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The national prohibitionist. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1907-1911, December 19, 1907, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86090451/1907-12-19/ed-1/seq-2/

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There are, however, certain fair tests which
can be applied, the results of which are instruc
One of these tests is to study all of the cities
of some state which furnishes us both license and
no-license cities. This study is not wholly con
clusive and is attended with difficulties, but at
least furnishes a strong sidelight. Massachusetts
is perhaps the best state in which to make such
a study. The state has thirty-three cities of
which, in the year 1903—the last for which com
plete statistics are available—fifteen were under
no-license and the remainder under license. It
* needs to be remembered that, the no-license cities
in nearly every case lie in close proximity to
license cities, and in several cases they are, to all
intents and purposes, merely sections of a great
city of which other sections are under license.
It needs to be remembered also that Massachu
setts cities vote every year upon the license ques
tion, and that in many of them the saloonkeepers
remain upon the ground, prepared to begin busi
ness again if the vote of the next year shall give
them the legal authority, and in the meantime
violate the law as far as they can. In the table
which is presented, for example, Lowell is shown
as a no-license city, but it had just voted out the
saloons and the saloon element did not believe
that the change would be permanent and were
merely abiding their time.
With these facts in mind Table I may be
studied. The table shows, first, the population
of each of the thirty-three cities, thus enabling
the reader to make ready comparison; second,
the number of saloons in each city, or the fact
that no saloon is licensed in the city; third, ar
rests for drunkenness; fourth, the total arrests
for what the police commonly call “drink crimes,”
that is to say, for drunkenness, disturbance of
the peace and assault and battery; fifth, the total
arrests of all kinds in the city. The figures are
for the year 1903 and collected by the United
States Census Bureau at Washington and re
ported in Bulletins 20 and 45.
At the outset the reader will note that, with
one exception, each no-license city shows less
arrests for drunkenness than the license city
which ranks next below it in population. The
exception to be noted is that of Lowell, which,
with a population of 100,150, has three more ar
rests for drunkenness than Lynn, the license city
falling next below it, with a population of only
Sonic of the contrasts are marked. For ex
ample, Malden shows only 215 arrests for dunk
enness with a population of a little less than 37,
000, while Taunton, with a population a trifle
below 33,000, shows 1,439 arrests, and Everett,
with a population of 28,000, has two less than 300
arrests for drunkenness, while Gloucester, with
a population of 26,562, lacks only 22 of having
900 arrests for the same offense. Quincy, with a
population of 26,000, has 471 arrests for drunk
enness, while Pittsfield, the license city whose
population falls next below, with a population of
23,707, has 933 such arrests.
The only case in which a no-license town has
as many arrests for drunkenness as the license
town which falls next above it, is the case of
Lowell, which, with a population substantially
14,000 less than that of Fall River, has 188 more
arrests for drunkenness. '
Another highly interesting comparison can be
made. This consists in going through the gen
eral list of cities having more than 25.000 ^popu
lation, for the whole country, and noting the
comparison of arrests for drunkenness between
the Massachusetts no-license cities and the cities
which fall above and below each of these in the
table and are license cities. In a few cases the
no-license cities are grouped, and in one case a
Massachusetts no-license city is followed by a
no-iicense city in another state. With that ex
ception the showing is as given below. Popula
tions are not given since the difference commonly
is only a few thousand, and frequently only a few
hundred. The showing follows:
Scranton, Pennsylvania .1,708
Lowell, Massachusetts .2,664
Portland, Oregon .2,999
Cambridge, Massachusetts .i,344
Atlanta, Georgia .2,734
Lincoln, Nebraska . 702
Brocton, Massachusetts . 788
Pawtucket, Rhode Island . 767
Elmira, New' York. 612
Malden, Massachusetts . 215
Bayonne, New Jersey . 151
York, Pennsylvania . 417
Newton, Massachusetts . 498
East St. Louis, Illinois. 988
Chester, Pennsylvania . 521
Chelsea, Massachusetts .1,218
Fitchburg, Massachusetts . 636
Knoxville, Tennessee . 980
Kalamazoo, Michigan . 613
Everett, Massachusetts . 298
Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 739
North Adams, Massachusetts . 597
Quincy, Massachusetts . 471
Hamilton, Ohio . 241
The general trend of this table is convincing.
In the year 1903 Massachusetts had three cities
which were under no-license and which the pre
ceding year had been under license. In one of
these, Chelsea, the number of arrests for drunk
enness increased; what local conditions may have
explained the situation—it is difficult to say. The
showing of the three, however, is as follows:
1902 1903
Chelsea . 942 1,218
Fitchburg . 8G6 636
Lowell .3,894 2,664
Total, under license, 1902.5,702
Total, under no-license, 1903.4,518
Massachusetts had also in 1903 two cities un
der license, which in the preceding year had
been under no-license—North Adams and Salem.
The statistics for North Adams are not availa
ble, but in the case of Salem the showing is as
1902 1903
Salem . 396 1,276
That man must be exceedingly blind, or ex
ceedingly unwilling to recognize fact who fails
to read in these figures, incomplete and unsatis
factory .though they are, that even that kind of
Prohibition which-is extremely local and ex
tremely optional produces good results.
People of the Bay State Roused by the
Movement Against the Liquor Traffic
Roll up Big Majorities Against
Boston, December 11.—(From a Special Cor
respondent.)—The spread of Prohibition senti
ment in Massachusetts is shown emphatic
ally by the results of the municipal elections
held yesterday and a week ago. The vote
on the license questions in these cities, added to
the vote in the towns last spring, shows that
the voters of the state have registered a majority
of 12,986 in the entire state this year in favor of
no-license. This is with the exception of the
city of North Adams, which does not hold its
election until next week, and it is the largest
majority in favor of Prohibition ever recorded
in Massachusetts since the local option law was
established. The total vote of the state, with the
exception of North Adams, is: “Yes,” 186,947;
“No,” 199,933. Last year the “No” majority
was about 1,800.
Not only has there been a general increase in
favor of Prohibition, however, but most unex
pected and astounding results have been achieved.
Worcester, the second city in the common
wealth, with a population, according to the state
census, of 1905, of 128,135, yesterday voted
against the saloon by a majority of 962 out of
total vote exceeding 20,000. The majority for
license in Worcester last year was 2,057. This
is the first time in 16 years that Worcester has
voted for no-license.
Lynn, the greatest shoe manufacturing city in
the world, with a population of 77,042, changed a
majority for license last year of 1,277 into a
majority against license this year of 1,678. Sa
loons have existed in Lynn continuously for
eleven years.
Woburn, which has been the only license city
in a great “dry” district of Middlesex county for
the past three years, and which gave a majority
for license last year of 92, swung over to the
no-license column this year by a majority of 76.
Last week Haverhill, another big shoe city,
which has voted for the saloons for ten years,
and last year by a majority of 814, gave a ma
jority of 797 for no-license.
To offset these victories, the license forces
have to console themselves with only two changes
from no-license to license, in Fitchburg last
week and in Chelsea yesterday. Both these
citi-'s make frequent shifts from one side to the
other, from year to year, Chelsea’s present period
without saloons having lasted only one year and
that in Fitchburg two years.
Thus four cities, with a total population of 257,
409, have voted out the saloons that now exist
in them, and two cities, with a total population
of 70,310, have voted to restore the saloons which
have been barred from them for a short time.
It should also be observed that Taunton, the
great stove city, which last year gave a majority
of 953 for license, this year had that majority
cut down to eight, according to the first returns,
and to barely one, according to the recount
which was immediately demanded by the no
license advocates.
In Boston, the result was significant. Last
year’s majority for license of 24,582 was reduced
to 16,376, the smallest since 1900, making a net
gain for no-license of over 8,000 votes. The total
vote on thfe license question was nearly 10,000
more than last year in Boston. Moreover, three
Boston wards, the Twentieth, Twenty-third and
Twenty-fourth, gave a majority against license,
and the Sixteenth ward voted for license by a
majority of only 71.
Both in Boston and in other cities, the great
increase in Prohibition sentiment was brought
about by a combination of many things. There
can be no doubt that the great wave of Prohibi
tion in the South had a strong influence on the
One of the interesting phenomena shown by
the elections is the fact that, corresponding with
the remarkable spread of Prohibition in the
southern part of the country, there is a rapidly
growing opposition to the saloon in the southern
part of Massachusetts. This is shown by the
vote in Taunton, New Bedford and Fall River,
the only cities in that section of the state. The
situation in Taunton has been noted above. In
New Bedford the majority for license this year
was only 181, as compared with 1,545 last year,
and in Fall River it was reduced from 3,946 last
year to 1,487 this year. Fall River and New
Bedford are the center of the great textile man
ufacturing industry of New England, and it is
significant that a very large proportion of the
voters are of foreign birth, chiefly French Cana
Fourteen cities and 72 towns in the state voted
for license this year, and 18 cities and 249 towns
against license. North Adams, which votes next
week, probably will remain in the license column.
The 32 cities which have held elections gave the
following vote: “Yes,” 135,720; “No,” 130,858.

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