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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carlee McCullough on Sunday November 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SPEA at Indiana University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see /class/233406/spea-indiana-university in Environment at Indiana University.
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Date Created: 11/01/15
Professor Jonathan Spence of the Department of History Yale University presented a fascinating account of opium smoking One white girl of good family and education began opium smoking at sixteen in San Francisco in 1880 later became a prostitute moved to Victoria British Columbia and was found in an opium den in 1884 by a Royal Commission The transcript of her answers to questions reads in part Q Why did you commence to smoke opium A Why do people commence to drink Trouble I suppose led me to smoke Ithink it is better than drink People who smoke opium do not kick up rows they injure no one but themselves and I do not think they injure themselves very much Q Why do you smoke now A Because I must I could not live without it I smoke partly because of the quiet enjoyment it gives but mainly to escape from the horrors which would ensue if I not smoke To be twenty four hours without smoking is to suffer worse tortures than the lost Q But does not the smoking make you wretched past as drinking would A No I require about twelve pipes then I fall into a state of somnolence and complete rest When I awake I feel all right and can attend to fixingup the house I am brisk and can work as well as anybody else I do not feel sick or nervous neither have I the inclination to smoke more opium 0 Then why do you return to the use of the drug A Ah that s it there is a time when my hands fail me tears fall from my eyes I am ready to sink then I come here and for a few bits have a smoke which sets me right There is too much nonsense talked about opiumsmoking Life without it would be unendurable I am in excellent health but I suppose every one has their own troubles and I have mine Q I do not want to be offensive but are you what is called a fast woman A I am But you would be greatly mistaken if you imagined that all the women who come here to smoke are of that character In San Francisco I have known some of the first people visit opium houses and many respectable people do the same here Q Are women of your class generally addicted to opiumsmoking A No they are more addicted to drink and drink does them far more harm Drink excites passions whereas this allays it and when a fast woman drinks she goes to min pretty quick Q Have you anything else to add A No I would say this though that if opium houses were licensed as drinking saloons are one need not have to come into such holes as this to smoke There would be nice rooms with nice couches and the degradation would be mitigated At all events Ithink the government that will not license an opium saloon should shut up public houses and hotels where they sell vitriol for whiskey and brandy and where men idle themselves with a certainty and a rapidity beyond the power of opium 3
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