The anti-tobacco lobby, 1883

   Posted by: rring   in Gifts

Anti-Tobacco, by Abiel Abbot Livermore; with A Lecture on Tobacco by Rev. Russell Lant Carpenter and On the Use of Tobacco by G. F. Witter, M.D.  (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883).

This little jewel was given to us by one of our generous Board members, who was the initial donor of our Roberts Brothers collection and has long fed our printed and manuscript holdings related to that publishing firm.

It has a connection to the slave bill of sale mentioned a few posts previously (the author, Abiel Abbot Livermore is mentioned therein), but I also found the following passage about the “gigantic evils” of humanity that were supposedly fading away in 1883 very interesting:

“To attack [the universal use of tobacco] seems as idle as to assault Gibralter with a flight of Indian arrows.  But we remember that most of the gigantic evils that have afflicted humanity–such as human sacrifices, idolatry, torture of witnesses and criminals, the persecution of witches, intemperance, polygamy, slavery and the slave trade, or war–could, with equal or greater assurance, claim exemption from from criticism or rebuke on the ground of their antiquity and their universality.  Yet all these abominations now lie more or less under the condemnation of the enlightened sentiment of Christendom, and their dark shadows are passing away before the rising light of a nobler and purer civilization.”

I wonder what Mr. Livermore would think of us now?  Other than the persecution of witches (any Wiccans in the audience, shout out!), all of these are still current problems.

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