28 August 2011

Ben Franklin On Wine

Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Attributed to Benjamin Franklin
There are plenty of references to beer in Benjamin Franklin's writings and other papers. His wife, Deborah, mentions beer in a list of household expenses for May 1762. Richard Saunders (one of Franklin's pseudonyms) describes Mead as "the best of Small Beer" (Poor Richard Improved, 1765). In describing objections of the American colonists to the Stamp Act, he noted the "too heavy Duty on foreign Mellasses" interfered in procurement of "one of the Necessaries of Life ... universally a principal Ingredient in their common Beer" (Fragments of a Pamphlet on the Stamp Act). There are also references to Thomas Beer, whom John Adams mentioned, "had been obliged to fly from England, for having assisted American Prisoners to escape" (Adams to Franklin, 18 October 1781).

These references are found easily among the thirty-four to "beer" in the digitized edition of The Franklin Papers at Yale. These papers comprise thirty-nine published volumes and more in the works. A search of the same digital archives produces two hundred twenty-six references to wine.

Ben Franklin's famous quote regarding beer as evidence of God's love appears nowhere in the Franklin Papers at Yale. They do not have the largest collection of his letters. Even so, their digital archive is easy to use, and offers a considerable trove of Franklin's writing.

According to Fred R. Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), the earliest instance of Franklin's beer quote may have been in Beverage World (1 February 1996). This past March, he challenged readers of his Freakonomics column to push that date back earlier with their own research. Shapiro believes, as do many others who have explored the topic, that Franklin's beer quote is a corruption of another less well-known statement regarding divine favor in the watering of the vines that make possible the production of wine.
We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy! The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.
Franklin to Abbé André Morellet
This letter appears nowhere in the Franklin papers at Yale. It does appear in a collection of writings put out by William Temple Franklin, executor of Franklin's literary estate. Both the original letter, in French, and an English translation appear in William Temple Franklin, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin, vol. V, 3d ed (London: Printed for Henry Colburn, 1819), pp. 286-291. Google has digitized a copy.


[Lendol] Calder attempts to identify the peculiar signature of the practice of history. He seeks to introduce to his students six "cognitive habits: questioning, connecting, sourcing, making inferences, considering alternate perspectives, and recognizing limits to one's knowledge" (emphasis added).
James Stripes, "Reflective Thinking, Teaching and Learning"

Bloggers often fail to source their work. Politicians fail almost universally. Beer advocates are not particularly prone to verifying that a compelling phrase uttered (or written) by one of America's true greats was indeed so uttered or penned. But, historians (and many journalists) should know better. Those who blog or otherwise write about the American past, or any other past for that matter, should develop the cognitive habits of the historian: questioning, connecting, sourcing, making inferences, considering alternate perspectives, and recognizing limits to one's knowledge.

It galls me that so many folks on the internet quote a part of one paragraph from Franklin's letter on wine, but so few present a verifiable source. It is easy to claim that Franklin never said, "beer is proof that God love us," and to offer an alternate quote concerning wine. But such claims need footnotes. Historians source their work. If there is not a credible primary source (even an edited one), then the claim has no merit.

The Claremont Review of Books offered Franklin's entire letter in 2002, and placed it on the web in 2004. But that esteemed publication, putatively committed to the values of the Founders, offered no indication whether they found the letter laying on their lawn or in some research library somewhere. Even so, by offering the letter whole, they facilitate readers learning some context for the oft-quoted passage.

Perhaps in time a scholar will verify that Franklin's beer quote is neither fraudulent nor apocryphal. If he said it, or wrote it, there may be a letter somewhere. Until then, the supposition that it is a corruption of his letter concerning divination, the love of God, and the daily miracle of rains watering vines stands as most plausible.

25 August 2011

Factory Wages and Stock Value

What would Henry Ford do?

Robert Reich poses this question in "Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers."

Meanwhile, students in the Freshman seminar at UC Berkeley with Professor J. Bradford DeLong are reading, among many other texts, an 1821 letter by Jean-Baptiste Say that suggests consumers are producers:

All those who, since Adam Smith, have turned their attention to Political Economy, agree that in reality we do not buy articles of consumption with money, the circulating medium with which we pay for them. We must in the first instance have bought this money itself by the sale of our produce.

To a proprietor of a mine, the silver money is a produce with which he buys what he has occasion for. To all those through whose hands this silver afterwards passes, it is only the price of the produce which they themselves have raised by means of their property in land, their capitals, or their industry. In selling them they in the first place exchange them for money, and afterwards they exchange the money for articles of consumption. It is therefore really and absolutely with their produce that they make their purchases: therefore it is impossible for them to purchase any articles whatever, to a greater amount than those they have produced, either by themselves or through the means of their capital or their land.
Letter 1, "Letters to Malthus on Political Economy and Stagnation of Commerce"

24 August 2011

George Washington, Moses Seixas, "To bigotry no sanction"

[B]ehold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People--a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance--but generously affording to All liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental Machine.
Moses Seixas
An editorial in today's Wall Street Journal describes a campaign launched by the Jewish Daily Forward to make available for public viewing an original letter by George Washington. In the letter, George Washington replies to a letter from a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island that welcomed him to the city and describes hopes that in the new nation, Jews will enjoy rights that had been denied them in the past. The editorial describes Washington's letter as "one of the greatest statements on religious liberty of all time."

The letter is owned by the Morris Morgenstern Foundation. Morgenstern purchased it in 1949. It had been on public display while on loan to the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum until ten years ago, according to the article in the Forward.

The article in the Forward describes the discovery of letters "detailing a secret tug-of-war between the congregation of Touro Synagogue in Newport and Morris Morgenstern" (Paul Berger, "Papers Reveal Secret Struggle To Display Washington’s Letter").
Since the museum put the document in storage, the new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and the Library of Congress have sought to display the letter, to no avail.
Paul Berger, "Papers Reveal"
The letters were found by Beth Wenger during research for her History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage (2010).

The opinion piece in the Journal, by former editor of the Forward Seth Lipsky, picks up on quotes in the Forward article that compare the letter's significance to foundational texts of American history, such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
The letter is, after all, private property. But it is also a national treasure, containing one of the greatest statements on religious liberty of all time. And the campaign to give it a public home—so it can be leaned over and read as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are—comes at a time when the free exercise of religion is increasingly constrained around the world.
Seth Lipsky, "A Missing Monument to Religious Freedom"
President Washington's letter was written in reply to a letter the previous day welcoming him to Newport. The strong expressions concerning religious freedom in the letter incorporate text from the letter by Moses Seixas, the warden of Congregation Kahal Kadosh Yeshuat Israel. The text of Washington's letter is widely available on the web.
To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island
18 August 1790


While I receive, with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem; I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all classes of Citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

Go: Washington
The Papers of George Washington
The letter of the Congregation is also available.

To the President of the United States of America
Newport Rhode Island August 17th 1790.


Permit the children of the Stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person & merits and to join with our fellow Citizens in welcoming you to New Port.

With pleasure we reflect on those days--those days of difficulty, & danger when the God of Israel, who delivered David from the peril of the sword, shielded your head in the day of battle: and we rejoice to think, that the same Spirit who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest upon you, enabling you to discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now (with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events) behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People--a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance--but generously affording to All liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language, equal parts of the great governmental Machine: This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual Confidence and Publick Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies Of Heaven and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.

For all the Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal and benign administration, we desire to send up our thanks to the Antient of Days, the great preserver of Men--beseeching him, that the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: and, when like Joshua full of days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality.

Done and Signed by Order of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island
Moses Seixas, Warden
Papers of George Washington


Jonathan Rowe at American Creation posted a link to a news story from the Providence Journal that is worth reading alongside the Jewish Daily Forward story linked above.

22 August 2011

Michelle Bachmann, Research Assistant

An article in The Nation today informs me that Republican Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann was a research assistant for John Eidsmoe's work leading to publication of Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (1987). I have blogged about this book several times in the past, most extensively in "Calvin and the Constitution" (July 2009), where I point out several errors of fact, interpretation, and methodology in Eidsmoe's scholarship.

The Nation asserts:
Bachmann was a research assistant to John Eidsmoe for his 1987 book Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of our Founding Fathers, in which Eidsmoe wrote “the church and the state have separate spheres of authority, but both derive authority from God. In that sense America, like [Old Testament] Israel, is a theocracy.”
"Rewrite, Sugarcoat, Ignore: 8 Ways Conservatives Misremember American History"
Bachmann discusses the influence of Eidsmoe, and faux-historian David Barton in a video to which the article in The Nation links.

A reasonable working hypothesis suggest itself. Michelle Bachmann's history gaffes proceed not from the pressures of the campaign trail, but from faulty training and cultivation of systemic error.

20 August 2011

"Malefactors of Great Wealth"

 Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they spent several weeks exploring Cape Cod. On this day in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt visited Provincetown, Massachusetts to set the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Monument for a 252 foot tower that was completed three years later. Upon this occasion, Roosevelt gave a speech in which he first traced a view of the significance of the Pilgrims, and then proceeded to defend his anti-Trust policies. I am has a detailed timeline of the process of planning and building the monument, including a description of Roosevelt's arrival.

Unlike my post three weeks ago in which I pasted the entirety of Alexander Hamilton's "Report on the Public Credit" into this blog, I am here pasting a few short excerpts. Using Roosevelt's own words, I aim to offer through the rhetoric of his speech a context for his bullying of corporate interests who believe the Roosevelt administration and Congress overstepped its Constitutional bounds in the regulations they put forth.

The text of President Roosevelt's speech was published by the Government Printing Office and is available online through the Internet Archive.

He eloquently expressed a basic element of the craft of history: judging people of the past by their own standards.
... there is nothing easier than to belittle the great men of the past by dwelling only on the points where they come short of the universally recognized standards of the present. Men must be judged with reference to the age in which they dwell, and the work they have to do. (6)
Address of President Roosevelt on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument (1907)
The President wisely observed a shift from standing for oneself to standing for others.
That liberty of conscience which [the Pilgrim] demanded for himself, we now realize must be as freely accorded to others as it is resolutely insisted upon for ourselves. (7-8)
He drew from the Pilgrims and from the Puritans who followed in their wake a lesson of duty: doing good.
There is no use in our coming here to pay homage to the men who founded this nation unless we first of all come in the spirit of trying to do our work to-day as they did their work in the yesterdays that have vanished. The problems shift from generation to generation, but the spirit in which they must be approached, if they are to be successfully solved, remains ever the same. The Puritan tamed the wilderness, and built up a free government on the stump-dotted clearings amid the primeval forest. His descendants must try to shape the life of our complex industrial civilization by new devices, by new methods, so as to achieve in the end the same results of justice and fair dealing toward all. (17-18)

Roosevelt asserted that the Puritans were not "laissez-faire theorist[s]" (19). They sought regulation of conduct that violated the public interest.
The spirit of the Puritan was a spirit which never shrank from regulation of conduct if such regulation was necessary for the public weal; and this is the spirit which we must show to-day whenever it is necessary. (20-21)
He appealed to common sense as he delved into thorny issues of federalism in the regulation of corporate activity.
The utterly changed conditions of our national life necessitate changes in certain of our laws, of our governmental methods. Our federal system of government is based upon the theory of leaving to each community, to each State, the control over those things which affect only its own members and which the people of the locality themselves can best grapple with, while providing for national regulation in those matters which necessarily affect the nation as a whole. It seems to me that such questions as national sovereignty and state's rights need to be treated not empirically or academically, but from the standpoint of the interests of the people as a whole. National sovereignty is to be upheld in so far as it means the  sovereignty of the people used for the real and ultimate good of the people; and state's rights are to be upheld in so far as they mean the people's rights. Especially is this true in dealing with the relations of the people as a whole to the great corporations which are the distinguishing feature of modern business conditions.

Experience has shown that it is necessary to exercise a far more efficient control than at present over the business use of those vast fortunes, chiefly corporate, which are used (as under modern conditions they almost invariably are) in interstate business. When the Constitution was created none of the conditions of modern business existed. They are wholly new and we must create new agencies to deal effectively with them. There is no objection in the minds of this people to any man's earning any amount of money if he does it honestly and fairly, if he gets it as the result of special skill and enterprise, as a reward of ample service actually rendered. But there is a growing determination that no man shall amass a great fortune by special privilege, by chicanery and wrongdoing, so far as it is in the power of legislation to prevent; and that a
fortune, however amassed, shall not have a business use that is antisocial. (21-25)
The core of his criticism of corporations, and his expressions of resolve to stay the course through the balance of his years as President, are found in two key paragraphs. The second and longer of these two is the source of my title, an oft-remembered phrase. Brief passages from this paragraph are commonly quoted in editorials and essays. Some of the passages left out of such editorials, however, make Roosevelt seem quite radical by today's standards. The paragraph deserves to be read as a whole. Roosevelt is quite clear that he views the aim of government to promote the interests of virtuous business and to prosecute to the full extent of the law (and to legislate in order to facilitate such prosecution) practices which are not virtuous.
In the last six years we have shown that there is no individual and no corporation so powerful that he or it stands above the possibility of punishment under the law. Our aim is to try to do something effective; our purpose is to stamp out the evil; we shall seek to find the most effective device for this purpose; and we shall then use it, whether the device can be found in existing law or must be supplied by legislation. Moreover, when we thus take action against the wealth which works iniquity, we are acting in the interest of every man of property who acts decently and fairly by his fellows; and we are strengthening the hands of those who propose fearlessly to defend property against all unjust attacks. No individual, no corporation, obeying the law has anything to fear from this Administration. (44-46)

During the present trouble with the stock market I have, of course, received countless requests and suggestions, public and private, that I should say or do something to ease the situation, There is a world-wide financial disturbance; it is felt in the bourses of Paris and Berlin; and British consols are lower than for a generation, while British railway securities have also depreciated. On the New York Stock Exchange the disturbance has been peculiarly severe. Most of it I believe to be due to matters not peculiar to the United States, and most of the remainder to matters wholly unconnected with any governmental action; but it may well be that the determination of the Government (in which, gentlemen, it will not waver), to punish certain malefactors of great wealth, has been responsible for something of the trouble; at least to the extent of having caused these men to combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of the Government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil-doing. That they have misled many good people into believing that there should be such reversal of policy is possible. If so I am sorry; but it will not alter my attitude. Once for all let me say that so far as I am concerned, and for the eighteen months of my Presidency that remain, there will be no change in the policy we have steadily pursued, no let up in the effort to secure the honest observance of the law; for I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule this free country — the people through their governmental agents or a few ruthless and domineering men, whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable, because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization. I wish there to be no mistake on this point; it is idle to ask me not to prosecute criminals, rich or poor. But I desire no less emphatically to have it understood that we have sanctioned and will sanction no action of a indictive type, and above all no action which shall inflict great and unmerited suffering upon innocent stockholders or upon the public as a whole. Our purpose is to act with the minimum of harshness compatible with attaining our ends. In the man of great wealth who has earned his wealth honestly and uses it wisely we recognize a good citizen of the best type, worthy of all praise and respect. Business can only be done under modern conditions through corporations, and our purpose is heartily to favor the corporations that do well. The Administration appreciates that liberal but honest profits for legitimate promoting, good salaries, ample salaries, for able and upright management, and generous dividends for capital employed either in founding or continuing wholesome business ventures, are the factors necessary for successful corporate activity and therefore for generally prosperous business conditions. All these are compatible with fair dealing as between man and man and rigid obedience to the law. Our aim is to help every honest man, every honest corporation, and our policy means in its ultimate analysis a healthy and prosperous expansion of the business activities of honest business men and honest corporations. (46-52)
Finally, Roosevelt steers a course between excessive individualism and excessive collectivism.
It will be highly disastrous if we permit ourselves to be misled by the pleas of those who see in an unrestricted individualism the all-sufficient panacea for social evils; but it will be even more disastrous to adopt the opposite panacea of any socialistic system which would destroy all individualism, which would root out the fiber of our whole citizenship. (58)
President Roosevelt, a Republican, was far more radical than President Obama. Those who disparage Obama as a Progressive have much to learn about American history.

Study Reveals Tea Party Priorities

In September 2009, I published "The Joker," highlighting concerns that at least some members of the Tea Party were tapping into a long history of racist iconography--one that can easily be explained away in a manner that may convince those unfamiliar with the history of minstrel shows and Vaudeville. Professor Susurro has a more extensive compilation of Tea Party images highlighting racism and threats of violence at Like a Whisper.

I referenced some arguments with Tea Partiers concerning the size of the crowd at their largest rally. It was later reported that they used historic photos of an entirely different event to contest the somewhat more accurate counts of observers from the mainstream media. See the PolitiFact story.

Earlier this week, The Blue State Post mentioned some research by David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam that allegedly demonstrates,

...priority #1 is not small government with these people! So what do (rank and file) Tea Partiers have in common (from 2006 through today):

They’re white and
have a low regard for immigrants and blacks (*ahem* racist?!)
are disproportionately social conservatives
have a desire to see religion play a prominent role in politics
seek deeply religious elected officials
approve of religious leaders engaging in politics
want religion brought into political debates

Read the whole article at:

Study shows that Tea Party members are vastly Caucasian and have low regard for 'immigrants and blacks'

Update: 26 August 2011

Several people noted that this article and others like it fail to disclose critical questions regarding research methodology. On the Facebook Wall for American Grace (the book), Adam Blum asked, "How did you decide on choosing the 3100 people you called and interviewed? Was it random? If so did you use a computer or just call by address?" I commented that I, too, would like such answers. This morning, the author(s) of American Grace posted, "we've posted some information on our blog and on our website."

They give this link:

15 August 2011

Oregon Temperance Society: Beginnings

Read this entry in a primary source that was reprinted in the Oregon Historical Quarterly many years ago:

11 February 1836
[I]n compliance with a previous invitation all the neighbors visited us at the Mission house P. M. at which time a temperance society was formed the first existing west of the Rocky mountains O[regon] T[erritory]--Three of our neighbors readily signed the temperance pledge, others made frivolous excuses for not signing and others wanted time to consider of the subject. The following day three of them came and signed--The following week J. Lee obtained nine more subscribers there are in all Eighteen members,--O Lord save this rising settlement from the curse of intemperance.
Mission Record Book of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Willamette Station, Oregon Territory, North America, Commenced 1834, ed. Charles Henry Clay, Oregon Historical Quarterly 23 (1922): 242.

14 August 2011

Oregon Temperance Society

Oregon in the 1830s was not a wholly lawless frontier, but with joint occupation by the United States and by England, and with a small non-Indian population, enforcement authorities were far from prominent. United States law banned sale of liquor in Indian Country. The Hudson's Bay Company, England's presence in the region, understood that liquor sales to Indians had a deleterious effect on the fur trade--their business in the region. Young's plan to build a distillery provoked cooperation between HBC employees, American settlers, and missionaries that had recently arrived from the United States with the professed purpose of bringing Christian civilization to Oregon's Native population. The Oregon Temperance Society formed and started a drive to dissuade Young from manufacturing spirits. There was an exchange of letters in January 1837.

Gustavus Hines, A Voyage Round the World: with a History of the Oregon Mission (Buffalo: George H. Derby and Company, 1850) has an account of the formation of the Oregon Temperance Society. Although the bulk of Hines' book is grounded in his personal experiences, the first chapter, which concerns the early history of the Oregon Mission is a secondary work, “drawn from the most reliable sources, and, principally from the short notes of the late Rev. Jason Lee, and the Journal of the late Cyrus Shepherd, the first missionary teacher in Oregon” (xi). Hines reproduces the letters from the temperance society to Ewing Young and Lawrence Carmichael, as well as the reply of these men.

Simple inconsistencies elsewhere in this chapter reduce one's confidence that these letters are error free reproductions, but in the main they are probably faithful. I have conformed to the spelling in Hines, and the italics are his (or in the originals from which he rendered copies).

Gentlemen, – Whereas we, the members of the Oregon Temperance Society, have learned with no common interest, and with feelings of deep regret, that you are now preparing a distillery for the purpose of manufacturing ardent spirits, to be sold in this vicinity; and whereas, we are most fully convinced that the vending of spiritous liquors will more effectually paralyze our efforts for the promotion of temperance, than any other, or all other obstacles that can be thrown in our way; and, as we do feel a lively and intense interest in the success of the temperance cause, believing as we do, that the prosperity and interests of this infant and rising settlement will be materially affected by it, both as it respects its temporal and spiritual welfare, and that the poor Indians, whose case is even now indescribably wretched, will be made far more so by the use of ardent spirits; and whereas, gentlemen, you are not ignorant that the laws of the United States prohibit American citizens from selling ardent spirits to Indians under the penalty of a heavy fine; and as you do not pretend to justify yourselves, but urge pecuniary interest as the reason of your procedure; and as we do not, cannot think it will be of pecuniary interest to you to prosecute this business; and as we are not enemies, but friends, and do not wish, under existing circumstances, that you should sacrifice one penny of the money you have already expended; we, therefore, for the above, and various other reasons which we could urge,
1st. Resolved, That we do most earnestly and feelingly request you, gentlemen, forever to abandon your enterprise.
2nd. Resolved, That we will and do hereby agree to pay you the sum that you have expended, if you will give us the avails of your expenditures, or deduct from them the bill of expenses.
3d. Resolved, That a committee of one be appointed to make known the views of this society, and present our request to Messrs. Young & Carmichael.
4th. Resolved, That the undersigned will pay the sums severally affixed to our names, to Messrs. Young & Carmichael, on or before the thirty-first day of March next, the better to enable them to give up their project.

[Then followed the names of nine Americans, and fifteen Frenchmen, which then embraced a majority of the white men of the country, excluding the Hudson's Bay Company, with a subscription of sixty-three dollars, and a note appended as follows:] (Hines' own words, presumably, although indented as part of the letter)

We, the undersigned, jointly promise to pay the balance, be the same more or less.

Hines, 19-20

Hines does not give the date of the letter, although the purposes set out in the letter were agreed to at a meeting of the temperance society on 2 January 1837, so perhaps that is the date of the letter. Hines reproduces the reply.

WALLAMETTE, 13th Jan., 1837
Gentlemen, – Having taken into consideration your request to relinquish our enterprise in manufacturing ardent spirits, we therefore do agree to stop our proceeding for the present. But, gentlemen, the reasons for first beginning such an undertaking were the innumerable difficulties placed in our way by, and the tyranising oppression of the Hudson's Bay Company, here under the absolute authority of Dr. McLaughlin, who has treated us with more disdain than any American citizen's feelings could support. But as there have been some favorable circumstances occurred to enable us to get along without making spiritous liquors, we resolve to stop the manufacture of it for the present; but, gentlemen, it is not consistent with our feelings to receive any recompense whatever for our expenditures, but we are thankful to the Society for their offer.
We remain, yours, &c.,

Hines, 20-21

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