Letter from S. P. Andrews, Esq. Corresponding Secretary of the Louisiana Temperance Society
Letter from S. P. Andrews, Esq. Corresponding Secretary of the Louisiana Temperance Society.
New-Orleans, Sept. 14th, 1838. Dear Sir,—Yours of the 29th of May was received, together with the books inclosed with it, only about two weeks since, and a continued indisposition has prevented me from giving you a more mediate acknowledgment of the favor. I am under great obligations personally both to yourself and Mr. Delavan, for this kind attention to my wishes; and the cause of temperance in Louisiana, is under still greater. I shall take the measures necessary to having them properly disposed of to do good service, in the fall at fartherest if not sooner, as almost every body who takes an interest in the subject is now absent; our population being scattered to the four winds, and my own health threatening to drive me to the country. Our operations are to a great extent suspended during the summer months. In June, however, was held here, a Temperance Convention, and a State Temperance Society was formed. I sent a copy of a paper containing a list of the officers to the Journal, and now forward another to your address. I have no copy remaining, containing the proceedings of the Convention. The pledge of the State Temperance Society, extends only to distilled spirits. It has been thought best to commence with this, for reasons which were thought sufficient by a majority of the Convention, although a majority were themselves total abstinence men. The use of light wines is extremely common among us, indeed almost universal, at table, and the evil effects of the practice are not so grossly obvious at first view, to those whose attention has not been called to the subject, as those of the grog shop. Beside, when the state of moral sentiment is low, it is best perhaps, not to expect too much from it at once, in trying to elevate it. We have a Society in New-Orleans, of about two hundred, and in the adjoining city of Lafayette, of one hundred. We adopt the old pledge, those who wish to adhere to the total abstinence pledge, carrying out total abstinence against their names. In this manner more than two-thirds in the better society have total abstinence already against their names. There are other societies, including some six hundred or eight hundred members in other parts of the state. What has been done, has grown up almost spontaneously, or by the exertions of a very few. We have never had an agent. The societies are I believe at this time, all in a prosperous condition, and the harvest is ripe. It is an object of great anxiety with me, to obtain if only for a few months the services of Mr. Hunt, and I am confident after that, we should be placed upon a footing to support agents, and for carrying on the cause vigorously. But nobody seems willing to take the responsibility at this time, yet I do not doubt in the least, that if Mr. H. were here, an ample salary would be obtained at once. There is no want of money, but of the habit of giving and doing things systematically.
I remain, as ever, your friend,
and obedient servant,
- S. P. Andrews.