Carry Nation Brings Her Campaign Against Alcohol To Wichita, Kansas
On December 27, 1900, Carry Nation brought her campaign against alcohol to Wichita, Kansas when she smashed the bar at the elegant Carey Hotel.
Earlier that year, Nation abandoned the nonviolent agitation of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in favor of direct action she called "hachetation." Since the Kansas Constitution prohibited alcohol, Nation argued that destroying saloons was an acceptable means of battling the state's flourishing liquor trade.
Born in Kentucky in 1846, Carry Amelia Moore accompanied her family to Missouri in the 1850s. Her first husband, a physician, died of alcohol-related illness early in their marriage. After supporting herself and her small daughter by teaching school, she married David Nation in 1877.
Carrie A. Nation (November 25, 1846 – June 9, 1911) was a member of the temperance movement—which opposed alcohol in pre-Prohibition America—particularly noted for promoting her viewpoint through vandalism. On many occasions, Nation would enter an alcohol-serving establishment and attack the bar with a hatchet. She has been the topic of numerous books, articles and even a 1966 opera by Douglas Moore, first performed at the University of Kansas.
Nation was a large woman nearly 6 feet (180 cm) tall and weighing 175 pounds (80 kg). She described herself as "a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn't like," and claimed a divine ordination to promote temperance by smashing up bars.
The spelling of her first name is ambiguous and both Carrie and Carry are considered correct. Official records say Carrie, which Nation used most of her life, but Carry was used by her father in the family Bible. Upon beginning her campaign against liquor in the early 20th century, she adopted the name Carry A. Nation mainly for its value as a slogan, and had it registered as a trademark in the state of Kansas.
STRIKE FOR THE CAUSE OF TEMP'RANCE,
WIELD IN YOUR MIGHTIEST BLOW… ”— "Strike for the Cause of Temperance," Words by A.W. Carr, music by W. F. Heath, 1878.