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CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA,
ON THE SUBJECT OF
ESTABLISHING AN ASYLUM
FOR THE CURE OF
VICTIMS OF INTEMPERANCE.
BROWN, BICKING & GUILBERT, PRINTERS, NO. 56 NORTH THIRD STREET.
A meeting of Citizens of Philadelphia was held November, 1840, to take into consideration the utility of establishing an “ Asylum for the cure of Inebriates.” Alexander Henry was appointed Chairman, and Dr. W. Darrach, Secretary. After a free interchange of sentiment, it was unanimously agreed : That the subject be laid before our citizens generally, in the form of an address; when Dr. W. Darrach, Isaac Collins, Townsend Sharpless, Dr. John Bell and Isaiah Hacker were appointed a Committee. At a subsequent meeting, said Committee reported, by their Chairman, the following address, which, on motion, was directed to be published and circulated in pamphlet form, under the direction of the Committee.
Tappan Prest. Assor, 9-8-33
TO THE CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA IN BEHALF OF THE
VICTIMS OF INTEMPERANCE.
FELLOW CITIZENS :
We address you in behalf of the victims of intemperance. We ask your compassionate and efficient efforts for their recovery. They are afflicted with a physical evil-a disease of the stomach and of the nervous system. Had it been asked, what shall be done for the sick,-for the lame,—the deaf and dumb,—the blind,--the insane,—for those lost to virtue--and for those even who are condemned by the laws ? You would have pointed, and with satisfaction, to your hospitals, your asylums and many kindred institutions. These all are the fruits of christian compassion, and they sustain the good name of our city. We ask the exercise of this compassion towards the Victims of Intemperance. Erect for them, also, a respectable Asylum—a hiding place from their enemy-call it, if you please the Retreat.
The victim himself, in his sober moments, asks for a place of seclusion, safe from temptations and indulgence; and he importunes to be saved from himself.
Oh sir, said one such to his friend, I've no more confidence in myself; thirst for ardent spirits is my strong enemy. Place me in some country retreat far out of the reach of my idol. Another of these unfortunates was before a magistrate for a public offence, and being asked the motive of his conduct, he replied : “ that I might be imprisoned and thereby separated from intoxicating drink.” How many of these persons are in the bosom of our families, surrounded by all its endearments and comforts, and yet who destroy the peace of those once happy homes. There, for example, is the only son of a widow, a widow by intemperance. At her laphe often knelt in childhood and learned the
which ers teach their children. She felt he was her hope and consolation; and to self-denial upon self-denial she cheerfully submitted, in order to train him up to manhood. Her object was accomplished. He became to her and to his sisters an honour; their support and their pride. But, alas ! he became, also, intemperate. And sorrow came upon that family, more than when the husband and father had fallen into the drunkard's grave. What shall be done for such a family! The evil is not only moral but it is likewise physical. Look at yet another picture. There is a wife! Her house and children once shewed care, economy and comfort; and her husband went forth to his occupation daily with hope and returned with pleasure. But now that home is neglected
and disordered. For a while there was only a faint and silent suspicion. But, her frequent indispositions, her changed countenance and deportment, and the concealed vials about her dwelling, made it no longer a secret. Her children and husband may still be near her ; but her affection for them is not so strong as for that which will deaden a craving appetite and the gnawings of a diseased stomach. Is there no remedy? Again.— There is a husband! His industry and worth gained him extensive credit among his fellow tradesmen. He enlarged his business too much beyond his capital and his festal table was too often spread. The well meant offer of an occasional glass of wine from his sideboard was too often made. Bankruptcy ensued, and then wine became his flatterer, then his master, his tyrant and his death. All that is left, is a cheerless remeinbrance of a lovely family blighted in its early bloom. Examples need not be multiplied. The circle of domestic life, the very heart of society, contains many victims of intemperance-every where and in varied forms: the farmer, mechanic and merchant,—the man of science, the minister, physician and lawyer,-the statesman, military men and office holders disturb, by intemperance, the peace of home and there implant a gnawing grief, and in some instances bring down upon themselves the extreme penalties of the law. And why? Do these inebriates know the cause? Do their distressed relatives and friends