Troy, New York: A.W. Scribner & Co., 1870. First edition. The author originally wrote these satirical pieces for the Troy Whig. Dustsoiling and some foxing. Front cover loose. Toning and some dustsoiling to leaves. A good copy of a fragile and uncommon item. Light blue printed paper wrappers. 5 x 9 in. 16 pp. Item #17494
The author takes on the persona of the “Honorable A. Hunker,” resident of Hunkerville, to deliver his satirical observations on abolition, marriage and infidelity, the suffrage movement, and a fictional murder case in which a woman shot her cheating husband and his lover.The fictional murder case likely had a real-life inspiration, as Hunker wrote his four epistles after the murder trial of Daniel McFarland. McDade (652) explains that “McFarland a rascal and a drunkard whose wife Abby finally divorced him, planning to marry Richardson, a popular author and New York Tribune editor. Richardson was shot by McFarland in the office of the Tribune, and on his deathbed was married to Abby McFarland by no less a person than Henry Ward Beecher. A deliberate campaign to vilify Richardson and whitewash McFarland had the effect of acquitting the latter, providing again that you can get away with murder if you claim to be defending the American home. The case was a cause célèbre in 1869 and 1870.”.
Hunker makes fun of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, and other women’s rights advocates. He accuses them of being “free-lovers,” though, he notes, Anthony “never loves any man, nor permits any man to love her; but it’s all the same: she’s a free-lover, and so is my venerable Quaker wife, Samantha Hunker.”.