Douglas Jerrold wrote “Fifteen Years of a Drunkard’s Life” in 1841. W.H. Smith’s “The Drunkard” ran for 144 performances in Boston before being moved to lower Broadway. This play is credited as ushering in the Temperance movement into mainstream American theatre.
“The Drunkyard” created the outline for a classical Temperance play. The protagonist has experiences in a reverse in fortunes due to alcohol consumption. Fortunately, he is able to restore his life when he rejects drinking alcohol ever again. With the introduction of railroads in America, it became much easier for Temperance theatres to put on plays across the country.
Temperance plays were able to make it all the way to the west coast of America. The Temperance movement had strong roots in Maine. The city of Portland was the home of the first Total Abstinence Society. These groups played a pivotal role in exerting pressure on state legislature to enact the Fifteen Gallon Law. Find out more About Us.