Social movements and the symbolism of public demonstrations: the 1874 Women’s Crusade and German resistance in Richmond, Indiana
James Clyde Sellman
In Richmond, Indiana, on February 18, 1874, Quaker temperance activist Martha Valentine led a small group of women to “La Belle,” a saloon owned by German immigrant Chris Schultz. Chastising Schultz for the damage that he was causing to his customers as well as to their helpless wives and children, the women implored him to close his business.(1) When he refused the protesters soon left, but they promised that they would return. Thus began the Women’s Crusade in this small city located near the Ohio border. Events in Richmond were part of a massive temperance revival that swept the nation in 1874.(2) The Richmond Crusaders, predominantly Quakers and Methodists, acted out of a deep evangelical Christian faith. But the women’s fervent piety could have unsettling effects on others.(3) When a visiting reporter from the Chicago Times asked Rachel Mendenhall, a Methodist Crusade leader, about the Crusaders’ plans and goals, she replied that the movement was “‘ … wholly in the hands of the Lord and under His direction. He is leading us’.”(4) The reporter’s follow-up questions got him nowhere. Then, suddenly, the hunter became the hunted. “‘Do you’, said the lady with a saint-like smile, ‘live very NEAR the Lord?'” No – the newsman conceded – he came from Chicago.(5)
These two incidents reveal much about the Women’s Crusade, suggesting its complex intertwining of gender, ethnicity, piety, and deflating humor. Almost daily for eleven weeks the city’s mostly German saloonkeepers found themselves under siege. At first, the women met with astonishing success, virtually shutting down the city’s liquor traffic. Ultimately, however, local opinion turned against them, and the Crusaders were repudiated at the polls in Richmond’s spring municipal election. The best account of this extended social drama is found in Fred Maag and D. E. Caldwell’s Daily Independent, the city’s first successful daily newspaper.(6) The Daily Independent’s extensive coverage was the work of local editor Calvin R. Johnson, later recognized as the city’s first true reporter.(7) Rather than sitting behind his desk and waxing eloquent or vituperative, as did most nineteenth-century editors, Johnson went into the streets to look for stories. He reported local events with remarkable care and compiled a record of the movement that is vivid and surprisingly even-handed.
During the 1980s, historians rediscovered the nearly forgotten Women’s Crusade, interpreting it as a struggle over gender boundaries no less than over the consumption of alcoholic beverages. But these efforts have tended to miss an equally significant aspect of the Crusade – its significance as a conflict over the nature of community life. In Richmond, evangelical women ultimately lost a complex struggle over the symbolic language of their protest and its meaning for the larger community. In stressing its symbolic nature, I do not mean to suggest that the Crusade was either epiphenomenal or somehow less than real: insofar as they challenge regnant values and understandings, all social movements partake of this symbolic quality. Nor do I intend, in using the language of symbolism, to invoke Joseph Gusfield’s notion of temperance as a symbolic crusade.”(8)
Although in part the Richmond Crusade represented a middle-class effort at social control, it was much more than that. The Crusade was a struggle over political and cultural meaning that took place at the very center of community life. Crusaders and their opponents confronted one another in protests rich in symbolism and intended for a wider community audience. In Richmond, all parties to this movement – Crusaders, their predominantly German opponents, and the community at large – knew that the stakes were high indeed. To the people of Richmond, these events were neither an intellectual game nor some hermeneutic exercise; it seems only reasonable to take their actions seriously.(9)
I do not mean to suggest that past scholarship has altogether ignored the Crusade’s symbolic aspects. In Drink and Disorder, a study of temperance in nineteenth-century Cincinnati, Jed Dannenbaum characterized the Crusade as “a public theater of propaganda.”(10) In Woman and Temperance, Ruth Bordin noted that women’s temperance activism “can be explained in terms of symbolism.”(11) By and large, however, this scholarship reflects less a concern with nuanced symbolic communication than with the platting of social boundaries. Over the past generation, a vast amount of scholarship has applied the concept of social boundaries, generally drawing – whether implicitly or explicitly – on Fredrik Barth’s influential discussion in Ethnic Groups and Boundaries.(12) Scholars following Barth’s conceptual approach generally understand social boundaries as loci of inter-group conflict, revealing and defining an “us” and “them.” Those who studied immigrant and working-class communities – often the targets of temperance reformers – portrayed temperance activists as invasive and repressive, guilty of violating ethnic or class boundaries.(13) For example, Roy Rosenzweig likened the late nineteenth-century temperance campaigns to “a ‘class war’ over the recreational world of the industrial working class.”(14)
In women’s history, scholarship on the Crusade took a similar approach. Barbara Epstein, Ruth Bordin, and Jack S. Blocker, Jr., argued that the true significance of the Crusade was that, as Epstein wrote, “for the first time, groups of women pitted themselves against what they saw as institutions of male culture.”(15) Apart from Blocker, however, they remained rather sketchy on the movement’s demise.(16) Bordin viewed the end of the Crusade as a “sober second thought” in which the women’s “wild fervor” was “tamed into a purposeful and productive movement.”(17) Dannenbaum cited the role of municipal leaders in thwarting the movement in Cincinnati, and Blocker discussed the tactics of Crusade opponents as well as the structural limitations faced by the women themselves.(18) Nonetheless, the main emphasis in this scholarship has been on the women’s own choices and intentions, but social groups and social movements are to a considerable extent shaped by forces beyond their control.(19) The Crusade involved more than the actions of women and, indeed, more than the responses of their opponents. Yet whether scholars have positioned themselves within the smoky, bustling saloons or amongst the pious ranks of the praying bands, what they have generally overlooked is the larger community stage on which the Crusade unfolded.
Since the Women’s Crusade was emphatically a local, grass-roots phenomenon, a community-centered approach holds real promise for a fuller and more complex understanding, not only of this movement, but also of the process of movement-building, in general.(20) Focusing on a small community offers the additional advantage of providing access to what Clifford Geertz has termed “local knowledge,” that set of cultural understandings and inferences available only through deep familiarity with a particular locale.(21) Finally, it affords an excellent opportunity to explore what Thomas Bender has called the “making of public culture.”(22) As suggested in Bender’s phrase, recent social history – in common with interpretive anthropology – has evidenced a growing concern with the active construction of social boundaries and cultural meanings.(23) One significant element in this process of construction involves public ritual.
Understanding a dynamic social movement like the Women’s Crusade calls for interpretive concepts sensitive to the dramatic. In particular, I have drawn inspiration from anthropologists Milton B. Singer, James C. Scott, and Victor W. Turner. Singer, during field work in the Madras region of India, developed an awareness of what he termed “cultural performances” that included not only the plays or concerts of so-called high culture, but also activities usually classed as religion or ritual, such as “prayers, ritual readings and recitations, rites and ceremonies.”(24) Singer explained that each cultural performance “had a definitely limited time span, or at least a beginning and an end, an organized program of activity, a set of performers, an audience, and a place and occasion of performance.”(25) For Singer, such activities represented the most concrete observable units of the cultural structure.”(26) Many have followed Singer’s lead in interpreting cultural performances as symbolic texts with an important communicative role.(27) Thus far, anthropologists and social historians have concentrated on the more tightly scripted – carefully planned, repetitive and temporally limited – varieties of cultural performance, such as parades and community festivals.(28)
James C. Scott, in Domination and the Arts of Resistance, provided an incisive, cross-cultural study of the ways by which subordinate groups critique the actions and justifications of dominant groups. Building on ideas that arose out of his study of class relations in a Malay village – and drawing examples variously from European serfdom, American slavery, East European state socialism, and the Indian caste system – Scott elaborated a comprehensive system for explaining the discourse of social conflict. In any social interaction, Scott argued, there is both a “public transcript,” that is primarily shaped by the powerful, though purporting to represent a consensus narrative, and the more frankly partisan “private transcripts” that reflect the separate understandings of dominant and subordinate groups. Although Scott recognized that the powerful have their own hidden transcripts – shared among themselves and behind closed doors, as it were – he focused on subordinate groups and their far riskier attempts to criticize and resist the subjugation they experience every day. For the most part, the resistance of subordinates takes place at a safe remove from the powerful or remains indirect or covert. However, Scott emphasized, this ongoing process of social criticism provides a vital foundation for “those rare moments of political electricity when … the hidden transcript is spoken directly and publicly in the teeth of power.”(29) Scott thus placed primary emphasis on the antecedents to social movements.
For the study of volatile and open-ended public encounters such as the Women’s Crusade, an equally valuable analytical tool is Victor Turner’s concept of the “social drama” that Turner developed during fieldwork with the Ndembu people of Africa.(30) For Turner, every social drama involved a break with accepted values, practices, or norms. Moreover, a social drama unfolded in a recognizable sequence of phases: from the initial breach, to a perception of crisis, to “redressive or remedial procedures,” and generally, though not always, to a climax that brought either a reintegration of the divided elements or a “recognition and legitimation of irreparable schism.”(31) However, this static schema is far less truthful to Turner’s conception than are his more vivid descriptions. A social drama, he declared in The Anthropology of Performance, is “an eruption from the level surface of ongoing social life.”(32) Like Singer, Turner emphasized the dramaturgic quality of such moments, invoking the language of the stage, including, “performance, move, staging, plot … and the like.”(33) At times he also adopted Singer’s terminology of cultural performance, but with a distinctly different emphasis, highlighting the role of conflict and cultural straggle. For Turner, cultural performances were:
not simple reflectors or expressions of culture or even of changing culture, but may themselves be active agencies of change, representing the eye by which culture sees itself and the drawing board on which creative actors sketch out what they believe to be more apt or interesting “designs for living.”(34)
In making sense of such moments, Turner stressed the need to analyze the relevant ritual symbols, which he defined as “the smallest units of ritual behavior, whether object, activity, relationship, word, gesture or spatial arrangement in a ritual situation.”(35)
Current work in women’s history reveals a comparable shift away from the embattled perimeter of women’s sphere to the changing modes of women’s public action.(36) In “Learning to Talk More Like a Man,” Sarah Deutsch focused on changes taking place in “women’s concepts of their public role” and “the strategies they chose to pursue those visions.”(37) In much the same light, Michael McGerr examined women’s political activism in terms of changes in “political style” – that is, “the different ways that people perceive, speak, and act politically.”(38) McGerr singled out the Women’s Crusade as a rare instance in which nineteenth-century women overcame their reluctance to “undertake the public rituals of solidarity and power so central to male popular politics.”(39) Each of these scholars recognized that the language of social groups (and the language of scholarship) is not just literal, it is also metaphorical and symbolic.
It is to the symbolic significance of public actions that I particularly wish to direct attention. In Richmond, the collapse of the Crusade was not primarily a result of women entering the realm of public action. Indeed, at the outset the Crusaders attracted widespread support. Community opinion turned against them less on account of their public actions than because they trampled on a perceived right to privacy. The Crusaders violated the private sphere of others – not so much (or not only) by entering the “male realm” of the saloon, but far more so by their trespass into private lives, homes, and workplaces. As the weeks passed, the women gradually abandoned the almost invincible language of maternal entreaty and Christian love in favor of the sterner methods of surveillance and coercion. In so doing, they forfeited a considerable measure of their moral authority. Local Germans, who from the outset had criticized the Crusaders for violating their proper sphere, proved adept in taking advantage of the new situation, above all, through a lively campaign of ridicule and parody. Ultimately, the Germans proved more effective in their efforts to sway the wider community, which compounded the problems that faced the Women’s Crusade and played a role in its defeat.
The Richmond Crusade was conditioned by much more than the struggle over drink alone. It emerged in the context of sharp tensions over a variety of issues – ethnicity, gender, political inclusiveness, and religious faith. For both evangelical women and German Americans, the Crusade likewise involved a significant and mutual sense of threat. The German minority threatened native-born evangelicals in a variety of ways, religious, political, and cultural. The Germans remained cool to the blandishments of evangelical religion, to the Republican Party, and to the temperance cause. And their numbers were growing. In 1874, Richmond was a city of some 11,000 inhabitants located in east central Indiana. [See Table 1.] Although North Carolina Quakers had first established the community early in the century, by the 1870s Friends no longer constituted a majority. Indeed, in 1870 approximately forty percent of Richmond household heads were foreign-born, with Germans comprising the largest immigrant group. The proportion of German residents had grown steadily since the 1830s, and the Crusade roughly coincided with the apex of first- and second-generation German strength. A municipal census taken in the midst of the Crusade revealed that nearly one in three local residents was German or German-American. Evangelicals likewise could not help but observe the growth of the city’s “immigrant” religious denominations. The best figures for the strength of the community’s various denominations – a survey of church membership compiled in 1879 – show that Catholics and Lutherans then considerably outnumbered the town’s once-dominant Quakers and Methodists. In fact, the actual balance was probably closer than these figures would suggest because, as the editor of the Telegram noted, the Catholic figures included “every baptized infant” rather than just adult communicants.(40) Nonetheless, during the post-Civil War years, Richmond’s native-born evangelicals clearly seem to have feared imminent inundation. [See Table 2.]
Germans likewise threatened to upset the balance of Richmond’s postwar politics. Politically, Richmond and Wayne County had long been a stronghold of Whigs and, later, Republicans. As part of the Fourth Indiana congressional district – the so-called “burnt district,” named for its wildfire-like reform sympathies – Richmond helped elect Radical Republican George Julian to term after term through the 1860s. In 1873, Wayne County sent the Quaker temperance advocate and West Richmond resident William Baxter to the state legislature, where he championed a strict temperance bill that would be known as the Baxter Law (passed in 1873).(41) Postwar municipal politics, on the other hand, reveal the growing power of the Democrats, especially German Democrats concentrated in Richmond’s poorer south side.(42) [See Table 3.] In 1869, a Republican-dominated city council had countered this threat by gerrymandering a new ward on the solidly native-born north side.
Richmond, Indiana, 1870-1880
Year: 1870 1874 1880
Total Population: 9,445 11,022 12,472
White 53 54 66
Black 6 5 4
Total 59% 59% 70%
German 27 32 20
Irish 9 7 6
Other 4 1 4
Total 41% 41% 30%
Overall 100% 100% 100%
Sources: For 1870 and 1880: Total population from published census
reports: Francis A. Walker, The Statistics of the Population of the
United States, Vol. I, (Washington: Government Printing Office,
1872); and the Compendium of the Tenth Census, Part 1, (Washington,
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883). Other figures derived from
random household samples, stratified by ward, of the Manuscript
Schedules of Population of the Ninth [1870} and Tenth 
Federal Censuses for Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana. For 1874:
City census results published in the Daily Independent, March 4,
1874, and the Palladium, March 7, 1874.
The German community felt threatened less by such political maneuvering than by a series of evangelical intrusions into the south-side neighborhood. The Crusade posed a threat to German residents most obviously because Germans played such a key role in the city’s liquor trade, owning a majority of the saloons as well as both local breweries. [See Table 4.] But the Crusade also reflects longstanding frictions between the largely working-class German community and more assertively middle-class evangelicals. Thus the events of 1874 must be seen against the backdrop of a decade of evangelical activism that seemed to target local Germans and the predominantly German south side – including the establishment of the Marion Street Mission School (1864) and Fifth Street Friends Meeting (1865); street corner preaching and saloon visits by evangelical women during an extended 1869 revival; and controversial remarks about south-side prostitution made at the 1870 annual meeting of the Home for Friendless Women (established by local evangelicals in 1867).(43) All of these efforts, in the eyes of the German community, seemed to prefigure and culminate in the Crusade itself.
Richmond Church Membership and Reported Weekly Attendance, by
Number of Total Weekly
Congregations Members Attendance
Roman Catholic 2 2,200 1,850
Lutheran 2 1,182 965
Methodist 6 839 855(a)
Society of Friends 5 1,045 632(b)
Presbyterian 2 474 370
Christian Church 1 35 280
Episcopal 1 150 162
Baptist 2 152 131(c)
German Evangelical 1 35 35
Swedenborgian 1 15 15
Total 23 6,127 5,295
Sources: based on a survey of Richmond church membership summarized
in “Richmond Churches,” Telegram, February 20, 1879, p. 3, c. 3.
a. Also includes the “colored, German and Sevastopol” Methodist
b. Also includes “the Friends at Earlham College” with 170 members
and an average of 120 in weekly attendance.
c. Includes both the “white” and “colored” Baptist churches.
By and large, these social and religious initiatives reflected the efforts of women. Since the 1850s, evangelical women had found themselves largely excluded from the center of abolition and temperance activism, as reform tactics shifted away from moral suasion to the quintessentially male realms of ballot and bullet, that is, politics and warfare.(44) In response, women invested themselves even more heavily in the benevolent and religious work that still remained within their purview.(45) These evangelical women were thorough going and extremely earnest, as is clear in the following advice from Richmond Quaker and Earlham College instructor Mahala Jay. In an 1865 address to the school’s female literary society, Jay called upon her listeners to:
find a work to do in hastening the coming of God’s kingdom on earth by recognizing his children in all you meet, in the lowliest and least lovely of the race. Your first lessons in this, your first practice, may be taken without going among the Hindoos or Hottentots, or even among the freed men of your native land, but here in your very midst, the poor and the stranger and the uncultivated, the unhappy in temper and the unlovely in form may be presented to you in less striking but not therefore in less real character.(46)
Many Quaker and Methodist women acted on such advice, and the result was a flurry of evangelizing and institution building. Thus for at least a decade prior to the start of the Crusade, evangelical women and German residents – two groups marginalized by local political realities – two to perceive one another as adversaries or targets of opportunity.
Ethnic Composition of Richmond, by Ward, 1870
South Side North Side Overall
1st 4th 2nd 3rd 5th
Native Born 40% 49% 65% 90% 79% 59%
White 27 43 65 90 71 53
Black 13 6 – – 7 6
Foreign Born 62 51 35 10 21 41
German 56 39 14 – – 27
Irish – 6 19 – 21 10
Other 6 5 2 10 – 4
Total 102%(*) 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
N = 48 77 43 21 42 231
* Total exceeds 100 percent because one black head of household,
born in Canada, was here included as both Black and Other Foreign
Source: Random sample of households, stratified by ward, drawn from
the manuscript population schedules of the Ninth Census.
Ethnicity of Retail and Wholesale Dealers in
Alcoholic Beverages, Richmond,
Ethnicity of Owners(*)
* In the absence of census information, estimated on the basis of
Sources: Daily Independent and Telegram, February 19, 1874, to
March 18, 1874; and Richmond city directories for 1872 and 1874:
City Directory, Richmond, Indiana, 1872-73 (Indianapolis, 1872);
City Directory, Richmond, Indiana, 1874-75 (Indianapolis, 1874).
These city directories are available in the Reference Section of
Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond, Indiana.
Protests of Formality and Restraint
In the early weeks of the Crusade, until sometime in mid-to-late March, the women enjoyed widespread public support and gained major victories. Their success stemmed from the effective symbolism of their public protests. At the most basic level, such public demonstrations can serve two purposes. On one hand, they may work to unite a group and reaffirm its values. Thus Durkheim observed that all societies periodically reaffirm their “collective sentiments and ideas” by means of “reunions, assemblies, and meetings” in which individuals join in celebrating shared values.(47) Likewise Victor Turner noted that the festivities surrounding a Brazilian soccer match produced % transcendence of mundane reality and a sense of civic and national history made present.”(48) A second large class of rituals enact directly oppositional meanings and pose a symbolic protest or rebellion against the status quo – as in Denise Lawrence’s depiction of Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade or Jack Kugelmass’s account of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, events that challenge dominant social or sexual mores.(49)
Such rituals of protest serve to unite and strengthen the participants, as was clearly true of the Freedom Songs sung by early Civil Rights demonstrators. Yet they also pose the risk of alienating outsiders, as seen, for example, in the hostile white response to the image of two black American athletes, Tommle Smith and John Carlos, giving clenched-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics. To some extent, the Crusaders’ ritualized protests reveal the working of all these elements. Crusade demonstrations posed a critique of local life and clearly voiced the women’s sense of a pervasive community crisis. Their protest also served to empower the Crusaders themselves. Although the Crusaders would eventually alienate many of their fellow citizens, at the outset they achieved considerable success in their effort to draw the community together through evangelical conversion and strict temperance, thus appearing to revitalize Richmond’s fundamental Christian faith. To this extent, the Women’s Crusade also reflects what Anthony E C. Wallace termed a “revitalization movement.”(50)
This temperance movement was deeply grounded in women’s customary role at the moral center of family life, but the Crusaders’ activities greatly enlarged women’s realm of action. The women – taking an unaccustomed, even unprecedented, public role – portrayed their actions as a legitimate extension of their accepted moral and religious duties. As Jack Kugelmass noted, ritualized public activities give “collective expression to the physical spaces they occupy.”(51) In Richmond, the Crusaders were clearly engaged in such an effort to redefine and reshape public space. Crusade activities were highly structured and sought to maximize the women’s moral and religious authority. Crusade activists presented themselves in massed and orderly processions. Their initial strategy was to gather in morning and afternoon at one of the evangelical churches, often Fifth Street Friends Meeting, for Bible reading, prayer, and singing.(52) Volunteers then filed out, two abreast, in a silent procession to a particular liquor dealer; the other women remained behind to pray for the marchers. “No conversation is indulged in,” an observer noted of these processions, “and hardly a smile is perceptible, save when meeting a familiar friend.”(53)
The process of getting to the target – the sober procession through the city streets – played almost as large a part in shaping community opinion as did the appeals at saloons. In part, the mass marches were a matter of”in unity there is strength,” but they also conveyed a potent symbolism. They evoked the pious ranks of Sabbath schoolers who had marched in local Fourth of July parades since the 1840s as well as the less structured but equally somber throngs of Friends making their way to meeting for worship.(54) Yet regardless whether a Crusader marched on a saloon or remained behind to pray, her actions modeled worshipfulness. Upon reaching their chosen target, the women gathered on the sidewalk outside unless the saloonkeeper invited them in. They knelt in prayer and sang hymns, exhorted the crowd that collected on the street, and appealed to the saloonkeeper and his customers.(55) In such moments, the women were a power to be reckoned with, and they attracted large crowds wherever they appeared.(56) The Daily Independent described one such incident as “like a camp meeting” with farmers gathering “in their wagons, and the business men le[aving] their shops and stores to join the throng.”(57) Such a visit might last up to two hours; then the women regrouped to file back to church and report to those who had remained behind. The same procedure was repeated in the afternoon until around five o’clock when the women gathered once again in church to conclude the day’s activities.
Just ten days into their campaign, John Lichtenfels became the first saloonkeeper to surrender, agreeing to close his Main Street saloon if the women would purchase his stock and fixtures.(58) The Crusaders agreed to his terms and celebrated their victory with a ritual destruction of the liquor.(59) Calvin Johnson reported approvingly that:
[t]he women seemed imbued with unnatural power. Two of them seized a keg of cider and carried it out to the sidewalk and let the contents into the gutter…. There were a number of bottles of wine demolished and a considerable quantity of bitters and liquors in bottles…. As the last bottle disappeared, the sisters knelt in prayer and thanked God for what he had done.(60)
Thus a potentially controversial act of destruction was carefully enveloped in Christian piety. The women legitimized their actions through their collective prayer, and, of course, by their prior purchase of the liquor destroyed.
At the outset, the local press response to the Crusaders was sympathetic. Editors admired the women’s piety and sincerity. Johnson of the Daily Independent declared that the “praying band are led to their field of labor by the spirit of the Lord.”(61) Daniel Surface, editor of the Telegram, praised them for “giving over their reputations to Him in whose name they go forth.”(62) And Ben Davis, of the Palladium, was moved to bad verse:
The Liquor Seller trembles when he sees, The Christian Women on their knees.(63)
Thus Richmond’s editors tellingly couched their support in the language of feminine piety, suggesting not only the Crusaders’ success in defining their movement, but also the limited terms under which they were permitted to operate.
But the women’s motivations were political and social as well as religious, and particularly reflected their frustration with the local consequences of the Civil War.(64) Richmond’s women reformers had rallied eagerly to the Union cause, not simply out of patriotism or their anti-slavery commitments, but also to protect their husbands, sons, brothers, and sweethearts from what they perceived as the morally corrosive effects of army life and war. Yet the women’s unstinting devotion seemed to avail them little in the way of recognition at home, particularly in terms of their local reform concerns. Indeed, in the demobilization that followed the end of the war, Richmond – like many other Northern cities – experienced a crime wave, mostly in the form of drunkenness and rowdiness as returned soldiers readjusted to civilian life. The general unresponsiveness of city officials to local disorder helped spur a cadre of proper evangelical women to action. They founded the Home for Friendless Women (1867), played leading roles in the 1869 Richmond revival, and, between 1867 and 1877, paid regular visits to local bawdy houses, seeking to persuade prostitutes to end their sinful ways. These direct-action efforts yielded some clear victories. On the other hand, the 1873 Baxter Law – which included a provision allowing married women with chronically inebriated husbands to bring damage suits as femme soles against the liquor dealers who were responsible – proved largely ineffectual. Perhaps the most important woman to be involved in all of these postwar activities was the prominent Quaker Rhoda Coffin, who in 1874 would emerge as one of the leading Crusaders.
Initially, male temperance advocates, local editors, and much of the wider community appear to have welcomed the Crusade’s successes. In late February, at one of the largest temperance meetings ever held in the city, men and women gathered together to assess the Crusade.(65) Although men spoke at the meeting, women held the initiative and delivered most of the addresses reported in the press. The men in attendance pledged their “aid and support” and called on the community at large to “actively co-operate in this noble work.”(66) Of course, local reactions were not wholly supportive. One jaded reporter was overheard to declare that without “saloons and houses of prostitution,” Richmond “might as well be turned into a sheep pasture at once!”(67) And a prescient Daniel Surface warned, “Praying at people is a practice which in almost every case hardens and angers them.”(68) Yet most of Richmond’s native-born appeared to side with the women against the German minority, as was suggested in Ben Davis’s condemnation of a German anti-Crusade meeting as a”degrading spectacle to contemplate” and a “conglomeration of ignorance and stupidity.”(69) Several months later, Davis again lashed out at what he termed “a foreign spirit and a foreign dictation in our midst.”(70) Initially, to some residents, the issue was not so much temperance or evangelical faith or women’s proper role; it was this vaguely threatening foreign spirit.
On the other hand, the women’s activism inspired the German minority to become more outspoken and united. At first, German responses – like the early Crusader tactics – were marked by circumspection and formality. On the whole, German saloonkeepers tried to avoid direct confrontations; often they simply locked their doors before the women arrived. The formality of their protests can be seen in saloonkeeper August Woeste’s visit to Fifth Street Friends Meeting to address the Crusaders. Apologizing for his German accent, Woeste appealed for forbearance. He explained that in Germany “the use of liquors was not thought wrong,” yet a drunken man was a rare sight because the German people “knew how to regulate themselves.”(71) Another instance of formal protest can be seen in the “German Indignation Meeting” that so exercised Ben Davis. This gathering loudly proclaimed the political arrival of Richmond’s Germans and served for the first time to unite Lutherans and Catholics in the religiously divided German community.(72) In its larger purpose, however, the meeting was unsuccessful. Participants proposed a simple solution to the crisis brought about by the Crusade: that the community should reject evangelical single-mindedness in favor of a more live-and-let-live approach. But a self-defined German meeting could not speak for the larger community. It was seen as a special interest and a none-too-well accepted one at that.(73) The Crusaders – acting as legitimate protectors of family, faith, and morality – still had the advantage in claiming to speak for the community as a whole and in representing the common good.
Intransigence and Making the Private Public
In the face of German resistance, the Crusaders revised their tactics; they embraced more effective – and far more adversarial – methods. This decision had the inadvertent effect of undermining their support in the wider community. It also brought a concomitant hardening of opinion among their German opponents. Each side discovered that exhortation and argument counted for little: it was action that brought results. In mid-March the women announced plans to divide into “squads of six or eight” that would stay out until eleven o’clock at night.(74) Instead of “marching in procession, and singing and praying,” the groups stationed themselves permanently outside of the various saloons where they could watch the entrances to saloons and record the names of all those who entered.(75) Soon the women had “every saloon in the city under surveillance”; they brought chairs, settled in, and steeled themselves for an extended siege.(76) They also turned to political pressure, circulating petitions and speaking before the city council in favor of strict enforcement of state and local temperance laws.(77)
Bringing their domestic gifts to bear in public affairs was not the only way in which women redefined public and private space. They also declared open season on the private homes of saloonkeepers in order to accost them in front of their families. One group of Crusaders thus “availed themselves” of an open door and began praying in the home of Thomas Lichtenfels.(78) When Matt Walterman invited another group into his house, he told them, “‘When you come here, I will invite you in, but you can’t pray in my house’.”(79) Several women promptly threatened to offer silent prayers; another began to argue with him. As they left, one woman told the hapless Walterman, “‘We do not want to interfere with your religious belief, we only want you to quit selling’.”(80) These visits allowed the women to take their appeals much closer to home, but they violated a deepset understanding of residential space as private and for the first time cast the Crusaders’ actions in an unflattering light.
Such tactics marked the beginning of a profound shift in local perceptions of the Crusade. The women seemed to have traded the symbolism of pious entreaty for that of home invasion. In the end, they would abandon virtually any effort to reason with their opponents. Crusaders sat outside saloons in stony silence, knitting or reading religious tracts and jotting down names. And they turned to the law. Calvin Johnson explained that “what their songs and prayers failed to accomplish,” they were satisfied the law would effect.(81) He also noted that the reason the Crusaders took down names was in order to “furnish the Grand Jury with material” for liquor law prosecutions.(82) Such aggressive tactics appeared to work. As one saloonkeeper remarked, “‘I might as well quit business. If they don’t pray me out, they will law me out’.”(83) Indeed, by early spring the women had managed to halt virtually “all business in the besieged places.”(84)
The women also gave voice to increasingly militant rhetoric. During its first two or three weeks, the Richmond Crusade had a powerfully radicalizing effect on its women participants. The Crusaders began to speak what James C. Scott would term their “private transcript” of discontent. At one early meeting, women had risen one after another to say “that the fear of man had all been taken away from them.”(85) Such statements – initially at meetings composed largely or wholly of women – suggest a social critique far more thoroughgoing than mere opposition to alcohol and inebriation. Perhaps the most outspoken Crusader was the prominent Crusade leader Martha Valentine, who confided her hope that “at some time there w[ill] be added to the seven wonders of the world, another wonder – the men w[ill] take seats and allow the women to manage things.”(86) For Valentine and many others, the Crusade was instrumental in their realization of women’s power. A correspondent for the Indianapolis Sun attended one of the Crusaders’ meetings and reported that the women who rose to address the meeting “spoke without any sign of nervousness and seemingly with perfect ease and assurance. To one unaccustomed to seeing a large meeting conducted by ladies, the scene was really novel.”(87) Ultimately, in a development not unlike the experience of radical feminist groups in the early 1970s, the women excluded men from participating in their “private sessions” or “select meetings.”(88) But the women’s growing confidence was accompanied by “a marked falling off” in the support of men.(89) “The movement is engineered by the ladies,’ Calvin Johnson complained, “and they propose to have their own way about it…. [T]heir work is done in secret – so far as the masculine gender is concerned.”(90) Many others shared his dismay at this turn of affairs.
Indeed, despite the women’s success in impeding Richmond’s liquor traffic, their movement was in jeopardy. The danger lay not in the efficacy of their protest, but in its changing symbolism for the wider community. Moreover, as the Crusade entered its second month, it lost much of its power to inspire, to challenge observers to rethink their views on drink, temperance, and saloons. The “ladies have set in front of the saloons so long,” the Daily Independent declared, that “people have come to regard it as a matter of course and pay but little attention.”(91) Men were now willing to go into a saloon and quaff their mug of malt the same as if the ladies were not looking.”(92) Seeking to revitalize their movement, Crusade leaders embraced even more controversial tactics. They took the battle to the city’s workplaces, attempting to enlist employers in the temperance struggle. By early April, Martha Valentine announced that henceforth any railroad employee who “frequented saloons” would face dismissal; she reported that two other local firms had warned their employees that “unless they signed the pledge they would be discharged.”(93) The Crusaders experimented with direct action as well. Rachel Mendenhall reported that “she had a confab with a lawyer” who advised her that “no saloonkeeper who kept open doors had a right to prevent ladies from entering his place of business.”(94)
In short order, the women launched a campaign reminiscent of twentieth-century civil rights demonstrations, entering saloons where they were not welcome and remaining even when ordered out. Faced with such an invasion, Thomas Lichtenfels took Martha Valentine and another Crusader firmly by the arm and escorted them out of his bar five times in eight minutes.(95) Two days later, the Crusaders obeyed Lichtenfels’ order to leave, but returned when they saw another woman enter. Lichtenfels pointed out that “the woman they saw carried a bucket – and in that bucket she wanted a quart of beer. ‘Ladies’, he continued, ‘if you wanted beer, I would be glad to see you, but knowing you do not, you will please excuse me for saying your presence is not desired.(96) After her forcible ejection, Valentine brought assault charges against Lichtenfels and, in a separate incident, against saloonkeeper Charles Leive as well.(97) But such confrontational tactics alienated many one-time allies and left even the normally enthusiastic Calvin Johnson complaining that “the women had no right to interfere with [Lichtenfel’s] business – he has complied with the law in every respect…. “(98)
The Symbolic Discourse of German Protest: Hostility, Ridicule and Parody
As the Crusaders grew more aggressive, the German community responded in kind. Once the women had faced, at worst, saloon doors closed before their arrival or heated but civil argument. Now they found saloonkeepers adamantly refusing to admit them and shooing them off sidewalks. One saloon owner reportedly addressed the women in “profane language”; another bid them to “pray till they were blind, just so they did not obstruct the doorway”; and an employee of liquor wholesalers Staufer & Forbis tossed the Crusaders’ chairs into the gutter.(99) The German community now clearly perceived itself in the midst of a social crisis, but what the Crusaders offered as the only mode of redress – evangelical Christianity and temperance – they regarded as the true source of the breach. By late April, like the evangelical women before them, the embattled Germans organized politically, and one of their number, Charles Leive, secured the Democratic nomination for First Ward councilman.(100) Opponents of the Crusade also learned the strategic value of humor. In a recent essay in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Richard Jenkins alluded to the important role of “humor [and] verbal abuse” in such conflicts.(101) In Richmond, Germans increasingly turned to ridicule and humor that bordered on sacrilege in resisting the Crusade. For example, the Daily Independent recounted “the antics of a humorously inclined German” outside Joseph Meyer’s saloon who took an occasional “nip at a glass of beer which he brandished in triumph” above the Crusaders as they knelt in prayer, much to the amusement of the gathered crowd.(102) When fifty Crusaders paid a visit to Thomas Lichtenfels’ saloon – the only duly-licensed establishment in the city – they were greeted with “laughing and jeers.”(103) Such a vocal challenge could provoke an equally vocal response. On at least one occasion Crusaders met this sort of hazing interference by “singing [their opponents] down.”(104)
During the late stages of the Crusade, from mid-April to early May, Charles Leive was the reigning champion of comic harassment. He often greeted his evangelical visitors with humorous placards and comic pranks.(105) When a group of them peppered him one after another with exhortations, as soon as each finished, he called out loudly, “‘Next’.”(106) And he purchased a crank organ for the express purpose of disrupting Crusader visits. Eventually, he hired black Union veteran and whitewasher Jordan White to play the hurdy-gurdy, freeing Leive to beat on a large bass drum. Getting into the spirit of things, Cal Johnson remarked that Leive’s new organ grinder was “a genius in his way” who could “make the ‘masheen’ grind out more music in less time than ever known before.”(107) On at least one occasion, his lively rendition of “Fisher’s Hornpipe” inspired several men in the crowd “to indulge in a break down.”(108) Soon a number of “serenaders” began taking Leive’s crank organ on late-night visits to “ladies who have been identified with the Crusade movement,” a move they admitted was done “in the spirit of retaliation – they want the women to feel what it is to be annoyed and insist that they ought to submit cheerfully, when they torture others by day.”(109) Besides offering payback, such ridicule served to undermine the women’s projected aura of sanctity. It also underscored the distance separating the Crusaders’ conception of their actions and German views. Where the Crusaders saw themselves as offering redemption from an evil which brooked no compromise, the Germans perceived equivalence and quid pro quo: if you stop torturing us, we will cease annoying you.
Crusaders and their allies were not amused, and the result was a sharp decline in the civility of their own protests. During a daytime hurdy-gurdy performance at the home of Lindley Jessup, a Crusade supporter, someone emptied a basin of water on Charles Leive’s head, and Jessup quickly had Leive charged with disturbing the peace.(110) The case, Johnson remarked, was “one of importance [in] determining the relative rights of business men and the Crusaders.”(111) At the trial, Leive was represented by the venerable German attorney John H. Popp, who argued that his client “had as much right to play his organ and beat his drum as the Crusaders had to pray and sing.”(112) Popp s defense notwithstanding, Leive was convicted and fined. Yet patrons of German saloons found other ways to make their feelings known. After several women refused to leave Lichtenfels’s saloon, “near fifty cigars were lighted, and in a short time the room was filled with smoke.”(113) The tobacco smoke made some of the women nauseous, but Calvin Johnson reprimanded the Crusaders rather than their opponents.(114) Although agreeing that women should be treated with respect, he declared, “when they transcend their duties – trample upon private rights – voluntarily go to places where smokers congregate,” then they should expect to suffer the consequences.(115)
Perhaps the most striking resistance to the Crusade came from German women, who in the process revealed the cultural distance separating them from their native-born sisters. It is important to note that German saloons were not, in fact, wholly male domains. They catered to German women as well as men, providing both sexes with a public gathering place for socializing and conviviality, something quite foreign to native-born, middle-class evangelicals. Like German men, German women at first treated the Crusaders cordially.(116) But they grew much less friendly as the movement progressed.(117) The wives of German saloon owners, not surprisingly, reacted with the greatest hostility. Saloonkeeper Joseph Meyer’s wife taunted the praying women, “[I]f you have plenty of money, you can buy us out,” and “you had better be at home attending your children and trying to keep your houses in order.”(118) Saloonkeepers’ wives were even accused of resorting to violence. On April 14th, a Crusader who entered Meyer’s saloon and was ordered to leave. When she hesitated, Meyer’s wife “proceeded to assist her” with such force that she knocked the woman’s head against the doorpost.(119) Two weeks later, someone emptied a “bucket of slop” onto Crusaders gathered in front of Chris Schultz’s La Belle.(120) Although it was too dark to identify the culprit in the upstairs window, the temperance women believed that it was Mrs. Schultz. However, instances of violence were rare.
A number of German women engaged in more symbolic resistance to the pious intruders. For example, Matt Walterman appeared at the door of his saloon “accompanied by two women, each with a glass of beer in their hands,” which they proceeded to down in front of the flustered Crusaders.(121) Cal Johnson captured the irony of this split between German and evangelical women with characteristic vividness, observing one evening:
[a] band of the silent guards before Bescher’s saloon. The room was open, and a number of German women stood about the stove chattering in their native tongue. The reporter peeped over the painted glass and the sight of a handsome face attracted his attention and he was urged to come in, but onward he wended his way, thinking of the jolly German women and the silent praying band, so near to each other and yet so far apart.(122)
Despite the Crusaders’ hopes, they could not overleap these cultural differences to unite the city’s women in the temperance cause. Given a choice between the prayers of the Crusaders and the customs of their own culture, German women closed ranks with their men.
Once again, the dominant quality of the German resistance was its distinctive – albeit sometimes heavy-handed – humor. In particular, German women discovered that there was no better match for evangelical appeals than well-honed parody. Parody involves the appropriation of the words or actions of one individual or group by a second in such a way as to serve the appropriator’s own purposes, and it remains thus far nearly unexplored as a component of social protest movements. The most direct discussion of the symbolic uses of parody – by Linda Hutcheon, Vincent Crapanzano, and Gary Saul Morson – builds on the literary criticism of Mikhail Bakhtin.(123) Hutcheon defined parody as “imitation characterized by ironic inversion” whose target is always “another work of art or, more generally, another form of coded discourse.”(124) Crapanzano stressed the role of parody in challenging “assertions or denials of power” by the parodied other through a discourse grounded in critical, ironic distance.”(125) Of course, as Hutcheon and Morson observed in Rethinking Bakhtin, the very act of parody acknowledges the power of that which it targets, conferring symbolic heft to both sides of the parodied discourse.(126) But the key to a parody’s success, as both Morson and Crapanzano explained, lies in its establishing a “higher ‘semantic authority'” or “higher semantic value.”(127) Finally, Morson noted that parody is “designed to be heard and interpreted by a third person.”(128) It necessarily implies an audience. Several German protests in the final phase of the Crusade employed parody in precisely these terms, raising an ironic – and semantically more compelling – challenge to the symbolic imagery of the Crusade for the benefit of a wider, community audience. And because the Crusaders themselves were women, German women played a vital role in this parodic discourse.
Thus in mid-March, German women at Thomas Lichtenfels’s saloon answered the Crusaders’ hymns and prayers with “singing and mimicking.”(129) About the same time, Calvin Johnson recounted how the patrons at August Emrich’s establishment were “almost scared out of their boots” by a solemn group of women.(130) The saloon door had opened suddenly, and in came “eight ladies, walking demurely and keeping step.” The women approached the bar purposefully, and “in a ‘jiffy’, every glass was out of sight.” But when they broke out in a German drinking song – rather than a Christian hymn – “confidence was restored.” Their prank a success, the women “indulged in a glass of ‘lager'” together with the considerably relieved men. In this instance, the German women parodied the Crusaders for the benefit of two distinct audiences – on the one hand, the patrons of Emrich’s saloon (as well as others in the German community who would hear of the prank by word of mouth); and on the other, the wider, non-German readership of the Daily Independent.
What seems most remarkable in these German parries is that they could take place at all. That such parody and ridicule brought no indignant protest from the larger community nor from the native-born men who viewed themselves as the women’s protectors suggests the extent to which the Crusade itself was falling from favor. If any single moment can identified as the turning point in public attitudes, it was a conversation in mid-March between Quaker Rhoda Coffin and saloonkeeper Charles McCoy a few days after the visit of the mock-Crusaders to Emrich’s saloon. As reported in the Daily Independent, McCoy and Coffin engaged in a discussion of religion, the individual will, and sin in which Coffin insisted that “‘ … since I fully consecrated myself to God three years ago, I have not sinned, but have enjoyed the smiles of Jesus perpetually’.”(131) Her ill-considered remark distilled much of what seemed objectionable about the Crusade and provided critics with an irresistible target for ridicule.(132) Most significantly, these efforts at ridicule came not only from the German minority but also from the native-born. Coffin made an inviting target for parody because she so clearly voiced what Gary Saul Morson has termed an “irony of origins,” in which an utterance “claims transhistorical authority” or “implies that its source does not lie in any interests or circumstances of its speaker.”(133)
In the weeks that followed Coffin’s remark, a steady flow of letters to the Daily Independent traced the souring of community opinion on the Crusade. In a development not unlike a desacralizing process, the community disarmed the Crusaders by divesting them of their religious symbolism and power. “W.L.” expressed astonishment that there was “an individual actually living who claims to be perfect.”(134) Even a sympathetic observer chided the women that they were spending too much energy “working to convince ‘sinners’ that we are sanctified, that we are pure and perfect.”(135) Not a few savored the Crusaders’ comeuppance. The acerbic “R.” remarked that though the Crusaders proclaimed they were without sin, “did anybody even believe that?”(136) Instead, he declared, the women were finding out that if they had any “skeletons in the closets,” they would be “brought out and well-ventilated.”(137) Another letter, which adopted a key German criticism that the Crusaders were neglecting their “household duties,” was signed tartly “MYOB”(138) In early June, well after the movement’s demise, “A Looker On” depicted the Crusade as what we might today call a divine wrong number. Despite “loud professions” that they “had not sinned for three or four years,” the author remarked dryly, the women were obviously “mistaken in their profession and their call. Somebody else was called, and they answered.”(139) Thus the Crusaders found their moral authority undermined and their language of redemption ironically subverted, first by the Germans, then by the native-born.
By late spring, the Richmond Crusade was clearly in trouble. The Crusaders could make no further headway against the city’s remaining liquor dealers.(140) The German community was united and increasingly adept at what amounted to comic “guerrilla theater.” Editorials and letters in local newspapers revealed a curdling of support for the movement. In print and in public, the women found themselves taunted and mocked. Now observers like “E.S.” depicted the Crusade as a misguided enterprise shot through with “religious fanaticism and intolerance.”(141) Similarly, “Exodus” likened it to a plague which “having exhausted its virulence departs.”(142) In the eyes of “O.S.” and “R.,” it was “monomaniacal” and a “grand spasm.”(143) And “A.B.,” in a letter laced with irony, complained that while the Crusaders were “most clamorous” about strict enforcement of the temperance laws, they would doubtless be outraged should the “laws against obstructing sidewalks and trespassing” be enforced with equal diligence.(144) The repudiation was most clearly manifest in the May city election, an event that served as a de facto referendum on Crusade activities. The result, Calvin Johnson wrote, was “an almost unanimous decision deprecating the Crusade movement.”(145) The Crusaders themselves offered no protest, evidently accepting the outcome as a community-wide vote of no confidence. By mid-May, the Daily Independent reported that Martha Valentine was dead.(146) The rumor proved to be untrue, but as a sort of morbid high parody it was indeed apt. Though Valentine was quite alive, the movement that she in many ways seemed to personify had most certainly expired.
With the collapse of the Crusade came a period of reassessment and redefinition, in which Rhoda Coffin appears to have wholly renounced her days as a leading Crusader. Mary Coffin Johnson, who compiled her sister-in-law’s biography and reminiscences, never once mentioned the Women’s Crusade.(147) Rhoda Coffin’s extensive papers likewise offer little evidence of her Crusade activities.(148) In November, 1874, Coffin, Martha Valentine, and other Crusaders went on to found a more traditionally-structured temperance organization, the Women’s Temperance League, that soon affiliated with a newly organized national body, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).(149) The Richmond Women’s Temperance League and the WCTU abandoned the marches, prayer meetings, and confrontational tactics of the Crusade in favor of a more conservative and institutional approach.(150) With an elaborate structure of committees and departments, the WCTU had little of the Crusade’s spontaneity and none of its fervor for direct action.(151) In the larger community, former Crusaders found themselves once again consigned to a separate and more or less apolitical sphere. Newspaper reports on the new women’s temperance organization were generally no more titan single-paragraph items, suggesting, at the least, a drop in the editors’ interest and support.(152) Clearly, the local temperance movement had lost momentum. In 1879, one activist reported glumly that “the temperance cause was dead in Richmond,” and another bemoaned the “apathy among the people” there.(153) Indeed, temperance activism in Richmond would never again shear the fabric of daily life in the way that it had done during the Crusade.
The German community, on the other hand, displayed increasing vitality in the aftermath of the conflict. In many respects, the Crusade was a galvanizing moment for Richmond’s Germans. In the following years, Germans played a much more substantial role in municipal politics.(154). They also won a greater measure of acceptance from the larger community. Telegram editor Daniel Surface grudgingly conceded that German drinking rarely led to disorder. He reported no disturbances at an 1879 picnic sponsored by the German singing group, Liederkranz.(155) Five years later, at another Liederkranz annual picnic – with “enough of the Teutonic beverage on tap to have gotten up a riot among as many Irish or Americans” – Surface remarked that it “only sufficed to put the Germans in a mood to enjoy the occasion as only Germans can.”(156) Germans were also recognized for raising the cultural level of the wider community. In 1880, for example, the Liederkranz was planning to perform “that famous and favorite mass, ‘Mozart’s Twelfth'” which the Telegram predicted would be “the greatest musical event that ever occurred in Richmond.”(157) Such changes in attitude reflect a coming to terms with social diversity and suggest the extent of the German victory.
Events in Richmond also have broader implications for the study of social movements generally. The Women’s Crusade was a widespread if short-lived movement, in which the Richmond Crusaders had a particularly dynamic and well-documented part. The foregoing analysis underscores, first, the advantages in taking a multi-dimensional approach and, for community-based movements, an approach grounded in Clifford Geertz’s notion of “local knowledge.” Such approaches better enable us to explain why a movement embraced particular tactics or strategies and how it attracted activists and supporters. Social movement theorists stress that individuals are culturally “embedded” through the specifics of their social identities, which include gender, religion, race and ethnicity, class, and nationality.(158) The Richmond Crusade reveals the complex ways in which such factors play off against one another, particularly in the area of protest tactics. The Crusade was more than simply a skirmish along the boundaries of gender. Nor can it be explained in terms of religious differences or ethnic frictions or class conflict alone. Bringing past social movements to life demands a sensitivity to the interplay of all these factors – and a recognition that arguments or tactics couched in the language of religion may reflect ethnic frictions, just as those symbolically premised in gender may derive from the presumptions of class, and so forth.
Second, the Richmond Crusade strongly suggests the value of approaches drawn from interpretive anthropology. Milton Singer’s concept of cultural performances and, especially, Victor Turner’s notion of social dramas provide useful and highly visual tools for understanding social movements. On the other hand, the evidence developed here suggests the need to emend anthropologist James Scott’s argument in Domination and the Arts of Resistance – not his central and valuable concept of “private transcripts,” but rather his depiction of the way in which those hidden critiques of power become public. In his final chapter, Scott addressed public manifestations of protest at some length, but he described such moments as if they took place in strictly bifurcated, us-and-them environments.(159) Scott highlighted the efforts of subordinate groups confronting the powerful, as in his potent image of protests made “in the teeth of power.” But events in Richmond were more complex and oblique. Although the Crusade clearly involved a public confrontation of formerly hidden transcripts – certainly this was the case for the Crusaders – both principal parties represented subordinate groups. The local elite – to whom Germans and native-born women each had some reason to feel a sense of grievance – was drawn almost exclusively from among those who were prosperous, white, native-born, and male. Yet instead of challenging the powerful and well-placed – truly speaking into the teeth of power – the two sides targeted each other.
Third, to understand this or any other social movement requires envisioning it not as a two-sided contest, but as fundamentally triangular. The crucial third dimension is the group – whether the community, the larger society, or the actual power holders – that serves as the movement’s audience. In Richmond, this sense of playing to an audience was not restricted to the Germans’ deliberately parodic activities. Throughout the Crusade, evangelical activists – and, somewhat more gradually, their German opponents – vied for the support of a larger group that was not directly involved in their protests. The demonstrations here – and in other social movements – can thus be interpreted as social texts performed on a public stage for the benefit of other, wider audiences. These demonstrations represent symbolic discourses that invoke divergent social visions narrated through particular rituals of public protest.
Many social movements have made extensive use of such symbolic imagery – including Coxey’s Army, the 1937 Detroit sit-down strikes, the Civil Rights movement, the movement against the Vietnam War, the occupation of Alcatraz, the anti-abortion movement, the activities of direct-action environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Earth First, and the Million Man March. Recognizing the three-dimensional quality of social protests is perhaps most vital in the case of those grounded in satire or parody – for example, when Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin reduced the New York Stock Exchange to chaos by pouring sacks of one-dollar bills from the observers’ gallery down onto the busy trading floor.
Finally, in analyzing social movements, the explanations of formal leaders and the logic of persuasion seem secondary to the volatile dynamics of protest tactics. The conflict in Richmond was only incidentally about one group convincing the other. The statements of leading Crusaders – including Rhoda Coffin’s controversial mid-March declaration of her sinlessness – seem far less significant for their content than for their public reception, and thus give us a means by which to judge changes in community response to Crusade activism. The hostile reaction to Coffin’s remark suggests the Crusade’s more general failure to move its audience. Similarly, though far more successfully, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not aim to win over “Bull” Connor or other dyed-in-the-wool segregationists during the 1963 Birmingham protests. Rather, he hoped to elicit an extreme response that would shake white Northerners and the Kennedy administration – his actual audience – out of their complacency. In Richmond, the Crusade produced an escalating struggle that ultimately worked in the Germans’ favor, as evangelical women abandoned the safe envelope of piety and moral suasion for methods that were adversarial and downright coercive. The women found themselves wielding unparalleled and very tangible power in the community. By challenging liquor sellers in their homes, by threatening the jobs of drinkers, by engaging in the surveillance of saloons, and by physically invading their premises, they sought not just temperance, but also breathtaking redefinitions of public and private space and the roles of women and men. But in so doing, they alienated many in the community and left themselves vulnerable to challenge.
The German community responded defensively and, at first, rather timidly. Over time, however, German protests – especially those of German women – showed great ingenuity, particularly in a sometimes heavy-handed, but often inspired use of humor and parody. These tactics appear to have been primarily intended for those within the German community and helped to unite Germans against the outside threat posed by the Crusade. However, as the Crusaders alienated their own allies, Germans gained a more sympathetic audience for their increasingly savvy protests. Thus the Richmond Crusade failed not because of the intractability of human nature, nor because the Crusaders had entered the male realm of public action, nor indeed because German men had an advantage conferred by gender. In different ways, Crusaders and Germans were both political outsiders, and Richmond’s evangelical women were in many respects quite accustomed to playing a public role. The true epicenter of the Crusaders’ defeat – and the Germans’ success – lies in the tactics the two movements embraced and the community’s changing perception of their symbolic meaning. Similarly, the analysis of any social movement needs to transcend a literal reading of its demands and accomplishments – or matters of leadership and mobilization – in order to perceive the changing public response to the symbolic inflections of its protests, demonstrations, and tactical choices.
Cambridge, MA 02138
An earlier version of this essay was presented at the 1996 American Historical Association convention. The author wishes to thank Leslie Choquette, Geoffrey Giles, Scott Haine, Patricia Herlihy, and Madeleine Hurd, as well as Bernard Bailyn, Shank Gilkeson, Susan Gray, Stephan Thernstrom, and the anonymous reviewer for the Journal of Social History. He also thanks Stan Miles, Burton Coffin, Janice Mathews, Etienne Ozorak, and Jim Timmerberg, and above all Linda M. Hamel for her stylistic acumen and her patience in taking the brunt of childcare duties for our son Jonathan while I prepared this article for publication.
The research underlying this essay was supported by grants from the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, by a professional development grant from Earlham College, and by a grant from the Ford Foundation-Earlham Fund, administered by Earlham College to encourage faculty-student research.
1. Richmond, Indiana, Daily Independent, February 19, 1874. To locate microfilms of the Daily Independent and other newspapers used in this essay, see, John Miller, Indiana Newspaper Bibliography (Indianapolis, 1982).
2. The Crusade was especially powerful in the Midwest but was significant through much of the nation outside of the South. – See for example Susan Dye Lee, Evangelical Domesticity: The Women’s Crusade of 1873-74,” in Hildah E Thomas and Rosemary Skinner Keller, eds., Women in New Worlds, vol. I (Nashville, 1981), pp. 293-309.
3. I am quite deliberate in referring to Richmond Crusaders, Quakers and Methodists alike, as evangelicals. To label Friends “evangelical” at first might seem erroneous or unjustified. In fact, by the 1870s, evangelical Protestantism had come to have a transforming influence on many Richmond Friends – as well as on a significant number of Friends elsewhere. The key lies in nineteenth-century Quaker history. The Society of Friends underwent a major schism in 1828, splitting Hicksite Friends, followers of Elias Hicks, from the Orthodox. Initially, the principal point of contention was the relative weight each group placed upon the “Inner Light” – spontaneous inspiration from God which transcends conscience to approach the mystical – versus the written Scriptures as the main source of spiritual guidance. Over time, however, the two groups came to differ on a wider range of faith and practice, with the Hicksites remaining true to the Quaker tradition of quietism – which stressed silence and inwardness – while the Orthodox, particularly through the influence of Methodism, turned towards a far more extroverted evangelicalism. The Hicksites were mostly Eastern, although they did predominate in Illinois Yearly Meeting, for example. The great center of Orthodoxy was to the west, above all in Indiana Yearly Meeting and Richmond. While a few Richmond Friends attended the small Hicksite meeting, a far greater number by the 1860s and 1870s belonged to Orthodox meetings.
By the 1860s, these Orthodox Friends not only took part in, but led religious revivals, as can be seen in the work of dynamic Quaker revivalists – such as Nathan and Esther Frame, David P. Updegraff, and Richmond Crusader Rhoda Coffin – who stressed the importance of conversion and who generally embraced the ideas of two Methodist revivalists: Charles G. Finney’s belief in “sanctification” (a second stage of being saved that went beyond simple conversion) and Phoebe Palmer’s stress on “holiness.” The influence of evangelicalism and the practices of mainstream Protestant denominations can still be seen in the Society of Friends. Although many are not aware of it, more Friends meetings are programmed and pastoral – having set worship services with hymns, sermons, and ministers – than have unprogrammed silent worship. Likewise, although the two branches have rejoined in the twentieth century, they retain separate national organizations: Friends General Conference, in Philadelphia, represents the Hicksite tradition; and Friends United Meeting, in Richmond, the Orthodox. The most important study of the emergence of Orthodox Quakerism is Thomas D. Hamm’s The Transformation of American Quakerism: Orthodox Friends, 1800-1907 (Bloomington, 1988); see also, James Clyde Sellman, “Visions of Community in Conflict: Richmond, Indiana, 1806-1890” (unpublished dissertation; Harvard University, 1993), especially, pp. 1-5, 46-52, 540-64, 573-74.
4. Letter from Polutio to the Chicago Times, reprinted in the Daily Independent, March 9, 1874.
5. Letter from Polutio, to the Chicago Times, reprinted in the Daily Independent, March 9, 1874. The reporter marvelled that he “heard more about the Lord” during one day in Richmond than in the “12 years I have lived in Chicago.” He left town convinced that “if I stayed six hours longer I should call everybody ‘thee’ and find myself roaring like a Stentor for the forgiveness of the wicked saloonkeepers.” Ibid.
6. Miller, Indiana Newspaper Bibliography, p. 494. Johnson (1826-99) was a veteran local journalist who had earlier helped found two Republican newspapers, the Broad Axe of Freedom (1855-64) and the Quaker City Telegram (1862-96). Miller identified Maag and Caldwell as co-publishers of the Daily Independent; Johnson worked as local editor. – See, the Richmond Telegram, June 12, 1874; Richmond Telegram, February 12, 1875; and the Piqua Democrat as reprinted in the Daily Independent, June 15, 1874.
7. See, for example, a later interview with Johnson in the Richmond Enterprise, January 15, 1897; and his obituary in the Richmond Evening Item, April 5, 1899.
8. Joseph Gusfield, Symbolic Crusade: Status, Politics and the American Temperance Movement (Urbana, 1966).
9. See, Jonathan Friedman, “The Past in the Future: History and the Politics of Identity,” American Anthropologist new ser., vol. 94, no. 4 (December 1992): 845-46.
10. Jed Dannenbaum, Drink and Disorder: Temperance Reform in Cincinnati from the Washingtonian Revival to the WCTU (Urbana, 1984), pp. 219, 222.
11. Ruth Bordin, Woman and Temperance: The Quest for Power and Liberty, 1873-1900 (Philadelphia, 1981), p. 162.
12. Fredrik Barth, “Introduction,” in Barth, ed., Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Cultural Difference (Boston, 1969), pp. 9-38.
13. See, Victor A. Walsh, “‘Drowning the Shamrock’: Drink, Teetotalism and the Irish Catholics of Gilded-Age Pittsburgh,” Journal of American Ethnic History vol. 10, no. 1-2 (Fall 1990-Winter 1991): 60-79.
14. Roy Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920 (New York, 1983), p. 95. See also, Perry R. Duis, The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920 (Urbana, 1983); and Jon M. Kingsdale, “The ‘Poor Man’s Club’: Social Functions of the Urban Working-Class Saloon,” American Quarterly vol. 25 (October, 1973): 472-89
15. Barbara L. Epstein, The Politics of Domesticity: Women, Evangelism and Temperance in Nineteenth-Century America (Middletown, CT, 1981), p. 1. See also, Bordin, Woman and Temperance; and Jack S. Blocker Jr., “Give to the Wind Thy Fears”: The Women’s Temperance Crusade, 1873-1874 (Westport, CT, 1985).
16. Blocker “Give to the Wind Thy Fears,” pp. 177-207.
17. Bordin, Woman and Temperance, p. 34; see also, Epstein, The Politics of Domesticity, p. 115; and Dannenbaum, Drink and Disorder, p. 226.
18. Dannenbaum, Drink and Disorder, p. 218; Blocker, “Give to the Wind Thy Fears,” pp. 57-83,202-03.
19. See, for example, Richard Jenkins, “Rethinking Ethnicity: Identity, Categorization and Power,” Ethnic and Racial Studies vol. 17, no. 2 (April 1994): 219.
20. See, for example, Ruth Bordin, “Marching for Temperance: The Woman’s Crusade in Adrian,” Chronicle, vol. 15, no. 4 (1980): 16-23; Dannenbaum, Drink and Disorder; and Roger W. Clark, “Cincinnati Crusaders for Temperance: 1874,” Cincinnati Historical Society Bulletin vol. 32, no. 4 (1974): 185-99. See also, Aldon Morris and Carol McClurg Mueller, eds., Frontiers in Social Movement Theory (New Haven, 1992).
21. Clifford Geertz, “Local Knowledge: Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective,” in Geertz, Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology (New York, 1983), pp. 167-234.
22. Thomas Bender, “Wholes and Parts: The Need for Synthesis in American History,” Journal of American History vol.73 (June 1986): 127.
23. See, for example, Paul Johnson, “Drinking, Temperance and the Construction of Identity in Nineteenth-Century America,” Social Science Information vol. 25, no. 2 (1986): 521-30; Jo Anne Schneider, “Defining Boundaries, Creating Contacts: Puerto Rican and Polish Presentation of Group Identity through Ethnic Parades,” Journal of Ethnic Studies vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 33-57; and James Clyde Sellman, “‘Festive Culture’ and Feisty Culture: The Construction of German Identity in Postbellum Richmond, Indiana,” a paper delivered at the 1995 Social Science History Association, unpublished ms.
24. Milton B. Singer, “Search for a Great Tradition in Cultural Performances,” in Singer, Semiotics of Cities, Selves and Cultures: Explorations in Semiotic Anthropology (Berlin and New York, 1991), p. 29.
25. Ibid., p. 29.
26. Milton B. Singer, ed., Traditional India: Structure and Change (Philadelphia, 1959), p. xii. See also, John J. MacAloon, “Introduction: Cultural Performances, Culture Theory,” in MacAloon, ed., Rite, Drama, Festival, Spectacle: Rehearsals Toward a Theory of Cultural Performance (Philadelphia, 1984), pp. 1-15.
27. See, for example, Goran Aijmer, “The Cultural Nature of Ritual and Myth,” in Aijmer, ed., Symbolic Textures: Studies in Cultural Meaning, Gothenburg Studies in Social Anthropology vol. 10, (Gothenburg, 1987): 1-22. Thus Aijmer observed (p. 3):
Social reality is largely a symbolic reality in that the objects, states and images of the world are carriers of some sort of meaning. This meaning will not only spring from a simple “reading” of single symbols as they occur in the world; the symbols also combine into increasingly complex clusters which convey increasingly complex cultural messages.
Or as Raul Pertierra explained, the importance of rituals lies in their ability “to transform a context through the performative use of language” and “other symbolic practices.” – Pertierra, “Ritual and the Constitution of Social Structure,” Mankind vol. 17, no. 3 (December 1987): 199.
28. Anthropological studies of such community events include Abner Cohen, “Drama and Politics in the Development of a London Carnival,” Man, new ser., vol. 15, no. 1 (March 1980): 65-87; and Abner Cohen, “A Polyethnic London Carnival as a Contested Cultural Performance,” Ethnic and Racial Studies vol. 5, no. 1 (January 1982): 23-41; Denise Lawrence, “Parades, Politics, and Competing Urban Images: Doo Dah and Roses,” Urban Anthropology vol. 11, no. 2 (Summer 1982): 155-76; Frederick Errington, “Reflexivity Deflected: The Festival of Nations as an American Cultural Performance,” American Ethnologist vol. 14, no. 4 (November 1987): 654-67; Jonathan Church, “Confabulations of Community: The Hamefarins and Political Discourse on Shetland,” Anthropological Quarterly vol. 63, no. 1 (January 1990): 31 – 42; Milton B. Singer, “The Symbolic and Historic Structure of an American Identity,” in Singer, Semiotics o/Cities, pp. 129-45; Schneider, “Defining Boundaries, Creating Contacts” pp. 33-57; Jack Kugelmass, “‘Wishes Come True’: Designing the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade,” Journal of American Folklore vol. 104, no. 414 (Fall 1991): 443-65; and Janet Siskind, “The Invention of Thanksgiving,” Critique of Anthropology vol. 12, no. 2 (June 1992): 167-91; also valuable is W. Lloyd Warner’s classic The Living and the Dead: A Study of the Symbolic Life of Americans (New Haven, 1959).
Comparable historical studies include: Susan G. Davis, Parades and Power: Street Theatre in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1986); Kathleen Conzen, “Ethnicity as Festive Culture: Nineteenth-Century German America on Parade,” in Werner SolIors, ed., The Invention of Ethnicity (New York, 1989), pp. 44-76; Robert Anthony Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 (New Haven, 1985); and Robert Anthony Orsi, “The Religious Boundaries of an In-Between People: Street Feste and the Problem of the Dark-Skinned Other in Italian Harlem,” American Quarterly vol. 44, no. 3 (September 1992): 313 – 46; April Schultz, “‘The Pride of the Race Had Been Touched’: The 1925 Norse-American Immigration Centennial and Ethnic Identity,” Journal of American History vol. 77, no. 4 (March 1991): 1265-95; John Bodnar, Re.Making America: Public Memory, Commemoration and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 1992); and Shane White, “‘It Was a Proud Day’: African Americans, Festivals and Parades in the North, 1741-1834,” Journal of American History vol. 81, no. 1 (June 1994): 13-50; see also, J. Matthew Gallman’s account of Philadelphia’s great 1864 Sanitary Festival in J. Matthew Gallman, Mastering Wartime: A Social History of Philadelphia during the Civil War (Cambridge, England, 1990).
29. James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, 1990), p. xiii, see also, p. 203.
30. Victor W. Turner, Schism and Continuity in an African Society: A Study of Ndembu Village Life (Manchester, England, 1957), see especially, pp. 91-93; and Victor W. Turner, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors (Ithaca, 1974), pp. 37-41.
31. Victor W. Turner, “Social Dramas in Brazilian Umbanda: The Dialectics of Meaning,” in Turner, The Anthropology of Performance (New York, 1986), pp. 34-35.
32. Victor W. Turner, “The Anthropology of Performance,” in Turner, The Anthropology of Performance, p. 90.
33. Turner, “The Anthropology of Performance,” p. 76.
34. Victor W. Turner, “Images and Reflections: Ritual, Drama, Carnival, Film and Spectacle in Cultural Performance,” in Turner, The Anthropology of Performance p. 24.
35. Victor W. Turner, “Process, System and Symbol: A New Anthropological Synthesis,” Daedalus vol. 106, no. 3 (Summer, 1977): 71.
36. See, for example, Linda K. Kerber, “Separate Spheres, Female Worlds, Woman’s Place: The Rhetoric of Women’s History,” Journal of American History vol. 75, no. 1 (June 1988): 9-39.
37. Sarah Deutsch, “Learning to Talk More Like a Man: Boston Women’s Class-Bridging Organizations, 1870-1940,” American Historical Review vol. 97, no. 2 (April 1992): 379, 380.
38. Michael McGerr, “Political Style and Women’s Power, 1830-1930,”Journal of American History vol. 77, no. 3 (December 1990): 865.
39. McGerr, “Political Style and Women’s Power” p. 869. Similarly, sociologist Elizabeth Clemons has noted the significance of women’s “organizational repertoires,” which Clemons described, in part, as “scripts for action.” – Elizabeth S. Clemons, “Organizational Repertoires and Institutional Change: Women’s Groups and the Transformation of U.S. Politics, 1880-1920,” American Journal of Sociology vol. 98, no. 4 (January 1993): 358.
40. “Richmond Churches,” Telegram, February 20, 1879.
41. See, Rebecca Shepherd, et al. Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Vol. I, 1819-1899 (Indianapolis, 1980).
42. Families on Richmond’s south side were on the whole much poorer than those to the north of Main Street, as is revealed in the 1870 census schedules:
Median Declared Real and Personal Property, by Ward, Richmond,
South Side: N =
1st ward $2000 76
4th ward $2000 77
2nd ward $3075 67
3rd ward $5850 66
5th ward $3250 70
Overall $2400 231
Sources: Random household samples of each ward and an overall
sample, stratified by ward, drawn from the manuscript schedules
of the Ninth Federal Census (1870).
43. For a fuller discussion of these events, see Sellman, “Visions of Community in Conflict” pp. 497-501,540-62.
44. See, Lori D. Ginzberg, “Moral Suasion is Moral Balderdash,” in Ginzberg, Women and the Work of Benevolence: Morality, Politics and C/ass in the Nineteenth-Century United States (New Haven, 1990), pp. 98-132.
45. See Sellman, “Visions of Community in Conflict,” chapter 8.
46. Mahala Jay, “Address to the Phoenix Band of Earlham College, February 24, 1865,” p. 14; in “Essays, Compositions and Addresses”; Eli and Mahala Jay Collection; Earlham College Archives; Richmond, Indiana.
47. Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life: A Study in Religious Sociology, translated by Joseph Ward Swain, (Glencoe, IL, 1947), pp. 418, 427.
48. Turner, “Social Dramas in Brazilian Umbanda,” p. 49; see also, Errington, “Reflexivity Deflected,” pp. 654-67.
49. Lawrence, “Parades, Politics, and Competing Urban Images”, pp. 155-76; Kugelmass, “‘Wishes Come True'” pp. 443-65. See also, Cohen, “Drama and Politics in the Development of a London Carnival,” pp. 65-87; Cohen, “A Polyethnic London Carnival as a Contested Cultural Performance,” pp. 23-41; and Church, “Confabulations of Community,” pp. 31-42.
50. Anthony E C. Wallace, “Revitalization Movements,” American Anthropologist vol. 58, no. 2 (April 1956): 264-81.
51. Kugelmass, “‘Wishes Come True’,” p. 449.
52. Letter from Genesis, Daily Independent, February 28, 1874.
54. See, Sellman, “Visions of Community in Conflict,” pp. 328-36.
55. Calvin Johnson reported that a crowd of five hundred gathered when the women stopped at Peter Arnold’s wholesale liquor store. – Daily Independent, March 3, 1874.
56. Describing one such assemblage, Johnson joked that even Thomas Nast “in one of his happiest efforts” could not “do justice to the scene.” – Daily Independent, March 7, 1874.
57. Daily Independent, March 2, 1874.
58. Even this small measure of financial assistance apparently bothered the women. Crusader Rhoda Coffin, a prominent Orthodox Friend, explained that “there was some distrust about giving money” that might later be “used for purchasing saloons.’ She viewed the decision to pay Lichtenfels “a bad investment that “would never again be repeated.” – Daily Independent, March 19, 1874.
59. The ritualized destruction of alcoholic beverages long predated Carrie Nation and her axe; see, Jed Dannenbaum, “The Origins of Temperance Activism and Militancy among American Women, Journal of Social History vol. 14 (1981): 235-36.
60. Daily Independent, March 2, 1874. Similarly, when August Woeste quit a week and a half later, Crusade leader Rhoda Coffin was given the honor of spilling the first jug of liquor.” – Daily Independent, March 14, 1874.
61. Daily Independent, March 12, 1874.
62. Telegram, March 27, 1874.
63. Palladium, March 7, 1874.
64. The balance of this paragraph summarizes Sellman, “Visions of Community,” chapters 7 and 8.
65. Daily Independent, February 28, 1874.
67. Palladium, February 28, 1874.
68. Telegram, March 6, 1874.
69. Palladium, February 28, 1874; ibid., March 7, 1874.
70. Palladium, June 3, 1874.
71. Daily Independent, March 2, 1874.
72. For a fuller discussion of the significance of this event, see, Sellman, “‘Festive Culture’ and Feisty Culture”.
73. That the Germans were both ethnically distinctive and a minority is, of course, highly relevant here, as Elizabeth Tonkin, Maryon McDonald, and Malcolm Chapman have suggested. – Tonkin, McDonald, and Chapman, “Introduction,” in Tonkin, McDonald, and Chapman, eds., History and Ethnicity (London, 1989), p. 18.
74. Daily Independent, March 12. 1874. The Crusaders later would occasionally return to their earlier tactics of mass demonstrations and prayer. – See, for example, Daily Independent, March 16, 1874.
75. Daily Independent, March 12, 1874; see also Telegram, March 20, 1874.
76. Daily Independent, March 18, 1874.
77. That the temperance campaign was of particular concern to women can be surmised from the Women’s Temperance League petition that the city clerk reported was signed by “about 616 voters and 1227 adult women & citizens of the city.” After presenting their petition, the ladies were granted leave to address the council. – City Council Minutes, vol. 6 [May 7, 1872, to July 24, 1874], April 21, 1874, pp. 488-89. For a similar women’s petition, see, Council Minutes, March 17, 1874, p. 467. The council minutes are located in the City Clerk’s Office; Municipal Building; Richmond, Indiana.
78. Daily Independent, March 25, 1874.
79. Daily Independent, March 12, 1874.
81. Daily Independent, March 28, 1874.
82. Daily Independent, May 2, 1874. On the other hand, One of the Men complained, “Not a single prosecution has been made on any evidence furnished by the ladies. The men are solely responsible for all that has yet been done in this direction.” – Letter from One of the Men, Daily Independent, April 4, 1874. And at the June session of the grand jury, Telegram editor Daniel Surface reported that of some 175 liquor cases, only two indictments “were based on the information of women engaged in the crusade.’ – Telegram, June 12, 1874.
83. Daily Independent, March 9, 1874. Another saloonkeeper remarked that the Crusaders “sang, prayed and invited him to ‘Come to Jesus’, and finding this of no avail, they began to prosecute him. He finally came to the conclusion that it was either ‘Come to Jesus’ or go to jail – so, preferring the former, he came.” – Daily Independent, April 5, 1874.
84. Daily Independent, March 12, 1874.
85. Letter from Genesis, Daily Independent, February 28, 1874. Even before the Crusade, a number of local women had begun speaking out with unprecedented forcefulness. The Daily Independent reported the January protest by women at Richmond’s Lyceum Hall and their demand that since “women are tax-payers, but have no voice in making laws,” there should be the same “number of female assessors as there are male assessors.” – Daily Independent, January 6, 1874.
86. Daily Independent, March 7, 1874. Johnson reported the remark was “received with loud applause.” – Ibid.
87. Letter from Jessie to the Indianapolis Sun as reprinted in Daily Independent, March 3, 1874.
88. See, Daily Independent, March 9, 1874; see also, letter from R., Daily Independent, May 15, 1874.
89. Daily Independent, March 12, 1874. Just over a week later Johnson remarked that “public interest” in the Crusade appeared to be “on the wane.” – Daily Independent, March 20, 1874.
90. Daily Independent, May 14, 1874.
91. Daily Independent, March 23, 1874.
92. Ibid.; see also, Daily Independent, March 31, 1874.
93. Daily Independent, April 7, 1874.
94. Daily Independent, March 25, 1874.
95. Daily Independent, April 14, 1874; see also, Daily Independent, April 17, 1874.
96. Daily Independent., April 16, 1874.
97. Daily Independent, April 22, 1874; Daily Independent, May 27, 1874; Daily Independent, May 28, 1874; and Telegram, June 5, 1874. Both men were found guilty, but were only fined $1 plus costs. – Daily Independent, May 27, 1874; Daily Independent, May 28, 1874; More significant was Judge J. F. Kibbey’s instruction to the jury in the related Lichtenfels trial. Kibbey explained that if someone caused an unreasonable delay on a public sidewalk, the adjacent property owner could “order the person to remove.” Although he cautioned that reasonable time must be allowed for such individuals to leave, “if they persist in remaining” the property owner could “use all necessary force to eject them.” – Daily independent, May 28, 1874. Significantly, the judge’s instructions were well publicized in both the Daily Independent and the Telegram, further suggesting evidence of the general disenchantment with the Crusade. – See also, Telegram, June 5, 1874.
98. Daily Independent, April 1, 1874.
99. Daily Independent, April 28, 1874; Mrs. Dr. Emmons, “What Has Been Done; The Work of a Week, Daily Independent, April 3, 1874; Daily Independent, April 29, 1874.
100. Daily Independent, April 24, 1874.
101. Richard Jenkins, “Rethinking Ethnicity: Identity, Categorization and Power,” Ethnic and Racial Studies vol. 17, no. 2 (April 1994): 211.
102. Daily Independent, March 10, 1874.
103. Daily Independent, February 28, 1874. Lichtenfels had a license under the rigorous terms of the Baxter Law.
104. Daily Independent, February 27, 1874.
105. Daily Independent, April 14, 1874; see also, Daily Independent, April 16, 1874; Daily Independent, April 20, 1874; Daily Independent, May 1, 1874; Daily Independent, May 5, 1874; and Daily Independent, May 9, 1874. This crank-organ also seems to have made appearances at Schultz’s and Lichtenfels establishments. – Daily Independent, April 24, 1874; Daily Independent, April 25, 1874.
106. Daily Independent, April 9, 1874.
107. Daily Independent, April 17, 1874; Daily Independent, April 18, 1874.
108. Daily Independent, April 20, 1874. Evidently, “Fisher’s Hornpipe” was the only tune the instrument would play. – See, Daily Independent, April 24, 1874; Daily Independent, April 25, 1874.
109. Daily Independent, April 20, 1874.
110. Daily Independent, April 17, 1874.
112. Daily Independent, April 21, 1874.
113. Daily Independent, April 1, 1874.
114. Daily Independent, April 1, 1874; Daily Independent, April 2, 1874. The attractive young Crusade leader Rachel Mendenhall confided rather scandalously that when she found herself “enveloped in tobacco smoke,” she discovered that she actually “rather liked it.” – Daily Independent, April 2, 1874.
115. Daily Independent, April 1, 1874.
116. See, for example, Mrs. Anton Bescher in the Daily Independent, March 5, 1874; and Mrs. Henry Cutter, Daily Independent, March 12, 1874.
117. Examples of verbal hostility include: Mrs. Matt Walterman, Daily Independent, March 9, 1874; and Mrs. Peter Lennard, Daily Independent, March 16, 1874. After Joseph Meyer’s wife used “very insulting language” to them, she was charged with assault. – Daily Independent, March 27, 1874.
118. Daily Independent, March 16, 1874.
119. Daily Independent, April 15, 1874.
120. Daily Independent, May 2, 1874.
121. Daily Independent, March 17, 1874.
122. Daily Independent, March 16, 1874.
123. See, Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, “Introduction: Rethinking Bakhtin,” in Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, eds., Rethinking Bakhtin: Extensions and Challenges (Evanston, 1989), pp. 1-60.
124. Linda Hutcheon, “Modern Parody and Bakhtin,” in Morson and Emerson, Rethinking Bakhtin, pp. 87, 98.
125. Vincent Crapanzano, “The Postmodern Crisis: Discourse, Parody, Memory,” Cultural Anthropology vol. 6, no. 4 (November 1991): 437.
126. Hutcheon, “Modern Parody and Bakhtin,” in Morson and Emerson, eds., Rethinking Bakhtin, p. 100; and Gary Saul Morson, “Parody, History and Metaparody,” in Morson and Emerson, eds., Rethinking Bakhtin, p. 63.
127. Morson, “Parody, History and Metaparody,” p. 67; Crapanzano, “The Postmodern Crisis,” p. 438.
128. Morson, “Parody, History and Metaparody,” p. 65 (emphasis in original).
129. Daily Independent, March 17, 1874.
130. Daily Independent, March 10, 1874; until noted the following quotations are drawn from this article.
131. Daily Independent, March 13, 1874. It is worth pointing out that Coffin’s words represent more than stunning arrogance or spiritual hubris. Coffin believed that in 1871 she had achieved “sanctification,” the second stage of salvation that “holiness” evangelicals argued lay beyond conversion and in which one transcended even the desire to sin. In saying that she had “fully consecrated [her]self to Christ,” Coffin was speaking of her experience of sanctification and was thus unmistakably voicing her convictions as a Quaker evangelical. Later G. P. Riley would insist that Coffin had been quoted out of context, but whether true or not, by then it was too late. – Letter from G. P. Riley, Daily Independent, April 10, 1874. See Hamm, The Transformation of American Quakerism, pp. 77-85.
132. This debate had two sides. – See, for example, letters from W.L., Daily Independent, March 28, 1874; and Daily Independent, March 31, 1874; from Stranger [G. P. Riley], Daily Independent, March 30, 1874; from Kate Spence, Daily Independent, March 31, 1874; from G.P. Riley, Daily Independent, April 10, 1874.
133. Morson, “Parody, History and Metaparody,” p. 78.
134. Letter from W.L., Daily Independent, March 28, 1874.
135. Letter from John, Daily Independent, March 25, 1874.
136. Letter from R., Daily Independent, May 15, 1874.
137. Daily Independent. A more philosophically-inclined “Friend of True Reform” reflected that claims “to perfection and sanctification” were “cause for deep thought – perfect – nothing more to effect in one’s self. Oh! dangerous ground.” – Letter from A Friend of True Reform, Daily Independent, April 7, 1874.
138. Letter from MYOB, Daily Independent, March 16, 1974.
139. Letter from A Looker On, Daily Independent, June 4, 1874.
140. These included Thomas Lichtenfels’ licensed saloon and the wholesale establishments of Staufer & Forbis, Chris Schultz, Alfred Tullidge and Charles Leive. – See, Daily Independent, April 29, 1874; and Daily Independent, May 4, 1874.
141. Letter from E.S., Daily Independent, March 25, 1874; see also, letter from A.B., Daily Independent, April 5, 1874.
142. Letter from Exodus, Daily Independent, March 23, 1874. Of course, letters in support never disappeared altogether. – See, letter from A Friend, Daily Independent, March 25, 1874; letter from A Friend, Daily Independent, March 27, 1874; letter from One of the Men, Daily Independent, April 4, 1874; letter from One of the Faithful, Daily Independent, April 7, 1874; and letter from J.F.C., Daily Independent, May 12, 1874.
143. Letter from O.S., Daily Independent, April 23, 1874; letter from R., Daily Independent, May 15, 1874.
144. Letter from A.B, Daily Independent, April 5, 1874.
145. Daily Independent, May 6, 1874. Calvin Johnson regarded the election as “one of the most exciting ever held in this city” and reported that a “very full vote was polled.” – Daily Independent, May 6, 1874.
146. Daily Independent, May 19, 1874. The report was in error; Valentine survived until 1905. – Willard C. Heiss, ed., Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana, Part One (Indianapolis, 1962), p. 60.
147. Mary Coffin Johnson, ed., Rhoda M. Coffin: Her Reminiscences, Addresses, Papers, and Ancestry (New York, 1910).
148. The Coffin Papers do, however, preserve her reminiscences about the Home for Friendless Women, the Home Missionary Association of Woman Friends, various revivals that she helped lead, as well as the WCTU and other benevolent activities. – Coffin Family Papers, Earlham College Archives, Richmond, Indiana; and Coffin Papers, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.
149. Telegram, February 25, 1876. Besides Coffin and Valentine, other Crusaders prominent in the Richmond WCTU included Libbie Jarrett, Elizabeth Haughton, and Esther Dickinson. – See Telegram, September 8, 1876; Telegram, November 13, 1879; Telegram, September 9, 1880.
150. Kim Rivers, “The Woman’s War Against Whiskey: From the Power of Prayer to the Power of Organization,” unpublished ms., pp. 22-28. – Earlham College Archives, unpublished ms.
151. See, WCTU Minutes, 1875-1912, Indiana Yearly Meeting Archives, Lilly Library, Earlham College. In tactics and organization, the WCTU was more conservative than the Crusade, but in its goals it was not. By 1879, following the lead of WCTU president Frances E. Willard, the organization began to advocate a broad social program that included the demand of woman’s suffrage, an idea the Crusaders never broached. – Carolyn DeSwarte Gifford, “Home Protection: The WCTU’s Conversion to Woman Suffrage,” in Janet Sharistanian, ed., Gender, Ideology and Action: Historical Perspectives on Women’s Public Lives (New York, 1986), pp. 95-120, quotn. p. 95; see also, Carolyn DeSwarte Gifford, “For God and Home and Native Land,” in Thomas and Keller, Women in New Worlds, vol. I, pp. 310-27.
152. See, Telegram, April 23, 1875; Telegram, February 25, 1876; see also, Telegram, February 7, 1878; Telegram, April 17, 1879; Telegram, June 15, 1882; and Evening Item, August 4, 1885.
153. Telegram, November 13, 1879. On the other hand, Margaret Dennis and reform stalwart W. D. Schooley each offered more hopeful assessments that “work was still going on in a quiet manner.” – Telegram, November 13, 1879.
154. See, Sellman, “‘Festive Culture’ and Feisty Culture.”
155. Telegram, August 14, 1879. “The members had their families with them,” he continued, “and they were also joined by a number of outside friends who shared with them their fine singing, their social good feeling chats, and their fresh-tapped foaming lager.” – Telegram, August 14, 1879. On the Fourth of July immediately following the Crusade, the Telegram had reported, evidently without hostile insinuation, that “the Teutons had their malt and a jolly time” at Bennett’s Grove. – Telegram, July 10, 1874.
156. Telegram, June 19, 1884.
157. Telegram, June 3, 1880. See also, Telegram, July 7, 1881; Telegram, September 9, 1880. By the mid-1870s, the city could also boast performances by the “Mendelssohn Quintette Club. – Telegram, March 26, 1875.
158. Carol McClurg Mueller, “Building Social Movement Theory,” in Morris and Mueller, Frontiers in Social Movement Theory, p. 7.
159. James C. Scott, “A Saturnalia of Power: The First Public Declaration of the Hidden Transcript,” chapter 8 of Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, pp. 202-27.
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