New Bedford, Mass., Dec. 20,1877.
Your first editorial in reference to obscene literature and its circulation I read with great delight, a delight which portions of your second editorial on the same subject do not tend to intensify. While your utterances prompt me to thank you for stating your own position in so manly a fashion, they also induce me to state that there is at least one man—whether "In his senses," or out of them, others must judge—who "ventures to tell the public explicitly that he is in favor of abolishing all legal restrictions upon the use" of the malls for the circulation of really obscene literature. To develop the argument by which he maintains this position might involve him in a discussion for which he has no time, and he therefore contents himself with the simple assertion, adding only that the editor of The Index would be no more justified, on this account, in representing him as "going before the world as a champion of obscene literature," than he would be in representing the editor of The Index as going before the world as a champion of drunkenness on account of his opposition to the enactment of a prohibitory liquor law. On the contrary, his hatred of obscene literature is surpassed only by his hatred of that spirit which endeavors to make other people moral by encroaching on their rights.
Sincerely yours, Benj. R. Tucker.
- Benjamin R. Tucker, “A Protest,” The Index 8, no. 418 (December 27, 1877): 621.