Denver Post, Denver Colorado
Feb. 8, 1927, pg. 13

Emancipator Was Barefooted, Raw Boned, Homely, But of Magnetic Personality, John W. Anderson, Aged 83, Declares, Recalling Pioneer Days.

A sign of those “good” old days at Springfield, Ill., when men about town would toast their feet on the old stove at Lincoln’s grocery, swapping bets on “Ab’s” campaign was given Tuesday by an aged man in Denver.

Let the world cherish the memory of Abraham Lincoln, the potential politician and martyred president, but for John W. Anderson there is a memory which takes him back to “well nigh sixty-seven years ago,” infinitely more precious. It is of Abraham Lincoln, the grocer and owner of “Lincoln’s store.”


“I can see him yet, barefoot, raw boned, homely but of magnetic personality, joking in his droll manner as he wrapped up groceries. He always had a comeback for every joke. His store was the most popular meeting place in town.” Anderson recalled.

“The first time I saw Lincoln was when I was sent from Carlinville, a small town outside of Springfield, to Lincoln’s grocery for our food supply. We became good friends after that. I hauled the log for him which he split with an ax into rails as a signal for the opening of his presidential campaign.”

“I was present at the opening of his second campaign, too, when ‘Steve Douglas tried to pull one on Lincoln by pointing out that he sold whisky at his grocery. I heard him make his famous reply: ‘I acknowledge that I sold the whisky, but the judge over there is one of my best customers.’ Everybody broke out laughing at that.”


Abraham Lincoln’s greatest wish in life, Anderson claimed, was for a daughter.

“He was very fond of children and was very kind to them. He frequently would pat a little girl on the head and express the wish that he had a daughter.”

Lincoln was good at everything, as a grocer, a lawyer, a citizen, and as president. In his whole life Anderson believes that Lincoln made only one mistake and that he would have corrected that if he had lived.

“When Lincoln set the Negroes free, he did not foresee the injustice that might be worked upon them, nor of the difficulties that would follow. If he had lived I believe he would have furthered his policy by segregating the Negroes in a certain section of the country.” He declared.


“What was so appealing in those ‘old days’ for which you sigh?” Anderson was asked.

“It was the simple life, the virility of men, perhaps,” was his reply. “In those days when I was a boy and Lincoln a man, perhaps 44 years old, life was more of a struggle. Most of us had only one pair of shoes a year, and a man going barefoot, as Lincoln did, was no uncommon thing. Friendships seemed to amount to more in those days, somehow.”

Life has lengthened to eighty-three years for John W. Anderson. Fifty years he lived and pioneered in Iowa, and now he has settled down in a cottage at 3727 West Virginia avenue.


Sangamo Journal
Springfield, Illinois
March 25, 1842, Pg. 1


Delivered before the Springfield (Illinois) Washington Temperance Society, on the 22d February, 1842-BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, ESQ.
And published by direction of the Society.


Although the Temperance cause has been in progress for near twenty years, it is apparent to all, that it is,  just now, being crowned with a degree of success, hitherto unparalleled.

The list of its friends is daily swelled by the additions of fifties, of hundreds, and of thousands. The cause itself seems suddenly transformed from a cold abstract theory, to a living, breathing, active, and powerful chieftain, going forth “conquering and to conquer.” The citadels of his great adversary are daily being stormed and dismantled; his temples and his altars, where the rites of his idolatrous worship have long been performed, and where human sacrifices have long been wont to be made, are daily desecrated and deserted. The trump of the conqueror’s fame is sounding from hill to hill, from sea to sea, and from land to land, and calling millions to his standard at a blast.

For this new and splendid success, we heartily rejoice. That that success is so much greater now than heretofore, is doubtless owing to rational causes; and if we would have it to continue, we shall do well to enquire what those causes are. The warfare heretofore waged against the demon of Intemperance, has, some how or other, been erroneous. Either the champions engaged, or the tactics they adopted, have not been the most proper. These champions for the most part, have been Preachers, Lawyers, and hired agents. Between these and the mass of mankind, there is a want of approachability, if the term be admissible, partially at least, fatal to their success. They are supposed to have no sympathy of feeling or interest, with those very persons whom it is their object to convince and persuade.

And again, it is so easy and so common to ascribe motives to men of these classes, other than those they profess to act upon. The preacher, it is said, advocates temperance because he is a fanatic, and desires a union of Church and State; the lawyer, from his pride and vanity of hearing himself speak; and the hired agent, for his salary. But when one, who has long been known as a victim of intemperance, bursts the fetters that have bound him, and appears before his neighbors “clothed, and in his right mind,” a redeemed specimen of long lost humanity, and stands up with tears of joy trembling in eyes, to tell of the miseries once endured, now to be endured no more forever; of his once naked and starving children, now clad and fed comfortably; of a wife long weighed down with woe, weeping, and a broken heart, now restored to health, happiness, and renewed affection; and how easily it all is done, once it is resolved to be done; however simple his language, there is a logic, and an eloquence in it, that few, with human feelings, can resist. They cannot say that he desires a union of church and state, for he is not a church member; they can not say he is vain of hearing himself speak, for his whole demeanor shows, he would gladly avoid speaking at all; they cannot say he speaks for pay for he receives none, and asks for none. Nor can his sincerity in any way be doubted; or his sympathy for those he would persuade to imitate his example, be denied.

In my judgment, it is to the battles of this new class of champions that our late success is greatly, perhaps chiefly, owing. But, had the old school champions themselves, been of the most wise selecting, was their system of tactics, the most judicious? It seems to me, it was not. Too much denunciation against dram sellers and dram-drinkers was indulged in. This, I think, was both impolitic and unjust. It was impolitic, because, it is not much in the nature of man to be driven to any thing; still less to be driven about that which is exclusively his own business; and least of all, where such driving is to be submitted to, at the expense of pecuniary interest, or burning appetite. When the dram-seller and drinker, were incessantly told, not in the accents of entreaty and persuasion, diffidently addressed by erring man to an erring brother; but in the thundering tones of anathema and denunciation, with which the lordly Judge often groups together all the crimes of the felon’s life, and thrusts them in his face just ere he passes sentence of death upon him, that they were the authors of all the vice and misery and crime in the land; that they were the manufacturers and material of all the thieves and robbers and murderers that infested the earth; that their houses were the workshops of the devil; and that their persons should be shunned by all the good and virtuous, as moral pestilences—I say, when they were told all this, and in this way, it is not wonderful that they were slow, very slow, to acknowledge the truth of such denunciations, and to join the ranks of their denouncers, in a hue and cry against themselves.

To have expected them to do otherwise than as they did—to have expected them not to meet denunciation with denunciation, crimination with crimination, and anathema with anathema, was to expect a reversal of human nature, which is God’s decree, and never can be reversed. When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great high road to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause really be a just one. On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and tho’ your cause be naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel, and sharper than steel can be made, and tho’ you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision, you shall no more be able to pierce him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.

Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him, even to his own best interest.

On this point, the Washingtonians greatly excel the temperance advocates of former times. Those whom they desire to convince and persuade, are their old friends and companions. They know they are not demons, nor even the worst of men. They know that generally, they are kind, generous and charitable, even beyond the example of their more staid and sober neighbors. They are practical philanthropists; and they glow with a generous and brotherly zeal, that mere theorizers are incapable of feeling. Benevolence and charity possess their hearts entirely; and out of the abundance of their hearts, their tongues give utterance. “Love through all their actions runs, and all their words are mild.” In this spirit they speak and act, and in the same, they are heard and regarded. And when such is the temper of the advocate, and such of the audience, no good cause can be unsuccessful.

But I have said that denunciations against dram-sellers and dram-drinkers, are unjust as well as impolitic. Let us see.

I have not enquired at what period of time the use of intoxicating drinks commenced; nor is it important to know. It is sufficient that to all of us who now inhabit the world, the practice of drinking them, is just as old as the world itself,—that is, we have seen the one, just as long as we have seen the other. When all such of us, as have now reached the years of maturity, first opened our eyes upon the stage of existence, we found intoxicating liquor, recognized by every body, used by every body, and repudiated by nobody. It commonly entered into the first draught of the infant, and the last draught of the dying man. From the sideboard of the parson, down to the ragged pocket of the houseless loafer, it was constantly found. Physicians prescribed it in this, that, and the other disease. Government provided it for its soldiers and sailors; and to have a rolling or raising, a husking or hoe-down, any where without it, was positively insufferable.

So too, it was every where a respectable article of manufacture and of merchandize. The making of it was regarded as an honorable livelihood; and he who could make most, was the most enterprising and respectable. Large and small manufactories of it were every where erected, in which all the earthly goods of their owners were invested. Wagons drew it from town to town—boats bore it from dime to dime, and the winds wafted it from nation to nation; and merchants bought and sold it, by wholesale and by retail, with precisely the same feelings, on the part of seller, buyer, and bystander, as are felt at the selling and buying of flour, beef, bacon, or any other of the real necessaries of life. Universal public opinion not only tolerated, but recognized and adopted its use.

It is true, that even then, it was known and acknowledged, that many were greatly injured by it; but none seemed to think the injury arose from the use of a bad thing, but from the abuse of a very good thing. The victims to it were pitied, and compassionated, just as now are, the heirs of consumptions, and other hereditary diseases. Their failing was treated as a misfortune, and not as a crime, or even as a disgrace.

If, then, what I have been saying be true, is it wonderful, that some should think and act now, as all thought and acted twenty years ago? And is it just to assail, contemn, or despise them, for doing so? The universal sense of mankind, on any subject, is an argument, or at least an influence not easily overcome. The success of the argument in favor of the existence of an overruling Providence, mainly depends upon that sense; and men ought not, in justice, to be denounced for yielding to it, in any case, or for giving it up slowly, especially, where they are backed by interest, fixed habits, or burning appetites.

Another error, as it seems to me, into which the old reformers fell, was, the position that all habitual drunkards were utterly incorrigible, and therefore, must be turned adrift, and damned without remedy, in order that the grace of temperance might abound to the temperate then, and to all mankind some hundred years thereafter. There is in this something so repugnant to humanity, so uncharitable, so cold-blooded and feelingless, that it never did, nor ever can enlist the enthusiasm of a popular cause. We could not love the man who taught it—we could not hear him with patience. The heart could not throw open its portals to it. The generous man could not adopt it. It could not mix with his blood. It looked so fiendishly selfish, so like throwing fathers and brothers overboard, to lighten the boat for our security—that the noble minded shrank from the manifest meanness of the thing.

And besides this, the benefits of a reformation to be effected by such a system, were too remote in point of time, to warmly engage many in its behalf. Few can be induced to labor exclusively for posterity; and none will do it enthusiastically. Posterity has done nothing for us; and theorise on it as we may, practically we shall do very little for it, unless we are made to think, we are, at the same time, doing something for ourselves. What an ignorance of human nature does it exhibit, to ask or expect a whole community to rise up and labor for the temporal happiness of others after themselves shall be consigned to the dust, a majority of which community take no pains whatever to secure their own eternal welfare, at a no greater distant day? Great distance, in either time or space, has wonderful power to lull and render quiescent the human mind. Pleasures to be enjoyed, or pains to be endured, after we shall be dead and gone, are but little regarded, even in our own cases, and much less in the cases of others.

Still, in addition to this, there is something so ludicrous in promises of good, or threats of evil, a great way off, as to render the whole subject with which they are connected, easily turned into ridicule. “Better lay down that spade you’re stealing, Paddy,—if you don’t you’ll pay for it at the day of judgment.” “By the powers, if ye’ll credit me so long, I’11 take another, jist.”

By the Washingtonians, this system of consigning the habitual drunkard to hopeless ruin, is repudiated. They adopt a more enlarged philanthropy. They go for present as well as future good. They labor for all now living, as well as all hereafter to live. They teach hope to all—despair to none. As applying to their cause, they deny the doctrine of unpardonable sin. As in Christianity it is taught, so in this they teach, that

“While the lamp holds out to burn, The vilest sinner may return.”

And, what is matter of the most profound gratulation, they, by experiment upon experiment, and example upon example, prove the maxim to be no less true in the one case than in the other. On every hand we behold those, who but yesterday, were the chief of sinners, now the chief apostles of the cause. Drunken devils are cast out by ones, by sevens, and by legions; and their unfortunate victims, like the poor possessed, who was redeemed from his long and lonely wanderings in the tombs, are publishing to the ends of the earth, how great things have been done for them.

To these new champions, and this new system of tactics, our late success is mainly owing; and to them we must chiefly look for the final consummation. The ball is now rolling gloriously on, and none are so able as they to increase its speed, and its bulk—to add to its momentum, and its magnitude. Even though unlearned in letters, for this task, none others are so well educated. To fit them for this work, they have been taught in the true school. They have been in that gulf, from which they would teach others the means of escape. They have passed that prison wall, which others have long declared impassable; and who that has not, shall dare to weigh opinions with them, as to the mode of passing.

But if it be true, as I have insisted, that those who have suffered by intemperance personally, and have reformed, are the most powerful and efficient instruments to push the reformation to ultimate success, it does not follow, that those who have not suffered, have no part left them to perform. Whether or not the world would be vastly benefitted by a total and final banishment from it of all intoxicating drinks, seems to me not now to be an open question. Three-fourths of mankind confess the affirmative with their tongues, and, I believe, all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts.

Ought any, then, to refuse their aid in doing what the good of the whole demands? Shall he, who cannot do much, be, for that reason, excused if he do nothing? “But,” says one, “what good can I do by signing the pledge? I never drink even without signing.” This question has already been asked and answered more than millions of times. Let it be answered once more. For the man to suddenly, or in any other way, to break off from the use of drams, who has indulged in them for a long course of years, and until his appetite for them has become ten or a hundred fold stronger, and more craving, than any natural appetite can be, requires a most powerful moral effort. In such an undertaking, he needs every moral support and influence, that can possibly be brought to his aid, and thrown around him. And not only so; but every moral prop, should be taken from whatever argument might rise in his mind to lure him to his backsliding. When he casts his eyes around him, he should be able to see, all that he respects, all that he admires, and all that [he?] loves, kindly and anxiously pointing him onward; and none beckoning him back, to his former miserable “wallowing in the mire.”

But it is said by some, that men will think and act for themselves; that none will disuse spirits or any thing else, merely because his neighbors do; and that moral influence is not that powerful engine contended for. Let us examine this. Let me ask the man who would maintain this position most stiffly, what compensation he will accept to go to church some Sunday and sit during the sermon with his wife’s bonnet upon his head? Not a trifle, I’ll venture. And why not? There would be nothing irreligious in it: nothing immoral, nothing uncomfortable. Then why not? Is it not because there would be something egregiously unfashionable in it? Then it is the influence of fashion; and what is the influence of fashion, but the influence that other people’s actions have [on our own?] actions, the strong inclination each of us feels to do as we see all our neighbors do? Nor is the influence of fashion confined to any particular thing or class of things. It is just as strong on one subject as another. Let us make it as unfashionable to withhold our names from the temperance pledge as for husbands to wear their wives bonnets to church, and instances will be just as rare in the one case as the other.

“But,” say some, “we are no drunkards; and we shall not acknowledge ourselves such by joining a reformed drunkard’s society, whatever our influence might be.” Surely no Christian will adhere to this objection. If they believe, as they profess, that Omnipotence condescended to take on himself the form of sinful man, and, as such, to die an ignominious death for their sakes, surely they will not refuse submission to the infinitely lesser condescension, for the temporal, and perhaps eternal salvation, of a large, erring, and unfortunate class of their own fellow creatures. Nor is the condescension very great.

In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims, have been spared more from the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have. Indeed, I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant, and the warm-blooded, to fall into this vice. The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity. What one of us but can call to mind some dear relative, more promising in youth than all his fellows, who has fallen a sacrifice to his rapacity? He ever seems to have gone forth, like the Egyptian angel of death, commissioned to slay if not the first, the fairest born of every family. Shall he now be arrested in his desolating career? In that arrest, all can give aid that will; and who shall be excused that can, and will not? Far around as human breath has ever blown, he keeps our fathers, our brothers, our sons, and our friends, prostrate in the chains of moral death. To all the living every where, we cry, “come sound the moral resurrection trump, that these may rise and stand up, an exceeding great army” — “Come from the four winds, O breath! and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

If the relative grandeur of revolutions shall be estimated by the great amount of human misery they alleviate, and the small amount they inflict, then, indeed, will this be the grandest the world shall ever have seen. Of our political revolution of ’76, we all are justly proud. It has given us a degree of political freedom, far exceeding that of any other of the nations of the earth. In it the world has found a solution of that long mooted problem, as to the capability of man to govern himself. In it was the germ which has vegetated, and still is to grow and expand into the universal liberty of mankind.

But with all these glorious results, past, present, and to come, it had its evils too. It breathed forth famine, swam in blood and rode on fire; and long, long after, the orphan’s cry, and the widow’s wail, continued to break the sad silence that ensued. These were the price, the inevitable price, paid for the blessings it bought.

Turn now, to the temperance revolution. In it, we shall find a stronger bondage broken; a viler slavery, manumitted; a greater tyrant deposed. In it, more of want supplied, more disease healed, more sorrow assuaged. By it no orphans starving, no widows weeping. By it, none wounded in feeling, none injured in interest. Even the dram-maker, and dram seller, will have glided into other occupations so gradually, as never to have felt the shock of change; and will stand ready to join all others in the universal song of gladness.

And what a noble ally this, to the cause of political freedom. With such an aid, its march cannot fail to be on and on, till every son of earth shall drink in rich fruition, the sorrow quenching draughts of perfect liberty. Happy day, when, all appetites controlled, all passions subdued, all matters subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!

And when the victory shall be complete—when there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the earth—how proud the title of that Land, which may truly claim to be the birth-place and the cradle of both those revolutions, that shall have ended in that victory. How nobly distinguished that People, who shall have planted, and nurtured to maturity, both the political and moral freedom of their species.

This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth-day of Washington. We are met to celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name of earth—long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name, an eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the sun, or glory to the name of Washington, is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked deathless splendor, leave it shining on.


The American Issue
Pennsylvania Edition
Westerville, Ohio
July 22, 1922, Pg. 2.


Statement Attributed to Great Emancipator Widely Circulated by Liquor Advocates in Wet and Dry Campaigns; Challenged Repeatedly for Proof Which Could Not be Produced


It Saved the Day for Booze in That Battle and Wets Have Given It World-wide Circulation; Efforts to Prove Lincoln Author Failed; Drys Have Positive Evidence of Origin of Fake


Dr. Duncan C. Milner, of Chicago, Lincoln Student, Makes Affidavit Public and Thus Exposes One of the Most Infamous Deceptions Ever Perpetrated On the Public

The liquor interests and their friends for a number of years have been circulating an Anti-Prohibition declaration credited to Abraham Lincoln. The most common version of this declaration is as follows:

“Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance itself for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control man’s appetite by legislation and in making crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibitory law strikes a blow at the very principles on which our government was founded. I have always been found laboring to protect the weaker classes from the stronger and I can never give my consent to such a law as you propose to enact. Until my tongue be silenced in death I will continue to fight for the rights of men.”

Given Wide Publicity

The Association Against the Prohibition Amendment has been particularly active in circulating this fake. They have printed it in their circular letters. Their speakers have repeated it from the platform and occasionally some one of the more prominent of the members will quote it in newspaper interviews. Bishop Gailor recently did this and thereby this base slander on the name of Lincoln was given nation-wide circulation through the press.

Wets Could Never Produce

The booze interests have been challenged repeatedly to prove the authenticity of this Anti-Prohibition declaration. Of course they have never succeeded in doing this for the simple reason that Lincoln never said it or wrote it. Recently it was explained by a prominent wet leader that Lincoln made the statement in the Illinois Legislature when a Prohibition measure was before that body in 1839 and at which time he voted against the proposed Prohibition law. The following letter from the assistant librarian of the Illinois State Historical Library under date of June 30, 1922, is fairly good evidence that the booze apologist made a poor guess.

Illinois State Historical Library,
June 30, 1922.
Dr. Albert Porter,
Westerville, Ohio.
Dear Sir:
Your letter addressed to the Clerk of the House of Representatives was by him referred to this department for reply. I beg to advise that we can find no record of the quotation “Prohibition will work great injury,” in any of the newspapers or published speeches of Abraham Lincoln. In the House Journal of 1839-40 there is a mere record of the vote on the Murphy bill, no speeches being given, nor is there anything published in the Springfield paper of that date.
The Anti-Saloon League and others have had representatives go over the files in this office and also the House Journals of that date but as above stated in none of the material in thi8s library that we have gone over do we find any record of this quotation.
Yours very truly,
Georgia L. Osborn Assistant Librarian,
Illinois State Historical Library.

Drys Find Real Author of Wets Creed

The Great Emancipator hated the liquor traffic. He himself was a total abstainer and the authenticity of his numerous pronouncements against the traffic and in favor of total abstinence can not be questioned. But where the outlawed liquor interests have failed either purposely or otherwise in running this vicious libel to earth an aggressive Prohibitionist and student of Lincoln’s life and writings, Dr. Duncan C. Milner of Chicago, has succeeded and has produced documentary evidence that this so-called Anti-Prohibition statement of Lincoln’s was written by a friend of the license system. It has been known that the statement made its first appearance in a local option campaign in Georgia a number of years ago. Dr. Milner’s evidence squares with this hitherto one known fact in connection with the case.

Sam Small Makes Affidavit

Dr. Milner in reporting his findings to American Issue says:

“Not long ago I met Col. Sam W. Small, the noted editor, evangelist and lecturer, and asked him if he could not furnish information on the subject.” He said he was in the campaign in Atlanta where the speech was first used and he would make his affidavit to the facts. Dr. Small’s affidavit is as follows:

“That in 1887 he resided in the city of Atlanta, Ga., and engaged actively in the Fulton county local option campaign of that year as an advocate of ‘no sale’ of intoxicating liquors; that during the latter days of that campaign a circular was issued by the Anti-Prohibition campaign committee purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln in the following words, to wit:


(A picture of the statue of Lincoln striking off the shackles of a kneeling negro man.)

“Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance itself for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control man’s appetite by legislation and in making crimes out of things that are not crime. A prohibitory law strikes a blow at the very principles on which our government was founded. I have always been found laboring to protect the weaker classes from the stronger and I can never give my consent to such a law as you propose to enact. Until my tongue be silenced in death I will continue to fight for the rights of man.’”

(Then an appeal as follows:)

“Colored voter! He appeals to you to protect the liberty he has bestowed upon you. Will you go back on his advice? Look to your rights! Read! Vote for the sale!

“That said circular was lavishly distributed among the colored people of the city and had powerful effect in determining them to vote against Prohibition.

“That the Rev. Sam Jones, Henry W. Grady, this affiant and many others speakers then openly denounced the purported words of Abraham Lincoln to be a flagrant forgery, defied discovery of them in any reported utterances of Lincoln, and offered a reward for proof of their genuineness but no one offered such proof. Nevertheless the negroes believed them at the time and voted almost unanimously for the wet cause and gave it the very small majority it obtained.

“That some time after the excitement of the campaign had disappeared this affiant in conversation with Col. John B. Goodwin, who had been the director of the Anti-Prohibition forces in said campaign, was told by Col. Goodwin that he himself devised the circular in question, composed the alleged words of Lincoln so as to attract the adhesion of the colored voters and had done so because to win them was the forlorn hope of the wets, the county at that time being under a Prohibition law.

“Col. Goodwin was subsequently mayor of Atlanta and Grand Sire of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and then Grand Scribe of the same, located in Baltimore where he died in a very recent year.”

This above affidavit signed by Sam W. Small was made before Notary Alan B. Prosire in the county of Arlington, Va., June 6, 1922.

Dr. Milner says that Col. Small in sending the affidavit stated: “I did not realize until our conversation that the rectification of that roarback was so important as it now appears to be.”

This ought forever to kill this contemptible lie that has been so persistently circulated by the booze interests. However, they have so little regard for truth that the probabilities are that they will continue to repeat it. Those who revere the name of Lincoln whenever they see this fake Anti-Prohibition statement published or whenever they hear it repeated should promptly refute it with the true facts.

Let it be known that it was written and put in circulation by the campaign manager of the wets, Col. John B. Goodwin, in a local option fight in Atlanta, Ga., 1887.


Edwardsville Intelligencer
Edwardsville, Illinois
Mar. 28, 1908
pg. 4.

More On Local Option

The sentiments of Abraham Lincoln on the question of prohibition have aroused leagues to a high pitch of excitement. Lincoln was a great temperance man, temperance in the use of liquor, just as he was temperate in all things, but he was not a total abstainer and never at any rate favored prohibitory laws. Indeed it is a strange thing while drinking is usually considered a voice still no teetotaler of ancient or modern times ever achieved lasting greatness.

Dr. H. W. Wiley, chief of the pure food bureau of the department of agriculture, called attention to this fact in the Chicago Record-Herld and when one thinks of the long line of statsmen who have made this country the greatest in the world: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, and Grant, the fact becomes more apparent.

But to return to Lincoln, it is a matter of record, that when he worked in the Offcut store in 1831 he not only sold whisky, but sold it over a rough pine bar. Lincoln was a liquor dealer and he never was ashamed of it. In one of the histories of Lincoln it was stated that he was so powerful that he could lift a barrel of whisky and drink from a bung. In 1833 Lincoln in company with a man named Berry kept a small store at a place called New Salem in Sangamon county.

The following is an extract of a court record from that county, of March 6, 1833: “Ordered that Wm. F. Berry in the name of Berry and Lincoln harvet license o keep a tavern in New Salem to continue 12 months from this date and that they shall pay one dollar in addition to 6 heretofore pain and that they shall be allowed the following rates: French brandy per pint 25 cents, peach 18 ¾., apple 12, Holland gin 18 ¾, Domestic gin 12 ½, wine 25. Rum 18 ¾, whisky, 12 ½. etc.”

While we can not tell how Lincoln would vote on the question of prohibition were he in Freeport in the year 1908, still we know that the last time he was in Freeport,  just 50 years ago, at the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debate, he went across the street from the Brewster House into a tavern or saloon kept by John Hoebel, now deceased, and there had a drink of whisky with some of his friends and political supporters.

Here is a quotation from Abraham Lincoln: Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance in itself for it goes beyond the bounds of reason, for it seeks to control a man’s appetite by legislation and in making crimes out of things that are not crimes.”

The Civic League has challenged this quotation. The Indianapolis News, one of the leading newspapers of Indiana, has traced this matter up and found that Abraham Lincoln actually used those words in a speech on temperance that he delivered January 22, 1842, before the Washington Society. It is now up to the Civic League to put the News in the Ananias Club, along with Cardinal Gibbons, Bishop Messmer, H. W. Wiley and others.

Liberty League.

(EDITORIAL NOTE: The article above cites the wrong month for Lincoln’s Address to the Washington Temperance Society of Springfield, Illinois. It was actually February 22, 1842).


(Note: Transcriptions errors may exist. Consult Image for copy of original.).

The Voice
New York Edition
Jan. 19, 1888, Pg. 3.

An Infamous Rum Forgery


The following circular and cut is a fac-simile of the infamous forgery distributed among the colored voters of Atlanta just previously to the late election in the city, and which caused large numbers of the more ignorant among them to cast their votes against Prohibition. Every effort was made, as the circular plainly indicates, to lead the negroes to believe that a prohibition law is an entering wedge to force them back to bondage.

As to the words of the circular pretended to have been uttered by President Lincoln, not a particle of proof  has been advanced to show their authenticity. On the contrary, it is well known that President Lincoln was a total abstainer, if not a Prohibitionist.

Vice-President Henry Wilson, in the Centennial Temperance volume, page 480-1, describes Mr. Lincoln’s refusal to receive a present of champagne from his neighbors to treat the committee which came to inform him of his nomination to the Presidency, saying, “It won’t do here’” and again his refusing wine at Cincinnati, on his way to take the reins off Government, with the words, “For 30 years I have been a temperance man, and, I am too old to change.” While President, in 1862, he signed an act banishing the spirit ration from all ships of war, and in an address before the Sons of Temperance, In Washington, Sept. 29, 1863, he says: “The reason man of the world has long since agreed that intemperance is one of the greatest if not the greatest of all evils among mankind,” and that its prevention in the army “is part of the law of this land.”

For the cut and circular we are indebted to The National Temperance Advocate.


Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation!

(Lincoln Drawing)

“Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bonds of reason, in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and in making crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles on which our Government was founded. I have always been found laboring to protect the weaker classes from the stronger, and I can never give my consent to such a law as you propose to enact. Until my tongue be silenced in death I will continue to fight for the rights of man.”

Colored voter, he appeals to you to protect the
liberty he has bestowed upon you. Will
you go back on his advice