Nation, Carrie, temperance reformer, author and lecturer, was born in Kentucky in the year 1846. Her maiden name was Carrie Moore. Her first marriage was with a Dr. Gloyd, who died from delirium tremens, and her unhappy experience as his wife led her to become an enthusiastic advocate of prohibition. Some time after the death of her first husband she became the wife of David Nation, a lawyer and editor, who was in sympathy with her views on the liquor traffic. After a residence of several years in Texas, they came to Kansas and located at Wichita. Mrs. Nation came into public notice in the winter of 1900-01 by her radical efforts and unusual methods of breaking up saloons. The prohibitory amendment to the Kansas constitution had been in effect for nearly 20 years, yet intoxicating liquors were sold in a number of places in defiance of law. On Dec. 27, 1900, she went into the Carey hotel at Wichita and demolished the mirrors, glassware, etc., in the room where liquors were sold. She was arrested and remained in jail for several days, when she was released on bond, and almost immediately afterward broke up the furniture and emptied the liquors in two more saloons. Late in Jan., 1901, Mrs. Nation visited Topeka, where she had a spirited interview with Gov. Stanley, whom she openly denounced for his failure to enforce the prohibitory laws. Associating with her a few women, she issued a warning to the saloon keepers of that city, but they paid no attention to it, and on Feb. 5, accompanied by a few of her followers, she wrecked two places where liquors were sold. She was arrested and held for a short time, but was released and she then returned home. A mass meeting was held at the Topeka auditorium on Sunday, Feb. 10, to demand the enforcement of the laws. On the 18th, Mrs. Nation and about 100 women raided all the saloons they could find in Topeka. They were arrested, tried and convicted for willful destruction of property, but by this time "Carrie Nation's hatchet" was almost as widely known as the historic hatchet with which George Washington cut down his father's cherry tree. Notwithstanding the decree of the Topeka court, Mrs. Nation made a tour of Kansas towns, leaving in her wake broken furniture and wasted intoxicants. She then began the publication at Topeka of a temperance paper called the "Smasher's Mail." She also wrote some books which reached a sale of 50,000 or more, and later went upon the lecture platform. She finally got into litigation with a lecture bureau, which caused a nervous break down, and in Jan., 1911, she was taken to a sanitarium at Leavenworth, Kan., where she died of paresis on June 9, 1911. The day following her death the Topeka State Journal said editorially: "She was something of a zealot to be sure, a crank, if you will, on use and sale of liquor and tobacco. But it is an undeniable fact that she opened the eyes of Kansans in 1901 to the truth that their prohibition law was being almost wholly ignored. Her joint-smashing crusade was the beginning of law enforcement in this state which has meant so much to Kansas. Her services to the state, therefore, have been of no small proportions. Her services to tottering humanity were also large. She made much money on her lecture tours in this and other lands, but the greater part of it she devoted to helping unfortunates on their way. Carrie Nation is entitled to a chapter in the history of Kansas when the time comes for it to be written and this chapter will show that her life was worth while, and of value to her state."
One of Mrs. Nation's efforts in behalf of suffering humanity was the founding of a home for drunkards' wives at Kansas City, Kan., and it is said that while in New York City on one of her lecture tours she created a sensation by publicly demanding that the occupants of the Vanderbilt box at the Madison Square Garden horse show contribute money for the support of the institution. The home was taken in charge by the associated charities of Kansas City after Mrs. Nation was taken to the sanitarium where she ended her life.Pages 334-335 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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