“My friends, hesitate before you vote liquor back into Atlanta, now that it is shut out. Don't trust it. It is powerful, aggressive, and universal in its attacks. Tonight it enters an humble home to strike the roses from a woman's cheek, and tomorrow it challenges this Republic in the halls of Congress. Today it strikes a crust from the lips of a starving child, and tomorrow levies tribute from the government itself. There is no cottage in this city humble enough to escape it - no palace strong enough to shut it out. It defies the law when it cannot coerce suffrage. It is flexible to cajole, but merciless in victory. It is the mortal enemy of peace and order. The despoiler of men, the terror of women, the cloud that shadows the face of children, the demon that has dug more graves and sent more souls un-shrived* to judgment than all the pestilences that have wasted life since God sent the plagues to Egypt, and all the wars that have been fought since Joshua stood beyond Jericho.
Oh, my countrymen, loving God and humanity, do not bring this grand old city again under the dominion of that power!
It can profit no man by its return. It can uplift no industry, revive no interest, remedy no wrong. You know that it cannot.
It comes to destroy, and it shall profit mainly by the ruin of your sons or mine. It comes to mislead human souls and to crush human hearts under its rumbling wheels. It comes to destroy the wife's love into despair, and her pride into shame. It comes to still the laughter on the lips of little children. It comes to stifle all the music of the home and fill it with silence and desolation. It comes to ruin your body and mind, to wreck your home.”
-Henry W. Grady (AD 1850-1889). This is a portion of his speech given the evening of November 17, 1887 to a crowd of 8,000 in Atlanta, Georgia.
In his speech Grady also noted that money not spent on alcohol is saved and spent on things that strengthen the family and economy.
Henry W. Grady was a well-known journalist and outstanding orator of the post-Civil War days. He was a member of First Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
*Shrive - to free from guilt; to confess one’s sins. Un-shrive - un-forgiven, un-confessed
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 9, AD 2012.
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