The Lincoln-Lee Legion - Pledge Card
Copyright 1903, By Howard Russell and by The Anti-Saloon League of America. FINE condition.
The Lincoln–Lee Legion was established by Anti-Saloon League - founder Howard Hyde Russell in 1903 to promote the signing of abstinence pledges by children. The organization was originally called the Lincoln League, named after Abraham Lincoln . However, in 1912 it was renamed the Lincoln–Lee Legion, adding a reference to Robert E. Lee in order to make it more appealing to southern children and their parents.
The pledge called for a lifetime commitment to abstain from alcoholic beverages: “Whereas, the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage is productive of pauperism, degradation and crime; and believing it our duty to discourage that which produces more evil than good, we therefore pledge ourselves to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage“.
Pledge signing drives were heavily promoted at churches, Sunday schools, and temperance meetings. Girls who signed the pledge were called “Willards,” after Frances Willard of the Women's Christian Temperance Union . Northern boys were called “Lincolns” and southern boys became “Lees.” By 1925, over five million children had signed the total abstinence pledge cards.