Gough, John B.

Popular 19th century temperance reformer & orator

Price: $15.00

Description:
(1817-1886) English-born popular American temperance orator, to US at 12. After his motherís death in 1835, he became an alcoholic. He lost his position in a book-bindery, and for several years supported himself as a ballad singer and story-teller in cheap theatres and concert-halls of New York and other eastern cities. He married in 1839, and became a bookbinder but his alcoholism cost his wife and child, and he was reduced to utmost misery. In Worcester, Mass., in Oct. 1842, a Quaker induced him to attend a temperance meeting and sign a temperance pledge and he determined to devote his life to lecturing in behalf of temperance reform. His oratory was natural, having no elocutionary training, but he became famous for his eloquence and attracted thousands to hear him. In the first year of his travels, he spoke 386 times, and for 17 years dealt only with temperance before 5,000+ audiences. He visited England in 1853, by invitation of the London Temperance League, and his first address, delivered at Exeter Hall, produced a great sensation. He was kept busy for 2 years. In 1854 and 1878, he spoke at Oxford; in 1854, he was greeted with hisses, cat calls, and yells, in 1878, he was received with distinguished attention. In 1857 he made another journey to England, and lectured for 3 years. He always kept aloof from politics or any organized effort to accomplish results through legislation, relying entirely on moral influences and on the total abstinence pledge. After confining himself to temperance for 17 years, he took up other subjects, literary and social, though his chief successes were obtained on the temperance platform. After his popularity had led him to vary his subject and to lecture before lyceums, he made a moderate fortune by his eloquence. For several years, he made his home at Boylston, Mass., and died at his work, stricken with apoplexy on the lecture platform at the 1st Presbyterian Church of Frankford, Penna. Gough Street in San Francisco was named for him. 6 x 4 Ĺ brief ALS, Toronto, February 2 1861, sending his autograph.

Condition: Very good, mail folds, light creasing at left edge, mount remnant stain at top fold on verso; tiny spot at center
Type:Letter






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