Anthony Comstock, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and the YMCA

The disruptions of the U.S. Civil War created great anxiety about the things that young men might have seen while away from the protective eyes of their families and churches. Learn more about Anthony Comstock's crusade, in partnership with the YMCA in Ne

Digitized Annual Reports and Convention Proceedings Related to ANTHONY COMSTOCK, OBSCENITY LAW AND THE YMCA OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

YMCA of Greater New York Collection

Note: Items listed here are linked to the finding aids of the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.

Comstock Law in Congress

 

  • Biographical Files Box 38, Anthony Comstock.
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 179. Includes printed cover letter from Morris K. Jesup for the report, "Private and Confidential, detailing the work of the Committee for the Suppression of Vice. Also included is a fundraising appeal from the newly formed New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. 
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 179  Included are materials related to the branch's association with other organizations, including the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. 
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 309. Includes advertising material for lectures by Anthony Comstock and Booker T. Washington.
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 333. Includes material regarding controversy between YMCA and artist William Granville Smith about his production of "lewd and obscene" art while occupying a studio at the 23rd Street YMCA. Also includes a letter from Anthony Comstock of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.Hon. Clinton L. Merriam (R-NY)
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 383. Includes correspondence and pamphlets related to the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 386. Includes "Obscene Literature", an address by the Hon. Clinton Merriam to the US House of Representatives. Also includes annual reports of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (1875-1886). Also includes Act of Incorporation of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (1873).
  • YMCA of Greater New York Collection, Box 1564. Contains materials related to Comstock’s efforts to prosecute feminist Virginia Woodhull and other secondary sourcesAnnual Report of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice

Other Resources

General Surveys

YMCA and Anthony Comstock

The 1868 New York State Obscene Literature Bill

The 1872 Change to the 1865 Post Office Law

Passage of the 1873 Comstock Law

Writings of Anthony Comstock

Anti-Comstock Writings

 

Note: Newspaper and magazine items are linked to Proquest Historical Newspapers and JSTOR. Individual access may differ. 

Last Updated: Jul 9, 2021 11:58 AM