The Gilded Age and The Temperance Society

The turn of the century when the 1800s merged with the 1900s was called The Gilded Age among other names. It was an era of great economic growth and the world changed very rapidly, especially in the transportation and industrial sectors. Women were fighting for the right to vote and to have a say in the running of the country, to end social injustice. As they cried out for and demanded change a lot of women’s organizations sprang up.

One such organization was the American Temperance Society who advocated against liquor. They were led by women such as Carrie Nation whose first husband died of alcoholism. Carrie attracted a lot of followers who marched and carried signs decrying the evils of drink.

These women eventually became known as “Hatchettes” due to the fact they’d march into saloons carrying hatchets and destroy the place. It was a wild time and women were fed up being treated as second-class citizens and being abused (or killed) by their drunken spouses.

Grace Legend in A Cowboy of Legend joins the temperance movement and sees a hero in Carrie Nation. One of her childhood friends was beaten to death by her drunk husband so Grace sees this movement as one that will define her life.

She’s living in Fort Worth, Texas with her brother who’s trying to keep her out of trouble and not having much luck. As a baby in “The Heart of a Texas Cowboy” she was a sassy little thing and as an adult she’s headstrong, passionate, and determined to make her mark.

Tempers flare and sparks fly when she descends on Hell’s Half Acre and Deacon Brannock’s Three Deuces Saloon with signs, drums, and hatchets.

Having grown up with nothing, he’s worked long and hard for something to call his own and he’s not about to let these women take it from him.

But who is Deacon Brannock? Grace’s search yields no one in the state in Texas under that name. It has to be fake. If so why? What is he hiding?

And who is the young pregnant woman living above the saloon? A wife, mother, sister? Or maybe he’s holding her against her will. Grace wouldn’t put anything past him. He has a dangerous reputation and was questioned for the murder of one man. Who knows how many others he may have killed?

Yet, Grace is keeping secrets of her own as well. Her family would be furious if they knew what she was doing.

This story has a monkey named Jesse James, orphan boys, and a mystery.

A Cowboy of Legend releases a week from today on Tuesday the 27th.

I have two copies to give away. Just leave a comment answering my question. If you had lived back then, would you have joined one of these women’s organizations? Or tell me any organizations you have joined or are still a member of?


Once Upon a Mail Order Bride (ebook only) is on sale for $1.99 until close of day on Thursday, April 22! If you missed the fourth book of Outlaw Mail Order Brides, now is your chance to get it cheap.  



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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

55 thoughts on “The Gilded Age and The Temperance Society”

    • Good morning, Denise. Thanks for coming. I think you would’ve made a great suffragette. Those women fighting for the right to vote received stiff opposition. The majority of men sure didn’t want us to have a voice. Have a blessed day.

  1. Good morning Linda, I don’t know if I would have joined a group or not. I think I would have voiced my opinion of things, as I tend to to that now. I do believe I would of fought for our right to vote, the right to own our own land.
    I can’t wait for everyone to read this book. I think it’s your best one yet, but then I say that with each and every one you release.
    I truly thought Grace & Deacon are the perfect couple.
    Happy Tuesday, love you dearly.

    • Good morning, Miss Tonya. I think it was/is just as important to speak out against things we think are wrong. I’m not really a joiner. Never have been. But like you I would’ve been very vocal. Thank you so much for liking Deacon and Grace. She needed a strong man and boy did she get one! I loved your review and really appreciated it. I hope your day is filled with love and beauty. God’s grace is around us.

  2. I really don’t know if I’d joined the group or not as I’m pretty passive. BUT if my BFF had been beaten to death by her drunken husband I may of been passionate enough to try to stop it anyway I could. I’m super excited to read Grace’s story, I love The Men ofLegend series! and it’s wonderful author ??

    • Good morning, Rose Ann! Thank you so much for coming. I always smile when I see your name. Sometimes passive people can become staunch fighters. It just takes the right circumstances. Here of late, I’ve thought if I was just a little younger, I’d be right out there marching against injustice. I hope you enjoy this book. Grace and Deacon are like oil and water but they did learn how to bend to make their relationship work. Thank you for the kind words about Men of Legend. Have a blessed day, sweet lady. Love you.

  3. I’d like to believe I would be a suffragette.

    I am certain that I can’t wait to read about the next generation of Legends, while hopefully catching up with some old friends.

    • Good morning, Alisa! It’s almost afternoon in Florida. I can see you as a suffragette and fighting for women’s rights. Eventually, those women merged with the Temperance group. All were fighting to change things for women. I think you’ll like how Grace turned out. She was a bossy baby and now a spitfire unable to keep quiet. And Deacon Brannock is perfect for her. I hope you enjoy this story. Have a beautiful day.

    • My dear Charlene, I’m so glad you came by. It’s wonderful to see old friends. Possibly you would’ve been involved behind the scenes in some way. Those people are just as important. I love you dearly.

    • Good morning, Debra. Sometimes we never know what we’ll do until we’re faced with the situation. Enjoy your day and look for God’s blessings around you.

  4. Good morning MS. Linda! I’m super excited for your new release! This was an excellent read!

    Yes, I would have join in to fight for the rights of women back then. Today, no because it’s a whole different world now and true things still aren’t 50/50 when it comes to men vs women but it has come a long way. I’m sure I would feel different about my stance if I was in a different life situation. I feel for women trapped in abusive marriages and don’t have the means to or feel their life is in too much danger to get out. I got out of my bad marriage but my life wasn’t in danger but I do wish that I had gotten out many years earlier but hind sight is 20/20 after all. Women that aren’t equal in the work place is another sad issue but I like to think that more often than not woman get promoted more on merit.

    I once butted heads with our operations manager because when he handed me an application on a new hire he was hiring him at a much higher pay rate than other new hires. I was the one that viewed applications for the initial pass thru on whether they advance to other members of management for hire. I knew there was no valid reason for him to hire this man at a higher rate than other applicants. So I said, “$X”. He said, “well he has a family to support”. I said, “I’m the support of my family and there are many women that are the same now”. He just said, “Well” and turned and returned to his office. Things between us were never the same after that and he rarely looked me in the eyes after that. At this time I hadn’t been married long and my husband ended up being ill so I was the bread winner in the family.

    • Dearest Stephanie. That same situation happened thousands of times and still does today. Some days I think we’ve come really far and others we slide backward into that same inequality. It’s very sad. I, too, feel for women trapped in abusive marriages. The friend who just died at 43 was in a very bad marriage with lots of physical violence. Even though she eventually got strong enough to get out, the scars were still there. She’d still get terrified and in a panic if she was late getting home even though her new husband treated her like a queen. Broke my heart. I can see you fighting for women’s rights. You and I would be very vocal. I love you dearly, warrior buddy.

  5. I honestly don’t know if I’d have joined that movement or not. I’m very stubborn and stand strong for what I believe so I maybe would have! Just not sure.

  6. I am not sure I would have joined them but i would have given my opinion because I am bad for doing that now. I will have to say when I was younger I was a little shyer about what I said but now I am more likely to say what I think and sometimes it gets me in trouble. Women’s rights are better now but its still not the same as men’s but a lot better then they were.

    • Hi Quilt Lady, I’m so happy to see you. Women still have a ways to go but we’ve come a long way. Men just never want us to be too outspoken or meddle in what they think is their business. I’m glad we live in the twenty-first century. 🙂 Have a blessed day my dear.

  7. Oh, this story sounds wonderful, Linda!! Congratulations on yet another new release!!

    I don’t think I would have had the courage to do something so scandalous as carry a hatchet and destroy a saloon. I’m too much of a chicken/wimp, but I’m a great armchair quarterback. LOL.

    • Hi Pam, maybe you would’ve been the one with the bullhorn yelling encouragement to the others. 🙂 And be ready to bail them out of jail. Grace does get arrested by the way, She doesn’t like jail. 🙂 Have a blessed day, my Filly Sister.

  8. Yes i would have joined women to get alcohol out of town. The liquor destroys peoples lives. These women were strong to fight against the saloons. And women in the east were imprisoned, starved and raped in order to get their rights,

    • Dearest Emma! I’m thrilled to see you. You do know your history. That is true. Some women faced horrible treatment. Men had a stranglehold on everything and were bound and determined to keep it. Thank goodness us women did gain a lot of rights. I agree about alcohol. It really does destroy and since the bars have reopened, there’s been so much violence again. It was a relief not to see shootings constantly on the news for about a year. I wonder why people can’t see the correlation. Bless you, my dear. Much love.

  9. Linda, this sounds like a wonderful story–of course–ALL your stories are wonderful! No, I probably would not have joined the movement. I’m more of a “live and let live” type, and I don’t think I could go into a saloon and start hatchet-ing everything that belonged to someone else. LOL Great premise! I look forward to reading this!

    • Hi Cheryl! No, I couldn’t have destroyed people’s livelihood either. For one thing, I would’ve been too afraid of being shot. This was a fun book to write and Deacon and Grace are perfect for each other. I hope you enjoy it. Have a lovely day, my Filly Sister.

  10. I don’t like confrontation, so I don’t think I could have been a “Hatchette.” I might have been able to be a Suffragette though.

    The organizations that I am a member of now are mostly charitable. I prefer to make a difference in a non-violent way.

    Congrats on the new book! As you know, I am one of your biggest fans. 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl C! I’m so glad to see you. It’s been a while. I agree about the non-violence statement. Me too. I couldn’t have been a Hatchette. Nope. I’m too afraid of getting shot for one reason. I wouldn’t have been willing to die for the cause. I’m so very grateful to have you for a fan. I thank my lucky stars that you haven’t grown tired of me. Have a beautiful day.

  11. We have sure come a long way from this time. I can only imagine the frustration of the saloon owners when the women smashed their whiskey barrels and threatened their livelihood. I can see both sides of the argument. 🙂 I know everyone is going to love Grace and Deacon! They are unforgettable characters. Congrats, sister!

    • Hi Miss Jan! I agree about the frustration of the saloon owners. I also understand the women who’d been kept under the men’s thumbs. They were darn tired of their abusive husbands and not having a say in anything. Thank you for the compliment on Grace and Deacon. They really were great together once they figured out how to stop fighting. I love you, Sis! 🙂

  12. Yes I would be speaking up! I am a firm believer that women have always been the thinkers and doers of the country. We have always lead in the fight for justice and rights for everyone. We are the people who are the” brains” of the world, we take care of everyone in our hearts, and that usually everyone we see. We see the world and take care of the world. We care for the people in our family and we care for our neighborhood and the world. I know that I would have been in line. My GREAT Grandson was born just a week ago and I would do anything to keep him safe even if it takes me standing in a line with a sign.

    • Hi Abqnancy! Thank you for coming by to voice an opinion. And you’re right. Women have been a driving force in many of the fights and we stand up for the little guy. In other countries where women still lag behind the men, they fight for change and equality. Congratulations on your great grandson! 🙂 That’s wonderful.

  13. no i wouldn’t of joined back in that time, or today with all the protest and marches going on. I look out for me, and my family. and friends.

    • Hi Elaine! Thanks for coming and voicing an opinion. Some women feel the need to save the world and some don’t. This isn’t an either/or country. We can follow our hearts and do what’s right for us. I hope you enjoy the book and find lots to laugh about. I love you dearly.

    • Hi Joye! I’m glad you stopped by. We don’t have to join anything to support it. I’m not much of a joiner either but I would’ve been very vocal. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  14. Having lived in an abusive marriage, I’m definitely all for ridding the world of alcohol. That being said though, put me in an anonymous role. I would be too afraid of retaliation then and now.

    • Hi Linda! I was happy the bars were shut down during the pandemic. The shootings were way down. Not sure about abuse. People still had access to liquor. But it’s sad that we have to live with that kind of abuse. You have a beautiful day.

  15. Hello Linda! I may or may not have joined the Hachettes, probably depending on my circumstances at that time! ( I have been known to walk a pickett line a time or two!) Also if I had a loving husband and family I probably would not have gotten involved with this. I guess I’m saying I would have been content with my life. Except that I would have wanted the right to vote and/ or own land or a business!
    I am so looking forward to your new book! Have mine preordered! Hugs!!

    • Hi Ruth! Thanks for preordering the book. I hope you enjoy it. I had a lot of fun writing this love story. Sometimes we have to stand up for what we believe. Grace took it a bit far at times but she was learning. I would’ve been very vocal back then but probably wouldn’t have joined a group. Have a lovely day.

  16. Congratulations on the new book! I love the the cover and I love your books! I will look forward to reading this one.
    I don’t think I would have joined the hatchetts. I definitely am more vocal as I have gotten older but I am also definitely not a

    • Hi Sharon! I’m happy to see you. Thank you for the best wishes on the book. I hope you enjoy this one. It was a lot of fun to write. I’m not a joiner either but I am very vocal. I would definitely have supported the women however I could.

  17. I don’t think I would have joined but love it when women get together for good causes! Sounds like a great read would love to get a copy!

  18. Congratulations on your new release, Linda. I look forward to reading it and am sure it will be as good as your others.
    I am not sure I would be marching with the prohibitionists. I have no issue with people who drink reasonably, but sadly have relatives who could not manage that. Actually, a couple of generations back, my family were rum runners from Canada to New York City during prohibition.
    As for my joining groups, yes. I have belonged to many over the years. We support conservation groups and do participate in some of their events as well as work to educate about good environmental practices. Our main active involvement currently is with the American Red Cross. We participate with their Disaster Services and their Service to The Armed Forces. We help out in other areas when needed. The amount of time we spend has been reduced due to COVID restrictions, but there is still a lot we can do. I was able to get a grant for the local VA and after working with one of the clinics put in a proposal for things they needed. It was approved last week letting me order the items. The last of them arrived today, so I’ll be able to get them to the local VA hospital this week. Today we were working with a man to arrange burial for his brother in the local National Cemetery.
    There are many good organizations out there and working with them is quite rewarding. If you can’t work with them in person and can donate, do good research and find one you can support. I know the food pantries in most areas always need help as do the programs for the homeless. If you have any questions about a charity, check them out on Charity Navigator. They rate major organizations on several criteria. We sponsor a child in an overseas program and made sure the program (Unbound) had an excellent rating.

    I hope your move goes well.

  19. Not entering, but congrats on the new release. It’s fascinating to read the history of Carrie Nation and others who supported the temperance movement. Thanks, Linda!

  20. Congratulations on your new release! Wow, I think I would have spoken up , and if it was happening in my household you can bet I would say and do something about it, and if I saw or heard of someone going and having to put up with that, I would for sure go and help them , especially if little ones were involved. Your book sounds like a really good read and I love the cover, it is beautiful. Have a Geat week and stay safe.

  21. Carrying a hatchet and destroying someone’s property us bit something I would have done. I can see me marching or protesting peacefully. As usual, your new book sounds intriguing.

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