James Woodbury



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It is with much reluctance that I present to the public a history of my life; and unlike most other autobiographers, I do not by any means place myself as an example to be followed by the reader, for it may well be said that the best of my life has not only been thrown away, but has passed to the advantage of immorality; for, behold the man in a state of intoxication, a patron of the most degrading ten-penny rum-shops, with an innocent, poorly clad and half-starved family of children at home crying for bread, and he spending his last penny in one of those hellish dungeons for the intoxicating beverage. It was thus that many years of my life was passed. When I was brought to see my position in society, the disgrace I was bringing upon myself and friends, the foul air I was breathing; when by magic as it were, the past was laid before me, with a realization of the future, then I put on a new armor, fought under new colors, with Faith, Hope and Charity as my emblems, and Temperance, Virtue and Integrity as my mottoes. And God being my helper, I will ever support them.

Having no diary I am obliged to trust to memory for facts and incidents, so it must not be presumed that I am to enter into the minute details of my life, but to give but a limited account of my course, showing how easily the moderate drinker becomes the lowest inebriate.

James Woodbury

Publication Date



C.C. Roberts, Printer




Temperance Movement, 19th Century, Temperance Advocate Press, Bath, Maine, Alcoholism, Personal Narrative

Autobiography: Temperance vs. intemperance.The story of a man who has experienced the life of a drunkard



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