Some of McKinley's supporters were appalled
when, shortly after the inauguration, news emerged that the new President
had served liquor to visitors to the White House. (As a young politician, McKinley had once advocated total abstinence
and had prosecuted the liquor traffic.) The following protest appeared
in The Ram's Horn on December
11, 1897 (page 7):
Liquor in the White House
A Volume of Protest at the President's
Action in Serving wine to the Canadian Delegates
The People Are Aroused
A Strong Word from the West
My Dear Mr. Chapman:
I have carefully read your editorial, "A
Sad Surprise," in which you comment on President McKinley's action
in serving wine at a state dinner in the White House, and I want to say
with all the emphasis I can give to a written word, that you have spoken
in that editorial the convictions of every true patriot in this country.
This act of President McKinley is direct
blow at the home and the Church. It is the duty of every Christian to
rebuke such ail act, no matter whether it is the chief executive of the
nation who is guilty, or the humblest citizen. As one who has his citizenship
in a state where the saloon is outlaw, I wish to add my protest against
every such encouragement to the whisky power. The Ram's Horn is making a glorious fight for home and native land, by its outspoken
attitude towards wrong. The time has come for every Christian citizen
to speak out. Let us act together, those of us who believe in the truth
that "Righteousness exalted a nation." There is no partisanship
I know I voice the conviction of
thousands of Christian citizens, when I say that if, three years from
now, the saloon and all it represents is encouraged by those who sit in
high places in church and state, we shall face the issue of saloon or
no saloon as we never have faced it, yet. When that time comes (and it
seems hast ening on) the issue will be as sharply defined as that of human
Meanwhile, silence is cowardice as often
as it is golden.
Charles M. Sheldon.
FROM MISS WILLARD.
Fred'k. L. Chapman:
Dear Bro.: I think you have put the case
pointedly, but at the same time in a spirit both considerate and kind.
With this, I am sending you (and should be glad to have you published)
what I said in my recent annual address before the National W. C. T. U.
concerning this fetish of offering wine to foreigners when one does not
use wine one's self. This action of our president, who by nature is a
temperance man, and who, I am told, made temperance addresses in his earlier
days, is nothing less than a national sorrow to temperance people. He
is a man of noble impulses and excellent training; he is doing vastly
better than most presidents have done in respect to a Christian temperance
life, but it makes our hearts ache that when his record is so nearly consistent,
he should fall away, doubtless as a result of his difficult environment
and worldlyminded advisors.
What I said in my address, was as follows:
"We wish to give due weight to the
fact that at the cabinet dinners in the White House, no wine has been
offered so far as we can learn, for we proceed upon the principle that
the daily press never fails to make much of every occasion on which it
"In the year ending June 30, 1897,
there was a decided falling off in the use of' alcoholic beverages in
the United States." This, the 'American Grocer' attributes to 'hard
times and the bicycle.' Our own Mrs. Hunt aptly controverted this position
saying that 'it would be little less than a miracle had not the educational
work of the W.. C. T. U. in the past fifteen years been a leading factor
in diminishing the use of alcoholic stimulants as a beverage."
Nothing is today doing so much to lessen
the respectability of drinking intoxicating liquors as the growing sense
of brotherhood on the part of all civilized men. The dangers of the habit,
not only to those who have formed it, but to that larger number
of men, women and children who do not muddle their mental faculties in
that way, suggests that the nondrinkers have rights that the drinkers
are bound to respect. If we take the total number of human beings in the
world, including the Oriental races, which, when not demoralized by contact
with Europeans, are abstainers, the overwhelming majority of human beings
who are breathing at the present moment, have breaths untainted by the
use of alcoholics, but the safety of that fraction of them who live in
Englishspeaking countries, is threatened by nothing so much as by
the irresponsible actions of the drinkers, and I do not mean the drunkards
alone, but the socalled 'moderates,' whose judgment is dimmed in
proportion to the amount of alcohol that has passed into their systems.
"Our habits grow by what they feed
on, they have no power of selfrestriction, it is in their nature
to be selfperpetuating, they determine not only the passing condition
of the body, but the permanent condition of the soul, for habit is destiny,
and character is habit crystallized."
Frances E. Willard.
Unmincing Language from Mr. Woolley.
On the Road, Dec. 4, 1897.
TO THE EDITOR:
Blow! Ram's Horn, blow! The game is small
The President is a representative "temperance
He serves wine - temperately. He drinks
wine -- temperately. He takes saloon rental -- temperately. He appoints
known blackguards of office - temperately. He escapes a dead level of
morals by smoking tobacco - temperately. He is, by virtue of his position,
a personal epidemic of bargain-counter ideals, among Christian young men.
His example will destroy millions of boys,
and cheat millions of women of their heart's happiness.
JOHN G. WOOLLEY.