Carry’s Mug


Carry Nation received an eager missive from a distressed Yale student. The letter claimed that the Yale cafeteria was making lushes out of its charges. The daily menu consisted of such delicacies as Apple Dumpling with Brandy Sauce and Roast Ham with Champagne Sauce. “Please give this matter your earnest attention and see if you cannot stamp this serpent out!” the letter pleaded. Ever willing but never perceptive, Carry Nation packed her bags and headed east to rescue the boys of Yale University. There, she snatched the cigars from the mouths of unsuspecting undergraduates and launch-ed a tirade against the dean for allowing alcohol on school grounds. But it was all in good fun, at least for the Yalies, who taunted and jeered her as she roamed the campus, drunkenly serenading the old crusader with temperance ditties, “Good-bye, Booze,” and “Down with King Alcohol.” It seemed Nation’s time at Yale was a dismal failure, until she was invited in for a special audience with one of Yale’s most notorious frat clubs, the Jolly Eights. Once in their lush, wood paneled clubrooms, Nation gave a rousing sermon to these lost boys. After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, they seemed genuinely contrite. The young men, humbled and bent on turning over a new leaf, asked Mrs. Nation to pose for a picture. Surrounded by angelic, smiling faces, Nation picked up the W.C.T.U.’s signature glass of water and posed. But just before the camera flashed, the rakish converts whipped out their stogies and steins and smiled big. And somewhere during the photo’s processing, Nation’s sparkling glass of water transformed into a frothy mug of beer. Needless to say, temperance advocates of Carry’s day tried to squelch the prolific dissemination of this infamous photo.