The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 36
Of Adulterated Liquors
Of Adulterated Liquors.
Section 20, act of 1857, has a comprehensiveness of application not altogether apparent at the first reading. The enactment is in these words:
"It shall be the duty of courts to instruct grand jurors to enquire into all offences against the provisions of this act, and to present all offenders against this act, and also all persons who may be charged with adulterating imported or other intoxicating liquors with poisonous or deleterious drugs or mixtures, or selling the same, or with knowingly importing or selling intoxicating liquors or wines adulterated with poisonous or deleterious mixtures; which offences are hereby declared to be misdemeanors, to be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary workhouse, or jail for a period of three months, and by a fine of one hundred dollars."
Note 1. To understand the full import of the phrase, Grand Jurors shall enquire into all offences against the provisions of this act, etc., be reader must turn back to the judicial expositions under the head, "Penalties for Unlicensed Selling," and to the classes of persons in Sees. 15, 20, and 21, to whom dramselling is forbidden.
Note 2. It is generally understood that nearly all the costly liquors sold in this State are mixed with hurtful drugs; much of them with virulent poisons. Prof. Lee, of New York, says there are immense establishments in that city for manufacturing adulterated liquors. There are twelve such flowing fountains in Syracuse, and so it is all over the land. Dealers can rarely be ignorant of the forbidden, deadly character of their drinks. And surely it is not difficult to procure a bottle from "sample-rooms" or hotels, and, with the analysis of a competent chemist, make out a perfect case against the venders