The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation.
COWARDLY ASSAULT BY SALOON KEEPER, G. R. NEIGHBORS OF ELIZABETHTOWN, KY.--APATHY OF OFFICERS, BUT PEOPLE MUCH MOVED BY OUTRAGE, LECTURED AFTERWARDS, THO' VERY FAINT AND WEAK FROM LOSS OF BLOOD.-- CIGARETTE SMOKING IN HIGH PLACES DISCUSSED WITH MISS GASTON, PRESIDENT NATIONAL ANTI-CIGARETTE LEAGUE.
A saloon keeper, G. R. Neighbors, of Elizabethtown, Ky., struck me over the head with a chair, July 23, 1904. In going up to the hall to fill an engagement. I passed this man and walking into his saloon, said, why are you in this business, drugging and robbing the people? "Hush! You get out." I replied, "Yes you want a respectable woman to get out, but you will make any woman's boy a disgrace, you ought to be ashamed." I then passed out going to the hall. After the lecture I passed by his place again. He was sitting in a chair in front of the saloon, and I said, "Are you the man that runs this business and in a moment with an oath he picked up the chair and with all his strength, sent it down with a crash on my head. I came near falling, caught myself, and he lifted the chair the second time, striking me over the back, the blood began to cover my face, and run down from a cut on my forehead. I cried out, "He has killed me," An officer caught the chair to prevent a third blow.
There were two officers in the crowd. I cried out, "Is there no one to arrest this man?" No one appeared to do it. He went back in his saloon. I to the hotel. Some one sent for a doctor who came and dressed the wound on my forehead, my left arm was badly bruised, also my back. Had it been for my bonnet, I should have suffered more. This outragous act roused the people. The women and men came to see me indignant, saying this outrage would not be tolerated. The Methodist minister especially was deeply moved. There were two officers who saw this outrage, but there was no arrest.
Next morning, Mrs. Bettie James, came in two miles from the country, and had a warrant sworn out against Neighbors, but the case was laid over to await the action of the "Grand jury," in November, saloon keepers going on his bond.
I intended to go to Mammoth Cave but remained over on account of trial, and spoke again that night. Elizabethtown is one of those bad rum- towns in Kentucky, but there is a fine prohibition sentiment, and great indignation was felt and expressed that a saloon-keeper even so low and cowardly as to strike a woman, should be tolerated. I was in bed most of the day and nearly fainted during the lecture, but I thanked God that I was counted worthy to suffer, that others might not. I felt some mother might receive fewer blows--that while my head was bruised and bleeding to prevent hearts from being crushed and broken, souls were going to drunkards graves, and drunkards Hells, and this outrage would reveal the enormous brutality of this curse, bringing a speedy remedy.
In the Spring of 1904, I was in the office of Miss Lucy Page Gaston, the National President of the Anti-Cigarette League. I saw on the walls of her room Mr. Roosevelt's picture. I said, "My dear Miss Lucy, why do you have that picture in here? Don't you know, he is a cigarette smoker?" She said, she did not know it. I said, "let me tear that up. Did this man who is at the head of affairs in this nation ever say a word against this vice? Although he is sworn to protect from just such. This brave, good woman, whose heart, soul, and body is dedicated to saving the young men of our land did not seem to recognize the fact that Democrats and Republicans (so-called) were the head and front of all the corruption we have. At last, I said, "If you will write to Mr. Roosevelt and get his statement that he does not, nor ever did smoke cigarettes I will give You $50 for your work, she said she would. She wrote to the President, got no response from him, but Mr. Loeb, his secretary wrote that the President, did not nor ever had used tobacco in any form. She sent this to me, of course I was not to be caught with such chaff. I wrote her so, telling her of the time when Mr. McKinley wished to deny the fact, that he rented his property in Canton, Ohio, for saloon purposes, his minister denied this, but the 'Chicago Voice' proved that he did. I suppose Mr. Roosevelt got his minister to write what he dared not. I wrote her that old birds were not easily fooled with chaff, also stating, that if she would get a statement that Mr. Roosevelt was not a beer drinker, I would give her another $50.00. Of course she could not do this, but the Republican Press published all over the country that Miss Gaston got the evidence and I paid the $50.00, but not one word of this was true.