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election day, their appeal for "liberality" would have come with better grace.20
With the prestige of the favorable popular vote the prohibitionists proceeded with the plan to give the state a Maine law. Such a bill was initiated in each house and passed both houses. There was then some jockeying in the senate by which concurrence with the assembly was prevented. So no law eventuated. The legislative discussion brought out a report against prohibition by E. M. Hunter of Milwaukee, which perhaps deserves mention as foreshadowing some of the constitutional arguments on which the bill of a year later was vetoed. The report also stated, in striking fashion, the more general argument against prohibition. Admitting the evils attendant upon the liquor traffic, Hunter contended that prohibition afforded no remedy for them, it being based on a false theory, namely, that men are not responsible for their own acts. He then proceeded to another argument. "Suppose," he says, "the total abstinence pledge were enacted into a law, and the command go forth from this capital that no man throughout the state should drink anything which might produce intoxication. Would not every one revolt immediately and treat it as a nullity? And what is a prohibitory law save a total abstinence pledge for all the state? It is only cloaked by professing to act against the vendor, while the drinker who is solely guilty of whatever may be criminal in the matter, goes unpunished. Why not begin at the right end and make the drinker the direct as he is the real object of this new system of legislation? Who would then be so hardy as to raise his voice in defense of so monstrous an invasion of inherent right?" It was a closely reasoned "lawyer's" report, whether prepared by Mr. Hunter him
20 "It does not lessen the desire for a Maine law to live near a 'Bier Halle' and band of music every Sabbath. Let the Germans respect our customs if they want us to respect theirs." Temperance League, Aug. 15, 1854.
self or by some other, and it suggests that the prolicense party was putting itself in train for a mighty conflict.21
The "treachery" of the senate, as prohibitionists regarded it, created the psychology of the next summer's campaign. It likewise influenced the liquor question locally in many portions of the state. A group of women in Baraboo, stirred by the story of a drunkard who threatened to murder his wife, proceeded to clean out all the liquor from the grog shops of that village, not one of which was conforming to any kind of license law. Six of the most prominent women were arrested for destroying property, were taken before a "beer" justice in Prairie du Sac, and remanded to jail.22 The incident created widespread excitement, inducing many women of the state to take special interest in the prohibition campaign.23 A movement of the Temperance Alliance to force compliance with the licensing law caused the prosecution of half a hundred grog-shop keepers in Milwaukee; the village of Appleton prohibited all sale of intoxicants within its limits, thus exercising local option powers, and in some other villages unlicensed places were compelled by mob action to stop selling liquor. Feeling ran high everywhere, so that politicians were compelled to declare their attitude on the question, and the election resulted in a victory for prohibition in the legislature.
In the session of 1855 several different bills on the subject were introduced. The one that finally passed the two houses merely prohibited the "sale" of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, not their manufacture. That concession to Milwaukee's extensive and valuable brewing interests appears to have been necessary to enable the prohibitionists to control the requisite majorities. The vote stood 43 to 25
"The report is in Senate Journal, 1854, 77-91.
"They were freed by a Baraboo judge on a writ of habeas corpus, it being shown by the testimony that they had not destroyed the liquid property in malice. Temperance League, June 28, July 5, and July 19, 1854.
"The women of Reedsburg, Sauk County, passed vigorous resolutions in support of the Baraboo women. Temperance League, Aug. 2, 1854.
in the assembly, 14 to 8 in the senate. It then went to Governor Barstow and was vetoed. His grounds were constitutional, embracing several points. One was that the bill would bring about forfeiture of property without proof of the guilt of the individual. Another, that on conviction there would be "forfeiture of estate," in violation of the guarantees of the constitution. And a third, that sequestered liquor was by the proposed law directed to be destroyed if found to be impure, whereas the constitution directed that property so seized should be sold for the benefit of the school fund. The legislative majority for prohibition was not large enough to overcome the governor's action.
Thus ended a movement, which had lasted six years, to control by law the tendency of men to become tipplers and drunkards. Not that the prohibitionists now gave over their efforts to bring about the desired reform. But such efforts, after 1855, became increasingly futile. Other states, both east and west, went over to the prohibition basis, and Wisconsin would undoubtedly have done so had the Yankee element continued dominant. The relative decline of that element and the corresponding increase in the number of Germans was responsible for the firm establishment of licensing as a policy in this state. The year 1855 marks the entrance of the Republican party to power in the governorship through the election of Coles Bashford against Barstow. Bashford had been one of the senate prohibitionists, and it was understood that both the Prohibitionists and the KnowNothings threw their support to him. Under these circumstances it is not strange that the Germans generally held aloof from the Republican party despite their general sympathy with its antislavery attitude. The Republicans realized that, in order to win success on national issues, the party in Wisconsin must attract a goodly share of the Germans to its support, and this could not be done without abandoning the extreme Yankee attitude on the liquor
question. Therefore, from the campaign of 1856 the Republican leaders sought to suppress the issue of prohibition and they at last convinced the Germans that the licensing policy was safe in Republican hands.
After this article was in page proof, the following reference to the Smith law was discovered in the diary of Colonel M. Frank, which was published in Francis H. Lyman, History of Kenosha County (Chicago, 1916):
"January 16, 1850: Great trial of liquor sellers terminated today, having been in continuance more than two days. Suit brought by a wife to recover damages of a liquor seller on his bond of indemnity, for selling liquor to her husband by reason of which sale her husband became sick and incapable of rendering her any support. Verdict for the plaintiff of $100, being the largest sum within the jurisdiction of the justice court. This is the first case under the new law of this kind which has been tried in the state."
THE UNIVERSITY IN 1874-1887
A benevolent patriarch of my native village essayed to quicken a faltering enthusiasm for a transfer from the Berkshire Hills to the remote and level West by picturing the Wisconsin City of the Lakes. Madison, he said, was laid out on the plan of the city of Washington, with streets and avenues radiating from the capitol. The capitol, of marble, stood on a hill in a park of oak trees. State Street, leading from the capitol westward to the group of University buildings, was, he said, the "Pennsylvania Avenue of the West." No further details of this street were added or called for; the picture was complete; I knew I should recognize State Street and I longed to see it. The University campus bordered for several miles, he said, the largest of a chain of four lakes, and two more lakes could be seen from the top of University Hall. The president's house was on a hill sloping to Lake Mendota and dotted with oak trees. The patriarch chose his words well: hills, lakes, grand old oak trees, and acres upon acres of campus! The details of shaven lawns and stately buildings were left to an imagination quite ready to supply them; the West no longer seemed too remote, nor flat, nor undesirable.
In 1874 smooth lawns and landscape gardening were not a very old story even in the effete East, and it was not to be wondered at that the University campus on the hot August day of our arrival was quite innocent of lawn mowers or of any gardening but vegetable. A tall coarse yellow grass clothed it and a high picket and rail fence painted white enclosed it. The oak trees, which certainly were there, dwarfed by severe winters and dry summers, seemed to rise but