Saturday, July 2, 2011

july 2, 1811 (tue.)

Today Mr. Jefferson received a letter from his good friend in Philadelphia, the learned Dr. Benjamin Rush, who is currently engaged in an epic struggle against what he sees as one of this country's most serious health threats. It is, he writes, "a greater enemy to the prosperity and liberties of the United states, than the fleets of Britain and the Armies of Bonaparte." He's referring to strong drink.

The good doctor is not against cider or wine as part of a wholesome meal, but believes intemperance begins at the level of strong punch.

For his nationwide educational campaign against the evils of intemperance, Dr. Rush is sending a pamphlet he wrote a few years ago, A View of the Physical, Moral, and Immoral Effects of Certain Liquors upon the Body and Mind of Man, and Upon His Condition in Society, to friends such as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, in various parts of the country, in hopes that they will see that the pamphlets are posted and distributed in their respective communities.