During the war whiskey had done its share in disgracing manhood. What was it that defeated the armies sometimes in the late war? Drunkenness in the saddle! What mean those graves on the heights of Fredericksburg? As you go to Richmond you see them. Drunkenness in the saddle. In place of the bloodshed of war, came the deformations of character, libertinism!
Again and again it was demonstrated that impurity walked under the chandeliers of the mansion, and dozed on damask upholstery. In Albany, in Harrisburg, in Trenton, in Washington, intemperance was rife in public places.
The two political parties remained silent on the question. Hand in hand with intemperance went the crime of bribery by money—by proffered office.
For many years after the war had been almost forgotten, in many of the legislatures it was impossible to get a bill through unless it had financial consideration.
The question was asked softly, sometimes very softly, in regard to a bill: “Is there any money in it?” And the lobbies of the Legislatures and the National Capitol were crowded with railroad men and manufacturers and contractors. The iniquity became so great that sometimes reformers and philanthropists have been laughed out of Harrisburg, and Albany, and Trenton, and Washington, because they came empty-handed. “You vote for this bill, and I’ll vote for that bill.” “You favour that monopoly of a moneyed institution, and I’ll favour the other monopoly of another institution.” And here is a bill that is going to be very hard to get through the Legislature, and some friends met together at a midnight banquet, and while intoxicated promised to vote the same way. Here are $5,000 for prudent distribution in this direction, and here