Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Temperance Declaration [1]

[c. July 4, 1861]

Temperance Declaration of Eleven Presidents of the United States.

Being satisfied from observation and experience, as well as from medical testimony, that ardent spirits, as a drink, is not only needless, but hurtful and that the entire disuse of it would tend to promote the health, the virtue and happiness of the community: we hereby express our conviction, that should the citizens of the United States, and especially all young men, discountenance entirely the use of it, they would not only promote their own personal benefit, but the good of the country and of the world.

James Madison, James K. Polk,

John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor,

Andrew Jackson, Millard Fillmore,

Martin Van Buren, Franklin Pierce,

John Tyler, James Buchanan,

Abraham Lincoln.


[1]   Journal of the American Temperance Union: and The New-York Prohibitionist, August, 1861, XXIV, No. 8. The declaration as printed is accompanied by a letter from Edward C. Delavan, ex-wine merchant and noted temperance worker and lecturer, dated July 4, 1861, which reads in part:

``President Lincoln has recently returned me, signed, the Presidential Temperance Declaration.

``In 1833, I obtained the signatures of Presidents Madison, Jackson, and Adams. . . . As new Presidents have been elected, the parchment . . . has been sent to Washington, and in every case returned signed.

``President Harrison died before I had an opportunity of sending the certificate. . . . ''