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From Wealth to Poverty   By: (1842-1913)

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A Story of the Drink Curse


"I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and bye a fool, and presently a beast" Othello, Act II.




My reasons for writing this story were principally two. The first was my undying hatred of the rum traffic, which, in the days of the long ago, caused me and those dear to me to endure intense hardship and suffering; and the second was my desire to expose the unprincipled measures which were employed by the liquor party in order to render the Dunkin Act non effective, and thus bring it into disrepute.

What I have written has been taken from personal experience and observation; and as I have resided in three counties where the Act was in force, and have since visited several others, the data, which served as a foundation for what follows, was not gleaned from any particular locality.

The picture I herein present of the plottings of the liquor party, and the cruel treachery to which they resorted in order to bring their conspiracy to defeat the law to a successful issue, is not overdrawn; and, let me ask, can there be any doubt but there are in existence at the present time plots similar to the one laid bare in this book, which have for their object the obstruction of the Scott Act in the counties where it has been or may be carried, thus if possible to bring it into such contempt among the unthoughtful, who will not examine back of the effect for the cause, as to finally secure its repeal. Of one thing we may be certain, if an unscrupulous use of money and the resorting to "ways that are dark" will accomplish their purpose, these conspirators will not fail of success.

It has been my aim in this book to help educate public sentiment, so that if the same tactics are resorted to as were in the places where the Dunkin Act was in force, my readers will not aid the violators of the law by joining in the senseless cry, "the Scott Act is a failure," but that they will, to the extent of their ability, assist those who are determined that it, like every law which has been placed on our statute books for the protection of the subject, must and shall be respected, and that the violators of its enactments shall be brought to summary and condign punishment: for except it is backed by public sentiment it, though much superior to the Dunkin Act, will fail just as signally.

In regard to the principal characters who appear in these pages, they are not mere creations of my imagination; for Richard and Ruth Ashton were real personages, with whom I was well acquainted, as were all the prominent individuals of this story.

The descriptions given of the murders and suicides, also of Morris throwing the tumbler at his son, and of the scene when Allie Ashton was insulted by Joe Porter and the latter was knocked down by Frank Congdon, are all taken from events which really occurred.

For what I have written I offer no apology, but will simply state that I have only been animated with a sincere desire to do my little all to sweep the drink curse from our country and the world.

A. P.


CHAPTER I. A Departure.

CHAPTER II. Richard and Ruth Ashton.

CHAPTER III. On the down grade.

CHAPTER IV. Sail for America and meet a kindly welcome.

CHAPTER V. Good resolution A tempter and a fall.

CHAPTER VI. Arrival in Canada A friendly host Applies for a situation.

CHAPTER VII. Mr. and Mrs. Gurney.

CHAPTER VIII. Ashton meets with friends and secures a situation.

CHAPTER IX. Ruth's misgivings and mental agony.

CHAPTER X. All in Canada.

CHAPTER XI. Aunt Debie and her friends.

CHAPTER XII. A worthy Sheriff and Judge Dr. Dalton... Continue reading book >>

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