Some temperance crusaders could give as good as they got. Prohibition advocates from the late nineteenth century loved to tell the tale of Paul denton, an itinerant Methodist preacher who held a camp meeting in 1836 in one of the roughest, most disreputable districts in Texas. denton issued handbills promoting a grand barbecue to take place in a shady grove, promising that “to all who attend, the best drink in the world will be furnished, free.” A huge crowd turned out for the feast. When the rougher element demanded to know where the liquor was, Denton gestured to a spring near the grove and said, “There is the drink I promised! Not in the simmering stills, over smoky, fires, choked with poisonous gasses, and surrounded with the stench of sickening odors and rank corruptions, doth your Father in heaven prepare the precious essence of life, the pure cold water, but in the green glade and grassy dell, where the rd deer wanders and the child loves to play, there God brews it.” The crowd’s reaction to Denton’s tick is not recorded.
—Robert F. Moss, Barbecue: The History of an American Institution.