|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
|USA: 19th Century
Sylvester Graham (1795-1851)
Inventor of graham flour and the graham cracker
Sylvester Graham was an American Presbyterian minister (ordained in 1826) who preached on temperance and stressed whole-wheat flour and vegetarian diets. He was known for his graham crackers. His Graham Journal of Health and Longevity preached his principles of good health. He compared people physiologically to orangutans, and concluded that vegetarian food was natural for both primates.
Graham had many devoted followers, known as Grahamites, who slavishly
followed his principles, which included temperance, sexual restraint,
and baths, in addition to vegetarianism. He was so famous that his lectures
on proper living were attended by thousands, and he was able to hold his
audiences spellbound. He had many disciples who also worked diligently
to further the vegetarian cause. When the British
Vegetarian Society was founded in 1847, he helped found a similar
group in America (see American
Vegetarian Society ).
from Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace, _Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898_; New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999