The temperance movement was a powerful force in America during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was led by a group of women who refused to drink and were committed to fighting the use of alcohol. One of the most famous leaders was a woman named Carry Amelia Moore Nation.
In 1846, she was born in Garrard County, Kentucky and grew up to be a strong Christian. In her later years, she was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
Her first husband, David Nation, was a preacher and editor 19 years her senior. Unfortunately, he drank too much and died in an early age.
It was in this situation that she decided to give her life to the cause of prohibition. She was frustrated by failed attempts at peaceful protests and unanswered letters to lawmakers.
She became a jail evangelist and eventually established a chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in her hometown of Medicine Lodge, Kansas. She also traveled the country speaking against the evils of alcohol.
Her attacks against saloons prompted front-page news in Kansas and she formed a legion of followers who called themselves the "Home Defender's Army." She would smash her way through towns, singing hymns and exhorting her followers to "smash, smash, smash!" Her hatchet became an iconic symbol of her crusade against alcohol, and she was able to convince many people of its value. She was eventually arrested for her antics and fined for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. She later used her name to sell pewter hatchet pins.