Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kansas Poet May Williams Ward Describes Carry A. Nation

Lana Myers in Newton, Kansas, is working on a book about Kansas poet May Williams Ward. She sent this quotation from Ward about meeting Carry Nation in 1901 at a fraternity house in Lawrence. This is from unpublished manuscript in the Wichita State University collections:

  • She was a large tall woman but had a rather motherly look when not engaged in one of her tirades. She had her hatchet in one hand and a Bible in the other, part of the time, but laid them both down on a table to walk up determinedly to two boys who were coming in the door just starting to douse their cigarettes. She snatched them from the boys’ mouths and held them up and out as if vermin, while she talked about their harmfulness and sinfulness. She told the girls that it would injure our children-to-be if we should dare to smoke, and we should even not marry a man who smoked, for heredity’s sake. . . . At one point, looking tired, she sat down momentarily and asked for a drink of water. "Nothing stronger, mind you," she said, almost with a twinkle.