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Texas preacher speaks of evils of intemperance


On this day in 1855, preacher Mansell Matthews was invited to address the people of Rockwall, Texas, on "the evils of intemperance." Born in Kentucky in 1806, Matthews had become both a doctor and a Disciples of Christ minister by the time he moved to Texas in 1835. After settling his family and winning election as representative from Red River County to the First Texas Congress, he joined the Texas army and served as a surgeon until July 1836. He was at the battle of San Jacinto and attended the wounded Gen. Sam Houston. Matthews lived and preached in a succession of communities before his death in Wise County in 1891. The struggle against the consumption of alchoholic beverages, the subject of his talk in 1855, engaged Texans for many years, culminating in the temporarily successful Prohibition campaign of the early twentieth century.

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