Petition #11484904


One hundred six petitioners "beseech [the Legislature] ... to repeal all laws legalising the sale of ardent Spirits in tippling houses or elsewhere." Among other arguments, they assert that "there is a class, a race of population amongst, but not of us: a class that Providence has permitted the Caucasian to hold in subjection, a subjection now rendered necessary by our relative positions, for the ending of which the most sagacious political economist can see no time." They further espouse "the theory has been adopted and is now acted upon; that the ignorance of that class is necessary to its degradation, and its degradation to our security -- And this class having no intellectual and but little moral culture to restrain and direct them" and that "the excess in use of ardent spirits is becoming the pervading passion of their class we know; but we cannot see, and cannot know how or when or where the poison is dealt out to them." The petitioners "tremble at the consequences to which this may lead -- The white man has cultivated intellect and strong endearments to subdue or restrain him in his madness; yet when his passions are inflamed by drink his desperate hand breaks the dearest ties, and spills the most cherished blood. But what is to restrain besotted slavery from filling the land with blood and conflagration? The details might be imagined but they are too horrible for reflection."

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Citation information

Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee