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(title page) It Helps Business and Is a Blessing. What Leading Business Men, Bankers, Farmers, Laborers and Others Say about Prohibition in Charlotte, N.C.
(cover) A Call to the United States a Second Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence July 5th, 1904.
Anti-Saloon League of Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte, N. C.
Executive Committee of Anti-Saloon League
Call number Cp178 C47c c. 2 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Charlotte, N. C., July 5, 1905.
On July 5th, 1904, the saloon was voted out of Charlotte by a majority of 485. It was a victory against the saloon system and the liquor habit, not against the saloon man. Many of those who were in the business have stayed in Charlotte and are upholding the law and pushing the business interests of the city. We bid them God-speed in this and wish them success. We appeal to all good citizens to uphold the law, to discourage the importation of liquor and by word and deed to help this great cause. Prohibition is a benediction and a blessing to this community.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF ANTI-SALOON
To the Public:
I hand you herewith a booklet showing what the leading business men, bankers, farmers, laborers and others say about Prohibition in Charlotte; the substance of each testimony is, "That it helps business and is a blessing." Prohibition went into effect on January 1st, 1905, in the City of Charlotte. The majority against the saloons was 485, the election having taken place on July 5th, 1904. The Recorder's Court shows that the total number of arrests for 1904, the last year whiskey was sold, was 2,405, and during the year of 1905, the first year Prohibition went into effect, 1,496, a decrease of 909 arrests the first year Prohibition went into effect. I have lived in the city since 1872. I have known the city from a small village to now when it is one of the finest industrial and educational centers in this section of the South, having a population of about thirty-five thousand. Property has increased in value in Charlotte from 10 to 20 per cent. since Prohibition went into effect, and never in the history of Charlotte has there been so much building. On the 20th of May, 1906, there was a great celebration of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. There was never such an assemblage in the City of Charlotte, and the universal expression was that "there never was such a sober and orderly crowd gathered in this section of the South." A learned Judge in North Carolina, who was against Prohibition, and who saw the good order that prevailed at that celebration, declared that he was about convinced
that Prohibition "prohibited." The prosperity of the city has never been greater. Merchants have been greatly benefited as they have gotten money that once went to the saloon. The wage-earner and laboring man is putting his money in the Building and Loan Associations, and in the Savings Banks. This section has wonderfully developed the Cotton Mill Industries. The Cotton Mill owners and the Cotton Mill operatives have been in opposition, as a rule, to the saloon, and, in my opinion, as Solicitor of this Twelfth Judicial District, comprising the Counties of Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, Cabarrus and Cleveland, the greatest Cotton Manufacturing Counties in the South, the work of Prohibition has done wonders and untold benefit to the mill owner and the operatives, and all sorts and conditions of men. In one County, Gaston, twenty-five years ago there were about three Cotton Mills, and about forty-eight distilleries and many saloons; but today in Gaston County there are fifty Cotton Mills in operation, and about ten in construction, and not a legalized distillery or saloon in the County. Just recently, in Lincolnton, where Prohibition has been enforced, there was a gathering of some twenty thousand people at a Fourth of July celebration, and the papers commented on the fact that never was such a sober and orderly crowd gathered in Lincoln County. I write from long years of experience in watching the liquor traffic, and I give it as my opinion that Prohibition, when the law is enforced, is the greatest
blessing that can be given to any community. Asheville, N. C., has a population of about 28,000. On October 9, 1907, it went dry by three to one. A leading Attorney of that city gave the following statistics in the contest there. In the same month Asheville had 432 cases and 388 drunks, Winston 440 cases and 220 drunks--Charlotte 133 cases and 19 drunks--Asheville and Winston wet and Charlotte dry.
I hope to live to see the day when the saloon, "the blot on the garment of our Country," will be wiped away.
This Feby. 15, 1908.
Chairman of the Anti-Saloon League
of Charlotte, N. C.
Prohibition has been a benefit to Charlotte and its vicinity, and business has not been injured by Prohihibition.
CHAS. W. JOHNSTON.
You asked me to give some expression of my opinion as to the working of Prohibition. I live out in the country, a short distance from town, as you are aware. A man came out from one of the machine shops the other evening to buy a cow. I asked him if he had noticed any change on the labor since the saloons had been
closed. "La," he said, "I didn't think anything could have been done to bring about such a change; about one hundred and fifty (150) hands are employed in the foundry and the superintendent had a great deal of trouble before the closing of the saloons, especially on Mondays. Many complained of being unable to work, and caused a terrible confusion in the shops. Since the closing of those dens no trouble about sick men on Mondays. Everything is running smoothly, and those who were always out of money seemingly have plenty."
Some time ago I sold stock to one or two colored men in Charlotte for draying. In a few months the stock was looking badly; didn't think they could pull through till time of payment. Pretty soon the saloons were closed and the stock began to improve. In asking one of them what caused the great improvement on his horse, he said when the saloons were open he spent about four (4) dollars per week there, now he couldn't do that, and now the four dollars went for horse feed, etc. The best all-round hand I think I ever had was a man that was so often unfit for work on Monday I had to discharge him; since the closing of the places referred to, he is all right. (Sober man.) The Prohibition laws, properly administered, will enable hundreds of men in Charlotte, and also in the surrounding country, in ten (10) years to have homes paid for and happy families. Drinkers of water--wells of their own digging,
otherwise, they will never own a cow--an animal so much coveted by the poor wife. Any one to do or stand in the way of bringing about a reformation that all people should earnestly desire ought to be ashamed of themselves.
J. M. DAVIS.
I have been with the Mecklenburg Iron Works for 33 years. Prohibition has helped Charlotte. Among the laboring men whom I associate with I can see a great improvement and it has been a great help to the masses.
W. E. CULPEPPER.
I think Prohibition is the best thing ever happened for Charlotte. It has not hurt business, and the people in general are contented with it.
N. J. SHERRILL.
Prohibition has not hurt my business and in May and June, 1905, I sold 25 per cent. more than in any other year for the same months.
W. I. HENDERSON.
I am a contractor and building is going on in Charlotte and suburbs and my business has not been hurt by Prohibition and in fact helped. Laborers are scarce to get and good prices are paid.
J. D. FOARD.
I live in Paw Creek Township: Prohibition has been a blessing. People used to come home from Charlotte drinking and cursing along the public roads, and now all that is stopped. Some few individuals I know who were regular sots now come home sober from Charlotte and it has helped many to my personal knowledge.
I. T. ABERNATHY.
I live in Charlotte Township. I see men coming home sober from Charlotte now that used to come home under the influence of liquor when there were saloons. I do not hear now any profane swearing on the highway. It is a blessing.
W. B. CALDWELL.
Prohibition has made a marked improvement on the County. When the saloons were in Charlotte negroes and others would leave the city and on their way home drink and curse to the annoyance of the good citizens. I have not seen a person drunk in the country since Prohibition has gone into effect.
H. Q. ALEXANDER.
Before Charlotte went dry, on Saturday nights when the train came out from Charlotte the persons who had been drinking and cursing on it would get off and blackguard and curse until
midnight. Now all this is changed since Charlotte went dry, and as a Justice of the Peace I have only issued one warrant since Charlotte went dry. It has helped the country more than Charlotte, as the country has no police protection and drinking fellows took advantage of it.
Once a Saloon.
JNO. P. HUNTER.
Since Prohibition went into effect store room No. 10 North Tryon has increased in rent from $700 to $900,
and store room No. 12 N. Tryon from $700 to $900. Large increase in rental value of two stores (formerly saloons) on corner of West Trade and College streets.
People talking about city going dry hurts the city is all bosh. In my sixteen years experience I have never had as good business as I have had during the first six months of Prohibition. Besides I have especially noticed that my cash sales have almost doubled. Also rents from city property have increased 30 per cent.
H. G. LINK.
Mr. F. M. Shannonhouse, Recorder of the city, says that crime has decreased about two-thirds; and the general result of Prohibition has made it a great deal easier for the officials of the city to maintain law and order.
That business since the first of the year has been very satisfactory, and that in his opinion there has been more real estate transfers this year since Prohibition has gone into effect, than for the same period of 1904.
That it has helped considerably the collection of rents; and collection of rents has been better than ever before; that transfers in real estate have been at least one-third more than in 1904 in our business.
That values have not decreased and that demands for homes and real estate investments have been greater since January 1st than at any time prior in the history of the city.
I am a trucker and sell vegetables and produce. Since Prohibition went into effect I have sold at least 10 per cent. more of the produce I handle, and my business has never been better.
H. H. RHYNE.
I am a dealer in all kinds of groceries and since Prohibition went into effect my business is 25 per cent. better; this records includes when I was at my old stand and present stand.
J. A. SOFLEY.
I am a farmer in Steel Creek, and I can see a big improvement in the country since Prohibition went into effect. It was the best thing that ever happened for my section. Colored
hands come home from Charlotte now sober with provisions and clothing instead of liquor and it has been a great improvement to our white citizens that drank.
J. S. DIXON.
A good woman whose husband stopped drinking said that before it seemed like she lived in hell, but now in heaven. She says Prohibition is the cause of her happiness.
I am a merchant and do business at Sandifer, in Mecklenburg County. Prohibition in Charlotte has helped my section. It is much more pleasant to attend to business, drunken men are not annoying me as they were before Prohibition went into effect and the public road is less frequented with people drinking.
S. M. HENDERSON.
Prohibition has been a grand success in Charlotte; far beyond what we expected.
S. H. HILTON.
Prohibition has done more for Providence Township than for any ward in the City of Charlotte. It has been a great blessing to Providence Township. On Saturday the negroes would get together and send to Charlotte for
liquor, and on Sunday there would be regular rows. Now such conditions do not exist. When we send negroes to Charlotte we have no fear like we once had, that they would come back drunk with something broken or unattended to.
L. H. ROBINSON.
Prohibition has helped Crab Orchard Township. People who once came to town and drank and came back under the influence of liquor now come home sober. It is a blessing not only to the men, but to their families.
R. L. STINSON.
I live in Long Creek Township. Prohibition in Charlotte has helped our section. Not as much drinking on Saturday evening as there used to be.
J. S. WHITLEY.
In my estimation Prohibition has not hurt the business interests of Charlotte. Our business for the first six months of the year shows a satisfactory increase over corresponding six months previous year.
J. H. LITTLE.
In my opinion, based upon observation and contact with the business interests of the city including bank and Building and Loan Association
transactions, the business prosperity and best interests of the city have been in no way injured by the closing of the saloons; but, on the contrary, the diverting into other channels of the money formerly spent for liquor has been of inestimable advantage to our community.
A. G. BRENIZER.
In the Hopewell section we notice a great benefit since Charlotte has been under Prohibition. Parties who usually come home intoxicated now come home sober. We can send our hands to town without the fear of them coming home drunk and running the mules to death.
R. S. BARNETT.
Prohibition has been in force since January 1, 1905, and by comparison we find that our business has increased from twenty to twenty-five per cent, over same period last year.
Prohibition, from a financial stand-point, has proved a good investment for us.
Our dealings with our trade has been more pleasant and satisfactory than last year.
HERRING & DENTON.
From the viewpoint of a dairyman I can say that my business has grown steadily since January 1, 1905.
I am of the opinion that Prohibition
has benefited most lines of business in Charlotte.
C. C. MOORE,
Proprietor Double Oaks Dairy.
Prohibition in Charlotte has also had its effect in our town. A number of people do not go to Charlotte so often as they formerly did and do not return home in the same condition as before when they do go. Drunks are less frequent and business is not hurt.
J. L. CHOATE.
Prohibition has not hurt the business interests of Charlotte and our trade is better than before.
SARRATT & BLAKELY.
Prohibition has been a benefit to the country. No drinking and cursing along the public highway of negroes and others coming from Charlotte under the influence of liquor like there once was.
F. S. NEAL.
Prohibition has been an improvement to the country. No drinking as there once was.
C. H. Caldwell.
As to the effect of Prohibition in the
Once a Saloon.trial which Charlotte has enjoyed the last six months, I beg leave to say that my observation is that the young men appear to have received its protection to a gratifying extent; in only one case have I seen a young man intoxicated during the six months, and the boys have evidently been spared the temptation to drink almost entirely. Unless I greatly err in my judgment both young men and boys have shown greater steadiness and activity in religious
matters during this period. The result has surpassed my expectations.
The testimony of the country people given to me has been nearly uniform, that men coming to town have been largely spared the allurement to drink, and many women have expressed to me their gratification that the head of the family may now come home sober to his family, and without annoyance to them as formerly. My house and my office are on main thoroughfares to the country, and my opportunities for observation are good. I have seen fewer cases of intoxicated country people returning home from Charlotte, than in former years.
But the strongest indication of the beneficient results of the abolition of the drink traffic appear in the constant prosperity of the retail stores, and their larger gross sales, as I am informed is the case; if this information be correct, then the families of our working population must be better nourished, fed and clothed than under the old order of things, when the earnings, the time, and the strength of our workers was dissipated. I have no reason to regret the change.
The community certainly owes its thanks to our vigilant officials for making Prohibition possible.
GEORGE B. HANNA.
Before Prohibition went into effect the heads of several families whom I knew worked hard all week for money
enough to get on a big drunk Saturday night, come home and raise a big racket in the family. When the saloons were open the roads were full of drunken men reeling home to sleep off a debauch or run the family away from home. Since Prohibition closed the saloons no more such sights are seen, instead, men who were never known to come home sober said they started home long before sun-down feeling strange coming home in daylight walking straight and in their mind.
The small stores in the suburban portion of town are in a more prosperous condition than ever before. The real estate in which I am interested also pays a larger per cent than formerly and I have no vacant houses, all rented; a thing that I never had before.
R. B. ALEXANDER.
Prohibition in Charlotte is a success, and will always be as long as the laws are enforced as they are at the present. Of course, some few people are able to obtain whiskey and drink it, but the great majority who drank at open bars can not get it and are forced to do without it.
From a business standpoint, I think the town is better off, and from a moral standpoint it is bound to be better. If there was no whiskey sold within one hundred miles of the city Prohibition in Charlotte would be more effective than it is.
A. C. HUTCHISON.
Once a Saloon.
Looking back for the last six months and comparing this period with the same length of time of the year 1904, I have noticed a decided improvement among the cotton mill operatives which I attribute largely to having Prohibition in our city. I have noticed that a majority of those in families where one or more formerly used a great portion of their wages to buy liquor have better clothes and present a more respectable appearance than when bar-rooms held sway.
Also the fact has been impressed on me that the employes of my mill draw less money between pay-days now than they did twelve months ago. I find also that they are at work more regular and are more agreeable to get along with. I also notice that when we had bar-rooms in Charlotte a great many cotton mill operatives spent their wages
drinking and carousing around and oftentimes were locked up; whereas they now go home Saturday evenings sober and jolly with their arms full of goods. Any person who may say Prohibition is not a great help to the unfortunate poor laboring men certainly has no love for his fellow, and but very little for himself.
A. C. SUMMERVILLE.
Having been Mayor of Charlotte four years, I took a deep interest in the moral and material welfare of the city and I am satisfied that Prohibition has been a great benefit to the industrial as well as the moral up-building of the city.
P. M. BROWN.
I have lived in Charlotte many years and know what the conditions have been as regards drunkenness. I have watched with interest the effect of Prohibition on the working man, and I can say thankfully, that while drunkenness caused more working men to lose their situations and their families to suffer. than any other cause in this city, such conditions have almost disappeared. The working people seem more ambitious to prosper, to own their own homes, and make life a success than before the inauguration of Prohibition, and not only this, but the whiskey drinkers among this class who were incurables have left the city (these being few in number) and the
morals of the industrial classes has been thereby improved. Two years ago employers could not be assured from one day till another that part of their workmen would not be out drunk, neglecting business. Today a workman rarely gets many chances of retaining a situation when he drinks, the result is better workmen and a better class of citizenship.
T. M. ALEXANDER.
Prohibition has not hurt the business interests of Charlotte. Property is selling higher than before and rents are good.
J. K. WOLFE.
Prohibition has made a decided change in the number of alcoholic troubles here in this short time and I feel sure that a longer trial will develop a longer story.
GEO. W. PRESSLY.
Prohibition has been a God-send to the average working man of Charlotte, inasmuch as the temptation has been taken away from him, and therefore, in my observation on Saturdays, the money heretofore spent in the saloons go into the grocery, furniture house, meat markets and into other legitimate and honorable channels, thereby carrying happiness in the home and the country at large.
JOHN M. GRAHAM.
I was for seven years prior to my going in business for myself the manager for Mr. J. C. Cochrane's livery and feed stable. He employed and I had under me about eight hands, and each Saturday after paying off, about one-half would get drunk and not turn up for business for a day or so. Now all that is changed. I bought out the Cochrane stables and have been running them myself and I have not had a negro absent since Prohibition went into effect on account of whiskey. Prohibition has helped my business in many other ways. W. G. ROSS.
For W. G. ROSS & CO.
Numbers of men in our neighborhood who I know were good men, would come to Charlotte, and I knew they did not want to get drunk, but were led into temptation by the open saloons. Since Prohibition none of these men have I seen drunk and they come home sooner. One lady told me that she had spent the happiest months of her life since Charlotte went dry.
W. R. ALEXANDER.
Meeting will be presided over by Hon. S. S. McNinch, Mayor.
Announcements made by Mr. Heriot Clarkson, chairman.
Invocation by Rev. Francis Moore Osborne.
Choir of young ladies will open by singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and close by singing "Carolina, Carolina."
My Country! 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble, free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongue awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Our fathers' God! to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!
Short eight minutes talks will be made by the following gentlemen:
After every three speeches, music by band.
Carolina! Carolina! Heaven's blessings attend her!
While we live we will cherish, protect and defend her.
Though the scorner may sneer at, and witling defame her,
Yet our hearts swell with gladness, whenever we name her.
Hurrah! Hurrah! The Old North State forever!
Hurrah! Hurrah! The good Old North State.
Though she envies not others their merited glory,
Say, whose name stands the foremost in Liberty's story?
Though too true to herself e'en to crouch oppression,
Who can yield to just rule or more loyal submission?
Plain and artless her sons, but whose doors open faster,
To the knock of the stranger or tale of disaster?
How like to the rudeness of their dear native mountains,
With rich ore in their bosoms, and life in their fountains.
And her daughters, the queen of the forest resembling,
So graceful, so constant, yet to gentlest breath trembling,
And true lightwood at heart; let the match be applied to them,
How they kindle in flame! Oh, none know but who've tried them.
Then let all who love us, love the land we live in,
As happy a region as on this side of
Where Plenty and Freedom, Love and Peace smile before us;
Raise aloud, raise together, the heart thrilling chorus!
"Hom, Sweet Home," by Steel Creek band.
It is estimated that more than a million dollars has been invested in Charlotte real estate within the past three months. The day seldom passes but that some new deal in Charlotte dirt is reported. Rumors are flying thick and fast as to options, investments, profits and the like. The subject uppermost in the public mind just now is the wonderful increase in the value of Charlotte property. The figures are soaring skyward and there is no indication of cessation in the wonderful advance.
A propos to the many purchases and counter purchases of Charlotte real estate, the following story is told of two traveling men, who are supposed to have their homes in the city.
They were making several towns in upper South Carolina and met at a point far removed from civilization. The one asked the other:
"When did you leave Charlotte?"
The other replied in a matter of fact tone, that he had been absent a whole week.
"Well, you had better get home and look around. Property has been changing so fast that you wouldn't know who owned the town.
The story is not so far off after all.--Charlotte Observer, March 7, 1906.
"Of the 600 houses in my charge,' remarked a prominent rental agent of the city to an Observer reporter yesterday, "but two of them are vacant. I am getting letters of inquiry almost daily. There are no vacant houses to be had in Charlotte so far as I know." A few are being built, but these are disposed of long before they are completed. If I had 50 more houses I could rent them without difficulty. Not only are there very few available houses for prospective residents, but the rents have been advanced from 20 to 25 per cent during the past 12 months. The increased rents seem only to have made the demand more pressing. There is going to be a "house famine in Charlotte unless some of our people erect more of them."--Charlotte Observer, Nov. 2nd, 1906.
"We have between 650 and 700
houses on our rental list and have not a single house vacant for white people," said Mr. J. Arthur Henderson, of J. Arthur Henderson & Bro., real estate and rental agents.
Mr. Henderson also stated that his firm had only two vacant; negro houses, one at 75 cents a week and the other at $1.25. The houses rented by this firm range in price from $5 to $40 per month, "and our tenants put up spot cash at the end of the week or month," said Mr. Henderson.
This is a splendid evidence of Charlotte's increasing population and development and the condition of this rental agency may be found among all the other rental agents in Charlotte. There is a constantly increasing demand for houses in all parts of the city. The tenants are all good and pay their rent whenever the collector comes around.--Charlotte News, Nov. 22, 1907.
Since Prohibition went into effect in Charlotte some few buildings or more than the ordinary have been built and are being built. Some of them are these:
And many other minor buildings and improvements too numerous to mention.
I know that Prohibition has been a great help to the country; the main reason is that I know there is not one-quarter of the whiskey used in the country that used to be used. People have a great deal more money now than they once had as they save it and do not spend it for liquor.
W. W. ELLIOTTE.
Everything is going on quiet in my neighborhood and there is no drinking, and the neighborhood is on the best boom since I knew it, and I know Prohibition has been beneficial.
J. W. FREEMAN.
My opinion of Prohibition is past writing; it has been so beneficial, I am thoroughly convinced it has helped everything--morally and physically, mentally and financially. The difference to me is so great there is no way of expressing it.
N. SUMMERS ALEXANDER.
There has never been anything in our country that has been more beneficial than Prohibition. I have not
seen, to my recollection, a person in my neighborhood under the influence of intoxicants since Charlotte went dry. I have noticed a great and good difference in Charlotte.
J. WASH DUNN.
I have not seen a man coming home from Charlotte hollowing and whooping since Charlotte went dry--it was a common thing before. It is a blessing to the country.
A. HOPE STEWART.
I think Prohibition has done a great deal of good. The people I used to see going home drunk and staggering along the public roads, now go home sober with the money they once spent for whiskey. I think it a good thing they ran it out of Charlotte.
J. T. SWARINGEN,
Prohibition is a blessing to the man that never drank a drop; it is a blessing to the man that did, and it is a blessing to the community.
I am in a position to see; I am on the public road, and right at the
forks of the road. Prohibition has helped both this and Gaston county. You can not put down for me too strong language the good it has done. We can get hands to work on Saturdays on the farm; and we used to not be able, as they went to Charlotte and often drank and spent their money.
S. W. BEATY.
I think Prohibition is doing much good for the country. It has helped the country people a great deal--they don't come to Charlotte and stand around and drink, as they used to do; it has helped me.
C. T. COX.
I borrowed on my home March 4, 1901, $30.00. I was drinking and very often in the guard house in the city of Charlotte, and was unable on account of drinking to pay the $30.00. When prohibition went into effect, Jan. 1st, 1905, I was able to sober up and saved my money and paid on the debt, Feb. 6. 1905 $20.00, Sept. 15th. 1905, $10.00, Oct. 11th, 1905, balance $7.40. Prohibition has helped me, and although an humble colored man, I give this testimony.
ALFRED [his X mark] WATSON
Witness: R. L. SING.