EVILS OF USING TOBACCO,
AND THE NECESSITY OF
IMMEDIATE AND ENTIRE REFORMATION.
By REV. ORIN FOWLER A. M.
PUBLISHED BY GEO. GREGORY.
For sale by D. S. KING, No. 1 Cornhill; JORDAN & CO. 121 Washington Street. NEW YORK: JOHN S. TAYLOR, 145 Nassau Street. PROVIDENCE: WM. APLIN, 65 South Main St. 1842.
EVILS OF USING TOBACCO,
AND THE NECESSITY OF
IMMEDIATE AND ENTIRE REFORMATION.
Delivered before the Fall River Lyceum, and before the Congregation to whom the Author statedly ministers
BY ORIN FOWLER, A. M.,
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN FALL RIVER, MASS.
BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY GEO. GREGORY.
For sale by D. S. KING, No. 1. Cornhill; JORDAN &. CO. 121 Washington Street. NEW YORK: JOHN S. TAYLOR, 145 Nassau Street. PROVIDENCE: WM. APLIN, 65 South Main St.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1842, by ORIN FOWLER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
BY THE PUBLISHER.
Among the evils which a vitiated appetite has fastened upon mankind, those that arise from the use of Tobacco hold a prominent place, and call loudly for reform. We pity the poor Chinese, who stupifies body and mind with opium, and the wretched Hindoo, who is under a similar slavery to his favorite plant, the Betel; but we present the humiliating spectacle of an enlightened and christian nation, wasting annually more than twenty-five millions of dollars, and destroying the health and the lives of thousands, by a practice not at all less degrading than that of the Chinese or Hindoo.
Whether, then, we consider the folly and indecency of the habit, or the waste of property, health and life which it occasions, it is time for the Patriot, the Philanthropist and the Christian, to put forth united, vigorous and systematic efforts to banish this injurious and disgusting habit from the community.
It is a fact, that one reform not only prepares the way for another, but often so depends upon it, that the complete triumph of the one cannot be effected without that of the other. Such appears to be the relationship existing between the use of intoxicating drinks and that of the stimulating narcotic, tobacco. The use of tobacco almost always accompanies the use of alcoholic drinks, and it may be feared that total abstinence from the latter will not be permanent, unless there is also a total abstinence from the former. Our temperance brethren, particularly our worthy Washingtonians, will do well to bear this in mind.
The tobacco reform, being similar to that of temperance, must be brought about by similar means. Information must be diffused, the evils of the practice exposed, and the attention of the public aroused to the subject. To aid in this, is the object of the following pamphlet, two editions of which have already been put in circulation, and it is said to have been re-published in England. The favorable reception of the former editions, as shown by the repeated editorial remarks, and the numerous letters of thanks addressed to the author, affords much encouragement for a vigorous prosecution of the enterprise. Three members of the church of which the author is pastor, placed at his disposal a sum sufficient to supply, gratuitously, each of the 1000 Beneficiaries of the American Education Society, with a copy of the essay. Orders were furnished for bundles for distribution. An individual in Maine ordered 500 copies, and 1000 were ordered by E. C. Delevan, of New York, the distinguished advocate of Temperance.
Let the friends of true reform remember the early days of the temperance cause, and take courage. All interested should exert themselves. Clergymen can do much by lecturing and other means. Churches should form Anti-Tobacco Societies, circulate information and induce as many as possible to take a stand against the evil, by enrolling their names on a Pledge.
Teachers should speak on the subject, and endeavor to prevent the formation of so vile and tyranical a habit, by those under their influence; for it is a fact that lads in many of our public schools try to hasten their claims to manliness, by learning to chew, smoke or snuff. This being the case, we may expect, of course, to find these practices prevalent in our academies and colleges, our medical and our law schools and theological seminaries.
In the early records of Harvard University, says Dr. Mussey, is a regulation ordering that "no scholar shall take tobacco unless permitted by the President, with the consent of his parents, on good reason first given by a physician, and then only in a sober and private manner." How different now! Probably one half, at least, of the students of our colleges are, not in a "sober and private manner," but publicly addicted to this slovenly and disgusting practice.
As the use of tobacco is injurious to health, it is the duty of physicians to exert their influence against it. Their authority upon such subjects is generally respected, and is therefore very important.
To the ladies, it would hardly seem necessary to say a word, in order to secure their aid in a reform that so intimately concerns themselves. In this matter, as in the vice of intemperance, woman, though comparatively innocent, is by far the greatest sufferer. With what a melancholy prospect does a young lady marry a man who uses the filthy plant in any form. He may at first do it in a neat, or even a genteel manner, and neutralize the sickening odor by the most grateful perfumes; but this trouble will soon be dispensed with, and in all probability he will, at no distant day, become a sloven, with his garments saturated with smoke, and himself steeped in tobacco juice. Alas, to think of being annoyed a life-time by the nauseous odor of the vile tobacco worm, and of wasting patience and strength in vain endeavors to preserve neatness in his slimy trail! Little can be accomplished in this, or any other reform, without the aid of females. Let them take hold of the subject, and exert their legimate influence, and public opinion will soon be corrected; young men and old too, will soon learn that by no rule in the code of politeness and good breeding, can the use of tobacco be tolerated.
A word to dealers. How can a man who regards the morals, the happiness and the prosperity of his neighborhood and his country, deal out so useless, so filthy, and so injurious an article as tobacco? Many will of course, excuse themselves by saying as the rum-sellers once did, "If I don't sell it, others will," This plea did not justify the rum-seller, neither will it, the dealer in tobacco. Others will say, "I must sell it, or I shall offend my patrons and lose their custom." But this is not valid even as a selfish argument. A large and increasing portion of the community would be glad to patronize traders who sell only the useful and necessary articles of life. Let respectable traders cease to sell the article, and respectable customers would soon cease to buy it.
The abominable filthiness of the practice of using tobacco, is a sufficient argument to induce all decent people to wage war against it. Stage coaches, rail cars, steamboats, public houses, courts of justice, halls of legislation, and the temples of God, are all defiled by the loathsome consumers of this dirty, Indian herb. For the sake of decency, for the honor of humanity, let the land be purified from this worse than beastly pollution!
Let none be discouraged from engaging in this reform, because it relates to a wide-spread and fashionable vice. With a moderate degree of effort in each town and village, hundreds of thousands might in one year's time, be induced to pledge themselves against all use of tobacco.
During the last winter I drew up the following pledge, and obtained many signatures here and in other parts of the state.
We, the subscribers, believing that the use of TOBACCO, in all its forms, is injurious to health, and knowing it to be a slovenly, sluttish, and disgusting habit, do pledge ourselves that we will not SMOKE it, CHEW it, nor SNUFF it; and that we will use efforts to persuade those addicted to the practice, to discontinue its use; and above all, that we will not traffic in it, nor countenance those who do; and that we will use our influence to banish the "vile stuff" from New England, our country, and the world.
A gentleman in North Bridgewater, to whom I lent a pamphlet on this subject, said he had not read it half through, before he emptied his pockets of tobacco, and resolved to use no more. He also took a pledge to circulate among his neighbors.
Another man who had chewed tobacco thirty-three years, abandoned the habit and remarked that he would not return to it for fifty dollars.
Two benevolent individuals, in Providence, had two or three hundred copies of the above pledge printed to circulate in the State of Rhode Island. One of the principal clergymen in P. said, a member of his church, a trader, told him that the money paid for tobacco in the city was sufficient to support the public preaching. A gentleman there, who has recently given up tobacco, said he would not go back to its use for a thousand dollars, although it cost him a great effort to refrain from it. A young man, after receiving a private lecture from an anti-tobacco friend, committed to the flames half a dozen cigars he had by him, and signed the pledge.
I have conversed with very many addicted to the use of tobacco, and nearly all express regret at having formed the habit.
A few days since in a town not far from Providence, as I was sitting in the stage about starting for the city, up came a reverend gentleman, a very fine man by the way, with a big cigar about half burned. He had too much good breeding to get into the stage with it, and to all appearance, disliked to part with so good a friend; he accordingly stood outside and puffed away like a steamer, at the same time keeping an eye on the driver; when all was ready, he scrambled in, and we drove off. What an example, for a clergyman to stand in a public street and puff a cigar like a loafer or a blackguard!
Rev. Mr. C., in a village adjoining Providence relates, that a brother clergyman called to preach for him. He was in the habit of chewing tobacco, and Mr. C. took the opportunity to speak to him on the subject. At first the brother remarked that there was nothing wrong or injurious in it; but on Mr. C's pressing the matter and asking how he could preach "righteousness, temperance" and good habits in all things, when he was himself addicted to such a practice, the brother frankly acknowledged that he knew he was setting a bad example, and that tobacco was poisonous, injurious to health and shortened life, but he excused himself by saying he could not give it up, for he found it impossible to write a sermon or preach it with any success, without taking tobacco. Sermons and preaching inspired by tobacco! What better is this, than the inspiration of brandy?
Rev. Mr.——, now of Boston, formerly of a neighboring city, is a most excessive smoker and chewer, so much so that it was a matter of notoriety and remark among his congregation and acquaintances of his former residence. He was a very agreeable man in other respects, but his study, his library, and every thing about him were so completely saturated with tobacco smoke, that the ladies of his church rarely made him a call, and more rarely borrowed a book from his extensive and excellent library.—Is it not time for clergymen to reform themselves in this particular, and then consistently to set about reforming others.
I have recently learned that many ladies are in the habit of chewing snuff! Some of them become so addicted to it as to use enormous quantities in this way. "One of these snuff eaters," I was told, "was accustomed to take herself by the under lip with one hand, and with the thumb and four fingers of the other to fill in an embankment between her lips and teeth." Shocking! Yet, what young lady who carries a concealed snuff-box, can be sure of not coming to this?
I saw a woman who commenced with chewing snuff, and is now a regular tobacco chewer. She said however, that she intended to give up the habit and refrain from tobacco in all its forms.
Unless something is done to check the evil, who can say that we shall not become as bad as the inhabitants of Cuba, where, according to Rev. Mr. Ingersoll, "not only men, but women and children smoke, and some at a large expense." And according to Rev. Dr. Abbot, "it was the common estimate that in Havana, there was an average consumption of ten thousand dollars worth of cigars in a day."
BOSTON, July, 1842.
From the Rochester Observer.
"Fowler on the Evils of using Tobacco.—'A disquisition on the evils of using tobacco, and the necessity of an immediate and entire reform,' by Rev. Orin Fowler, of Fall River, Mass. This is a very valuable and instructive discourse. We have for two years or more been fully convinced that the use of tobacco, in its three common forms, ought immediately to be abandoned; but never were we so fully sensible of the alarming extent and tremendous ravages of this evil, as when we had read this production. We think no christian, who is willing to know and do his duty, can read this pamphlet, without saying on the spot, if he uses tobacco, (except it be judiciously prescribed by a physician.) the use of this poisonous, deleterious weed is a grievous sin, and I will abandon it immediately and forever.
Mr. F. lays down the position that it is the duty of every man and woman to abstain immediately, entirely and forever, from all use of tobacco, whether by chewing, smoking or snuffing, except it be as a medicine.
In favor of this point he offers the following arguments, which we think he has fully sustained, by well attested facts, quotations from approved authors, and the deductions of sound reasoning.
1. The history of this loathsome weed. It has ever since its discovery been considered exceedingly injurious, and its general use opposed by judicious men.
2. Its ruinous effect upon the health and constitution of men.
3. Its ruinous effects upon the intellect.
4. Its ruinous effects upon public and private morals.
5. The amazing waste of property which its use involves.
6. The mortality which its use occasions.
7. The apologies made by the lovers of tobacco.
8. The eternal ruin which tobacco occasions.
We intend in our next to give extracts from this discourse. We hope it will have a wide circulation, and would commend it to the careful perusal of all christians, especially to ministers, who use this vile and ruinous plant."
* * * * *
Edward C. Delevan, Secretary of the New York State Temperance Society, says, in a letter just received—"The subject of your Essay is one of immense importance to the world and to the temperance cause. The use of this vile weed has been the medium of forming the appetite for strong drink, and ultimately destroying thousands of the most promising youth of our country. You will hardly ever meet with an intemperate person without finding him addicted to the use of tobacco. The public only want light on this important subject, to act. Your able and convincing Disquisition will be the means of doing much good. I hope funds will be provided to furnish a copy to each clergyman in the United States. Send me one thousand copies of the second edition, as soon as it is from the press."
* * * * *
"Fowler on the Evils of using Tobacco.—We are anxious to see this work extensively circulated, for we are confident that it will do good. The pamphlet contains much valuable information, and will be found well worth an attentive and frequent perusal."
The Unionist, Brooklyn, Conn.
* * * * *
"Fowler on the Evils of using Tobacco.—The subject of which this pamphlet treats is one which, we are persuaded, has received too small a share of attention from those who are laboring to free our land, utterly and forever, from the thraldom of intemperance. From our own observation, limited as it has been, we are persuaded that the victims of intemperance in the use of this poisonous weed are by no means inconsiderable in number. Probably Mr. Fowler is correct when he estimates the mortality occasioned by the use of tobacco in its various forms, at five thousand annually. For ourself we are convinced that the suppression of intemperance in spirituous liquors will never be effected while the agents and advocates of our Temperance Societies, lecture with a pinch of snuff in their fingers and a huge tobacco quid in their mouths. Tobacco slays its thousands, and doubtless one tenth of the drunkards in our land have become so by first indulging in the use of the dirty plant, and thus creating an unnatural thirst that called for liquid fire to quench it.
Did our limits permit, we should be glad to give copious extracts from Mr. Fowler's discourse." Batharia Palladium.
* * * * *
Lisbon, Feb. 3d, 1841. Mr Fowler—
Dear Sir—We have in this county a monthly ministers' meeting.
At the last the use of tobacco was discussed. I was appointed to write on the subject, and derived important aid from your Disquisition on tobacco. I feel that it is a very happy effort, and calculated to do much good, and that it is desirable that it should have a much wider circulation.
The thought occurred to me whether it might not be published by the Tract Society.
This would give it the widest circulation it could have.
I doubt not but you are desirous of having the greatest amount of good accomplished by this effort, and will be ready to extend its circulation if possible.
Should it become a Tract, be so good as to inform me—for I should be glad to place it in every family in my parish.
Fraternally yours, JOSEPH AYER, Jr.
* * * * *
Notice by Dr. Alcott, Editor of the Library of Health.
"A disquisition on the evils of using Tobacco. By Orin Fowler, A. M. Second Edition. This pamphlet finds favor, * * * *. While we have the kindliest feelings towards those who chew this disgusting substance, we hold its use, in every form, in the most unqualified contempt. We care not to whom the remark may apply, whether he be farmer, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, minister, judge or president; but if in the light which Mr. Fowler has shed on the subject, any man should continue to smoke or chew tobacco, or take snuff, public opinion ought to frown him out of the pale of all civilized society. He that will contribute in any way to a tax upon this nation of $25,000,000 a year for such stuff, may well be set down as a bad citizen, unless he does it in ignorance."
In this age of benevolent action, when much is being done to drive away the darkness and delusions of many generations, and to diffuse light and truth through the earth; it excites the liveliest joy in every philanthropic bosom to witness the triumphant results already achieved. Recent efforts to banish the use of intoxicating drinks, have brought well nigh half the civilized world to a solemn pause: and the work of reformation in this matter of spirit-drinking has gone so far, and is yet making such sure progress, that many are rejoicing in the lively hope that the day is nigh, even at the doors, when drunkenness, with her burning legion of evils, will cease from the earth; and the gospel of the grace of God will have free course and be glorified, and the whole family of man become temperate, holy and happy. The God of our salvation hasten that day apace; that our eyes may see it, and rejoice and be glad in it, before we go to the grave.
But ere that day shall fully come, there is much land to be possessed. Many a battle must yet be fought,—many a victory must yet be won. Much light must yet be poured forth,—much darkness must yet be driven away. The world is not yet half reformed. The majority in the best portions of the earth—in this country even—are on the side of free indulgence in every thing that pleases the appetite.
Intemperance in the use of intoxicating drinks,—and intemperance in the use of tobacco, in the several forms of smoking, snuffing and chewing; together with several other evils, which I need not here specify, are even now predominant.
By intemperance in the use of tobacco, I mean all use of this drug except that which is under the direction of enlightened, judicious medical advice. With this exception, entire abstinence from this narcotic substance constitutes the only safe and genuine temperance.—This principle has been adopted extensively, in its application to intoxicating drinks; but before it shall be universally adopted in that application, it must be applied, and applied universally, to the quid, and the pipe, and the snuff-box. Rum-drinking will not cease, till tobacco-chewing, and tobacco-smoking, and snuff-taking, shall cease. Though all who are attached to the quid, the pipe, or the snuff-box, are not attached to the bottle; yet a vast multitude become attached to the bottle, and this attachment is continued and increased, through the poisonous, bewitching, and debasing influence of tobacco.
Moreover, the use of tobacco involves a train of evils, superadded to its influence in perpetuating drunkenness, which cries aloud for immediate and universal reformation. It is my present purpose to consider these evils. And I wish to premise that, in this consideration, I shall urge; that it is the duty of every friend of humanity—of every lover of his country—of every Christian—and of every minister of Christ, to abstain, himself, immediately, and forever, from all use of tobacco, whether by chewing, smoking, or snuffing, except it be medicinally; and to use the whole weight of his influence and example to persuade others—and especially the young men and maidens of this nation—to practice entire abstinence.
I am fully aware that the topic which I have selected, the position which I lay down, and the purpose at which I aim, are not popular. But what then? Did Clarkson and Wilberforce abandon the cause of the enslaved African, when they found that abolition was unpopular in the British Senate? Did Columbus abandon his purpose of attempting to discover a new world, when he perceived that the noble project of his noble soul was unpopular, with princes and people, learned and ignorant? Did Jesus Christ abandon his purpose to redeem a world lying in wickedness, when it became manifest that his doctrines, and the pure benevolence of his holy soul, were unpopular. And has it ever been seemly for one of his true and faithful disciples to abandon the cause of human happiness, and the soul's everlasting salvation, because the work of saving mercy is unpopular?
The theme of our present consideration, is doubtless unpopular.—But we should not, we will not, therefore abandon the purpose of exposing the evils of smoking, and chewing, and snuffing, that dirty weed, which is so hostile to animal life, and so offensive to every creature on earth, that no living being but man—and a loathsome worm, called the tobacco-worm—will taste, or touch, or handle it.[A]
[A] It has recently been affirmed that there is a dirty goat in South America which will eat this dirty plant.
Though it be unpopular to expose the evils of using tobacco; these evils are so appalling, it will not do to slumber over them longer.—We must look at them; we must lay them open—we must raise our voice against them; (we would gladly raise it so high that it should reach every family in the nation.) Yes, we must cry aloud and spare not; or give up our claim to patriotism, and benevolence.
In approaching this subject, I am not unmindful of the pertinacity with which men adhere to old habits. Dr. Rush speaks of a venerable clergyman who closed a long sermon, in which he had controverted what he supposed an heretical opinion, with these words: "I tell you—I tell you, my brethren, I tell you again, that an old error is better than a new truth." There are few who will assent to this proposition in plain terms; but there are thousands upon thousands, who act up to the very letter of it, constantly.—The history of man is extensively a history of folly, delusion, and sin.
No error has been so absurd as not to find advocates—no habit has been so foolish, or so deadly, as not to find martyrs. But of all the delusions, which have prevailed among civilized men, there have been few—perhaps none, but that of intoxication—so disgusting, so inexcusable, so destructive to health, and wealth, and life, as the habit which we now ask you to consider.
It will be borne in mind that my position is this; it is the bounden duty of every man and every woman to abstain, immediately, and forever, from all use of tobacco, whether by chewing, smoking, or snuffing except it be as a medicine. This position I maintain,
I. From a consideration of the history of this loathsome weed.—The tobacco plant is a native of America. It was unknown in Europe until some time after the discovery of America, by Columbus. It was first carried to Europe by Sir Francis Drake, about the year 1560, less than three hundred years ago. The natives of this continent called it petun; the natives of the islands called it yoli. The Spaniards gave it the name of tobacco, from Tobaco, a province of Yucatan in Mexico, where they first found it, and first learned its use. Its botanic name is Nicotiana, which it received from John Nicot, then Ambassador from Francis II. to Portugal, who brought it from Lisbon, and presented some of it to the Queen Catharine de Medicis, and to the Grand Prior of the house of Lorraine; whence it was sometimes called the Queen's herb, and the Grand Prior's herb.
The practice of smoking it in England, was introduced by Sir Walter Raleigh, about the year 1584.
The cultivation of it is not uncommon in various parts of the globe; but the seat of its most extensive culture is Virginia and Maryland, in this country. In England its cultivation was forbidden—and we believe is still forbidden—on penalty of forfeiting forty shillings for every rod of ground planted with it.
James I. wrote a treatise against the use of it, which he called his "Counterblast to Tobacco." Pope Urban VIII. issued a Bull, to excommunicate all who used tobacco in the churches. The civil power in Russia, Turkey, and Persia, was early arrayed against it. The King of Denmark, who wrote a treatise against tobacco, observes that "merchants often lay it in bog-houses, that, becoming impregnated with the volatile salts of the excrements, it may be rendered brisker, stronger, and more f[oe]tid." It is said to be a fact, that in manufacturing tobacco, it is frequently sprinkled with stale urine.
The use of tobacco never was general in Europe; and within the last fifty or one hundred years, it has been banished from all the polite circles of that part of the world. John Adams, the former President of the United States, speaking of his own use of tobacco, and referring to his residence in Europe, says: "Twice I gave up the use of it; once when Minister at the Court of Hague; and afterwards when Minister at the Court of London; for no such offensive practice is seen there."
But although the cultivation of tobacco has been forbidden in many countries of Europe; and though the manufacture of it is frequently attended with circumstances so disgusting and offensive, that the modesty of this paper will not permit me to detail them,—and though the use of it is abandoned by all the respectable and polished circles of Europe; yet in this nation, and among the lower orders abroad, tobacco has triumphed: and the only hope of expelling it from our land, lies in enlisting against it the power of enlightened public opinion—a mightier power than any eastern despot wields.
Now from this brief sketch of the history of tobacco, it appears that it was unknown to all the civilized world, till within three hundred years; and that even now, all the polished and enlightened portion of community abroad—and we add, a very respectable portion at home—have no fellowship with the filthy weed. And can any man justify himself in the daily use of a disgusting plant, against the practice, opinion, and remonstrances of so large a portion of the civilized world? Can he be discharging the obligations of his duty, and enjoying the full amount of his privilege, while he suffers himself to be a bond-slave to his quid, his pipe, or his snuff-box? Either an important article of the vegetable kingdom, lay hid from the civilized world nearly six thousand years; or since its discovery, the lovers of tobacco have formed an entirely erroneous opinion of its properties. In the sequel, I trust it will appear, that so far from possessing valuable properties, it is one of the most noxious weeds that grows; that, as an article of medicine, it possesses scarcely a redeeming quality; and that, though it was not made in vain, if the world had remained ignorant of it six thousand years longer, no cause of regret would have been occasioned.
I maintain the position I have laid down,
II. From a consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon the health and constitution of men.
In considering this point, let us examine the properties of this weed,—the prominent diseases which the use of it induces,—and the experiences of unprejudiced observers. The properties of tobacco are decidedly poisonous. In proof of this assertion, I appeal to ample and unquestionable authority.
Professor Hitchcock says, "I group alcohol, opium and tobacco together, as alike to be rejected; because they agree in being poisonous in their natures." "In popular language," says he, "alcohol is classed among the stimulants, and opium and tobacco among the narcotics, whose ultimate effect upon the animal system is to produce stupor and insensibility." He says, "Most of the powerful vegetable poisons, such as hen-bane, hemlock, thorn-apple, prussic acid, deadly night-shade, fox-glove and poison sumach, have an effect on the animal system scarcely to be distinguished from that of opium and tobacco. They impair the organs of digestion, and may bring on fatuity, palsy, delirium, or apoplexy," He says, "In those not accustomed to it, tobacco excites nausea, vomiting, dizziness, indigestion, mental dejection, and in short, the whole train of nervous complaints."
Dr. Rees, in his Cyclopedia, says; "A drop or two of the chemical oil of tobacco, being put upon the tongue of a cat, produces violent convulsions, and death itself in the space of a minute."
Dr. Hossack classes tobacco with opium, ether, mercury, and other articles of the materia medica. He calls tobacco a "fashionable poison," in the various forms in which that narcotic is employed.—He says, "The great increase of dyspepsia; the late alarming frequency of apoplexy, palsy, epilepsy, and other diseases of the nervous system; is attributable, in part, to the use of tobacco."
Dr. Waterhouse says that Linnaeus, in his natural arrangement, has placed tobacco in the class Luridae—which signifies, pale, ghastly, livid, dismal and fatal. "To the same ominous class," he adds, "belong fox-glove, hen-bane, deadly night-shade, lobelia, and another poisonous plant, bearing the tremendous name Atropa, one of the furies." He says, "When tobacco is taken into the stomach for the first time, it creates nausea and extreme disgust. If swallowed, it excites violent convulsions of the stomach and of the bowels to eject the poison either upward or downward. If it be not very speedily and entirety ejected, it produces great anxiety, vertigo, faintness, and prostration of all the senses; and, in some instances, death has followed." The oil of this plant, he adds, is one of the strongest vegetable poisons, insomuch that we know of no animal that can resist its mortal effects. Moreover, says Dr. Waterhouse, after a long and honorable course of practice, "I never observed so many pallid faces, and so many marks of declining health; nor ever knew so many hectical habits, and consumptive affections, as of late years; and I trace this alarming inroad on young constitutions, principally to the pernicious custom of smoking cigars."
Professor Graham says "Tobacco is one of the most powerful and deadly poisons in the vegetable kingdom." "Its effects on the living tissues of the animal system," he adds, "are always to destroy life; as the experiments made on pigeons, cats, and other animals abundantly prove."
The Editors of the Journal of Health say, "Tobacco is in fact an absolute poison. A very moderate quantity introduced into the system, even applying the moistened leaves to the stomach, has been known very suddenly to extinguish life. In whatever form it may be employed, a portion of the active principles of tobacco, mixed with the saliva, invariably finds its way to the stomach, and disturbs or impairs the functions of that organ. Hence most, if not all, who are accustomed to the use of tobacco, labor under dyspeptic symptoms. Our advice is to desist immediately and entirely from the use of tobacco in every form, and in any quantity, however small. A reform, to be efficacious, must be entire and complete."
Dr. Warren says, "The common belief that tobacco is beneficial to the teeth, is entirely erroneous; on the contrary, by its poisonous and relaxing qualities, it is positively injurious." Says another physician, "Though snuff has been prescribed for the head-ache, catarrh, and some species of opthalmia, and sometimes with good effect; yet in all cases where its use is continued, it not only fails of its medical effect, but commits great ravages on the whole nervous system, superinducing hypochondria, tremors, a thickening of the voice, and premature decay of all the intellectual powers."
As a diuretic, Dr. Fowler, and others, have found it in some cases to be valuable. Its narcotic properties have sometimes assuaged the tooth-ache; but it always hastens the destruction of the teeth. But of all substances in pharmacy, there seems to be a general agreement among medical writers, that tobacco, though occasionally beneficial, is the most unmanageable, and used with the least confidence.
A multitude of cases, confirming these views, have actually occurred; two or three of which I will cite. A clergyman, who commenced the use of tobacco in youth, says, "that no very injurious consequences were experienced till he entered the ministry, when his system began to feel its dreadful effects. His voice, his appetite, and his strength failed; and he was sorely afflicted with sickness at the stomach, indigestion, emaciation, melancholy, and a prostration of the whole nervous system. All this," says he, "I attribute to the pernicious habit of smoking and chewing tobacco." At length he abandoned the quid and the pipe. His voice, appetite, and strength were soon restored; all aches subsided, and in a little time general health was enjoyed.
Another clergyman writes, "I thank God, and I thank you, for your advice to abandon smoking; my strength has doubled since I relinquished this abominable practice."
A respectable gentleman in middle life, who commenced chewing tobacco at the age of eighteen, was long afflicted with depression of spirits, great emaciation, and the usual dyspeptic symptoms.—All attempts to relieve him were fruitless, till he was persuaded to dispense with his quid. Immediately his spirits revived, and he soon regained his health.[A]
[A] Extracts in point might here be given from numerous letters received by the Author, since the publication of the first edition; but it is unnecessary.
Cases of reform and cure are occurring by thousands, every year, all over the land. Let every lover of tobacco, who is afflicted with dyspepsia, and nervous maladies, reform, immediately and entirely; and let him adopt a simple and rational system of diet, regimen, and employment; and in nine cases out of ten, he may hope to enjoy good health, and live long to bless the world.
The conclusion from all this evidence is established, that tobacco is an active poison; that its constant use induces the most distressing and fatal diseases; and that, as a medicine, it is rarely needful, and never used, even medicinally, with entire confidence. This loathsome weed, then, should not be used, even medicinally, except in extreme cases, and then in the hands of a skillful physician. For every man—and especially for every boy, who has hardly entered his teens—to take this poison into his own hands, and determine for himself how much he will use, is as preposterous, as if he were to take upon himself to deal out arsenic, corrosive sublimate, or calomel.
No man can devote himself to the pipe, the quid, or the snuff-box, without certain injury to his health and constitution. He may not perceive the injury at once, on account of immediate exhilaration; but complicated chronic complaints will creep upon him apace, making life a burden, and issuing in premature dissolution. And just so certain as it is our duty to do no murder,—to use all lawful means to preserve our lives, and the lives of others; as certain is it our duty and our privilege to practice entire abstinence from the use of tobacco.
I maintain the position I have laid down,
III. From the consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon the intellect.
Here, again, let Professor Hitchcock speak. Says he, "Intoxicating drinks, opium and tobacco, exert a pernicious influence upon the intellect. They tend directly to debilitate the organs; and we cannot take a more effectual course to cloud the understanding, weaken the memory, unfix the attention, and confuse all the mental operations, than by thus entailing upon ourselves the whole hateful train of nervous maladies. These can bow down to the earth an intellect of giant strength, and make it grind in bondage, like Sampson shorn of his locks and deprived of his vision. The use of tobacco may seem to soothe the feelings, and quicken the operations of the mind; but to what purpose is it that the machine is furiously running and buzzing after the balance wheel is taken off?"
The late Gov. Sullivan, speaking of the use of tobacco, says, "It has never failed to render me dull and heavy, to interrupt my usual alertness of thought, and to weaken the powers of my mind in analyzing subjects and defining ideas."
The actual loss of intellectual power, which tobacco has hitherto occasioned, and is still causing, in this Christian nation, is immense. How immense, it is impossible accurately to calculate. Many a man who might have been a giant, has not risen above mediocrity; and many a man who might have been respectable and useful, has sunk into obscurity, and buried his talents in the earth. This is a consideration of deepest interest to every philanthropist, patriot, and Christian in the land, and especially to all our youth. We live at a time, and under circumstances, which call for the exertion of all our intellectual strength, cultivated, improved and sanctified, to the highest measure of possibility. Error, ignorance, and sin, must be met and vanquished; they must be met and vanquished by light and love. The eye of angels is upon us,—the eye of God is upon us,—and shall we fetter, and palsy, and ruin our intellectual capabilities, for the paltry pleasure of using one of the most poisonous, loathsome, and destructive weeds found in the whole vegetable kingdom? Let us rather shake off this abominable practice, and rise, as individuals and as a nation, in all our intellectual potency,—and let us go forth from day to day, to the noble purposes of our destiny, untrammelled by the quid, or the pipe, or the snuff-box; and before another generation shall lie down in the grave, our efforts and our example may cause the light of human science, and the light of civil and religious liberty, and the light of Bible truth, to blaze through all our valleys, and over all our hills, from Greenland to Cape Horn,—and with a lustre that shall illumine the world.
I maintain my position,
IV. From a consideration of the ruinous effects of tobacco upon public and private morals.
The ruinous effects of tobacco upon public and private morals, are seen in the idle, sauntering habits, which the use of it engenders,—in the benumbing, grovelling, stupid sensations which it induces,—but especially in perpetuating and extending the practice of using intoxicating drinks.
Governor Sullivan has truly said, "that the tobacco pipe excites a demand for an extraordinary quantity of some beverage to supply the waste of glandular secretion, in proportion to the expense of saliva; and ardent spirits are the common substitutes; and the smoker is often reduced to a state of dram drinking, and finishes his life as a sot."
Dr. Agnew has truly said, that "the use of the pipe leads to the immoderate use of ardent spirits."
Dr. Rush has truly said, "that smoking and chewing tobacco, by rendering water and other simple liquors insipid to the taste, dispose very much to the stronger stimulus of ardent spirits; hence [says he] the practice of smoking cigars, has been followed by the use of brandy and water as common drink."
A writer in the Genius of Temperance, says that his practice of smoking and chewing the filthy weed, "produced a continual thirst for stimulating drinks; and this tormenting thirst [says he] led me into the habit of drinking ale, porter, brandy, and other kinds of spirit, even to the extent, at times, of partial intoxication." He adds, "I reformed; and after I had subdued this appetite for tobacco, I lost all desire for stimulating drinks."
Now the fact that some chew, and smoke, and snuff without becoming sots, proves nothing against the general principle, that it is the natural tendency of using tobacco to promote intoxication. Probably one tenth, at least, of all the drunkards annually made in the nation, and throughout the world, are made drunkards through the use of tobacco. If thirty thousand drunkards are made annually in the United States, three thousand must be charged to the use of tobacco. If thirty thousand drunkards die annually, in the United States, three thousand of these deaths must be charged to the use of tobacco. If twenty thousand criminals are sentenced to our penitentiaries in twenty years, through the influence of strong drink, two thousand must be charged to the use of tobacco. If fifty-six millions of gallons of ardent spirits have been annually consumed in this country, five and a half millions must be charged to the use of tobacco. And of all the Sabbath-breaking, profanity, quarrelling, and crime of every description, caused by the use of intoxicating drink; a tithe must be charged to the use of tobacco. And what friend of good morals,—what friend of man,—what friend of his country,—what friend of Christ and true religion,—and especially, what friend of the temperance cause,—can look at these results with the eye of candor and compassion for his fellow-men, and then not deliberately resolve that he will never chew another quid, nor smoke another whiff, nor snuff another pinch of the dirty weed?
I maintain my position,
V. From a consideration of the amazing waste of property, which the use of tobacco involves. On this point I have been unable to obtain the means for making out a perfectly accurate statistical result. I can only approximate a definite calculation. This approximation, however, will serve all the purposes of this argument.
We will examine three items: the cost of the article,—the time wasted by the use of it,—and the pauperism it occasions. From a statement lately furnished me from the Treasury department of our National Government, exhibiting the quantity and value of cigars and snuff, exported from and imported into the United States, annually, from 1st October, 1820 to 30th September, 1832, it appears that the value of cigars imported into the United States in 1821, was $113,601. In 1827 it was $174,931. In 1832 it was $473,134; while from the same document it appears that the value of cigars exported, in each of those years, was about one quarter the value of imports.
Hence it appears that, in 1832, about half a million of dollars were paid for imported cigars; while in 1821, only $113,601 were paid; being more than a four-fold increase in eleven years. Whether there has been a corresponding increase in the value of domestic cigars consumed, I have no means of determining. From the fact of so prodigious an increase of imported cigars, I am led to fear that the evil of cigar smoking has increased in this country within ten years, far more rapidly than the increase of population. From this treasury document, it appears also, that in 1824, the value of unmanufactured tobacco exported from the United States, was
$4,855,566 Of manufactured tobacco, the value was 2,477,990 Of snuff, 203,789 ————— Making a total of $7,537,345
In 1832, the value of unmanufactured tobacco exported, was $5,999,769 Of manufactured tobacco, 3,456,071 Of snuff, 295,771 ————— Making a total of $9,751,611 for 1832, and an increase from the year 1824, of $2,214,266
Whether the quantity consumed in this country equals the quantity exported, or exceeds that quantity, I have no data enabling me to give a definite answer. But from the fact that large quantities of tobacco are raised in various other parts of the world, for foreign consumption; and from the fact that the people of this country are, above all other people under the sun, a chewing, smoking, snuffing people; I have very little doubt that the amount used in this country is double that exported. If so, the sum total paid annually, for this vile weed, in this christian country, is $19,503,222. But as I wish in this examination, to put the estimate below rather than above the truth, I will set down the value of tobacco, cigars, and snuff, consumed annually in this nation, as equal to the amount exported; that is, in round numbers, $10,000,000.
That this is a very low estimate, will appear by another conclusive calculation.
According to the census of 1830, the population of the U. States, over twenty years of age, is about six millions. Suppose one in four of our adult population, use tobacco in some form; (and this is a very moderate supposition,) it gives one million, five hundred thousand: and suppose one in twelve of those who have not reached the age of twenty, use it; it gives five hundred thousand more: making a total of two millions—or one sixth of our population—who use tobacco in some form.
Now suppose the expense to the consumers of this noxious drug, varies according to the quantity, and mode of using it. The expense to some is two dollars a year, to some it is five, and to others ten, twenty, and even fifty dollars a year. A laboring man, of my acquaintance, who did not use tobacco extravagantly, and only by chewing, told me that it cost him five dollars a year. A young lady of my acquaintance, says her snuff costs eight dollars a year. If a man pay three cents a day for cigars, it amounts to ten dollars, ninety-five cents a year. If he pay six cents, it amounts to twenty-one dollars, ninety cents a year. If he pay twelve and a half cents, it amounts to forty-four dollars, sixty-two cents a year.
It is the opinion of good judges, that very many, who smoke freely and use Spanish cigars, pay more than fifty dollars a year for this foolish gratification.
King James, in his "Counterblast," says, "Some of the gentry of this land, bestow three, some four hundred pounds a year, upon this precious stink."
It will certainly be a moderate calculation to put down one quarter of the consumers at two dollars a year,—one quarter at five,—one quarter at eight,—and one quarter at ten dollars a year. Then the several items will stand thus:—
Half a million at two dollars, is $1,000,000 Half a million at five dollars, is 2,500,000 Half a million at eight dollars, is 4,000,000 Half a million at ten dollars, is 5,000,000 Total, $12,500,000.
Again: the amount of tobacco annually consumed in France, as appears from authentic documents, is about seven millions of pounds; which is about one pound to every four persons. The amount annually consumed in England, as appears from authentic documents, is about seventeen millions; which is about one pound to every man, woman and child, in that nation.[A] In the United States, probably there are eight times as much used as in France, and three times as much as in England, in proportion to our population. If so, the quantity used in this country cannot fall short of thirty-five millions of pounds;[B] which, at thirty cents a pound, amounts to ten and a half millions of dollars; not including cigars and snuff, which cost half as much more; making the total sum fifteen and three fourths millions of dollars. And this enormous sum is doubtless below what the article actually cost the consumers.
[A] The tobacco imported and used for home consumption in Great Britain and Ireland in 1832, amounted to 20,313,651 pounds—the duty on which was 15,300,000 dollars.
[B] 1,765,000 pounds of tobacco passed up the Erie Canal in seven and a half months in 1834.
From these three results, we believe there cannot be a doubt that the actual expense of tobacco, in its various forms, to the consumers in this country, may safely be set down at ten millions of dollars a year.
The amount of time lost by the consumers of tobacco, is another item of no inconsiderable moment. Some spend two, three, and four hours a day in this vile indulgence. To all who use the article, in any way, it occasions the loss of more or less time. If we put down the average amount at half an hour a day; and reckon the time thus lost at four cents an hour, it will amount—not reckoning Sabbaths—to six dollars, twenty-six cents a year, for each individual; which, for the whole company of consumers, is an amount of $12,520,000.
The pauperism which tobacco occasions, is another fearful item. Multitudes who are scarcely able to procure the necessaries of life, will shift, by sacrificing health and comfort, to procure the daily quantum sufficit of tobacco. Many very poor families use tobacco, in all ways. Now suppose a poor family use twenty-five cents' worth of tobacco a week; it will amount to twelve dollars fifty cents a year,—and in fifty years, reckoning principal and interest, it will amount to three thousand five hundred and fifty-two dollars.
Just look at this tax for snuff and tobacco, in a single aspect more. Many think it will make no man the poorer, to pay six cents a day for this indulgence. It will make every man the poorer. Let any young mechanic, or farmer, or merchant, consume six and a quarter cents' worth of this drug a day—beginning at twenty years of age, and continuing until he is sixty years old—and the sum total, reckoning principal and interest, will amount, in these forty years, to three thousand five hundred and twenty-nine dollars, thirty-six cents.
If the cost of tobacco,—the neglect of business which it occasions,—the expense of the pipes and the boxes, and the various apparatus which the use of it involves,—and the intoxication to which it leads,—all be reckoned up, the amount of pauperism which this weed brings upon the nation, cannot be less than one quarter of the sum total of all our pauperism. And the sum total of the pauperism in this nation, has been shown, again and again, to be not less than twelve millions of dollars, annually. Hence the pauper tax, occasioned by the use of tobacco, may be set down at three millions of dollars, annually.
Here we have, then, the _expense_ of tobacco, $10,000,000 The _time_ lost by the use of it, $12,520,000 The _pauper tax_ which it occasions, $3,000,000 ___ Total, $25,520,000
To this sum should be added one-tenth of the waste of property, which strong drink occasions; inasmuch as one-tenth of the rum-drinking must be charged to tobacco. Now, it has been estimated that the whole cost of strong drink used annually, in this country, amounts to one hundred and twenty-five millions of dollars; a tenth of which is twelve and a half millions of dollars. If this tithe be added to the above estimate, it will make the sum total thirty-eight and a half millions. But as I intend my estimates shall be moderate, I will say nothing of the waste of property which tobacco occasions in connection with strong drink. I will put down the sum total as above twenty-five millions of dollars.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, consumed by the use of tobacco, in this Christian nation, annually; and not a little of it by professors of religion, and ministers of the gospel, who are required by their Lord and Master to deny themselves,—to take up their cross,—to let their light shine before men, that they may see their good works, and glorify our Father in heaven. Nearly the whole of this twenty-five millions of dollars is a dead loss to the nation; yes, it is infinitely worse than a dead loss; it not only does no good, but it actually goes to make fools and beggars, idlers and sots,—to purchase dyspepsia, early graves and everlasting shame. And what would this vast amount of property accomplish, if saved and devoted to useful purposes.
Twenty-five millions of dollars annually, if applied to the improvement of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and to the advancement of the arts, sciences, and true religion, would accomplish everything for this nation, that the enlightened patriot and true Christian can ask for.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would soon furnish canals, and rail-roads, and all other desirable facilities for intercommunication throughout the nation. Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would sustain all our colleges, academies and other schools, and all the religious and benevolent institutions of this whole country. It would rear seminaries of learning in every State where they are needed; and it would plant a Sabbath school, with a sufficient library in every school district.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, if applied in all feasible and suitable ways, would give freedom, with all the blessings of Christianity to the colored race in our own country, and throughout the continent of Africa in a very few years: and would terminate slavery and the slave-trade in every part of the world.
Twenty-five millions of dollars annually, would send forth to the nations now perishing in heathen darkness, ten thousand missionaries, and five millions of tracts, every year, provided the men could be found.
Twenty-five millions of dollars, annually, would, in five years, furnish all the money necessary to carry into complete execution, that noble purpose of the American Bible Society, of giving a copy of the Bible, within a specified time, to every accessible family on the earth. And what friend of man is there among us,—what patriot is there,—what Christian is there,—who can look at these truths, and not make up his mind to abandon all use of tobacco, forever; and to exert the whole weight of his influence and example to persuade others to do the same?
I am aware, indeed, that it may be said, if the whole company of tobacco-chewers, smokers, and snuffers, should at once abandon all use of this weed, and thus withdraw their whole patronage, this twenty-five millions of dollars, which now gives wealth to many a man engaged in growing, manufacturing, and vending the poison, would be so much capital unemployed; and the means of living would be cut off from many a family,—and bankruptcy, and wretchedness would be the consequent portion of many an individual. This may be true. And it may be true, too, that the like consequences would follow the universal abandonment of intoxicating liquors. But what then? Shall one sixth part of the nation continue to use this poison, because, forsooth, the producers and venders of it will lose their profits if it be abandoned? Shall the intellect, and health, and comfort, and wealth, and lives of hundreds and thousands of our fellow citizens, be sacrificed yearly; and widows and orphans be multiplied by scores and fifties, in every section of this wide-spreading country; and one of the prominent auxiliaries of intemperance,—and consequently of crime, and insanity, and eternal woe—be cherished; and twenty-five millions of dollars be wasted, and worse than wasted; and all this, that the producers and venders may feed and fatten on the gains? This objection lies equally against the temperance reform and every other reform, where cupidity and avarice are involved.
As to the producers, it is affirmed on good authority, that hemp and corn, and other useful articles may be substituted without loss, and even with advantage. As to the venders, their capital may all be profitably employed upon valuable merchandise, without damage. But if it were not so; where health, life, and happiness are involved, no good man can hesitate. The path of duty is plain. We are bound to walk in it, even though it run counter to the gains of those engaged in unlawful commerce.
I maintain my position,
VI. From a consideration of the mortality which tobacco occasions.
Some of my readers may be startled at this consideration. They may not have dreamed, even, that tobacco kills any body. So insidious are the effects of this poison, and so insensible have the community been to its abominations, that very few have regarded the use of tobacco as the cause of swelling our bills of mortality. But though appalling, it is nevertheless true, that tobacco carries vast multitudes to the grave, all over our country, every year. Says Dr. Salmon, "I am confident more people have died of apoplexies, since the use of snuff in one year, than have died of that disease in an hundred years before; and most, if not all, whom I have observed to die, of late of that disease, were extreme and constant snuff-takers." The late Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper, of Boston, by constant use of snuff, brought on a disorder of the head, which was thought to have ended his days. A very large quantity of hardened Scotch snuff was found, by a post mortem examination, between the external nose and the brain. The late Gov. Sullivan, speaking of Gov. Hancock, the early President of Congress, says, "Gov. Hancock was an immoderate chewer of tobacco; but being a well-bred man, and a perfect gentleman, he, from a sense of decorum, refrained from spitting in company, or in well-dressed rooms. This produced the habit of swallowing the juice of the tobacco, the consequence of which was, his stomach became inactive, and a natural appetite seldom returned; the agreeable sensations of hunger could not be experienced but by the use of stimulants, to satisfy which he swallowed more food than his digestive powers could dispose of. This derangement in chylification increased his gout, his stomach became paralytic, and he died at the age of fifty-eight."
Again, says Governor Sullivan, "My own brother, the active General Sullivan, began early in life to take snuff. It injured essentially a fine voice which he possessed as a public speaker. When he was an officer in the American army, he carried his snuff loose in his pocket. He said he did this because the opening of a snuff-box in the field of review, or on the field of battle, was inconvenient. At times he had violent pains in the head; the intervals grew shorter and shorter, and the returns more violent, when his sufferings ended in a stroke of palsy, which rendered him insensible to pain, made him helpless and miserable, and lodged him in the grave before he was fifty years of age; and I have no doubt [says the Governor,] but all this sprung from the use of snuff." He adds, "I have known some persons live to old age, in the extravagant use of tobacco; but they bear a small proportion to those who, by the habit of using tobacco, have been swept into the grave in early or middle life."
Professor Silliman mentions two affecting cases of young men, in the Institution with which he is connected, who were carried to an early grave by tobacco. One of them, he says, entered college with an athletic frame; but he acquired the habit of using tobacco, and would sit and smoke by the hour together. His friends tried to persuade him to quit the practice; but he loved his lust, and would have it, live or die: the consequence was, he went down to the grave, a suicide.
One of the German periodicals says, the chief German physiologists compute, that of twenty deaths of men between eighteen and twenty-five, ten, that is, one half, originate in the waste of the constitution by smoking. They declare, also, with much truth, that tobacco burns out the blood, the teeth, the eyes, and the brain.
To this unequivocal testimony, which is confirmed by the observation of every intelligent person who has turned his attention to this matter, much more might be added; but it is unnecessary. How large a proportion of the twenty thousand deaths—reckoning one death to a hundred souls—which occur annually, among the two millions of tobacco consumers in this country, are to be charged to the use of this deadly narcotic, I am unable definitely to determine. If we suppose one quarter of these deaths to be caused by tobacco, it will give us the number of five thousand. Five thousand deaths in these United States, every year from the use of tobacco! and this is doubtless far below the actual number. Five thousand valuable lives sacrificed in this enlightened land, annually, in the use of a dirty plant, that no living creature, except man and the tobacco worm, will touch, or taste, or handle. Five thousand men and women carried to the grave, yearly, by a poisonous weed, which does no good, and which, for filthiness and disgust, scarcely has its parallel in the whole vegetable kingdom. Is there a Christian,—is there a patriot,—is there a friend of humanity,—is there an individual, that values his own probationary existence,—who can look at the sweeping mortality which tobacco brings upon the nation, and longer indulge his attachment to his quid, his pipe or his snuff-box? Is there one who will pause and look at this matter, and not resolve that he will, forthwith, entirely, and forever, abandon a practice which does so much to people the grave?
I maintain my position,
VII.—From a consideration of the apologies of the lovers of tobacco.
I call them apologies. They cannot be considered reasons. Almost every lover of the dirty weed, feels that he needs an apology. One will tell us he has a cold, watery stomach, and he thinks that tobacco, by promoting expectoration, relieves the difficulty. Another will tell us he is very much troubled with indigestion, and he thinks tobacco relieves the difficulty; though, in truth, tobacco is the very worst drug he could use to relieve that disease, and is among the primordial causes of inducing it. Another will tell us that he is afflicted with the rising of his food after eating, and he thinks tobacco gives immediate relief; not suspecting, perhaps, that this rising of the food is occasioned by over eating. Another will tell us he has a distressing difficulty in the head, and brain, and he thinks a little good Scotch snuff affords relief; as though the filling the pores, and cavities of the head, and clogging up the brain, with this dirty stuff, would remove a disease which in most cases it originates.
Others use tobacco to preserve the teeth; and this, though it is a solemn truth, that many a one loses his teeth by smoking and chewing the poisonous plant. Others, again, use tobacco to excite the mind to more vigorous intellectual effort. But when and where do we find great lovers of tobacco great students, and intellectual giants? Dr. Rush says, "I suspect tobacco is oftener used for the want of ideas, than to excite them." There are some whose apology for using tobacco is, that it guards them against the power of contagious diseases. But Dr. Rees affirms that tobacco does not contain an antidote against contagion, and that, in general, it has no antiseptic power; and is therefore of no special use. There is another class still, who use tobacco because it soothes the irksomeness of life. They fear solitude; and to prevent self-examination, and to while away their probation time, they fly to the pipe, quid, and snuff-box; and soon, by an easy transition, to the wine-glass and brandy-bottle.
These are the usual apologies of the devotees to tobacco. And what do they amount to? In truth, the common opinion that tobacco is good for the head-ache,—weak eyes,—cold and watery stomachs,—the preservation of the teeth,—and the like, is sheer delusion. Let every man and woman, who would live long, and usefully, and happily, awake from this delusion; and let no one, as he values health, life, and salvation, taste, touch, or handle, the filthy poison.
I maintain my position,
VIII, AND LASTLY.—From a consideration of the eternal ruin which tobacco occasions. On this point, a word or two only, will suffice. That tobacco carries many a soul down to the pit of eternal woe, is manifest from its connection with drunkenness, and from its inducing disease and death. Every man who dies a drunkard, and every man who, knowingly and recklessly, brings upon himself disease and death through the influence of tobacco, is a suicide. And drunkards and suicides cannot inherit the kingdom of God. How many will at last, ascribe their eternal ruin to alcohol and tobacco, cannot now be told.
That it will be a great multitude, (perhaps a great multitude which no man can number,) we have no reason to doubt.
What then, I ask, ought to be done? What can be done? What must be done? If this poisonous narcotic be of recent origin; if it be ruinous to the health and constitution, and intellect, and public and private morals; if it occasions an amazing waste of property,—and a multitude of deaths,—and eternal ruin to many precious souls; and if it do no good,—and there be no apology for using it, which will bear examination; then something ought to be done, and it ought to be done immediately. And, only one thing need be done. And that can be done, and it ought to be done. It is this:—tobacco can be abandoned. And if moral influence enough can be enlisted, it will be abandoned.
TOTAL ABSTINENCE is the only sure remedy. TOTAL ABSTINENCE will deliver us from all the evils which this weed has brought down upon individuals and families, and the nation.—Nothing else will do it. And total abstinence can be adopted and practiced. True; in some cases, it may cost an effort; but, in every instance, three weeks' perseverance will overcome the habit. Three weeks' total abstinence, will disenthrall every victim, and give him the prospect of freedom, plenty, health, and happiness. And shall this effort be made? A mighty effort it must be, to liberate and save this whole nation—and especially our young men and maidens—from the curses of the quid, the pipe, and the snuff-box.
I appeal to my fellow citizens. I appeal to the nation, and the whole nation. Shall the effort be made?
I appeal to patriots. Patriotism forbids the man who loves his country, to shrink from any personal sacrifice, if he can thereby arrest some great national evil. That the use of tobacco is a great national evil, appears from the considerations which have been laid before you. It has been shown that tobacco is weakening the physical and mental energies of this nation,—that it is depraving our morals, and destroying the public conscience,—and that it is causing an amazing waste of property, and health and life. I ask every patriot to look at this portentous evil. Every true patriot, who will examine the length, breadth, and depth of this evil, cannot but feel that it claims his attention. And he will enquire what efforts, what sacrifices, can deliver us from the curses of this narcotic? The answer to this inquiry is an easy answer,—the effort is an easy effort,—the sacrifice is an easy sacrifice. Let every true patriot in our country abstain from the poison, immediately, entirely, and forever; and let him use the whole weight of his influence and example to persuade others—and especially the young men and maidens of this republic—to practice entire abstinence; and the work will soon be done. We put the question to every true patriot: will you do it?
I appeal to Christians. Your religion requires you to abstain from the very appearance of evil. It requires you to deny yourselves, to take up your cross, and to follow Christ through evil, as well as through good report. Is there no appearance of evil, in the use of tobacco? Can the Christian deny himself and follow Christ, with the quid, or pipe in his mouth, or the contents of the snuff-box in his nose? If Christ himself, were here on earth, in this age of action, when six hundred millions of men, for whom he died, are perishing for lack of vision—think you he would waste a single cent of property, or a single moment of time, or a single ounce of health and mental energy, in the habitual use of this narcotic? Would he handle, touch, or taste, the poison? And will you, whose names are written in his book,—you, who have been bought with his blood, and sanctified through his grace, and made heirs of all the riches of his kingdom,—you, whom he requires to be examples in all things,—will you handle, or touch or taste it? Let every Christian in our country, abstain from this poison, immediately, entirely, and forever; and let him use the whole weight of his influence and example, to persuade others to practice entire abstinence; and this work of reform will soon be done. We put the question to every true Christian: will you do it?
I appeal to the youth of both sexes. You are the flower and the hope not only of this nation, but of all nations struggling for freedom. The destinies of this republic are about being placed, under God, in your hands; and inasmuch as all the friends of freedom, everywhere, are looking up to our institutions for light and aid, the destinies of the world will rest with a mightier weight of responsibility upon your shoulders, than upon any other generation that has come forth upon the stage of action, for twenty centuries. The importance of sound and enlightened principles—of pure and elevated examples, and independent and decided action in you, is above all estimation. You are placed in the moral Thermopylae of the world. The evils arising from alcohol and tobacco, which you have it in your power to avert from your country, are more dreadful than the invasion of Xerxes with his millions. The cause of moral reform, in the use of the latter of these articles, which we urge upon you with deepest and sincerest solicitude, is far more urgent than that in which the Bruti and the Gracchi offered up their lives. Some of you have not yet handled or tasted the fatal drug. Let all such stand firm henceforward, and never yield to the power of custom, temptation and lust. Some of you, on the other hand, have permitted yourselves to become the victims of this drug. Let all such be urged by the voice of patriotism, religion, self-respect, reason, conscience, and duty, to abstain from this poison, immediately, entirely, and forever. And then every young man, and every young woman, in the republic, shall be free from all the calamities attending the use of this narcotic; and love, and peace, and joy, will run through the land, and flow over the world. We put the question to every youth: will you do it?
I appeal to the friends of temperance. You have enlisted your energies to expel intoxicating drinks from common use throughout the world. Go on, and prosper. But, as you go, remember, that complete success will not crown your exertions unless you are consistent,—unless you abandon all use of tobacco, the companion and sister of alcohol. As you go forth to the noble work you have undertaken, you will be met at every corner, with the declaration of A. B. and C., I am ready to abstain from alcohol when you do from tobacco; and how effectually will this declaration shut your mouth, and destroy your influence. Be consistent. Carry your principles into all your evil habits, and a moral potency will be diffused through what you say and do, that nothing can resist. We put the question to every friend of temperance: will you do it?
I appeal to American females. As mothers, wives and daughters, you have it in your power (without turning aside from your appropriate duties) to put an end to the use of this disgusting weed. The children and youth of this nation, to say nothing of the young men and fathers, are almost exclusively under your control; and may be moulded at your pleasure. You know how filthy, disgusting, ruinous, is the practice against which we ask you to set your faces. Only practice ENTIRE ABSTINENCE yourselves, and urge this practice upon all within your reach; and in less than twenty years, this reformation will be completed. We put the question to every mother, wife, daughter: will you do it?
I appeal to the medical profession. You are the guardians of the health of the republic. You are acquainted with the deadly properties of the drug in question. You can understand the necessity, and appreciate the importance of reform. You know that entire abstinence is urged by paramount considerations. In the work of reform from spirit-drinking, you have acted in a manner that reflects honor upon your profession. In the work of reform now urged upon your notice, we calculate upon your active, hearty co-operation. If you put your hand to this work, by precept, and by example; if you abstain entirely, and forever, from all use of this plant, and inculcate entire abstinence, as you have opportunity; the work which now bespeaks your attention will soon be done. We put the question to every medical man: will you do it?
Finally—I appeal to ministers of the Gospel. You are stationed on the watch-towers of Zion, as guardians of the public morals. Against every abomination your great Master requires you to cry aloud and spare not; to lift up your voice like a trumpet; to show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins. He requires you to be examples to the flock, in all things, that, while
"You allure to brighter worlds,"
you "may lead the way." I ask you to look at the influence of tobacco upon the health, wealth, morals, and lives of this republic; and then to decide, as in the fear of God, whether the blood of souls may not be found on your garments, if you do not abstain yourselves from all common use of this drug, and warn every man around you to do likewise.[A] Suffer us to point you to Him who went about doing good, and pleased not himself, and set a pure and perfect example in everything; and also to that early servant of his, who would abstain from things good and lawful, rather than prejudice the interests of Zion. What reception would the Apostles have met, when they went about to enlighten and reform the world, if they had carried with them their snuff-boxes, pipes, cigars, and pig-tail tobacco? But a word to the wise is sufficient. Let all who minister in holy things, abstain from this poison, immediately, entirely, and forever; and let them use the whole weight of their influence, and example, to persuade others—and especially our youth—to practice entire abstinence; and this good work will soon be done. We put the question to every minister of Christ: will you do it?
[A] Says a distinguished correspondent—the most efficient officer of one of our benevolent institutions, "Not long since a clergyman called on me as agent for one of the most popular Societies for spreading the knowledge of Christ crucified throughout the world: his breath was intolerable, and the tobacco juice had formed a current from each corner of his mouth downward. I need not describe to you my feelings at this exhibition."
"Facts and Important Information from distinguished Physicians and other sources." Fourth Edition. Published by Geo. Gregory. For sale by D. S. King, 1 Cornhill, Jordan & Co., 121 Washington St., Boston—John S. Taylor, 145 Nassau St., N. Y.—Wm. Aplin, 65 South Main Street, Providence.
Price—12 1-2 cts. single, $1 per dozen, $8 a hundred, and $7 a hundred, by the thousand. All communications addressed, post paid, to either of the sellers, and all orders accompanied with the cash, will receive prompt attention.
This little work relates to an important subject and it has met with a remarkably favorable reception; as shown by the fact, that four editions—twenty thousand copies in all—have been published within ten months; and the sale is rapidly increasing.
The following highly valuable testimonials are from President EDWARDS, Professor STUART, Rev. Dr. WOODS, and Professor EMERSON, of the Andover Theological Seminary.
Having read the FACTS, &c., I am satisfied that it is well adapted to do good, and wish that it may have an extensive circulation among the youth of our country.
Andover, Aug. 16, 1841.
Andover, 29th, July, 1841.
I have read a pamphlet entitled "FACTS, etc., from DISTINGUISHED PHYSICIANS AND OTHER SOURCES," respecting a vice which is undermining the health and happiness of many, and degrading them, in some respects, below the brute creation.
I think there is nothing in the manner of this pamphlet which can be matter of just offence to any considerate mind. I am persuaded, that, delicate as the task may be, the time has come when benevolence demands that some effort should be made to enlighten the public mind on the subject of which this pamphlet treats; and both the remarks of the pamphlet, and the facts stated in it, seem to be well adapted for this purpose. Most heartily do I wish success to that benevolence which is willing to undertake a task so delicate and so difficult as this.
It is time for those who love the purity, the well-being and the most interesting relations of human society, to speak out upon a vice which is dangerous in proportion to the secrecy and silence in which it has been involved.
We fully concur in the above. M. STUART. L. WOODS. R. EMERSON.
Recommended by the Boston Recorder, Zion's Herald, and many other papers; also by numerous clergymen, teachers, physicians, &c.
Dr. Woodward, of the Worcester Hospital, has done much to expose this solitary vice. He says no cause is more influential in producing insanity. According to the Report of the Institution, for 1838, out of 199 patients, 42 are considered victims of masturbation.
From President Humphrey, of Amherst College.
AMHERST COLLEGE, April 17, 1842.
REV. ORIN FOWLER:—Rev. and Dear Sir—I thank you heartily for your pamphlet, on the use of that vile narcotic, tobacco. It ought to be the abhorring of all mankind, as it is of all other flesh; and the extensive circulation of your timely and powerful antidote, cannot fail of doing great good. The public in general have no idea of the enormous expense of smoking and chewing in this country; much less of the waste of health and life occasioned by it. I rejoice that your essay begins to be loudly called for, and wish that as many copies might be circulated as there are miserable slaves to the habit, which, next to alcoholic drinking, is stupefying more brains, and probably shortening more lives than any other.
Very sincerely and affectionately yours, H. HUMPHREY.
From Rev. M. Tucker, D. D.
PROVIDENCE, April 30, 1842.
I have read with interest the Rev. Orin Fowler's Essay on the evils of the use of Tobacco. A perusal cannot fail to convince every candid mind. The use of tobacco in most cases is an evil. The subject is ably discussed in this essay. The arguments are sound, the facts abundant, and the conclusions fair and forcible. They who can resist such appeals must be slaves indeed. I shall rejoice in its wide circulation.
From Edward C. Delevan.
E. C. Delevan, former Secretary of the New York State Temperance Society, says, in a letter to the author—"The subject of your Essay is one of immense importance to the world and to the temperance cause. The use of this vile weed has been the medium of forming the appetite for strong drink, and ultimately destroying thousands of the most promising youth of our country. You will hardly ever meet with an intemperate person without finding him addicted to the use of tobacco. The public only want light on this important subject, to act. Your able and convincing Disquisition will be the means of doing much good. I hope funds will be provided to furnish a copy to each clergyman in the United States. Send me one thousand copies of the second edition, as soon as it is from the press."
For other recommendations, see 7th and 8th pages.
PRICE.—12 1-2 single, $1 per dozen, $8 a hundred, and $7 a hundred by the thousand.
The co-operation of Societies, and of benevolent individuals, is earnestly requested, in this important reform. Young men are invited to engage in circulating this work.
All communications addressed post paid, to either of the Booksellers named on the cover; and all orders accompanied with the cash, will receive prompt attention.
Transcriber's Note Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including obsolete and variant spellings and other inconsistencies. Minor punctuation and printing errors have been corrected.