Temperance Pledge

Creator: An unknown author created this form, which was later filled in by a man named James Sweeney in 1841.

Context: The temperance movement to reduce the use of alcohol was part of a wide variety of moral reform movements that became popular from the 1820s through the 1850s.

Audience: Working class men; the Protestant women who dominated the temperance movement viewed them as heavy drinkers.

Purpose: For the signer, the purpose was to demonstrate his commitment to temperance. For the makers of this form, it was to convince others to stop drinking.

Historical Significance: This document, which came from a New York Catholic temperance organization, is an indication of how widespread the influence this and other reform movements became among the working and middle classes of the North during the mid-1800s.