The PROHIBITION PARTY in Cleveland was organized in 1869 when local TEMPERANCE Republicans led by Geo. P. Burwell nominated a slate of candidates for the Mar. 1869 municipal elections, including Grove Abbey. Abbey received 1,049 votes, approximately 9% of the total votes cast for mayor. It was believed to be the first distinctively Prohibition ticket offered to the voters anywhere in the country. Both state and national Prohibition parties were organized later in 1869. Although the party sought the legal prohibition of the manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages, it did not neglect moral suasion as a way to induce sobriety. While the party attracted few votes in subsequent local elections, it continued to run candidates for city office until the end of the century.

Cleveland was host to the national Prohibition party conventions held in 1876 and 1880. At its 1876 national convention, the party identified itself not only with Prohibition but with a wide program of other social reforms, including the suppression of lotteries, the abolition of polygamy, prison reform, and universal suffrage. Green Clay Smith of Kentucky was nominated as the Prohibition candidate for president. The 1880 national convention in Cleveland nominated Neal Dow of Portland, ME, for president. This time, however, the party's platform limited itself to Prohibition and universal suffrage. Although Ohio's Prohibition party grew in influence statewide, it was not a significant force among the diverse cultures that populated Cuyahoga County.

Case, George L. The Prohibition Party, Its Organization, Growth, and Purpose (1889), WRHS.


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