Temperance, but No Maine Law

Artist and publisher Augustus Fay American

Not on view

The "Gem Saloon," represented here, was housed in a hotel on the corner of Broadway and Anthony (now Worth) Street in New York, and known for containing the city's largest mirror. Mayor Fernando Wood and other notables are portrayed, and the title refers to the heated debate then raging over the regulation of alcohol. A temperance movement launched in 1850 by the mayor of Portland, Maine, resulted in a state bill that forbade all alcoholic purchases except for "medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes." Several other northern states and cities followed suit, including New York, with a prohibitory liquor law of 1854 vetoed by Governor Horatio Seymour. When Myron H. Clark replaced Seymour in 1855, a new "Maine Law" was passed, but never strictly enforced.

Temperance, but No Maine Law, Augustus Fay (American, born ca. 1824, active 1840–60), Lithograph

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