New York: Stringer & Townsend, 1853. First edition. Some fading to leather on upper board. Spine rubbed. Top edge gilt. Purple endpapers with bookseller’s ticket in right hand corner of lower endpaper. Title-page coming loose at head. Some dampstaining to first dozen or so leaves. Some toning and foxing to leaves. Still a good, tight copy of an item that is rare in commerce. Wrappers removed in rebinding. Pamphlet bound in early twentieth century half brown leather over light brown cloth boards. Twelvemo. 103 pp.,  pp. publisher’s ads. Item #16766
The present work compiles letters first published in the New York Tribune discussing whether divorce should be legal. The epistolary conversation takes place between Henry James Sr. (1811 – 1882), the father of psychologist William James and novelist Henry James; Tribune founder and editor Horace Greeley (1811 – 1872); and Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812 – 1886), an abolitionist and anarchist. Andrews released the present work when Greeley refused to print one of his letters to the Tribune. In the letter, Andrews argues in favor of divorce, permitting sex outside of marriage, and the right of women to freely choose their husbands (pp. 71-81). Greeley based his rejection partially on the grounds that Andrews’ letter described injustices against women in excessive detail.
In the introduction to the present work, which addresses his exclusion from the Tribune, Andrews makes a scathing statement against Greeley’s censorship: “The defenders of slavery, and the fastidious aristocratic classes everywhere, make a singular objection…to displaying the unsightly accompaniments of the systems they uphold. Much, however, as I dislike to have my feelings or my tastes offended, I can not help regarding the actual flogging of women, for example, in Austria, and the salt and pepper applications to the torn backs of negroes in the South, as not only in themselves worse than the pen and ink descriptions of the same transactions, but as fully justifying the latter, and actually demanding them, as a means of shaming the facts out of existence,” (p. 4).