When the Daily Telegram was founded in 1905 it was a temperance newspaper. It never lost an opportunity to scold readers on the evils of drink. Here the editors typeset a quote from one of the beloved icons of history and tried to bend it to to their cause. A quick google search did not turn up the source so I will have to take it on faith that the Telegram is giving us a square reading of the Great Emancipator’s words.
It was an admirable cause, given the lack of a social safety net in the early 20th century, a drunk man could destroy a family’s finances and there were very limited avenues for women in the job market at the time.
Unfortunately legislating morality is rarely successful for a variety of reasons.
By the time the prohibition law was enacted the Telegram was in a new editor’s hands and no longer scolding readers about what they drank. The paper had gone broke telling people the virtuous way to behave and was no longer a temperance mouthpiece.
Congratulations to Daniel Day Lewis for his Oscar for performance in the movie Lincoln.