Today in Texas History – June 2

From the Annals of Prohibition –   In 1911, prohibitionists mourned the death of  Carry Nation.  Nation was born in Kentucky in 1846, but lived in Texas for several years as a child in the 1860s and from 1879 to 1889. While in Texas, Nation claimed to have had numerous mystic experiences and ultimately came to believe that she had been selected by God and that she spoke through divine inspiration.  Her husband, a reporter for the Houston Post, ran afoul of the feuding sides in the Jaybird-Woodpecker War, and the couple relocated to Kansas. In 1892 she helped organize a local chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and was appointed jail evangelist. She began a crusade against alcohol and tobacco that lasted until her disability and death.  She became famous as the hatchet-wielding illegal “joint” wrecker  and berated persons who sold liquor. The sale of souvenir hatchets and earnings from nationwide lecture tours allowed her to pay the fines that resulted from more than thirty arrests. Although she was a national leader of the extremist element of the prohibitionist movement, she never had the unqualified support of the WCTU or of any other national organization.

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