Today, I find myself thinking of Carry Nation, a woman forgotten by most and never known by most of those younger than 40. Today, Mrs. nation is branded a radical, and maybe she was. However, I have to admire her for standing on what she believed.
“A woman is stripped of everything by them [saloons]. Her husband is torn from her; she is robbed of her sons, her home, her food, and her virtue…Truly does the saloon make a woman bare of all things!”–Carry A. Nation
Carry Nation saw firsthand the devastating results of too much alcohol, and she determined to do something about it, standing on Jeremiah 1:10 to back up her actions, actions that usually involved an axe. Then, on about the 29th of November, 1904, the town of Comanche was surprised by a visit from none other than Carry Nation herself!
Apparently Comanche’s Oscar Callaway was in the town of Lampasas and met Ms. Nation there. He was impressed with her and asked her to travel to Comanche to speak. Now, don’t get the wrong idea. Oscar Callaway did not share Nation’s views on alcohol, but apparently he liked something about her enough to want her to speak in his town.
In 1904, the old Opera House still stood on the east side of the square and that was where the standing room only crowd gathered to hear Carry Nation deliver two lectures on the evil of drink.
People seemed to be very surprised by the congenial woman whose reputation had preceded her, even into the little town of Comanche; however, when she spoke on the topic near and dear to her heart, there was no doubting her seriousness.
“I was County Superintendent W.C.T.U. where I lived, and had great opportunities to see outrages. My business is to fight, not to sit in a rocking chair, and I am fighting a good fight. I am here to destroy the works of the devil. No one will deny the saloon is the work of the devil, not even Mr. Callaway. The initials of my name are C.A.N. I fight under the Great Commander and I go and do what he orders without question.” Comanche Chief, December 3, 1904
If you would like to know more about Carry Nation, click here.