Ernest H. Cherrington

Ernest H. Cherrington, born November 24, 1877, in Hamden, Ohio, was a leading temperance journalist and activist. After attending Ohio Wesleyan he taught school. However, he became increasingly concerned over the consumption of alcoholic beverages, which he believed reflected a moral decline in the country. For this reason, he left his teaching job and became a newspaper reporter and critic of alcohol consumption.

Cherrington joined the Ohio Anti-Saloon League in 1901 and became active in the organization. He was appointed superintendent of the local affiliate and then appointed assistant superintendent of the Ohio Anti-Saloon League. From there he became superintendent of the Washington state Anti-Saloon League.

Consistently demonstrating his ability, he was appointed editor of the the American Issue Publishing Company, the publishing house of the Anti-Saloon League of America. Cherrington was the writer or editor of three major publications; The American Issue from 1909 to 1942, the American Patriot from 1912 to 1916, and the National Register from 1915 to 1916. Cherrington favored education over the coercive use of force to achieve Prohibition and sobriety, a position in direct opposition to that of Anti-Saloon leader Wayne Wheeler. Cherrington believed that alcohol consumption would decrease over time if children learned what prohibitionists believed were the benefits of abstinence. To achieve this goal, he edited and contributed to the writing of The Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem, a comprehensive six-volume work that the Anti-Saloon League distributed to schools throughout the country.

Miscellaneous

  • The Ernest Cherrington Park in Westerville, Ohio, is named in his honor.
  • Ernest Hurst Cherrington, the prohibtionist subject of this biography, should not be confused with his son, Ernest Hurst Cherrington, Jr. (1909-1996), who was a well-known astronomer.
  • Following a number of name changes, the Anti-Saloon League of America is now the American Council on Alcohol Problems.

In addition to his work in the Anti-Saloon League of America, Cherrington was active in establishing the World League Against Alcoholism and worked extensively on its behalf. In reality, the League Against Alcoholism was opposed to any and all consumption of alcoholic beverages, not simply alcoholism.

Cherrington later became executive secretary of the Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals of the Methodist Church. That position had become vacant following the scandals and disgrace of Bishop John Cannon, Jr. Cherrington remained in that position until shortly before his death in 1950.

Ernest Cherrington was one of the few prohibition leaders whose reputation was not harmed by public revelations of racial or religious bigotry, sexual indiscretions, financial improprieties, political scandals, or other moral/ethical problems.

Although Prohibition was a dismal failure that created serious problems, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and strongly defend the many vestiges of Prohibition that continue to exist.

 

References:

  • Aaron, Paul, and Musto, David. Temperance and Prohibition in America: An Historical Overview. In: Moore, Mark H. , and Gerstein, Dean R. (Eds.) Alcohol and Public Policy: Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1981. Pp. 127-180.
  • Blocker, Jack S. American Temperance Movements: Cycles of Reform. Boston, MA: Twayne, 1989.
  • Cherrington, Ernest Hurst. American National Biography, volume 4.
  • Ernest Cherrington, Ohio History Central, July 1, 2005, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=91
  • Odegard, Peter H. Pressure Politics: The Story of the Anti-Saloon League. NY: Columbia University Press, 1928.
  • Westerville (Ohio) Public Library. Leaders: Ernest Cherrington. Westerville Public Library website.

Selected Publications by Earnest Cherrington:

  • Ernest Cherrington (Editor in-Chief). Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1925.
  • Ernest H. Cherrington. Report of the World League Against Alcoholism. Westerville, OH: The World League against Alcoholism, 1925.
  • Ernest H. Cherrington. Opportunity and Obligation of the World Movement against Alcoholism. Westerville, OH: World League against Alcoholism, 1922.
  • Ernest Hurt Cherrington. The Evolution of Prohibition in the United States of America: A Chronological History of the Liquor Problem and the Temperance Reform in the United States from the Earliest Settlements to the Consummation of National Prohibition. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1920. (Reprinted, Montclair, N.J. : Patterson Smith, 1969)
  • Ernest Cherrington. World-wide progress toward prohibition legislation. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1923, 109(1), 208-224.
  • Ernest Cherrington. A New Plan of Campaign in the Interest of National Prohibition. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1919.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Prohibition Success or Failure. Westerville, OH: American Issue, n.d.
  • Ernest Cherrington. A Superficial Survey of the Results of Prohibition in the United States of America. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1926.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Education and Prohibition: A Choice between Civilizations. Wshington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1929.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Education to Solve the Alcohol Problem: Activities of the World League against Alcoholism. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1938.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Education, the Only Permanent Solution of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1930.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Answers to Favorite "Wet" Arguments. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1929.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Is World-Wide Prohibition Feasible? Westerville, OH: 1919.
  • Ernest Cherrington. The Challenge of a World Crusade. Westerville, OH: 1925.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Education against Alcohol. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1929.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Report of the World League against Alcoholism. Westerville, OH: World League against Alcoholism, 1925.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Shall the Eighteenth Amendment Prevail? Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1929.
  • Ernest Cherrington. American Prohibition. Westerville, OH: World League against Alcoholism, 1926.
  • Morris Sheppard and Ernest Cherrington. The First Decade of Prohibition: A Study of the Social Effect of National Prohibition. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1929.
  • Ernest Hurt Cherrington. The Old Soak. Westerville, OH: American Issue, n.d.
  • Ernest H. Cherrington, The Smoking Car Wet. Westerville, OH: American Issue, n.d.
  • Ernest Cherrington. What Became of the Distilleries, Breweries and Saloons in the United States of America. Westerville, OH: World League Against Alcoholism, 1921.
  • James Cannon, Jr.; Arthur Capper; Ernest Hurst Cherrington; Oscar Gottlieb Christgau; James Couzens; Luren Dudley Dickinson; Edward Bradstreet Dunford; Francis Scott McBride; Howard H Russell; Reed Smoot; William H Taft; Fred M Vinson; Andrew John Volstead; James E Watson; Wayne Bidwell Wheeler; American Council on Alcohol Problems.; Anti-saloon League of America.; Anti-Saloon League of Michigan. American Council on Alcohol Problems records, 1916-1969. (archival materials) Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the World League against Alcoholism. A Cloud of Witnesses. Westerville, OH: American Issues, 1923.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the World League against Alcoholism. Is it Right to Seek Social Legislation? Westerville, OH: World League against Alcoholism, 1930.
  • Earnest Cherrington and the Woman's Christian Union. Why Drinking is an Out of Date Custom. Evanston, IL: National WCTU Pub. House, 1922.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the Methodist Episcopal Church Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals. Washington, DC: Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1937.
  • Ernest Cherrington, the World League against Alcoholism and the Anti-Saloon League of America. Educating the Masses and the Classes against Alcoholism: A Report of Activities in the Movement against Alcoholism in the United States of America, as Conducted through the World League against Alcoholism and the Department of Education of the Anti-Saloon League of America during the Years 1930-1931. Westerville, OH: American Issue, 1931.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the Anti-Saloon League of America. The Anti-Saloon League Year Book, 1910: An Encyclopedia of Facts and Figures Dealing with the Liquor Traffic and the Temperance Reform. Westerville, OH: Anti-Saloon League of America. 1910.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the Anti-Saloon League of America. The Anti-Saloon League Year Book, 1915: An Encyclopedia of Facts and Figures Dealing with the Liquor Traffic and the Temperance Reform. Westerville, OH: Anti-Saloon League of America, 1915.
  • Ernest Cherrington (Editor). Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Congress against Alcoholism. Washington DC and Westerville, OH: International Congress against Alcoholism, 1921.
  • Ernest Cherrington. Suggestions toward Vital Action. Washington, DC: Board of Temperance of the Methodist Church, 1930.
  • Ernest Cherrington and the World League Against Alcoholism. Report of the Activities of the World League Against Alcoholism. Westerville, OH: World League Against Alcoholism, 1927.

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