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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MARINE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY

MARINE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY

The MARINE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY, an organization dedicated to combating drunkenness, organized on 6 July 1840. The society was affiliated with the BETHEL UNION and the WESTERN SEAMEN'S FRIEND SOCIETY. Many sailors from Cleveland and around the world pledged to refrain from drinking or selling intoxicating liquid, adding their names to the society's roll as examples for the larger community. William H. Stanley, vice-president of the society in 1841, maintained that "sailors leave their names as an example worthy of imitation to the old man o' war's man, who having visited our inland seas, resolves to knock off the grog, and follow in the wake." Officers in 1840 included John G. McCurdy, president, and JOHN A. FOOTE and John Maplebeck, vice-presidents. The society met weekly in the Bethel Church at 32 Superior St. until 21 July 1841, when, through nonattendance, it adjourned sine die. Pledges of TEMPERANCE continued to accrue, however, and the society reorganized in 1845 with McCurdy reelected president. The society retained a substantial following for several years, but apparently dissolved by 1857.