An Indian's View of Temperance and Religion

Book Excerpt

Background Notes

This passage, from Temperance Anecdotes, 1834, was directed toward church members who occasionally used spirits. The author is telling his reading audience to follow the example of the Indian woman.

Transcription of Primary Source

An Indian woman in the eastern part of Connecticut, a member of the Rev. Mr. W.’s congregation, became a hopeful convert. Her past habits of intemperance, however, had been such, that it was thought advisable to keep her sometime on probation, to test the reality of her change, by her victory over her besetting sin. The church at length became satisfied, and assembled to hear the relation of her experience previous to baptism. Several of the church members present, (though strictly temperate in their own views,) were in the habit of using occasionally a small quantity of ardent spirits. After relating her exercises, she looked round her, and remarked, ‘As for me, since I thought I loved the Lord, my bowl won’t hold one drop of rum; no, not one drop .’

The conversion of this poor Mohegan is a little remarkable. She lived a contented sinner till near seventy, but is now a reformed drunkard, and consistent Christian, and acts upon the total abstinence plan, though the church with which she is united does not require it as a condition of church membership.

Curator Notes

Exact Title: 
Temperance Anecdotes
Geo. W. Light
Lyceum Press
Place of Publication: 
Old Sturbridge Village