John B. Gough
John B. Gough (1817-1886) Born in Sandgate, Kent, England in 1817, Gough immigrated to the United States when he was only twelve years old. His mother and sister also came to America. His mother died of a stroke and Gough, despondent, began to drink. He married in 1838. The couple had a daughter but unfortunately, both mother and child died within days of each other. By the age of 25, Gough was unemployed, homeless, and a confirmed drunkard. In 1842 he attended a temperance meeting in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he took a pledge to totally abstain from liquor. He began to tell his story to eager audiences and soon embarked on a career of lecturing against the evils of drink. During his career, Gough delivered some 9,600 lectures to more than nine million people in America, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
When he died in 1886, the New York Times wrote that he “was probably better known in this country and in Great Britain than any other public speaker.” Mr. Gough was one of this country’s most influential social reformers who helped to solve one of America’s most pressing problems. He was a witnessing Christian, a personal friend of Charles Spurgeon, and shared the pulpit in Boston (1877) during a “Temperance Day” meeting with D. L. Moody