From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County
Three movements for the suppression of intemperance, nearly allied to each other in mode of operation, and almost simultaneous in organization, were set on foot in three different localities. Washington Court House can not, strictly speaking, claim priority of organization, yet while the other movements never reached beyond the limits of the point of initiation, and proved in themselves local and ephemeral, the seed fell upon good ground in Washington, and sprang up, grew, and multiplied, forming a nucleus from which it has radiated in every direction all over the civilized world, wielding an influence that is felt by every nation, morally, socially, and politically, and as a matter of history should be recorded as a standing-mouument to the heroism of our moderu American women.
On the evening of December 24, 1873, the Lecture Association of Washington Court House had in its course a lecture on "Our Girls," by Dio Lewis. During the evening he dwelt somewhat largely upon the havoc being made by tobacco and ardent spirits, and offered to suggest a new plan for fighting the liquor traffic, which, he asserted, if carefully adhered to, would close every saloon in the place in one week's time. The proposition was heartily accepted, and a meeting appointed for Christmas morning, at 10 a. m., in the Presbyterian Church.
At the appointed hour on Christmas morning a large congregation assembled in the Presbyterian Church, eager to see the plan of Dr. Lewis inaugurated with all earnestness and prayer. "Awake awake! put on thy strength, Zion!" was sung by the choir; prayer by one of the pastors, and reading of a Bible selection by Dr. Lewis, who at once proceeded to his work. We will attempt no report of his words; suffice it to say that his arguments were unanswerable, and his expose of the fallacious subterfuges presented by temperate drinkers was complete. For one hour, argument, illustration, appeal, and demonstration, followed in rapid succession, until at the conclusion of the address the entire audience were ready to heartily indorse the plan presented, and there was organized one of the grandest reformatory movements of the age - the movement now so well and fitly known as the "Woman's Crusade."
On motion of Dr. Lewis, three secretaries were elected and instructed to report the names of all the women present, as a committee of visitation, whose business should be to go in a body to each of these places, and personally appeal to the proprietors of the same to stop the business at once, and seek other means of livelihood. This committee was to enlist for the war - that is, to keep up the work until accomplished.
On motion of Dr. Lewis, a secretary was appointed to take the names of a number of men, to be called a committee of responsibility, who should furnish pecuniary means needed in the prosecution of this work. William Millikan, sen., was elected to this office, and in a few moments the following persons volunteered for this committee:
A. E. Silcott, James Pursell, George Carpenter, John Foster, Mills Gardner, H. P. Cherry, Allen Heagler, R. C. Miller, C. L. Getz, M. Herbert, I. C. Vandeman, C. H. Brownell, James M. Adams, William Pine, E. C. Hamilton, W. A. Ustick, James King, J. L. Vandeman, J. P. Robinson. C. 0. Stevens, O. M. Grubbs, G. M. Ustick, R. Simpkius, A. L. Reed, Dr. Salisberry, Thomas Craig, William Craig, A. McCandless, William Heagler, H. P. Ustick, T. M. Ustick, P. E. Morehouse, Dr. Matthews, C. F. Dean, John Vandeman, William Millikan, Z. W. Heagler
The committee appointed to present the names of the ladies, offered the following names, all of whom were unanimously elected, and better still, nearly all served in daily work:
Mrs. P. E. Morehouse, Miss M. A. Love, Mrs. William Stevens, Mrs. 0. Grubbs, Mrs. J. Vandeman, Mrs. E. Millikan, Mrs. A. Blakemore, Mrs. William Smith, Mrs. P. T. Light, Mrs. H. L. Hadley, Mrs. B. Ogle, Mrs. F. Nitterhouse, Mrs. D. McLean, Mrs. Allen Heagler, Mrs. G. Carpenter, Mrs. M. V. Ustick, Mrs. George Dahl, Mrs. M. Gardner, Miss Kate Foster, Mrs. Colonel Maynard, Mrs. A. C. Hirst, Mrs. Dr. Dennis, Mrs. Dr. Coffman, Miss Bell Stuckey, Mrs. H. P. Cherry, Mrs. J. B. Priddy, Mrs. Allen Heagler, Mrs. M. Blackmore, Mrs. A. E. Silcott, Miss L. Millikan, Miss Emma Wilcox, Miss Ustick, Miss A. E. Robinson, Mrs. H. P. Ustick, Miss Julia Wood, Miss Ida Dean, Miss Anna Cherry, Mrs. J. Hopkins, Mrs. S. Lydy, Mrs. C. L. Getz, Miss Brightie Ogle, Mrs. T. Gardner, Miss Flora Ogle, Mrs. William Gordon, Mrs. Barnett, Miss A. Kephart, Mrs. Farmer.
On motion of Dr. Lewis, a committee of these ladies was appointed to draw up an appeal to our citizens engaged in the liquor business. The chair appointed Mrs. George Carpenter, Mrs., A. C. Hirst, and Mrs. A. E. Pine, to serve on this committee. Mrs. B. Ogle was then added to this committee of appeal. Closing appeals of stirring power were made by Dr. Lewis and Rev. A. C. Hirst; and after a vote of thanks to Dr. Lewis, for his work among us, the meeting adjourned to convene in the Methodist Church and hear the reports of the committees appointed.
Temperance was the all-absorbing theme on that day around every Christmas board, and upon all the street corners. In the evening a prayer-meeting was held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, at which time the chairman of the committee on appeal, Mrs. M. G. Carpenter, reported the following:
"Knowing, as you do, the fearful effects of intoxicating drinks, we, the women of Washington, after earnest prayer and deliberation, have decided to appeal to you to desist from this ruinous traffic, that our husbands, brothers, and especially our sons, be no longer exposed to this terrible temptation, and that we may no longer see them led into those paths which go down to sin, and bring both body and soul to destruction. We appeal to the better instincts of your own hearts in the name of desolated homes, blasted hopes, ruined lives, widowed hearts, for the honor of our community, for our happiness, for our good name as a town; in the name of the God who will judge you as well as ourselves; for the sake of your own souls, which are to be saved or lost, we beg, we implore you, to cleanse yourselves from this heinous sin, and place yourselves in the ranks of those who are striving to elevate and ennoble themselves and their fellow-men; and to this we ask you to pledge yourselves."
This appeal was adopted, and has since been used very generally, not only in Ohio, but in several other states. Many prayers and earnest words were uttered, and the meeting adjourned to reassemble Friday morning in the Methodist Episcopal Church, at 9:30 a. m.
On Friday, December 26, 1873, the meeting convened, pursuant to adjournment, in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The services were opened with singing and prayer, and reading of the Scriptures. One hundred copies of the appeal, to be presented to dealers in intoxicating drinks, were ordered to be printed and circulated throughout the community. Mr. John S. Foster and Mr. Allen Heagler were appointed to attend to this business.
A call for volunteers being made, Mrs. Dr. Dennis, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Getz, Mrs. Blakemore, Mrs. Gardner, and Mrs. Johnson, added their names. Mrs. J. L. Vandeman and Mrs. D. McLean were appointed to lead the procession, and Mrs. George Carpenter was appointed captain and reader of the appeal. Mrs. A. E. Pine was elected to lead the singing, and Mrs. M. V. Ustick was elected secretary.
And now came the most interesting moment of this meeting. More than forty of the best women in the community were to go forth on their errands of mercy. There was much trembling of hearts, much taking hold on God, much crying, and supplication in prayer. Such a scene was never witnessed in Washington. Down the central aisle of the church marched these women to their work, while the brethren continued in prayer to the Almighty, that he would be with these people as they went from place to place, with Christian song and prayer, to appeal, face to face, in their various places of business, to those men who were at work selling liquor, the tolling of the church bell keeping time to the solemn march of the women, as they wended their way to the first drug store on the list.
The number of places within the city limits where intoxicating drinks were sold was fourteen - eleven saloons and three drug stores. Here, as in every place, they entered singing, every woman taking up the sacred strain as she crossed the threshold. This was followed by the reading of the appeal, and prayer; then earnest pleading with the saloon keeper to desist from his soul-destroying traffic, and sign the dealers' pledge.
The novel procession created the wildest excitement on the streets, and was the subject of conversation to the exclusion of all others. The work of the ladies was thoroughly done. Not a den escaped. Into the front door, filling both the front and back rooms. Prayer, followed by Bible arguments, was the answer to the excuses of these men. Down into the cellar, everywhere, they went with the same eloquent plea: "We pray you to stop this!" "We mean you no hurt!" "We beg you to desist!" In tears the mothers, wives, and sisters, pleaded for their cause.
Thus, all the day they went from place to place, without stopping even for dinner or lunch, till five o'clock, meeting with no marked success. But invariable courtesy was extended them; not even their reiterated promise, "We will call again," seeming to offend.
No woman who has ever entered one of these dens of iniquity on such an errand, needs to be told of the heart-sickness that almost overcame them as they, for the first time, saw behind those painted windows or green blinds, and entered the little, stifling "back room," or found their way, down winding steps, into the damp, dark cellars, and realized that into such places those they loved best were being landed, through the allurements of the brilliantly lighted drug store, the fascinating billiard table, or the enticing beer gardens, with their siren attractions. A crowded house at night, to hear the report of the day's work, betrayed the rapidly increasing interest in this mission.
Saturday morning, December 27th, after an hour of prayer, an increased number of women went forth again, leaving a number of men in the church, who continued in prayer all day long. Every few moments the tolling bell cheered the hearts of the crusaders, by pealing forth the knowledge that another supplication had ascended for their success, meanwhile notes of progress being sent by the secretary to the church from every place visited.
On this day the contest really began; and at the first place the doors were found locked. With hearts full of compassion, the women knelt in the snow upon the pavement, to plead for the divine influence upon the heart of the liquor dealer, and there held their first street prayer-meeting.
At night the weary, but zealous workers, reported at mass-meeting the various rebuffs, and the success, in having two druggists sign the pledge not to sell, except upon the written prescription of a physician.
The Sabbath was devoted to union mass-meeting, with direct reference to the work in hand; and on Monday the number of ladies had increased to nearly one hundred. That day (December 27th) is one long to be remembered in Washington, as the day upon which occurred the first surrender ever made by a liquor dealer of his stock of liquors, of every kind and variety, to the women, in answer to their prayers and entreaties, and by them poured into the street. Nearly a thousand men, women, and children, witnessed the mingling of beer, ale, wine, and whisky, as they filled the gutters and were drank up by the earth, while bells were ringing, men and boys shouting, and women singing and praying to God, who had given the victory.
But on the fourth day the campaign reached its height, the town being filled with visitors from all parts of the county and adjoining villages. Another public surrender, and another pouring into the street of a larger stock of liquors than on the previous day, and more intense excitement and enthusiasm.
Mass-meetings were held nightly, with new victories reported constantly, until on Friday, January 2d, one week from the beginning of the work, at the public meeting held in the evening, the secretary's report announced every liquor dealer unconditionally surrendered, some having shipped their liquors back to wholesale dealers, others pouring them in the gutters, and the druggists having all signed the druggists' pledge.
Thus a campaign of prayer and song had in eight days closed eleven saloons, and pledged three drug stores to sell only on prescription.
At first men had wondered, scoffed and laughed, then criticized, respected and yielded.
Morning prayer and evening mass meetings continued daily, and the personal pledge was circulated till over one thousand signatures were obtained. Physicians were called upon to sign a pledge not to prescribe ardent spirits when any other substitute could be found, and in no case without a personal examination of the patient.
A property holder's pledge was also circulated - pledging men not to rent or lease property to be used as saloons, nor to allow any dealings of the liquor traffc to be carried on upon any premises belonging to them. This pledge was generally signed by holders of real estate.
During this week came a plea for help from Hillsborough. In answer to that call on Monday, January 12, a committee consisting of Profs. Morehouse and Dean, and Mrs. M. G. Carpenter, Mrs. Judge McLean, Mrs. Judge Priddy, and Miss Annie Ustick went to Hillborough, spent the evening in attendance upon a mass meeting there, and next forenoon in prayer and conference with the workers, returning in time to attend the mass meeting at home, bringing with them encouraging words.
By this time, the new method of fighting whisky began to attract the attention of the press and people in surrounding places, and meetings were announced to be held in every village and school district in the county; committees of ladies and gentlemen were sent out to assist in these meetings. Committees were also sent, by request, into all adjoining counties, the meetings being constantly kept up at home and all the while gaining in interest. Early in the third week, the discouraging intelligence came that a new man had taken out license to sell liquor in one of the deserted saloons, and that he was backed by a whisky house in Cincinnati, to the amount of $5,000, to break down this movement. On Wednesday, the 14th, the whisky was unloaded at his room. About forty women were on the ground and followed the liquor in, and remained holding an uninterrupted prayer meeting all day and until 11 o'clock at night.
The next day - bitterly cold - was spent in the same place and manner without fire or chairs; two hours of that time the women being locked in, while the proprietor was off attending a trial. On the following day, the coldest of all the winter of 1874, the women were locked out and stood on the street holding religious services all day.
Next morning a tabernacle was built in the street just in front of the house, and occupied for the double purpose of watching and prayer through the day, but before night the sheriff closed the saloon and the proprietor surrendered; thus ending the third week.
A short time after, on a dying bed, this four days' liquor dealer sent for some of these women, telling them their songs and prayers had never ceased to ring in his ears, and urging them to pray again in his behalf; so he passed away.
About this time came word from Columbus that the Adair Liquor Law was in great danger of being repealed; consequently the following communication was sent to every known temperance organization throughout the state:
" Washington, C. H., January 30.
" To the Secretary of Women's Temperance League at ____ :
"Dear Sister - By order of the entire body of our Temperance League, we send you an urgent request that you immediately appoint a committee of not less than six of the most earnest and effective workers, who shall be ready at an hour's notice to respond to the call embodied in the following resolution:
"Resolved, That the secretary of this meeting be requested to correspond with the ladies in all places where the temperance movement is now, or may be progressing, asking the same to appoint a delegation to appear at Columbus when called, if any action of the legislature threatening the safety of the Adair Liquor Law may be contemplated."
"Please notify us of your decision in the matter, forwarding us one name to whom we may telegraph."
[Signed by the secretary.]
"Responses poured in from all leagues addressed - the word 'ready.' But the law remained undisturbed that winter. At this time the Cincinnati Commercial sent a reporter to view the land, from whose graphic pen we quote the following"
"I reached Washington at noon, of January 20, and seeking a beer garden in the vicinity, found the owner in a state of terrible nervousness, as the ladies had spent the forenoon in front of his place. He evidently regarded me as a spy, but was much molified when assured that I was only a journalist, and made voluminous complaints in 'High Dutch' and low English:
'I got no vitnesses. Dem vimens dey set up a shob on me. But you don't bin a 'bitual drunkard, eh? No, you don't look like him; veil, coom in, coom in. Vat you vant, beer or vine? I dell you dem vimins is shust awful. Py shinks dey puild a house right in the sthreet, and stay mit a man all day a singin, and oder voolishness. Bud dey don't git in here once agin, already.'
"In obedience to his invitation, I had entered by the side door - the front was locked and barred - to find four customers indulging in liquor, beer, pigs feet. One announced himself as an 'original Granger,' a second as a retired sailor, while the others were noncommittal. They stated that two spies had just applied for admission - 'men who would come in and drink, then go, and swear they were habitual drunkards under the Adair Law - and that accounted for the proprietor's suspicion of me.
"The Adair law I find everywhere to be the great horror of saloon-keepers. It allows any wife or child, or other relative directly interested, to prosecute for the sale of liquor to husband or father; and almost any one may prosecute for the sale of liquor to an 'habitual drunkard.'
"Whether such a law be just or constitutional there is much dispute; but it is evident that it gives great opportunity for fraud and blackmailing. It is, however, just now the strong rock of defense of the Ohio temperance people; and it may be that by its enforcement, some saloon keepers have been driven out of the business who would have withstood the prayers of an archangel and all the tears that sorrowing pity ever shed.
"At the saloon just referred to, the house was kept open nearly all night; the sounds of revelry were plainly heard, and in the morning several drunken men came into town, one of whom tumbled down in a livery stable, and went to sleep on a manure pile, from which he was carried to the lock-up. Matters were evidently coming to a crisis, and I went out early, but the ladies reached there in force just before me. I met the proprietor hurrying into town to consult his lawyer, or, as he phrased it, 'to see mein gounsel venn I no got a right to my own broperty.'
"The main body of the ladies soon arrived, and took up a position with right center resting on the door-step, the wings extending each way beyond the corners of the house, and a rearward column along the walk to the gate. In ludicrous contrast the routed revelers, who had been scared out of the saloon, stood in a little knot fifty feet away, still gnawing at the pigs feet they had held on to in their hurried flight; while I took a convenient seat on the fence. The ladies then sang -
Oh, do not be discouraged, for Jesus is your friend,
He will give you grace to conquer, and keep you to the end.'
"As the twenty or more clear, sweet voices mingled in the enlivening chorus -
' I'm glad I'm in this army,'
The effect was inspiring. I felt all the enthusiasm of the occasion, while the pigs feet party, if they did not feel guilty, certainly looked so. The shiging was followed by a prayer from Mrs. Mills Gardner, who prayed for the blessing of God on the temperance cause generally, and in this place particularly; then for the saloon keeper and his family and friends, his house, and all that loved him; and closed with an eloquent plea for guidance in the difficult and delicate task they had undertaken. In one respect the prayer was unsurpassed; it was eminently fitting to the place and the occasion. As the concluding sentences were being uttered, the proprietor and his 'gounsel' arrived. The ladies paid no attention to either, but broke forth in loud strains:
'Must Jesus bear the cross alone?
No, there's a cross for me.'
"I should need the pen of an Irving and the pencil of a Darley to give an adequate idea of the scene. On the one side a score of elegant ladies, singing with all the earnestness of impassioned nature; a few yards away, a knot of disturbed revelers, uncertain whether to stand or fly; halfway between, the nervous proprietor, bobbing around like a case of fiddle-strings, with a hundred pounds of lager beer fat hung on them, and on the fence by the ladies a reporter scribbling away as if his life depended on it. It was painful from its very intensity.
The song ended, the presiding lady called upon Mrs. Wendels, and again arose the voice of prayer - so clear, so sweet, so full of pleading tenderness, that it seemed she would, by the strength of womanly love, compel the very heavens to open and send down in answer a spark of divine grace that would turn the saloon-keeper from his purpose. The sky, which had been overcast all morning, began to clear, the occasional drops of rain ceased to fall, and a gentle south wind made the air soft and balmy. It almost seemed that nature joined in the prayer.
'Are there no foes for me to face.'
With the camp-meeting chorus -
'O, how I love Jesus,
Because he first loved me.'
"As the song concluded, the lawyer suddenly stepped forward and said:
'Now, ladies, I have a word to say before this performance goes any further. This man has employed me as his attorney. He can not speak good English, and I speak for him. He is engaged in a legitimate business, and you are trespassing on his property and right. If this thing is carried any further you will be called to account in the court, and I can assure you the court will sustain the man. He has talked with you all he desires to. He does not want to put you out forcibly; that would be unmanly, and he does not wish to act rudely. But he tells you to go. As his attorney I now warn you to desist from any further annoyance.'
' My soul be on thy guard,
Ten thousand foes arise.'
"Miss Annie Ustick followed with a fervent prayer. After consultation the ladies decided to leave the premises, and take a position on the adjoining lot. They sent for the 'tabernacle,' a rude frame building they had used in front of Slater's saloon. This they erected on an adjoining lot, put up immense lights to illuminate the entrance to the beer garden, and kept up a guard from early morning till midnight."
For two weeks religious services were held in the tabernacle day and night, and the women were constantly on duty. At the end of that time an injunction was granted the saloon keeper, and the tabernacle was taken down. Suits were then in progress against the two beer sellers, under the Adair Law, and judgments were being obtained in various amounts; the ladies appearing in force in the court room during each trial, thus giving their moral support to their suffering sisters.
On Friday, February 6, another man opened a beer saloon in a new locality. The ladies immediately visited him by committees, and thus spent the day. Next day, however, they took up their stand in front of his door, continuing their services until late in the evening, at which time their force was increased by the entire congregation at mass meeting, who chose to conclude their services with the watchers in front of the saloon.
Temperance was still the pulpit theme on the Sabbath, and on Monday morning, February 9, all the business houses were closed from 8 to 9 o'clock, to attend the business men's prayer meeting. Large delegations were present from adjoining villages at that early hour. At the meeting, there come a messenger from this man, stating that he would give up his business, which announcement was received with cheers. It was then decided that all who were not enjoined from so doing, should march out to the beer garden before referred to. They were met at the gate by the proprietor, and after a brief consultation with a committee appointed for that purpose, he publicly announced: " You gomes so many I guits. I vill never sell any more beer or whisky." Again the crowd gave vent to their feelings in cheers. Messengers were dispatched to the women, who remained praying in the church, to join them. All the bells commenced ringing, and the procession, numbering two hundred strong, started out to Sullivan's beer house, now the only remaining saloon in the township. Marching up Court Street, the number increased, and amidst the most profound silence the men and women pursued their journey. About halfway there the man in question was met and interviewed. He asked two days to consider, which was granted. The procession then returned, the bells all the time ringing out their chimes upon the crisp morning air. Meetings, morning and evening, continued with unabated interest, and at each came the cry from other points:
" Come and help us."
On Wednesday morning, February 11, at mass meeting in the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Sullivan came in and publicly pledged himself to "quit forever the liquor business." A general rejoicing and thanksgiving followed this surrender of the "last man."
Thus through most of the winter of 1874 no alcoholic drinks were publicly sold as a beverage.
As Dr. Dio Lewis had signified his intention of again visiting Washington on Tuesday, February 17, that day was appointed as one of general rejoicing and thanksgiving. Accordingly arrangements were made for a mass meeting to be held in Music Hall at 2 P. M. At 1:30 a thousand people were gathered at the depot awaiting the arrival of the train. Promptly at the hour. Dr. Lewis, accompanied by quite a corps of newspaper men, alighted from the car, and was greeted with music from the band and cheers from the vast concourse of people. The address of welcome was made by Mrs. M. G. Carpenter, and after the response by Dr. Lewis, the remainder of the afternoon was spent in general speech making. The evening was occupied in listening to a lecture by Dr. Lewis, and the day fitly closed by an informal reception given the orators of the occasion, at the home of one of the crusaders.
At the spring election for mayor and city council, temperance was made the issue, and from motives of policy the temperance men brought out conservative candidates. The other party did the same thing. The whisky party were successful, and emboldened by that success, many of the former saloonist gradually reopened their business. Since that time, five of these men have gone to render to God an account for their violated vows.
"The word of the Lord is true from the beginning, and he that being often reproved, hardeneth hie neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy"
The summer was given up to the defeat of the license clause in the new constitution, which was to come before the people on the 18th of August.
Mass Temperance picnics were a prominent feature of the season, and the untiring zeal of the workers was crowned with success on election day.
During the intervening years, weekly Temperance League meetings have been kept up by the faithful few, while frequent Union Mass Meetings have been held, thus keeping the subject always before the people.
To-day, the disgraceful and humiliating fact exists, that there are more places where liquors are sold than before the crusade. Does any one ask the result of all this labor, and if the movement was a failure? We answer to the first question of results: The idea that women are to take an active part in the great conflict between Religion and the Rum power, was evolved by this very crusade. None saw quicker than the women themselves the weak and strong points of the movement, and these praying bands have become thoroughly organized Women's Christian Temperance Unions; and reform clubs, reading rooms, coffee houses, and friendly inns are the outgrowth of these "Unions." Other countries have felt the impulse, and the best women of Europe and Canada are being organized into "Leagues" and " Unions."
Another result was the great International Women's Temperance Convention, held June 10th to 12th, and World's Congress on the 13th day of June of the centennial year, in the land that gave the crusade its birth, where were convened representatives from our own kind, from every country in Europe, from the Sandwich Islands and Japan, to pray and plan together as to the best means for carrying forward this great work.
Was this movement then, a failure? No! No! The long list of reformed lives, the restored happiness and prosperity of once desolated homes, the still longer list of our noble young men, who were arrested in their first downward steps in the path of intemperance and ruin, and whose upright and useful lives will be standing monuments of good for years to come; who dares to compute such results? The improved public sentiment, banishing the wine cup from the social circle, from the sideboards and cellars of respectable homes, the awakening and uniting of all Christian hearts in one grand work for God and humanity. All these are the outgrowth of a reformation which has since belted the world - the most farseeing being utterly unable to grasp its results.
During the winter of 1876, a grand banquet was given the Ohio General Assembly, Judiciary and Military ofiicers, by some of the prominent citizens of our capital city. No labor or expense was spared in ministering to the comforts or pleasure of the guests, yet no wine was to be found in all that banquet hall. One of the hosts of the evening remarked, that "before the 'Women's Crusade,' the giving of such an entertainment without wine would have been impossible."
A failure? No! Eternity alone will unfold the glorious success of that work. To have banished liquor from the land, as at first the movement seemed to promise, would have been a miracle, and God does not now work in such manner, and the work we feel he meant to do in this crusade, was to rouse up his people to a sense of their duty, to awaken his church which seemed to be strangely indifferent, and asleep to this terrible evil. Thus he crowned the movement with success, and while his followers believe and trust Him, the good work will go on to completion, for -
"Right is right, as God is God,
And right the day will win,
To doubt would be disloyalty,
To falter would be sin."
Thus far we have copied from the report prepared for the World's Congress, June 1876, but a word of the work since that half decade of years has ditted by, and where are we now in this great reform, in which the citizens of Fayette County have so much reason to rejoice in their having led the van. For while Dr. Dio Lewis inaugurated a similar movement in three other places during the same winter before it was started here, it would have been classed as the idle vagary of a bewildered brain, but for the marvelous success which attended it first in Washington, and gave it a "local habitation and a name" which struck fire there, and has been answered by flame upon every hill top in almost every state of our land.
Among the later outgrowths of the crusade was the Murphy movement, which counts its reformed men by the thousands; and the Reynold's movement of almost equal proportions - waves of reform which have swept across the nation from Maine to the sunny Pacific slopes, and brought happiness and comfort to untold thousands. But above all, stands our thoroughly organized "Women's Christian Temperance Union," representing twenty-seven states and thirty-one thousand six hundred and thirty earnest, devoted Christian women, pledged to the cause for life. This mighty host of workers are making themselves heard and felt on our platforms, in our pulpits, through our legislative halls, and all over our land; and must be a great "power behind the throne" of our law makers.
They are moving in every direction; introducing temperance lessons in Sabbath-schools, and scientific temperance into public schools and colleges, forming juvenile temperance schools; inducing corporations and employers to require total abstinence in their employes; scattering temperance literature broadcast in the land, influencing the spirit of the press, working in our jails, prisons, among foreign population, Indians, and colored people; establishing drawing-room meetings, reading rooms, and friendly inns to save the unfortunate victims of this cause, by reaching out a helping hand and to bind the work together by publishing a sprightly organ, "Our Union," which should be in the hands of every temperance woman. In many of these lines of work, Fayette County is showing herself worthy of the spirit which could inaugurate so wonderful a movement.
At the last annual convention held in Boston, October, 1880, there gathered such numbers, such eloquence and power, such devotion to God and temperance, and such faith in the triumph of our cause, that the proud old city felt her pulses stirred, and her soul quickened with such an awakening upon this subject as she had never felt before. On the Sabbath immediately following the close of convention, twenty-four Boston pulpits were filled by members of that convention, who spoke to crowded audiences in earnest, burning words. Upon this all important theme, later, during inaugural week in our capital city, our gifted President, Miss Willard, honored herself, and the great body she represented, in presenting to the nation the portrait of Mrs. Hayes, who will always be "honored among women" as having first banished the fateful cup from our national home, America's highest social pinnacle; thus setting an example to all other lands.
We are saddened when we recall the old crusade days as we find so many vacant places, and long for the touch of vanished hands, and the sound of voices that are still.