Ingersoll's Vices - Cigar Box


Robert Green Ingersoll did have a few vices. He enjoyed a good cigar after a meal. In fact, Ingersoll wrote a salute to tobacco in his 1891 A Christmas Sermon (Dresden Edition 7:348-9). There he described how Columbus saw the Cuban people smoking tobacco and praised the joys of smoking.

This passage was reprinted by the Cuban cigar maker F. E. Fonseca, and included in each box of his premium cigars. These costly cigars were packed into a box resembling a book, with a few leaves of paper bound in below the lid to carry Ingersoll's text. The box exhibited here is one of the last to survive; only one other is known to Ingersoll scholars.

Later in his life Ingersoll had an actual brand of cigars named after him. Ingersoll cigars carried a motto reflecting his agnostic perspective on the afterlife: "Smoke in this world, not the next."







Acquisition funded by James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust