Birth Control

Happy 170th Birthday, “Uncle Tony”

Born on March 7, 1844 in New Canaan, Connecticut, Anthony Comstock became America’s most successful Christian social reformer. Read his courageous life story in “Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation” and our new comic book, “Anthony Comstock, Fighter” which will be released later this month.

Here’s an excerpt from “Outlawed!” Available in ourstorein books, ebooks and audio mp3s.

[Mr. Comstock’s] loving children is not “academic” or abstract; it has a basis that can never be taken from him. A friend … recently had an interesting experience with Mr. Comstock in this part of his nature. He wrote about it as follows:

I called his office and introduced myself … Twenty minutes before he came in, and then he had just come from a legal battle, and his mind was full of two other important cases. Twice he interrupted our brief conversation to speak to an assistant about them, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I had chosen an inopportune time to defy him. But he was polite, determined, and kept me when I insisted on leaving.

The impression he made on me was of a man of domineering, dictatorial, combative spirit, but resolutely repressed his cruelty, for he recognized his limitations and fought himself as fiercely as he fought any other adversary. A man, moreover, for whom religion is a real thing. A man who fought well against Cromwell’s Ironsides, singing hymns as he marched into battle.

But now mark how my impression of him grew:

I happened to show him pictures of my little girls … and immediately, with shocking suddenness, at the sight of their little faces all the storm and stress of which he was the center seemed to disappear. For a moment he studied the pictures delightedly; then hastily took out his notebook, handed me a small picture of himself, told me the circumstances under which it was taken, and added: “When you get home, give that to your little girls , and tell them ‘Uncle Tony.’”

At home I wrote him a short letter, signed by Grace and Muriel, telling him that two little girls in Illinois had thanked their “Uncle Tony” for the picture he had sent. With that I suposed closed the incident; but in about ten days there came to them a letter (two closely typed pages) and half a dozen colored post-cards, which this harassed and busy man took the time to send these. As a token of appreciation, Muriel sent him at Christmas a small pin ball, of her own making, and a letter. A few days later another letter came to them and a large and very fine photograph which now hangs, framed, in the “play corner.” They knew him only as “Uncle Tony,” and that he was a friend and protector to all the little children; but when they are older, I will tell them more about him and teach them to associate with that picture the lines of Bayard Taylor: “The bravest is the tenderest, The loving is the brave.”

Just think, I was in his presence for less than twenty minutes!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button