Bootlegging and opposition to temperance have long flourished in far southeast Kansas. The Head Counsel to the Kansas State Temperance Union, in 1907, wrote:
I have been in this section of the country less than twenty-four hours and I am convinced
that you have no idea of the magnitude of the work to be done here. [The saloon keepers]
have been in power so long and are so ably led that they consider themselves invincible. The day-to-day encounters between "wets" and "drys" eventually assumed the air of war in Crawford and Cherokee Counties of Kansas, with shooting and stabbings a nightly occurrence. But "cleaning up" that corner of the state would be a daunting, expensive, and dangerous undertaking. Even the nearly impervious Carry Nation "the Kansas cyclone" would find her mettle tested. The deeply religious, energetic, temperance leader would have a memorable impact on the history of temperance, traveling across the state, becoming what has been called "a little mad," as she smashed up the "joints." But in the resilient Balkans area of southeast Kansas, at Girard, Carry Nation would find herself virtually ignored by citizens and newspapers alike, receiving "scant mention" in the "wet" newspaper of the area. Authors Ken and Patricia Peak have made known for the first time the development of the Balkans temperance movement in southeast Kansas, focusing on the nature of an ethnically and culturally diverse populace, both temperate and intemperate.
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Kenneth J. Peak, a native of the Kansas Balkans, is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is the author or co-author of 11 other books, including Kansas Bootleggers (Sunflower University Press).
Patricia A. Peak is a life-long resident of Crawford County, Kansas, and is retired after 28 years as a legal secretary in Girard.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Foreword: Dr. Ken Peak and Patricia Peak have written an informative and entertaining history of the days of prohibition in Kansas, particularly in the southeast part of the state. As a former County Attorney in Crawford County, located in that corner of Kansas, I can attest that some of the sentiment from the "wets" endured through actual prohibition and into the days of "modified" prohibition, when Kansas did not have liquor by the drink. After the 1986 election when liquor by the drink was a ballot question, I would frequently be asked by folks who did not reside in the county, "Did Crawford County pass liquor by the drink?" I'd smile and say, "Yes, but Crawford County has always had liquor by the drink the state Constitution notwithstanding!"
Because of the various ethnic and cultural influences of immigrants to the Little Balkans, the southeast Kansas area is rich in its admixture of values, beliefs, and traditions. It is a place where its inhabitants work hard and play harder and the Peaks, southeast Kansas natives themselves, ably describe the flavor of the area.
The temperance movement saw women play a significant role and the Peaks accurately portray their involvement. Even then, women were "multi-tasking" and used the prohibition platform to advocate for suffrage as well. Yet, the women of the area and their children were often the victims of alcohol, as it frequently robbed their men of the ability and desire to hold a job and provide for their families.
This is the only book I have come across that is devoted to the subject of prohibition, which was a critical issue in the early years of our state's history. The anecdotes and colorful stories help us understand the drama that was played out in Kansas and across the country over this controversial subject. Most likely all of our forefathers and mothers had strongly held views on this issue and my great-great-grandmother, Josephine Moulton, was herself an active member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, an organization mentioned throughout this book. In sorting through the family archives recently (which are actually cardboard boxes stored under my bed), I came across prohibition songs and poems similar to those the Peaks have included. Great-great-grandmother Josephine had kept these tucked in her family Bible, emphasizing to me the importance she placed on the issue of temperance.
Reader, you are in for a fascinating glimpse at this unique aspect of the history of Kansas and America! Carla J. Stovall, Kansas Attorney General
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Descrizione libro Sunflower University Press, 2000. Trade Paperback. Condizione libro: Fine. Lori Daniel (illustratore). 256 pp. 8vo. Codice libro della libreria 003681