Jump to Navigation

Kansas Historical Quarterly - The Moses Harman Story

by William Lemore West

Spring 1971 (Vol. 37, No. 1), pages 41-63;
Transcribed by Larry Wilgers; composed in HTML by Name withheld upon request;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

I. Introduction

REFORM MOVEMENTS, successful and unsuccessful, have occupied an important place in Kansas history. During the late 19th century such questions as prohibition and woman's suffrage attracted much attention, as did other movements which were spectacular at the time but are less well known today.

One of these was lead by a controversial free-thought journalist named Moses Harman who not only denounced all forms of government and religion, but added a new dimension in reform by advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage. Harman did not develop these views until comparatively late in his life.

Born in Pendleton county, W. Va., on October 12, 1830, Harman lived briefly in Ohio and Indiana until his parents moved to Crawford county, Missouri, in the fall of 1838. He received his early education at home, worked his way through the college at Arcadia, Mo., taught school, and later was ordained as a Methodist minister. He spent some time as a circuit rider before the Civil War but severed his connection with the church because he could not accept its views on the slavery issue. [1] By 1860 he had turned to farming as an occupation. [2]

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Harman helped organize the 32d regiment of Missouri volunteers headquartered at Rolla, Mo. Even though Crawford county was Proslavery, he volunteered for a Union cavalry unit but was rejected because of a physical disability. [3] He then tried to reach the front lines as a nurse but was turned back. In recalling the events of the war, Harman later pointed out the deplorable conduct of both Confederate and Union troops in southern Missouri. He recalled neighbor fighting against neighbor while prisoners of war were being murdered in cold blood in his community. [4]

After the war Harman retuned to teaching, taking a school in Crawford county where he remained until 1879. [5] He married Susan Shook on July 25, 1866. A son, George, was born in 1867, and a daughter, Lillian, two years later. In 1877 a third child died in infancy. A few days after the child's death, Mrs. Harman passed away.

II. Career in Journalism

In June, 1879, Harman and his two children settled in Delaware township, Jefferson county, Kan., where he was again engaged in teaching by 1880. In this year he married Isabel Hiser, a native of Valley Falls. It was at this time that Harman began to discuss religion from an agnostic viewpoint. [6] He soon became involved in the activities of the Valley Falls Liberal League and was elected secretary of the local free-thought organization. In November, 1880, Harman and A. J. Searl of Valley Falls were elected editors of the Valley Falls Liberal, a publication of the Valley Falls Liberal League. [7]

The monthly four-page paper, edited by Harman and Searl, was designed to provoke controversy and to bring written comments from the subscribers. [8] The two editors ridiculed the agents of Christianity through numerous jokes and general verbal attacks on the clergy. [9] The paper, "free to all who desire communication on all subjects," had a yearly subscription rate of 50 cents. [10]

In September, 1881, the paper was renamed The Kansas Liberal and Moses Harman became its sole editor. The theme of the publication was "Total Separation of the State from Supernatural Theology. Perfect Equality before the Law for all Men and Women. No Privileged Classes or Orders -- No Monopolies." [11] Along with the controversial articles included in the paper, Harman advertised books and pamphlets that were anti-religious in nature. [12] The Kansas Liberal was published in Lawrence during a six-month period in 1882. The offices of publication were returned to Valley Falls in September, 1882. [13]

Moses Harmon, 1830-1910

"Yes, I believe in Freedom -- equal freedom. I want no freedom for myself that all others may not equally enjoy. Freedom that is not equal is not freedom. It is, or may easily become, invasion, and invasion is the denial or the death of freedom. The Spencerian formula -- 'Each has the right to do as he pleases so long as he does not invade the equaal right of others,' tells what freedom means. It is equivalent to saying that liberty, wedded to responsibility for one's acts, is the true and only basis of good conduct, or of morality." -- From a "Free Man's Creed," by Moses Harman. The picture and quotation were copied from the Memorial of Moses Harman.

<EM>Lucifer</EM> the Light Bearer, masthead, Dec. 6, 1889

Moses Harman devised his own system of dating for the "Era of Man," beginning January 1, 1601. Thus the date December 6, E.M. 289, shown on this part-page reproduction of an issue of Lucifer, the Light Bearer corresponds to December 6, 1889.

[Select image to read transcription]

The publication changed title again in 1883. Harman maintained that subscribers objected to the term "Kansas" in the paper's title because the name was local in character. His subscribers also opposed the term "liberal" since so many newspapers and journals used the term in their titles. For these reasons he changed the publication's title to Lucifer the Light Bearer (hereafter called Lucifer). The title was selected, stated Harman, because it expressed the paper's mission. Lucifer, the name given the morning star by the people of the ancient world, served as the symbol of the publication and represented the ushering in of a new day. He declared that freethinkers had sought to redeem and glorify the name Lucifer while theologians cursed him as the prince of the fallen angels. Harman suggested that Lucifer would take on the role of an educator. "The god of the Bible doomed mankind to perpetual ignorance," wrote Harman, "and [people] would never have known Good from Evil if Lucifer had not told them how to become as wise as the gods themselves." [14]

Shortly after renaming the publication, Harman announced that Lucifer was no longer the mouthpiece for the Liberal League but represented only the editors and contributors speaking for themselves. [15] He later indicated that Lucifer's editors would use plain and scientific terms as the applied to the human body. Individuals expressing shock in Lucifer's terminology, stated Harman, would be better off if they cancelled their subscription to the publication. [16] Among the many objectives of Lucifer's editors was the abolition of paternalism as generated by the church and the state. [17]

Harman did not accept the orthodox calendar in dating the issues of Lucifer. Rather than use the method of determining a given year by dating from the birth of Christ, he marked the beginning of his dating system with the execution of the astronomer Giordano Bruno in 1601. The year 1601, stated Harman, marked the beginning of a great new age, the era of man (E. M.). He alleged that the years prior to 1601 were dominated by Bible teachings concerning the concepts of heaven and hell whereas the period after 1601 was highlighted by the advent of a new science spearheaded by the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo, and Bruno. [18]

The Lucifer staff included Harman and his coeditor, E. C. Walker. [19] While in Valley Falls, they were assisted by Harman's two children and by E. C. Walker's mother. [20] During his imprisonment in Kansas in the 1890's, Harman relied on the services of Clarence L. Swartz, Abner Pope, Lillie White, and Lois Waisbrooker as assistant editors. [21] Among the regular contributors to the columns of Lucifer were Elmina D. Slenker, Celia B. Whitehead, Lois Waisbrooker, Lucinda B. Chandler, Dr. E. B. Foote, and Dr. J. W. Severance. Lucifer's correspondents often carried on open debates on the questions of marriage and sex. [22] Harman disclaimed responsibility for the opinions of the contributors to Lucifer though acknowledging that he usually supported the ideas of most of them, but he declared his paper was open to Agnostics, Spiritualists, Christians, Mohammedans, and the like. [23]

In September, 1890, Harman announced that he would leave his farm home near Valley Falls and move to Topeka. [24] The first edition of Lucifer from the Topeka was dated October, 10, 1890. [25] While considerable attention had been given to the discussion of problems relating to sex, Lucifer's editor was now clearly committed to the discussion of women's emancipation from sexual slavery "through a better understanding of sexology." [26] Meanwhile, Harman continued to advertise books and pamphlets relating to sex and marriage. [27]

Throughout his stay in Kansas, Harman was plagued by financial difficulties. The limited number of subscriptions [28] and expenses incurred during his numerous sessions in court often threatened the discontinuance of the paper. He constantly threatened delinquent subscribers with cancellation of their subscriptions. [29] He often tried gimmicks to gain new subscribers. At one time he offered prizes, in the form of freethought books and pamphlets, to the person who would turn in the longest list of new subscribers on a given date. [30] In addition, funds were established for Harman's defense in court as well as funds for the purchase of a badly needed press for the continuance of Lucifer's operations. [31]

In April, 1896, Harman told his readers that he had decided to move the office of Lucifer to Chicago due to the problems dealing with publication. He went on to admit that "we may live to regret the day we leave Kansas and the goodly little city, Topeka." [32] The first issue of the paper from Chicago was dated May 8, 1896. [33] Harman continued to devote the columns of Lucifer to the discussion of sex and marriage after moving to Chicago. [34] While Lucifer's publishing office was in Chicago, Harman spent time traveling and lecturing throughout the nation for the cause of freethought. [35]

In 1906 Harman decided to change the title of his publication to The American Journal of Eugenics. The journal, which emphasized "right generation of human beings," was the first paper of its kind in the United States. [36] Believing a more liberal attitude prevailed on the West Coast, he moved the publication's offices to Los Angeles, in June, 1908. [37] The journal continued to be devoted to (1) natural selection through freedom of motherhood, (2) self ownership of women in the realm of sex and reproduction, and (3) intelligent and responsible parenthood with the woman being dominant in the home. Harman called the eugenics movement an almost forgotten science once openly taught by the Greeks and Egyptians. He referred to eugenics as the "Science of Right Borning." [38]

Lack of funds often threatened the discontinuance of the journal in Los Angeles as had been the case in Kansas and Chicago. In the final issue of The American Journal of Eugenics preceding his death, Harman made an impassioned plea for financial support to keep the journal in operation. [39]

III. Harman's Reform Efforts

Moses Harman had ample opportunity to express himself on a wide range of topics during the nearly 30 years of his career in journalism. He often suggested reforms through the editorial columns, by answering letters of correspondents in his newspaper, and in lectures delivered for the cause of freethought.

Harman was extremely critical of the role of government from the national to the local level. He contended that the United States government was a government "for and by" the people in theory, but not in practice. [40] Harman did not resent being called an anarchist. He believed that anarchists were opposed to the form of government in which the rights of the governed were made secondary to the rights of the governing power. To Harman, anarchy did not mean lawlessness and confusion but rather it represented "the epitome of law and order since it confines every man within his proper sphere." [41] He thought that anarchy was government from within rather than government from without.

Harman condemned national leaders such as Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and John Sherman. He considered them as victims and executioners of a vicious criminal system that allowed for more widespread crime under the cover of law than criminals who plundered without the cover of law. [42] Harman was equally bitter toward local government officials. "Here in Valley Falls," he declared in 1888, "we have much more cause to fear those who are trying to rob us by authority of law than we have to fear those who would rob us in violation of law." [43]

Harman had no faith in political parties but admitted supporting Republican party principles at one stage in his life. Even though he ridiculed the Republican party of the 1890's as the "party of retrogression," he indicated that he was not ready to support the emerging Populist party. [44]

All laws passed by a legislature, stated Harman, were in violation or invasion of natural human rights. He felt that the only acceptable laws were those which repealed other more evasive laws. [45] Therefore, the vote was not to be used as a majority tactic but as an instrument of repeal. [46] He further suggested:

Vote if you must, but vote to abolish rather than to enact laws. But while exercising your natural, your civil right to vote, remember that you have no right to force your methods on others. . . . In fewer words, use your governmental crutch until you are able to walk without it. [47]

While Harman wanted no government leaders or governing class, he advocated the formation of compacts for mutual defense against evil doers. "We want a few -- a very few, policemen, and a very few umpires or judges to decide in disputed cases. But these should always be regarded as the servants, not the masters, of the citizen." [48] Even though Harman proposed changes in the machinery of government, he was not in favor of violent revolution. Instead he sought peaceful evolutionary changes brought about by agitation and education. [49]

Harman often criticized labor's subordination to management and looked for the day when labor would be supreme and capital would be the servant. To accomplish the reversal, he called upon labor to organize, agitate, and educate for its undertaking. [50] Strikes and labor revolts, said Harman, were futile as genuine reform; but such efforts were a good sign that the laborer realized the danger into which he was drifting. [51]

Aroused by the evils of the accumulation of capital by the few, Harman called for reform in the nation's wage system. He proposed to substitute a plan of "voluntary cooperation" in which the capital necessary to carry on the business would be owned by the workers themselves. [52] This plan was expanded as part of the "Labor Exchange" which he outlined in 1893. [53]

He was also opposed to financial lending agencies and called for the abolition of all laws restricting or prohibiting the free issue of the circulating medium. He urged farmers and laborers to organize their own credit in order to "free themselves from this vulture, usury, that now feeds and fattens upon their vitals." [54]

Religion, particularly Christianity, came under heavy verbal attack by Harman. He contended that religion was based on ignorance of nature's methods and fear of the unseen powers that were supposedly warring over human destiny. Religion was dangerous, declared Harman, because "fear begets hate, and hate results in oppression, war, and bloodshed." [55] Later he suggested:

Cling not to the cross of a dead god for help in time of trouble, but stand erect like a man and resolutely meet the consequences of your acts, whatever they may be. . . . Every man [and woman] must be his own physician, his own priest, his own god and savior, if he is ever healed, purified, and saved. [56]

While Harman claimed to have no fear of death, [57] he pictured the religious man as always worrying about his soul because he had no confidence in good works or natural morality to keep his soul in condition. [58]

Lucifer's editor often ridiculed the religious organizations in his community. On one occasion he told of the destruction of the Lutheran church in Valley Falls by lightning in August, 1886. He reported the subsequent rebuilding of the edifice modeled after the old church. Harman suggested to his Lutheran friends in Valley Falls that God had allowed the lightning to strike because of dislike for the old church; therefore the new church was in jeopardy. Nevertheless, he alleged that the building committee of the Lutheran church had grown wiser through their experience by showing lack of faith in God's protection. "They reported a $2,500 insurance," wrote Harman, "against lightning, cyclones and other agents of God's displeasure!" [59]

As editor of Lucifer, Harman stated boldly that he dared to investigate the problems of life from the standpoint of nature rather than theology. Objecting to the church's anti-naturalistic prejudices, he stated that the confession of ignorance was often the first step to the gaining of knowledge. "Dogma, assumption, creed, confessions of faith, written constitutions . . ., these are the greatest obstacles in the way of improvement of progress in knowledge." [60]

Although Harman was a total abstainer from strong drink, he nevertheless opposed enforced prohibition. [61] He asserted that although the prohibition movement was founded on unchristian principles the Protestant sects had recently taken the leadership in its cause. [62] Harman maintained that prohibition was repressive in its reform intent. Therefore, he said, it would be better to allow free whiskey which would lead to man's eventually being temperate, truthful, and honorable.

The most needed reform, according to Harman, was in the area of sex. While he recognized the need for other reform, his newspaper eventually dealt most exclusively with sex-related problems. Why did he devote such emphasis to sex reform? Harman answered:

It is hopeless to expect to reform the present generation of men, but if we begin now, with the mothers and prospective mothers of on-coming generations of men -- if we give these mothers what they need in the way of education in all that pertains to heredity, and if we supply them with the conditions necessary for perfect motherhood, we shall then have rational ground of hope that the grandchildren of the present generation will need no reforming -- but will be so well born that they will not need to be born again. [64]

Harman opposed the institution of marriage because he considered it an unequal yoke. [65] He maintained that marital rights were limited to the rights of the husband, with the wife being but a slave to her master husband. [66] The promises of marriage to "love, obey, and honor," said Harman, were immoral because there was no reasonable assurance that the two persons would be able to carry out the promises. [67] Love and freedom were supposedly destroyed by marriage. "If love survives marriage," alleged Harman, "it is not because of it but in spite of it." [68]

Harman asserted that marriage and divorce laws were antiquated. He felt that the laws relating to marriage must be reconstructed on the basis of strictly voluntary cohabitation between the sexes. [69] According to Harman, the best method of sex union for human beings would be resolved only after polygamy, monogamy, polyandry, and absolute freedom were given a fair trial. [70] He suggested that unhappy marriages be quickly terminated by divorce because, as R. G. Ingersoll said, "the death of love is the commencement of vice." [71] He believed that the abolition of marriage would result in the birth of fewer children since children would be welcomed and cared for by mutual affection. He looked forward to the emergence of a new "rational" family where each member would "drop to his place like stones in an arch when artificial props are removed." [72] This new family would be under the domination of the mother. [73]

As for mothers and future mothers, Harman believed the most important right for woman was her natural right to the "best possible fertilization during what may be called the flowering period of her existence." [74] On another occasion he stressed that women would never have political independence until they earned enough money to command respect. This was not possible, said Harman, because women spend most of their good years bearing and rearing children. [75]

A recommendation for a program of sex education was proposed in an effort to solve many of the problems relating to sex. Since he considered knowledge the child's birthright, Harman proposed that children were to be taught to ask questions and were to be told all that was known about the facts of generation or the origin of life. He declared that students would be benefited by blackboard illustrations of the reproductive system and felt that such teaching was possible in mixed groups if carried out by judicious instructors. [76] He later restated his position by saying:

Let education and enlightenment be made universal by the removal of all statutory limitations upon saving knowledge. . . . Let Sexology, the science of creative life, be taught in the family and in schools, also from pulpit and public platform, as the most important of all branches of human knowledge. [77]

Lucifer's subscribers were often confronted with their editor's views concerning the nature of obscenity and the use of obscene materials. Harman charged that teachers in schools and universities denied youth legitimate channels through which they might seek information concerning their own bodies. This, said Harman, led to their seeking information through dealers in obscene books and pictures. He accused teachers and administrators of depriving youth of one of the most important departments of human knowledge. [78]

Harman saw great danger in defining what was meant by obscene. In order to punish someone for distributing or utilizing obscene materials one must have an authority to define what materials were obscene. The problem was, declared Harman, that there was no infallible standard for judgment. Therefore, any laws relating to obscene materials were likely to be arbitrary and tyrannical. "In a land of equal rights," wrote Harman, "no man can rightfully compel that neighbor to conform to his code of morals anymore than he can rightfully compel that neighbor to conform to his own religious observances." [79] He challenged the clergy and censors of the press on their definition of obscenity and suggested that the problem of obscenity would be resolved if one viewed the subject of sex as a scientist since,

He sees in sex the "promise and potency" of all the possibilities of advancement for humanity. He sees, or thinks he sees, that here if anywhere ignorance is criminal, ignorance is DEATH! and hence he would open all the avenues to knowledge as to the real facts and principles that go to make up the problem of the right use or the abuse of sex. [80]

Harman not only advocated changes in the marriage laws and the relationship of man and woman but in one instance he actually tested his theory on marriage. On September 20, 1886, Moses Harman presided over a ceremony that united his 16-year-old daughter, Lillian, with E. C. Walker, coeditor of Lucifer, in what was described as being an "autonomistic sex-relation or union." [81] With no clergyman or justice of the peace present, Harman opened the ceremony by reading a lengthy statement of principles in reference to marriage. This was followed by a short statement by Walker in which he repudiated the marriage doctrine and instead gave recognition to the woman's right to control of her own person. Lillian Harman responded with the following statement:

. . . I enter into this union with Mr. Walker of my own free will and choice, and I agree with the views of my father and Mr. Walker as just expressed. I make no promises that may become impossible or immoral for me to fulfill, but retain the right to act always, as my conscience and best judgment shall dictate. I retain, also, my full maiden name, as I am sure it is my duty to do so. [82]

The ceremony concluded with Moses Harman giving consent to the union.

Following the ceremony in Valley Falls, a complaint was filed with the Jefferson county justice of the peace, Richard D. Simpson, stating that Lillian Harman and E. C. Walker were living together as man and wife without being married. The complaint was rendered by W. F. Hiser, Harman's stepson. [83] A warrant was then issued for the arrest of Lillian Harman and Walker. [84] They were brought before the judge at Oskaloosa, who set a combined bail of $1,000 and announced a trial date. The couple remained in jail in Oskaloosa until the trial since bond was not posted. [85]

When the trial open in October, the defense attorneys, David Overmyer and George Clemens, petitioned for a change of venue because of prejudices reportedly expressed by the people and newspaper editors in Jefferson county. [86] The defense attorneys cited newspaper reaction to the Harman family and the upcoming trial as examples. In one case, the editors of the Oskaloosa Independent had commented: "We honestly believe it to be the duty of the citizens of Valley Falls to get rid of the free love and anarchist organ there as soon as possible for the reputation of the town and county." [87] Earlier the same newspaper reported that "a crank-brained chap named Harman runs the paper [Lucifer], assisted of late by one Walker," who made an agreement to live with Lillian Harman without an official marriage. "The common and emphatic expression is that the decent people up there ought to dump the outfit into the Delaware, and drive the gang who ran it out of town." [88] The defense attorneys also cited an article appearing in the Osawakie Times in which the author ridiculed Harman by saying: "Now arrest the king bee of the tribe and close the rotten concern and Valley Falls will smell more like roses than she has for many a day." [89] Despite the evidence, the request for change of venue was denied by Judge Crozier. [90]

The trial, held in the Jefferson county criminal court in Oskaloosa, pivoted on the question of whether there was an actual marriage. [91] The case was delivered to the jury on October 20, 1886, with a verdict of guilty being returned the same day. Walker was sentenced to 75 days in jail while Lillian Harman was given a shorter term of 45 days. [92]

Following the trial, Lucifer's columns were filled with nationwide reaction to the episode. A special defense fund, originated by Moses Harman, was established to aid the convicted parties. [93] Lucifer's editor continued to defend the union between his daughter and E. C. Walker on the grounds that the state and church were not to override and control the better judgment of individuals. [94] Meanwhile, Lillian Harman and E. C. Walker remained in jail beyond their stated terms of sentence because they refused to pay the court costs imposed. [95]

The defendants appealed their case to the Kansas supreme court where, on March 4, 1887, the verdict of the county criminal court was affirmed. [96] In issuing the principal opinion of the supreme court, Justice Johnston indicated that the legislature had the power to prescribe reasonable regulations relating to marriage and that punishment would be inflicted upon those who entered the marriage relation in disregard of the prescribed statutory requirements. He concluded by warning the defendants that they must marry to avoid further punishment, but he did concede that Lillian Harman would be able to retain her maiden name. [97] In response to the supreme court's decision, Moses Harman stated that technically they had lost; but they had also won a great moral victory. He pointed to Justice Johnston's concessions to Lillian Harman as being the greatest concessions of that type ever given by the highest judiciary of any state. [98]

The episode closed with the release of Lillian Harman and E. C. Walker from the Oskaloosa jail on April 4, 1887. Moses Harman paid court costs of $113.80 for the release of what he termed "two peaceable, unoffending citizens accused of the crime of -- minding their own business." [99]

IV. Harman Versus the Courts of Law

The autonomous marriage incident was but a prelude to Moses Harman's long battle with the courts of law in his effort to continue publishing a newspaper dealing primarily with sex reform. On several occasions he had voiced opposition to the nation's postal laws relating to obscene literature. His opposition to the Comstock postal laws was based on the contention that the national government had no more right to establish national morals than it had the right to establish a national religion. According to Harman, the national postal laws had opened the way for an endless chain of abuses. [100]

Harman and his son, George, were first arrested on the evening of February 23, 1887, on the charge of depositing obscene materials in the mail. Leaving the newspaper office in Valley Falls where the arrest was made, they were taken to Topeka by United States Marshal Thompson where they consulted with their attorney, David Overmyer. Being unable to prepare for their defense, Overmyer requested that the examination of the two men be postponed. Both men were released after bond had been posted. [101] The federal grand jury in Topeka indicated the editors of Lucifer charging them with depositing in the post office at Valley Falls ". . . a certain obscene article of an indecent character contained and printed in a publication entitled 'Lucifer'." [102]

Strongly worded protests relating to Harman's upcoming trial appeared in Lucifer following the arrest and indictment. Lucifer's columns contained letters from the editors of the Kansas Kritic, Concordia, and Foote's Health Monthly which condemned the arrest of Harman and his associates on the grounds that the arrest violated free-press principles. [103] Harman contended that the arrest was part of a movement to suppress knowledge and to aid the cause of ignorance. [104] He maintained that no crime had been committed because no one had been injured by their actions. The so-called crime was not a question of fact, said Harman, but simply a question of opinion. He repeatedly stated that the United States government had not established any guide to determine whether he was sending out obscene material from week to week. In fact, Harman stated his intentions were to send out a paper which was exactly opposite from being obscene or demoralizing. [105] Harman implicated R. E. Van Meter of the Valley Falls New Era as the "zealous Christian" who had done so much to suppress Lucifer and help bring about his arrest. [106] To help defray the costs of the impending trial, Lucifer's editors established a defense fund. Contributions to the fund came from interested parties throughout the nation. [107]

In the case of the alleged sending of obscene materials by Lucifer's editors, Harman's lawyer, David Overmyer, claimed on demurrer that the identification of the obscene matter by the federal grand jury was insufficient since neither the date, title, or nature of the article was given in the indictment. [108] Judge Cassius Foster, of the federal district court in Topeka, upheld the demurrer to the indictment in April, 1888. He stated that the accused were entitled to know what specific charges were being directed against them. Foster indicated it was insufficient for the grand jury to allege that the objectionable material was too obscene to allow it on the court records for "surely the objectionable matter can be described or identified in some way, without giving offense to the court, or defiling its records with scandalous and indecent matter." [109] To Harman's chagrin, however, within a few days the district attorney had a new indictment, designed to remedy the defect. The defendants again demurred but Judge Foster overruled the demurrer and sustained the indictment in May, 1889. Therefore, Lucifer's editors would have to stand trial. [110]

Following the notification to Harman that he must stand trial, two significant developments took place preceding the trial in 1890. First, Moses Harman attempted to clarify his position by republishing the four articles from Lucifer which served as the basis for the indictment. He offered to send the articles by mail to any interested party. While Harman realized that there would be diversity of opinion on republishing the articles, his purpose in so doing was:

. . . not to get a decision on questions of propriety or taste, but simply upon the question of the citizen's right to speak, to utter, to publish and to send by mail, all of one's honest thoughts, whatever they may be, provided always that no personal rights of property or reputation are invaded by such acts of utterance or of publication. [111]

The first of the four articles was Dr. W. G. Markland's letter which appeared in Lucifer on June 18, 1886. In the letter, Markland asked several questions concerning "legal rape." The physician then related a case where a mother, following the birth of a child, was seriously injured by the sexual abuses of her husband. Markland asked whether the law protected the woman in marriage and whether the action constituted legal rape.

The second indictment article had been copied from the Kansas Democrat. It told of a 36-year-old woman who had been led to insanity by the sexual abuses of her husband.

A letter, sent to Lucifer's editors on June 3, 1886, formed another basis for indictment. Written by Celia B. Whitehead and directed toward Elmina D. Slenker's previous comments in Lucifer on the universal need for contraceptives, the letter stated that nature designed women as free mothers and they must learn that they were made for men.

The fourth article appeared in Lucifer on July 33, 1886, and told of a Millerite couple preparing for the day of judgment. On the evening prior to the supposed judgment day, the couple proceeded to engage in a soul-searching dialogue concerning their married life. In revealing her domestic secrets, the wife confessed that each of their four children had a different father. After the initial shock, the husband cried out, "Gabriel blow your horn! I want to go now!" [112]

Harman's position was further complicated by the printing of an article in Lucifer by Dr. Richard V. O'Neil of New York City. The article, entitled "A Physician's Testimony," dealt with cases the physician had observed involving sexual abuse and unnatural sexual behavior. [113] Harman admitted tempting fate by publishing the O'Neil letter since he was already under bond for previous indictments. [114] Consequently, he was arrested on the afternoon of February 18, 1890, on complaints stemming from the publication of the O'Neil letter. He was brought before the Topeka commissioner where bond was fixed at $1,000. Harman was released from custody when Noah Harman posted the necessary bond. [115]

After many delays and postponements, the case of the United States vs. Moses Harman was tried in United States district court in Topeka on April 17, 1890. Ten Valley Falls citizens, serving as witnesses for the state, testified to receiving the issues of Lucifer which contained the indictment articles. All who testified swore to the honesty and purity of Moses Harman's personal life. Many of the witnesses indicated that Harman was a crank on the sex issue but none implied that he was insane. [116]

Employing Colonel Bradley of Topeka to assist as his counsel, Harman revealed that the defense would argue that the articles were not obscene, that he did not deposit the offending articles in the post office, and, on the question of the right relation of the sexes, that the defendant was insane. [117] Early in the trial, Harman denied delivery of the papers mentioned in the indictment. Later, he took all the blame for mailing the papers in question but maintained that the articles were not obscene. Harman claimed that by publishing the Markland letter he had hoped to vindicate the right of free discussion and publication and to vindicate the woman's right to self-ownership. On being cross-examined by United States Attorney J. W. Ady, Harman told the court that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages in his decision to publish the articles. He continued by stating:

Knowing that it would be objectionable to many people I published it notwithstanding, because I found that people are not very careful about offending me. . . . I see no reason why a matter of that sort should not go into the family and be read by women and children. There is nothing referred to except a free given allusion to human conduct and different members of human anatomy. I do not deem any of these obscene. All the words that are in the article are in Webster's dictionary. [118]

On the second day of the trial after arguments were completed, Judge Cassius Foster directed the jury to decide whether the articles were obscene. [119] After four hours of deliberation, [120] the jury found Moses Harman guilty on four counts as charged in the indictment. [121] The verdict, delivered on April 18, 1890, was based on the Markland and Whitehead letters. [122]

While Harman was awaiting sentence, evidence of a possible discrepancy in the trial was revealed. According to a letter attached to the note requesting a new trial, three jury members admitted to Judge Foster that the verdict was a result of compromise. They stated that three of the jurors believed Harman insane and that:

. . . It was agreed in the jury room that if the jurors who believed him insane would concur with the others in finding him guilty on four counts that all the jurors would recommend him to the clemency and mercy of the Court. [123]

A motion to secure a new trial for Moses Harman was overruled by the court.

The Topeka Journal reported the sentencing of Harman which occurred on April 30, 1890. After being coaxed into standing before the court by his attorney, Harman was given 10 minutes to explain his position. He indicated that he was a martyr for opinion's sake and that his cause was that of emancipating women from certain social evils. Judge Foster responded by telling Harman that the effect of his teachings were bad and that his attitude throughout the trial had been defiant. According to the Journal, Foster concluded his remarks by stating: "He had seen circus performers stick their heads into lions' mouths, but he had never seen them have the temerity to twist the beast's tail or kick them in the ribs while performing the risky act." [124] After the laughter in the courtroom subsided, Judge Foster sentenced Harman to serve five years in the Kansas penitentiary and to pay a fine of $300. [125]

Harman's first imprisonment was terminated on August 30, 1890, when he was released from the penitentiary at Lansing by order of Judge Henry Caldwell of the United States circuit court. On the basis of a writ of error, a new trial was to be ordered for Harman. [126]

In January of the following year, Harman was brought to court to stand trial for publishing of the O'Neil letter in the columns of Lucifer. After Harman waived a jury trial, Judge John D. Philips, district judge for the Western district of Missouri, rendered an elaborate opinion in the case. [127] Answering Harman's defense counsel, who argued that his right to freedom of the press was violated, Philips asserted: "Liberty in all its forms and assertions in the country is regulated by law. It is not an unbridled license. Where vituperation or licentiousness begins, the liberty of the press ends." [128]

Judge Philips went on to state that the O'Neil letter was so filthy in thought that it would be a shock to common decency and modesty to recite its contents. He maintained that the federal government ought not to take on the role of censor but nevertheless concluded that congress, through passage of the postal laws, had regard for the common consensus of the people and held the right to deny the mailing of material of Lucifer's type. [129] Philips proceeded to pronounce Harman guilty on three of the counts of the indictment charging him with the publication of the O'Neil letter. [130] Harman was then sentenced to one-year imprisonment in the penitentiary at Lansing but commitment was delayed after an appeal by the defense. [131]

Harman reacted to the sentence of the district court by calling upon the editors and publishers of the United States to rally to his aid by requesting a halt to the censorship of the press. He went on to state that "the freedom of the press means the freedom of the persons who conduct or represent the press. If a publisher must forever run the gauntlet of a secret and irresponsible postal censorship, then we have an end to the freedom of the press." [132] The editor of Lucifer gave considerable column space to public reaction to his latest case in court. Letters from the editors of the Boston Liberty, Chicago Open Court, and the Toronto Secular Thought generally deplored Harman's philosophy on sexual freedom, but they were sympathetic toward him because they believed he was making an attempt to publish the truth. [133]

In June, 1892, Judge Henry C. Caldwell ordered Moses Harman to be imprisoned in the Kansas state penitentiary for one year. The commitment was based on Judge Philips' one-year sentence handed down in January, 1891. Harman received word of his impending imprisonment on June 21, 1892, and was taken to Lansing shortly thereafter. [134] To Harman's surprise, Judge Caldwell ordered his release from the penitentiary at Lansing in February, 1893. The basis of his release was a ruling on a technicality of his sentence. [135]

Two years later, the federal district court acted upon Judge Caldwell's order that the Harman case, stemming from the verdict and sentence of April 18, 1890, be returned to the same district court for possible resentencing. [136] Following United States Attorney W. C. Perry's motion to resentence Harman on the verdict returned and filed on April 18, 1890, [137] Judge John Philips went on to review previous court cases in an effort to decide on Harman's case. Philips maintained that the district court would resume jurisdiction of the case at the point where the original error supervened, which was after the verdict. In rendering the decision, Judge Philips stated:

Out of regard for the infirmity of the defendant, and with the hope that he may not persist in opposing his individual opinion as to what the law ought to be against what the Courts declare it to be, and thereby invite further trouble, I shall modify the measure of punishment the trial court sought to mete out to the defendant by directing sentence to be entered that he be imprisoned, at hard labor, in the Penitentiary of the State of Kansas for one year and one day from this date. [138]

Harman was committed to the penitentiary at Lansing on June 2, 1895. [139] Shortly after arriving in Lansing, Harman wrote to Lucifer's interim editor that he considered it an honor and privilege to wear prison stripes for the cause of women's right of self-ownership and the cause of eugenics. [140] Harman was transferred from the penitentiary at Lansing to the United States penitentiary at Leavenworth in early July, 1895. [141] Informing his readers through letters printed in the columns of Lucifer, Harman wrote that he had been troubled by insomnia, malaria, rheumatism, and sore eyes before being transferred from his job of peeling potatoes in the "damp unwholesome cellar" to be placed in charge of the prison's printing office. [142] Soon after, in October, 1895, he was again transferred to a clerk's job in the prison hospital. [144] After serving less than the full year of his sentence, he was released from Leavenworth penitentiary on April 4, 1896. [144]

Harman was described as appearing in good physical condition upon his release from prison. With his return to Topeka, a party was held at the Lincoln Post hall where many speeches were delivered and letters read which welcomed him back. [145] Later, Harman personally thanked the press in Topeka and elsewhere for the generally fair treatment of himself and his newspaper during his absence. [146] Unbroken in spirit, he went on to give illustrations of what seemed to be a weakening of the mail censors. [147] Shortly after Harman's release from prison, E. C. Walker, writing in Lucifer, attempted to bolster the position of his former partner by stating:

Moses Harman has suffered as a victim of those who fear to hear all sides of all questions. He represents the principle of freedom of speech and press. That question must be maintained or all progress ceases. We must stick to the main issue, it is not true that the Editor of Lucifer stands before the world as a representative of any particular school of sexual reformers; he represents whoever desires to speak his convictions, no matter how divergent those convictions may be from Moses Harman's or yours or mine. [148]

As previously mentioned, Harman left Kansas in 1896 and moved to Chicago where his journalistic activities continued to focus on the issue of sex reform. Nine years later, he was again arrested and charged with sending obscene materials through the mails. [149] He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago, [150] and later stood trial in the United States district court. After being given a sentence of one year in prison at hard labor by the district court, Harman appealed his case to the circuit court of appeals where his previous sentence was upheld on January 9, 1906. [151]

After being confined for a short time in Chicago's Cook county jail, [152] Harman was sent to the prison at Joliet, Ill., on March 1, 1906. [153] He was transferred to the federal prison at Leavenworth on June 28, after complaining that the Joliet jail was "full of tuberculosis." [154] He was released from Leavenworth on December 26, 1906, after serving 10 months and three days of his one year sentence. [155] His release from prison in 1906 marked the end of Harman's perennial struggle with the courts although he continued to devote the columns of Lucifer and the American Journal of Eugenics to the cause of sex reform.

V. The Death of Harman

Moses Harman concluded his often interrupted journalistic career in Los Angeles. He died of angina pectoris on January 30, 1910, having spent the previous day working on the details of mailing the latest issue of the American Journal of Eugenics. [156] Several friends were reported to have offered testimony to Harman at the funeral presided over by Dr. Adah Patterson. According to an observer, Dr. Patterson concluded the funeral ceremony with the following remarks: "He was a most determined man, and had he been less so, the world would be the loser. In coming years the people will hold anniversary meetings for Moses Harman, the same as they now do for Thomas Paine." [157] According to Harman's wishes, his body was cremated in Los Angeles on February 5, 1910. [158]

A memorial edition of the American Journal of Eugenics was published by Lillian Harman following his death. Besides relating the highlights of Harman's career and imprisonment, the issue included several testimonials to Harman's memory. One of them, a letter addressed to Lillian Harman by George Bernard Shaw, said:

It seems nothing short of a miracle that your father should have succeeded living for seventy-nine years in a country so extremely dangerous for men who have both enlightened opinions and the courage of them as the United States of America. [159]

Notes

William Lemore West, native of Clarkfield, Minn., received his B. A. degree from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minn., and his M. A. from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is presently teaching history in the high school at Rush City, Minn.

1. Lucifer the Light Bearer, October 11, 1906; The Farmer's Vindicator, Valley Falls, February 11, 1910. Harman's date of birth was in question. His daughter, Lillian, in 1906 gave the year as 1830 as did the authors of Portrait and Biography Album of Jackson, Jefferson, and Pottawatomie Counties, Kansas (Chicago, 1890), p. 544. His son, George, writing his father's obituary in 1910, gave his birth date as October 12, 1828.
2. "Population Schedule," U. S. Census, 1860, Crawford county, Missouri.
3. The Farmer's Vindicator, February 11, 1910. At age 12, Harman sustained a knee injury which left an open sore for 40 years thereafter.
4. Lucifer, June 8, 1888.
5. The Farmer's Vindicator, February 11, 1910.
6. Ibid. Portrait and Biography Album of Jackson, Jefferson, and Pottawatomie Counties, Kansas, p. 544. U. S. Census, 1880, inhabitants in Delaware township, Jefferson country.
7. Valley Falls Liberal, November, 1880, and January, 1881. The platform of the Liberal League was: "Perfect freedom of thought and action for every individual so far and so long as he does not infringe the rights of others." -- Valley Falls Liberal, December, 1880.
8. Ibid., January, 1881.
9. Ibid., September, 1850.
10. Ibid., August, 1880.
11. The Kansas Liberal, September 1, 1881.
12. Ibid., August 3, 1882.
13. Ibid., April 13, 27; September 22, 1882.
14. Lucifer, August 24, 1883.
15. Ibid., September 14, 1883.
16. Ibid., June 18, 1886.
17. Ibid., May 22, 1885.
18. Ibid., July 8, 1887. The year 1887 was represented as 287 E. M. by Harman. To avoid confusion, the accepted A. D. dates are used in the footnotes.
19. E. C. Walker served as coeditor of Lucifer until he resigned in 1888 to become the editor of Fair Play, a free-thought paper in Valley Falls.
20. Lucifer, April 24, 1885.
21. Ibid., April 25, 1890, January 29, 1892. Clarence Swartz was the former editor of the Voice of the People, Kingman, while Lois Waisbrooker was one of the chief contributors to the columns of Lucifer.
22. Ibid., January 17, 1890. Slenker and Waisbrooker took opposite views on the questions pertaining to sex.
23. Ibid., September 21, 1888.
24. Ibid., September 26, 1890.
25. Ibid., October 10, 1890.
26. Ibid., January 2, 1891.
27. Ibid., May 26, 1893. Among books offered for sale were Lois Waisbrooker's The Occult Forces of Sex, and George A. Miller's The Strike of the Sex.
28. The Federal Reporter, v. 45, p. 415. Harman testified at a trial hearing in 1891 that Lucifer had 1,500 subscribers in the United States. In 1886 he pointed out that less than 10 percent of Lucifer's patronage came from Jefferson county. -- Lucifer, September 24, 1886.
29. Lucifer, November 2, 1888. Some patrons were reported being behind in their payments as much as four years.
30. Ibid., May 25, 1894.
31. Ibid., April 22, 1887, July 24, 1885.
32. Ibid., April 17, 1896. He indicated he had been contemplating the move to Chicago for seven years.
33. Ibid., May 8, 1896.
34. Ibid., April 27, 1898. Not all subscribers were happy with Harman's overemphasis on sex and marriage in his paper. In 1898 an unidentified journalist called upon Harman to devote more attention to the discussion of the Spanish-American War.
35. Ibid., April 29, 1899.
36. Ibid., June 6, 1907. The first issue of the American Journal of Eugenics was dated July 1, 1907.
37. American Journal of Eugenics, June, 1908. Concerning his moves, he referred to the transfer from Kansas to Chicago as a grave mistake by saying: "Public sentiment in Kansas is puritanic, reactionary, meddlesome, and evasive, but public sentiment in Chicago is far more completely dominated by the elements of human character than is that of Kansas." -- Ibid., February, 1908.
38. Ibid., January, February, 1910.
39. Ibid.
40. Lucifer, June 3, 1892.
41. The Kansas Liberal, August 3, 1883.
42. Lucifer, September 28, 1894.
43. Ibid., April 20, 1888.
44. Ibid., March 3, 1893.
45. Ibid., March 27, 1885.
46. Ibid., November 4, 1887.
47. Ibid., October 14, 1887.
48. Ibid., August 12, 1887.
49. Ibid., May 8, 1885.
50. Ibid., August 3, 1883. Later he stated his opposition to socialism and "select communistic socialism." -- Ibid., May 8, 1885.
51. Ibid., April 16, 1886. Harman later defended the Chicago anarchists involved in the Haymarket Square incident. -- Ibid., November 18, 1887.
52. Ibid., September 3, 1886.
53. Ibid., September 29, 1893. The proposed "Labor Exchange" had seven specific objectives designed to aid the cause of labor. Essentially the proposed exchange was a voluntary cooperative organization doing business for the benefit of its members. Harman hoped that such an organization would furnish employment for the idle and provide wages or "labor checks" based on the products of labor which could not be mortgaged.
54. Ibid., February 27, 1885.
55. Ibid., January 8, 1886.
56. Ibid., April 2, 1886.
57. Ibid., August 24, 1888.
58. Ibid., February 8, 1884.
59. Ibid., December 23, 1887.
60. Ibid., February 1, 1889.
61. Ibid., June 13, 1884. He opposed the use of strong drink, but he saw the need for an inexpensive and slightly exhilarating drink. He felt wine and beer were too fiery for those who experienced the sun and hot winds of America. "Hence we think the National Beverage for Americans has not yet been invented. . . . Blessings on the man who will invent the American Beverage!" -- Ibid., June 11, 1886.
62. Ibid., January 25, 1884.
63. Ibid., August 24, 1883.
64. Ibid., March 17, 1893.
65. Moses Harman, Love in Freedom (Chicago, Moses Harman pub., 1900), p. 22.
66. Lucifer, December 30, 1892.
67. Ibid., August 7, 1885.
68. Harman, Love in Freedom, pp. 9-11.
69. Lucifer, September 28, 1883.
70. Ibid., May 3, 1895.
71. Ibid., August 31, 1888.
72. Harman, Love in Freedom, pp. 16, 17. Harman indicated that he had no grudge against marriage due to his own experience in marriage. He denied that he had been influenced by such writers as Rousseau, Byron, and Shelley. He said: "I wanted to be able to say to my critics that my opinions on heretical questions are my own -- not borrowed nor adopted from anyone else." -- Ibid., pp. 28-30.
73. Lucifer, March 8, 1895.
74. Moses Harman, Digging For Bedrock (Valley Falls, Lucifer Publishing Company, 1890), pp. 13, 14.
75. Lucifer, November 8, 1889. The use of an infallible device to prevent conception would do more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world stated Harman.
76. Ibid., June 25, 1886.
77. Ibid., February 16, 1905.
78. Ibid., October 12, 1883.
79. Ibid., June 25, 1886.
80. Ibid., February 3, 1888.
81. Ibid., September 17, 1886. This issue of Lucifer was delayed in mailing until after the ceremony described therein.
82. Ibid., October 1, 1886.
83. "Complaint. The State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman." -- Filed September 20, 1886.
84. "Misdemeanors, Arrest, Examination Offenders Warrant." -- Filed on September 20, 1886, by R. D. Simpson, justice of the peace, Jefferson county.
85. Lucifer, September 24, 1886. Harman contended that the Valley Falls freethinkers failed to post bond for the couple because they feared social ostracism or personal violence.
86. "The State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman," District Court of the County of Jefferson in the State of Kansas, bill of exceptions, notice of appeal, October 19, 1886.
87. Oskaloosa Independent, October 9, 1886.
88. Ibid., September 25, 1886.
89. Osawkie Times, October 8, 1886.
90. Lucifer, October 15, 1886.
91. State attorneys W. F. Gilluly and S. B. Bradford pointed out that the laws of Kansas stated that any persons living together as man and wife without being married were guilty of a misdemeanor. The state alleged that the Harman family had advocated the different marriage doctrine and had eagerly sought the opportunity to show their followers that "they dared, even in face of law, to practice what they had been preaching; and it may not be improper to add they are now reaping their reward [monetary] for their boldness." -- Brief For Appellee, State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman, No. 4312 (Topeka, Kansas Publishing House, 1886), p. 6. Defense attorney Overmyer argued that a marriage had actually taken place because of the honest intentions and consummation of the marriage by the couple on trial. -- David Overmyer, Supplemental Brief for Appellants, The State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman (Valley Falls, Moses Harman and Son, Printers, 1886), pp. 23, 24.
92. "Criminal Appearance Docket," district court, Jefferson county, 1886, p. 349.
93. Lucifer, October 22, 1886.
94. Ibid., October 29, 1886.
95. Ibid., December 10, 1886. In a letter to Lucifer from the jail in Oskaloosa, Lillian Harman indicated she remained in jail against her father's interests. She went on to say, "imprisonment may ruin our health; it cannot daunt our spirits."
96. "The State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman, Mandate From Supreme Court." -- Filed March 12, 1887.
97. "The State of Kansas vs. E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman, Appeal From Jefferson County" (affirmed), Judge Johnston's opinion.
98. Lucifer, March 11, 1887.
99. Ibid., April 8, 1887.
100. Ibid., September 28, 1883. Quite often the attacks were led against Anthony Comstock, the individual who supposedly led the fight for postal censorship.
101. Ibid., February 24, 1887. The bondsmen were J. W. Rigdon, N. J. Holum, C. Bowman, and David Overmyer.
102. "Grand Jury Indictment of Moses Harman, George Harman, and E. C. Walker" (no date on copy of indictment). Harman said the grand jury would hear his case on April 11, 1887 (approximate date). -- Lucifer, March 11, 1887.
103. Lucifer, December 16, 1887.
104. Ibid., November 4, 1887.
105. Ibid., January 20, 1888.
106. Ibid., February 17, 1888.
107. Ibid., February 24, 1888. As of the date of this issue, $451.29 had been contributed to the defense fund.
108. The Federal Reporter, v. 34, p. 872. Harman had been indicted under Section 3893 of the postal service laws first passed by congress on June 8, 1872, later amended in 1876 and 1888. United States Compiled Statutes, v. 2, p. 2658.
109. Lucifer, April 20, 1888; The Federal Reporter, v. 34, pp. 872, 873.
110. Lucifer, April 27, 1888, May 24, 1889. According to Harman, Judge Foster stated: "The question of obscenity in any particular case must largely depend upon the place, manner and object of its publication. It would not be proper to discuss certain matters in a family newspaper which might with propriety be discussed in a medical journal." -- Ibid., May 31, 1889.
111. The Kansas Fight For Free Press, The Four Indictment Articles (Valley Falls, Lucifer Publishing Company, 1889), pp. 2, 3.
112. Ibid.
113. Lucifer, February 14, 1890.
114. Ibid., February 21, 1890.
115. Editorial from the Topeka Capital reprinted in Lucifer, February 21, 1890. Noah Harman, Moses' cousin, founded the Farmer's Vindicator in Valley Falls.
116. No. 2584, "The United States vs. Moses Harman, Bill of Exceptions." -- Filed July 28, 1890, by J. C. Wilson, clerk. One of the witnesses for the state was Richard D. Simpson, former justice of the peace, before whom E. C. Walker and Lillian Harman were prosecuted. He testified that he had written to Washington, D. C., about the matter after Harman had refused to publish an article Simpson had written.
Another prominent witness for the state was A. M. Geiger, the pastor of the Lutheran church in Valley Falls. He testified that he was not a subscriber to Lucifer but he had received copies of the Whitehead letter through the mail.
117. Lucifer, April 28, 1890. Harman indicated dissatisfaction with his defense counsel. Overmyer and Clemens had withdrawn from the case because of differences of opinion as to the best line of defense. He had hoped that E. C. Chamberlain of New York City would have arrived in time to act as an advisory counsel. Harman acknowledged that he allowed the insanity plea to go to the jury as a delay tactic and because he was curious to see if a jury of sane men would judge a man insane because he demanded to secure for women the natural right of self-ownership.
118. No. 2584 "The United States vs. Moses Harman. Bill of Exceptions." -- Filed July 28, 1890, by J. C. Wilson, clerk.
119. Ibid. Judge Foster made it clear to the jury that "every person is presumed to know what the law is, neither does it relieve a party from the penalty of the law because that party sincerely believes that the article is not obscene, that there is nothing obscene will not bear the test of reason, will not bear the test of law, the real question is, is it obscene?"
120. Lucifer, April 18, 1890.
121. No. 2584, "The United States vs. Moses Harman. Verdict." -- Filed April 18, 1890, signed by jury foreman, John C. Hamilton.
122. Lucifer, April 18, 1890.
123. No. 2584, "The United States vs. Moses Harman. Motion for New Trial" (letter attached). -- Filed April 21, 1890, by J. C. Wilson, clerk. The letter was signed by jurors John Reafsnyder, W. H. Breed, and John Reid.
124. State Journal, Topeka, May 1, 1890.
125. Ibid.
126. Lucifer, August 29, 1890. Delayed issue. On June 6, 1892, Henry C. Caldwell, judge for the circuit court of the United States, announced that the federal district court of Kansas was in error since hard labor was not a part of the punishment of the defendant as required by law. He ordered that the judgment of the court be reversed and that the case be returned to the same district court for further action. -- No 2584, "United States vs. Moses Harman. Copy. Judgment of Circuit Court." -- Filed June 13, 1892, J. C. Wilson, clerk.
127. Lucifer, January 16, 1891. Harman indicated he had been slighted by his attorney, Overmyer, since he wasn't allowed to speak for himself.
128. The Federal Reporter, v. 45, p. 416.
129. Ibid., p. 418.
130. Ibid., p. 424.
131. Lucifer, January 16, 1891.
132. Ibid.
133. Ibid., February 13. 1891.
134. Ibid., June 24, 1892.
135. Ibid., February 24, 1893. The sentence was based on the first, second, and fourth counts of the indictment. It directed that he be imprisoned for four months on each of the counts. Harman's attorney had petitioned the court for his release on the grounds that the sentence did not state that the sentence was to run concurrently.
136. Refer to Footnote 131.
137. No. 2584, "United States vs. Moses Harman, Motion for Resentence." -- Filed on February 28, 1895, by George F. Sharitt, clerk.
138. No. 2584, "United States vs. Moses Harman. Opinion: Judge Philips." -- Filed June 1, 1895, in the district court of the United States for the district of Kansas, first division.
139. Lucifer, May 31, 1895. Notice of imprisonment appeared in a supplement page of the late edition of Lucifer.
140. Ibid., June 14, 1895.
141. Ibid., July 12, 1895.
142. Ibid., September 13, 1895, reported to Lucifer's editor by Lillian Harman.
143. Ibid., October 11, 1895.
144. Ibid., April 10, 1896.
145. Editorial in the Topeka Daily Capital, reprinted in Lucifer, April 10, 1896.
146. Lucifer, April 10, 1896.
147. Ibid., April 17, 1896. He cited a recent case in Kansas where a certain J. B. Wise was fined 50 dollars for sending obscenities through the mails.
148. Ibid.
149. Ibid., March 2, 1905. The arrest was made in the latter part of February. No exact date was given. The indicated articles were written by contributors to Lucifer's columns.
150. Ibid., May 25, 1905. Harman indicated that he had asked Clarence S. Darrow to conduct the defense but he had declined stating he was too busy.
151. Ibid., January 4, 1906. This issue was held up in delivery by the postal authorities in Chicago.
152. Ibid., March 1, 1906.
153. Ibid., March 15, 1906.
154. Ibid., July 5, 1906. George Harman had requested the transfer through a congressman from Kansas. In the same month, Harman's application for pardon was denied.
Following Harman's death, Lillian Harman related the type of treatment inflicted upon her 74-year-old father in the Joliet prison. She spoke of "forced vaccination" and his confinement to the rock piles. She indicated that her father believed prison authorities were trying to work him to death. -- Lillian Harman, "Return to Home and Friends," The American Journal of Eugenics, Moses Harman Memorial (Chicago, Lillian Harman, 1910?), p. 5.
155. Lucifer, January 3, 1907.
156. Valley Falls New Era, February 10, 1910. Lillian Harman, "Farewell Tributes," The American Journal of Eugenics, Moses Harman Memorial, pp. 7, 8. Lillian Harman told of her father being stricken with chest pains which might have been brought on by dust he was forced to breathe when breaking stones at a Joliet prison four years before.
157. Ibid., p. 10. Flora Wardell-Fox reportedly was one of the last persons to see Moses Harman alive. She attended his funeral and corresponded with Lillian Harman on the details of the ceremony.
158. Valley Falls New Era, February 10, 1910. This excerpt from Harman's obituary was somewhat contradictory to terms of Harman's will, drawn up while he was in prison in 1906. At that time he offered to donate his physical remains to some physician for use in anatomy classes. He also indicated that he wanted his body disposed of in a simple gave without benefit of a coffin. -- The American Journal of Eugenics, July, 1908.
159. "George Bernard Shaw Speaks," The American Journal of Eugenics, Moses Harman Memorial, p. 11.