MOUNT VERNON — Elixir and the Ohio Humanities Council, in the fifth season of the Chautauqua Series, “Spend an Evening with...”, will present Carry A. Nation (aka Susan Kahrl) on Thursday at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St., Mount Vernon.
When Carry A. Nation toted a Bible and wielded a hatchet, people listened. Actually it didn’t matter if they listened or not. She started out in 1889 with her temperance work. She started a branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and campaigned for the enforcement of Kansas’s ban on the sales of liquor. Her methods escalated from simple protests to serenading saloon patrons with hymns accompanied by a hand organ, to greeting bartenders with pointed remarks such as, “Good morning, destroyer of men’s souls.”
Dissatisfied with the results of her efforts, Nation began to pray to God for direction. On June 5, 1899, she felt she received her answer in the form of a heavenly vision. As she described it: “The next morning I was awakened by a voice which seemed to be speaking in my heart, these words, “I’ll stand by you. Take something in your hands, and throw at these places in Kiowa and smash them.” Alone or accompanied by hymn-singing women she would march into a bar, and sing and pray while smashing bar fixtures and stock with a hatchet. Between 1900 and 1910 she was arrested some 30 times for “hatchetations,” as she came to call them. Nation paid her jail fines from lecture-tour fees and sales of souvenir hatchets.
Portraying Nation will be Susan Kahrl, actress and retired teacher. Opening the program is the return of The Two Tones, comprised of Samantha Turner and Amy K. Stoner, singing songs to set the tone and create the atmosphere of the times in which Nation lived.
These programs and the upcoming Lyceum Series, that kicks off May 6 as part of the Heritage Centre’s First Friday’s celebration and features the return of James Bowsher and his stories of objects collected from all over the United States, are brought to the public on a donation basis and start at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
For more information on upcoming chautauquas and lyceums, visit www.elixirpresents.com, www.VisitKnoxOhio.org or call 392-3018.
Published on April 25, 2011