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Mississippi Prohibition Artifacts: William Faulkner’s Epic Letter

Read How Our State’s Most Famous Author Gave ‘Em The Bird in 1950

We are still looking for the original letter penned by prominent Oxfordian beer fearers. Luckily we have some of it courtesy of William Faulkner’s epic response. Read Faulkner’s awesome response below.


Correction to paid printed statement of Private Citizens H. E. Finger, Jr., John K. Johnson, and Frank Moody Purser.

1. ‘Beer was voted out in 1944 because of its obnoxiousness.’

Beer was voted out in 1944 because too many voters who drank beer or didn’t object to other people drinking it, were absent in Europe and Asia defending Oxford where voters who preferred home to war could vote on beer in 1944.

2. ‘A bottle of 4 percent beer contains twice as much alcohol as a jigger of whiskey.’

A 12 ounce bottle of four percent beer contains forty-eight one hundreths of one ounce of alcohol. A jigger holds one and one-half ounces (see Dictionary). Whiskey ranges from 30 to 45 percent alcohol. A jigger of 30 percent whiskey contains forty-five one hundreths of one ounce of alcohol. A bottle of 4 percent beer doesn’t contain twice as much alcohol as a jigger of whiskey. Unless the whiskey is less than 32 percent alcohol, the bottle of beer doesn’t even contain as much.

3. ‘Money spent for beer should be spent for food, clothing and other essential consumer goods.’

By this precedent, we will have to hold another election to vote on whether or not the florists, the picture shows, the radio shops and the pleasure car dealers will be permitted in Oxford.

4. ‘Starkville and Water Valley voted beer out; why not Oxford?’

Since Starkville is the home of Mississippi State, and Mississippi State beat the University of Mississippi at football, maybe Oxford, which is the home of the University of Mississippi, is right in taking Starkville for a model. But why must we imitate Water Valley? Our high school team beat theirs, didn’t it?

Yours for a freer Oxford, where publicans can be law abiding publicans six days a week, and Ministers of God can be Ministers of God all seven days in the week, as the Founder of their Ministry commanded them to when He ordered them to keep out of temporal politics in His own words: ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.’

William Faulkner
Private Citizen

Unfortunately, Faulkner died in 1962 — four years before prohibition officially ended in Mississippi. We raise a bottle of Colsons to Faulkner, who is 100% giving these guys the bird in this letter.

It’s 2022 now in Mississippi – go buy some Colsons.