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First edition, 2002
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There is an eternal conflict between the school-room and the bar-room. The school-room makes men, the bar-room destroys them. The school-room takes the child and trains him to a useful life. The bar-room takes the boy and trains him to a life of wrong-doing. The school-room fills the home with bright, happy boys and girls. The bar-room fills it with ignorant, aimless, lawless inmates. The school-house fills the pulpit with educated, eloquent ministers of the gospel and pews with godly men and women. The still-house fills the jails and penitentiaries with criminals and murderers. The school-room sends men to the Legislature, to the bench, and the executive office. The bar-room sends them to the scaffold and hell. The school-room gives to the community an intelligent, thrifty, enterprising, refined manhood and womanhood. The bar-room gives to it a thriftless, lawless, ignorant, worthless citizenship. The school-room carries light and knowledge into the home and community. The bar-room carries darkness and sorrow and death into the home and the community. The school-room leads to higher and better things. The bar-room leads to lower and baser things. The school-room stands for the good, the bar-room for the bad.
The people that multiply and replenish the school-rooms and destroy the bar-rooms are building for their posterity a future that will grow brighter and greater as they continue to multiply and replenish the school-room and utterly destroy the last trail of the bar-room. The people of North Carolina have, made wonderful strides in the last few years in multiplying the school-rooms and in destroying the bar-rooms, but the final conflict is just before them. On the 26th of May, 1908, the final battle is to be fought. Shall the school-room or the bar-room triumph? On that day every citizen must stand with the school-room or the bar-room. He must stand for the work of the school-room or the work of the bar-room. There is no middle ground.
The election is to be a State election, and the issue involved appeals to every citizen in every section. The cry comes from the friends of the school-room, from those who would give the State a strong, great, noble citizenship, for protection from the curse of drunkenness. This cry should be heard and answered by every lover of his fellow-men, no matter where his home may be.
While North Carolina is divided into counties and towns and town-ships, yet these make, the State. The good of every section should be the aim of every citizen. If the people in any city or town have rid themselves of the curse of the whiskey traffic and have found peace and profit in it, they should be at the ballot-box on the day of the election and vote to confer a similar blessing upon their fellow-citizens in every other section.
The time was when the different sections of the State were separated from each other by long distance and time. To go from one extreme to the other was a long, tiresome journey, and but few attempted it. Now it is easy and enjoyable, and all the men of the East and men of the West
often meet and shake hands. The time was when it took a long time to get news from Currituck to Cherokee, from Wilmington to Asheville. Now the citizens of these once remote communities can converse with each other as if they lived by the side of each other. The railroad, telegraph and the telephone have annihilated space and time, and made us one people in all our aspirations, plans and purposes, to become a great people and a great State. The people of one county can not be indifferent to the welfare of the people in another county. Hence, I can confidently appeal to the friends of the school-room and the enemies of the bar-room in every section of the State to be at the ballot-box on the 26th day of May and vote against the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors in North Carolina. I use the term bar-room to represent every means for the sale and traffic in liquor, and I earnestly appeal to the people to put an end to the traffic, no matter under what name or guise it may be carried on.
A favorite argument with those who want to stand with the bar-room, but who try to give some excuse for so doing, is that prohibition does not prohibit. Oh, they say, if prohibition really prohibited they would vote for it. This argument is not sincere. Those who use it do so because they are ashamed to stand for the bar-room with all its horrors and evils without some cloak to hide behind. If they are sincere, why do they not say the same thing about other prohibition laws? We have had a law against stealing which has been on our statute books for ages, and yet some men steal. Our statute books are full of prohibition laws which are violated nearly every day. Do we hear those men say these do not prohibit, and therefore let them be repealed? Nay, verily. It is only when it is proposed to prohibit by law something of the wreck and ruin produced by the sale of whiskey that we hear the cry that prohibition does not prohibit.
I now propose, very briefly, to show that prohibition does prohibit--not absolutely, but largely and beneficially. In the first place I remark that no human law is perfect in its construction or execution. We have to take all law with its limitations, but the law which prohibits the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor CAN BE MADE as efficient as any other law if the people so will it. In the next place, I remark that we are more or less creatures of habit. If we have the habit of going to bed at 9 o'clock, when 9 o'clock comes a sleepy feeling creeps upon us. If we get out when 6 o'clock comes, we become wakeful. If 12 o'clock be our dinner hour, when noon comes, hunger comes with it. Men even contract the dirty, filthy habit of chewing tobacco, and when the habit gets a good hold upon them they are never satisfied except when they have a wad of the stuff in their mouth. So with drinking. It is largely a habit. The man who has the habit wants his drink at the usual hour. The man who is free from the habit does not want it. Now anything that tends to get men out of the habit ishelpful. As you make it more and more difficult to get liquor you more and more get men out of the habit of using it. If men can't get it they can't use it, and i they get out of the habit of using it they soon cease to want it. And I submit that prohibition makes it difficult, if not impossible, for that very class of men to get whiskey who can ill afford to waste their hard earnings and scanty means in something that can do them no good. After all, the effectiveness of prohibition, like all other prohibitory laws, depends upon the local authorities. If we have sheriffs and constables and police and magistrates who are in sympathy with blind tigers, the blind tigers will flourish. If these officers are in enmity with the blind tiger and in full sympathy with a rigid enforcement of the law, the blind tiger will soon seek other fields for his devilish operations. Hence the necessity for a great big majority for prohibition. Let us make it so large that the officers of the law will know that the people are earnest and that they mean to see the law enforced. Let us make it so big that the wretch who would engage in the illicit manufacture or sale of liquor will know that there is no hiding place for him in North Carolina, and that, if he would engage in this wicked business he must go beyond her borders.EDWARDS & BROUGHTON PRINTING CO., RALEIGH, N. C.