The three burning social issues of the 19th century were abolition, woman's suffrage, and temperance. All these causes would eventually triumph (though temperance's victory, prohibition, would soon be reversed). A less obvious cause that also had its adherents, but has not triumphed to this day, was elimination of capital punishment. In 1844, a group of Philadelphians got together to promote repeal, their meeting described in The Death Punishment...A Large and Highly Repectable Meeting of Citizens of Philadelphia...Opposed to the Death Punishment... They rebutted arguments that the death penalty served as a deterrent, and argued it diminished the sacredness of human life and prohibited the redress of wrongful convictions. Elected President of this assembly was a man mostly forgotten today, but the highest elected official to ever take such a public stand against the death penalty. That was George Dallas, who was elected Vice-President that same year on the ticket with James K. Polk. Item 23. $275.
Item 92 is a broadside satiric poem pertaining to some temperance legislation adopted in Massachusetts in 1838. The rather strange piece of legislation forbid the sale of liquor in quantities less than 15 gallons. The idea was to prevent innkeepers from selling liquor or taverns from conducting business, as no one was going to sit down at the bar and order 15 gallons. The heading is Striped Pig, Oh!, which refers to one clever tavern keeper's selling tickets to view a striped pig, which tickets also entitled the bearer to a “free” drink. $450.
Item 28 is a $100 bond, at 8% interest. It originally contained 20 semi-annual coupons worth $4 each. However, only half of them were ever redeemed, ten remaining attached to the original bond. There is a good reason the original owner never attempted to collect the rest. This was a Confederate war bond. Originally issued in 1861, the remaining coupons are dated 1867-1871. By then, the Confederate States ceased to exist, and the Union was certainly not going to make good on any of their debt. $275.