Montpelier" Vermont Watchman and State Journal Press, 1887. First edition. In Divorce: An American Tradition, Glenda Riley notes that Corresponding Secretary of the NDRL, Samuel Warren Dike (1839 – 1913), wrote the annual reports (pp. 109-110). Some toning along spine and chipping at extremities. A very good, clean copy of a scarce work arguing for restrictive divorce laws. Light green printed paper wrappers with a list of the National Divorce Reform League’s officers and its constitution printed on insides of wrappers. Octavo. 24, [1, errata] pp. Item #16791
The NDRL was established in 1881 as the New England Divorce Reform League by Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801 – 1889), retired president of Yale University, in a climate of fear that “rampant instability, gross immorality, a decline of the family, and the destruction of American society” would result from the growth of divorce (Riley, p. 108). The organization became the National Divorce Reform League in 1885 (Riley, p. 109). The NDRL believed that the way to stop rising divorce and the decline of society was to enact stricter and nationally uniform divorce laws.
In a 1997 paper, Cynthia Akard explains that Woolsey and the NDRL were partially responsible for major rollbacks in divorce laws, like the repeal of an 1849 Connecticut legislation that allowed for divorce in the case of any kind of “misconduct” by either spouse (p. 3). Akard also states that the NDRL had their “first national success” in 1887 when Congress approved Samuel W. Dike’s appeals for funding for the Wright Report, a divorce study that showed an increase in divorces between 1867 and 1886 (p. 6). The present work echoes the sentiment with the declaration that 1887 was the “most fruitful” year for the NDRL so far (Dike, p. 4). OCLC records two institutions (Brown and the University of Chicago) holding copies of various unspecified years of the Report of the National Divorce Reform League.