LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – On Nov. 25, 1846, a driving force of the temperance movement was born to a Garrard County farmer and his wife.
A special thanks to Historic Missourians and the Kentucky History Facebook group for providing FOX 56 with information about the life of Caroline Amelia Moore.
Moore, who would eventually become known as “Carry Nation” or “Hatchet Granny” experienced poverty as her family experienced financial setbacks. Her family was also said to have been ripe with mental illness.
At the age of 21, Moore married a young physician named Charles Gloyd, who had fought for the Union in the Civil War. The two were wed on Nov. 21, 1867.
She loved Gloyd dearly but was unaware of his excessive drinking problem until after their wedding. Soon Moore became pregnant and it became clear Gloyd’s drinking problem made him unable to support her so she returned to her family home.
Sept. 27.,. 1868, Carrie gave birth to her daughter, Charlien, whom she named after her husband, who died six months later.
In 1874, she married a journalist, lawyer, and preacher named David Nation and in 1877 they moved to Texas. She bought and ran a hotel in Richmond for 10 years, where she began noticing the negative effects of liquor.
That began her crusade against alcohol.
She initially staged simple protests before entering saloons to serenade customers with hymns, consistent with her deep religious beliefs. Her signature greeting for bartenders was said to be “Good morning destroyer of men’s souls.”
Nation changed the spelling of her name to “Carry A. Nation”, reportedly so it would appear as “Carry A Nation for Prohibition.” Saloons responded to her protests by adopting the slogan, “All Nations Welcome But Carrie”.
According to the Kentucky History group page, on June 5, 1900, Nation received a vision from God telling her to “Go to Kiowa. I’ll stand by you.”
On June 7, she entered the Dobson’s Saloon and announced, “Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard’s fate!” before hurling rocks at the bar. She vandalized two more Kiowa saloons and was said to take a tornado hitting Kansas as divine approval of her actions.
After her husband suggested she use a hatchet in her saloon attacks Nation began enacting what she called “hatchetations”, leading to her 32 arrests. She paid her bail and court fines out of pocket by giving lectures and selling souvenir hatchets and photographs of herself to those attending her lectures.
“I want to do what God tells me to do,” she remembered telling a judge after a “hatchetation” arrest. “God commands me to… ‘Lift up thy voice like a trumpet.’ You see here I am commanded to cry aloud about sin and not to whisper about it.”
Nation was lecturing the evils of drinking in 1911 and collapsed during a speech at Eureka Springs Park in Kansas. She died a few months later on June 9, 1911, in Leavenworth.
Other significant dates this week in Kentucky history
The birth of Calloway County
On Nov. 30, 1822, Kentucky created Calloway County from Hickman County, named in honor of pioneer Richard Callaway. Calloway County was the 72nd country created and covers over 400 square miles.
200 hooded men take over Princeton
In the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 1906, 200 hooded men silently rode down Princeton’s Main Street in columns of twos.
Minutes earlier, some of these men had disarmed the police at the police station, seized telegraph and telephone offices, took over the fire station, and shut off the city water supply.
The men targeted the two large American Tobacco Company’s large warehouses as part of the Black Patch War.
Sticks of dynamite were placed under the buildings, which were doused with kerosene before torches were thrown into the structures. 400,000 pounds of tobacco worth over $100,000 were destroyed.
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The men were drawn back together by three long whistle blasts and they slowly rode out of town while singing “The fires shine bright on my old Kentucky home.”