Thursday, June 2, 2011
100 years Carrie Nation died
remembering you on this day on the 100th anniversary of your death, may you rest in peace!
Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (November 25, 1846 - June 9, 1911) was a member of the temperance movement, which opposed alcohol in pre-Prohibition America. She is particularly noteworthy 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 an opera.
Nation was a large woman, almost 6 feet (180 cm) tall and weighing 175 pounds (79 kg) and of a somewhat stern countenance. 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; the name 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.
Later life, death, and legacy
Nation's anti-alcohol activities became widely known, with the slogan "All Nations Welcome But Carrie" becoming a bar-room staple. She published The Smasher's Mail, a biweekly newsletter, and The Hatchet, a newspaper. Later in life she exploited her name by appearing in vaudeville in the United States and music halls in Great Britain. Nation, a proud woman more given to sermonizing than entertaining, sometimes found these poor venues for her proselytizing.
One of the number of pre-World War I acts that "failed to click" with foreign audiences, Nation was struck by an egg thrown by an audience member during one 1909 music hall lecture at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties. Indignantly, "The Anti-Souse Queen" ripped up her contract and returned to the United States. Seeking profits elsewhere, Nation also sold photographs of herself, collected lecture fees, and marketed miniature souvenir hatchets.
Suspicious that President William McKinley was a secret drinker, Nation applauded his 1901 assassination as a tippler's just deserts.
Near the end of her life Nation moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where she founded the home known as Hatchet Hall. Ill in mind and body, she collapsed during a speech in a Eureka Springs park, and was taken to a hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas. She died there on June 9, 1911,and was buried in an unmarked grave in Belton City Cemetery in Belton, Missouri. The Women's Christian Temperance Union later erected a stone inscribed "Faithful to the Cause of Prohibition, She Hath Done What She Could" and the name "Carry A. Nation"
Her home in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, the Carrie Nation House, was bought by the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the 1950s and was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976. A spring just across the street from Hatchet Hall in Eureka Springs is named after her.