Neal Dow - Encyclopedia

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NEAL DOW (1804-1897), American temperance reformer, was born at Portland, Maine, on the 10th of March 1804. His parents were Quakers and he was educated at the Friends' School in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He subsequently became a merchant in his native city and rose to a position of importance in its business and political life. His chief interest, however, was in the temperance question, and he early attracted attention as an ardent champion of the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating drinks. He drafted the drastic Maine prohibitory law of 1851. He was mayor of Portland in 1851 and in 1855, and was a member of the Maine legislature in 1858-1859. Early in the Civil War he became colonel of the 13th Maine Volunteer Infantry. He served in General B. F. Butler's New Orleans expedition, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers in April 1862, and subsequently commanded for a time the department of Florida. He was twice wounded in the attack on Port Hudson, on the 27th of May 1863, and was taken prisoner, remaining eight months in Libby and other prisons before he was exchanged. After the war he devoted a great part of his time and energy to the extension of the prohibition movement in America and England. Through his exertions the prohibitory amendment was added to the Maine constitution in 1884. In 1880 he was the candidate of the National Prohibition Party for president, polling 10,305 votes. He died at Portland on the 2nd of October 1897.

His Reminiscences were published at Portland in 1898.

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