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(title page) [Letter] May 20th, 1908, Greenville, N.C. [to the men of Pitt County]
(first line of text) I desire to call your attention to some questions involved in the election
Jarvis, Thomas Jordan
1 sheet ( p.) ; 28 x 21 cm.
Call number Cb178 J37 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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GREENVILLE, N. C., May 20th, 1908
I desire to call your attention to some questions involved in the election to be held on the 26th inst., which may not have impressed themselves upon your mind, and I take this liberty because of my deep earnestness in the matter and my firm conviction that it will be better for the people and especially for the coming generation, if the people that live in Pitt county shall give a big majority for Prohibition.
Whatever your own notion about prohibition may be, it seems to me that down in your heart you must admit that it is better to remove from our midst a thing that costs so much money, and so much trouble and distress in the home and so much lawlessness and disorder in society, as does intoxicating liquor.
A very conservative estimate of the amount of money expended by the people of Pitt each year for intoxicating liquor shows the startling fact that not less than Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) is thrown away every year by our people for intoxicating liquor. I say it is thrown away because no one can claim that his money goes to build up anything useful in society or in any department of human life. Yes, it is worse than thrown away, because every fair minded man must admit that the expenditure of this sum of money in the county for intoxicating liquor creates lawlessness, makes criminals, wrecks homes and brings trouble to innocent women and children.
Suppose this money which is thus expended, in that which does nobody any good, but which brings ruin into many homes, should be used in the building of better homes, in furnishing them with additional comforts and in building better schools and supplying them with better teachers, in improving farm implements and creating better methods of agriculture, and in many other ways which tend to elevate the people and add additional wealth to the community; what a change would be wrought in the industrial, educational, social, moral, intellectual and religious life of every community.
It does seem to me that every honest fair minded man must admit that it would be better for the coming generation to grow up in a community and in a state where intoxicating liquors are not manufactured and sold, than it will be to subject them to the temptations and allurements which come to young men in communities where still-houses and bar-rooms hold sway. If this be true, then ought we not to be willing by our votes to help bring about these better conditions?
On the 26th of May, we will be called upon to vote one of two tickets. One ticket will read, "FOR THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR." The other ticket will read, "AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR." We have seen the evil of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors in our midst; let us try prohibition and see what this will do for us. It has worked great good in other communities in the state where it has been honestly and faithfully tried, and I feel confident it will do the same in Pitt, if we faithfully administer the law, and that it will bring gladness and joy into the homes of the people. I not only urge you to vote that ticket yourself, but I beg that you will persuade others to do so. Personal effort can accomplish a great deal, and I beg that you will use your personal influence with your friends to get them to go with you to save the boys.
If for any reason you cannot now conscientiously vote the ticket which reads, "AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR" then I beg you by all that is sacred and holy, I beg you in the name of the women and children, consider well before you vote the ticket which reads "FOR THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR." I beg you do not vote for stills and open bar-rooms in the county. I beg you to look at the promising boys and beautiful girls in your homes and in your communities, and then you will not put these temptations in their way.
In making this appeal to you, I am not moved by any selfish purpose. I do it because of my love for the children, and my earnest desire to see them grow up in communities exempt from such evil, and thereby be blessed with all the advantages that can be given them to aid them in making of themselves the best that is possible. I plead with you if you cannot go to the polls and vote "AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR," that you will not cast a ballot that may have the effect to open still-houses and bar-rooms in your midst.
I think I can say with the utmost confidence, that there is not the slightest doubt about the result of the election in the state. It is, in my opinion, absolutely certain that a large majority of the people are going to vote "AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR." So that in making this earnest appeal to you, I am not influenced by any fear of the results. But I am exceedingly anxious that Pitt County shall make a record on the 26th of May, of which your children in the days to come will be proud. I have declared that it is one of the best counties in the state time and again, in the county and elsewhere, and I say to you now that I earnestly desire to see it become "The" county in eastern North Carolina. I want to see the county give a majority "AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR" greater than any other county in this whole eastern section. I want to see the county do this, because I want to see it become a great leader in the industrial, intellectual and moral development of this eastern section of our grand old state.
Men of Pitt, I feel that I have done my full duty in the great campaign for the educational, moral and industrial uplift of the people, and in creating the best conditions for their children. I now appeal to you, to each of you, and to all of you, to do your duty in the fear of God and in love for humanity.
With faith in your manhood and in your devotion to home, to county and to duty, I look for noble action on your part. I am,
Very truly yours,
THOS. J. JARVIS.