Cold Water Army Pledge: Certificate and Song Sheet. Issued to Henry S., et. al T. S. Williams.
Cold Water Army Pledge: Certificate and Song Sheet

Cold Water Army Pledge: Certificate and Song Sheet

New Haven, Connecticutt: Connecticut Temperance Society (Hitchcock & Stafford, Printers), July 4th, 1842. Unbound. This bi-fold, partially-printed certificate and song sheet measures approximately 15” x 9” unfolded. The front cover features a youth’s temperance pledge (completed in manuscript) beneath an illustration titled “Cold Water Army, which is surrounded by a red border. Words to four temperance songs are printed on the reverse. Minor dampstain at base of the front cover.

The Connecticut Cold Water Army was a children's temperance organization in Connecticut that required children who applied for membership to pledge to abstain from alcohol.

The wood engraving on the front cover shows a parade of children carrying banners that proclaim, “Cold Water Army” and “No Alcohol” as they march toward a drunkard and a skeleton. One child offers the drunk a pen and scroll which reads "Total Abstinence" At the top of the illustration, an eagle bears a scroll in its beak reading “Drink from the rushing streamlet, Thus has Nature taught; Pure springs, deep wells, cool fountains, Are with blessing fraught.” A shield on the eagle’s chest bears an image of a fountain of water rising from a vase. A second scroll held in its talon’s reads “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” (He Who Transplanted Sustains), Connecticut’s state motto.

The certificate is surrounded by a border similar to those found on US Currency. The top of the woodcut features an eagle with ribbons inscribed with verse praising water and a shield with Latin motto. The Cold Water Pledge is printed beneath the woodcut, with each line drawn from scripture and notated. No ink inscriptions. Secretary's signature and countersignature are printed. The page measures 8 x 10" with the printed area measuring roughly 7.25 x 9". Some light edgewear from previous framing and discoloration from age. Paper has slight eggshell texture. Slight denting with no tears, folds, creases, etc.

The back page contains the “Songs of the Cold Water Army”: The Water-King, Cold Water Army, Away the Bowl, Strength and Beauty in Pure Cold Water, Call for Volunteers, and Take the Pledge. Very good. Item #009550

Scarce. As of 2020, one other copy (with a black, not red, border) is for sale in the trade. Rare Book Hub shows no auction records, and OCLC show examples held by four institutions.

Price: $225.00

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