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physical effects of alcohol, and other important phases of the
For a time the doctor labored to good acceptance and with good results in New Hampshire and Connecticut, when, friends aiding him, he purchased a small farm in Millbury, Mass., and moved there in 1849. He here published by subscription a little volume entitled, "Speeches, Poems and Miscellaneous Writings on Subjects connected with Temperance and the Liquor Traffic." It was well received by the friends of temperance. While his home was in Millbury he worked much as a public lecturer in Hampden County, Mass., and awakened unusual interest in the country towns there. The city of Springfield felt the good effects of his labors. In 1851, he was employed in Maine for a season, to begin his work on the Kennebec, ending it with Calais in the eastern border of the State. The "Maine Law" was in active operation at the time, in a large portion of the State, and this champion of prohibition was desirous of aiding in the execution of it. At Hallowell a prominent liquor-seller defied the city government, threatening to hew down with an axe the first man who entered his store to enforce the law. The doctor had no faith in his threats if the officers of the law were in earnest with him. He offered to be present and to aid them. Amid an excited crowd the store was entered by the prosecuting party, and the enraged proprietor, axe in hand, repeated his threat, ordering the doctor out of his store. "I will not leave it until ordered by the officer," was the calm but firm reply. The store-keeper cowed and dropped the axe, and in spite of the exasperated mob at the door, wagons in waiting received the liquors that were conveyed to the city hall in a sort of triumphal march. Three days after this, a whole cargo of rum from Boston was seized by an officer. Dr. Jewett was assisting in its removal from the vessel, when there was a call for compromise. "None!" said the officer; "the whole cargo goes into the Kennebec unless the ship returns at once with it to Boston." The vessel returned with its load. On the Fourth of July that year the doctor delivered the oration in Portland, by invitation of the city government.
In the following year he labored in Ohio, and was engaged in one or two public discussions there, with able debaters who had been engaged to oppose him. One discussion was continued for four successive days. In Cincinnati he encountered one of the principal distillers of the place, who, in a series of questions and answers on the part of both disputants, was, according to the voluntary decision of the crowd, most essentially discomfited.
The doctor was a dweller in the West for some years; in Illinois and Minnesota. A large family, his inadequate support in New England, and his fondness for agriculture, led him to take this course. He was a sturdy and efficient pioneer, and where he lived gave good evidence of his noble manhood, and proved himself a blessing to the neighborhood. He was farmer, carpenter, physician, temperance reformer, literary lecturer, or preacher, as his services were called for. He visited New England as a lecturer on the resources of the Western States, and always made a favorable impression on his audience. His adventures during his western experience are related quite graphically by his biographer, who states that "varieties of corn, potatoes and fruits introduced by him into Minnesota and other States, are still raised, and he often meets with parties who say that they not only removed to Minnesota in consequence of what Dr. Jewett wrote and said to them about it, but also are raising the kind of produce that he introduced.
He spent the winter of 1854 in New England. He took with him to the East, long, narrow boxes containing large slices of the soil, obtained by digging down the whole depth of the loam, and cutting out pieces to fit the boxes, in which their shape was preserved. Some of these were over three feet long, rather ponderous to transport for lecturing purposes, but very practical in their use, as every man could see for himself the richness of the soil. These parallelograms of soil caused many a New England citizen to "go West." In 1858, the Massachusetts Temperance Alliance obtained his services as a lecurer, in the old field of his operations. He had removed to
Wisconsin when the War of the Rebellion broke out. His sons were in the army of the Union, and one of them was killed, a noble boy, a second lieutenant in the 54th Massachusetts (colored) regiment. At the close of the war the doctor was laboring for the Connecticut Temperance Union, with headquarters at Norwich. Afterwards he visited Kansas, and worked for temperance there, and also in Ohio, under the auspices of the Good Templars; subsequently he lectured for some time as agent for the National Temperance Society, whose headquarters were in New York City. His services were highly appreciated by the numerous patrons of the society, his facile and able pen (in their paper) like his voice, instructing and pleasing them always. While thus engaged he prepared and published a volume, entitled "Forty Years' Fight with the Drink Demon," in which he recorded the leading events of the Temperance cause during his connection with it. He subsequently delivered a course of Temperance lectures in Halifax, N. S. The press of the city pronounced them "thoroughly philosophical and scientific, appealing both to reason and conscience in great power." He afterwards lectured in the States of New York, New Jersey and Maryland, with an occasional lecture in New England, impressing his thought upon his hearers as successfully as ever, and enlarging the army of his admiring friends. He was busily at work as long as his health served him. After an illness which continued a part of the preceding winter, he closed his earthly career at Norwich, Ct., April 3, 1879. From Maine to Minnesota the tidings of his departure were received with saddened hearts by great numbers of friends. It was
"A noble life, well rounded to its goal."
Dr. Jewett may justly be regarded as one of the ablest of the pioneer temperance reformers in America. Dr. T. L. Cuyler termed him "Our Nestor and Achilles of Reform." Method, strength, logic, wit, liveliness and dignity were characteristics of his discourses. Hon. Neal Dow says that he delivered the best addresses he ever heard on either side of the Atlantic. Twenty years since, Lucius M. Sargent, author of the "Tem
perance Tales," wrote of him: "We have been familiar with his effective labors for thirty years. Though his addresses are descriptive, and full of pathos, humor, sarcasm and powerful exhortation, he is a lecturer in the scientific sense of that word." The various topics of discourse upon which he dwelt, gave evidence that the subject of Temperance was not likely to become a threadbare one in his hands. We can give only a sperimen of them from a large number found in the pages of his biography, like the following:
"Alcohol a Cerebral Poison. Alcohol a Narcotic. Alcohol and the Eliminating Organs. Three Stages of Drunkenness -Excitement, Bewilderment and Narcotism. Alcohol condemned alike by Scripture and Science. The Law and Tendencies of Artificial Appetites. The Warfare of the Liquor Trade on all Useful Trades and Occupations. Characteristics of Intemperance; seen in its Effects on Communities, States, and Nations. Instrumentalities for Removing the Curse of Intemperance. Harmony of the Divine Word with the Teachings of Science relative to the effect of Wine on Human Life and Welfare. Alcohol in Medical Practice. Popular Errors relating to Intemperance. Incidental supports to the Liquor Traffic. The Literature of the Temperance Cause," &c., &c.
Dr. Jewett was at home everywhere, and knew how to make himself useful and agreeable in all kinds of company. A sweet poem, written by James Russell Lowell, was occasioned by a conversation to which he listened in a railroad car between the doctor and a score of railroad laborers, when he talked to them about railroading, the dignity of work, and Robert Burns. They were captivated in the interview. Dr. Jewett was not aware of the poet's presence. The poem, "An Incident in a Railroad Car," opens thus ;
"He spoke of Burns; men rude and rough
His versatility of talent was remarkable. Says his biographer: "He controlled emergencies readily. If too poor to get what he wanted, he took what he could get, and made it an
swer his purpose as well. If he lacked the wherewith to purchase surgical instruments, he made them. If he needed cart or wheelbarrow, and his income was more limited than usual, he could easily manufacture them. He could doctor the body and the soul as well. He could be master of physic and the rostrum, or a practical mechanic and farmer."
His tact, too, was a cardinal quality, and his common sense a rich, available fund with him always. Macaulay said of the Duke of Monmouth, "He had brilliant wit and ready invention without common sense." Dr. Jewett possessed the same with common sense.
He had great boldness as well as great prudence, and his love of the Temperance cause was intense and unceasing. His ideas of refor n were based on Christianity. Hence he was welcome to pulpits, Christian conventions and ecclesiastical bodies. All sects felt at home in his presence, because of his Christian catholicity of spirit. He could say as Abou Ben Adhem said to the angel:
"Write me as one who loves his fellow-men."
He was indeed a model advocate of reform; as Judge Crosby said of him: "He brought to the controversy intelligence, great conversational powers and eloquence, logic, poetry, anecdote, wit, satire, great love of right, of humanity, Christian charity and faith, unfailing zeal, indomitable courage and perseverance. By day and by night, in the street, the field, the shop and the school, the old and young, rich and poor, seller and drinker, the tempter and tempted; he admonished and entreated. He pressed moral suasion upon them, and he appealed to the law."
In noticing the temperance work of Dr. Jewett, we are moved to speak especially of two characteristics of his appeals in behalf of it. One is, as a temperance reformer he took the ground that indispensable as was the work of moral suasion, the prohibition of the traffic in intoxicating liquors for common drinking uses was equally indispensable. He constantly maintained this ground, and fortified it with the strongest arguments. He believed that civilized States, especially