Frances

Frances "Fanny" Wright

Frances "Fanny" Wright (1795–1852) was a prominent early sex radical, as well as being an abolitionist, feminist, and freethinker. She was one of the first women to address audiences of mixed sex across the United States, including in west-central New York State, and led a life of sexual liberation by the standards of her time.

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) and her sister Tennessee Claflin published a weekly radical-feminist weekly newspaper, Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly. Woodhull campaigned for, among many other things, more liberal divorce laws so that women could more easily escape abusive and alcoholic husbands. In 1872, she became the first woman candidate for U.S. president on the Equal Rights Party platform.

Moses Harman

Moses Harman

Moses Harman (1830-1910), editor of Lucifer, The Light-Bearer, one of the nineteenth century's most controversial sex-radical publications.

D. M. Bennett

D. M. Bennett

D. M. Bennett (1818-1882) published one of freethought's national newspapers of record, The Truth Seeker. At an 1878 freethought convention at Watkins, now Watkins Glen, he was arrested for selling copies of Ezra Heywood's marriage-reform tract Cupid's Yokes. This arrest led indirectly to an obscenity case involving decency crusader Anthony Comstock, agnostic orator Robert G. Ingersoll, President Rutherford B. Hayes, and others, which ultimately established the Hicklin standard, the repressive legal definition of obscenity that prevailed in U.S. law until 1957.

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