Women urged to ‘deal death blow to King Alcohol’

“Dear Sisters: Constrained by the love we bear to our children, brothers, lovers, husbands, and for whose sake we wish to unite our influence, to save them from the terrible evils of Intemperance, we invite you to come out to the election at Flint Ridge, on the first Thursday in August [1881], so that, by our presence, we may encourage those we love to deal a death blow to King Alcohol, and free us from the misery, woe, wretchedness and ruin, caused by this demon, that ‘biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.’ ”

— From a broadside inviting women, still almost 40 years from being able to vote, to bring their persuasion to bear at a Chatham County polling place for a referendum on prohibition.  (King Alcohol avoided a statewide ban by a margin of more than 3 to 1.)