I found this passage in the 1916 booklet by Horatio Stoll titled “How Prohibition Would Affect California.”
Among the world’s great–really great–men, not one can be found who was a total abstainer. Throughout the ages, the men whose names have gone down in history as having achieved something of real note, used wine. No matter in what direction their activities lay, whether in war or in peace, whether in religion, in literature, in art, in science, or in the strenuous field of exploration, they all used alcoholic stimulant in some form or another.
Alexander the Great was noted for his wine drinking; so was Julius Caesar. Christ and His Apostles used wine. Coming to later times, we find the names of Christopher Columbus, Dean Swift, Dryden, Pope, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Nelson, Voltaire, Rousseau, Edmund Burke, Gibbon, Hume, Sheridan, Fox, Goldsmith, Robert Burns, Benjamin Franklin, Byron, Walter Scott, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Dickens, Dumas, Herbert Spencer, Guizot, Carlyle, Mommsen, Ernest Renan, Thackeray, Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Abraham Lincoln, Bismarck, U.S. Grant, Admirals Porter, Farragut and Dewey, Wagner, Verdi, Marconi and Thomas Edison, and an indefinitely long list of other world celebrities–all wine drinkers. . . Total abstinence has never been found hand in hand with momentous accomplishment.
Take that, you prohibitionists!
This was published in 1916, as the Anti-Saloon League and Women’s Christian Temperance Union was working to push national prohibition into the Constitution. The 64-page booklet makes good reading!