Southern Prohibition: Race, Reform, and Public Life in Middle Florida, 1821-1920

Southern Prohibition: Race, Reform, and Public Life in Middle Florida, 1821-1920

Southern Prohibition: Race, Reform, and Public Life in Middle Florida, 1821-1920

Southern Prohibition: Race, Reform, and Public Life in Middle Florida, 1821-1920

Excerpt

Evaluating his ministry in the late 1830s, Methodist itinerant Peter Haskew feared that his labors in territorial Florida were futile. Few souls attended his services, and some people verbally accosted him in the streets. He felt besieged by sodden tipplers when he boarded at taverns. Other itinerants had similar experiences. In 1833, efforts to establish a Tallahassee temperance society were met with mockery when tavern-goers created a rival, anti-temperance organization. The Key West tavern crowd subjected Alexander Graham, an unfortunate Methodist minister, to a terrifying charivari simply because of his lecturing on the dry cause. In the early 1840s, John Tappan, a temperance man en route to Mobile, found himself in a precarious toe-to-toe confrontation with an inebriate in Port Leon when he refused the man’s offer to buy him a drink.

The experiences of Florida’s first temperance reformers revealed the movement’s radical, marginal, and gendered beginnings. Criticizing public consumption of alcohol represented a condemnation of early American political culture. Elections and national holidays in the early republic were occasions for revelry that frequently revolved around the public house. Taverns served as forums for a variety of public gatherings . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.