Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Law Brief Company, .
8vo, 116 pp, in original printed wrappers. Chipped at spine ends and edges, a few stamps of the Jesuits' Library, New Orleans; all else very good. In 1917, the State of Oklahoma passed one of the most stringent Prohibition laws in the nation, which stipulated that "it shall be unlawful for any person in this state to possess any liquor received directly or indirectly from a common or other carrier." The law provided exemptions for hospitals, pharmacists, and scientific institutions, but made was illegal for railroads to transport wine intended for sacramental use. The Catholic Church challenged this "Bone-Dry" law by attempting to ship a small quantity of wine from Oklahoma City to Guthrie and suing when the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway refused to carry the shipment. The district court rejected the Church's religious freedom argument and ruled in favor of the railroad and the state. The Church appealed, and the brief offered here lays out in great detail the role of wine in the Mass and the reasons why "the refusal on the part of the public to transport and deliver said wine renders it impossible for the priests of the Roman Catholic Church to carry on and conduct their religious services," and violates their religious freedom, their right to "equal protection of their property," and interstate commerce laws. The appeal was successful, and in May 1917, the Oklahoma Supreme Court concluded that sacramental wine did not constitute 'intoxicating liquor' and so was exempt from provisions of the law. The Bone Dry Controversy illuminated a growing rift between evangelical and Catholic populations in early twentieth century Oklahoma. (Sources: Oklahoma State Historical Society; Klein, Grappling with the Demon Rum; 1988).