The Midwestern Protestant values that arrived with the tide of Anglo 

immigration in the 1880s altered Southern California in many ways.  Politically 

the region changed from a traditionally Democratic stronghold to one dominated 

by Republicans.  Urban business interests replaced agriculturalists as the 

guiding influence in the economic life of the area, and Protestant influences 

dominated the school board and other civic institutions.

    In morals, too, the newcomers attempted to transform Southern California 

into a clone of a like-sized area of the Ohio Valley.  Gambling, prostitution 

and liquor became the targets of civic reformers.  Educator-historian James 

Guinn reported that the city had one saloon for every 55 residents in 1870.  In 

1888, with the city's population near 80,000 and saloons limited by ordinance 

to 230, the ratio was 1:348.  By the end of the decade over fifty towns 

actively fought demon rum either through strict regulation or prohibition.  

Pasadena was dry, while Pomona imposed a rigid licensing system on saloons, 

requiring a $5000 permit plus $500 for a six month license.  Other cities had 

deed restrictions that limited taverns.  

    Yet what seemed like a firm policy was but a temporary arrangement in the 

ongoing struggle between those who sought total prohibition and those who 

rejected government regulation.  The anti-alcohol forces were on the offensive 

throughout the 'eighties but, badly divided, they were unable to score 

permanent victories.  Consequently much of the debate centered on differences 

within the ranks between uncompromising prohibitionists on the one hand and 

temperance reformers who were willing to settle for restrictions that placed 

such encumbrances on the sale of liquor that its consumption would be reduced, 

especially by the workingclass.

    In 1883 the women of Southern California who actively opposed the sale of 

alcohol formed a local chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.  It 

immediately became a powerful force in the ensuing struggle and was in large 

part responsible for passage of an 1887 state law mandating what was referred 

to as "scientific temperance education" in California's public schools.  When 

"Samuel" suggested that such laws resulted from the efforts of the old 

political parties, Lucy More, a prominent W.C.T.U. member and wife of the Los 

Angeles state normal school president, offered a correction.   

                         {Times, Aug. 26, 1888, p. 6}

                            Prohibition Weaknesses.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 20.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         have been a constant reader of the Los Angeles Censor and the 

         New York Voice for the past year.  Before then I gave the 

         Prohibition party credit for being sincere, and for having an 

         honest desire to help to diminish and destroy the use of 

         intoxicants as a beverage, that is, that it was a temperance 

         party, but I do not see those desirable qualities manifested 

         in those papers, and I suppose we may take them to be correct 

         exponents of the Prohibition party.  The whole foundation of 

         the party, as illustrated by these papers, is falsehood and 

         hypocrisy, supporting a superstructure of personal hatred, 

         not hatred of a wrong done, but hatred of the wrong-doer, as 

         they choose to call all who think differently from them.  The 

         standing statement made in the Censor says that "the old 

         party platforms and tickets declare for a government of the 

         people, by the dramshop and for the dramshop and all that 

         stands behind the dramshop."  The Prohibition organizer in 

         this State, Dr. Goodwin of Illinois, says in the Censor that 

         absolute or partial prohibition has been secured by the old 

         parties in 20 States, and high license in all the others but 

         two, yet he could not name the first State where the 

         Prohibition party has adopted even partial prohibition.

              Quoting again from the Censor, it says that "during the 

         last five years 26 States besides the National Government 

         have passed laws requiring the schools under their respective 

         control to instruct the children in the pernicious effects of 

         alcohol and narcotics."  All this has been done by the old 

         parties in so short a time, and yet that paper is filled with 

         the bitterest anathemas for those who choose to work with the 

         old parties.  It is no wonder that old party papers refuse to 

         go down into such a vile pool of profanity, vulgarity, 

         falsehood and hatred at the challenge of those who make their 

         home there.

              Yours for our country,                  


                         {Times, Sept. 2, 1888, p. 9}

                            Temperance Legislation.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  A 

         writer in The Times of Monday gives the credit to the old 

         parties of securing the scientific temperance education law 

         in 26 States and all the Territories, under the national law.  

         That was not a party question at all.  It was a strong plea 

         of the women for the good of the children, and was granted by 

         legislators as men, irrespective of party lines.  The idea 

         originated with Mrs. Mary H. Hunt of Boston, a member of the 

         W.C.T.U., while assisting her son in his study of physiology.  

         She asked to have that made a department of our work, which 

         was done.  Ever since that time she has worked bravely on, 

         through many difficulties.  Through her influence, directly 

         and indirectly, the work has been done.  In many of the 

         States it has been done by her personally.  The national law, 

         which includes all the Territories and Government schools, 

         was the result of her personal efforts.  When we wished to 

         bring the matter before the California Legislature, at its 

         last session, Mrs. Hunt was otherwise engaged, and the 

         W.C.T.U. of Southern California sent Miss Emma Harriman, and 

         that of Northern California sent Mrs. Dorcas Spencer, to lay 

         the matter before the Legislature.  In order to keep it 

         before them, and see that it should not be overlooked in the 

         rush of business, the ladies were obliged to stay during the 

         whole session, but their efforts were crowned with success, 

         and the bill was made a law by a unanimous vote in both 

         Assembly and Senate.

                                                   L. D. MORE.

    Not all who sought liquor reform were enthralled with the work of women in 

that direction.  Recognizing that hostility, and writing a year before 

organization of the local W.C.T.U., "H. W. B." offered an explanation for the 

enthusiasm women had for temperance work.  Signing his letter with two stars, 

"* *," a disgruntled Republican who felt his party's defeat in 1884 resulted 

from the uncompromising position taken by prohibitionists zeroed in on 

"temperance women."   John P. St. John, a former Republican governor of Kansas, 

had been the Prohibition party nominee for president that year.  Democrat 

Grover Cleveland's victory over Republican James G. Blaine was attributed to 

the Prohibitionist vote in New York where, according to conventional 

interpretations of that election, Republicans dissatisfied with Blaine's stand 

on prohibition left their party and voted for St. John in sufficient numbers to 

give Cleveland New York's electoral vote and the presidency.   Alameda Street, 

to which "* *" referred, was notorious for its brothels.  Anna McIntosh, a 

teacher, offered a terse reply.

                         {Times, Sept. 27, 1882, p. 3}

                         Women as Temperance Workers.

         To the Editor of The Times:

              I ask, is there any moral or mental Salic law by which 

         the inheritance of brains and capacity goes down in the male 

         line? and are not our women as likely to be gifted as our 

         men? and if so, ought they to let their gifts be idle?  

         Surely not; nor have they.  The greatest temperance reform 

         throughout the world has been brought about by woman's 

         influence, with man standing at her side with encouraging 

         words, urging her on to save husbands, brothers and sons from 

         the demon Rum.  Well have they done their work, and to-day 

         millions of the land rise up and call her blessed.  Your 

         numerous readers will permit me a little gossip in defense of 

         my sex, and not disparagingly of men either, for the greatest 

         of God's noble works is, noble man, hence women wish to save 

         what the All Father formed "after His own image and in His 

         own likeness," and she steps from the quiet of the fireside 

         and forgets the soft lullaby for awhile, and joins the clan 

         of women workers, with one eye resting on the cradle where 

         reposes her darling boy.  As she turns to kiss his sweet 

         lips, her soul sends up a prayer for his safety from 


              The question is often asked, "Why are the ladies opposed 

         to the liquor traffic so far in excess of the gentlemen, and 

         why do they desire to set public opinion against it?"  

         Answer: It is the evil it produces.  It ruins so many 

         characters.  It destroys so many lives.  It makes so many 

         families miserable.  It robs the poor man of his wages by 

         luring him and encouraging him to form an appetite before 

         whose demands all considerations of prudence and kindness 

         give way, and work as hard and work as well as he may, and 

         let him earn as good wages as he will, it keeps him a poor 

         man by his passion for drink--a passion, we fear, which those 

         who sell liquor are glad to see fastened upon him.

              As to the taxes, the liquor business increases them 

         enormously.  If the matter could be traced out one would find 

         that nine-tenths of the paupers, who are burdens on the 

         taxpayer, are made by the use of intoxicating liquors.  The 

         chief of police in San Francisco asserts that nine-tenths of 

         the arrests for crime were made necessary by liquor drinking.  

         Is there a Christian woman in the land that could sanction 

         law breaking by selling liquor on the Sunday? by selling to 

         confirmed drunkards? by selling to minors? or by attempting 

         to sell without license?  If so, let her come forward.  For 

         many years the State of Michigan endeavored to keep down the 

         liquor traffic.  Two years ago the "iron-clad liquor law" was 

         passed and enforced.  What has been the result?  This law 

         taxes the retail spirit dealers $300, wholesale $500, and 

         dealers in brewed and fermented liquors $200.  The law also 

         provides that if a dealer fails to pay his tax he shall be 

         fined from $50 to $100 and sent to jail for ninety days.  

         Gambling of every kind not to be carried on in the same or 

         adjoining room to the bar.  License not to be given for 

         selling liquor in a building which is used for theater or 

         concert hall.  The saloons must be kept closed on Sundays, 

         election days, and legal holidays, and till 7 o'clock the 

         succeeding morning.  What is the result?  A success 

         financially.  The tax in some towns being sufficient to pay 

         all town expenses.  In 1875, 4600 saloons paid $437,705 

         taxes; in 1881, 3953 saloons paid $537,138.

              It would be impossible for a person not connected with, 

         or a temperance organization, to know the enormity of liquor.  

         Could the "bibber" himself know he would shudder.  Not more 

         than a passing thought is ever given to the subject by those 

         not directly interested.  Go into our mad houses!  Go into 

         the paupers' home!  There the story is told.  Could every 

         wife and mother tell to the world how carefully she has 

         guarded her husband and sons from exposure, hoping thereby to 

         save and reform them; I say could she--but her heart bleeds, 

         and in secret she prays, "God turn the rum-seller from his 

         ways.  Aid him to support himself by better means.  Help, O 

         help.  In pity aid the weak and take from them the love of 

         strong drink, and save, O save, my husband and sons; send aid 

         into every home where fathers, sons and brothers have fallen."

                                            H. W. B.

              Los Angeles, Cal., Sept. 25, 1882.

                         {Times, Sept. 2, 1888, p. 9}

                                   Hot Shot.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  By 

         your permission I desire to express a few opinions concerning 

         the part women are taking in the prohibition movement.  I 

         will not say they are not honest and earnest in the matter, 

         but I do say their energies and sympathies are projected in 

         the wrong direction.  Why should men and women expend their 

         energies outside the Republican party to further the cause of 

         temperance?  What grander moral and political principles can 

         they ally themselves with to work for "God and Home and 

         Native Land" than those of the Republican party?  But no!  

         Not satisfied with half a loaf, or to crawl before they walk, 

         they stupidly and maliciously participated in the shameless 

         disaster of '84, and drove into political exile the only 

         American who has had the splendid courage to stand up for 

         "God and Home and Native Land"--the peerless and matchless 

         James G. Blaine!  The superlative stupidity of a few long-

         haired men and short-haired women in the State of New York 

         reversed the hands on the dialplate of American progress and 

         morals and placed in the position once occupied by Lincoln, 

         Grant and Garfield a huge lump of egotistic obesity, and now 

         in 1888 the signs are too evident that they are leering at 

         and coquetting with the Democracy, asking for political 

         concubinage "O what shall the harvest be?"

              I wish now to address a word to the temperance women.  I 

         have attended their meetings and observed their methods.  

         Your entire efforts are extended to rescue intemperate men.  

         I have seen dirty, drunken vagabonds at your meetings sign 

         the pledge, put on the blue ribbon.  I have seen tears of joy 

         shed over their supposed conversion.  I have known you to put 

         decent clothes on his back, wholesome food in his stomach, 

         and money in his purse; whereas, you had better have taken 

         him to San Pedro, tied a millstone to his neck, and cast him 

         into the ocean.  His kind are not worth a sigh, a song, or a 

         tear.  Men are not asking you to assist them.  We are able to 

         take care of ourselves.  Huxley's grand truism meets the 

         exigencies of mankind: "The fittest survive."  It is a 

         notorious fact that hundreds of women in Los Angeles use 

         intoxicants to excess.  I have seen drunk women in the 

         streets.  Do you temperance women try to rescue them?  No.  

         Let a poor, drunken, bedraggled wretch attend one of your 

         meetings and how quick she will be excluded.  She seeks work, 

         food, home, shelter.  She is thrust from every human door.  

         She dare not knock at heaven's.  But the scoundrel that 

         wrought her ruin is welcomed with open arms.  As a marked 

         exemplification of their well-intended inconsistency, a few 

         days ago I was in company with a woman belonging, as I 

         understood, to the W.C.T.U.  Staggering by was a well-dressed 

         individual, his mouth full of unseemly language.  Her eyes 

         grew dim with pity.  "Poor fellow!" she remarked.  "What a 

         sad sight!  How nice he seems!"  And I believe if she had 

         been encouraged she would have remonstrated with him then and 

         there--probably inviting him to attend a temperance meeting, 

         thus opening the way for an acquaintance.  He is a notorious 

         "mac," and the following day was arrested.  A few moments 

         later an Alameda-street contingent swept by.  I saw the flush 

         of anger mantle her brow, but not a word of pity or 

         remonstrance for them.  I thought--well, I just thought.

                                                  * *

                         {Times, Sept. 9, 1888, p. 2}

                              Two Blinking Stars.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  If 

         the man who wrote the effusion headed "Hot Shot," which 

         appeared on the first page of your Sunday's issue, had signed 

         his name, one statement made therein would doubtless give him 

         some notoriety as a natural curiosity.  Addressing temperance 

         women, he said, "Men are not asking you to assist them.  We 

         are able to take care of ourselves."

              Since when?  If Mr. Two Little Stars will study his own 

         inner consciousness and outward circumstances for about five 

         minutes he will have to confess that a common man without a 

         good, temperate mother, sister, wife or daughter, is about as 

         independent as (pardon the homely old saying) "a hog on the 


              A man who has not "a sigh, a song or a tear for the 

         drunkard;" a man who says, "you had better have taken him to 

         San Pedro, tied a millstone to his neck and cast him into the 

         ocean," should not have taken as his emblem anything as near 

         to heaven as the stars are.  It was a star that led the wise 

         men of the East to that lowly manger where He lay, without 

         whose love the best of us would be forever undone.

                                      ANNA T. MCINTOSH.

    The issue of "high license," a means of restricting the use of alcohol by 

imposing extremely costly license fees for the right to sell liquor, sharply 

divided the "drys."  James Wesley Potts, often referred to as "Prophet" Potts 

because of his weather predictions that Newmark claimed were as frequently 

wrong as they were right, made the case for those strict prohibitionists who 

saw high license as an evil.  Potts, who arrived in Los Angeles in 1852 and 

later served on the city council, left the Whigs for the Republican party, but 

by the 1880s was a Prohibitionist.  John C. Sherer, whose name appears 

frequently in this anthology and is more fully identified elsewhere, took 

exception to Potts' argument.  The Times favored high license, and when an 

editorial criticized the uncompromising nature of some prohibitionists, "H" 

restated the argument against high license.

                          {Times, May 30, 1888, p. 2}

                          Gambling and Rum-drinking.

              Los Angeles, May 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         your paper of this morning you publish a long article from 

         the New York Herald, in which it, as well as your own paper, 

         condemns gambling in the strongest terms, as though it was 

         the only or greatest evil that infests our fair land.  The 

         Herald says men must be prevented from gambling by brute 

         force; you express the hope that the raids of the police may 

         be kept up on gambling dens until gambling shall be too risky 

         and unprofitable to be entered into even in view of the 

         enormous profits which this unlawful business gives.  What a 

         difference public sentiment can make between a lawful and an 

         unlawful business!  Just think of the evil that is being done 

         by making a business lawful that is a thousand times worse 

         than gambling.  A gambler places his money against another 

         gambler's money, and when one wins all the other has the 

         money is not destroyed, and the losing gambler has his health 

         and senses left, and can go to work for more.  But when the 

         rum-dealer gets all of another man's money legally--by 

         drugging his victim until he is crazy--and the crazy man 

         kills his wife and leaves his children friendless and goes to 

         the jail and costs the county $1000, no one urges the police 

         to crush the rum traffic by brute force, because public 

         sentiment has made it a legal and legitimate business.  I 

         charge the pulpit and the press with that whole thing, as 

         they create public sentiment that compels our legislatures to 

         enact these heathen laws.  To them we look as the only hope 

         for a change of public sentiment.  Come out on the Lord's 

         side and help us--do not strain at a gnat and swallow a 

         camel-- do not talk about crushing out gambling as an evil 

         and license the dramshop as a blessing to mankind because 

         there is money in it.  No wonder the inspired writer said the 

         love of money is the root of all evil.  History tells us that 

         away back in the eleventh century they commenced to license 

         crime for money.  Pope Leo X gave license to those who would 

         give money to help build the temple at Rome, to murder or 

         steal, and to commit all manner of crimes, and also remitted 

         all their past sins, as also all the sins to be committed 

         during their natural life and this act was not a whit worse 

         than to license the dramshop, for money although this is done 

         by a people who claim to have made a thousand year's advance 

         in civilization and Christianity in a quarter of a century.  

         Just think of a people whose claim to be Christians, 

         professing to be led by the teachings of the holy Bible, 

         which says,  "Woe unto him who putteth the bottle to his 

         neighbor's mouth."  Think of them voting to make the rum 

         traffic a legal, respectable, legitimate business, when 

         statistics show that in 1863, shortly after the commencement 

         of the license system, there were less than two gallons per 

         capita of alcoholic liquors drank in the United States, while 

         in 1884, after 21 years' trial of high license and taxation, 

         there were actually 11 1/2 gallons per capata consumed.  How 

         long, oh! Lord, how long will it take to curtail or crush out 

         this rum traffic at this rate of high license?

                                            I.{J.} W. POTTS.

                          {Times, June 9, 1888, p. 3}
                              "Licensing Crime."

              Verdugo, June 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  Noting 

         a communication in last Tuesday's Times, from J. W. Potts, in 

         regard to the prohibition question, in which the writer makes 

         the reckless statement so often indulged in by the 

         Prohibitionists, that the granting of licenses to sell 

         intoxicants is "licensing crime," I am constrained to reply.

              The fallacy of all prohibition arguments consists in the 

         willful and persistent confounding of the questions of use 

         and abuse.  The syllogism by which they reach their 

         conclusion is this:  Man commits crime because he gets drunk, 

         he gets drunk because he is allowed to drink that which 

         intoxicates.  Therefore, prevent him from getting 

         intoxicating liquor to drink and you prevent the crime!  To 

         the superficial observer this proposition appears logical 

         upon its face.  Let me try another syllogism.  A man 

         perfectly sober (possibly a Prohibitionist), in the heat of 

         passion, kills with a pistol he has just purchased at the 

         gunsmith's his best friend.  He committed the crime because 

         he had a pistol, he had the pistol because he was allowed to 

         buy it at a licensed store.  Therefore, had the store not 

         been licensed to sell deadly weapons, the crime would not 

         have been committed!

              In these two propositions the Prohibitionists will 

         probably discover a distinction without finding a difference.

              The Prohibitionists contend that the drinking of wine or 

         other intoxicants, mild or strong, is a crime per se, that 

         is, wrong in itself, whether followed by apparent evil 

         effects or not.  They must claim, to be consistent, that to 

         this rule (except in rare cases of sickness) there can be no 

         exceptions; that the solitary inhabitant of a desert island 

         who drinks the contents of a bottle of wine, which the wave 

         throws at this feet, is as much of a sinner as he who drinks 

         it at the "gilded saloon."  Or, if they do not claim this, 

         they must admit that wine drinking is not wrong at all times, 

         but is wrong under certain circumstances.  In this last 

         proposition, nearly all good citizens agree.  If we claim 

         that the drinking of wine at any time and under all 

         circumstances is wrong, we condemn the practice of thousands 

         of good men of the present time, of millions who have lived 

         in the past, and have doubtless passed to heaven, cast 

         reflections upon Martin Luther, who was probably wiser than 

         the most of us, and even reflect by indirection upon the 

         frequent practice of the Saviour of mankind, for there is no 

         foundation in fact, for the theory that the wine of Cana and 

         Gethsemene was different from any other.

              In claiming to attack the crime of drunkenness at the 

         source in striking at the manufacture and sale of liquors, 

         the Prohibitionists make another mistake, fatal to the 

         success of the work in which the most of them are engaged.  

         Instead of striking at the source, they are working away down 

         near the mouth of the stream, and working as ineffectually as 

         if with bare hands they attempted to carry mud with which to 

         dam the onward sweep of water in the Mississippi.  The source 

         of the evil is in the human heart, in the evil desire, and no 

         mere human law is high enough to reach and stop it.  

         Drunkenness is a great evil, a great crime, one which can and 

         should be punished as other crimes are, but wine drinking is 

         not necessarily a crime, and no human statute can make it so.  

         The spirit of the Prohibitionists resembles that of the old 

         Puritans, admirable within certain limits, but impracticable, 

         a spirit which says to the erring ones: "Why ain't you as 

         good as I am?  Confound you, I'll make you good, anyhow."

              The Prohibition movement is by no means identical with 

         the temperance question.  It is a movement accompanied or 

         preceded by the blare of trumpet and the roll of drum.  The 

         Prohibition party is a political party, and not, as the 

         majority of its members no doubt believe, a great moral and 

         God-fearing party engaged in an unselfish work for the 

         benefit of mankind.  How many of the members of the party 

         believe in their heart of hearts that John P. St. John is a 

         temperance reformer for aught else than revenue only?  

         Imagine Peter the Hermit preaching the crusade at $100 per 

         night.  Picture to yourselves Martin Luther promulgating the 

         gospel of the reformation in the towns of Germany, where he 

         was guaranteed a certain sum per lecture, and allowing the 

         rest of the world to go unreformed!

              Here is an almost literal quotation from a circular 

         announcing a lecture by St. John about six months ago, in a 

         town not 10 miles from Los Angeles:  "This is the only town 

         in the county, outside of Los Angeles, that has sufficient 

         enterprise and money to secure the services of this eminent 

         Prohibition orator."  The quotation is given from memory, and 

         may not be exact as to phraseology, but is correct as to the 

         meaning.  This reformer for revenue has just been made 

         chairman of the National Prohibition Convention at 

         Indianapolis.  If a high license law has failed to decrease 

         the number of drunkards, in Los Angeles, for instance, let us 

         remember also that while drunkenness has been on the 

         increase, so have the advocates of prohibition multiplied.  

         If prohibition is a true temperance movement, why are not its 

         good effects visible?  The answer is, not because this third 

         political party is not permitted to make new laws, but 

         because the members of that party are working only for a 

         remote and wholesome reform, and are neglecting every day the 

         numberless opportunities to do good which is close at hand.

              High license, nor any other human statute, will never 

         stamp out drunkenness.  But high license and other severe 

         legal restrictions (such as can be found in the new license 

         law of Pennsylvania, given to that State by the Republican 

         party in opposition to the combined efforts of the whisky men 

         and the Prohibitionists) will reduce the evil to a minimum, 

         provided that good citizens will attend to the enforcement of 

         the same.  Talking, voting, writing, and attending political 

         conventions, is not, as a rule, self-sacrificing work, nor in 

         themselves are they sufficient to reform the world and touch 

         the great heart of humanity.  Francis Murphy has done more 

         true temperance work and been the instrument under God of 

         reforming more men than the modern St. John and any half 

         dozen of his apostles.  And yet Francis Murphy is not a 

         Prohibitionist.  As for local option in towns, however, that 

         is a measure that can only be brought into being by a vote of 

         the majority, and when the majority of the people want it 

         they should certainly have it, as, whether effectual or not, 

         its success or failure in a limited area is easily 


                                          J. C. SHERER.

                         {Times, Jan. 25, 1889, p. 3}

                             Against High License.

              Santa Ana, Jan. 20.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         your issue of January 20th, under the title of "Burglary, 

         Saloons and Prohibition," you accuse the Prohibs of 

         declaring, "Give us all we ask or nothing, we want no high 

         license; we want prohibition, and we will vote for nothing 

         short of it."  And again, clasping hands with the Democracy, 

         "We will stand together and vote down any proposition for the 

         suppression of the saloon evil that doesn't wipe them out 


              Now, since the campaign is over, Harrison elected in 

         spite of Democracy, Prohibition, American party, Union Labor, 

         and all other opponents, the saloon will still continue, and 

         you, with all other patriotic citizens, compelled to meet and 

         face the problem of its elimination from the political and 

         social life, would it not be well to allow the 

         Prohibitionists to state themselves what they believe and 


              (1.)  They are in favor of any innocent measure to 

         destroy, cripple, suppress, restrict or weaken the liquor 


              Second--They are opposed to high license, because (a) 

         they believe it is a sin to license an evil; (b) the license 

         money becomes a bribe to taxpayers which they are afterward 

         unwilling to relinquish, and (c) the restriction of high 

         license is like the restriction of the waters of the 

         Mississippi by the jetties at its mouth--it narrows and 

         deepens the channel so that when the stream of intoxicants 

         formerly bore many light, weak crafts, it now supports a few 

         huge and powerful monopolies.

              Third--They assert that the statistics from high 

         license, low license and no license districts prove the 

         failure of high license as a restrictive measure and its 

         balefulness as a corrupting influence.

              Fourth--They challenge any one to publish these 

         statistics, and rest the truth or falsity of his theories 

         upon them.   


    Whether Republicans, as individuals or as a party, were deeply committed 

to prohibition was a nagging question during the 1880s.  Of equal concern was 

the extent to which the Prohibitionist vote aided the Democrats, which everyone 

agreed was a "wet" party, at the expense of the Republicans.  In an 1886 Times 

op-ed piece Dr. Joseph P. Widney, one of the city's most respected residents, 

suggested that the liquor question - the restriction of its manufacture and 

sale - should not only become the subject of a Republican party platform plank 

but should be the issue around which the party rebuilt itself.  "L. W." thought 

Widney's analysis made sense.  A long-time prohibitionist and one-time 

proprietor of the Times, Jesse Yarnell, explained why it would never happen.  

Yarnell's mention of the defeat of the Christian Sabbath refers to repeal of 

the Sunday Law following election of a Democratic legislature in 1882.

    The debate continued in the letters column in 1888 when Prohibitionist 

organizer W. R. Goodwin responded to a Times editorial that ridiculed 

prohibitionists.  Otis printed Goodwin's letter in the editorial column, then 

issued one of his longest editorial responses to a letter in the 1880s, making 

it quite clear why Republicans like Otis rejected the prohibitionists.  Perhaps 

in fairness, Goodwin was allowed the last word.  

    "Tara," a Republican anti-liquor advocate, invoked the argument of black 

abolitionist Frederick Douglass.  Douglass had been accused of betraying anti-

slavery principles by fighting for the non-extension of slavery into Kansas 

when others thought he should have ignored that issue, concentrating his 

energies on immediate abolition.  

                         {Times, Dec. 16, 1886, p. 6}

                          VIEWS OF A PROHIBITIONIST.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 15.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         From Dr. Widney's article in Sunday's Times, it may be judged 

         that he indulges the hope that the Republican party is about 

         ready to take up the task of suppressing the liquor business.  

              Will you kindly give place to some reasons why the hope 

         is not well founded; such reasons, though coming from a 

         Prohibitionist, not taking the shape of an argument for 

         prohibition or the prohibition party?

              It may be safely conceded that more than half the voters 

         of California who support the Republican party are favorable 

         to the suppression of liquor saloons, and that a large 

         proportion of the other half are so indifferent on the 

         subject that they would continue to support the party, even 

         though prohibition were made one of the principal planks in 

         its platform; yet it is a moderate estimate that at least 10 

         per cent. of the present supporters of the party in this 

         State would be its determined opponents immediately upon its 

         placing itself in open hostility to the liquor interest.  

         This 10 per cent., taken from the Republican vote and added 

         to the Democratic vote, as it undoubtedly would be, would 

         make the State irretrievably Democratic, unless some adequate 

         gain could be counted upon to make good the loss.  This gain 

         could not be hoped for from the better classes of Democrats, 

         as some seem to think, for the better class of Democrats, 

         however anxious they may be to down the liquor traffic, are 

         still more anxious to down the Republican party, as was shown 

         by their coming up solidly, Christians and all, to defeat the 

         Christian Sabbath only that the Republican party might be 

         defeated at the same time.  If their hatred of the Republican 

         party is stronger than their love for their most loved and 

         cherished Christian institution, what would induce them to 

         support that party?  Certainly not prohibition.  They may be 

         good and pious, but they are not fanatics.

              The Republican party will have no place else to look for 

         compensation for the loss it would sustain by placing itself 

         in hostility to the liquor traffic, for even if all the 

         Prohibition party voters should fly to its rescue, they could 

         not make good the loss, and in such a case at least one-

         fourth of them would go back to the Democracy, from whence 

         they came.

              In view of the circumstances, although a Prohibitionist, 

         I am not one of those who blame the Republican party, as a 

         party, for not espousing the cause of prohibition.  I may be 

         a fanatic, but I am not so heartless as to ask a great party 

         to commit suicide, especially when no good could be 

         accomplished by the sacrifice.  Respectfully,

                                               JESSE YARNELL.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 15, 1886.

                         {Times, Dec. 16, 1886, p. 6}


              Los Angeles, Dec. 15.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         read Dr. Widney's suggestions regarding the little 

         differences between the two leading political parties with 

         great interest.  It is sound doctrine, through and through.

              I have voted the Republican ticket, from Lincoln to 

         Garfield, but unless they take hold of the demands of the 

         present day they cannot count on my vote.

              My understanding is that the Republican party is a 

         progressive party, and, as the Doctor says, the last thirty 

         years of its existence proves it to be so.  It is admitted by 

         all candid people of today that the temperance question is 

         the most important question now before the American people, 

         and, I might add, before the whole world.  The tariff, 

         States' rights, and the few other doctrines that the two 

         parties are trying to ride into power on, sink into 

         insignificance when compared with the temperance question.  

         The Republican party in Kansas, Iowa, and some other States, 

         very judiciously took hold of this all-important question, 

         and the result was a grand victory.  If the Republican party 

         will not accept this grand opportunity, and advocate good, 

         sound temperance doctrine, my opinion is that its days are 

         numbered.  To raise up our children to be good, honest, 

         intelligent, temperate and noble young men and women, is of 

         far more importance to the country and ourselves than the 

         tariff and all other little political issues of the day.  I 

         do hope that our grand old party will put a good, sound 

         temperance plank in their platform, and give us a chance to 

         still vote with the party that has shown more progress and 

         done more to build up our country than all other parties 


                                            L. W.

                         {Times, Mar. 30, 1888, p. 4}

                         Prohibition and High License.

              Los Angeles, March 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         In your issue of today you have an editorial that merits 

         notice.  It is so misleading and so full of errors that 

         ordinary fairness would allow a review of it.  

         Prohibitionists do not believe that a wine-drinker "is a 

         great deal worse than the inveterate whisky-guzzler."  But if 

         The Times will candidly answer a few questions it will do all 

         of its readers a great favor.

              What hope have the Prohibitionists of help from the 

         Republican party?

              Can The Times name one leading Republican newspaper in 

         the United States (including California) that advocates 


              If the people must be educated up to the views of the 

         Prohibitionists, who is trying to educate them up?  Is the 

         Republican press trying it?  How long would we have to wait 

         for prohibition if we depended upon the Republican party for 


              Can The Times name a single State or town where high 

         license has reduced the number of drunkards or the amount of 


              That high license may reduce the number of saloons and 

         increase the revenue may be admitted.  But that is not the 

         question at issue.  What does high license do to decrease 

         pauperism and drunkenness?

              Those questions are asked in all sincerity and fairness, 

         and if The Times will show that the Republican party in its 

         platform or press favors prohibition, or that high license 

         decreases drunkenness, then it may blame Prohibitionists for 

         not adhering to that party.  But if the Republican party does 

         not favor prohibition, what claims has that party on men who 

         want prohibition?

              We want light, and The Times is too fair a paper to come 

         into our homes allowing only one side of a great question to 

         be presented.  Yours truly,

                                                   W. R. GOODWIN.

              The above communication affirms what we stated 

         yesterday--that the Prohibitionists are striving after the 

         unattainable, and that they want to have their own way 

         entirely, irrespective of the wishes of nine-tenths of their 

         fellow-citizens.  They are satisfied with no step in the 

         right direction.  They will have no gradual measures.  They 

         insist upon cramming the pill they have prepared down Uncle 

         Sam's throat, whether he will or not.  They are like the 

         old-fashioned Presbyterian, who would rather go to hell than 

         go to heaven through any other church.

              Our correspondent says that Prohibitionists do not 

         believe a moderate drinker is worse than a drunken sot.  Then 

         we can only say that Prohibitionists differ much in their 

         views, for we have heard that assertion made by men of their 

         creed, not once, but several times.

              What hope have the Prohibitionists from the Republican 

         party?  All the hope they have, or ever can have, in the 

         world.  The Republican party represents the conscientious, 

         thoughtful, moral element of the American Nation.  Whatever 

         support or assistance the Prohibitionists have received has 

         come from this party.  With which party does the liquor 

         interest mainly affiliate?

              It is true that the Republican party very properly has 

         refused to commit suicide and end its power for active good 

         as a party by indorsing the chimerical, impracticable and 

         impossible programme of the Prohibitionists.  The Republicans 

         say, with all good citizens, that the liquor traffic should 

         be regulated, licenses for the retailing of liquors given 

         with great caution and on a limited scale and a close 

         supervision exercised over such places.  Further, if a 

         decided majority of the citizens in any town desire to 

         exclude saloons altogether, by all means let them do so.  It 

         is their right and privilege.  On the other hand, no minority 

         has any right to dictate to the majority what they shall eat 

         and drink.

              The Prohibitionists' unreasonableness shows itself in 

         this, that they make no distinction whatever between the use 

         and abuse of beverages.  They class the drinking of a glass 

         of wholesome claret or beer at a meal in the same category 

         with the retailing of drugged spirits in a groggery.  It is 

         all "rum" to them.  This is what alienates from them the 

         sympathy of a large portion of our respectable population, 

         who are as bitterly opposed as are the Prohibitionists to the 

         abuse of alcohol and to the omnipresent saloon, but who don't 

         intend to allow the crank notions of a few peculiar people to 

         deprive them of the use of a healthy beverage.  

              If the Prohibitionists would seek to replace the 

         immoderate use of such stimulants as spirits and strong 

         coffee by the pure, wholesome wine of the country, or light 

         beers, they would do more for temperance than they ever will 

         in their present course.  There is no doubt that the 

         immoderate consumption of fiery spirits and the unnecessary 

         multiplication of low saloons is an evil in this country 

         which should be checked.  So is the use of morphine and 

         opium, but no one proposes to close the drug stores on that 

         account.  The continued drinking of strong coffee with every 

         meal will inevitably ruin a man's liver, but we hear of no 

         suggestion to abolish grocery stores.  Cigarette smoking has 

         its many victims, but there is as yet no project on hand to 

         cease licensing tobacconists.

              The Prohibitionists want to enforce the views of a 

         minority as a rule of life for the majority.  Such an idea is 

         illogical, unreasonable and un-republican.  It will never 

         work.  This is also an answer to our correspondent's question 

         as to whether a single leading Republican newspaper in the 

         United States advocates prohibition.  Republicans are, as a 

         rule, reasoning and reasonable men.  They advocate what they 

         believe to be the greatest good for the greatest number.  

         Such we believe to be high license and local option, but not 

         prohibition.  Crime should be prohibited, but the man who 

         says it is criminal to drink a glass of pure light wine at a 

         meal, after a hard day's work, is a crank.

              High license has assuredly been a success wherever tried 

         in closing up the more disorderly resorts and lessening 

         crime.  This is the unanimous opinion of unprejudiced 

         observers.  Whether it has reduced the number of drunkards is 

         another question.  No one but a fool will imagine that a 

         drunkard can be reclaimed by removing his usual source of 

         liquor supply.   Neither high license nor prohibition will 

         remove from a man the chains of a habit acquired, perhaps, 

         during a quarter of a century, any more than it would an 

         inveterate smoker or morphine fiend.

              This brings us to the question;  Does prohibition 

         prohibit?  The universal and overwhelming testimony is to the 

         effect that it does not.  It simply transfers the liquor 

         trade from the saloon keepers to the druggists, or to other 

         surreptitious channels of supply, forcing men to become 

         hypocrites and liars and leading them to substitute liquids 

         which will intoxicate rapidly for less harmful beverages, 

         which they would consume if the furnishing of such were not 

         made a crime.  It is well known that in Maine the express 

         companies derive a large revenue from the carrying of 

         liquors.  Prohibition centers nearer home can also tell 

         something interesting of the workings of this plan.

              You may lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make 

         him drink.  Per contra, you may remove the open supply of 

         liquor, but a man who wants it will get it, and the whole 

         community will be imbued with a spirit of un-American 

         hypocrisy and falsehood in the bargain.

              Regulate the liquor traffic, grant licenses sparingly 

         and at a high rate, seek to substitute wholesome beverages, 

         containing but a small per centage of alcohol, for the raw 

         spirit which is now so largely consumed, enact stringent 

         regulations against the adulteration of liquors, teach in the 

         schools the evils of the abuse of alcohol, morphine, opium 

         and nicotine and drunkards will soon be as rare in the United 

         States as they are in the wine-growing sections of France and 

         Germany.  At present they are almost as numerous as in 

         Scotland on a Sunday, when all the public houses are 

         religiously closed.

                         {Times, April 2, 1888, p. 2}

                 Sarcasm Without Sense From a Prohibitionist.

              Los Angeles, April 1.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Allow me to thank you for your prompt and satisfactory 

         answers to my questions.  A large number of Republicans in 

         this county have believed that the Republican party favors 

         prohibition, but your editorial effectually cures them of 

         such nonsense.  These Republicans will now join the 

         Prohibition party.  Your reply also settled some other 

         questions.  Inasmuch as prohibition does not prohibit, the 

         liquor dealers now will generally favor prohibition, and thus 

         sell more than ever and have no license to pay.  And as 

         prohibition does not prohibit, so education does not educate 

         and Christianity does not christianize.  And then all the 

         gamblers and hoodlums will move into one ward so as not to be 

         bothered by the police, for if the majority must rule then no 

         minority has any right to dictate to the majority what they 

         shall do.  You say that all the hope the Prohibitionists have 

         lies in the Republican party; and, as there is no hope there, 

         we are in a sad plight.  Besides this, Maine had her law at 

         least 10 years before the Republican party was born, and the 

         Chicago Tribune says that prohibition originated with the 

         Democrats.  But we are pleased to have your editorial as a 

         campaign document and we will use it freely, for its 

         frankness is refreshing and it opens the eyes of Republicans 

         who, until now, refused to admit that Prohibitionists have 

         nothing to hope for from the Republican party.  Of course 

         every one not an idiot knows that prohibition does prohibit, 

         and that no Prohibitionist ever pretended to dictate as to 

         what a man shall eat or drink.  No sane man believes that 

         high license lessens the amount of drunkenness.  But, again, 

         I thank you for your editorial.  Very truly,

                                          M.{W.} R. GOODWIN.

                          {Times, May 14, 1888, p. 3}


              Los Angeles, May 11.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  You 

         have opened your columns to a great many who have given their 

         opinions for and against prohibition and high license.  Now, 

         I favor prohibition, and would like to see not only the sale 

         of liquor forbidden by State laws, but the manufacture 

         prohibited by constitutional amendment.  Without the latter, 

         prohibition must be at best partial.

              As a free lance favoring the cause, let me give my 

         opinion to the regular army of Prohibitionists.  In the 

         coming election I would say, if by a third party vote you 

         know you can carry or have a reasonable hope of carrying a 

         State, county or district, do so.  If you cannot, but find by 

         uniting with one of the older parties you can win local 

         option or high license, I say by all means do so.

              There is no abandoning of principle in this.  If you 

         cannot capture the citadel at the first assault, should you 

         refuse to take the trenches?  If you find it impossible to 

         abolish smallpox, you quarantine it.  I ask you, were those 

         who, unable to destroy the curse of slavery, forbid the slave 

         trade and its extension to free States and Territories--were 

         they palterers with evil?

              Follow the example of the Irish Home Rulers, who, while 

         abating not a jot of their demands, yet accepted all they 

         could get in the way of installments, as the 

         disestablishment, land bills, land purchase bills, etc., and 

         played one party against the other, virtually holding the 

         balance of power, till now it waits only a dissolution of 

         Parliament to secure them their demands in full.

              Truly yours,                               


                               B) THE SUNDAY LAW

    Closely related to the prohibition movement was an attempt to preserve the  

sanctity of the Sabbath.  As noted by Sandra Frankiel in her authoritative work 

on California's "Sunday Law," Midwestern Protestants migrating to California 

considered Sabbath observance to be as much a part of their Christian faith as 

temperance, chastity, and education.  While gold rush California hardly seemed 

a place where the strict observance of Sunday would be a major consideration, 

the state legislature in 1855 banned noisy amusements on the Sabbath, enacting 

a law similar to those found in states east of the Mississippi River. Three 

years later an expanded law closed businesses on Sunday.

    The state supreme court struck down the law when a Jewish merchant 

successfully challenged it.  Reenacted in 1861, the new law was subsequently 

challenged by Jews, Buddhists and Seventh Day Adventists.  The Adventists did 

not object to observance of the Sabbath; they claimed that the legislature had 

recognized the wrong day of the week.  Eventually the state supreme court, now 

led by Chief Justice Stephen Field who had dissented in the previous case, 

upheld the 1861 law.  For the next two decades the statute stood, although some 

Protestant denominations would have broadened it.  Historian MIchael Engh notes 

that a Los Angeles Methodist conference in 1876 clearly indicated that "The 

Lord's Day was not the time for picnics, excursions, social visits, or any 

public sports."       

    Faced with a growing challenge to restrictions on Sunday activities, 

authorities responded with wholesale arrests in various parts of the state, 

including Southern California.  During the spring of 1882, when the crackdown 

reached its peak, J. J. Warner published a Times op-ed piece in which he warned 

that failure to respect Sunday as a religious day would deter desirable 

immigrants from coming to Los Angeles, resulting in an influx of unwelcome 

foreigners who were less moral.  

    Already a "League of Freedom," an organization opposed to restrictions on 

Sunday activities, had emerged in California.  To Republicans, League members 

were "wets," Democrats and foreigners, particularly Germans.  Responding to 

Warner, "A Native" suggested there were other reasons why it was necessary to 

enact Sunday laws.  "A German Citizen," however, challenged the view that all 

Germans opposed restrictive Sunday legislation.  Police Chief Henry King was 

the blacksmith referred to in his letter.

                         {Times, April 6, 1882, p. 3}

                A "Native" Endorses Colonel Warner's Argument.

                Other reasons than Inducing Moral Immigrants--

                    Sunday Laws Peculiar to English People.

                         "He who holds no laws in awe,

                          He must suffer by the law."

              There was a great deal of wisdom and pointed argument in 

         Colonel Warner's letter on the Sunday law, yet there are 

         other reasons and arguments in favor of its enforcement than 

         the mere matter of inducement for moral people to come hither 

         and pitch their tents on our inviting plains.

              Sunday laws are emphatically peculiar to the English-

         speaking people, and were first enacted during the reign of 

         King Athelstane, 950 years ago, and have been prominent on 

         our statute books to the present day.  In all communities in 

         America, where the people are of English or Scotch origin, 

         Sunday laws are not necessary, and if on the local statutes 

         are never enforced because they are never violated.  The 

         proper observance of the Sabbath is so engrafted in the 

         hearts of the English speaking people, as to amount to a 

         sacred tradition, nay, more, it is our religion.  An American 

         may forget his creed, may lose his moral identity, but he 

         never forgets his respect for the holiness of the Christian 

         Sabbath, because it is the first lesson taught him by his 

         mother.  It is only in communities where the foreign element 

         largely preponderates, that laws and the enforcement thereof, 

         become necessary to maintain a proper observance for this 

         time-honored American idea.  The "League of Freedom," 

         composed in the main of foreigners, not only defy our laws, 

         but insult our religion.  It may be that our laws are wrong 

         and that our religious idea of Sabbath observance is a 

         humbug, a thing which should be abolished, and to that end 

         the League has been formed.  I heard a member observe that 

         "we will repeal the law."  I heard another remark, "we will 

         repeal the Constitution of the United States."   Now what 

         these two persons meant by these observations I am not 

         prepared to say, but this much I for one am willing to 

         maintain, and that is the "League of Freedom" and its leaders 

         are treading on very dangerous ground in pursuing their 

         present course, because it may become at some time necessary 

         for them as a body and as individuals to invoke the law in 

         their favor and those who defy the law may become embarrassed 

         in claiming protection from the law.

              Many Americans have been heard to observe in these 

         latter days that "if a robber should despoil a member of the 

         league, and should they be called upon to sit on a jury to 

         judge the culprit, they would find him not guilty on general 

         principles."  We know that as compared with the class of 

         people that compose the "League of Freedom," the ordinary 

         native is a barbarian and needs reforming and while willing 

         to admit the undoubted ability of the flaming leader of the 

         league to accomplish that end in his own good time and 

         pleasure, still we may hazard the assertion that the natives 

         will not submit thereto without a more violent protest than 

         this of  

                                           A NATIVE.

                         {Times, April 7, 1882, p. 2}

                          A Protest from the Germans.

              Editor of the Times:  The League of Freedom has 

         published its determination to resist the law of the State.  

         The Southern California Post especially made itself prominent 

         in the present movement regarding the Sunday law.  It claims 

         the German element is against the Sunday law.  In this the 

         editor is greatly mistaken.  There is a large number of 

         German citizens in favor of the enforcement of this law, of 

         which more than nine-tenths of that number do not belong to 

         any church.  They are law-abiding citizens, and do not bring 

         into contempt the Governor, Judges, and all the executive 

         officers of our State.  That paper, a week ago, abused our 

         Chief of Police.  It stated he was better fitted to work in 

         his blacksmith shop, than fill that office, because he was 

         faithfully performing his duty.  It also stated that the 

         Chief of Police was indebted to German influence for his last 

         election, and that he would be left out in the cold next 

         time.  It also ridiculed our Supreme Judges for deciding the 

         law to be constitutional.  No wonder that a number of our 

         German friends are opposers of a Sunday law, with such a 

         teacher and elevator of public morals.

                                      A GERMAN CITIZEN. 

    Public reaction to the law's enforcement was negative. In the 1882 state 

election, voters gave the anti-Sunday Law Democrats a legislative majority and 

they repealed the law the next year.  That ended statewide Sunday closure 

efforts although local governments, by ordinance, would continue to restrict 

activities on the Sabbath.  Los Angeles, for example, adopted an ordinance that 

kept saloons shut on Sunday.  Two 1887 letters indicate that taverns were not 

the only target of the Sunday Law movement.

                         {Times, May 11, 1887, p. 10}

                            Down on Sunday Trains.

              Pasadena, May 8.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  The 

         solemnities of public worship at one our churches were 

         considerably delayed this morning, owing to the fact that the 

         expected preacher, an eastern delegate to the Young Men's 

         Christian Association Convention, did not arrive until the 11 

         o'clock train.  In the address, which he plunged into at 

         once, he reflected somewhat upon the bridge which had brought 

         him safely over, for in illustrating the depravity of 

         business men generally, he said: "If they have anything to do 

         on Sunday, off they go on the train this morning--there was 

         such a crowd."  This remark ought to have weight with the 

         railroads in inducing them to carry only religious teachers 

         on Sunday.                        

                                           S. W. R.

                          {Times, Dec. 6, 1887, p. 2}

                                Street Fakirs.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         seems about time that the city authorities should call a halt 

         when taking into consideration such Sabbath-breaking 

         nuisances as the side show on Main street near First.  All 

         day long the fakirs at the door have been yelling at the 

         passers-by to come in and see the "greatest show on earth," 

         and when they were not yelling the screams of Punch and Judy 

         on the inside could be heard a block away.  The sidewalk has 

         been blockaded all day in front of the tent, and it has been 

         very embarrassing and annoying for ladies going to and from 

         church to have to force their way through a crowd of loafers.

              It is nothing but a ten-cent side show fake, and it is a 

         disgrace that the authorities should allow such an affair to 

         be run on Sunday.

              Yours respectfully,                 

                                           A RESIDENT.

    George Telfair, on the other hand, represented Christians who questioned 

"A Native's" historical argument for restrictive laws and even challenged the 

religious base for such legislation.  His letter responded to a series of 

"Sunday-rest law" meetings conducted in California by Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts, a 

New Yorker who was secretary of the American Sabbath Union.  The Times devoted 

nearly five full columns to a report of his Hazard's Pavilion meeting, which 

drew an audience estimated at 5500.  

                         {Times, Sept. 1, 1889, p. 6}

                             The Sunday Question.


              Los Angeles, Aug. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         your issue of the 22d inst. I noticed a request to all 

         preachers who have not yet preached on the Sabbath question 

         to do so on next Sunday.  As I desire the city of Los Angeles 

         for a congregation, I trust you will permit me to occupy the 

         Times pulpit.  My text is found in Romans xiv., 5:  "One man 

         esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day 

         alike.  Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

              Paul certainly believed in religious liberty.  That he 

         had no reverence for the superstitious observance of days is 

         evident from Romans ix., 10-11:   "Ye observe days and months 

         and times and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have 

         bestowed upon you labor in vain."  In his epistle to the 

         Colossians, he is still more emphatic:  "Let no man, 

         therefore, judge you in meat or in drinks or in respect of a 

         holy day or of the new moon or of the Sabbath days" (11-16).  

         The tenor of Paul's teaching is opposed to the sabbatarian 

         idea.  In fact, all the New Testament writers agree with 

         Paul.  They enumerate at length, in several places, all kinds 

         of sins, but fail to say one word about Sabbath-keeping as 

         binding, and I challenge Dr. Crafts to show where any of the 

         New Testament writers ever found fault with anybody for not 

         keeping the Sabbath.

              One of the charges made against Christ by the Jews was 

         the he was a Sabbath-breaker.  John, the favorite disciple, 

         admits that Jesus had broken the Sabbath:  "Therefore, the 

         Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only 

         broken the Sabbath but said also that God was his father." 

         (John v., 18.)

              Jesus went with His disciples in the fields on the 

         Sabbath and gathered corn.  (Mark II., 23.)  When the Jews 

         reproved them, Jesus told them that "the Sabbath was made for 

         man." (II., 27.)

              Such a Sabbath as Dr. Crafts advocates is not only 

         anti-Christian but unconstitutional.  For hundreds of years 

         after Christ there was no such thing as a Christian Sabbath.  

         Sir William Domville says, in speaking of this subject:  

         "History does not furnish us with a single proof that Sunday 

         was observed as the Sabbath previous to the edict of 

         Constantine, A.D. 321."  (Six Texts, p. 241.)

              The Christian Sabbath was made by man, and as an 

         institution of the church is all right for those who are 

         "fully persuaded in their own minds;" but that there is any 

         more sacredness attached to Sunday than to any other day is a 

         superstition, and any attempt to enforce {illegible} would 

         surely fail.

              {[illegible} the object of this Sabbath agitation can 

         become a law Dr. Crafts must show that Martin Luther did not 

         know what he was saying when he said, "As regards the 

         Sabbath, or Sunday, there is no necessity of keeping it."  

         (Michelet's Life of Luther, book 4, chapter 2.)  "If anywhere 

         the day is made holy for the mere day's sake, if any where 

         any one sets up its observance upon a Jewish foundation, then 

         I order you to work on it, to dance on it, to ride on it, to 

         feast on it, to do anything that shall reprove this 

         encroachment on the spirit of Christian liberty."  (Luther's 

         Table Talk.)

              I can furnish much more similar testimony from the 

         church's most eminent defenders, but space forbids.  In 

         closing let me say, that the reason the church so 

         persistently advocates this fraudulent institution is because 

         she has drifted away from Christ, and it is to fill her empty 

         seats and swell the collections that she would close every 

         avenue to social enjoyment and rational happiness, and make 

         for us a gloomy prison of the day which Jesus said was made 

         for man, and which if spent with those we love, in the 

         Cathedral not made with hands, listening to Nature's priest 

         and choirs that sing in the green-clad boughs their untaught 

         psalms, would lift our hearts to better things.

                                        GEORGE B. TELFAIR.

    Was the Sunday Law in the interest of working men and women?  Three 

Angelenos debated that issue in the letters column in September, 1889, after 

Craft's meetings led to a call for restoration of restrictive Sabbath 

legislation.  In an argument that carried a tinge of the class struggle, "B. R. 

G." viewed such laws as a violation of the welfare of working people.  "A 

Seventh Rest Day" claimed Sunday laws directly benefited workers.  Old Jesse 

Butler, veteran of the labor movement yet sympathetic to the church's concern 

that man should set aside a time for God, offered what was, for 1889, a rather 

utopian idea: two days a week without work; one for God and one for the worker.  

In fact, the gradual move to a shortened workday on Saturday won support from 

clergymen who believed, as did Butler, that workers would be more likely to 

attend church on Sunday if another day were set aside for their own pursuits. 

                         {Times, Sept. 9, 1889, p. 5}

                                 A Sunday Law.

                             A WORKINGMAN'S VIEWS.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It

         is a noticeable point that a careful perusal of the report of 

         the Sunday-law convention in Tuesday's Times reveals the fact 

         that with but one or two exceptions all the speakers in favor 

         of the law have Rev. attached to their names, and whose 

         business it is to work for hire on Sunday.  The amount of 

         extra sympathy developed for the working people, and the fear 

         they would be worked too hard and too long, would be all 

         right and proper if it were expended on the six days of toil 

         and not made an excuse for depriving them of needed 

         recreation.  To an unprejudiced, thoughtful and earnest 

         well-wisher of the toiling masses--whose condition at the 

         best admits of very little recreation or pleasure--it would 

         seem unjust and cruel to deprive them of their only day of 

         rest and amusement, the only day they have to visit the 

         fields, mountains, ocean, or meet in social intercourse.  Is 

         it judicious or right to punish many for the sins that may 

         have been committed by the few upon Sunday excursions?  To 

         the liberal, fair-minded man the whole move has a look of 

         pure selfishness; that the Revs. were afraid of losing their 

         grip on the people, and that forcing people to stay at home 

         would fill their churches and contribution boxes on Sunday.

              Why is it any worse for the laborer to carry on his 

         trade on Sunday than for the preacher?  Why ask the one to 

         lose his day and pay the other for his, when both learn their 

         trades and work for the same object--pay?  What do these 

         censors of public morals mean by a day of rest?  Is it 

         absolute cessation from all bodily exercise, complete 

         idleness of mind and body?  It would seem so from the 

         onslaught made upon the Sunday papers.

              The time was in this country when Sunday laws were 

         vigorously enforced, when for a man to kiss his wife on 

         Sunday was a crime, and to be caught on the public highway, 

         except going and coming from church, was a heinous offense.  

         Do these reverends wish to go backward to those good old 

         times?  Not one of them dare go into their pulpits and preach 

         the doctrines taught then.  Why, then, should the people be 

         forced back into puritanical ideas and theories, except it be 

         to legalize the ascendance of the church over the minds and 

         free will of the toil-worn masses.

              If it is the real welfare of the working people that is 

         aimed at, would it not benefit them much more to look into 

         their condition and means of living in the six working days 

         than in trying to deprive them of their one day of pleasure 

         and recreation?  The hand of poverty is heavy enough to bear, 

         coupled with ceaseless toil for a bare subsistence, without 

         being supplemented by the hand of the church, with nothing 

         offered as a substitute except a back seat in a fashionable 

         church, with a dry sermon warranted not to disturb the tender 

         conscience of the lawyer, money-lender or bondholder, whose 

         interest is working as hard on Sunday as any other day, while 

         the poor toiler on the back seat has been deprived of his 

         opportunity of earning or enjoying the same day though it is 

         only through the fruits of labor this interest can or will be 

         paid.  The day has passed, never to return, when religious 

         intolerance can show its hydra head and control the 

         consciences of free-born American citizens, or when, by law, 

         a man may not take his family into the country or to the 

         ocean or mountains and pass his Sunday in any way it may 

         please himself, and not injure his fellow-man or his 

         property.  Shut up the saloons if you like; that is all 

         right, but don't seek to stop the masses from amusing 

         themselves in an orderly excursion, bathing or other innocent 

         recreation because it is Sunday.

                                                 B. R. G.

                         {Times, Sept. 13, 1889, p. 5}

                              Sunday Observance.

                     "A MINISTER'S REPLY TO A WORKINGMAN."

              Los Angeles, Sept. 9.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Although unnecessary for me to say one word in defense of the 

         Christian ministry, assailed by opponents of a Sunday law, I 

         wish such as your correspondent in today's Times to know 

         that, whether he thinks so or not, workingmen have no better 

         friends on earth than the ministers he criticises.  They want 

         a Sunday law because workingmen need it--because the lack of 

         it tends to the ruin and beggary of the country.  It has been 

         proved abundantly that six days at a stretch is as long as 

         either man or beast can work long without suffering; and, 

         therefore, to save the workingmen, his wife and children from 

         the curse of continuous labor, ministers will do all they can 

         to secure the Sunday law.

              But he seems to say that the ministers' chief work, 

         preaching, should also be stopped on the Sunday because it is 

         his "work"--work for which he is paid.  He knows, or should 

         know, as most workingmen certainly know well, that the 

         ministers' work of the Sunday is just as right and proper as 

         other people's rest is proper on that day; and that were the 

         ministers to rest instead of preaching he himself would be 

         one of the first to censure and condemn him for it.  And he 

         is equally mistaken when he would argue that the ministers 

         concerned wish or seek to bring about one iota of "religious 

         intolerance;" ordinary work on the Sunday, with Sabbath 

         desecration, are the sources of the most and worst 

         intolerance of the day.  Why must the railway hand, the 

         street-car hand, the poor jaded hack, or any other six-day 

         worker, be robbed of the day of rest?  It is simply 

         impossible to run street cars or railways on the Sunday 

         without depriving many persons of the rest-day, and "A 

         Workingman" would seem to wish to make such men work 

         forever--Sunday and week day--simply that he and others like 

         him may have their mere amusements!

              I feel certain of one thing, viz., that "B. R. G." did 

         not himself hear Dr. Crafts argue the Sunday law question, or 

         he would never have written his letter.  I repeat, ministers 

         are among the workingman's best and truest friends.  

                                       A SEVENTH REST DAY.

                         {Times, Sept. 18, 1889, p. 3}

                     Jesse H. Butler on Sunday Observance.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         As I see you have allowed a workingman to say a few words 

         about the Sabbath rest, and then a minister to answer, I 

         would like to take a hand in and between the two, supposing 

         you will allow another workingman to do so.

              I believe in a Sabbath of rest, in a religious Sabbath, 

         and a week ago last Monday evening was in hopes of a chance 

         to tell the ministers there how the workingman could and 

         would keep said day of rest, when speaking in the pavilion on 

         that subject; but about when I came to that point, they 

         hinted that my time was up.  Now when the ministers 

         occasionally stray into a workers' meeting, they are always 

         given plenty of time, even when their given time is up; would 

         it not be well for these gentlemen to show themselves as 

         liberal as the common workers in giving them the same chance 

         where the rostrum is changed?

              The truth lies between these two writers--these two 

         classes; and until they both understand each others' 

         condition and position, by a more familiar and frequent 

         intercourse with and toward each other, there will be no good 

         come of the religious Sabbath rest, no matter what laws you 

         may make on that important subject.

              Now, it is a fact, that the Greek Church has 52 Saints' 

         days in the year, which gave even to the serfs of Russia two 

         rest days a week, including Sunday--that is to say, they kept 

         one day to do as they pleased, in visiting or making home 

         comfortable.  The Sunday was kept as a holy day; the Saint's 

         day as a holiday.  Now ought not a free born or naturalized 

         American citizen to have as much rest as a Russian serf?

              If the ministry cannot appreciate the abstract right, 

         let me ask another question--do they really want the worker 

         to keep a holy, religious, church-going day of rest?  I do; 

         but I never more expect to see them do this in any great 

         number until you give them by law and custom a holiday to 

         enjoy themselves outside of the church, in any innocent 

         enjoyment with their families, as they may think best; and I 

         trust many of the ministers have lived long enough to be 

         fully convinced of this fact by common every Sunday 

         observation.  Let the ministers advocate this, and when the 

         other rest day shall come, besides Sunday, as a result of 

         their labors for that end, they will obtain the appreciation 

         and admiration of the workers, who shall fill their 

         sanctuaries to overflowing.

              Religion is natural, if you give a man a chance to be 

         religious; especially to the poor man, who feels every day 

         his dependence on the hand that gives the daily bread.  This 

         is the great class that needs Sunday; give it to him, 

         gentlemen of the ministry and of the law, and the workers and 

         the ministers will be happy together in the great 

         congregation, and in their mutual homes, neglect to do this 

         and you ministers will go down the ages, groaning and 

         grunting, like so many Jeremiahs, about the sins and 

         impieties of the rulers and the people.

              I do not wonder at the bitterness of tone of the 

         Workingman's letter in The Times to the ministers.

              They are appealed to by the ministers to keep holy 

         Sabbaths, to build churches and support the expense and 

         services of the sanctuary; but no messenger of God comes to 

         their homes, their shops and to their public meetings and 

         assemblies to bid them God speed, and say unto them, "What 

         then we do for you brothers and children of {illegible} your 

         wages, in the hours of labor, and in inducing the men of 

         money to be liberal to you and to keep you all to work, and 

         to make you and your families well to do and happy?"

              I have worked for forty years, you gentlemen of the 

         ministry, to induce the multitudes to come and hear the sweet 

         songs of Zion, and you know your churches would soon be empty 

         without these songs, and now I claim the privilege of talking 

         to you, not for myself, but for the masses who are my fellow 


              My own impression is that the extra day of material rest 

         should be on Monday, as the multitudes would come to the 

         church first, and there, besides worshiping God, receive 

         advice from their preachers as to how they had best keep the 

         rest day, or holiday, in innocent and useful recreations, and 

         as a credit to themselves and families as proud and 

         intelligent citizens of the great Republic.  Respectfully,

                                              JESSE H. BUTLER.