Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Political Science


During the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804, the liquor problem first entered Kansas, when two men were punished for drunkenness while on duty. From 1804 to 1848 little is to be found in records that gives any information on this question but from 1848 to 1861 it was a live issue. Laws were enacted prohibiting the sale of intoxicating beverages to the Indians, the Dram-shop Law of 1855 was passed, the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention was held, and Kansas was admitted as a state January 29, 1861, without a liquor control law in her Constitution. The demand for better liquor enforcement laws grew. Political parties were urged to place prohibition planks in their platforms. The improved Liquor Law of 1868 was passed. John P. St. John was elected governor in 1878 on a Republican ticket. The legislature passed Joint Resolution Number 3, a bill to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicants in Kansas, and the question was to be decided at the election of 1880.

Many agencies worked for the passage of the proposed amendment. The pioneer organization was the Good Templars. They were aided by the Kansas State Union, the State Temperance League, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Blue Ribbon Society and the churches. The People's Grand Protective Union was against any change in the Liquor Law of 1868.

At the election of 1880, the proposed amendment passed by a safe majority. John P. St. John was re-elected governor, and immediately set about seeing that a law was passed to enforce the amendment. The Liquor Law of 1881 was enacted by the legislature over a protest by George W. Glick.

The materials for this thesis were obtained in the Kansas State Library, the Kansas State Historical Library, the Library of Kansas University, the Porter Library of the Kansas State Teachers College and the City Libraries of Pittsburg, and of lola. The facts concerning Drusilla Wilson were' obtained from Miss Marianna Brown of Carmel, Indiana. Much of the information was found in the Kansas Historical Collections. The Clipping Departments of the State Libraries gave many accounts of Prohibition. All the newspapers used, with the exception of the Girard Press were in the Historical Library at Topeka.


Copy of typewritten thesis, iv, 94 leaves; 28 cm.


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