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THE WASiilJNUTON HERALD. SUNDAY. DECEMBER 20. 1914.
.ttttttm i m I .-....' Cftffiv.Vxi ' "'" "'' "'"' ' "" .--'.'"'' " ' ' ' . i i : i . . 'f0 What Is Whiskey Odd Pages From History : :-:::- . ,: ::: :; : ::: Si :::::::: K :::: :::: "Before they had bread to satisfy hunger, the James River settlers had made sour wine of wild grapes," wrote Edward Egglcston, in "Co lonial Times." The production of al coholic beverage was one of this country's earliest and most extensive industries. If the question, What is wine? seriously agitated the colonists there is no record of it. But three centuries later, "What is whiskey and why" became a burning issue. WTiat is whiskey? A part of the "coin of the realm" in the beginning of the republic and its largest source of revenue irow. There are other def initions, complimentary and uncom plimentary, as to the relations of whiskey to man, but the above is a brief historical and economical epit ome of its relations to the govern ment of the United States. Whiskey, usquebaugh, poteen, aqua vita, water of life, strong drink call it what you wilt is as old as the world and has been the subject of more discussion, more eulogy, more denunciation, than any other product of man or nature. Prophets and poets, preachers and physicians have praised and prescribed or warned against and condemned the use of whiskey, and it remains the one arti cle of commerce of greatest American antiquity, and continues to grow in volume and use. Abraham Lincoln said that the use of intoxicating liquors was as old as the world and was recognized by ev erybody, used by .everybody, con demned by nobody. "It commonly entered into the first draught of the infant and the last draught of the dy ing man." Solomon and the Turks. In that expression, Lincoln but paraphrased the proverb of Solomon: "(.ive strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine onto those that be of heavy hearts." The use and abuse of whiskey is not new. nor is the discussion of it. Only the Turk has prohibited the use of meat and strong drink, and the Turk has grad ually given way jefore the march of Christian civilization and is now about to be expelled from Europe. Whiskey is not an invention of America. Whatever the name and method of manufacture of strong drink in Biblical times, the distilla tion of whiskey and the name belong to li eland and Scotland, the home of virile men who first began the contest for the rights of men in government, long before Columbus set out on his voyage of discovery. The Irish name, usquebaugh, pronounced "whiskey baugh." signifies water of life. It has been the drink of the Irish, Scotch and English for boo years and is still favored by them over every other beverage. But whiskey has had a long and intimate association with the United States, which began with the Pilgrims, whose chief regret on landing on the point of Cape Cod hook, in a stress of weather, was that their stock of Scotch whiskey and English ale was too low to warm the bodies and cheer the hearts of the ;.;e:i who, after their long voyage, had to battle with the elements in getting to the land. Thr first manufacture of Xcw England was New England rum and it became the first article of commerce with the colonists, both in Xcw England and Y-irginia. When corn and rye became successful cops, the colonists made whiskey as well as rum. First Article of Commerce. That beginning was the precedent for the extending wave of commerce and civilization over the American continent, and whiskey, venison and buffalo meat went with the old long rifles and the hardy emigrants, as the Indians were driven back and the vir gin soil of America was put t the plow and compelled to yield the fruits and grains of civilization. The sur plus corn and rye were converted into whiskey, as the most compact product tl at could be manufactured and sent to market. Whiskey became the first article of commerce sent back from the new country, just as it was one of the advance agents in opening the new country. With only blazed trails through the forests and over the mountains, as the highways of com merce, and the back of a horse the only freight transportation, there was the necessity for reducing the grain grown on the frontier to its most compact form for commerce, and whiskey became the first subject of national commerce even before there were States. As whiskey was the first article of manufacture and commerce among the pioneers it laid the foundation for many early fortunes and gave reputation to many estates and plan tations. It was a foundation, too, on which there was no stain, for it was considered honorable to make and sell whiskey and wine or wine bran dy. The Virginia colony gave colo nial encouragement and aid to those who grew vineyards to produce wine. Edward Egglcston, in his history, "The Colonial Times." says: Won Wafer in His Vineyard. "Before they had bread to satisfy hunger, the James River settlers had made sour wine of wild grapes. In 1632 the growing of five vines was made obligatory on every planter, and in 1658 10,000 pounds of tobacco were promised to him who should first produce two tuns of Virginia wine. The tolerable fitness of the Virginia climate and soil for grape growing was proved over and over again by the vine dressers brought over from France in the first years, by the Huguenots, who producedwine on a small scale for a long time; by the Palatines on the Rappahannock, and by many others. Beverley, the his torian, won a wager of a thousand guineas by making 400 gallons of wine from his vineyard of three acres. Vet, so late .as 1762, subscriptions were solicited to set on foot a new beginning of grape culture in Vir ginia. "Undaunted by climate, the Massa chusetts immigrants asked for French vine dressers, in 1629, and later an inland in Boston Harbor was leased '.o Gov. Winthrop by the sanguine General Court for a hogshead of the best wine that should be made there annually. In the patroonship 01 Rensselaer at Albany wine was pro posed, as it was by the Swedish pio neers on the Delaware. It was at tempted by French settlers in Rhode Island and Carolina; the latter prov ince was expected to supply the whole demand of the West Indies. William Penn only hesitated whether to import foreign wines or to 'fine' the American ones, and ended by .try ing both plans, establishing u vine yard with 2,000 French vines near Philadelphia. It is unnecessary to trace further this chronicle of failure in wine growing. To the end of the colonial epoch these efforts were re newed, vine dressers were sent over and rewards were offered, but no con siderable quantity was ever made. It was cheaper at that day to import from Madeira and Portugal than to divert labor from the profitable American staples to grow wine, and the law of relative cheapness is as hard to escape as that of gravitation." Did Not Drink Water. , Vet the early attempts at viticul ture and brandy distillation left their geographical mark in Eastern Penn sylvania, where, even though grape culture tailed, there is still the stream called the Brandywine, on whose banks one of the battles of the Revo lution was fought. , Dr. Egglcston says that water was never used as a beverage by the colo nists, not even by the women and children. They had all manner of light decoctions for the children, but did not have them drink water, un less sweetened with molasses. The men drank whiskey, rum and ale, and a woman was not considered a good housewife if she neglected to brew the family ale and beer. There ' was a still on every plantation and whiskey and rum were a part of the. daily rations. They could not have a christening, a funeral, or the induc tion of a preacher into his sacred of fice without these beverages, and the Ireachers were as much given to their use as any of the parishioners. The man who condemned the use of liquors in those days would have been worse treated than were the Quakers for their peculiar religious belief, and they were banished from most of the colonies. But the Quakers were not opposed to strong drink. They, too, used whiskey and drew the line on tea. The leading Quaker of Philadelphia made a public demonstration of his opposition to tea when it was intro duced by taking his wife's tea china to the public square and breaking it. The people who gathered about him begged him to save the china, which was imported and artistic. They sym pathized with his condemnation of tea as the product of the heathen, Chi nese, but they wanted to save the English china. The old Quaker was inexorable and smashed the cups and saucers as the implements of the heathen decoction. Preachers and doctors inveighed against the new drink, and found in it the cause 01 many ills, especially of the stomach and nerves. Tea was responsible for nervous, irritable and lazy women, and the man who drank tea even at a social function was considered too ef feminate to mingle with his fellow men. Coffee Likewise Shunned. Coffee came in for a like abuse, though not so violent, perhaps, be cause it came from English settle ments in the Orient and did not have its origin in the land of the heathen Chinese. There are still physicians in this modern and enlightened age who profess to believe that both tea and coffee are greater causes of ill health through excessive use than any alco holic drink. But in the hardy pioneer days, when wading through the snow in the forest, or sailing the sea in an open boat in all kinds of weather were not considered hardships, they all drank liquor and refused to drink water. Perhaps they would have builded better had they all been tee totalers, and perhaps not. They did build well, even though they not in frequently were drunk and did not consider even drunkenness a sin, but laughed at it, and contested as to which could sit longest at table and not get under it. The governor of one of the colonies gave a banquet to an official delegation from another colony, and his first act of hospitality was to lock the door, put the key in his pocket and announce that no man would be allowed to leave the room sober. So what the governor of Xorth Carolina said to the governor of South Carolina is not of recent origin, however much it has been re peated in later days. The Dutch of Xew York had their beer and they were as jealous of it as of their long pipes and tobacco. Both were con sidered evidences of manhood and badges of free citizenship. Rum the Mainstay. "But there was nothing in the Xorthrrn and Middle British colonies wanted so much as rum," says Dr. Egglcston. "With rum they supplied their fishing vessels and whale ships; with rum they traded to Newfound land, and bought negroes on the Gui nea coast; with rum they trafficked for corn and illicit tobacco in the Vir ginia rivers, and for peltries and corn in the North Carolina inlets; wiui rum they cajoled the Indian out of his wampum and beaver skins, and with rum they cheered the homely festivities and solemnities of pioneer life weddings, house-raisings, husk ings, funerals, and the ordinations of new ministers. "No odium appears to have attach ed to the contraband trade. No church discountenanced it, and no man lost standing by the practice. Courageous or ingenious smuggling was probably accounted more honor able than tame submission to in equitable laws; it was even defended in Parliament by Edmund Burke." Since New England rum was one of the chief articles of export and trade, many New England fortunes were founded on that trade. It is said that Harvard College had its firs tendow ments from those who made and sold Xcw England rum. Girard College also had its beginning in the trade of Stephen Girard, who trafficked in the great American staples of whis key and rum, and one of the condi tions left by Stephen Girard was that no preacher should enter Girard College. William Penn, George Washington, Roger Williams, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others ot the early days were not averse to the manufacture and sale of whiskey, wine, rum. and beer, and were identified with the manufacture and sale of these products to which many people now object as the source of all evil. The only prohibition against an in stitution or industry written into the Constitution of the United States was that Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Those old builders of a na tion who did not hesitate to make whiskey a part of the ration for the Continental army, and pledge their fortunes made in rum and whiskey to the upbuilding of a nation, would not have an established religion as part of the foundation. They were pecu liarly stubborn and independent in their patriotism in those early days. Roger Williams' Brewery. Roger Williams, driven out of Massachusetts on account of his re ligion, set up a brewery in Rhode Island and made beer when he was not engaged in preaching the gospel. But today, he is a reckless man who would assail Roger Williams as an agent of the devil, as he was then accused in Massachusetts, not on ac count of his beer, but of his hetero dox religion. ' Abraham Lincoln, in his one great temperance address, said: "From the sideboard of the parson down to the ragged pocket of the homeless loafer, it (whiskey) was constantly found. Physicians prescribed it for this, that and the other diseases; gov ernments provided it for soldiers and sailors; and to have a rolling or rais ing, a husking or hoe-down, anything in short, without it, was postively in sufferable. So, too, it was every where a respectable article of manu facture and merchandise. The mak ing of it was regarded as an honor able livelihood and he who could make most-was the most enterprising and respectable. Large and small manufacturies of it were everyhere erected, in which all the earthly goods of their owners were invested. Wagons drew it from town to town; boats bore it from clime to clime, and the winds wafted it from nation to nation; and the merchants bought and sold it. by wholesale and retail, with practically the same feelings on the part of seller, buyer, and by stander as one felt at the selling and buying of plows, beef, bacon or any other of the real necessities of life. Universal public opinion not only tol erated, but recognized and adopted its use." Just Like a Bank note. Whiskey was associated with lib erty in the administration of Wash ington, and a large part of the country rebelled against the excise tax on whiskey then, just as the colonists became insurgent against the tea tax a few years earlier. Mc Masters says that as a bank note was to the man in Philadelphia, so was a gallon of whiskey to the man in Pittsburgh. Whiskey meant ready money and it was the most compact form in which the corn and rye of Western Penn sylvania could be marketed and sent over the Allegheny Mountains. So when the First Congress of the United States followed the recommendations of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury and placed an ex cise tax on whiskey, averaging 10 cents a gallon, the farmers of West ern Pennsylvania rose in revolt. "Tom Tinker" became ubiquitous and a synonym of liberty and independ ence. Every man who posted a no tice of protest in the woods or clear ings or along the roads signed him self "Tom Tinker," and in that name declared for whiskey and liberty against excise and English laws made by Americans as well as by English men. The people of. Virginia, Xorth Carolina and South Carolina sym pathized with the farmers of Western Pennsylvania in their opposition to the excise tax, because they all made whiskey, considered rye whiskey a purely American product, and a part of the new republic. It was the great American beverage, typical of the in dependence that had dumped the tea into Boston Harbor. President Washington and Congress had a whiskey rebellion on their hands within four years after the beginning of the new government, and it was so threatening that the President not only raised an army, but accompanied it as commander-in-chief as far as Bedford, Pa. The whiskey rebellion was put down without bloodshed, but by a compromise, for Congress hur riedly enacted a law to try the cases in the State courts, in case the al leged violations were fifty miles dis tant from a Federal court, and later the objectionable tax was repealed. Effect of the Whiskey Rebellion. That rebellion, ' however, associated whiskey with the spirit which made the republic and carried its conquest into the West. It was the chief com mercial product and part of the food of the Western pioneer, and W re sented the Federal tax on whiskey as he would have resented a tax on the rye or corn from which it was made. It was his marketable form of those products of the soil and he was ready to defend it with his life. The still was the most familiar object of the frontier farm, 'ind .the whiskey produced was the currency of the times. The man who paid the tax was looked upon as weakling, and he who tried to collect it a government hireling, attempting to take from the free man his birthright of freadom. The whiskey rebellion went into the history of the country, not as a riot. but as a protest against unjust taxa tion. Whiskey remained fret from the Federal excise for half a centurv. It was nuy.le, marketed and used all 01 er the country and the Federal gnvirn ment did not impose another tax until il was jd the throes of another rebel lion, and its very life at stake. The civil war quickly drained the Treas ury, consumed all that could he raised by customs taxation and all that could be borrowed, and Secretary Chase turned to whiskey and tobac co, just as to tea, coffee and every other thing in sight. The whiskey tax produced more revenue than any othcr tax, and it was increased from 20 cents a gallon, to 50 cents, to $1, to $1.50, and to $2, and at the higher rates produced frauds and scandal, a reduction to 70 cents in 187b. reducing the frauds and restoring the revenue. It was such a good revenue producer that the tax was retained after other internal revenue taxes of the civil wir were repealed. For twenty years the tax has been held at $1.10 per proof gallon, the rate which experience has shown to be the greatest revenue pro ducer. Above that rate illicit pro duction cuts the taxes collected, and below that rate, while greater quan tities might be made and tax paid, the total revenue by experience is not so large. The present Federal tax tends to confirm James A. (arfileds state ment that the government tax on liquors is at once the most equitable and salutary of all methods of na tional taxation. It now produces nearly one-third the ordinary reve nues of the government, and has made whiskey as intimately asso ciated with the upkeep of the govern ment as it was with the early das of the nation's independence. What the Tax Has Yielded. The tax on whiskey has in the last fifty years put more than $5,000,000. 000 money into the Treasury of the United States, or enough to pay the cost of the civil war, and it is annual ly contributing enough to pay the pensions of the defenders of the Union, and to support the army and navy. The withdrawal oi this na tional revenue now would entail a revolution in national finance which would extend to every nook and cranny of the fiscal system. The question of what i- whiskey and what are the results oi drinking it has been discussed for many years, and on it there arc libraries oi litera ture, much of it pure fiction, but labeled scientific and statistical in formation. "Bobby" Burns created the character of "John Barleycorn," and John has been serving as a hor rible example and an agent of the devil ever since, but the horrible ex ample has not discouraged the use of whiskey. It has, however, discour aged drunkenness, and encouraged a more temperate use of all beverages, whether alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Men have ceascKto drink whiskey straight and have no prejudice against plenty of water in their-highballs. The result is that the man who takes a highball and the man who takes a glass of beer or wine consume about the same amount of alcohol. The propaganda against liquor has not apparently discouraged its gen eral use, and more whiskey is now Made and consumed than ever before in the history of the world. The in creased manufacture and consumption in this country has hern equal to that of Europe, and according to the records of consumption "John Bar leycorn" would appear to he as much of a myth as "Tan o' Shanter," an other of Burns' creations. Certainly jirohibition in the Southern States has had little effect on the use of al coholic liquors, and il is charged by the prohibitionists that the reason for this is that their own prohibition bills, in order to be passed at all, must have provision for personal use shipments of liquor. Therefore, while the saloon may cease as a li censed institution, the distribution and use of liquor continue. A Sociologist's View. Speaking of prohibitionists and their assault on alcoholic liquors, es pecially the "liquor traffic," a sociolo gist recently said: "Weak human nature has always favored the idea of casting out devils on the plea that some outside agency is responsible for the devilment in the man. The Puritans of old held the witches responsible for introducing the evil spirits which made men go wrong, and the Puritans of today hold whiskey responsible. It is one of the oldest and most abused superstitions employed by men to excuse them selves for breaking the law, and it has always had a greater or less ef fect on stern sentimentalists who want to reform the world with a club or with fire. "Physiology, psychology, sociology and criminology have demonstrated that alcohol is no more responsible for the weaknesses, physical and mental, and the criminal tendencies of men than were the witches at Salem for the evil spirits which took pos session of the weak, hysterical and lawsbreaking men of that day. The highest authorities in physiology, the world over, have found that alcohol is a food. The prohibitionists, with the pervcrscness of the Puritans, declared that alcohol is a poison. "The psychologists have studied the problem and find that alcohol is no more responsible for insanity than is total abstinence, but the prohibi tionists continne to assert that alco hol is filling the insane asylums. "The highest authorities in crimin ology, after years of studying the rec ords of criminal courts, penitentiaries and jails, deny that alcohol is respon sible for murder, burglary, highway robbery and assault, but find the causes of crime far more deeply laid. The prohibitionists, however, assert that alcohol is the father and mother of all crime just as the Puritans of Salem slaid all the evils of the place on the witches they burned. "The sociologists have found that alcohol is no more responsible for poverty than pink ribbons and the moviesbnf the prohibitionists con tinue to believe that the prohibition of alcohol would make Carnegies, Rockefellers and Morgans the rule rather than the exception. "The world-wide fictions 01 the pro hibitionists are pleasant to the ear of thc man who falls out of the proces sion and to his friends who seek to find some other cause than his own inherent weakness or folly; and ex periments have been made with prohi bition for sixty years with the result of adding deceit, false witness, sus picion and general disrespect for the puritanical law. Wherever prohibi lion has been by the mandate of the law over a community that did not believe in it, there has been failure and defeat of the law by deception or by open revolt." The views quoted find some war rant in American statistics. Maine has had prohibition written in the State constitution for half a centurv and there is a greater per centage of arrests for intoxication in Maine than in Xew York or Pennsyl vania, and bootleggers in Maine claim 10 be among the most influential molders of public opinion. Kansas has prohibition and ryansas has a greater percentage of insane than has Ohio or Xcbraska. Kansas also has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, with a very high percentage 01 divorces granted for drunkenness and cruelty to wives. Xorth Carolina has prohibition and Xorth Carolina has a higher percentage of illiteracy than has Kentucky, the home of the still. Oklahoma has prohibition and ( iklahoma has a smaller percentage of churchgoers than another State in the Union. All the prohibition States complain of poverty more than do the States which have no such laws to re strict the freedom of habit of the peo ple. A Committee of Inquiry. So much hypothetical, sentimental and unreliable discussion of alcohol, both pro and eon. had been put before the people of this country that in 180.1 the committee of fifty, composed of distinguished men. was organized to studv the subject from every pos sible scientific and sociological oint of view, and some years later it pub lished the results. Among the mem bers of that committee of fiftv were: President Charles W. Eliot, LL. D Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass ; Hon. Carrol I). Wright, A. M., LL. 1)., Clark College, Worcester, Mass.; Prof. Felix Adler. New York, X. V.; Bishor F'dward G. Andrews, D. D., Methodist Building, Xew York, X. V; Prof. W. O. Atwatcr, Wes Icyan University, Middlctown, Cor.n.; Dr. J. S Billings, Astor Library, Xew York, X. V.; Charles T. Bonaparte, Baltimore, Md.; Prof. H. P. Bow ditch. Harvard Medical School. Bos ton, Mass.; Rev. Prof. Charles A. Briggs. D. n Xew York. X. V ; Prof. R. H. Chittenden. Sheffield Sci entific School, Xew- Haven, Conn.; Rt. Kev. Thomas Conaty, D. D., Los Angeles, Cal.; William E. Dodge, Xew Vork. . V.; Rev. Father A. P. Doyle, Paulist Fathers, Xew York, X. V.; Rev. Father Walter FZUiot, Paulist Fathers, Xcw York. X. Y.; Prof. Richard. T Ely, University of Wis consin, Madison, Wis.; Daniel C. Gillman, Baltimore. Md.; Rev. Wash ington Gladden. D. D.. Columbus. Ohio; Richard W. Gilder, esq. Xew York, X. Y. ; President James MeAli ter. Drexel Institute. Philadelphia, Pa.; Kt. Rev. Alexander Mackav Siiuth. D. 1), Philadelphia, Pa.; Prof. J. J. McCook. Trinity College, Hart tord. Conn.; Rev. T. T. Mungcr, D. O., Xew Haven, Conn.; Robert C. Ogden, esq., Xcw York, X. Y'.; Rev. Prof. Francis G. Peabodv. D. D., Cambridge. Mass.; Rt. Rev. H. C. Potter, D. D., Xew York. X. Y.: Rev. W. I. Rainsford, Xew York, X. V.; Jacob H. SchifT. Xew York, X. V. As will be noted from these names, the committee represented various re ligious denominations, and contained physicians, scientists, lawyers, teach ers and students of history. The committee had no theory to work out or 0cjudicc to prove or to disprove. Their purpose was not to try alcohol on the numerous indictments of the professional temperance reformers, or to defend alcohol. Report in Ten Volumes. The committee recognized 'hat. with all the agitation of the years few facts and little scientific knowledge had been contributed to the temper ance subject, and they felt that the subject should be treated with the same kind of investigation given to any other great matter of fact. They gave ten years to the investigation and sought the aid of the most promi nent physicians, physiologists, chem ists, penologists and sociologists in the world. Their report, published in 1905, filled ten large volumes and it covered every phase of the drink question, from the chemical analysis of alcoholic drinks to the responsi bility for crime, disease and poverty. It is the one complete consideration of this question from reliable data on record,, and the report is a cyclo lcdia of information. The following extract from this report considers the effect of alcoholic drinks: "The question as to the amount of alcoholic drinks which can be used freely by the average adult without producing bad results is a difficult one, because individuals differ greatly in their susceptibilities to injurious effects' from such drinks. It seems probable that there is such an average permissible quantity of alcohol, the minimum estimate of which is a glass of wine or a pint of beer in the twenty-four hours. The English standard, as formulated by Anstie, is the equiv alent of one and one-half ounces of absolute alcohol per day, or about three ouncs of whiskey, or half a bot tle of claret or Rhine wine, or four glasses of beer, it being understood that this is to be taken only at lunch and dinner, and "that the whiskey is to be well diluted. "At least one-third' of an ounce of alcohol, diluted to 10 per cent, must be taken before any departure from the normal course can be detected in the average adult, and while the ef fects vary with the dose, it has yet to be shown that harm is done when the dose is less than that required to pro duce an effect in psychology and physiological tests of divergence from the normal. "If all substances known to be in jurious in large doses are to be en tirely given up on the assumption that small doses are also injurious, then all condiments and spices must he removed from our tables. Even sugar in concentrated solution is a powerful cell poison. Certain poisons are normally present in our tissues in such quantities that they subserve no harmful, but rather a beneficial pur pose. Such are the active principles of the thyroid gland and of the su prarenal capsules, both ot which are far more powerful poisons than alco hol: that is, their lethal dose is sev eral hundred times smaller. "There are good grounds for be lieving that alcohol itself is always being produced in small quantities in the course of bacterial fermentation in the intestinal canal; that it is, in fact, normally present in the healthy organism." Some Other Drinks. In a table given in the report, showing the proportion of alcohol present in certain drinks, there are included a few of the so-called patent medicines which have a large sale in the New England States. Of these the committee of fifty said: "It will be seen that some of these drinks, under the names of bitters, celery compound, sarsaparilla, etc., contain a greater percentage of alcohol than ordinary w ines and beers and are con sumed in quantities so large that they must be classified as. beverages rather than as medicines, under which name they are commonly sold. The sale of these beverages is greater in those States having prohibitory liquor laws than in those not having them, and their popularity is due almost entirely to the stimulating effects of the alco hol which they contain. They are not used for social purposes. "It is difficult to give a satisfactory definition of a poison, for there is no substance which is always and every where a poison. The term is relative; conditions and circumsances of vari ous kinds must always enter into its conception. Xo one would maintain that a cup of delicately flavored tea is in any sense injurious oc poisonous to the average healthy adult, and yet caffeine, the active principle of this cup of tea, is a poison as surely as al cohol. The term poison belongs with equal propriety to a number of other food accessories, as coffee, pepper, ginger, and even common salt. The too sweeping and unrestricted use of this term in reference to alcoholic beverages immediately meets with the reply that if alcohol be a poison, it must be a very slow poison, since many have used it up to old age wit!' apparently no prejudicial effects on health." Food a Poison. The committee of fifty invited the opinions and results of experiments from the best known physiologists of the world and they did not find any respectable authority who declared alcohol to he a poison. They found it classed as a food, a predigested tood. an aid to the digestion of other food, and a food product of hieh value. The committee also found the statements attributing to alcohol 75 per cent of the pauperism, crime and insanity to be untrue, after consult ing with the authorities in charge ot almshouses, jails, penitentiaries and asylums and studying the records oi those institutions, as well as securing the opinions of eminent sociologists, alienists and criminologists. The committee studied the conditions of saloons in all parts of the country, patronized by all classes of people, and found the common report and impression of saloons as erroneous as the exaggerated statements as to the responsibility of alcohol for disease, crime and poverty. On this subject the committee's re port says: "The fact that the saloon is more than a mere drinking place, and that it supplies many legitimate wants be sides the craving for intoxication, should be frankly recognized, and ought to be of help to those who are engaged in practical efforts to coun teract the evils of intemperance This part of our investigation has been carried on mainly thcough the agency of social and university set tlements, and these institutions are already taking advantage of the knowledge gained in their daily ex perience with the poor to offer at least some of those counteracting at tractions and positive forces without which the driving out of the spirit of drink will he of no avail." The committee expressed its disap proval of the alleged tempe-ance text books introduced into many pnblic schools, saying: "With regard to these educational methods, it is important to observe 1 hat they receive little or no support from the members of the medical profession, who, by their training, are especially qualified to judge of the ac curacy and value of the statements as to the physiological action of alcohol which form the important features of the text-books in question." Whiskey has thus had not onlv its intimate part in the life and history of the American people, but it has been the subject of a vast deal of dis cussion, lawmaking, and scientific in vestigation. The committee of fifty estimated that 80 per cent of the adult population were users of liquor to some extent. Whatever a man's views on whiskey, whether he be tee totaler or prohibitionist, the drinker of an occasional highball, or the physician who prescribes whiskey as a medicine, he will find the history of the great American drink an inter esting sidelight on the development of the American people. m Xy. 1 ::--. m m m :: I W ;:: ;.;.-:: :::S: '0 yl'-y. :::fi: W: m f m m ; ::: '"" , - Vv' -Vw'W -' ''' ,, . j ., ., '': --SKKKKKKKm