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With this colorful collection of documents, Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz overturns the monolithic picture of Victorian sexual repression to reveal four contending views at play during the antebellum period: earthy American folk wisdom, the anti-flesh teachings of evangelical Christianity, moral reform grounded in science, and the utopian free love movement. Horowitz's introduction discusses how these diverse views shaped the antebellum conversation about the moral, social, and physical implications of sex and reflected the larger cultural and economic changes of this period of rapid industrialization and urban migration. Helpful headnotes contextualize this selection of hard-to-find documents, which includes scientific manuals, religious pamphlets, advertisements, and popular fiction. Contemporary illustrations, a chronology, and a bibliography foster students' understanding of antebellum sexual attitudes.
HELEN LEFKOWITZ HOROWITZ (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Sydenham Clark Parsons Professor in American Studies at Smith College. Her work in American history has explored cultural philanthropy, higher education, the American landscape, and sexuality. She has received fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute and was a Mellon Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Professor Horowitz is the author of The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas (1994), Alma Mater (1993), Culture and the City (1989), Campus Life (1988), and Rereading Sex(2002), which was the winner of the OAH Merle Curti Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and for the Francis Parkman Prize.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents Foreword Preface A Note about the Cover List of Illustrations
PART ONE INTRODUCTION: Voices in the Sexual Conversation in Antebellum America Voices in the Public Deliberation of Sex: The Four Frameworks Controversy and Commerce Coda: The Comstock Law of 1873
PART TWO THE DOCUMENTS
1. Voices in the Sexual Conversation: The Four Frameworks The First Framework: Vernacular Sexuality 1. From Aristotle’s Master-piece, 1741 The Second Framework: Evangelical Christianity 2. Lyman Beecher, From A Reformation of Morals Practicable and Indispensable, 1812, and From Resources of the Adversary and Means of their Destruction, 1827 3. Lyman Beecher, The Perils of Atheism to the Nation, 1830 The Third Framework: Reform Psychology Freethinking 4. Frances Wright, Nashoba, Explanatory Notes, &c., Continued, February 6, 1828 5. Frances Wright, On the Nature of Knowledge, 1829 6. Robert Dale Owen, From Moral Physiology, 1831 7. Charles Knowlton, From Fruits of Philosophy, 1832 Christian Reform Psychology 8. Sylvester Graham, On the Science of Human Life, 1834 The Masturbation Scare 9. Sylvester Graham, On Self-Pollution, 1834 10. Luther V. Bell, M.D., From An Hour's Conference with Fathers and Sons, 1840 11. Mary S. Gove [Nichols], From Solitary Vice, 1839 12. Charles Knowlton, Gonorrhoea Dormientium, August 10,1842 New Voices at Mid-Century 13. William Andrus Alcott, From The Physiology of Marriage, 1856 14. Lorenzo N. Fowler, From The Principles of Phrenology and Physiology Applied to Man's Social Relations, 1842 15. Lorenzo N. Fowler, From Marriage: Its History and Ceremonies, 1846 16. Orson S. Fowler, From Love and Parentage, 1851 17. Frederick Hollick, From The Origin of Life, 1845 18. Frederick Hollick,From The Marriage Guide, 1859 The Fourth Framework: Sex at the Center of Life 19. Thomas L. Nichols, M.D., From Esoteric Anthropology, 1854 20. Thomas L. Nichols and Mary S. Gove Nichols, From Marriage, 1854
2. Controversy and Commerce Phase 1: The 1840s 21. Madame Restell, Advertisements, March 2, 1842 22. From The Magdalen Report, 1831 23. Sunday Flash, Lives of the Nymphs, No. 11: Amanda Green, October 17, 1841 24. Whip, Excerpts, July 9, 1842 25. Whip, Our Tenth Walk About Town; or, Nights in Gotham, December 24,1842 26. Whip, Sodomites, January 29, 1842 27. Flash, Our Indictments, December 11, 1841 Phase 2: The 1850s 28. P. F. Harris, Advertisement, February 19, 1855 29. George Thompson, From The Mysteries of Bond Street, 1857 30. Dr. J. Henry, Henry's Private Adviser, 1856 31. Julia Gaylove, Inez de Castro, May 23, 1857 32. Jean Rosseau, Advertisements, January 31, 1857
3. Coda: The Comstock Law of 1873 33. U.S. Congress, An Act for the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use, March 3, 1873
Appendixes A Chronology of the Literature of Sexual Conversation in Antebellum America (1684–1873) Questions for Consideration Selected Bibliography Index