Early History of the Temperance
Movement in Vineland

By Frank D. Andrews

One of the important questions the early settlers were soon called upon to decide, was, whether liquor should be sold in Vineland, as it was then in every town and city in the state, or, should its sale be prohibited in the new settlement.

This was a momentious question and one on which the future prosperity of Vineland depended. Let liquor in and the character of the settlement would change; the bright hopes of the founder would be obscured by such a calamity, and a majority of the settlers being in favor of temperance would not care to remain in a community where such principles did not prevail.

A number of the men employed in chopping wood and making roads were accustomed to the use of liquor, so also were a few of the settlers. For the convenience of this small minority and with a view to the profits arising therefrom, one of the grocers, Rollins by name, added ale, beer and porter to his stock of goods.

The sale of malt liquors was believed to be but a starting point, if there was no opposition to his venture doubtless stronger liquors would follow, hence the importance of immediate action.

Mr. Landis, who felt the success of the settlement was at stake remonstrated with the offender, telling him it was against the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants that liquor should be sold in Vineland. This had little influence with Mr. Rollins, who believed he had the right, continued to supply customers with beer.

As it became generally known liquor was being sold notwithstanding Mr. Landis remonstrance, it was decided among those most interested to hold a public meeting. A call for such a meeting met with a ready response fifty-five signatures being readily obtained, as follows:


We the undersigned, settlers of Vineland, respectfully request all persons who are interested in the good order, and the continuance of the same, in Vineland, to meet at the School House, on Wednesday the 10 inst. at 7, O'Clock P. M. for the purpose of considering the propriety of forming a League for the. purpose of mutual protection against a traffic, corrupting to morals, injurious to health, and in violation of Law.

Vineland June 2d 1863

Landon Taylor
C. W. Cutting
David Landis
E. P. Morehouse
Wm. 0. H. Gwynneth
A. S. Hall
A. P. Barcus
B. D. Stewart
J. H. Allen
Chas. F. Jones
Geo. W. Nabb
Danford Clark
Joseph Beaumont
Wm. Bridges
Wm. S. Raubenols
Wm. W. Gilford, Jr.
Joseph Rollins
John Wescott
H. J. Barnes
Chester P. Davis
Walter Davis
B. Lang
P. Gifford
Wm. Webster
Thomas Dennery
J. V. Faunce
S. Loomis
H. E. Thayer
W. S. Smith
Isaac Wilson
Geo. W. Pryor
James H. Amsden
J. B. Drew
Levi B. Drew
R. H. Hodgdon
Justin H. Loomis
Wm. D. Martin
Alex Cole
George B. Swain
B. Swain, Jr.
Winslow L. Fish
W. W. S. Holbrook
Geo. W. Houdlette
Wm. F. Bassett
Wm. W. Gifford
E. R. King
Wm. A. Morgan
D. G. Whitcar
E. W. Reaser
I. Reaser
S. Ganse
Wm. W. Cone
Hiram R. King
Avery Y. Gates
T. Hoyt

The school house where the meeting was held stood on the lot where the Grove House now stands. Mr. Landis built it for the accommodation of the people, and it served as Vineland's first public hall until the depot was erected in 1864, when the second story, known as Union Hall, was used for public gatherings. The school house was used for school purposes during the day, and by various organizations and societies in the evening.

I can find no record of the attendance at this first temperance meeting on Wednesday evening, June 10, but we may believe the importance of the movement filled the room.

Alexander Cole called the meeting to order, John H. Allen was chosen chairman and Timothy Hoyt, secretary. The chairman requested Mr. Cole to address the meeting. Mr. Cole on taking the floor, read the following resolutions:

"Vineland, June 10th, 1863 Whereas: Ale, Beer, and Porter, together with other spiritous and drugged liquors, are kept, drank, sold and trafficked in by persons being in Vineland, to the disturbance of good order.

1. — Therefore be it resolved as the sense of this meeting. That the traffic in such malt and spiritous liquors is deemed by use to be destructive to the peace & happiness of the community, detrimental to the prosperity and future progress of the settlement, injurious to the health, corrupting to the morals, of those directly engaged therein.

2. — That we will use all proper moral means to suppress this scourge of our race, and to this end, will shun, and in every possible way, discountenance those who persistently continue to be engaged in the sale, or in any way, or under any pretence, give their money, influence, or support, in sustaining the unholy traffic.

3. — That if measures mild in their character, shall fail to put down this abominable nuisance, we will avail ourselves of such other, and harsher means, as may be found in the statues of New Jersey, and in the Internal Revenue Laws of the U. S.

4. — That whoever sells intoxicating drinks under the cover of a license, is no less the object of our just indignation and scorn.

5. — That we individually and collectively agree, pledge, and promise, to, and with each other, that we wili not, use as a beverage, traffic in, or in any way, encourage others in the use, or deal in, of such liquors, and that we will, to the best of our several abilities, discourage, help to banish, and forever keep out of Vineland, this unmitigated evil.

6. — That we do hereby pledge ourselves, one and all, to withdraw our custom or patronage from any store that may sell alcoholic or malt liquors either by the Quart or by the smaller quantity, or any alcoholic tonics, bitters, or medicines, or any name under which it may be designated unless by the written prescription of some practicing physician." These resolutions were emphatically endorsed by the people present.

A committee was then appointed to canvass the settlement and obtain a full expression of the people, for, or against, the traffic in, and the use of liquors.

The committee consisted of Alexander Cole, John H. Allen and Rev. Samuel Loomis, who circulated papers headed as follows: "We the undersigned, residents of Vineland, desirous of making our infant settlement for ourselves, our children, and those who come after us to the latest generation, the home of sobriety of virtue, of good order, of good morals, and of temporal prosperity, hereby express our sincere judgement and our hearty desire, with regard to the sale of intoxicating drinks, as a beverage, of whatever form and under whatever name, within the bounds of this community."

Vineland, New Jersey, June 11th, 1863. Names of those who exclude the sale of all intoxicating drinks in Vineland, and pledge themselves not to patronize any establishment where intoxicating drinks as a beverage are sold.

John H. Allen
George B. Swain
Samuel Loomis
Winslow L. Fish
Chas. K. Landis
Eveline M. Fish
Angeline Cole
Wesley Simmons
Lydia B. Brown
Geo. B. Manchester
Herbert Cole
Wm. W. Cone
Albert D. Manchester
Warren J. Spencer
L. G. Spencer
Geo. W. Houdlette
Lizzie C. Bassett
Mira A. Houdlette
Hattie E. Drew
Alex Cole
Lizzie C. Swain
Clara B. Cole
B. Swain, Jr.
Eliza Swain
E. P. Morehouse
Mary E. Morehouse
Rhoda Lombard
Elizabeth A. Barker
John McMahan
Mrs. Jane McMahan
Mrs. Elizabeth D. McMahan
Polly McMahan
Eliza A. McMahan
James H. McMahan
D. W. Barker
Elizabeth A. Barker
Mary L. Barker
Wm. R. McMahan
Sarah McMahan
J. Clark McMahan
R. A. McMahan
James McMahan
Anna M. Spaulding
Mary B. McMahan
Augusta Davis
R. S. Barns
F. C. Cranmer
Louisa M. Beacham
Enos Worzt
C. M. Wildes
Charles H. Clark
E. H. Impson
M. A. Impson
Eliza J. Loomis
Mary E. Bowers
Ann Ludham
John B. Robbins
Cynthia S. Robbins
John Gibson
Mayiet Gibson
John H. Haswell
Anna S. Haswell
Henry Bishop
J. W. Day
Lucy Jane Day
Maryette Perrigo
S. A. Bradford
Lydia A. Ulich
John C. Ulich
Sarah Johnson
Charles H. Hathaway
Andrew B. Hathaway
John R. Johnson
S. B. Spear
Isaac Wilson
Mrs. E. G. Wilson
Henry Wilson
Elizabeth H. Wilson
Wm. Bridges
H. M. Holbrook
W. W. S. Holbrook
Wm. D. Martin
James H. Amsden
Lucy Amsden
Pardon Gifford
H. W. Webster
A. J. Hamilton
C. S. Hamilton
Mrs. L. Demmon
Willard A. White
Maria H. Richardson
Mrs. Sarah W. Gifford
Mrs. Maria H. Gifford
C. J. Rice
Mrs. L. J. Rice
Mrs. Mary Rice
John Rice
W. D. Martin
Myra S. Martin
J. E. Hitsell
Wm. E. Carney
R. F. Lombard
Alfred Noyes
Mrs. L. Noyes
Mrs. Phebe F. Larrabee
M. Jane Larrabee
Ellen Larrabee
Edward F. Larrabee
Chas. W. Cutting
J. S. Kuhns
W. E. Roberts
P. Roberts
George W. Rifenburg
Ruby A. Rifenburg
Justin H. Loomis
James M. Loomis
A. G. Warner
H. McMahan
Artrhur McGliney
Thomas Bates
Mary Bates
George Lee
William Gould
F. A. Roberts
Rufus Sanders
Albert Crowell
Mrs. W. R. Reede
Amelia M. Adams
Sylvanus Gardner
James Williams
John W. Chace
J. C. Howe
S. E. Howe
Luella Richardson
Chr. Wenz
Louisa W. Wenz
Harriet B. Sanders
Hannah A. Howland
Wm. A. Morgan
Samantha Morgan
Hiram R. King
Amandia M. King
Abby Corlies
Mrs. G. D. Corlies
G. D. Corlies
H. H. Bigelow
Ivory Dame
Lydia Dame
George Dame
Brown Emerson
Catharine B. Emerson
Carrie M. Stratton
Amy Boynton
Mrs. C. A. Boynton
James Stuart
John Dennery
Thomas Dennery
Susan Harvey
Sarah T. H. Pearson
Margaret Pryor
Charles F. Jones
J. Lauterback
J. C. Fuller
Mrs. J. C. Fuller
G. H. Smith
Wm. H. Bowen
Wm. F. Bassett
Geo. Pryor, aged 84 yrs.
Mrs. J. C. Stafford
Milo Hammond
Mrs. H. U. Hammond
H. Z. Ellis
Mrs. H. Z. Ellis
Rufus Hadgdon
Wm. P. Anthony
Frank E. Anthony
B. Ball
Chas. Ives
James Bean
Pardon R. Francis
D. C. Jenkins
Mrs. Albert S. Hall
A. S. Hall
George Pearson
Henry K. Brandriff
Kate L. Brandriff
Richard Vanman
Isaac Carlton
George M. Carlton
Landon Taylor
James Beachman
Louisa M. Beacham
Stephen Hoyt
Louisa F. Sykes
Robert C. Sykes
Geo. W. Pryor
T. W. Collins
H. Collins
D. E. Collins
Go. Moody
Charles Moody
Mrs. C. Moody
John Koffman
Catherine Koffman
Mrs. J. C. Stafford
Geo. L. Post
Geo. M. Post
Elizabeth M. Post
Sarah Maria Holbrook
C. L. Holbrook
Annie T. Harvey

Names of those who desire the sale of intoxicating drinks for medical purposes, or for other purposes under restrictions.

Benjamin B. Bowen
William Hilton

Names of those who are unwilling to express their opinion. Names written by the committee.

I. H. Garry
Nelson Stevens
Haskell B. Merrill
M. G. Fisk

A meeting was held June 22, 1863, when, after the preliminary excercises, the chairman of the committee to canvass the settlement was called upon to give a report of their labors which was given, as above, and accepted.

Rev. Samuel Loomis was then called upon to report his articles preliminary to a Temperance Organization, which were presented and adopted with an amendment by C. K. Landis.

Nominations were then made for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, a vote was then taken and carried to postpone the election of said officers until Monday evening, June 29. The meeting then adjourned.


Article 1. This Society shall be known as the Temperance Society of Vineland.

Article 2. Its object shall be to promote and perpetuate a public sentiment in favor of Temperance Principles, to guard our infant settlement from the evils of the grog shop, and of drunkenness, and by such continued vigilance and such timely efforts as circumstances may require to prevent forever the sale of intoxicating drinks on the soil of Vineland.

Article 3. The officers of this Society shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Article 4. There shall be a regular meeting of the Society, the 1st Monday of January, April, July and October in each year, and it shall be the duty of the officers of the Society by securing lecturers, and presenting subjects for discussion to give to the meetings interest and attraction and secure (so far as they may) a general attendence.

Article 5. Every Person who shall become a member of the Society— [unfinished]

Article 6. The officers of the Society shall be elected at the annual meeting, the first Monday in January and shall hold office for one year.

With a very large proportion of the settlers opposed to the sale of intoxicating liquors, it was proposed to take measures to stop its sale in Vineland. A public meeting in the school house was announced to which all were invited. The farmer left his plow and hoe, the carpenter his saw and plane, the mason his trowel, while the women of the settlement duly recognizing the danger which threatened the peace and comfort of the family and home were also present under the leadership of Mrs. Sarah T. H. Pearson.

At this meeting Mr. Rollins was given an opportunity to defend his position. In his speech, in which it is said he was quite eloquent, he refered to the liberty which the laws of the country gave him and closed by defying any one to interfere in his business which was carried on under a license from the United States Government.

Mr. Landis, in reply, entered at once upon the subject in question: "Should liquor be allowed to be sold in Vineland, or should Vineland become thoroughly a temperance town, a refuge for the tempted, and an example for others, until the great destroyer should be banished from every city and town." His speech aroused great enthusiasm and a request was made to Mr. Rollins that he stop selling liquor. This he refused to and leaving the building he went home.

As soon as the meeting adjourned it was again called together in front of the school house by some of the leaders, a procession formed, and soon the assembled citizens, men, women and children were marching down Landis Avenue to the south-west corner of West Boulevard, where Mr. Rollins' store was located. Here he was again requested to stop selling intoxicating drinks. It is reported he had received the advice of some friends who had seen the temper of the people, and acting upon their council, gave the required promise.

Finding he had lost the pratronage as well as the respect of a majority of the inhabitants he made preparations to leave Vineland, George Pearson purchased the lot and buildings thereon, afterwards improving the place and residing there.

This attempt to sell liquor in Vineland so aroused public sentiment that when an act to establish a new township in the county of Cumberland to be called the "Township of Landis" was formed, article 19, read as follows: "And be it enacted, That it shall be unlawful for any person to sell any ale, porter, beer or other malt liquor, as a beverage within the said township, except it be at a regularly licensed inn or tavern.

Article 20. And be it enacted. That it shall be submitted to the people annually at their regular town meetings, to decide whether they shall apply for a license to the court for an inn and tavern licensed to sell intoxicating liquors as a beverage in said township, and that no license shall be granted to any person or persons for that purpose, unless a majority of the votes thus cast shall be in favor of the same."

This act was approved and became a law March 7th, 1864.