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Periodical: The Universe (Chicago)

Ssummary: From Pat Deveney's database:

A Living Journal for the New Age / A Journal of Literature, The Spiritual Philosophy, Woman's Independence, etc. / A Radical Journal of Religious, Social and Political Reform.
1869--1870 Weekly, then monthly
Chicago, IL, then (January 1, 1870) New York, NY. Publisher: H.N.F. Lewis.
Succeeds: Chicagoan, Chicago Sorosis, Advanced Guard (all consolidated to form The Universe); Spiritual Rostrum (absorbed October 1869) Succeeded by: Present Age and Universe
2/1, June 1869-1870.
$2.50 a year, 8 pp., 17 x 21.

The journal began publication in June 1868 as Chicagoan, the consolidation of the Chicago Sorosis and Advanced Guard. A "new series," beginning with vol. 2, no. 1, appeared in June 1869 under the name Universe, "a Large Quarto Weekly of eight pages, and forty-eight columns, printed with new type, on the best paper, and will be devoted to Literature, the Spiritual Philosophy, Woman's Independence, General Intelligence, etc." Lewis was the publisher of Western Rural, founded in 1864, which was claimed to be the largest agricultural magazine in the west. He was also a longtime radical spiritualist, and seems to have tried to take advantage of the collapse of Spiritual Republic in 1867 to combine his reform and spiritualist interests, under the editorship of J.M. Peebles, in Universe. Peebles had for four years been the Western Editor of the Banner of Light, and assumed the role of editor but almost immediately left to become American Consul in Trebizond. He continued to contribute regularly to the journal but his duties were taken up by Amanda Theodocia Jones (author of A Psychic Autobiography, 1910), whose chief attraction seems to have been her willingness to work for free. Peebles noted in his 1871 Year-Book of Spiritualism that the journal was "devoted to all reforms; Spiritualism being one only of the many issues it made." It showed its mixed background by announcing that Epes Sargent and Robert Dale Owen had been retained to write for Universe, while publishing in the first issue "a story of deep interest. Involving serious social questions, entitled 'Married,' by Mrs. Caroline F. Corbin, author of 'Rebecca, a Woman's Secret.' Also a story (in full) by Mrs. Jennie T. Hazen--'Daisy, or the Married Man's Story.'" The journal carried occasional contributions and letters from the likes of "Laroy" Sunderland, Moses Hull, et al., and notices of Emma Hardinge's and Peebles's travels, notes on "Portrait Drawing by Planchette," etc. Given the views of the owner and editors of the journal, it is no wonder that the contemporary press (Montpellier, VT, Argus and Patriot, February 10, 1870) labeled it "The Organ of Free Lovers." "It not only declares, editorially, that the overthrow of the institution of marriage is 'the ultima thule of the woman's rights movements,' but permits the free use of its columns to contributors of both sexes who desire to put in print their 'peculiar ideas' on the doctrine of free love. One contributor, in a recent issue, in an article strongly denunciatory of marriage thus advocates the divorce of all married persons, and gently hints at free love: 'If people have been so foolish as to get married, it is, perhaps, well to get divorced. They are then prepared to start fair. . . . Marriage is a gigantic infernalism. Humanity's greatest need to-day is that it be utterly abolished.'" In January 1870 the journal was removed to New York, leaving only a subscription office in Chicago. In October 1869 the journal incorporated W.F. Jamieson's Rostrum. University of Rochester; American Antiquarian Society.

Issues:Universe V2 N7 Aug 14 1869
Universe V2 N8 Aug 21 1869
Universe V2 N9 Aug 26 1869
Universe V2 N11 Sep 11 1869
Universe V2 N12 Sep 18 1869
Universe V2 N13 Sep 25 1869
Universe V2 N14 Oct 2 1869
Universe V2 N15 Oct 9 1869
Universe V2 N16 Oct 16 1869
Universe V2 N17 Oct 23 1869
Universe V2 N18 Oct 30 1869

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