The Louisiana State Lottery Company – By Beverly Carradine

Part 3

Our Objections To And Charges Against The Louisiana State Lottery

Our first is in regard to its incorrect and even false representation of itself to the world and before the world.

In the public prints it declares that it is founded for educational and charitable purposes. We all know why this is done. That this is upon their part a peculiar recognition of the prevalence of Christian sentiment. The stockholders of the Lottery know, as many of you know, that open oppression and systems of robbery can not exist, much less flourish, in these days unless they take a name from the Christian vocabulary and counterfeit a Christian virtue. Satan can no longer go about as a roaring lion, but appears as an angel of light, or stands among the worshipers of God. The wolf is still among the people, and will ever be; but he appears not as a wolf: in order to succeed in his destructive work he has to wear the wool of a sheep and manipulate a sheep’s voice. You will notice that Mormonism never confesses to bigamy, but, in strict conscientiousness and in the name of religion, takes to itself many wives. The saloon, with the fangs and fierceness of a wolf, bleats mildly about personal and private rights, and about every man being entitled to a living, and that he forces no one into his den. The church sets up its raffles that are nothing but the wolfish spirit of gambling; but it pulls the wool of a Christian phrase over the gaming practice, and then the wool over the eyes of the people, and baas to its heart’s content about Christian benevolence.

And so, in like manner, the Lottery — that is generally acknowledged to be, and is, the most stupendous gambling scheme upon the earth — will never admit the imputation, will not allow the name, but sanctimoniously draws down the corners of its mouth, rolls up its eyes until you can see nothing but the whites, folds its hands in its woolly cloak, and baas away about being run for educational and charitable purposes.

That it was not incorporated for that intent you and I know as well as the stockholders themselves; that it was a gaming institution from its incipiency; that it was founded to make money for its incorporators in a free, easy and immoral way, and that the sum paid the Charity Hospital was simply the toll exacted at the Legislative gate.

And so we protest against this false representation of itself to the world. The protest is founded on justice, and is in strict harmony with the practice of men. When a man out in the world tries to appear other than he is, the laugh and jeer and advice of the multitude to him is, to come out and show you true self!

There is a deep disgust latent in the breasts of all for hypocrisy, no matter where you behold it, whether in the church, or out of the church in the world, where it oftener exists. Dreadful as are some sins, and painful as is the sight, yet I would rather see a man open and above board in his iniquity, out and out in his evil doings, than to see one of those deep, secretive natures, inwardly rotten, and yet pretending to be upright, and posing as a saint before the world.

That the Lottery is a gambling institution we have the words and decisions of countless judges in the land. Three Parliaments in Europe say so, and the Constitutions of twenty-six States in the Union make the same affirmation. Hence when it calls itself an educational and charitable institution, we are filled with an immeasurable disgust. And so, in the name of the Christian phraseology, which it outrages; and in the name of the Christian virtues, which it untruthfully assumes to possess; and in the name of the Christian conscience, which it pretends to have, and which it outrages; and in the name of the Christian’s God, whom it insults — I protest against this hypocritical representation of itself as an educational and charitable organization, when it is the greatest gambling institution this day upon the face of the earth.

The second charge I make is, that by its doubleness of life it is destructive of certain moral distinctions that are essential to proper living here and salvation hereafter. Just a thought will convince you how important is the line that separates right from wrong. Instead of being less clearly defined, it should be deepened until it becomes at last the great gulf Christ spoke of as existing in eternity and across which no one could pass. Whoever or whatever obliterates that line is our common moral enemy. Any institution of evil run in the name of good, or claiming to fulfill some Christian virtue, does that very thing — it is bound to obliterate the line that separates right from wrong. It confuses the moral perception, blunts spiritual discrimination and lays a destructive hand upon that which is essential for proper living on earth and blessedness in the life to come.

It is remarkable that God utters a Woe to the man who justifieth evil! — and, again, Woe to him who calls evil good! That is exactly what is being done in the case of the Lottery; a thing inherently and essentially evil is called good, and declared to be doing good. The reason that moved the Almighty to the utterance of this woe was, that just such a course struck at the moral integrity of a man, at his moral understanding and religious faculties, and tended to bring him down from the noble altitude and spiritually discriminative power of a spirit, to the life and level and unreasoning intelligence of the brute. Countless thousands of people are not given to inquiry and investigation of moral questions. They accept what they see printed in the newspaper as they would the Gospel. There seems to be no interrogation point in their mental economy. What is printed in good clear type must be true. It matters not how bold-faced and baseless may be the assertion; it is an assertion and, therefore, the truth. Such people open our great secular journals and read there that the Louisiana State Lottery is run in the interests of education and charity. They, in their unquestioning simplicity, believe the statement, and are led blindly into the commission of wrong. They do more; they defend a gambling concern because of the avowed object.

Woe to the man, says the Bible, that destroyeth his neighbor’s landmarks; not simply in the physical world, but in the moral world. Woe to him by whom offenses come in the spiritual life, said Christ; “it were better that a millstone were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” Woe to the man who spreadeth a snare or diggeth a pit for his neighbor, says the Word of God. And all these things this Lottery has done. It has rubbed out landmarks, and confused men in regard to their duty. It has brought offenses, deep and many, into our midst, and it has spread the snare and dug the pit for the fall of men and women. Hear the doom God pronounces for such proceedings: “He shall be accursed.” And certainly, if there is any institution in this land that has the execration of upright men and true lovers of their race, it is the Louisiana State Lottery!

But this is not all the doom. Into the pit, says God, that they have dug for another they shall fall themselves. As certainly as you live, you will all see that fall — fall of individual, and fall of corporation. From the depths of my soul I do not believe that the judgment and awful retribution which this institution has, by long years of shameless iniquity, been creating against and for itself, will be long deferred. The axe is at the root of the tree, and the storm is in the air. If there be such a thing as signs in the spiritual world, its destruction is at hand.

A third charge I make is, that the Lottery is gagging and silencing the Christian Church in this city and surrounding country. It has long ago silenced the Legislature; and in ways that each legislator who has lost his condemning voice can best tell, and must answer to his conscience and at the judgment bar of God at last. It has also silenced the newspapers of this city. A glance at the Lottery advertisements in their columns will explain their stillness. They will not find fault with a stock concern that pays them at the rate of an hundred dollars a day, besides other courtesies and attentions thrown in of remarkable nature and value. It has likewise silenced quite a number of people who were once outspoken against it by giving them positions, offices and clerkships. All this we could stand, for the world is going to be saved and redeemed in spite of all the silent Legislatures and newspapers in Christendom. But that which comes with an unutterable pain is the sight of a silenced church.

I suppose that just now there is being presented to the world one of the most amazing spectacles ever beheld. Here is a gambling institution that is the natural enemy of the Church of Christ, in that it undoes its teaching, violates its commandments and stands as a bar to its progress — and yet, wonderful to say, is not found in a state of antagonism with it, but, on the contrary, is in good-fellowship and amity, and is seen pouring its gifts into its bosom. And lo! the church itself has drooped its fair head upon the shoulder of the Louisiana State Lottery, and says candidly, “You are so nice and so kind and so free with your money that I can not say anything against you to save my life.” O the doubly contemptuous sight!

Here is a gambling institution, turning the prize or fortune wheel with one hand and pumping wind into the church organ with the other! Did you ever see such a spectacle? What kind of creature is it?

I never liked those curious compound creatures that mythology tells us about. Part fish and part man; part human and part devil. Give me a whole fish, and an entire man. Give me an out-and-out Christian and an out-and-out sinner. Save me from a creature half saint and half devil.

This kind of mixed life confuses me, and makes us all lose our bearings. Just as I think the Louisiana State Lottery is going to join the church, I hear that it is having a monthly drawing at the Academy of Music. And just as I suppose that it has gone back to the world and is in a hopelessly backslidden condition, I am informed that it is pumping wind again into a church organ, or is painting a church or is building a sanctuary or is offering ten thousand dollars to the Young Men’s Christian Association for the erection of a new edifice.

Then look at the church? Professing to be the bride of Christ, called upon by virtue of the holy spiritual wedlock that exists to turn from such an enemy to the Son of God as is this institution — please behold it! One hand is uplifted to the skies toward the absent Bridegroom, and the other adulterous hand is in the pocket of the Louisiana State Lottery.

I never thought when I was a child that I would have use, as an illustration, of Lord Ullins’ daughter. She was sinking, you remember, in a stormy lake. The poem said about her as she sank,

“One lovely hand outstretched for aid, And one was round her lover.”

So here with the church as she sinks!

One lovely hand outstretched to Christ, And one is round the Lottery!

Do I refer to any particular church? I refer to twenty different churches in this city and State. The church is silenced. Who has heard her voice uplifted against her earthly lover? Is she not seen with him? Does he not support her — deck her neck with ornaments and prepare beautiful habitations in which she may reside? How can she speak against one whose bounties she receives?

Alas! for the people — for the land — and for morals, when the Church of Christ, which is the voice of God, is silent on the earth.

And the Louisiana State Lottery has silenced her. It has stuffed her ears full of bank-bills, so that she can not hear. It has placed silver dollars on her dead eyes, so that she can not see. And it has sewed up her lips with golden thread, so that she can not speak.

The Recording Angel in Heaven has written a most amazing sentence about the Church of Christ in New Orleans and Louisiana. This is the sentence: “Silenced by a gambling institution!”

*A fourth charge that I make is, that the Lottery is destructive of the spirit of labor.

I don’t ask you to believe this simply on my statement; but listen to the frequently repeated assertions made upon Parliamentary floors in France and England. One of the reasons urged there for the discontinuance of the lottery system in those countries is that it was simply ruinous to labor. That it encourages an idle, dreamy, visionary, shiftless sort of life that is antipodal and inimical to the spirit of work is evident. For that matter, all gambling has the same effect. What is gambling gut the genius of idleness? You never saw a professional gambler who would be confined to steady, toilsome work, and even the occasional sport finds that the spirit of gaming unfits and disqualifies him for regular habits of toil. Whether it is the anticipation of gain, or the paralyzing memory of the loss, both unfit him for duty. There is a distaste — not to say, disgust — for anything like toil. God put us on earth to work. “In the sweat of they face thou shalt get they bread.” These words of the Almighty pass us at once as a race into the realm of physical labor. It is best for us that is so; best for a man’s body and mind and soul; best for his health and best for his happiness; best for the interests and welfare of society. What are mobs but multitudes of men without work?

Any institution that by its influence disinclines people to steady labor is a curse to the community and is the common enemy of the whole land. And this is what the Louisiana State Lottery has done and is doing.

Take the simplest illustration of the fact. You make a single investment of one ticket in one of the monthly drawings. Apparently that investment has cost you one dollar or ten dollars; but if you knew how many hours you lost in thinking of it, and how many thoughts crowded in between you and your business, between you and the proper discharge of duties you owed your employer — you would be amazed. Here is a loss of time and faithful labor.

Look again at the evil. Here are the newsboys crying out on the streets the intelligence of the last drawing, with the fortunate numbers in print. At least one hundred thousand people in this city devote from five to ten minutes each in scanning the numbers. The aggregate time lost that morning or afternoon amounts to six hundred and ninety-four days, or nearly two years. Two years time lost! Why, a great city has been built in a year — fortunes and fame make in a year — great harvests that sustain the nations of the earth made and gathered and distributed in a year. And yet here we have lost in actual time, a greater period still, that if properly used would have made our occupations and business fairly leap toward success, the city put on a new appearance, and the country feel the thrill and impetus of an earnest, aggressive life radiating to it from its great center.

Ten minutes daily squandered by countless thousands of individuals, with nothing to show for it but a depleted mental and moral energy, gives an aggregate that is fearful to contemplate. This wasted time, if redeemed, would go far to settle those social, financial and labor problems that trouble the best citizens of this State today.

I am convinced that I can not exaggerate the retarding and paralyzing influence of the Lottery upon the labor-life of this city. How it disinclines for work! How it leads to dilatoriness and procrastination and feeble performance and final discontinuance! In the wild hope of drawing a prize or fortune, the steady, systematic life of labor, that is the surest political hope we have, is utterly ruined.

I read once of a Negro that spent the whole night in stealing three sticks of wood. He was not idle a moment, and was at it from nine o’clock at night until daybreak next morning. The result of that night’s arduous toil was about fifteen cents. If he had gone regularly to work during the day, he would have made a dollar and fifty cent, with which he could have purchased a half-cord of wood, retired to rest, and enjoyed his night’s rest, and kept beside a good conscience.

He is a fine representation of the Lottery ticket buyer. Verily, if all the money and time and strength that some people put into a Louisiana-Lottery-forlorn-hope ticket, that is to bring nothing but disappointment and wasted honor, were put instead into the honest, healthful, practical labors of life, into study and self-improvement — in a word, into the discharge of duty — the result would be most gratifying and profitable to the individuals themselves and amazing to the country at large.

My fifth charge against the Lottery is, that it is a gambling institution and promotive of the gambling spirit.

There is no argument needed to prove this. The decision of the courts, the language of twenty-six Legislatures in the United States, and the voice of the Parliaments of three kingdoms in Europe, and all agree in characterizing it as a system and institution of gambling. As to the estimation in which gambling is held by any community or country that pretends to the possession of moral tone or sentiment, we are left in no state of ambiguity or uncertainty. Several things declare its moral status. One is the existence of laws passed in reference to it. You don’t legislate against an honorable employment! The very number of enactments bearing upon gambling — curbing, restraining, limiting — show how it is regarded by the lawmakers and people. Not simply suspicious, but dangerous, and driven by law and public sentiment to the darkness of night and remoteness of place, and oftentimes remarkable for difficulty of access.

Then the word “license” throws light upon the matter. License in such cases as this is a recognition by the State or city of an existing evil; but, at the same time, a confession that it can not extirpate it for some reasons, and for the present is content to curb, or, worse still, draw an unholy revenue from its unrighteous gains. Then the moral status is declared by that most fearful punishment — social ostracism. The judgement of a right-thinking people is, that a man is disgraced by such a life. Something more we gather from the feeling of despair that takes possession of us when we hear that a man has become a gambler. We have no hope that he will ever reform. It is one, if not the mightiest passion itself of the human heart! It is the one habit which when formed we never expect to see broken. With talons struck into every nerve, and beak of fire drinking up the fountains of life, it is a dark bird fluttering up and out of an infinite night of evil, and taking its perch upon the spirit — there to stay! Look at gambling in any light you will, and from any stand-point you will, and it is still an unmixed curse and unmitigated evil.

Now, the wonder is, that while we recognize all this; while we know the evil of gaming — the trouble it brings, the fortunes it dissipated, the starvation it produces, and the crimes it occasions — yet by our Legislature and through our votes we have chartered and planted in our midst a colossal gambling institution, that will foster the very spirit, promote the life and practice, corrupt our children, and blight with its withering influence our land and the generation in which we live.

That the gambling spirit is spreading there are many things to show. If you doubt, only look at the books of the Company, and glance at the army of employees, and watch to mail-bags coming into the main office three and four times a day. That the plague is spreading we have many and unmistakable proofs. Fifty thousand dollars comes here from Boston alone every month; the same amount is received from Chicago. People from Mississippi have told me recently that the Negroes at certain points are kept financially stripped on account of the Lottery. At two places, whose names were called, I understand that for miles around the colored people drain themselves to purchase tickets. A lady resident of this city informed me that if I knew who purchased Lottery ticket, I would be amazed. She gave me to understand that in her boarding-house, which is crowded from garret to cellar, everyone, either secretly or openly, is engaged in this gambling life and practice. A cigar dealer in this place, in a small office ten feet square, is literally coming money; not from cigars, but Lottery tickets. His receipts, he told a friend of mine, were frequently five hundred dollars a day. This is only one of countless offices that dot the town and country. Is the gambling spirit spreading?

A few weeks ago one of the prominent lady members of a fashionable church in New Orleans was recognized and spoken to as she, deeply veiled, left a small Lottery ticket office. She hastily said to her discoverer: “For God’s sake, don’t let a certain person know this!” Nor will she be betrayed. About the same time the wife of a minister in this city drew a prize of twelve hundred dollars. It was all managed through a third party. Is the gambling spirit spreading? Does it not look like it when it has reached the church and is traveling toward the pulpit.

Verily, like fire in the prairie, it is reaching out in every direction. A young lady, of one of the best families, in a neighboring State, recently confessed to me that the sight of the Lottery tickets in the office windows about town filled her with feverish longings, and an almost irresistible desire to rush in and purchase one. She did not realize it, but she is a gambler already. Literally honey-combed and eaten out with the gambling mania. Just as much a gambler as the men that hang around card tables on Levee and Royal Streets. Possessed with the same fever and spirit, and only kept from the act itself by the fear of detection, or by the lack of money.

I tell you, you men, strong in principle and of granite character; who can easily put aside certain baits and temptations; who have found out the vanity and nothingness of these tickets — that they are paper prints of disappointment and despair, and mean nothing and are nothing — you do not properly appreciate the danger in which your children are placed by this great organ of evil. You have forgotten the susceptibility of youth; its readiness to believe every flaunting lie; its quick response to the sensuous world, and its liability to be led astray by a gamboling plan made easy in various ways, and which comes upheld and endorsed to them by the Legislature and the votes of the commonwealth. It is a gambling brought down to children and the multitude. It is made possible and easy by its numerous offices, and countless tickets and low prices. It is peculiarly dangerous because of these features. And we, by vote, have placed this remarkable danger before the unwary feet of our youth, when the purchase of a single ticket arouses the thirst for gain, and begins a habit that is relentless, absorbing and ruinous beyond all words to describe.

Did you ever read of Baden-Baden, the famous gambling center of the Continent? According to the sound, it is well named — Baden-Baden; yea, verily, ten thousand times over. If ever there was a hell on earth, it was once seen in that city. The whole place gambled — old and young, rich and poor. They raved; they screamed; they swore. As the hung around the tables of cards and chance, with glaring eyes and bloodless cheeks and lips, they forgot it was night; they forgot it was day; they forgot to eat; they forgot to sleep; they forgot everything but the absorbing passion of play and consuming desire for gain. And so they played, and staked, and lost, and swore, and died — both in body and soul.

We are on the high road to become as a nation what they were as a city. And we allow the very agency that is to corrupt and destroy us to remain quietly in our midst, when if we said no at the ballot-box, it could not stay.

Meanwhile the Louisiana State Lottery lives in serenity and fattens on our moral ruin, and smiles at its own disastrous work. Nero fiddled away as he watched the burning of the city he had himself fired. Like him, the stockholders of this great engine of evil find time to be merry, and, with hosts of friends, promenade and dance and laugh and sing to the strains of delightful music, while the morals of the people are made to rot, and the land is filled with gambling and its consequent wretchedness and want, while they are at ease, and abound — and steadily amass colossal fortunes for themselves. The culminating insult to the intelligence of the people is found in that remarkable statement, made day after day in public print, that “this institution was incorporated for the educational and charitable purposes!”

Educational! True indeed — educational in the sense of teaching our children to become gamblers.

Charitable! O how charitable to send a few thousand dollars every year to a hospital, to provide for a few nights and days for some man whose fortunes it has engulfed, or for some dying laborer whose hard earnings it has steadily absorbed and appropriated for months and years of his life. This is equivalent to a man’s stealing the fortune of a fellow-creature, occasioning his starvation and death, and then offering to pay the funeral expenses!

Every country or commonwealth seems to have its disgrace. The disgrace of England was the betrayal of the trust of Napoleon, the sore shame of Mississippi is its repudiated State debt, and the disgrace of this state is the Louisiana State Lottery Company.

The sixth charge we make against the Lottery is, that it is the cause and occasion of countless acts of theft.

I need not dwell on this point. You need no argument or proof. To live in New Orleans is to know the truth of this proposition.

To send a servant with money to the market is virtually to send a portion of that money to the Lottery. Sometimes you and I have wondered at our slim dinners. The cook did not. She had invested some of her employer’s finances for the benefit of the stockholders of the Lottery. Your meal that day was slender, not so with the noble stockholders — they had plenty. Your beefsteak had a postage-stamp thinness, the stockholders had tenderloin; and you and I paid for the tenderloin. If you doubt where the money is going, just visit the markets in the morning and see the kitchen representatives as they, with baskets on their arms, stream by scores into the ticket offices. How these ticket offices abound in the neighborhood of the markets! The whole thing appears significant, if not downright suspicious.

Is that all the stealing done? Not by any means. Married women by hundreds invest the money set apart for home expenses in the same way. The father often wonders that the children are not better dressed, nor the house and table better furnished. The explanation can only be found in the cash receipts of the Louisiana State Lottery.

Nor is this all. Clerks are stealing from the cash-drawers of their employers. One young man in this city had stolen three thousand dollars before he was discharged. A merchant informs me that his book-keeper purloined over six thousand dollars between the months of April and August. I verily believe that if we had the money that is being stolen and has been stolen to find its way into the Lottery, we could pave the streets of New Orleans from end to end, take care of the Charity Hospital and build other monuments of good that would last for ages!

As you go around with strangers, this month, showing them the various public buildings of this city, I want you to be strictly truthful. That building yonder, you will say, is the Washington Artillery Hall. Here numbers of our young men congregate and the martial spirit is kept up by association and public drill and display. Yonder building is a Commercial College; there one or two hundred young men are being fitted for a useful life by thorough instruction in business laws, methods and principles. The large structure over there is a church; here men are taught the way of salvation and the life, that spent in obedience to the commandments of God, brings happiness here and blessedness hereafter.

That building yonder, on the corner of St. Charles and Union streets, is the Louisiana State Lottery. You desire to know what it is and does. Well, I will tell you. The whole spirit and influence of the business, if you can call it a business, that is carried on there, whether its stockholders and friends believe it or not, is to make thieves by thousands and tens of thousands in our city and State.

How would you fancy having stock in such a concern? How would you like to obtain you livelihood or be connected with it in any way?

Another charge I make is, that the Lottery is the cause of the social and commercial ruin of multiplied thousands of our people.

There is no counting the men who once stood high in the confidence and regard of the people in this city and other places, who stand exalted no longer, through the instrumentality of this corporation.

Men once trusted and honored — but who have passed into and under the contempt, spoken or unspoken, of the very community where once they were prominent. Men once well-to-do financially, but today virtually tramps and beggars on our streets. I can not particularize here, for reasons that this audience will readily recognize and appreciate. Any proof offered by instance would grieve hearts here and elsewhere that are held in high esteem and affection by many of this assembly. And, yet, I doubt not that if the proposition that I have just uttered, that the Louisiana State Lottery has been the cause of social and commercial ruin to thousands — if that statement could be heard in certain desolated homes in our midst, a perfect groan of assent would go up, and poverty-stricken wife and portionless and shame-branded child would say, “What you have declared is as true as the Gospel!”

This is to certify that the Louisiana State Lottery was incorporated for educational and charitable purposes!!!

O Lord of pity and mercy and justice, what has become of the perception and the judgment and the reason of the people? — and where, O Lord, is the thunderbolt that struck down Ananias?

Another charge I make is, that it is the cause of suicide.

If you question this, come to my study and I will privately give you the facts.

Perhaps you know of such cases. Only a few days ago a gentleman informed me of a young lady residing in a certain city who invested all of her little possessions in the GREAT ABOMINATION, and, reduced to poverty and despair, deliberately took her life.

The papers merely published her death. That was all the public knew of the case; but the family and a few outside friends, as they looked at her obituary, saw the lines twist and writhe and settle in an awful shape that spelled the word, “suicide!”

How would you like to be identified with or have any interest in such an institution. What thoughts will revolve in the dying mind, as the remembrance fastens itself in that last trying hour, that he gained his bread and obtained his fortune through such an enterprise of destruction.

And yet they have placed their notice in the papers, where we read day after day that “the Louisiana State Lottery Company was incorporated for educational and charitable purposes!”

Another charge I make upon this institution is, that it is the cause of great suffering to the poor and untold misery to innocent parties.

The rich scarcely ever suffer from the Lottery. Ten or one hundred dollars invested monthly or annually by them amounts to nothing; is scarcely missed. But this amount, and less amounts, to the poor means great deprivation and hardship.

In every country where the Lottery has been established, this is the sad fact immediately thrust upon public attention, that the poor are the ones that suffer. Deluded by visions of wealth, craving the possession of money, deceived easily through their illiteracy and ignorance of men and the world by flaring promises of great fortunes by the investment of a dollar, they hearken, believe and act and — suffer accordingly. They invest their little, and their little is their all, and the result is want and misery.

Then I want you to think of the suffering entailed upon the innocent. Think of the wife without proper food and without sufficient clothing; think of the children without books, without shoes and without fire. Think of the home without music or pictures or literature or comforts — yea, without the necessaries of life.

O my friends, if you knew the number of fireless grates and shoeless feet and tearful eyes and hungry people produced in this city by this COLOSSAL INIQUITY — the Louisiana State Lottery — you would be aghast! Did you ever look at this building as it stands on the corner of Union and St. Charles streets? Next time look carefully, and you will discover that its foundations rest on human misery; its walls, like hands of agony, reach up and clutch at the receding sky; its windows are washed with human tears; its walls drip with the ghastly moisture of human pain and human blood; its floors are paved with falsehood; its doors, like a dragon’s mouth, are open to devour the passer-by, and its clerks are kept busy writing down, day and night, how many fools there are in the United States!

Look! Coming out of the front door is a black mahogany box containing the records and paraphernalia of the GREAT INIQUITY. It is escorted. It looks like a coffin — and it is one. It is the coffin of human hopes, of buried manhood and womanhood, and of the lost integrity of individual and community. The funeral is crossing the street to the Academy of Music. That is right. A church would not do for such obsequies as this. A theatre is the proper place. Call in the crowd, and let the house be packed from parquette to gallery. There ought to be many mourners at such a time. It is a sad funeral. It is one in which many are concerned; and so let everybody see. And get two Generals to act as pall-bearers. They once stood up for a lost cause; let them stand now for the lost honor of a great commonwealth. For this is the obsequies going on in the building before you. It is the funeral of the departed honor and integrity of the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana.

Still another charge I make against the Lottery is, that, in face of the repeated assertion that it is financially beneficial, it is steadily impoverishing us.

This is an argument against the Lottery that has been advanced and sustained on many a legislative floor. Nation after Nation has reiterated the truth. Speakers in Parliamentary halls, while admitting that it is a prolific source of revenue if run by the Government, and invariably enriching to the corporation itself; yet that it always leads to the destitution of the masses. In every country where it has been tried, it has been noticed to bring to want people of moderate circumstances and to still further impoverish the poor.

We all know that the poor constitute the overwhelming majority of any country’s population. If they suffer, then the greater part, if not all, the Nation suffers. Where is the wisdom of tolerating an institution that helps the few and injures the many? Where is the patience of a people in permitting in its borders a corporation that afflicts the poor — the very classes that can least afford to suffer.

The proof that the Lottery steadily drains people of humble means was beheld in the city of Paris the first year after its ejection from France. In less than twelve months after its abolishment scores of millions of francs were deposited by the poorer classes in the savings banks. Here was a fact — eloquent, indisputable and convincing. The same result would be beheld here if the Legislature would free us of this MONSTROUS PARASITE that draws its life from us, and then blights us with the shadow of its huge proportions.

Many true lovers of our State are studying — as they call it — the situation. They are trying to account for the financial distress and prostration. They have been locating the cause in almost everything but the right thing. They are just beginning to see that the GREAT FINANCIAL CANCER on our municipal body is the Louisiana State Lottery. It is daily, steadily, continuously drawing the people’s money from ten thousand proper channels, where it should have flowed for the comfort of family and for the prosecution and enlargement of business, and giving it not back, but absorbing it in itself, has slowly, but certainly, hurt the entire city by a course that has struck at twenty thousand homes, and cramped and weakened thousands of particular industries.

The Lottery makes two general assertions or promises. One is to the individual; that if he will invest in a ticket, he will draw a fortune. How about the fulfillment, the facts of the case? Don’t you meet regiments of men every day who were enriched by this company? They are so thick on the streets as to occasion a blockade. I know a gentleman who has been steadily patronizing this Lottery since the beginning. In that time he has drawn something like three thousand dollars — but alas! over against that he has invested or, rather, dropped into the GREAT INCORPORATED RAT HOLE of Louisiana not less than fifty thousand dollars!

But Rumor declares something more astonishing, and that is, that the Lottery a few years ago actually paid a man to say that he had drawn one of the capital prizes.

Certainly on investigation the promise to the individual of a fortune is not very reassuring.

The other general assertion is, that it helps the community in which it is located. When asked how, we are pointed to a few brass band entertainments — a comparative pittance donated to public charity — and four or five handsome residences erected in our midst.

To all this I ask, Where is the great material good to a city to have a few tunes blown or scraped on instruments, or to have on our streets a half-dozen residences of fine pattern, if the whole community was financially stripped to bring it about? How much better that the earnings of a family, no matter how small, be expended towards the comfort and education and general good of that household circle, than to go into a pile of brick and mortar, which is without sensibility and life, and in which they are no wise interested.

Roll back these streams of Lottery ticket investments upon the families from which they proceeded; let them go toward the purchasing and beautifying of homes, toward the clothing and education of the family, and toward a provision for the dark and rainy day certain to come, and what a change we would witness! Instead of this, the money goes to the stockholders of the Louisiana State Lottery, and today we are, according to population, one of the poorest cities in the United States.

Is there a person here who will say that if the Lottery was abolished, that the people would spend their money in other ways, and this company might as well have it as anyone else. To this I reply that such a speech is worth of a man who is without conscience and soul, and furthermore, I would say that proof to the contrary is seen in the indisputable record of the savings banks in Paris.

In return for all the moneyed outlay of New Orleans to the Lottery we are regaled with the sound of a few tunes on a brass band, and the sight of a few fine buildings that do not belong to us. This is expected to gratify and satisfy the most carping as well as the most conscientious. We might faintly hint that the tunes were rather costly when we came to calculate — but O, just look at the houses!

I want you to see this matter clearly. Suppose that some individual should obtain from you your entire fortune, and that, too, in not the most honest or moral method. With your money he builds a beautiful house for himself. At this juncture you break out into murmuring. Immediately he calls upon you and tells you that you ought to be very thankful over what has happened. He appeals to your municipal pride as he recounts what he has done with your money in the erection of a beautiful home for himself, in the city. He invites you to educate and gratify your esthetic taste by looking upon the fine architectural proportions of his house. He does even more, and tells you that when you feel wearied you can sit on his door-step and rest; and that as you sit there, contemplating the beautiful home constructed by your money, you can sweetly reflect upon this proper and beautiful disposition of your finances.

How would you enjoy the situation? And yet this is just what we are doing in New Orleans today — sitting on doorsteps watching the beautiful turn-outs and palatial residences and sumptuous living of a few people who enjoy their material comforts through the possession of our money. The crowning exasperation in the matter being that we are exhorted by these beneficiaries and by the Press to rejoice over this state of affairs; to consider the largeness and beauty of these houses, the architectural tone they give to the street — and be happy!

I can not help being reminded here of a Chinese execution. When a man in that country is to suffer death, the executioner proceeds very deliberately, and carves and slices away into his body by sections. Different knives are used, and the quivering muscles laid bare in numerous places. As the official sees that the condemned is about to sink through pain and loss of blood, he lays aside the knife and sponges the wretch off with cool water, and revives him with fans. Then he again resumes the protracted murder. This is the exact treatment we receive at the hands of the stockholders of the Louisiana State Lottery. They are financially bleeding us to death; many are the knives they are plunging into the municipal body; every ticket is a dagger drawing from us life itself. But now mark the tenderness of these stockholder executioners. Just as we, depleted, weakened, are ready to sink in despair, they cool us off with a few brass band tunes in the square, or sponge us off with a glittering entertainment in another part of the city, or revive us by permitting us to gaze at and admire their beautiful residences! The climax is reached when the newspapers, that fawn upon the lick of the boots of these stockholders, call upon poor, depleted, fainting, pocket-rifled, outraged New Orleans to be very grateful for all these things.

Another charge, or objection, I make to the Lottery, is that it benefits a few, while many are made to suffer.

This is not likely to be denied. Who are getting rich here in the city? Those who buy tickets, or those who issue and sell them? Everybody has the answer. A few are being enriched by the sufferings of the many. The spirit of the Bible is against such a thing; the spirit of republican institutions is equally antagonistic. The various Trusts that have been formed to crush multitudes of defenseless people are being crushed themselves by the laws of our land.

If you ever studied the Feudal System, you will notice it flourished on this dark, oppressive principle — the few to be benefited, enriched, uplifted, and the many ground down by a life of the bitterest servitude. Slavery was a social fabric cut after the same pattern. A few masters living in ease and plenty, while a multitude of slaves toiled and groaned and died in the fields of corn and cotton and cane. They both went down with a crash, just as this Lottery is bound to go down, because inimical to true liberty, and founded upon injustice.

I have often wondered at some things recorded in history. One amazing spectacle was the sight of a king, or a handful of insolent with riches, and yet remaining undisturbed by the multitude around them, numbering millions. By what power were they thus protected from the masses? Why did not the long-angered populace, like an angry and storm-driven flood, rush upon this handful of oppressors and sweep them away? We marvel at such a spectacle, and yet the identical thing is transpiring before our eyes. We, as a people, are laid under tribute to make opulent a few individuals. Willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, by your own hand or by the hand of your clerk or servant, your money is being drained from you to bring about the wealth and affluence of a few stockholders in a gambling company. We, whether we realize it or not, are nothing but the slaves of the Louisiana State Lottery Company. The few are in wealth and power — the many are made to suffer; and, wonder of wonders! we do the very thing we were amazed at in history — we submit to the same wrong and oppression!

I want to hold up before you one or two very remarkable scenes. One has been frequently beheld in the past. It is that of a king or nobleman or some man in authority, who has been enriched by the gifts, toil and taxes of the people, going forth in some kind of triumphal parade. As he passes along the ranks of the people whose money has made him opulent, or whose hands have uplifted him into power, he suddenly feels a spirit of liberality sweeping over him. In obedience to the generous instincts he puts his hand into his vest-pocket, and — O princely kindness! — O royal munificence! — takes out a handful of silver coin, and scatters the shining metal in the crowd. This was sickening enough of itself to behold; but the bitter, burning shame was in the sight of the crowd scrambling for the coin! What the people should have done was to have ignored the incarnated littleness before them, refused to notice the rattling coins, and, with folded arms, said: “Thy money perish with thee!”

History repeats itself. Here is an institution swollen with wealth that has been wrung from our homes and business. Our suffering and deprivations and losses have made it the BLOATED FINANCIAL MONSTER that it is today. The land has been made to mourn that a corporation might be made to rejoice. Horrible and unnatural sight! But this is not all. This STATE-CREATED MASTER of New Orleans gets in a liberal mood sometimes. This owner of countless millions of dollars taken from the citizens of the United States, in a sudden spasm of generosity, buys a few plasters to lay on some sick people at the Charity Hospital; bores a well, whose feeble trickle well represents the benevolence of the Lottery; pays for an evening’s entertainment for the people; erects a building — in a word, throws out to the crowd it has plundered for years a handful of silver coin! O princely munificence!

This was hard enough to bear; but there is something far harder to endure; and that is, the sight of the New Orleans crowd scrambling for the silver. You went to hear the band play; you praised the gift that morally was not theirs to give, or yours to receive. You scrambled, in a word, for the money when you should have stood with folded arms, refusing to receive it, and looking the scorn you felt which your lips might have been powerless to speak.

I want to present to you another scene. Here before us stands a house built by money that the text calls gains of unrighteousness. It is a crystallization of Lottery money. What a beautiful home! How thick and soft the carpets! How handsome the pictures and statuary! How lustrous the heavy mahogany dining-table! What glitter of silver and sparkle of cut glass! What orderly servants, and what sumptuous fare! The family are assembling for the evening meal, and have just seated themselves, when — O horror! — horror! — suddenly from the curtain-shrouded corners of the room a band of haggard-faced, bloodshot-eyed women rush forward with crying, ragged children clinging to their skirts. One of them, with a hand like a talon, snatches the bread from the table, crying out: “This is mine; my money paid for this!” And another, with a bony finger pointing at the glittering glass and silver hissed: “My money paid for that!” And another, rushing upon the richly clad children of the family, began to tear off the soft, furry dresses, shrieking: “My money went to purchase these!” And still another, with hands locked above her head, in awful agony to see, wailed out: “I had such a home as this, and they took it away from me, and have left me to beggary and ruin!”

O the unutterable horror of that scene! And yet, if Truth could be enacted, that same dreadful spectacle would be beheld in twenty houses in this city today.

How would you like, my friends, to be in a business which, while it fed you, starved others; while it covered your table and filled your house, emptied the tables and houses of your fellow-beings; while it prospered you, it ruined countless thousands of others in body and soul?

May God have mercy on you if you are thus living, and send you repentance and grace to change your life from this very moment! All honor to the man that several years ago came out from the GREAT INIQUITY, feeling that he could not save his soul and stay there.

God speaks to you today as he did to his people in the ages long ago. It is the same call; and the cry is uplifted because of great dangers in both periods. Come out from among them, O my people; “and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

Another charge I make against the Louisiana State Lottery is in regard to its fraudulent life and dealings.

I call especial attention of every lover of truth and every faithful citizen of Louisiana to this point of my address. For the facts that I present here I am indebted to a lawyer in this city, who has made the Louisiana State Fraudulency a study for months.

The point I make is, that this Lottery, which pretends to be a municipal benefactor and general financial help to our city and people, is today indebted to the city of New Orleans for license and taxes not less than one million two hundred and sixty thousand dollars.

Of course, I know what most of you will say here: that this Lottery, on condition of its paying forty thousand dollars annually to the Charity Hospital, was exempted from taxation. My answer to this is, that the Louisiana State Lottery Company has forfeited this immunity, or right, in two different ways. One was an unconscious forfeiture by an act of its own, and the other was a conscious surrender of the immunity by their own hands, as I will prove presently by quoting from a deed or contract made by themselves, and that is on file today in this city.

Take the first. The Louisiana State Lottery lost unconsciously its immunity from taxation by a proceeding or act of its own. What was that act? Only a few months after the Company was chartered by the Legislature of 1868, in a business meeting of its stockholders, the aforesaid Company transferred its rights, franchises and authority — in a word, its corporate existence — into the hands of a firm called C. T. Howard & Co. That such a transfer took place, I offer, by way of proof, an extract from the following Deed, which is recorded in the office of Andrew Hero, a notary public of this city, in Commercial Alley. The Deed bears the date of July 8, 1879. The extract I call the attention of the people to reads as follows:


Personally came and appeared Charles T. Howard, a member of and representing the firm of C. T. Howard & Co. (italics mine), who declared that, whereas, under date of August 26, 1868, the Louisiana State Lottery Co., a duly organized corporate body of this State, instituted under Act No. 25 of the Legislature of this State for the year 1868, did grant and assign unto his said firm of C. T. Howard & Co., the right and privilege to carry on and manage the lottery and policy business, and to enjoy and hold and exercise all the lottery rights, privileges and franchises conferred upon said Company, as fully and exclusively as said Company might or could do, and vested in his said firm all of its corporate rights and privileges for the term of twenty-four years from January 1, 1869.

Evidently from the Deed above the transfer took place. Now, mark the fact — the instant the Company did this, it forfeited or lost the immunity from taxation granted it by the Legislature.

We know this to be true from no less than twelve different decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. I give below a few of these decisions, presenting a syllabus of the same, with references to guide the curious. Some of the most remarkable I withhold for certain good reasons; the few I present, however, are sufficient to convince the most skeptical.

Take the first (96 U. S., 712):

The grant of the franchise of a company does not include the immunity from taxation possessed by the grantor.

What could be plainer?

Take another (112 U. S., 609):

A statute exempting a corporation from taxation, confers the privilege only on the corporation specially referred to; and the right can not pass to its successor, unless the intent of the statute to that effect is clear and express. This salutary rule is founded upon an obvious public policy, which regards such exemptions as in derogation of the sovereign authority and of common right.

You have only to read the statute bearing upon the Louisiana State Lottery Company to see that there was no such intent expressed or intimated.

Another decision of the Supreme Court of the United States comes in very happily right here.

Here is the reference (99 U. S., 348):

In questions of immunity from taxation all doubts must be solved in favor of the State.

Let me ask you what shadow of hope has the Louisiana State Lottery Company under such a decision as this, if it should plead that, while the right of transfer of the immunity from taxation was not intimated or declared in words, yet that it was understood! The decision takes away the possibility of hope, in the words that “all doubts must be solved in favor of the State.”

I call your attention to one more. The case is to be found in the 28th Annual, p. 483:

An exemption from taxation granted to a corporation is not a transferable right. The state never intends to confer to the grantee the power to convey this right or privilege to another corporation, or to a natural person. The privilege is to the person of the grantee. It is never intended to attach to the property of the corporation, and to follow it into third hands.

This decision was affirmed in the Supreme Court of the United States. (See 93 U. S., 217.)

Other decisions of still more remarkable nature could be given, but those quoted are sufficient to show that the Louisiana State Lottery Company forfeited its grant of immunity from taxation the instant it transferred its right, franchise and authority into the hands of a firm called C. T. Howard & Co. That moment C. T. Howard & Co., as the successors, or representatives, or the vestees and assignees of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, became amenable to our city government for licenses and taxes, and should have been dealt with, and for that matter should be emphatically transacted with now.

Here was the mistake made by our city officials. Was it a mistake, or were they peculiarly persuaded? Our city officers demanded licenses and taxes from the original Company instead of the legal successor, and, of course, were promptly enjoined. The firm has ever been, and is today, the only vulnerable point of attack.

The question might well be asked here in regard to those gentlemen who represent the interests of the city; why, in view of these facts, they do not act promptly and vigorously? Certainly, it is in order for them to say.

Meanwhile the strange spectacle is presented to us of eight thousand delinquent tax-payers of this city, among whom we find hard-worked men and women, urged and forced to settlement, while a great MONEY-BLOATED INSTITUTION in our midst, of illimitable wealth, and of a constantly increasing capital, just as legally amenable and responsible, is allowed to go free. It is well for that institution that it did not exist in the days of the Bastile — or a similar scene would have been enacted, and outraged men with ropes, pick-axes and battering rams would have pulled down and laid low in the dust the building that sits at the corner of Union and St. Charles.

But this is not all. I come to my second point. I told you that the Lottery had not only forfeited its right of immunity from taxation by an unconscious act, but also by the conscious surrender of the privilege. I come at once to the proof. You will remember, some of you, that in the year 1879 the stockholders of the Louisiana State Lottery Company were in great alarm. The impression was abroad that the Constitutional Convention of that year would not likely restore their charter. By Act 44 of the Legislature of 1879 the charter of the Company was totally and unconditionally repealed.

It has been said by knowing ones, that certain individuals of the GREAT INIQUITY — the Louisiana State Lottery — fairly went down on their knees before that Constitutional Convention. Just how much of the Louisiana State Lottery Lubricating and Healing Salve was applied to various attenuated and superannuated pocketbooks is not exactly known. One thing, however, is clear and that is, that the philanthropist stockholders of the Lottery, full of loving schemes for the further education and charitable relief of the ignorant and poverty-stricken Louisianians, in order to carry on their heavenly work, made numerous promises and concessions to the State Constitutional Convention of 1879. The concession was a renunciation, as I shall show you presently.

The Legislature and Convention of 1879 were evidently of some little better stuff than the motley and ever-to-be execrated Assembly of 1868 that fastened this GAMBLING CURSE upon us.

I call your attention now to certain statutes and documents that put the fact of the Lottery’s indebtedness to the city beyond all peradventure.

The Constitutional Convention passed the following, which afterwards became a law — Art. 167 of the State Constitution. I quote only that part of the statute which bears on the point I am making.


* * * The Charter of said Louisiana State Lottery Company is recognized as a contract binding on the State for the period therein specified, except its monopoly clause, which is hereby abrogated, and all laws contrary to the provisions of this article are hereby declared null and void; provided said (Louisiana State Lottery) Company shall file a written renunciation of all its monopoly features, in the office of the Secretary of State, within sixty days after the ratification of that Constitution.

(This was Section 20, of Ordinance No. 422; afterwards a State law — Art. 167.)

Please to remember this statute, and especially the emphasized words above.

Next in order comes a remarkable paper. It was presented to the Constitutional Convention while they were deliberating upon the Lottery, and had the above statute in bill shape. The paper now is a part of the public records. It comes from the directors of the Louisiana State Lottery Company.


At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, held at its office in the city of New Orleans, 7th of July, 1879, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:

(Then follows considerable whereasing — and the quoting in full of the statute just given above, that is now Art. 167 of our State Constitution. Then the paper resumes.)

Whereas, It is the manifest interest of the Louisiana State Lottery Company to accept the provisions of said ordinance,

Be it resolved, By the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, that, upon the passage of said ordinance, its incorporation into the Constitution of the State of Louisiana, its adoption by the people, this company will renounce all its monopoly features, and the President is hereby required to make a public declaration by notarial act to that effect, and to file the same with the Secretary of State.

Resolved, That immediately upon the ratification and promulgation of the new Constitution of the State of Louisiana, containing the ordinance herein above set forth, and upon its becoming a part of the Constitutional law of the State, the President of the Louisiana State Lottery Company is hereby required to file a written renunciation in behalf of the Company of all its monopoly features in the office of the Secretary of State, as is required by said ordinance.

I hereby certify that the above is a true copy from the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana State Lottery Company.

{SEAL} (Signed) Joseph P. Hornor, Secretary

The above paper shows that the directors of the Lottery knew thoroughly what the State expected of them and what the law required.

The next document I beg you to consider is a covenant entered into by the President of the Lottery Company, which Deed of Renunciation, as it may properly be called, has been filed in the office of the Secretary of State. It was made July 7, 1879, and in the office of Andrew Hero, a notary public. I quote only a part:


Personally came and appeared M. A. Dauphin, President of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, and herein acting for and in behalf of said corporation under and by virtue of the authority in him vested by the Board of Directors thereof:– he does by these presents, for and in behalf of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, publicly declare and make known, and also promises, covenants and agrees, that the aforesaid Louisiana State Lottery Company shall and will (upon the passage of Section 20 of Ordinance No. 422 of the Constitutional Convention and its incorporation into the Constitution of the State of Louisiana, etc.) renounce, abandon and relinquish all the monopoly features, granted to or in favor of said Company; and that said corporation shall and will execute all instruments of relinquishment of its monopoly features.

(Signed.) E. P. J. Cravens, M. A. Dauphin, President. D. J. Dowers, Andrew Hero, Notary Public.

Now comes the most wonderful document of them all. It certainly deserves study. For some reasons it is a curiosity, and for others calculated to evoke that long protracted whistle which has been known to issue from the lips of an astonished individual.

You will remember that Art. 167 of our State Constitution reads that the Louisiana State Lottery Company shall file a written renunciation of all the monopoly features in the office of the Secretary of State within sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution.

The Board of Directors agreed to it. Mr. Dauphin, acting for the Board, solemnly covenants by a legal document to file the renunciation in the specified time. The Constitution was ratified and passed into operation at the close of the year 1879. And promptly within the sixty days, on February 23, 1880, this GEORGE WASHINGTON TRUTHFUL ASSOCIATION prepares and sends up the long promised document of renunciation.

After reading it, you will desire to do one of three things — first to take up the history of eels, their nature and habits; or to confine your musing attention awhile to the last three words of verse eleven of the 116th Psalm; or to ruminate awhile upon the remarkable history of a gentleman mentioned in fifth chapter of the book of Acts — his name was Ananias.

Here is the paper signed, sealed and filed, that was prepared by the HATCHET AND CHERRY TREE SOCIETY, viz: the Louisiana State Lottery.


At a meeting of the stockholders of the Louisiana State Lottery Company, February 23, 1880, the following resolutions were adopted:

Resolved, That this Company hereby accepts the provisions contained in Article 167 of the State Constitution of Louisiana, and renounces in favor of said State the monopoly features contained in the charter of the Company, so as to allow the General Assembly of the State to grant other lottery charters or privileges in accordance with the terms of said article.

Resolved, That the President of this Company is hereby required to file a copy of the above resolution in the office of the Secretary of State of Louisiana, as the written renunciation called for by said Article of said Constitution of the State of Louisiana.

How anyone can read this paper, purporting to be the fulfillment of the demands of the State’s requirement, and not be amazed at such cool fraud and shaken with indignation at such perfidy and betrayal of trust, I can not conceive.

Article 167 demanded the renunciation of “all monopoly features.” Not “a monopoly feature.” It is careful to say, “monopoly clause,” and adds, all “monopoly features.” What are the features? One was, of course the privilege of existing alone as a Lottery Company in the State. That was to be given up. But this was only one feature. Another feature was its exemption from all taxation, and another the exemption of its peddlers and vendors of tickets from all licences, etc. The proof of this can be had by referring to Article 25, of the Legislature of 1868, which constitutes the charter of this Lottery Company.

Now, when the present State law, Art. 167, demanded upon the part of the Louisiana State Lottery Company a written renunciation of all its monopoly features, did it mean only one? Did not an assembly of intelligent men know that all is a collective word, and meant more than one thing; and that “features” was plural, and could not possibly be twisted into the singular number?

One of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States has said in a decision that all privileges granted a monopoly constitutes its features. Common sense tells us the same. And to crown all, here was the verbiage of the law’s demands in Art. 167, “that the Louisiana State Lottery Company shall file a written renunciation of all its monopoly features within sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution.” That the directors of the Lottery understood this is seen in their use of the identical language in their promise to comply and file the desired renunciation. But when they came to do it — presto, change! What do we find? The surrender of one single feature, and that feature the right to exist as the only Lottery Company in the State. They, the directors, in their writ of renunciation, which M. A. Dauphin files for them in the office of the Secretary of State, limit an obligation that was general, to something specific or special. They have reached up a felonious hand and virtually struck out or stolen away a letter written and placed in the Constitution of the State by the will of the people. They have robbed the very law of its evident and expressed meaning, as composedly and as ruthlessly as they have gone into the pockets of this and other communities and emptied them. A confirmed robber cares not whom nor what he robs — he gets into the robbing way. He would rather steal than not. Alas! and alas! for the GREAT CHARTERED KLEPTOMANIA of the State of Louisiana! Touching things it ought not — taking things it ought not — is its way!

It remains now to show up one more paper.

This is the recognition of the presence of the remarkable Renunciation in the Secretary’s office. It is technically called an endorsement.


Resolution of the Louisiana State Lottery Company relinquishing the monopoly features granted by its charter in favor of the State of Louisiana, so as to allow the General Assembly of the State to grant other lottery charters or privileges in accordance with the terms of Art. 167 of the Constitution. Filed February 24, 1880.


Oscar Arroyo, Assistant Secretary of State.

About this paper we have only to say these two things: First, where were certain features (especially the eyes) of our State officer’s face when he accepted the paper handed him by M. A. Dauphin and put upon it the endorsement of the seal of the State? Did he not know that the law demanded the surrender of all monopoly features, and could he not see that but one feature was here renounced? That the paper before him was but a masterpiece of perverted meaning by the use of cunningly contrived words and sentences. The other question I would ask is, What is the use of having State officials if they do not and will not watch over the interests of the State?

Now, then, to gather up our argument, we insist that the Louisiana State Lottery Company is indebted today to the city of New Orleans over one million dollars for taxes and licenses, for itself and its army of ubiquitous ticket peddlers and venders. That they owe this amount, first, because of the transfer of the Company to a firm; and, secondly, because the State law demanded the full renunciation of all their monopoly features, in which we find exemption from all taxation, and because the directors of the Lottery bound themselves by a Deed (Document No. 4.) to surrender this and all other monopoly features of their Company within sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution.

The fraud they perpetrated upon us through twisted words and sentences should not save them from the payment of the money they owe to the city of New Orleans, while it should bring down upon every director and stockholder of that institution the overwhelming indignation of an outraged State and public.

And yet it is not their money we want. The curse of God is on it. It is unrighteous gains which, He says, will always bring calamity and ruin. We would gladly give them the million they owe us if they will only remove from our midst and cease to corrupt our children, rob our poor, and make gamblers and idlers and beggars out of our people.

The only point I am contending for is, that the Louisiana State Lottery Company is a fraudulent institution, and not to be trusted. That its promises are nothing; for while its words are fair, its performances agree not with its declarations and engagements. That which deceived you once before, O people of Louisiana, will deceive you again.

“Trust her not, She is fooling thee!”

Another charge I make against the Louisiana State Lottery is, that its existence is illegal.

I know what a number of you will say to this statement; that one of the judges of the Supreme Court has settled the question of its legality by a decision rendered in a celebrated case a few years ago. To this decision we will presently refer. Sometimes a little additional light makes an object appear very differently. That light has been furnished and thrown on this ruling by a painstaking lawyer in this city. From him I will in a few moments quote.

To come properly to the view of the case, we find it necessary to direct you to three Articles in the State Constitution:

The first was Art. 118 of the Constitution of 1868:

Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property shall be taxed in proportion to its value. The General Assembly shall have power to exempt from taxation property actually used for church, schools and charitable purposes.

It is evident now from the wording of the article why the Lottery announced itself a charitable institution, and how, by the mere assumption of a name and a pittance flung to the Hospital, it has been able to enter on its gambling career. It is also evident how the law just quoted was violated by the State Legislature of 1868 in incorporating the Louisiana State Lottery Company with exemption from taxation; and if you call the forty thousand it contributes to the Hospital a commutative tax, then still the law is violated in the first and second clauses, which declare that all property shall be taxed in proportion to its value. Coming aside from all the bewildering technicalities and constructions by which men who claim to be advocates of justice confuse us and succeed in defeating the ends of justice; coming apart from all these penitentiary-deserving actions, and looking with a calm and truth-desiring purpose at the Art. 118 of the old Constitution, we see that a dodge was made, a forced construction was placed upon a word, that men lied, that they saw a gambling institution full-fledged before them, and then swore it was a charitable institution; that they exempted from taxation a corporation whose genius and practice was not charitable, and so stultified themselves and fastened upon us illegally a MORAL AND SOCIAL CURSE AND NUISANCE. And to heighten the wrong, that Legislature, under pretense of securing forty thousand dollars to the Charity Hospital has, up to date, by its illegal exemption from taxation of the Lottery, occasioned to the city of New Orleans the loss of not less than one million two hundred and sixty thousand dollars in the way of licenses and taxes.

I now call your attention to Arts. 205 and 207 of the present State Constitution:

Art. 205 reads:

The power to tax corporations and corporate property shall never be surrendered nor suspended by act of the General Assembly.

Art. 207 reads:

The following property shall be exempt from taxation, and no other, viz: All public property, places of religious worship or burial; all charitable institutions, etc.., etc..; provided, the property so exempted be not used or leased for purposes of private or corporate profit or income.

No one can read these articles without realizing that both of them declare the nature of this corporation; and again, that both of these articles have been violated and continue daily to be violated by the existence of the Louisiana State Lottery.

Neither can anyone claim that these are post-facto laws. For Art. 167, which recognizes conditionally the charter of the Lottery, stipulates that all its monopoly features shall be abolished, one of which, as we have seen, was the exemption from taxation. So we see how thoroughly they agree.

But the point is made that the forty thousand dollars paid the Charity Hospital was recognized by the Supreme Court of the State as a commutative tax, and that the Court decided that commutative taxation was constitutional.

Not so fast, my friends, the true state of the case is, that the Court had before it the question of licenses, and decided that the commutation license of $40,000 was a constitutional commutation of all licenses, municipal licenses included, and then through an obiter dicta, which is to say, an opinion made upon a matter not properly before them, the Court, by a vote of 3 to 2, extended the ruling to taxes, holding that commutative taxation was constitutional, and the Lottery Company was, therefore, exempt from municipal taxation.

The mistake of our attorneys and counsel for the city is seen in accepting an obiter dicta for a decision made upon a point in hand, when really it was a ruling in a matter that was not before the Court, for license is one thing and taxes another. Who wonders that Justice Matthews, of the Supreme Court of the United States, decided as he did in 119 U. S., 265, when our attorneys accepted an obiter dicta as a decision in point, virtually surrendered the fort, and let the case go up thus peculiarly and erroneously before him.

But this is not all. Since the Supreme Court of this State decided, in 1872, that commutative license was constitutional, it has since then no less than twelve times changed its ruling, and decided that all commutative taxation was in derogation of Art. 118 of the Constitution of 1868, and so unconstitutional. (See 26 An., 702; 27 An., 376; 27 An., 646, and 28 An., 498.)

In May, 1876, the Supreme court ruled likewise, and, at the same time, specifically and unanimously overruled the obiter dicta of 24 An., 86 as unauthorized and erroneous.

By art. 205 and 207 of the present Constitution both commutations of licenses and taxes are strictly prohibited, so that the Lottery Company since it began operation in 1869 has never been for a single day in the legal and constitutional possession of an exemption from taxes and licenses.

Right here I would quote from a paper prepared by the lawyer to whom I referred. I use his own words, hoping to arrest the attention of the legal mind of the city. He gives an epitome of the case which ought to be the line of our action toward the Louisiana State Lottery Company in regard to the question of taxation, as well as its illegal existence.


The delusion of the citizens of New Orleans as to the Louisiana State Lottery Company having a legal and constitutional right to the immunity from taxation it has enjoyed for more than twenty years, arises entirely from their surprising ignorance of four important facts, to-wit:

No. 1. That since January 1869, when the concern began its career, its corporate rights and franchises have been operated, managed and administered, first, by the firm of Chas. T. Howard & Co., and, second, upon the death of Chas. T. Howard, by the firm of John A. Morris & Co., all by virtue of a private grant and assignment made in 1868. An immunity from taxation being ungrantable and unassignable, without the express and special consent of the Legislature, which was not obtained, and has never been obtained, it follows that the concern has never been in the legal and constitutional enjoyment of an immunity from taxation.

No. 2. Ignorance of the facts, that on July 7 and 8, 1879, the Board of Directors of the Company, and also Chas. T. Howard, in behalf of his firm, did publicly and by notarial act, covenant and agree with the Constitutional Convention then in session, that upon the adoption of Art. 167 of the proposed Constitution as part of the fundamental law of the State, the Company and Howard’s firm would “renounce, abandon and relinquish all the monopoly features granted to or in favor of said Company under and by virtue of any grants or laws of this State; and that said corporation shall and will execute all instruments of writing that may be requisite to evidence and enunciate such relinquishment.” Nevertheless, Art. 167 once duly adopted, the said directors and said firm entirely failed to make the promised covenant and agreement, and to execute the necessary “instruments of writing;” that instead the stockholders of the Company filed in the office of the Secretary of State, on February 23, 1880, a renunciation, not of “all the monopoly features” of the Company, but of only its “monopoly clause,” which had been duly abrogated by Art. 167, and consequently had ceased to exist on December 28, 1879, when the Constitution went into effect, “the framers of the Constitution having, in that article, done away with the exclusive privilege accorded to that organization.” (32 An., 722.) Had the promised renunciation been made, and which was imperatively required by Art. 167, the Company’s immunity from taxation, a special privilege, would have been thereby lost, since “monopoly features” relate to special privileges and not to “exclusive privileges,” like the Company’s constitutionally abrogated and “done away with” monopoly clause.

No. 3. Ignorance of the yet more important fact, that between March 1, 1874, and November 30, 1880, the Supreme Court of Louisiana decided no less than twelve different times that all commutative exemptions from taxation — and this is the only kind of exemption granted to the Louisiana State Lottery Company by Section 1 of Art. 5 of its charter — was repugnant to Article 118 of the Constitution of 1868, and, therefore, unconstitutional; hence the Company, from first to last, has been without any right or valid claim to that immunity from taxation usurped by it for more than twenty years, for “an unconstitutional grant is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duty; it affords no protection; it is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.” (118 U. S., 425)

No. 4. Ignorance of the most important fact of all, that the decision of 119 U. S., 265, upon which the Company mainly relies for its exemption, was obtained through the misrepresentation and concealment of facts; and the substitution for what was concealed of what was not true, to-wit:

That the small obiter dicta in 24 An., 86, in favor of the constitutionality of the Lottery Company’s exemption from taxation, which decided nothing, and was adopted by the small vote of 3 to 2, and which was four years later overruled by an unanimous court as unnecessary, unauthorized and erroneous, was represented in the court a qua (in 1881) as a bona fide still subsisting decision, in full force and effect, and binding upon the city; and, more wonderful still, the attorneys of the city admitted in their answer, that these misrepresentations were true and correct; that the so-called decision was conclusive and hence binding upon the city. There was no trial of the case, the whole matter being submitted to the court upon the averments of the petition and the wonderful admissions of the city attorneys. Of course, the city lost; and lost also before the U. S. Supreme Court, on appeal, the whole of the latter Court’s decision resting entirely upon the so-called decision in 24 An., 86 — in truth, a mere overruled obiter dicta, and, therefore, substantially nothing. Of the right of the city to have the case reviewed and set aside there can be no question.

Another charge I make against the Louisiana State Lottery Company is, that in its relation to other business interests, it is unjust and oppressive.

Those last two words give the explanation of every revolution and reformation of the past. When England became unjust and oppressive, we threw off the yoke and resolved to be free. When a king became, through injustice and oppression, a tyrant, he was made by the outraged and indignant people to taste the sweetness of solitary exile, or to feel the sharpness of the axe of the headsman.

There is something in human nature that rebels at the voice and touch of wrong. The Marsellaise hymn lies latent in the spirit — and was there before the author clothed it in words — and is ready to burst forth at the sight of a “hateful tyrant,” whether he be on a throne, or whether in a corporation.

It needs not a second glance to see the marked advantages possessed by the Lottery over every business that you could mention — and that these advantages are oppressive and unjust. I mention only one or two. One is seen in respect to the uniform taxation demanded by the Constitution. Here is a corporation with vast wealth, and an ever-increasing capital, paying a contemptible tax of forty thousand dollars, when it is well known, and I can prove it by the statement of one who knows all the inward workings of the Lottery, that, if the Louisiana State Lottery Company paid taxes on its property in the same proportion that the banks and other institutions of our city have to pay, then, instead of forty thousand a year, they would have to deposit in the city treasury something like two hundred and twenty thousand dollars annually.

Is not this injustice and oppression?

Take another view. This time in regard to licenses. When a poor fellow about town tries to make a living for himself by peddling some kind of merchandise, he has to obtain a license. When some destitute woman, with four or five children dependent upon her for bread, opens a boarding-house to wring out of it a bare living, she must first pay down so many dollars for a license.

But when we turn to consider this perfect army of Lottery ticket vendors and peddlers, who are daily becoming more aggressive and bolder and more insolent, who thrust their tickets into the faces of ladies and gentlemen on the streets at all hours, who are like the frogs of Egypt in their numbers, and like the frogs of Egypt in their disgusting ways of leaping on you and crawling into your homes — when you come to these peddlers of licensed wrong — behold, they go free. They are not to be charged. Their industry is to be encouraged. A poor woman, struggling to make bread for herself and children, must pay for the privilege of trying to support herself — but a gambling peddler is under the protecting smile and cherishing care of the State government.

Another charge I make against the Lottery is, that it is injuring the reputation and interests of our city and State abroad.

I read only a few days ago a letter printed from Boston, and another letter in a Nashville paper, where this very thing was mentioned.

A gentleman from Cincinnati remarked to me, a week since, that the Lottery was so regarded there, that it was considered a disreputable thing to be connected with it in any way. People from all parts of the North tell me of the contempt in which the better class hold it, and hence the consequent contempt for us in permitting it to abide in our midst.

The impression abroad is, that the Louisiana State Lottery Company governs the State and rules the city. No one doubts it, and when you add, that it also controls a number of churches, changes the municipal government of towns by making them conditional gifts, buys up our strongest lawyers, bribes our legislators — and these things become known, as they are known today everywhere — who wonders that the better class of people, the very class we desire as citizens, turn from us, and plant their stores and build their homes elsewhere.

I tell you, that we are hurt, hurt unto death abroad by the presence in our midst of this CHILD AND SERVANT CORRUPTER, this THEFT ENCOURAGER, this MUNICIPAL PAUPERIZER, this JUDGE AND LAWYER PERSUADER, this LEGISLATURE BRIBER, this CHARTERED CURSE AND ABOMINATION, the Louisiana State Lottery Company.

You may think our unpaved streets and yellow fever epidemics keep immigration and prosperity from our doors. But the truth is, that it is our well known disregard of the Sabbath, together with the existence of a gambling corporation, which flutters it tickets on every street and corner, that has disgusted and alarmed the outside world, and wrought us more harm in material and spiritual ways, than all the natural evils could have done in the sweep of centuries.

People cover with their homes the hillsides of Mt. Vesuvius, but they don’t rush to New Orleans. A volcano is less to be dreaded than a Sabbath-breaking and gambling city.

The last charge, or point, I make against the Lottery is, that it has been forbidden and legislated out of Empires and Kingdoms and States all over the world.

In fact, the way that the Lottery has been treated by the different governments of the world plainly shows that they have viewed it as an evil and curse; and so they rested not until it was outlawed.

It was to them what a certain class of tramps is to you. It was more than a suspicious character — it was dangerous and destructive, and so the order came, to move on and move out of the country.

Looking at the Lottery in one light, I know of no better definition than to call it the GREAT MORAL or rather, IMMORAL TRAMP of the world. It is never allowed to stay long in any place.

I read once of a tramp, who had been kicked from Chicago almost to New Orleans. He had boarded fifty trains, rode a few miles, and was promptly landed between stations by an energetic blow of the conductor’s foot. Thus was he ricochetted from the North to the South.

So has it been with the Lottery. In 1826 England kicked it out of her borders, and it fell into France. In 1828 France kicked it out of her beautiful dominions. In 1830 Belgium kicked it out of that kingdom, and it fell into the United States. Then the different States passed it along with valedictory kicks, even as I have seen a dog assisted out of a church, when every pew contributed a parting and assistful boot salute, while the periodic yelp of the brute declared to the certainty of two things: one was to his sure progress and vanishing presence, and the other to the unflagging continuation of the kicks.

Not less than twenty-six States in the Union have hurled the Lottery from their borders; and it is our duty and privilege to do the same. Surely, you do not realize that it is regarded as most disreputable in every State but this — that the tickets, which flutter so boldly upon our streets, have to be sold by stealth in other cities. In some places it means a fine; in others, imprisonment; and in Ohio it means the penitentiary.

The voice of the nations, with the exception of unhappy Italy and another kingdom, is against the Lottery. That voice in the thunderous accents of law declared to it, you can not stay.

Certainly, if England could not tolerate it, and France would not endure its presence, and all the other States in the Union forbid its entrance, how can we afford to have it in our midst. Can we endure what they would not allow? Is the morals of Louisiana so much worse, is the public sentiment so low, is its care for the public welfare so much less, that we will allow a PLUNDERING CORPORATION to fasten itself upon the commonwealth unrebuked, insult our commercial men and interests by allowing a GAMBLING NUISANCE to be regarded as a business, and accept as a feature of our autonomy what is nothing else but a HUGE MORAL EXCRESCENCE, and needing but the sharp surgical knife of the law?

Driven from land to land, and from State to State, the Lottery finds itself at last on the borders of the sea. This is the second time that Satan has been entrenched by the side of the sea. I wonder if he does not remember the fact and even now trembles at what he knows is certain to come.

Here he is incarnating and fortifying himself in the people, as he did in Gadara. Here he is trying to get us to say what he succeeded in making the Gadarenes say to Christ: Depart, we beseech thee, out of our coasts; we prefer gambling to the Gospel, Sabbath desecration to Sabbath observance, and the swinish nature to the Christ-like life and character. Depart from us with your churches, and Bibles, and Sabbaths, and holy teachings, and leave us to wallow in sin and revel in every abomination.

O blessed Lord Jesus! — thou Almighty Son of God — who hast all power in heaven and earth — just as you with a word put the devils into the swine and rushed them into the Sea of Galilee, so, Lord, put Satan and this GAMBLING INSTITUTION into the swinish natures that would defend it, and rush them all down into the depths of an overwhelming and lasting defeat, and rid this fair land of their dark and corrupting and destructive presence, that this country might be thy country, this people thy people, and thy will be done in our midst as the angels do it in heaven.

* This, Carradine’s “fourth” charge, he also mistakenly titled as his “third” charge. This error was corrected by the transcriber.