Temperance Triumphs In Middlefield

Newspaper Article

Background Notes

This article originally appeared in the Hampshire Gazette, a weekly newspaper published in Northampton, Massachusetts and was reprinted by the New England Farmer and Horticultural Journal, a weekly newspaper published in Boston that printed numerous articles about temperance. It describes a community whose members (at least a large number of them) had been converted to temperance.

Transcription of Primary Source

Article from New England Farmer and Horticultural Journal, October 23, 1829 TEMPERANCE.

In Middlefield, in this county[Hampshire County, Mass.], there are about 110 men who are heads of families, almost all of them farmers or mechanics*. Of these, between 60 and 70 have performed all their labors through the season, on their farms and in their shops, without using ardent spirits, and without giving it to their workmen. They find that they are more free from ill turns,—can perform more labor,—their work is better and more expeditiously done,—fewer mistakes and accidents occur,—and their implements are less injured and broken, than in past years, when spirituous liquor was used. There are but two traders* in the town, and neither of them sells spirits, except in cases of sickness. There is a Temperance Society in the town of 138 members, old and young, male and female. Many who are not members of this society, act on the principle of entire abstinence. Besides the 60 or 70 persons above mentioned, there are 15 or 20 heads of families who seldom drink spirits, and who have used but little in performing the various labors of the season. What a victory has here been obtained over the insidious foe of human peace and happiness! Let the friends of the good cause persevere, and in a few years the whole town will be free from the degrading vice of intemperance. In such a town, a man can live in peace and quietness—can educate his children in habits of industry and sobriety, and “train them up in the way they should go.”— Hamp.[shire] Gaz[ette].


  • mechanics − persons whose occupation is to construct machines, or goods, wares, instruments, furniture and the like; blacksmiths, cabinetmakers, printers are examples of mechanics
  • traders − storekeepers

Curator Notes

Exact Title: 
New England Farmer and Horticultural Journal
Probable Date: 
October 23
Place of Publication: 
Boston, MA
Old Sturbridge Village