Not Past It - The Saloon Smasher


It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday in Boston.

Massachusetts, one of those damp New England days when all you want to do, is slide out of your wet coat, warm your hands and order a drink at a cozy bar.

This particular bar has a speakeasy Vibe, heavy velvet curtains and dark wood accents, but that’s not the first thing you notice.


When you walk in we sent reporter Amory sivertson to go check it out.

It’s like a full-sized much taller than me probably like seven or eight foot tall picture a black and white photograph of a woman and she has her Hatchet in her left hand.


She has her Bible in her right hand and she looks almost most kind of nun like dressed in all black with like a white bib looking thing and her facial expression says, don’t fuck with me Amory.

Spoke to a manager at the Carrie Nation Cocktail Club about the hatchet wielding woman in the photo, the bars name sake, Carrie Nation was a woman who was very much against alcohol.


So she thought she was going to be God’s savior and she was going to come to the rescue and save all the souls from alcoholism and so she would Temperance Crusader is not the Most obvious mascot for a Speakeasy bar.

It’s partly a joke but it’s also partly and omage.


She went around to the bars and would destroy anything she possibly could with her Hatchet and she was noted as saying if I’m going to be photographed me forget with my Bible and my Hatchet.

It’s a tribute to the larger than life story of one of history’s, most maligned and misunderstood figures whose remembered largely as the ultimate fun killer.


From gimlet media.

This is not past it a show about the stories.

We can’t quite leave behind every episode.

We take a moment from that very same week in history and tell you the story of how it shaped our world.

I’m Simone plannin this week marks 103 years since the start of prohibition.


When selling alcohol was made illegal across the entire country, talk about a dry January, but if you think the idea of prohibition is crazy, just wait till you hear about the shenanigans that led up to it.

Today, we’re talking about one temperance movement activists who made it her life’s mission to get America sober.


Using any means necessary carry a nation, the hatchet swinging, Madam of temperance, breaks all the rules.

And a whole lot of glassware that’s coming up.

It’s a warm summer night at the turn of the 20th century and the small town of Medicine Lodge Kansas the air is filled with the sound of clip-clopping horses.


Pulling buggies across dirt paths and inside a modest Brick House 53, year-old Carrie Nation meals at the foot of her bed to pray.

Carrie is a Temperance activist prim and proper and a tight bun.


And each night, her prayers are the same.

She wants to rid the country of alcohol.

This was the lead up to Prohibition States and counties across the country were starting to put restrictions on, selling alcohol, carries home, state of Kansas had been dry since 1881.


But in towns that bordered, wet States towns, like Leavenworth, Caldwell and Kiowa, they still sold alcohol and saloons.

So on this particular night, Carrie clasps her hands together and begs God to use her to wipe out the corrupting scourge of alcohol, she turns out the lamp goes to sleep and as Dawn breaks right as carries about to wake up, she gets a reply.


She wrote about it in her autobiography.

We got a voice actor to bring it to life.

I heard these Woods very distinctly go to Kiowa and I’ll Stand By You.

You carry was like you don’t got to tell me twice my heavenly, dude, I sprang from my bed as if electrified for I understood that it was God’s will for me to go to Kiowa to break or smash the saloons Carey was willing to do this because as far as she was concerned, the saloons had already stolen the love of her life.


She got married very, very young.

There were kind of breathlessly in love with each other.

That’s Trod a professor at Villanova who wrote a book called smashing the liquor machine.

And he says that carries Vendetta against alcohol started because of her.


First husband, Charles Charles Lloyd was a decorated surgeon, during the Civil War on the union side, they had a very loving wonderful relationship, Carrie and Charles had a whirlwind romance love letters, sharing poetry ought to be horny in the 1800s.


Charles was a big drinker when he met Carrie, but she was young and starry-eyed.

They got married in 1867 and she continued to ignore his drinking until she couldn’t.

He would drink until the dawn in many cases at the local Saloon and he died.


Very young from alcoholism less than two years into her marriage and six months after the birth of her daughter, Carrie became a widow Though devastating Carrie’s Story was far from unique in those days, the mid to late 1800s.


So many lives were being turned upside down by.

Alcoholism, asylums were filled with men suffering from alcohol psychosis hospitals.

Regularly, saw patients for dipsomaniacs, the 19th century, word for alcohol addiction and liver cirrhosis, ran rampant, it was fully expected.


The American worker was not showing up, Work Monday morning.

I mean, we were on a national binge that’s Tara neurin author of the book.

A Woman’s Place is in the brew house.

She says that in the 1800’s drinking culture in, the u.s. looked very different.


And around that time, the average American was drinking. 7 gallons of pure alcohol in a single year.

That’s like drinking nearly two bottles of whiskey every week.

And they were often drinking and saloons.

Which by the way, were pretty terrible.



CD Smoky dark dirty people spitting Tobacco on the floor.

I mean all your worst stereotypes.

That’s what saloons became the saloons of Kerry’s time were wild with.


Practically no regulations in place most States had Minimum drinking age.

Many bars were open.

Round the Clock and almost exclusively served hard liquor.

People got blasted.

They could drink as much as they wanted for as long as they wanted.


Oh, you know what, there was actually one rule in a lot of places, it was actually a legal for women to go into a saloon.

A lot of local ordinances kept them out, but even though by and large women weren’t allowed loud in this booze-soaked culture was affecting them and their families.


You know, so many men would just go to the bar right from work drink away their paychecks and that led to a lot of domestic abuse child, abuse poverty, Etc.

And then there were women like Carrie who quite literally lost their husbands to The Saloon.


And so it was really against that kind of backdrop that a lot of women, really Added to build conviction that a lot of society’s ills could be solved if they just did away with drink.

In the 30 years.


After the death of her first husband, Kerry raised her daughter and she got remarried to a man named David Nation, but the new mrs.

Nation, never lost her conviction.

That without alcohol.

The first love of her life would still be alive.


In fact, her hatred of alcohol.

Only grew stronger all the way up to that humid summer night at the turn of the century when Carrie pleaded with God and finally got her divine apply.

I understood that it was God’s will for me to go to Kiowa to break or smash the saloons.


Almost immediately Carey began her preparations.

She spent her days.

Walking the roads near her house, picking up, stones and pieces of brick that fit nicely in her Palm.

Here’s Mark shroud again in this you put them like gift wrap so they didn’t you know, arousing a particular suspicion.


She had this all premeditated.

Well in advance on June 6th 1910 reset off on the 25 mile horse and buggy trip to Iowa, which had a dozen saloons for it’s 800 residents when she arrived in the Town Centre.


She stepped down onto the dusty ground approaching an illegally operating Saloon along the main street.

She pushed past The Swinging Doors and stood in the entrance.

The men’s slumped on their bar stools.

Barely noticed still drunk from a long night of boozing.


The owner looked up cautiously from behind the bar.

Get out of the way.

I don’t want to strike you, but I’m going to break up this den of Vice carry whipped, the stones she’d collected across the bar, some of the men jumped out of the way and cowered in the corner, but they weren’t her targets carry aimed for anything.


That looked breakable shattering, the saloons mirrors, glasses and bottles, Then satisfied, with the wreckage, she took off for the bar across the street where she did it all over again.

Then in a third Saloon, when a break didn’t do the trick of shattering the mirror.


Behind the bar Carey looked around for more ammo.

I was standing by the billiard table on which there was one ball.

I said, Thank God and picked it up through it and it made a hole in the mirror.

In a small town news travels fast by the time Carrie exited the third bar, a buzzing crowd had gathered outside.


It’s like 8:00 in the morning in this, this bustling little rural town.

This is obviously the biggest thing to ever happen in Kiowa Kansas and she takes the opportunity to make something of a stump speech.

I have destroyed three of your places of business, and if I have broken a statute of Kansas put me in jail, if I am not a log, Breaker your mayor and councilman are, you must arrest.


One of us for if I am not a criminal, they are Remember selling alcohol was already illegal in Kansas.

These Bars weren’t supposed to be open in the first place but still carry had just busted up a lot of private property.


So Town officials had to figure out what to do with her they huddled together and they ultimately decided that they weren’t going to arrest your.

They weren’t going to press charges because she was, right.

Carrie got back in her buggy and returned home to Fanfare news of her smashings.


And Kiowa made headlines across the state and almost overnight.

She became a celebrity in the temperance movement.

This larger national movement to eradicate, alcohol had been picking up steam since 1826 and Kerry was more than happy to be its mascot at this point.


The movement was largely being led by two groups.

The mostly male anti-saloon league.

And for the ladies, the women’s Christian Temperance, Union, the women’s Christian Temperance, Union starts, out, in Ohio, and turns into a nationwide, Grassroots social Organization.


That is probably the single largest social group in the United States throughout the 1800s and early 1900s.

The wctu was an all women’s organization whose goal was to close down saloons where booze was already illegal and to achieve prohibition where it wasn’t and because they didn’t have the right to vote.


This was the early 1900’s.

After all, they spread their message in other ways, women going and non-violently protesting outside of Saloons trying to shame the saloon Keepers into closing up shop.

The wctu work towards prohibition and women’s suffrage, but also other Progressive causes acclamation for immigrants bridge building with labor unions and workers rights movements, wctu ran, huge kindergartens, which would allow women to work and have our own source of income that was kind of revolutionary and contrary to the picture, you might have in your head of the wctu as a bunch of mean.


Judgy old ladies, they took a surprisingly empathetic approach to Temperance.

They weren’t going to bars to scold drinkers.

They saw the men in saloons as victims, being pushed deeper into addiction.

By those who sold the booze namely, the saloon owners carry had been active in the wctu for almost a decade.


She even started her own local chapter But unlike carry the other ladies in the wctu, mostly went about things non-violently, writing petitions calling their representatives and going to saloons to pray for the men inside.


So, after carries Saloon smashing spree, and Kiowa the wctu basically handed her a yellow card and said, hey cool.

It the Kansas chapter president came to carry privately and asked her to make it very Clear that the wctu did not support her smashings.


Carrie, however, was unfazed.

She was less concerned about her standing in the organization.

Then she was with how to make her next smashing even more destructive.

Her husband made a suggestion David Nations is kind of quipped offhand that you know she could do so much more damage if you used a hatchet instead of these bricks and she said that’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever said to me.


So a few months after Kiowa in January of 1901 Carey began attacking saloons with Her new weapon of choice, a hatchet, and she went on a smashing tour from Wichita to Pittsburgh all the way to New York’s, Coney Island newspaper, headlines.


Followed her trail of what she called, Hatchet, ations carries Hatchet, left scars on Fox Township man, at Wichita Kansas a unique woman, with a unique Mission tells Eagle God, Sent her mrs.


Nation, stirs up a big Breeze, departs, and her usual hurricane manner when Kerry arrived in the Town Saloon owners knew what was coming, they board up their windows and even hang signs out front.

All Nations.


Welcome, except Carrie.

Wow, old-timey burn, alert.

The negative press didn’t faze carry.

In fact, she saw a way to use it to her advantage.

If everyone was going to paint her to be some crazed fanatic why not lean into it and build a brand around it so in 1903 she changed her name the spelling of it.


Anyway it was Carrie CA RR IE and then when she gained some notoriety and fame she changed it to carry with a why carry a nation?

And so the idea is that she was heading up this movements, that would be coming Nationwide movements for the betterment of all.



Carry a nation built a brand and makes powerful enemies including of all people, Thomas Edison, all will be explained after the break.

Greetings and Hatchet ations before the break anti-alcohol activists Carrie Nation was on the warpath smashing up saloons from coast to coast two years into her hatching.


Carry a nation had become a certified Temperance celebrity By 1903, she was putting out a newsletter called the Smashers male always signing off as carry.

A nation, your loving home Defender.

She sold little pewter pins shaped like, what else hatchets, I mean, what’s a movement without some merch, right?


Part of the sale of these pins and newsletters, went to bailing carry out of jail.

When she got arrested, which was often carry was thrown in jail. 32 times between 1900 and 1910.

At first, she had her husband to bail her out.


But in 1901, when Kerry was arrested, yet again, until Pika, that was the last straw, their relationship didn’t last very long after that he filed for divorce author and Professor Mark shroud again, but honestly, who needs a husband.


When you have a hatchet carry kept going?

No matter the repercussions.

She was And she was chaste people hated her.

Yeah, sometimes it did get really physical, she had eggs thrown at her.

A chair broken, over her head, she had an Irate saloonkeeper, take a pistol, and hold it to her Temple and threatened to blow her brains out.


One Saloon owner, even sent his wife to punch carry right in the face and he didn’t stop there.

He hired a couple prostitutes to go and beat her within an inch of her life and apparently she took the licks and stumbled into a local butcher shop and emerged.


A couple minutes later with a chop and held the mate over her swollen eye, and then just kept going back to it.

Violent confrontations like this one.

Didn’t slow her roll.

Hi, I’m not afraid of your gun.

Maybe it would be a good thing for a saloonkeeper to kill Carrie Nation.


Because what she really cared about was her Divine Mission.

I would be a martyr for the cause of temperance and maybe that would Elevate the cause even more than if I were, you know, if I were alive shortly after she got punched by that one Saloon owner’s wife, Carrie went to plead her case, against booze to the governor of Kansas.


When she got to his office, she sat down pointed to her.

Face and said Governor, you gave me that black eye.

But all the governor had to say in response was you are a woman but a woman must know A Woman’s Place.


It can’t come in here and raise this kind of disturbance when she smashed up These Bars.

She says you wouldn’t give me the vote.

So I had to use a rock.

I would have used other options if I had them but I don’t.

So here we are.

And here’s the thing Kerry’s campaign of saloon destruction was working.


Remember Kiowa the sight of her first smashing shortly after her trip officials shut down the Dozen saloons in town, every single one, All this, put her in the crosshairs of more than just Salud owners wives by calling attention, to the dangers of alcohol, she wasn’t just a threat to business.


She was a threat to an entire system of power.

Every city of any size had what they called, the liquor machine, if you wanted to run a saloon, oftentimes you need to pay off the local police.

You had to pay off the local politicians in the early 1900s.



Weren’t just places to grab a pint on a Saturday.

They were epicenters of political power, Democrats and Republicans alike, would hold their nominating conventions.

There, the saloon Keepers became sort of like the king makers in many cases.


So whenever election day would roll around, they drum up all the drunks and and get them to the polls and tell them which person to vote for.

If Carrie Nation was going to threaten this machine, the people in power, we’re going to undermine her efforts by using every method available to them.


In press coverage.

At the time, Carrie Nation was described as both, frumpy and terrifying.

A lumbering six-foot-tall sexless monster.

She was a threat, but she was also a punch line.

Oh, she was crazy.

Oh, she was menopausal.


She was half cracked and she thought that she was communing with God.

She became so well-known.

That Thomas Edison.

Yes, the guy who gave us the light bulb released not one, but two silent films about carry and he cast a be female actor to play her.


She was kind of a laughingstock, the local press just kind of saw her as a nuisance and that this was something to be, mocked something to be made fun of, and it was overlaid with all sorts of misogyny that came with that time period.

All this might be why we remember.


Carry the way we do an unhinged hysterical.

Woman determined to stop male fun.

She wasn’t six feet tall, by the way, she was five foot seven at most she also wasn’t the caricature.

They made her out to be.


Throughout carries Peak years, while she was off smashing saloons.

She was also quietly advancing.

The many Progressive causes championed by the temperance movement.

She ran a hotel and her little Kansas town that offered free food and shelter to women and children who are struggling and often fleeing abusive men, and despite living.


And post-civil War Kansas a place that was deeply segregated.

She didn’t discriminate when it came to tenants and this often brought her Into direct confrontation with other members of her community, who did not like the fact that she would allow African-Americans to not only stay at her hotel, but to live there often times four weeks or four months for free, over the course of her life.


She also opened to women’s shelters.

The home for drunkards wives.

The first domestic shelter in Kansas and Hatchet Hall a multi-generational.

Female commune this community for women to come together and help each other.


It was Kind of an old age home but also a battered women’s shelter, she was very much a Trailblazer in a lot of these social justice issues.

Carry a nation died of natural causes in 1911 at the age of 64, almost a decade.


Before both prohibition and women’s suffrage went into effect, Carrie was buried in a family, plot in Missouri with an Epitaph.

She wrote herself in advance carved into her tombstone.

Are the words she hath done.


What she could on its face.

It seems like a good thing Carrie didn’t live to see prohibition because it’s largely remembered as a, massive failure, organized crime, thrived and people continued to booze.


They were just drinking much worse quality liquor.

Now that a lot of it had to be made at home.

It wasn’t all a wash though.

The prohibition era.

Acted like any good dry.

January is supposed to American society.


Took a break from All at least on the books and after a 13 year Hiatus, our national drinking culture.

Actually did look, might I say refreshed, following prohibition, legislation solidified.


Some of the regulations we know today, liability laws to prevent over surveying a minimum drinking age in every state.

Women were now allowed to drink with the boys, and maybe more importantly, we were thinking, A little differently about booze.


It really became kind of a new recognition only in this time period that there’s more going on here than we thought.

So trying to figure out.

Okay, what are the social scientific ramifications of alcoholism, right?

Arson goes down.

If we restrict alcohol, can we see how much crime goes down?


Can we chart these things?

This mindset shift along with industry regulation, had real public health benefits.

By the time prohibition ended in 1933.

There was a marked decrease, Public, drunkenness, liver cirrhosis, and alcohol.


Poisoning certainly, an improvement from carries day.

I remember learning about the temperance movement in school and thinking it was run by some killjoy control freaks wanting to impose their own value system on everyone else, after hearing Carrie Nation story, I now know, it’s a lot more complicated than that.


While the history books may have made her a caricature.

She was clear about how she saw herself.

Your loving home Defender, spreading her message with the only tool that got people’s attention.


Not passed it as a Spotify original produced by gimlet and zsp media.

This episode was produced by Olivia Briley next week.

Get your throwing wine ready because we’re talking about Housewives from the Bravo universe and Beyond the rest of our team is producer.


Rimowa Philip our associate.

Producers are Nick, Delle, Rose, and Lauren Newcomb.

The supervising producer is Erica Morrison editing.

By Kelly Prime, Andrea be Scott is our executive editor voice acting by Alicia Neu, fact-checking by Jan akkerman, sound design and mixing by Emma monger and Haley Shaw.


Original music by Sachs kicks, Ave Willie Green, J bless and Bobby.

Lord, our theme song is Toko Liana by Coco, Co with music supervision by Liz Fulton, technical Direction by Zach Schmidt show art by Elysee Harvin and Talia Rahman.

The executive producer at CSP media is Zach Stewart Ponte the executive producer from gimlet is Matt shilts special thanks to Amory sivertson Tamriel jr.


And the staff and patrons of the Carrie Nation Cocktail Club, and to Lydia Pole, Green Abbie ruzicka Dan Behar gen hon, Emily wiedemann, list, Styles, and Ariel Joseph, follow not past it.

Now to listen for free exclusively on Spotify, click the little bell next to the follow button to get notifications for new episodes and while you’re there hey why don’t you write as 5 Stars?


You can follow me on Twitter at Simone palana and thanks for Hangin.

We’ll see you next week.

Cheers to carry your Temperance, efforts were unsuccessful.

But you led to a bar that made this drink and it’s just great.

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