FOUR EPISTLES ON FREE LOVE AND MURDER.

Troy, N.Y. A.W. Scribner, 1870. Original printed wrappers [front wrapper detached but present], stitched. 16pp. Light wear, Good+.

The author, who purports to write from Hunkerville in May 1870, claims that the Epistles "are valuable:- for I conscientiously desire to make a little money out of them." We have been unable to ascertain "Hunker's" identity. He originally wrote this collection of humorous, satirical pieces for the Troy Whig as "suggested by the [Daniel] McFarland case." [The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 14, 1870, p. 2.] "McFarland was a rascal and 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, proving again that you can get away with murder if you claim to be defending the American home. The case was a cause celebre in 1869 and 1870." [McDade 652].
Hunker recalls how Reformers, formerly denounced with "epithets, that used to defile their reputation," have been rehabilitated. Only a generation ago, "every Abolitionist was denounced also as an Infidel. There was an egg that was dreadful." Now, however, "As only a pleasant smell now arises from the Abolition-Egg, so the other bad ones, that we sent flying after it, have lost their stench for the nostrils of this degenerate epoch."
The Woman Suffrage movement seems to be the only cause left for anyone to satirize. Mr. Hunker makes fun of Beecher, Frothingham, Greeley, and other "Free-Lovers." Indeed, "Free-love is a core of the Woman's Rights apple. Susan B. Anthony, for instance, is a terrific free-lover. True, she 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."
As of February 2021 OCLC locates a bunch of Kirtas Technology reprints, and a single copy at the New York Historical Society [OCLC 476461375]. Item #37412

Price: $500.00

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