The Rum Maniac
[Temperance]. The Rum Maniac by Joseh Alison. NY: American Temperance Union, [between 1857-70]. 4pp. bifolium. We locate three copies on Worldcat.
S., J. B. Autograph manuscript of an original poem, “King Alcohol” (revised from “The Rum King”), signed at the foot, “J. B. S.” [N. p., but American, after 1852]. 2 pages on an unlined blue bifolium watermarked “Kent Mills Improved 1852,” approx.. 10 x 8 inches. Approx. 230 words. Torn along the old folds(affecting one small word at the end of a line), a little ink staining to the edges; some soiling and browning to the black verso; in good condition.
Four stanzas, an accomplished mid-19th century satire on the temptations and corruptions of drink: “The Rum King sat on a gilded scroll, Within a Broadway saloon: Where nought was wanting to tempt the soul, To part with its priceless boon, All that wealth could buy to charm the eyes, And flatter the sensual taste was there; There were mirrors bright reflecting the light, From many a statue of culture rare. Lascivious paintings adorned the walls, Beneath were cushions of velvet and gold, While ever & anon the footsteps fall, On a floor of checkered marble cold. . . .” Annotated at the head of the text, “Original.”