Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/25

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17
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

It should be stated here that Dr. Richardson was not a total abstainer when he began his study of the effects of alcohol, but became an ardent and enthusiastic advocate of total abstinence, and later of non-alcoholic medication, because of what he learned by his experiments with this drug. He was the first to suggest that scientific temperance be taught in the public schools, and he prepared the first text-book ever published for this purpose. In 1874 he delivered his famous "Cantor Lectures on Alcohol," by request of the Society of Arts. This series of lectures created a sensation, being attended by crowds of people, as it was the first time that any physician of eminence had spoken from experimental evidence in favor of total abstinence.

The agitation begotten in medical circles by the discussion of Dr. Richardson's researches upon alcohol led to extensive experimenting upon the same line by scientists of England, Continental Europe and America. The efforts of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the United States, led by that intrepid woman, Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, to introduce scientific temperance instruction into public schools gave impetus to the study in this country. The call for text-books caused publishers to request professors in medical colleges to make minute research into the nature and effects of alcohol, that the demands of the new educational law might be met. The bitter opposition to these temperance education laws was a great