- The following article from the "Qunicy Aurora"
explains Gough's ability to touch the hearts of his audience,
"Mr. Gough. This popular Washingtonian lecturer held three
successive meeting in this town, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
evenings of last week. He had full houses every evening, not
withstanding the unfavorable weather, and awakened a very lively
interest in the Washingtonian cause. According to the lecturer's
account of himself his advantages for education have been very
limited, and he claims to possess but little information except
what he has gathered from practical intercourse with the world
of men. Whatever may have been his previous course of life, he
has made himself remarkably familiar with the workings of the
human heart, and acquired surprising skill in swaying its susceptibilities.
We understand that about fifty were induced by him to add their
names to the Washingtonian list in this place."
- The following article, from the "Boston Mercantile Journal",
describes the impact that Gough's temperance lectures had on
his listeners, "At the close of the Temperance meeting last
evening, in Richmond Street Church, a young man only eighteen
years of age, came forward and addressed his young companions,
stating that he had long been acquainted with Mr. Gough, and
was often associated with him in his days of dissipation; and
that he now, in the presence of this great assembly, forever
renounced all intoxicating drinks, and signed the pledge of total
abstinence, and urged the same duty on the young men who had
that day drank with him. It was done with great propriety, and
produced great effect-inducing many to follow his example, and
sign the pledge."
- Mr. John Gough also frequently spoke at ladies' meetings
and "pressed powerfully the subject of female influence,
the duty incumbent upon them to break the drinking fashions of
- Among the complaints made in regards to Gough's lectures
many of the complaints dealt with the issue of mixing orthodoxy
and Temperance. For example, "The Angelic Gazette Burner"
stated that, "We are sorry that Mr. Gough finds it convenient
to mix so much orthodoxy with Temperance Addresses. We thought
all sectarism was to be avoided in such matters." The article
goes on to explain that, "We believe, and we believe it
soberly, that the introduction of sectarism of any sort into
the Temperance cause, is calculated greatly to hinder, if not
defeat, that cause itself; and we love Temperance, almost above
any other moral enterprise, we feel it our duty ever to protest
against the introduction into it of what we feel and know must
injure the cause."
- Appeal to Women and Children - An article from, "The
Newsletter," of Westfield, Massachusetts, explains how Gough
appealed to children and women, "He warned the youth especially
not to be drawn into the whirlpool of intemperance. He alluded
to the terrible sufferings of children-of broken hearted wives-caused
by the drunkenness of husbands and fathers; and he asked, 'what
could so perfectly brutalize and bestoify humanity, and cause
even a mother to forget her sucking child, as intemperance!'
- July 10, 1850
- Appeal toWomen - During another lecture that Gough
made in Montreal, he said about women, 'If every lady in Montreal,
would resolve not to drink another glass of wine, the drinking
customs of the city would come to an end in thirty days.'
-September 28, 1850, "The Pilot"
- Payment - "Some of these lectures were gratuitous,
and for some of them he was paid from $10 to $40 each. He never
dictates a price for his services, but always leaves that matter
to the opinion and liberty of his employers."
- Gough had the ability to appeal to all of the members of
his audience, he could bring people to tears or cause uncontrollable
laughter. The following excerpt from an article in the "New
York Daily Times" reporting on Gough's lecture at the Academy
of Music, "When he told the 'good horse' story, we shuddered
lest he line of Clergy that backed him on stage should perish
from suffocation, trying to smother their laughter. When he rehearsed
the tale of the drunken 'brute' who beat his wife-at least every
other man used his handkerchief-and it was a sad time for those
who forgot their handkerchiefs."
- Gough personified alcohol as he spoke with a drunkard in
the streets, "'...you are serving a hard master. I have
served him myself. You are receiving his wages, and I will tell
you that you would be much better if you were to do his workwithout
any wages at all, for his wages are worse than his work; but
you need not serve him any longer; do as I and hundereds of others
have done, become a sober man...'" (530)
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