Carry Nation

Carry Nation

Carry Moore, the daughter of a prosperous plantation owner, was born in Kentucky on 25th November, 1846. She married Dr. Charles Gloyd in 1867 but left him because of his drinking. After his death she married the lawyer David Nation.

Carry Nation ran a small hotel in Columbia, Texas. Later the family moved to Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where David Nation became pastor of the local church.

A supporter of women's suffrage, Nation became an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The main objective of the WCTU was to persuade all states to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

In 1880 Kansas adopted a constitutional amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages, except for medicinal purposes. When saloon owners violated the law, Nation went to the bar and used to sing hymns and pray for the souls of the patrons.

On 1st June, 1900 Nation began to take direct action against people violating the law by attacking three illegal saloons in Kiowa. At first she used stones and brickbats but later employed a hatchet to destroy furniture and mirrors in these saloons. At Wichita she attacked a picture of a nude woman in a saloon and as a result was kept in jail for five weeks.

Between 1900 and 1910 Nation was arrested 30 times and spent a great deal of time in prison. Her autobiography, The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation, helped to publicize her campaign. One New York saloon put up a sign: "All Nations Welcome Except Carry!"

Carry Nation died on 9th June, 1911.