The Slow Burning Fuse

an atheisitic anarchistic scorcher

today in anarchist history

May 8 1896: Moses Harman begins publishing the weekly Lucifer, The Light-Bearer in Chicago having previously published in Kansas since 1883.


Lucifer the Lightbearer was an anarchist journal published by Moses Harman, an American schoolteacher and publisher who not only denounced all forms of government and religion but also was also notable for his support for women’s rights, and advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage.

Untitled Image 1

The naming of Lucifer, which had its own system of dating which started from the execution of astronomer Giodano Bruno in 1601, was, according to Harman, chosen because “Lucifer the ancient name of the Morning Star, now called Venus seems to us unsurpassed as a cognomen for a journal whose mission is to bring light to the dwellers in darkness.”

Untitled Image 3

In February 1887, the editors and publishers of Lucifer were arrested after the journal ran foul of the Comstock Act for the publication of a letter condemning forced sex within marriage, which the author identified as rape.  The Comstock Act, named after its chief proponent, the anti-obscenity crusader Anthony Comstock, made it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious” materials through the mail, including contraceptive devices and information. In February 1890 Harman was again arrested on charges resulting from a similar article written by a New York physician. As a result, Harman would spend large portions of the next six years in prison.

Untitled Image 5

books for sale in lucifer


In 1896, Lucifer was moved to Chicago, but legal harassment continued.  In May 1905, Harman was again arrested and convicted for the distribution of two articles, namely “The Fatherhood Question” and “More Thoughts on Sexology” by Sara Crist Campbell. He was sentenced to a year of hard labor, which caused the 75-year-old Harman’s health to deteriorate greatly. After 24 years in production, Lucifer ceased publication in 1907.  Harman passed away a few years later in 1910



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in anarchy, history and tagged , .
%d bloggers like this: