The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
Chronicle Columnist 

Offbeat Oregon History: Portland's 'Temperance War of 1874:' The backstory


February 14, 2019

Image provided/Library of Congress

Image provided/Library of Congress This illustration, from Frank Leslie's publication, shows the Ohio ladies who were the Portland temperance workers' primary inspiration, singing and praying before a saloon in early 1874. This scene, sketched by S.B. Morton, is in Logan, Ohio.

The temperance movement, when it came to Portland in the early 1870s, really shouldn't have taken anybody by surprise.

What was surprising, though, was the form it took when it got there. Portland's temperance drama reached a climax in April 1874 with a genuine knock-down-drag-out riot on the streets of downtown Portland, as angry citizens exchanged punches and clobbered each other with chairs. While, the whole time, serene as if they were singing in a forest glade, a cluster of upper-class ladies in their Sunday best sang hymns and prayed for their souls.

And then, almost as soon as it ap...

For access to this article please sign in or subscribe.


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019