Skip navigation

Temperance

Father Matthew in America -
Nativist editors were placed in a quandary with the arrival in the U.S. in the early 1840s of Father Matthew, an Irish priest who devoted himself to temperance reform among his own people with considerable success. As religious men they were universally supporting [of] temperance, yet it was against their principles to admit that a priest could do anything that was praiseworthy. Some editors welcomed Father Matthew & even went so far as to say that he had more chance of getting into heaven than the Pope & all his cardinals. Others saw in his efforts only another Popish plot to collect money for the advancement of Catholicism, or to unite all Catholics into temperance societies which would really be military organizations making ready for the conquest of America.
- Protestant Crusade, note, p. 212