Page 6 - March2017
P. 6

Taking the Pledge                     Carolina, are still standing, although the
                                             company ceased trading in 1982. One of
          n 1860 the taking of ‘The Pledge’   their regular repeat jobs was The Pledge,
          was an important consideration for   printed in large numbers for the Marine
       Isailors recruited to work at sea for   Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society,
       long periods. This written promise to   since Charleston was an important port
       refrain from imbibing alcohol was not just   with a bustling maritime trade. Walker
       an affi  rmation                                              Evans’ Pledge
       of Christian                                                certifi cate
       moral codes,                                                depicts a
       but an essential                                            group of
       safeguard for                                               matelots
       employers.                                                  drinking from
       Drunkenness                                                 a freshwater
       on board a                                                  fountain in
       vessel could                                                the harbour,
       be dangerous                                                alongside the
       to other crew                                               good ship
       members, and                                                Temperance.
       to the ship                                                 As they fi ll
       itself. The                                                 barrels with
       Pledge was                                                  Adam’s Ale for
       an important                                                their voyage,
       marine                                                      an American
       document,                                                   eagle hovers
       aside from                                                  above this
       any religious                                               scene, with a
       considerations.                                             ribbon in its
       Even today,                                                 beak carrying
       off shore oil and                                            the words
       gas platforms                                               “Sailor, there’s
       impose a                                                    hope for thee”.
       complete ban                                                 A plump
       on alcohol                                                  album of
       and a modern version of The Pledge is   Walker, Evans printed ephemera, all
       incorporated into contracts of employment   from the 1860s, found its way to St Bride
       for rig workers.                      Library in 1917 some 56 years after it was
         Walker, Evans & Company was a       compiled. Item SB19464 was entered
       successful commercial printer in the   into the Accessions Register on 28th
       deep south of America from the early   February that year, and recorded as an
       19th century. Their former premises   acquisition purchased with funds provided
       on Broad Street, Charleston, South    by The Institute of Printers. There is no
       54
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