Portland, Maine: Office of the State Liquor Agency, 1863. Envelope or Cover. This one-page circular measures approximately 5” x 8”. It was sent by the State Liquor Agency in Portland, Maine to the Selectmen of Carmel. It is enclosed in its original mailing envelope that has been franked with a black two-cent Jackson stamp (Scott #73) which was canceled with a double-ring Portland postmark. At the time, the two-cents was the prepaid postal rate to mail printed matter. Both the circular and envelope are in nice shape.
Maine was the home of Prohibition in the United States. In 1846, it passed the first law in the country that outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages except those needed for “industrial and medicinal purposes” followed by another in 1851 that prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages for any purpose. However, enforcement was difficult, bootlegging ran rampant, and the sale of impure liquor was common. So, in 1862, the law was relaxed and Maine established a “Commission to Regulate the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors.”
This flier from the “Office of State Liquor Agency,” recommends that communities without a legal entity to sell industrial and medicinal alcohol establish a local Agency to do so noting
"Alcohol is extensively used for manufacturing and mechanical purposes. Our physicians frequently prescribe Wines and Alcoholic Liquors for their patients; and these articles are used in sickness by many of our citizens. . .. How essentially and vitally important it is, that if Wines and Liquors are used at all by the feeble invalid, such only should be used as are known to be pure. It is well known that there are numerous large establishments throughout the country which are turning out immense quantities of adulterated Liquors . . . deadly poisons are often used [that] are not always obvious to the taste . . .." As guardians of the public weal . . . you will, I trust, consider the subject of this circular. . ..”. Very good. Item #009702
(For more information, see “Alcohol” at Maine: An Encyclopedia, “Maine Law: First State Prohibition in U.S.” at Alcohol Problems and Solutions, and “The Maine Law” at maine.gov., all available online.).