Rural Repository, August 1842: Father Mathew Administering the Temperance Pledge

Rural Repository, August 1842: Father Mathew Administering the Temperance Pledge

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Stoddard, William B. [editor]. Rural Repository, August 13, 1842: Father Mathew Administering the Temperance Pledge; A Semi-Monthly Journal, Embellished with Engravings. Hudson, N. Y.: Wm. B. Stoddard, 1842. First Edition. [9583]

An 8-page issue uncut, folded it measures 12 x 9 1/2 inches, opened it is all one sheet. Large wood engraving on front of Rev. Theobald Mathew with outstretched arm over a large group of kneeling penitents. Good. Single Issue Periodical.

Cover article about Rev. Theobald Mathew (1790-1856), Capuchin priest, born Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Fr. Mathew was an earnest and astoundingly successful "teetotalist reformer," who in 1838 founded the Cork Total Abstinence Society. It is from his efforts that the phrase "taking The Pledge" originates, for he demanded that his hearers take a pledge of total abstinence from alcohol immediately, and to never return to it. By 1844 over 3 million people had taken the pledge, almost half of the entire adult population of Ireland. His tour of the United States (1849-1851) was equally remarkable, with throngs of pledge-takers left in his wake. He spoke before the US Senate, was granted a seat in the House of Representative, and dined with President Zachary Taylor in the White House.

"The Rural Repository will be devoted to Polite Literature; containing Moral and Sentimental Tales, Original Communications, Biography, Traveling Sketches, Amusing Miscellany, Humorous and Historical Anecdotes, Useful Recipes, Poetry, &c., &c."

This periodical was in print from 1824-1851 "William B. Stoddard, son of Ashbel Stoddard, founded the Rural Repository, a semi-monthly literary journal, on June 12, 1824...Neatly printed on good paper...So immensely popular was the Repository in Columbia County and even throughout New York State and western New England that for twenty-seven years Stoddard published his journal with marked success. Prosperity made it possible to enlarge the paper to nine by twelve inches and to use wood engravings of local scenes and buildings...Moral and sentimental tales, historical sketches dealing with nearby cities and towns, and judicious selections of biography found high favor. Poetry, much of it local in origin, added interest. Contributions by young unknown authors appeared with those of nationally known writers, such as Nathaniel Parker Willis, William Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf Whittier...Stoddard's failing health forced discontinuation of the Repository in 1851." - Charles Williams Upton, New York History, Vol. 25, No. 2 (April, 1944) at jstor.