Carrie Nation in Ann Arbor, May 3, 1902
Carrie A. Nation (1846-1911), the "Vessel of Wrath," was 56 and at the peak of her fame on May 3, 1902, when, standing on the back of a horse-drawn cab at the corner of State Street and North University Avenue, she engaged in he following report appeared in the "Washtenaw Daily Times," May 3, 190rollicking repartee with a boisterous crowd of Michigan students. Emerging as a Prohibition crusader in Kansas in 1900, Mrs. Nation had obtained quick national renown by vandalizing the stock and furnishings of numerous saloons -- at first hurling rocks, then switching her M.O. to smashing with a hatchet that she carried beneath her waterproof cape. She was arrested again and again, and paid the fines for her "hatchetations" by lecturing and selling souvenir hatchets and photographs. In this area, she spoke in nearby Milan and in Ann Arbor (at the Athens Theater, the former Opera House, at the SW corner of Main and Ann). Although she entered several Ann Arbor saloons to confront their owners or barkeeps, she was on good behavior there, and smashed nothing. Newspaper reports suggest that too-high admission fees kept her Ann Arbor lecture audiences small, and there were few verbal fireworks. In fact, while here she drew her biggest crowd during this free appearance on the edge of the University of Michigan campus.
"I have been to all the principal universities of the United States. At Cambridge, where Harvard is situated, there are no saloons allowed, but in Ann Arbor the places are thick where manhood is drugged and destroyed." --Carrie Nation, in her memoirs (1905).
Keywords: Prohibition, University of Michigan,
pictureAnnArbor: Local History
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