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Maryland Temperance collection

 Collection — Box: 1 0381-MDHC

The Maryland Temperance Collection spans the years 1848 to 1922 and comprises a variety of materials about the temperance movement in the state, including constitutions, reports and correspondence of temperance societies, fliers for temperance events, advertisements for temperance political candidates and a postcard depicting a temperance rally. The collection shows how the temperance movement marketed itself to gain political and social power.


  • 1848-1922
  • Majority of material found within 1886-1909

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Maryland room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff.


14 Items (1 Letter Size Half-Size Box)

Biographical / Historical

The Sons of Temperance was a dues organization founded in 1842 in New York City. It was one of the largest temperance organizations at its peak in the 1850s. Besides holding meetings, the organization was a mutual aid society which paid death benefits to members and their wives. The Grand Division of Maryland of the Sons of Temperance was chartered on March 5, 1844. The St. Thomas Division No. 7 of the Sons of Temperance at Harper's Ferry was incorporated by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 11, 1848.

The Cadets of Temperancesociety was first formally established in 1846 in Pennsylvania and was a youth division of the Sons of Temperance. Aiming to bring boys ages ten to seventeen into the temperance movement, members of the order were prohibited not only from drinking alcohol, but also from using tobacco. The society was established in Westernport by the Rev. Father T.E. Gallagher, the pastor of St. Peter's Church, who was appointed in 1902.

The Home Defenders Association for a Dry Baltimore favored the prohibition of the sale of alcohol in the city. The temperance organization was supported by the Methodist Episcopal Church, which even affixed bulletin boards to the fronts of churches warning about the dangers of drink .

The Prohibition Party is the oldest existing minor political party in the United States and has traditionally found support among evangelical Protestants. It was founded in 1869 and had its peak in the elections of 1888 and 1892 when its candidate for president gained 2.2 percent of the popular vote. Besides running for attorney general in Maryland, Finley C. Hendrickson, a lawyer, became a member of the party's executive council, vied to be the party's presidential nominee in 1912 and ran for U.S. Senate in 1913. Hendrickson was seen as one of the more practical party members, advocating for a broader party platform that would expand the party's appeal outside of its fervently religious following.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was founded in 1874 and is the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian woman's organization in the world. The group conducted "pray-ins" in saloons and asked that alcohol no longer be sold and also supported the women's suffrage movement. The Maryland chapter of the WCTU formed in 1875.


The collection is organized as one series.

Series 1
Maryland Temperance Materials

Custodial History

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Maryland Temperance Collection from The Book Shop, LLC, a rare books dealer.

Related Materials

The Maryland State Archives, Sons of Temperance, Anne Arundel, Maryland, MSA SC 5496-41008

Separated Materials

One postcard of Edmund's Well, Druid Hill Park dated August 25, 1905 was removed to the postcard collection.


These sources were consulted in the writing of the finding aid's historical note.
  • James D. Ivy, "Sons of Temperance," Alcohol and Drugs in North America, a Historical Encyclopedia Eds. David M. Fahey and Jon S. Miller. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013)
  • Samuel Fenton Cary, Historical Sketch of the Order of the Sons of Temperance, an address delivered at the Fortieth Annual Session of the National Division (Halifax: W. Theakston, 1884)
  • "Chap. 255 – An Act incorporating the St. Thomas Division No. 7 Sons of Temperance at Harper's Ferry in the county of Jefferson," Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Richmond: Samuel Shepherd, 1848)
  • Marcus E. Cross, The Mirror of Intemperance, and History of the Temperance Reform (Philadelphia: John T. Lange, 1850)
  • Rebecca Bishop, "Cadets of Temperance," The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Culture, and Historical Perspectives, ed. Scott C. Martin (Los Angeles: SAGE Reference, 2015)
  • The Catholic Red Book of Western Maryland (Red Book Society, 1909), 150.
  • "Baltimore Conference," The Christian Advocate September 14, 1916 (25) 1229.
  • "Prohibition Party," Encyclopædia Britannica
  • "Blair Lee," Official Congressional Directory, 64th Congress, 2d Session, beginning December 4, 1916. Second Edition, (January 1917), 42.
  • "Boom Hendrickson as Their Nominee," Sacramento Union, July 10, 1912.
  • "Early History," National Woman's Christian Temperance Union
  • "Md. Woman's Christian Temperance Union keeps 'do everything' approach to activism," The Washington Post, February 27, 2013.

Processing Information

When the collection was accessioned, some of the documents were housed in clear plastic sleeves. The papers were removed from the plastic sleeves, and the most fragile were placed in acid-free paper sleeves. The collection was arranged into two folders, events and political materials and organization materials, then arranged chronologically by date and placed in acid-free folders and housed in an acid-free box.

Guide to the Maryland Temperance collection
Processed by Maya Riser-Kositsky.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742