigid prohibitory law by an overwhelmwas re-convened in November, in special ing majority in both houses. session, to consider railway legislation; The Mississippi statute resembles that and it took the bits between its teeth, of Georgia, with some points of difand enacted a state prohibitory law, to ference. For one thing, it reduces to a take effect January 1, 1909.
half-pint the amount of alcohol which a In Alabama, as hitherto in Georgia, physician may prescribe. It makes it una part of the revenue from the liquor lawful “to manufacture, to sell or bar
ter, or give away to induce trade, or movement for their elimination? It is keep for sale or barter, or to be given the old story:away to induce trade, any vinous, alco
When the devil was sick, holic, malt, intoxicating or spirituous
The devil a monk would be ; liquors or intoxicating bitters or other When the devil got well drinks which, if drunk to excess, will
The devil a monk was he. produce intoxication." But it exempts
the devil is sick; and the wine for sacramental purposes, as the remedy which suggests itself to him is Georgia statute does not, and it also the reform of some of his evil ways. The permits the making of home-made wine, organ already quoted makes this quite for domestic or household uses. The law clear when it goes on to say: “The cancels all existing licenses with the end reform of the saloon and the elimination of the present year, and forbids the issue of the dive and such like efforts may not of licenses thereafter. A companion head off the wave of prohibition now statute, approved by the Governor on spreading over this republic, but these the same day, February 19, regulates steps can certainly help some.” The the disposition of liquors shipped into Wholesale Liquor Dealers' Association the state C. O. D., or with a bill of lading of New York has adopted a resolution attached. The provisions of this statute urging changes in the laws, “to the end are unique and ingenious. After such that the retail business may be ultimately liquors have been delivered to the person conducted by men of recognized characaddressed, it is made unlawful for any ter and standing in the community." person to remove them more than one The most significant step is the formhundred feet from the place where the ation of a “Model License League" by delivery was made. The consumption a recent convention of distillers and of the liquors is made a lonely joy, for wholesale dealers at Louisville. This the receiver is forbidden to sell or to league adopted an address “To the give away any part of them. Nor is it People of the United States and to the safe for any one to lay in a large store Members of the Legislatures of our variof liquor for his own consumption; for
ous States.” This curious document the law makes the mere possession of opens with an extenuation of the offenses so much as half a gallon of liquor prima of the retail dealer, on the ground that facie evidence of guilt. With its range the force of competition or the law of of influence limited within a radius of self-preservation often persuades him one hundred feet, its amount limited to to “do things he condemns at heart, and less than a half-gallon, and its consump
which do hurt to the opinions, and pertion restricted to the solitary individual chance to the rights of others.” “Why who orders it, the havoc which
be do so many saloon-keepers violate law?" wrought by a consignment of C. O D the address proceeds to inquire; and it liquor is reduced to its lowest terms. answers, “Because they find it profitable,
The liquor interests have taken alarm or else because their competitors pracat the outlook, and are starting tardytically force them to violate law.” The movements of reform in the hope of remedy, it appears, is to make the saloonaverting further disaster. One of their keepers easy in their minds by giving organs candidly remarks that “various them a permanent grip upon their forms of viciousness seem to fasten to licenses. The first suggestion which this the liquor traffic with the tenacity of Model License League puts forth to barnacles." Why have these various American legislatures is that every outforms of viciousness escaped attention standing license should be made perhitherto ? Why has the liquor trade as a manent unless canceled by the vote of whole presented a solid front to every a majority of the citizens of a state,
county, precinct, or municipality. It is and the prohibition area is growing so to be transferable, or left as a part of an fast that a map of 1907, thus marked, is estate, like any other property. Licenses already antiquated. Kentucky is no should be "clear, unambiguous contracts longer a “Bourbon” state, in this matter between the state and the individual,” of the sale of liquor. Of its 119 counties and the utmost penalty for their viola- 94 are entirely “dry,” 21 allow the sale tion should be cancellation. Finally, of liquor only in cities, and only four put legislation is suggested against the sale no restrictions on the traffic. In Tenof liquor to minors, but the penalty is nessee there are only three cities and not to fall upon the dealer but upon three towns in which the sale is licensed.
any minor over eighteen who represents In West Virginia, out of 55 counties 33 himself to be of age in order to procure are “dry;" in Virginia, 46 out of 100, intoxicants." The address goes on to and 26 more are “dry” outside of the argue that, with such legislation as this, cities; in North Carolina, 62 out of 97; the saloon-keepers will enforce the pro- in South Carolina, 17 out of 41; in visions, because it will pay them better Florida, 34 out of 47; in Arkansas, 58 to obey law than to violate it; and to out of 75; in Texas, 145 out of 243, with preserve so valuable a license from can- 51 others partly “dry;” and in Louisicellation "the saloon-keeper will be of ana, 23 “dry” parishes out of 59. all men most anxious to run an orderly Nothing can be plainer than that most place, to refuse to sell to minors or in- of these states are headed toward state ebriates, and to close at the hour named prohibition. Their movement in that diby society.” Elsewhere in the address rection is accelerated by the advantage is the sententious declaration, “If so- which all accessible statistics prove
that ciety imposes upon the saloon-keeper, “dry” counties have over “wet” as the saloon-keeper will certainly impose regards the prevalence of crime. Thus upon society.” Perhaps; but to a dis- in Virginia, the "dry" counties furnish passionate judgment, a time when, in one prisoner in the penitentiary to every nearly every state in the Union, an in- 5122 of the population, while the “wet” creasing disposition is manifest to hit counties furnish one prisoner to every the saloon and to hit it hard, does not 2913. In West Virginia, the five wettest seem the best for the making of such a counties have 415 convicts; the other 50 threat.
counties have only 413. The comparThere is good reason for the panic of ison might be extended indefinitely with the liquor interests. A map of the United similar results. States, with prohibition states white, This year is the “off” year in the license states black, and states partly meeting of state legislatures, but next “dry” and partly “wet” under local year, when the legislatures of most of option indicated by shading, discloses the states will be in session, a large a belt of states a new “black belt”_ amount of restrictive legislation may be extending from Montana on the north to looked for. If prohibition is even fairly the Mexican border, in which temperance well enforced in the states which have legislation has made no headway. In this adopted it, other states will be inclined belt are included Montana, Idaho, Wyo- to follow their example. It is, of course, ming, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New too early to judge of results; but the Mexico. Outside of this belt, there is no first reports from Oklahoma are of a state in the Union in which some form marked falling off in the business of the of restrictive legislation is not operative. police courts, and from Georgia of inThe patches of white territory, marking creased steadiness of negro laborers. At areas which are “dry” under local option, Atlanta, last January, there were but are especially numerous in the South; 64 cases of drunkenness before the court,
as compared with 341 in January, 1907. upon the liquor traffic become convincIn January and February, 1907, there ing. The South, we are told, faces two were 3074 arrests for all causes; in the imperative needs, better labor and less corresponding months of the present crime, and the closing of the saloon opens year only 1538. The first sentence for the to meeting these needs. There illegal selling was to twelve months on is. force in these statements. Drunkenthe chain-gang. There have been several ness unquestionably demoralizes labor days this
year when no prisoner was be- and incites to crime. The frightful race fore the court' at Atlanta charged with riots at Atlanta, which sprang from the drunkenness; and on one memorable day, dives and were carried to such excesses the city jail, for the first time since it was of unreasoning ferocity by men who were built, was wholly empty. These are facts inflamed by drink, may well enough have that will bother the bureau of publicity been in the minds of the Georgia legiswhich the National Brewers' Association lators when they enacted state prohibihas just established, to prove to the peo
tion. ple of the South that prohibition does But the presence of the negro furnot prohibit.”
nishes only a partial explanation of the As was to have been expected, there prohibition movement in the South. are some checks to the advance of pro- It is a noticeable fact that, during the hibition. In West Virginia, in February, debate in the Georgia legislature upon a prohibition amendment to the consti- the pending prohibitory bill, the negro tution, which had passed one branch of was not once mentioned as a reason for the legislature, was defeated in the other. the enactment of prohibition. The fact The South Carolina legislature has re- is that the curse of the drink evil rests jected a prohibitory bill, but by a vote upon white as well as black. It retards close enough to warrant the hope of the highest development of the individdifferent action later. The Mississippi ual, and the prosperity of the communlegislature, which adopted statutory pro- ity. The ablest and most far-sighted hibition in February, rejected constitu- leaders of Southern opinion have come tional prohibition, by a close vote, in
to the realization of this truth. Habits March. This, however, is not a check. It of personal temperance are more widely merely points to a purpose to test the diffused than they once were. The South efficacy of the system before embedding needs for its development capital, and it in the fundamental law. The legisla- intelligent and diversified labor. It canture of North Carolina was not quite not attract either if industry is made ready to enact prohibition, but it has irregular and life and property insecure submitted the question to a referendum, through the multiplication of doggeries to be taken April 29.
and dives. In the South, moreover, as What is the cause of this drift toward elsewhere in the United States, the saloon prohibition in the South? The obvious interests themselves are largely responcause, and the one most often given in sible for the revolt against them, which explanation, is the presence of the negro. leads up to these drastic laws. RapaIt is said that the vote for prohibition cious, lawless, and cruel, unmindful of in the South represents exactly the same
the public welfare and of private rights, reasoning which excludes liquor from defiant of restraint and impudently inIndian reservations, shuts it out by inter- sistent upon their right to do as they national agreement from the islands of please, they have worn out the patience the Pacific, and excludes it from great of the public. They have elected and areas in Africa under the British fag; have controlled sheriffs, mayors, alderand that, wherever there is an undevel- men, and legislatures, until the people oped race, the reasons for restrictions have awakened to the fact that the short
» until a
and simple, not to say the only way, to ment was defeated by a majority of get rid of the saloon in politics is to get 45,820. Yet the vote cast in favor of rid of the saloon. No explanation of the state prohibition was 85,242, or almost southern situation is complete that does ten times as large as that given for the not recognize this fact.
third-party ticket at the national elecDoes the spread of anti-saloon senti- tion a few months before. In the localment all over the country, and of state option elections in Massachusetts in 1889, prohibition in the South, point to a con- the total No-license vote was 114,550, siderable increase of the Prohibition party and there was an actual majority for vote in national politics? Naturally the no-license of 5656, as contrasted with an party leaders hope for this result, and pre- anti-prohibition majority of 45,820 in dict that the prohibition sentiment will April of the same year. grow till by its own momentum Prohib- The same conditions, it may be asition is established in the Constitution of sumed, prevail in the South. As county the United States. But they overlook after county has gone “dry the fact that there is a great difference large part of a state is under county between the appeal made to the average prohibition, the annoyance occasioned man by local or even by state prohibition by contiguous “wet ” counties has inand that made by national prohibition. creased until the voters are prepared for The nearer a saloon gets to a voter, the state prohibition. But the members of easier it is to arouse him to active efforts southern legislatures who have enacted for its displacement. A canvass recently prohibition are not therefore Prohibimade of Boston residential districts in tionists, so far as national politics are conthe interest of ward option disclosed men cerned. They are still, practically all of who themselves kept saloons in other them, Democrats. About a quarter of a parts of the city, who were prepared to million voters, more or less, North and vote against saloons in the ward of their South, will go on voting in presidenresidence, for the sake of their children. tial years with the National Prohibition In towns and cities in which the question party, whose remedy for the evils of the of License or No-license comes up under liquor traffic is the extreme, and, as it aplocal-option laws, a large part of the No- pears to most minds, the impracticable license vote is cast by men who have no one, of prohibiting by an amendment extreme temperance views and are not of the Federal Constitution, as public total abstainers. But they perceive that crimes, “the manufacture, importation, the local saloon injures neighboring pro- transportation and sale of intoxicating perty, increases crime, tempts working- liquors; " but they will not be very men to indulgence, makes the streets in- largely recruited from the men who have secure, and menaces the growing boy. brought about state prohibition in the So they vote to be rid of it; but they South. would not vote for state prohibition. Still There are, however, two points at less would they vote with the Prohibition which national legislation will be sought party at a national election.
to reinforce the execution of state prohibMassachusetts furnishes a striking il- itory laws. Congress will be asked so to lustration of this principle. It is a state legislate as to prevent the shipment of quite as easily moved as most states by liquors from “wet” states into “dry" moral enthusiasms. Yet, at the presi- ones. It will be demanded that liquor, in dential election in 1888, the state gave whatever form and in whatever packages, only 8701 votes for the Prohibition can- shall become subject to the laws of a state didate. In April, 1889, a prohibition as soon as it crosses its boundaries. Bills amendment to the state constitution was to this effect are now pending in Consubmitted to the people. The amend- gress. The demand is not unreasonable,