Arkansas chapter of the Anti-Saloon League

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The first Arkansas Chapter of the Anti-Saloon League organized in 1899. The all-male Anti-Saloon League was the leading lobby for alcohol prohibition in the United States in the Progressive Era. State members included prominent business leaders and politicians. This first state league grew "moribund," and found itself challenged by the "breakaway" Inter-Church Temperance Federation, which become the official Arkansas Anti-Saloon League chapter in 1906.

The state branch of the Anti-Saloon League fell apart around 1906 because of intense rivalries between Methodists, who controlled the reorganized Arkansas chapter, and Baptist leaders. In 1909, the group's superintendent, Edward Tabor, was caught with a satchel of whiskey.

In 1912 the group failed in their ambition to pass statewide prohibition by referendum, losing by a vote of 69,390 to 85,358. By 1913, thanks to the actions of organizations such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the passage of local referendums requiring the opening of new saloons to be ratified by a majority of local voters, 66 of Arkansas' 75 counties had banned saloons.



  • Ernest Hurst Cherrington, ed., The Anti-Saloon League Yearbook (Westerville, OH: The Anti-Saloon League of America, 1917), 83.
  • Thomas R. Pegram, "Temperance Politics and Regional Political Culture: The Anti-Saloon League in Maryland and the South, 1907-1915," Journal of Southern History, 63.1 (February 1997): 60, 66-67, 76, 80-81.

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