Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy

Sign the Resolution
Contents | Feedback | Search
DRCNet Home
| Join DRCNet
DRCNet Library | Schaffer Library

Historical References

General Histories | Ancient History | 1800-1850 | 1860 | 1870 | 1880 | 1890
1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990
Use and Need of the Life of Carrie Nation

The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation.



In the summer of 1903 I took a Fall River boat from Boston to New York. These boats are said to be the finest in the world. There was quite a commotion among the several hundred passengers when I went aboard, and the door was blocked in the women's cabin to get a look at the Crazy Smasher from Kansas.

Men were smoking pipes, cigars and cigarettes. I said: "Men, get away from the door with your smoke, you make me sick." They paid no attention to me. I went to the clerk and complained of being compelled to submit to the outrage of being subject to the poisonous fumes, in such a manner as to attract the attention of all to the matter. The Clerk told me to be quiet and sit down. I said, "I will, if I have a decent place to stay, why do you not have these men get away from the door?" But they were men, we were only women and children. Oh, the outrage on poor mothers in delicate condition, to be subject to such treatment by selfish, dirty men. I believe every one who smokes' in a public place should be fined. If men will smoke or commit nuisance, let it be where others are not injured. I have no right to bring a skunk into any public place. People should be taught that others have the right to object to anything done that is wrong.

While I was still persisting in my request to the men to leave the door, I was shown my state room; to which there were two doors, one leading from the corridor and the other opening out next the water. The captain, accompanied by the First and Second mate appeared at the former, saying. "Madam, you are to keep your room this evening." I replied, while eating a sandwich, "I do not feel like this, and neither will I." Said he, "I will see that you do" at the same time telling the officers to lock the doors. I said: "You can lock the doors to restrain me of my liberty, but having paid my fare for the service of this company, I will tie up this boat, when we reach New York, and you will learn that I can turn a lock as well as yourself. I saw his countenance change. Mr. Furlong, my manager, who was on the boat, and almost shaking with fear, began to make excuse for me, etc, etc, but I said, "Never mind, Mr. Furlong, I can attend to this little captain and myself too, he said no more. The three men walked out of the corridor, shutting the door after them, but did not lock it, in a few moments, they returned and opened both doors for fear I would think they were locked. This was about supper time. When I finished my lunch, and, having put on a clean tie and fixed my hair, I took from my valise a lot of little hatchets and put them in a little leather case I carry by a strap over my shoulder. Thus equipped I entered the ladies cabin, where there were perhaps fifty people sitting. When I went in, they began to look at one another, some smiled, I knew they had heard of the captain trying to prevent my coming out. Taking my seat on a sofa in the middle of the room, I was listening to the lovely string band when some one came up and opened a conversation with me. After a while I was quite surrounded and the cabin soon becoming crowded some one asked to see a little hatchet, so I opened my satchel to show them. One of the officers who had come to the State Room with the captain, had been standing near the stairway, and when he saw the people begin to press to me to get the hatchets, he came up saying, "Madam, you are not allowed to sell these here." I replied, "You sell wine, beer, whiskey, tobacco, cigarettes and anything that will drug these people. Now these are my own little souvenirs, and they will advertise my cause, help me, and be a little keep sake from the hand that raised the hatchet, so I claim the right to sell them, where you have no right to sell bad things." He went up to see the captain, who said, "I am too busy to fool with that woman." So he came down, and called up Mr. Furlong, asking him to compell me to stop selling hatchets, but he told him he could not prevent Mrs. Nation doing anything she had set her head to. We had a nice time. I repeated poetry on the evils of drink and smoking, all were happy, and at ten o'clock, I bade good-night to many friends who regarded me not as the wild vicious woman, but one who meant well.

Next morning when we went ashore in New York, and were identifying our baggage, a small man was passing, Mr. Furlong remarked in an undertone, "Our captain." He had changed his uniform to go ashore, and I had not recognized him. I extended my hand which he took, and I said, "Captain, I know you were told I was a nuisance," "Yes, they said you would raise the devil, but if anyone thinks you are a fool they are very much mistaken." We parted in a very pleasant humor. Thus it is, my life is a constant contention, but there have been many laughable circumstances and none hurt. I can truly say that there is no ill will in my heart toward a creature God has made, but it is a hatred for the enemy of mankind for I have an intense hatred for the enemies of those I intensely love.