[Haddon, Connecticut, ca. March 5, 1832]. Manuscript fascicle of two sheets fastened with a pin (making eight pages) in autograph ink, 7.5 x 6.5 inches. Some general light browning, wear, and soiling; in very good condition. Item #19565
"The question before us which has this evening been so ably discussed is one not of minor importance to us individuals to the domestic circle to the inhabitants of these United States, community and to the human family. The affirmative have set for the injurious consequences produced by the use of ardent spirits, claim it a duty that we owe to ourselves to our fellow citizens and to our maker that all become members of the temperance society and that the temperance association rule is that sobriety which is according to the doctrines and Spirit of true religion. – That to pretend to make the way of the world the measure of temperance in this thing is as weak and absurd as to make the way of the world the measure of our faith abstinence humility – or of our duty to ourselves to all men and to our Creator . . . a temperate use of ardent spirits leads to an intemperate use which is destructive in its consequences to individuals and communities producing disease and death in all its most dreadfull forms That the use of ardent spirits to people in health will do no good but has a debasing influence to profanity and the indulgence of all the viler passions which in the end being infamy and disgrace. . . ." Seven pages of arguments for the merits of organizing for temperance, likely notes to public remarks, here in a vigorous and on occasional difficult unknown hand. The final page of the gathering is the apparently unrelated manuscript minutes in a very similar contemporary hand (though evidently with a different nib and ink) of a meeting of the Proprietors of the Common Field (those in Connecticut communities appointed to fence and oversee community commons) on March 5, 1832 in Haddam. This meeting appointed George S. Brainerd as clerk--which provides one possible clue to the hand which penned this early call for temperance organization; one might also hazard a draft of remarks from Haddam minister John Marsh, who was around this time stepping up his travel and work on behalf of the Connecticut Temperance Society prior to becoming an agent for the American Temperance Society.