The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation.
SISTER LUCY WILHOITE'S VISION.--WRITES TO ME FOR CO-OPERATION IN MAKING RAID ON MAHAN'S WHOLESALE LIQUOR HOUSE.--HESITATE ON ACCOUNT PRESSING ENGAGEMENTS AHEAD.--ANSWER THE CALL.--RAID SET FOR 29TH.--W. C. T. U. CONVENTION IN SESSION.--FOUR SISTERS AND MYSELF START FROM M. E. CHURCH.--A CALL FOR THE POLICE BEFORE WE COULD EFFECT AN ENTRANCE.--TAKEN TO JAIL IN HOODLUM WAGON.-- UNHEALTHY CONDITION OF CELL.--IN JAIL FROM FRIDAY TO MONDAY.-- GOOD OLD PENTECOSTAL TIME ON SUNDAY--COUNTY JAIL MONDAY--TRIAL WEDNESDAY--JAIL SENTENCE AND FINES--APPEAL TO DISTRICT COURT.
In the Fall of 1904, I received a letter from Sister Lucy Wilhoite of Wichita, telling me of a vision, which I will relate here in her own words: "During a severe illness, last July, the Lord appeared unto me and revealed many wonderful things concerning our work in which I have been engaged for seven years. Temperance and Prohibition.
My life was despaired of by my friends and I knew I was very near the borderland, and as I lay on my bed of suffering in the still hour of midnight, God showed me the awful desolation which our thirty eight saloons and five wholesale houses were making in the homes of Wichita and surrounding country, The sight so overwhelmed me, I cried unto the Lord and said, "Oh my God! Have I done all I could during this life of mine to dam up this fearful tide? Then I said, show me Lord, what this means. Immediately a great cloud of human souls came rolling down a steep decline and as my eyes followed them, saw them rolling on and on until they finally fell into a pit from whence fire and smoke were ascending. Then my eyes were turned again up the ascent from whence the souls were coming. When, Lo! I saw the National Capitol, with her Senate and Congressmen. I saw the Legislative Halls, and our Educational Institutions. I saw our churches with her educated ministry, and her secret societies, our public libraries and reading rooms, our National State and Local W. C. T U's, all of them right in the track of this awful tide of human souls, yet they still rolled on and on until they reached the pit. Then I cried again unto the Lord and said, "Oh, Why do you show me these horrible things, when I am on the brink of the grave? And still the picture or vision remained before me, growing more and more vivid every moment until I struggled to my knees, and said, 'O God, if I can do anything to dam up this fearful tide, just heal this body, and let the healing be the seal that I can do something to help, and I shall do it if it costs my life. Then a deep calm and soul rest settled over me and I sank into a deep sleep, when I awoke I realized the pain was gone and also the fever. I lay there, looking up to God and I said, "Now, Lord, show me what you want me to do. Immediately, like a great scroll reaching across the sky, these words appeared, written in letters of gold. "Spill it out!" Then he showed me the very place I was to attack Mahan's Wholesale Liquor House.
"For many weeks I pondered upon this vision and prayed about it most earnestly, that I might not be mistaken and know of a truth that it was God's will. I never found any soul rest until I wrote to Mrs. Nation, and told her the time was ripe for God and that we must attack Mahan's Wholesale Liquor House, that was helping to degrade so many women and debase so many men. This resulted in an attempt to carry out God's purpose on Sept. 30, 1904.
I was true to the "Heavenly Vision," which is only the beginning of the fulfillment, for there are yet many things to be spilled out, not only the liquor, but also the hypocrites in the church, and the false prophets with sin of every kind, and our lives also.
The Wichita Eagle Reporter, uttered a profound truth, whether he intended to or not, when he said, we walked into the Court Room like a poem, a sort of a 'Lead Kindly Light' poem, for we were lead of God, who is the Light of the world. And we intend to follow on until this vision is fully realized."
Yours for God's love for Him and suffering humanity, MRS. LUCY WILHOITE.
I had dates ahead that I disliked to cancel, because of disappointing the people and entailing a great financial sacrifice. Sister Lydia Muntz, also wrote me to come to Wichita immediately. I knew it meant smashing and imprisonment, possibly, loss of life, for I wrote Sister Wilhoite, "I am coming to do all I can to destroy the works of the devil, and if need be to die." At first, I told her to keep things quiet. Then I thought it best to give all an opportunity to have a part in this great work of saving life here and hereafter, so I wrote a letter to the Topeka Journal making a call for helpers setting Sept. 28 as the day. When I arrived in Topeka I learned that the W. C. T. U would be in convention session on that day in Wichita, and also that there was a carnival going on in the place, and thought it providential to have a crowd. I arrived in Wichita the 28th, the raid was postponed until the 29th. I took hatchets with me and we also supplied ourselves with rocks, meeting at the M. E. church, where the W. C. T. U. Convention was being held. I announced to them what we intended doing and asked them to join us. Sister Lucy Wilhoite, Myra McHenry, Miss Lydia Muntz, and Miss Blanch Boies, started for Mahan's wholesale liquor store. Three men were on the watch for us, we asked to go in to hold gospel services as was our intention before destroying this den of vice, for we wanted God to save their souls, and to give us ability and opportunity to destroy this soul damning business. They refused to let us come near the door. I said, "Women, we will have to use our hatchets," with this I threw a rock through the front, then we were all seized, and a call for the police was made. There was of course, a big crowd. Mrs. Myra McHenry was in the hands of a ruffian who shook her almost to pieces. One raised a piece of gas pipe to strike her, but was prevented from doing so. We were hustled into the hoodlum wagon, and driven through the streets amid the yells, execrations and grimaces of the liquor element. I watched their faces and could see that Satan was roused in them beyond their control, making the most diabolical faces sticking out their tongues! at what? Just five women, who were doing with their might what their hands found to do, "Just five living hearts that dared to give their lives to save them. Just gray-haired women, mothers, and grandmothers, who, for love they could not contain, rushed in to save their loved ones, from ruin.
There never was such a sight. Angels wept and devils yelled with diabolical glee. We were taken to Police Headquarters, that is, four of us, the Police had not taken Blanch, who dodged them, and with her axe smashed out two windows, after which she went to Sister Wilhoite's home, and would not have been arrested had she not called to see us next day, and giving her name was immediately arrested and shut in with us. Water was standing in the low places in the cell we occupied, caused by a leakage in the pipes, I don't think this neglect was intentional, but it was none the less dangerous as it was below ground. The beds were shelves in the wall, very hard of course, but we might have had some degree of comfort if it had not been for the dirt and rats which seemed to delight in having some one to run around and over. It was so ordered that there was a bible in the crowd, and as we were not in stocks we had far more to rejoice over than Paul and Silas, holding a continuous praise and prayer service, reading and repeating the word of God. We were kept there from Friday till Monday morning without a charge against us. Sunday morning we squeezed the juice out of some grapes, some kind friends had sent us, and reading for our lesson where Jesus washed the disciples feet and partook of the sacrament, sister McHenry sprang to her feet after partaking of the emblems, said she saw the most beautiful cross on the wall, surrounded by a divine halo, exclaiming, "Now I know what it is to have a vision, I thought it might be imagination." We had quite a time one way and another. Our friends were not permitted to come into the jail or even to the door, so many of them came to the railing on the outside, where some of the officials threw water on them from the upper windows to keep them away. We were taken to the county jail on Monday and had a trial for malicious mischief on Wednesday. We plead our own cases, and never in the history of the world did a nation or people see mothers tried for trying to save their loved ones from the slaughter of a government whose business is to protect women and their children. Tears were in the eyes of many when sister Lucy Wilhoite and sister McHenry told of their boys being led into vice by the officials of Wichita. Poor degraded Wichita with her corrupt officials and that vile "Wichita Eagle," and its Murdocks. But God has a people there and they will be victors in this fight. We were convicted of course, I got thirty days in jail and $150, the rest $150, except sister Muntz who only got $50. We employed Judge Ray to take our cases to the District Court. At the present writing I am out on bail and so far as the jail is concerned, I do not dread it. God will liberate some when I am in bonds. Poor women, Poor Mothers. God who "tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" will come to her relief from a degradation worse than death.
AFTER TRIAL IN THE DISTRICT COURT.
I am out on parole under a jail sentence of four months and a fine of $250.00. This man Wilson who is in the place of a judge knows that it is a lawless outrage, but true to his party or trust he stands by the combine for as long as the Republican Liquor Power controls office motherhood is sacrificed to the greed of this boa constrictor that coils its huge body crushing out the life and soul of man, woman and child.
If Roosevelt had a sincere interest in increasing the population by urging women to bear children he would say something about what makes it a terror to do so.