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Moreover, it is practically impossible for the authorities to prevent the sale of cocaine, or even to learn the source of its disposal. Dr. Williams finds that a large proportion of the wholesale murders in the South during recent years have been the direct result of cocaine, and that frequently the perpetrators of these crimes have been hitherto inoffensive, law-abiding negroes. He points out a particularly interesting feature of the effects of cocainism, which other writers have rarely touched upon, namely the fact that the drug renders the user immune to shock in an astonishing degree. It makes its victim peculiarly dangerous, as it seems to put the muscular and nervous system of the user temporarily in a state of tense stability, so as to improve, rather than interfere with, his marksmanship. The feat of the cocaine-crazed negro in Asheville who killed five men with one shot for each, shooting at long range in some instances, demonstrates that cocaine does not impair eyesight or muscular co-ordination. It probably could not have been accomplished under the stimulus of any other known drug.
The South, in trying to correct a bad condition, has created one infinitely worse, and one absolutely beyond the power of the authorities to suppress or even control. Dr. Williams'investigation led him to visit state hospitals, county hospitals, jails, work-houses and prisons. He interviewed patients, prisoners, physicians and officers. Both hospital and police records showed that during the last five years, the period of active prohibitive legislation, drug-habits have increased enormously. These records were supplemented by concurrent opinions of physicians and officials. "In short,” concludes the author, “there is no escaping the conclusion from the mass of available evidence, that the enforcement of prohibition has created a demand for, and produced a traffic in, habit-forming drugs among a dangerously large proportion of the lower classes in the South.”
The second article in the book deals with Temperance Instruction in Public Schools and Its Results. Dr. Williams reviews many of the educational text-books authorized by the W. C. T. U., showing how they teach absolute falsehoods about alcohol. He quotes statements from these textbooks and contrasts them with statements by recognized scientists and physicians the world over. The Committee of Fifty, scored these educational textbooks in no uncertain fashion :
"Under the name of 'Scientific Temperance Instruction' there has been grafted upon the public school system of nearly all our States an educational scheme relating to alcohol which is neither scientific nor temperate nor instructive."
Practically every State in the Union now has this enforced "Scientific Temperance” teaching in its schools. But the result of this teaching from the standpoint of the temperance people, Dr. Williams finds to be rather doubtful, since co-incident with the promotion of scientific temperance teaching the consumption of alcoholic beverages has steadily increased. The ethical side of the question is emphasized by Prof. Sewall who wrote to the Committee of Fifty:
"More evil will probably accrue to the next generation through this legalizing of lies than would result without direct effort for moral teaching."
The third paper considers liquor legislation and its relation to insanity. Dr. Williams shows that the causes of insanity are various and that alcohol is one of the least of them. In the chapter on "The Liquor Question in Medicine," Dr. Williams refers to a meeting of the World's W. C. T. U., at which the doctors were severely criticised for using alcohol in any form in their practice. He makes a strong plea for a scientific study of the matter, and warns against near-scientific investigations. He cautions against the relating of causes and effects, which have no real connection. As an instance, he takes the conclusions of certain writers in regard to the effect of the consumption of alcohol on the birth-rate and on the mortality of babies, and finds that they do not tally. "During the last quarter of a century 50 per cent. of the country has become prohibition. During this same period the amount of alcohol consumed has more than doubled; and meanwhile the death rate among babies has steadily declined. So that at present we have more prohibition, more liquor and more living babies. It is obvious, therefore, that any statement that suggests any single cause as having produced this apparently anomalous condition is necessarily at once open to challenge."
The last chapter in the book is entitled “What shall we do about it.” This is an address which was delivered by Dr. Henry S. Williams at the National Conference on Race Betterment, Battle Creek, Mich. Whatever the theories may be as to the efficacy of prohibitory laws as a factor in the regeneration of society, the facts prove that great quantities of intoxicating beverages are consumed in prohibition territory. Every community has its quota of unfortunate beings for whom alcohol in any form is a dangerous thing. Prohibition laws have been passed because a voting majority of the citizens have thought it desirable to close the saloons, hoping thereby to restrict the sale of liquor to the comparatively small but very obnoxious minority who are made mentally and morally aberrant by its use.
In the Southern States, in particular, it is scarcely pretended that a large proportion of the population has any intention or desire to abstain from the use of alcohol. The thought is simply that by passing prohibitory laws it may be possible to keep liquor from the poor whites and negroes. Care is taken to have the laws so framed that the more intelligent and prosperous members of the community shall incur no difficulty in securing whatever liquor they desire.
But the great difficulty is that prohibitory legislation does not, in point of fact, effect the object aimed at. The individuals whom it designs to protect against their own appetites are precisely the ones who refuse to be thus protected. By hook or by crook they secure alcohol. The legalized channels being closed through which liquor that at least has the merit of purity might have been obtained, illicit channels are found through which to secure liquor of inferior quality. If the amount of this is in some cases curtailed, its bad quality more than balances the restricted quantity.
Dr. Williams therefore very wisely feels that we should attack the problem from another angle. We should recognize the fact that for the generality of normal people the use of alcohol is a social habit, and that therefore the restriction of its use must come about through the modification of social habits. This means that if we are to oust the saloon, we must provide substitutes for it that more than compete with it in attractiveness. While theoretically he would place th saloon under government control, he feels that this would not work out in a practical way. He would therefore let the saloon remain under private control, but regulate its business methods very strictly. Existing evils are many and society demands a remedy, but the remedy must have a practical rather than a theoretical basis. Dr. Williams pleasantly suggests that up to the present time we have been putting the cart before the horse.
“Our SOUTHERN HIGHLANDERS.” By HORACE KEPHART, was published by the Outing Publishing Co., New York City, in 1913. Some eight years ago the author of this book went down into the “Great Smoky Mountain Region,” to explore the country and its people. It was indeed "undiscovered country.” In no library, could
he find a guide to that region, nor was there any magazine article or novel at that time, which showed intimate local knowledge. Only when, as a last resort, he consulted the Public Documents did he get a map which gave him a clear idea of the lay of the land. Had he been going to Teneriffe or Timbuctu he could have found plenty of information to guide him, the Alps or the Rockies are more familiar to American people than are the Black, the Balsam and the Great Smoky Mountains, and the real Mountaineer is only known by hearsay. “The mountaineers of the South," he tells us, "are marked apart from all other folks by dialect, by customs, by character, by self-conscious isolation." So true is this that they consider all outsiders “furriners.”
So much for an introduction into what the author calls “moonshine land,” for his book has some 200 pages on the "moonshine” feature of the mountaineer's life, and is for this reason of particular interest. It was only after he had gained a thorough knowledge of the country and the implicit confidence of his neighbors, if so secluded a people could be called neighbors, that he was able to obtain a familiar footing with the moonshiner and visit him in his lair.
Let no one think that the "moonshiner," or "blockader" as he is known on his native heath is a dishonest citizen whose one aim in life is to defraud his government. He simply disagrees with the governmental principle of internal revenue taxation. To quote from one of them :
“They believe in supportin' the Government, because hit's the law. Nobody refuses to pay his taxes, for taxes is fair and squar'. Taxes cost mebbe three cents on the dollar; and that's all right. But revenue costs a dollar and ten cents on twenty cents' worth o' liquor; and that's robbin' the people with a gun to their faces.
“Whiskey means more to us mountain folks than hit does to folks in town, whar thar's drug-stores and doctors. Let ary thing go wrong in the fam’ly—fever, or snake bite, or somethin' and we can't git a doctor up hyar less'n three days; and it costs scand'lous.
“Now, yan's my field o' corn. I gather the corn, and shuck hit and grind hit my own self, and the woman she bakes us a pone o' bread to eat-and I don't pay no tax, do I? Then why can't I make some o' my corn into pure whiskey to drink, without payin' tax? I tell you, 'tain't fair, this way the Government does !”
In his chapter on “Ways that are Dark," Mr. Kephart describes the setting up in business of the “blockader," why and how he chooses the spot, how he obtains his materials, what he does with then when he gets them, with what precautions the place is guarded and in what manner the finished product is disposed of. The maker of "blockade liquor," as illicit whiskey is called by the natives, has never heard of the Pure Food and Drugs Act. The author says, “As for purity, all the moonshine whiskey used to be pure, and much of it still is; but every blockader knows how to adulterate, and when one of them does stoop to such tricks he will stop at no halfway measures. Some add washing lye, both to increase the yield and to give the liquor an artificial bead, then prime this abominable fluid with pepper, ginger, tobacco, or anything else that will make it sting."
Once the stuff is made it has to be marketed, if the blockader is to secure the results of his honest toil, for so he considers it; but the sale of it is fraught with quite as much danger as its manufacture, and just as much secrecy is necessary.
In the chapter "A Leaf from the Past" the lineage of the inhabitants of the Southern Appalachians is traced. The original settlers were from Ireland, they settled first in Western Pennsylvania, then drifted down into Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina. The famous Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 is a leaf in the moonshiner's history. Like the poor, the moonshiner has always been with us, but it was not until about 1876 that our Government began in dead earnest to fight him. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue in his report of 1876-77 called attention to the illicit manufacture of whiskey in the mountain counties of the South and urged vigorous measures for its immediate suppression. Again in 1878 the Commissioner writes: “It is with extreme regret, I find it my duty to report the great difficulties that have been and still are encountered in many
of the Southern States in the enforcement of the laws. In the mountain regions of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, and in some portions of Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, the illicit manufacture of spirits has been carried on for a number of years, and I am satisfied that the annual loss to the Government from this source has been very nearly, if not quite, equal to the annual appropriation for the collection of the internal revenue tax throughout the whole country.” The authorities are still fighting with the question and the moonshiners!
Recently, however, a new factor has entered the moonshining problem and profoundly altered it, namely prohibition, and it is one of those anomalies of life that the “blockader," himself an outlaw is