Title Image Temperance and Entertainment

Temperance made its mark on American popular culture in the 19th century. Publishers took Edgar Allan Poe joined the Sons of Temperance in 1849.advantage of the temperance trend and created the genre of temperance fiction, a sentimental brand of literature that focused on the unhappiness of the drunkard’s home. Philadelphia author T.S. Arthur’s novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room was a huge seller and was later made into a successful play. There were melodramas with temperance themes and temperance halls that put on plays for the benefit of temperance organizations. Many popular songs, including "Father, Come Home," used temperance as a theme.

Here is a vocal clip of "Father, Dear Father" also known as "Father, Come Home,"

sung by Joe Pontius.


John S. Adams. The Boston Temperance Glee Book. Boston: Elias Howe, 1848.
John S. Adams. The Boston Temperance Glee Book. Boston: Elias Howe, 1848.
Contains lyrics and melodies for numerous temperance songs, including "Touch Not the Cup" to the tune of "Long Long Ago" and "’Twas the Last, Last Rumseller" to the tune of "Last Rose of Summer."



T.S.Author. Ten Nights in a Bar-Room. Boston: L.P.Crown & Co., 1854.

In the 1850s, this book was second only to Uncle Tom’s Cabin in popularity, selling over a million copies. William W. Pratt dramatized the tale, and the stage version played continuously in the United States from the 1850s until the 1930s, often incorporating the popular temperance song "Father, Come Home." The narrative contains examples of three drunken-man themes: one drunkard is banished to the poorhouse, leaving his family destitute; another is killed in a bar-room brawl; a third, after causing his own daughter’s death, makes a vow never to drink again and is eventually restored to respectability.

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