Seeing that one of your Forum correspondents, who would...


Seeing that one of your Forum correspondents, who would legalize the liquor traffic, has acknowledged that William E. Barton is the foremost historian of Lincoln and has challenged me to prove that Abraham Lincoln ever said a word in favor of prohibition, I submit the following paragraphs from an article entitled "Lincoln and Liquor," by the same Mr. Barton in The Christian Science Monitor for September 15, 1926:

"On January 23, 1853, while the Illinois Legislature was in session, the Rev. James Smith, Lincoln's pastor, delivered a sermon on 'The Bottle, Its Evils and Its Remedy.' The text was Habakkuk 2:15. Dr. Smith took the ground that it was not fair to condemn the saloon-keeper for making men drunkards, so long as the State accepted his license money and derived a profit from his sales. He called on the Legislature, then in session, to pass a law forbidding all sale of intoxicating liquor excepting for medical, mechanical, and sacramental use.

"Such sermons were common enough forty years later, but rare enough in 1853. That sermon was heard with profound interest, and thirty-nine men who heard the sermon and called themselves 'Friends of Temperance' joined in a letter thanking Dr. Smith and requesting a copy of his sermon for publication. It was published, with Abraham Lincoln's name in the list of those who asked for its printing.

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