By Donna Penley
Carrie Nation was from Medicine Lodge, was a sufragette;
Came to Wichita with her hatchet - one of a quartet
Of women who hated demon run, and went on a campaign,
To smash up bars and gamin’ places, and herein lies her fame.
Carrie and the others, to that bar that day they went;
T’was in December, 1900. With their eyes as hard as flint
They entered that dark den, and Carried spied a paintin’;
A nude behind the bar, and weak and nearly faintin’
She smashed that paintin’ with her hatchet. Never missed a lick;
Then to a mirror hangin’ near she also did the trick.
The Sheriff, Mr. Simmons, he came on the run;
But, he didn’t get there until Carrie’s deed was done.
She and the ladies wrecked that bar. Tore it up real good!
Swung their hatchets for the cause of put-down womanhood.
Carrie and the others were taken to the Wichita jail;
The other three, they bonded out. Two Hundred Dollars bail.
Carrie turned the bondsman down. Said in jail she’d rather be;
She said she’d rather rot in jail for an eternity.
If it would bring attention to the cause that she held dear;
She felt that many families were harmed by booze and beer.
Carrie’s husband, David, a lawyer he did hire;
Filed for a change of venue. The judge fought it to the wire.
Her lawyer tried to visit her - so they might plot defense;
But, the Sheriff called a quarantine. Said that smallpox had commenced.
They held a hearin’ without her. Made her lawyer fightin’ mad;
There was no smallpox outbreak. Carried Nation had been had!
Carrie then decided that she’d consider bail;
Tried to pay the Two Hundred gold - but that effort failed.
They finally got a jury up and took the case to trial,
But the jury ended up bein’ hung. Most voted their denial.
Carried spent more jail time than her sentence would have done;
Finally bonded out with Fifty Dollars in June, 1901.
We must remember Carrie, ‘cause she had a lot of grit.
She fought against a man’s world, and made the best of it!
Donna Penley is a Cowgirl Poet with deep Kansas roots who has been writing cowboy poetry for over twenty five years. She is a real Cowgirl and an ex-barrel racer.
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