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October 26, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

 The Buckingham Whiskey Wars: Part IX

Buckingham_Whiskey_9_Contest Election_1903_7_21

Illegal Ballots!

On July 21, 1903, The Times-Dispatch reported on post-election excitement in Buckingham County:

. . . The election, instead of allaying, only intensified the excitement in the district, and especially in the towns of Arvon and New Canton. The fight against liquor is the sole topic of conversation upon the streets, the highways and the farms, and it is certain that on August 10th, when the case comes before the County Court, there will be present one of the largest crowds that ever went from this section of the county.

Both sides have employed able counsel and both sides are strengthening their lines.

Buckingham_Whiskey_9_Temperance_Boys & Girls

The drys claim that there were many illegal votes cast for the wets, and that there was much irregularity and the fact that all of the judges at the New Canton Precinct were “wet” men seems to strengthen their cause.

The church people and the leading business people – such as the quarry operators, merchants and physicians – are will nigh unanimously working for local option. On election day the town of Arvon cast only 6 or 8 wet votes, the quarry people being almost unanimous against the sale of liquor here. The negro vote was cast, with a few sporadic exceptions, in favor of liquor.

Last week, when the question of contest was being agitated, the excitement became intense and Saturday at New Canton two or three dangerous rows were narrowly averted. At present the result of the fight cannot be seen, but the advocates of local option insist that the fight will never be given up until every bar in the county is closed.

There never was anything “peaceful” about the temperance movement!

Coming next: Court Days, 1903

Need to catch up? Click here: The Whiskey Wars, Part I

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