Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Carrie Nation's Visit

In the winter of 1907, temperance leader Carrie Nation (1846-1911) stopped in  New Orleans on her way to winter in Guadalajara, Mexico. On December 19, she entered the St. Charles Hotel Cafe and Bar (image above) at 4:00 pm in order to condemn alcohol consumption. The Daily Picayune reported that customers responded with shouts of 'Put her out!' and 'You've got no chance in New Orleans, Carrie!'

Before reading her temperance poems, Nation berated the decor:

"Glad female figures, scantily attired, adorned the walls, and these were a special object for Carrie's comment. She 'chewed the rug plum off,' as the popular expression goes, and a number of the 200 or more men who crowded the cafe before she had finished her five-minute talk were visibly touched, although the majority were smiling and winking at the novelty of hearing a woman who was bold enough to penetrate the mysteries of the swinging screen doors at the entrance."

Thwarted by her attempts to meet the hotel-bar proprietor, Nation departed to address the Y.M.C.A.

Quoted matter from: "Carrie Nation of Saloon Smashing Fame is in Tub City." The Daily Picayune (20 December 1907): p. 11.

Image above: Gravier Street West from St. Charles. Circa 1907. Photomechanical reproduction from unidentified source. Miscellaneous Photographs Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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