Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

CHAPTER XXIV.
.

TEMPERANCE IN CANAAN.

    The old orchards of Canaan were famous in their early maturity. The seeds were brought from Connecticut and Massachusetts. After building a house and clearing a spot of land, the next duty of the settler was to plant an orchard. The farms laid out by the newcomers, almost without exception, were not considered complete until the apple trees were started. The soil was moist and rich, and well adapted to the growth of fruit trees. They grew rapidly in the new soil, enriched by the ashes from the burned forests, and they bore fruit so abundantly that cider mills were erected at convenient places all over town. As the yield of apples increased, so the appetite for cider, and something stronger increased, and with this increasing appetite some of the bad traits of human nature were developed. The gatherings of the people were usually held at places where they could gratify their appetites, and there as the day progressed, the looker-on would observe the various phases which the use of cider and other drinks produced. Some men became hoggish and wallowed in their filth; some men became devilish and needed only hoofs and horns to be such in fact; some became idiotic and foolish and drooled in their silliness; others were a prey to ugliness, very few went home sober, or even knew when it was time to go home; some who had left strong-minded and muscular wives at home, preferred enjoying the evening air until the fumes of inebriety were evaporated. These things were not confined to the low or vicious, but it was a great social evil; it was a part of the hospitality of the house to offer cider, wine or rum to strangers as a beverage. There were drunkards among all classes of people. Many a man died of strong drink upon whose headstone may be read some cheering verse from the Bible.

    There were a number of strong men who fell by the wayside in their encounter with apple-juice; there was Dea. C. W. and his sons, Esquire A. and all his sons; E. and J. W.; Doctor T., J. D., and L. W., and others, over whose remains might well have

Next