Slavery and Marriage. A Dialogue.
[Oneida, NY: Oneida Community,], 1850. First edition. A fresh, near-fine copy of a fragile item arguing for the abolition of both slavery and traditional marriage. White paper self-wrappers titled in black. Sixteenmo. 14, [2, blank] pp. Item #17395
A metaphorical dialogue between three figures: Judge North, who speaks from an anti-slavery perspective; Major South, who is pro-slavery; and Mr. Free Church, who is both anti-slavery and promotes free love and equality within marriage. Mr. Free Church presents the perspective that women are subjugated within marriage as Black people are within slavery, and argues, on Biblical grounds, that both marriage and slavery are antiquated institutions that prevent social progress.
The present item is usually attributed to John Humphrey Noyes (1811 - 1886), who founded the utopian socialist Oneida Community in New York in 1848. The Oneida Community was a Christian religious group that practiced free love and communalism, and advocated for abolition, equal education, and women’s rights. About three hundred people lived in the community at the peak of its membership.