I was researching the background of an old Christmas carol, when I went down a rabbit hole and ended up reading some old newspapers. This led me to a very delightful essay written in support of candy. I found it published on Christmas Eve, 1871. The writer is Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe), who was an American minister and anti-slavery activist. Reverend Beecher lived from 1813 to 1887. Therefore when he wrote this, he likely was referring to himself as the “reverend grandfather”. Enjoy this essay, but be aware it could probably use some fact-checking!

Good sugar is one of the most nutritious elements of food. Pure candy is the purest form of sugar. Eaten in moderation, it is injurious neither to the teeth, the digestion, nor to any other interest of the human system.


Good candy is subject to vile counterfeits.


Let every virtuous man denounce bad candy and honor good, pure sugar candy. It should be eaten all the time. Like fruit or cake and every other product of the field or the oven it should be eaten wisely, discreetly, moderately at suitable times.


Poor, persecuted candy! Thine honor shall never fail while there is an ingenuous soul left alive to love children – a kind old nurse, or a reverend grandfather? But ah, saint or goddess – whichever thou art – destroy all poor candy, that the reign of good candy may no more be restricted by the ignorance and superstition of foolish parents who think they are prudent.


~ Henry Ward Beecher, December 1871

(Image credit: Ylanite Koppens)

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