The Louisiana State Lottery Company – By Beverly Carradine

Part 4

The Remedy And Our Duty

We suggest several things that are possible, and which constitute our imperative and immediate duty.

First. Get the facts that have been stated under the charges of fraudulency and illegality into proper legal shape and spring them through the City Council into the courts, and enjoin the Lottery Company from another drawing.

Second. Let every man who is a true citizen and lover of his State talk and write against the Lottery, until sentiment is created all over the land.

You were never more mistaken in your life, than in thinking that public opinion is against the Lottery in this State. On all hands I hear it defended because of the good it is supposed to be doing. The people have been hoodwinked and are deceived. Turn on the light, and let them see that the Lottery is plundering us of thousands and giving back, in the name of charity, a nickel in proportional value. The old medieval picture that, at a little distance, showed a priest in apparent devotion, with hands clasped over his missal, but on closer inspection revealed the father confessor squeezing with both hands a lemon into a punch-bowl, this picture is redrawn and rehung before the public today in the double-life of the Louisiana State Lottery. Joab has again met Abner on the highway, and, taking him by the beard, under pretense of kissing him, has plunged his concealed sword into the heart of the unsuspecting man. Turn on the light! We have been in the dark long enough! Let the luminous and exposing and blistering beams of Facts and Truth show to our land the full hideousness of this INCORPORATED ILLEGALITY — this LOUISIANA STATE FRAUDULENCY, the LOUISIANA STATE LAW DEFIER, or the Louisiana State Lottery — just as you are pleased to call it — for they are all one and the same.

You must create public opinion and sentiment, and to that end make the streets fairly hum with your outspoken condemnation, and the columns of the country press quiver with your written indignation.

You may fancy gentle means will do the work. Some people, indeed, are adopting the peaceful and conciliatory policy. The pliant back and sychophantic smile, and cringing demeanor and speech seem to be the order of the hour. It will never do. These Lottery people laugh at your cowardice, despise your pusillanimity and gird themselves for fresh monthly plundering. You might as well hope, with finger and thumb, quietly to press out the poison from the fangs and tongue of a hissing rattlesnake, or with gentle stroke or smile so alter the nature of a Numidian lion, maddened with wounds and hunger, that he would allow you to extract his teeth, as to expect with peaceful dealings to change the character and stop the destructive career of the Louisiana State Lottery. The resistless sweep of widespread popular indignation, the might of an aroused public conscience, and the tremendous force of a long-insulted and outraged law, are the only things that can settle this Company.

Third. Socially ostracize all that persistently connect themselves with this Lottery. Even as a thief is made to feel, or an unrepentant fallen woman, persisting in her iniquity, realizes the isolating power of her misdeeds, so must these chartered gamblers feel. They have struck at the moral life of the community, they have insulted and outraged a great commonwealth by a life of flagrant wrongs; and if they propose to continue in misdoing, then they must be prepared to receive the honest scorn and merited condemnation and social ostracism that has come and will ever come upon certain forms of iniquity.

Fourth. Oppose with all your strength the holding of a Constitutional Convention until after the year 1895. In that year the charter of the Lottery expires. We all know how the Constitutional Convention of 1879 revived conditionally the charter of the Louisiana State Lottery, that had been repealed by the preceding Legislature. It is well known that twenty votes fastened upon us in that Convention the State Lottery again. We do not want another Constitutional Convention until after 1895. As much as we need it for certain reasons, yet it will be infinitely better for Louisiana to endure various constitutional imperfections and discomforts, than to run the risk of greater evils, and of having the Lottery fastened upon us for twenty-five, or, possibly, ninety-nine years to come. We have reason to dread the delicate attentions of the LOUISIANA STATE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CONVENTION FINANCIAL LUBRICATOR-AND-PERSUADER COMPANY — vulgarly called the Louisiana State Lottery.

Fifth. Start a newspaper that will be an anti-lottery organ. We need such, and must have such a sheet. We have no such secular paper in our midst today. As for the religious papers here, they have so small a circulation that they are scarcely felt in such a city as this. There was a time when the Times-Democrat, or its predecessor, boldly opposed the Lottery, and mainly through its instrumentality the charter of that company was repealed. All honor to the Democrat of that day! But as is well known, this paper changed hands, and suddenly, only two days before the Constitutional Convention of 1879 that revived the charter — presto, change — and lo! the vehement, lion-like accuser of the Lottery becomes as quiet and peaceful as a lamb. We have heard in our lives of cases of sudden paralysis of tongue and hand; this case we now allude to is one peculiarly sudden and distressing. There is yet no sign of improvement upon the part of the suffering patient.

The mournful fact before us is, that we have not a single secular newspaper in the city of New Orleans that will attack the Louisiana State Lottery Company. They haven’t the courage. As Sam Jones says, instead of backbone, they have got running down their backs a white cotton string with buttons tied to it. If a petty thief makes away with a few dollars, they rage with indignation and give columns for his persecution and prosecution; but they allow a great corporation to plunder the people and wring us in countless ways, and they haven’t a word to say. If a case of bribery occurs in the courts of some third-rate case, you can hardly hold these papers to the ground; their virtuous rage is so consuming and powerful; they grow eloquent in editorial wrath; they fairly foam. They can also print accusations about a young lady’s withholding from some author a few pages of manuscript, which she had borrowed, and had not returned promptly — all this because so devoted to seeing things done on the square, and so wedded to strictest honesty. A shadow of falsehood seems unbearable. And yet before them and us today, and known to all, is a corporation that has taken from us something more than a few sheets of manuscript, and that has bribed legislator, judge and lawyer — and yet not a word against it in their columns! Perhaps, the advertisements of the State Lottery fill so many columns that there is no space left for accusing the institution and warning the public. Certain it is they have no word against the Lottery. They will slam at the church and the Christian ministry on the slightest provocation, but never, under any circumstances, will they find fault with the Lottery. Its blessed mission of caring for the widow and orphan, and of educating the ignorant of poverty-stricken and wretched Louisiana, doubtless, saves it from remark. The New York Times exposed the Tammany Ring, and The Cincinnati Inquirer is continually unearthing municipal wrong and villainy. Would that for the honor of the Press, and the honor of the city of New Orleans, we had such a paper in our midst!

But we haven’t got it. And, as I remarked, we must have such a paper. And, as I remarked, we must have such a paper. The moral and spiritual part of this city has no voice or organ. Thousands of people here have profound convictions on moral questions of the day that agitate our nation and city. But being without an organ, we are unheard; in a great measure unfelt, and unknown to the community and outside world. We are, in a sense, muzzled; our views differ so from the tone of the management of the various city newspapers that we are not, and could not expect to be, allowed to speak through their columns. Columns are freely given to describe the firemen’s desecration of the Sabbath, while the paragraph call to the public to meet in solemn protest had to be paid for. Columns given for Lottery advertisement — not a line printed to show its evil nature and influence.

We must have a newspaper. One that will come out boldly on the platform of general reform, and that will represent the moral element and life of this city and State. One that will oppose the saloon, condemn Sunday violation, and attack with might and main, with fact and figure, and with argument and appeal, the Louisiana State Lottery. Can’t we have such a paper. Not a religious paper, but a secular paper — sound and wholesome, opposed to wrong, and advocating the right, calling attention not only to the dirty gutters of the city, but the dirty institutions of the city — in a word, representing and defending and advancing the true and best interests of city and country.

There are enough people in New Orleans alone who love purity and morality, who, if they combined, could buy the stock and start such a paper, and give it, by their patronage and influence, certain and solid success.

Let there be such a meeting of our best citizens; let them subscribe for the stock of such a company, and launch out, as our truly representative voice and organ, just such a paper.

Sixth. Form at once an anti-Lottery Association. A powerful organization confronts us, and it can only be properly met by organized effort. With such an association located in New Orleans, we can have friends and correspondents in every town in Louisiana keeping us posted. We can have proper men representing us in the Legislature, and we can have prominent citizens as spectators and auditors during the session of the General Assembly, and we can sow down the State with facts and figures, with arguments and revelations of the Louisiana State Lottery, until moral sentiment is created, the public aroused, and the curse of twenty-five years shall be hurled forever from our land.

Seventh. Our greatest and surest hope is in God. Let us, as we work, call upon Him. The very greatness of the corporation against which we contend, its moneyed influence and power, its possession of the finest legal talent, its ascendency over State and city officials, its virtual ownership of the newspapers of the city, its friendly relations with certain churches, its control of many corporations, its identification with respectable and powerful families — all of these things convince us that we, in addition to the natural forces we use, must have supernatural aid to overthrow a corporation that for twenty years has laughed to scorn every earthly effort for its downfall. We must have with us in order to succeed, the power of God. “Unless the Lord keeps the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” “It is the Lord that pulleth down,” says the Bible. He that sent the sound of a going in the trees, and an army fled; He that by the blast of a trumpet caused the walls of Jericho to crash down; He that simply said to a mob, “I am He!” and the organized wickedness of Jerusalem fell prostrate before him — He is the One we want for our help and deliverance. We will use the means, make the efforts, sound the trumpet and grasp the sword — in a word, do our part; but it will require the presence and power of the Son of God upon it all to give us the victory. May every Christian throughout the land pray for that power; and may we never cease praying and never cease working until the curse is lifted, the evil ended, and the Louisiana State Lottery is no more!

[Transcriber Note: The item below was written by Beverly Carradine about 9 years later, and seems to indicate that the Louisiana State Lottery Company was indeed finally defeated, forced to abandon its operations in Louisiana, and swept out of existence.]


My second work was an illustrated pamphlet of 100 pages against the Lottery, which sin was ruling and cursing both the city of New Orleans and State of Louisiana. At this distance of time, it would be impossible for people to realize the dreadful power of this institution, which not only had the city in its grasp, but owned the Legislature, Governor and courts. I delivered an address against this monstrous gambling iniquity when no one had a hope it could be swept away. The two addresses were illustrated by a gifted artist and published in pamphlet form under the name, “The Louisiana State Lottery Examined and Exposed.” — From: An Autobiographical Sketch by Beverly Carradine, published in 1898.

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*The “fourth” defense was mistakenly listed as a “third” defense — corrected by the transcriber