The Plain Dealer and the Home Defender: Nick Chiles, Carry A. Nation, and Smasher’s Mail
Keywords:Nick Chiles, Carry A. Nation, Carrie Amelia Nation, Kansas, African Americans, temperance
In her short-lived newspaper The Smasher's Mail, Carry A. Nation included two accounts of how she began her business relationship with Nick Chiles, owner of the Topeka, Kansas, Plaindealer, newspaper.1 The inaugural issue of Smasher’s Mail in March 1901 said when Nation started her campaign against the saloons of Topeka (called "joints" in the vernacular of 1901), Chiles took a "deep interest in her work." When Nation was taken into custody on a charge of destroying private property and "the so-called Law and Order people" put her in the Shawnee County jail, Nation's former friends deserted her. Nation, a white woman, contacted Chiles, an African American man, to request that he post her bond, and he complied.