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"All Should See What Awful Ravages This Beast Is Making On Our Youth and Nation"

Lurid Wood Engravings : Tammany Hall's Tiger of Corruption Transformed into an Allegory of Ruin by Drink

Rare separately published temperance broadsheet, published by Amasa Lord.

The broadside features a striking image of a ravenous tiger, based on Thomas Nast's Tammany Hall tiger of the early 1870s, which was featured in Harper's Weekly. The vicious tiger is here repurposed in support of the temperance movement. The tiger's collar is labeled "Liquor Ring," with a black horizontal path over its body describing the overall scene: “Ten Steps Down the Broad Way of Ruin," in itself a clear reference to the corruption of New York City. The progression of a drunkard's life follows the familiar steps in the allegory of corruption and death: friendly drinks of ale and cider; card playing over wine & beer; billiards in the barroom; gambling on horses at the race track; dancing; barroom fighting; murder; police intervention, jail, and, hanging. Copyrighted by Sweet & Howland, of Cleveland, the image was likely engraved by Horace Greeley Howland.

The verso of the broadsheet continues the temperance theme, with a detailed half-page wood engraving depicting horned devils at work in Deacon Giles' Distillery, beaneath which are four columns of text by Rev. George B. Cheever. A mainstay of the temperance movement, originally published in the Salem Landmark, February, 1835, and also published under the title, The Dream.

Amasa Lord was a mainstay of the American Bible Society and American Peace Society. From 1876 to his death in 1878, he published The Informer, "devoted to Peace, Temperance, Health, and Anti-Tobacco."

A fascinating visual association of intemperance with political corruption of New York City.


OCLC lists no copies of this broadsheet.  We note an example in Kaaterskill Books Catalog #21, item 99.

Condition Description
Broadsheet. Illustrated with wood engravings on recto and verso. Sheet age-toned. Minor loss at old folds and some minor edge chipping. Repaired tear, crudely stitched at an early date. Withal very good given the ephemeral nature of the sheet.