Friday, March 6, 2009

From the Pages of Indiana History: Legislative Revelry Takes An Embarassing Turn

The book The Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly recounts the party atmosphere of the Indiana General Assembly during the period of 1850 to 1890. Even though the legislature was inundated with temperance proposals, that did not stop the legislators from living it up:

Legislative revelry sometimes took an embarrassing turn, especially in the waning days of a session. For example, shortly before adjournment in 1897, bold-faced headlines in the Indianapolis Journal announced:

Drunken Law-Makers Making a Beastly
Exhibition of Themselves in a
Variety Hall

The Story told how twenty-five or so legislators engaged in a "shameful orgie" at a "disreputable variety hall" on East Washington Street, "getting noisily drunk" climbing on chairs, yelling and howling all sorts of obscene language in front of a half dozen streetwalkers.

The book contains many more accounts of drunken legislators and the partying atmosphere that used to dominate the end of legislative sessions.


M Theory said...

Sounds like a hoot! Nothing wrong with letting off a little steam, getting drunk, and standing on chairs. I just care that when they are sober, they do our business with our best interests at heart.

Patriot Paul said...

Most of Indy's streetwalkers today are the ones in the Statehouse, the CIB and half the County Council. said...

Drunk with alcohol or intoxicated with power: Both seem to engender shameful proceedings.

Paul K. Ogden said...

PP, I'm pretty sure the term "streetwalker" as used in the article didn't have the same meaning as it does today.