In 1840, Parker Pillsbury (1809-1898) lost his Congregational Church license to preach due to his uncompromising attacks on church leaders who would not resist slavery. He then lectured across the United States and visited England, adamantly preaching for abolition. At times he disrupted church services, shouting for worshipers to “come out” from under the influence of their proslavery ministers. Pillsbury had written for and edited various abolition-centered newspaper prior to assuming similar roles at The Revolution. He supported Universal Suffrage over suffrage for Black men only and was a rhetorical force in favor of women’s rights. However, according to historian, Stacey M. Roberston’s, Parker Pillsbury: Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist, in practice, the bulk of his household’s domestic responsibilities — including raising a daughter, Helen — fell to his wife, Sarah H. Sargent. In addition to writing newspaper articles and consistent diary entries over decades, in 1883 he published his book, Acts of the Anti-Slavery Apostles.
The Revolution Vol 1, Part 1. 1868-01-08, Parker Pillsbury, author
NEW YORK, JANUARY 8, 1868.
A NEW paper is the promise of a new thought; of something better or different, at least, from what has gone before.
With the highest idea of the dignity and power of the press, this journal is to represent no party, sect, or organization, but individual opinion; editors and correspondents alike, all writing, from their own stand point, and over their own names The enfranchisement of woman and man is one of the leading ideas that calls this journal into existence. Seeing, in its realization, the many necessary changes in our modes of life we think “THE REVOLUTION” a fitting name for a paper that will advocate so radical a reform as this involves in our political, religious and social world.
With both man and woman in the editorial department, we shall not have masculine and feminine ideas alone, but united thought on all questions of national and individual interest.
But we do not promise the millennium in journalism, from this experiment, or in politics from the enfranchisement of woman, only a new, and, we hope, a better phase of existence, which, to those who are tired of the old grooves in which the world has run so long, is something to be welcomed in the future. With the moral chaos that surrounds us on every side, the corruption in the State, the dissensions in the church, the jealousies in the home, what thinking mind does not feel that we need something new and revolutionary in every department of life. Determined to do our part in pushing on the car of progress we begin with the new year, a new life work, hoping the world will be the better for the birth of “THE REVOLUTION.”
THE REVOLUTION: The name speaks its purpose. It is to revolutionize. It is Radicalism practical, not theoretical. It is to effect changes through abolitions, reconstructions and restorations. It is to realize ancient visions, answer long uttered prayers and fulfil old prophecies. Former things are passing away. Old Faiths, Philosophies and Philanthropies are to be extended, and new principles discovered and applied to human enfranchisement New America is discovered. The march of empire in literature, science, commerce and all material interests, is onward as never before. But there is more than these. Justice, truth, virtue, must be our new foundations. More than slavery is to be abolished. More than suffrage is to be given to man and to woman. Carlyle said when Louis XV died, more died than a king. The kingship had also given up the ghost. So in the new life, it is man and manliness, woman and all womanly virtues and exaltations that are to be sought. Citizen hereafter is to mean more than a creature who is in the market with his ballot and birthright on election morning, seeking for bidders. A nation of such citizens might number millions of millions, but its numerical grandeur would be its disgrace. What should be its glory would be only its shame. Such are ever the dupes of the demagogue, to subserve his base designs, to the subversion of all honor, integrity and stability in government. An intelligent suffrage based on man and woman alike, will soon arrest the reckless career of many who in the name of democracy, republicanism and patriotism are rushing the dismembered fragments of our nationality on to a still deeper ruin.
-Intro by Pamela Stewart; curated/excerpted by Danae Barnes