This Week's Story

She was called a brave crusader, a voice for women, and a wild woman: Carry A Nation.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

The Problem of Booze and a Hatchet!

“Some people call Carry A. Nation a wild woman. Emily, what do you think about her?”

“She’s been a rugged crusader against alcohol usage since the Civil War. She’s a strong-minded woman and you should see her. She’s almost six feet tall and weighs about 175 pounds. She’s known to carry a hatchet and bust up a saloon.”

“How disgusting! No decent woman goes into saloons.”

“Frances, she doesn’t believe any female voice is going to stop the problem of alcohol in our families. Her first husband was an alcoholic. Nothing she said helped him. I’ve trouble in my home too! Do you know what my husband does after work every Friday?”

“Emily, your home life is not my business.”

“Maybe we women need to stop hiding our home problems. Many of us have the same trouble. Don’t forget Friday is payday for most of the men around here. They get paid in cash and go to the saloons.

When they get home some are drunk and have spent all they earned that week. They hope for an advance on their next week’s pay. Then we have to charge food at the neighborhood grocery store and struggle to pay our bills.”

“Yes, I’ve seen the men leaving the saloons. I’m glad my husband has better sense. What do you think women can do?”

“We need Carry A. Nation’s determination. She believes that the United States should have a law that forbids the making and sale of alcohol, and that the law should and can be enforced.”

“I don’t think so. Men would never use their power to make that happen and women can’t vote.”

“Maybe women need a plan. Come to my house tonight. We’re having a W.C.T.U. meeting and Carry will be our guest speaker.”

As Frances got ready to leave that evening her husband commented, “Frances, I thought you weren’t going to get involved in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and for sure not with that fanatic Carry A. Nation.”

“Fred, you’re a reasonable man. You know I’m not a radical.”

That evening Frances listened carefully to Carry’s presentation.

“Women, I loved and married Dr. Charles Gloyd when I was 20. I soon discovered that he was an alcoholic. Within ten months I had a baby girl. Somehow she was affected by my husband’s alcoholism and has mental health difficulties. Within a year of her birth my husband was dead.

“That was 1869. Now it is 1900. What has changed? Yes, the W.C.T.U. has been founded and works to solve problems alcohol is causing in our families and society, but we women cannot vote. The saloons are still full every Friday night and you know what happens in too many of our homes.

“Kansas has adopted a constitutional amendment against the production and sale of alcoholic beverages except for medicinal purposes, but nobody pays attention to the amendment.

“Nonviolence is not working! That is why I went to Dobson’s Saloon in Kiowa, Kansas with rocks, bricks, and bottles. I told the men there, ‘I have come to save you from a drunkard’s fate.’ Ladies, I obeyed the message God gave me and I destroyed the liquor supply of my rum-soaked and whisky-swilled opponents.”

As Frances listened, she thought, I don’t agree with these tactics that Carry A. Nation is using.

This is Barbara Steiner anticipating another visit to the pre-Prohibition Era in the United States. Please check out

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