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Carrie Nation: Topics in Chronicling America

While wielding a hatchet, Carrie "Saloon Wrecker" Nation promoted the temperance movement in the early 1900s. This guide provides access to material related to “Carrie Nation” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Mrs. Carrie Nation in the Topeka Jail" March 14, 1901. Crittenden Press (Marion, KY), Image 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

"Saloon-wrecker" Carrie Nation barrels through Kansas bars wielding a hatchet in the name of temperance. Run out and beaten by locals, Nation lands in thirteen jails across the state but stubbornly continues her violent assault of saloons. In 1903, she lays down her hatchet and continues her work more peacefully, traveling the country to lecture in support of the temperance movement until her death in 1911. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


May 31, 1900 Carrie Nation destroys stock at various saloons in Kiowa, KS.
December 27, 1900 Carrie Nation is jailed for smashing a nude painting and mirror in a Wichita saloon.
February 9, 1901 One thousand people greet Carrie arriving in Des Moines, IA for her temperance lecture tour.
February 18, 1901 Carrie's followers and temperance groups are reported to be active around the state of Kansas.
October 16, 1902 Following confrontation with the owner, Carrie is physically thrown from saloon in Austin, TX.
March 1, 1903 Carrie states she now uses bible instead of hatchet to fight for her cause.
April 7, 1903 Carrie visits Salt Lake City, UT and sells hatchet trinkets as souvenirs.
January 22, 1908 Carrie voices support for the right of women to vote.
June 9, 1911 Carrie Nation dies in a Leavenworth, KS sanatorium.