FELLOW CITIZENS OF OUR COUNTY: We the undersigned, do not assume or arrogate to ourselves the right to address you in our characters of Grand Jurors, but appear before you as individuals, now assembled from the different parts of your County, and believe it a suitable time to submit and lay before you, our views on the odious practice which has been too long sanctioned in our County --that of Candidates, for high and respectable stations, for the purpose of securing their election, becomming bottle carriers and whiskey mongers.
The wide spread and alarming prevalence of the besotting and reason-destroying vice of drunkeness in our land, has, within the last two or three years called forth, for its removal, the efforts of the politician, philanthropist, and christian; and has attracted the sympathies of the benevolent, and engaged the reflections of the wise.
The demoralizing influence and corruption of this great enemy of the peace, good order and happiness of society, is as clear as noon day sun, it is a moral malady, which has become epidemic --striking and readily gaining admission at the doors of the high and the low, the rich and the poor, and from which the learned cannot claim total exemption --trampling under foot the noble faculties of reason, bestowed upon man by his Creator, to keep in due subordination his sensual appetites and passions. In short, it reduces the rational creature man, below the mere instinctive brute. "Strong drink is raging." When we turn to our Criminal Dockets, we there see that nearly all the cases are the offspring of drunkeness. If we travel through our country, we may trace the footsteps of drunkeness to the miserable poverty of women and children.
And permit us to say, that we believe the evil has been greatly aggravated by the melancholy fact, so far back as the eldest of us can recollect, by the degrading practice sanctioned by custom in our County and State, of candidates finding it necessary to enter into the field of electioneering with a bottle; this, no doubt, was often painful to them, but such has been the controlling influence of custom, that men, to whose feelings, the practice was repugnant, passively gave way.
It affords us the pleasure to dwell upon, and speak of the praiseworthy resolutions entered into by the candidates at our last election. And now we, as a portion of the citizens of your County, highly approve of the course by them pursued; and we have witnessed with pleasure the good effects, and now request the candidates for offices the present year, to follow their good example --we say to them, "go thou and do likewise."
We believe the present a time fit, when it becomes the duty of all freemen to turn their faces against the practice of treating, inasmuch as our elections have been of late much extended, and consequently, the sphere of action much enlarged, whereby, in the nature of things, the evil will become greatly increased.
We trust and hope, fellow citizens, to meet with your willing co-operation in our request to the candidates, in our approaching elections, not to treat.
Now assembled as Grand Jurors, we, each, and every one of us, subscribe our names.
Resolved, That the Editors of the North Carolina Journal and the Fayetteville Observer, be requested to give this a place in their papers for publication.
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JOHN SMITH, Foreman,
Enoch Williams, Robert Hanner,
Asa Hubbard, James Mullis,
Geo. Threadgill, Thos. Huntly, Sen.
Willie Baucom, Irvin Braswell,
Daniel Gould, Eli Lowry,
Hosea Little, Willie Ledbetter,
George Morris, James Hinson,
Wm. Smith, Sen. Joel Rushing.
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