murders, one of them the act of a saloon-keeper, directed public attention to the moral fruits of the liquor traffic, as the Dewire incident had done to its political influence.
These occurrences were prominent factors in the election of 1886, in which a majority of 530 in favor of license the preceding year was changed into a majority of 566 against it.
The history of the no-license movement in Cambridge
usually is traced no further than the appointment of the Citizen
's No-license Committee in 1886, and the cooperating work of the ministers and churches.
But there were two earlier organizations which contributed to the result.
One of these was the Home Protection League
, which conducted the no-license campaigns in the first five years, and in the first election of the series came within six votes of carrying the city against the saloons.
The other was the Law
and Order League, composed of about two hundred conservative citizens, and organized in 1883 for the purpose of assisting in the enforcement of the liquor laws.
The League adopted the policy of beginning at the top, and it spread dismay among the saloon-keepers when, at its first swoop, it corralled and convicted six of the most conspicuous and influential of their number who, prior to that time, had secured immunity by a social or political “pull.”
The work of the League was attended by the difficulties incident to such undertakings, but it was continued three years, until changed conditions made reorganization desirable, and its influence on the public mind was educational.
The Citizens' No-license Committee was appointed in 1886 at a public meeting of citizens opposed to the granting of licenses in Cambridge
It was composed of twenty-five members, five from each ward, and has been recommissioned for the work of conducting the campaigns in each succeeding