Old West Lifestyle & Stories


Carry Moore, the subject of today’s story was the only woman to be challenged by famous boxer John L. Sullivan, and accept that challenge.  The outcome of that confrontation is interesting.

 John L. SullivanOn November 21, 1867 Carry Amelia Moore married Dr. Charlie Gloyd.  The marriage didn’t start out well, because the groom arrived drunk.  And it seems he stayed drunk most of their marriage, which, incidentally, only lasted a year and a half.  However this failed marriage ended up affecting a large portion of the population of this country.

After the death of Dr. Gloyd, Carry Gloyd married a David Nation.  Although David neither drank nor smoked, Carry found he had his share of problems, and he and Carry had a rocky marriage, with a number of separations.

By now Carrie Nation decided that a number of activities that men participated in were not good, including membership in the Masonic Order, sex, and especially strong drink.  Even though Kansas was a dry state, there were a number of bootleg outlets.  And Carrie took it on herself to “harass these dive-keepers.”  The first place she attacked was actually a drug store, where she destroyed a barrel of “medicinal” whiskey.

Getting rid of her second husband, Carry was now free to spread her word beyond Kansas.  She traveled the nation lecturing and destroying.  When Carry was lecturing in New York, boxing champion John L. Sullivan, the owner of a beer joint said that if she ever entered his place he would “push her down the sewer.”  Taking up the challenge Carry went to his place, and chased Sullivan into hiding in the men’s room where Carry refused to follow.  A sign in another New York bar read, “All Nations Welcome Except Carry!”

Although Carry Nation was not able to see the ultimate fruit of her work, in 1919, just 8 years after her death, Prohibition became the law across the nation.

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