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History of the United States
Decade - 1900s
Celebrity Births Deaths and Ages

Who is Carrie Nation?


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August 25, 2010 3:28AM

Carry Nation was the member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union best known for attacking saloons and other drinking establishments with a hatchet.

The spelling of Nation's first name is the source of much confusion and both Carrie and Carry are considered correct. Official records indicate it was Carrie, which Nation and others used most of her life. However, Carry was used by her father in the family Bible. Upon beginning her campaign against alcohol, 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. She also believed that it was providential and that she would "Carry A. Nation" to prohibition.

Cary nation was about six feet tall and a strong and formidable woman. Not only did she attack those who sold alcohol, but was also assaulted herself in protection of property, and sometimes in self-defense. Performing "hatchetations" was a physically dangerous activity. The Kansas WCTU presented her with a gold medallion inscribed, "To the Bravest Woman in Kansas."

With her nation-wide notoriety, she published a biweekly newsletter (The Smasher's Mail), a newspaper (The Hatchet), an autobiography30 and later in life exploited her name by appearing in vaudeville, selling photographs of herself, charging to lecture, selling miniature hatchets, and acting in a play titled Hatchetation. Her lecture circuit included both Canada and the United Kingdom.

Nation was generous with her money and died almost penniless in 1911 at the age of 65. She was controversial in life and remains so today.