W. Jennings Demorest photo

W. Jennings Demorest

   W. JENNINGS DEMOREST was born June 10, 1822, in the city of New York, and received most of his education in the public schools. At twenty years of age he commenced his business career in the dry goods trade. ln 1860 he entered the editorial and publishing business, and soon after began the publication of The New York Illustrated News in English and German, and also Young America. In 1864 these were merged into the present Demorest's Family Magazine. Mr. Demorest traveled extensively and, rote largely on his favorite themes of ethics, especially against the evils of the liquor traffic. He distributed nearly fifty million pages of tracts on this question.
   Mr. Demorest was active in the great Washingtonian movement, and was one of the originators of the Sons of Temperance. To test the question of the unconstitutionality of slavery, Mr. Demorest had a suit instituted and well on its way toward the Supreme Court, when President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
   Mr. Demorest was an ardent supporter of Fremont's candidacy, and with Horace Greeley was on the committee which urged his second nomi-nation. Although for a long series of ye1us he was associated as an equal partner• in one of the largest printing houses in America, .Mr. Demorest was interested in many other business enterpri es and received numerous me.dals and diplomas for his inventions. He also opened the first store on Fourteenth Street, New York.
   Actively identifying himself with the Prohibition Party, Mr. Demorest, since 1884, was a tireless worker for its success. He established the National Prohibition Bureau for speakers and the distribution of literature, and, true to his early convictions, organized the Natational Constitutional League, through which he was pressing a test suit up to the Supmme Court to establish the unconstitutionality of a license to the liquor traffic, when his death occurred, April 9, 1895. He published a monthly periodical called The Constittution. He served the party as its candiclate for mayor of New York city, and for lieutenant-governor of the State. An interesting feature of Mr. Demorest'e services fol' the cause of Prohibition is the Merlal Contest work for the education of tho youth and the creation of public sentiment in favor of the univerenl prohibition of the liquor traffic.

— Data from An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895)