By Patricia Cline Cohen
Obscene, libidinous, loathsome, lascivious. these have been just a few of the methods critics defined the nineteenth-century weeklies that lined and publicized manhattan City’s huge sexual underworld. courses just like the Flash and the Whip—distinguished by means of a charming brew of lowbrow humor and titillating gossip approximately prostitutes, theater denizens, and wearing events—were now not the kind often certain in leather-based for destiny reference, and regardless of their recognition with an enthusiastic readership, they quick receded into nearly entire obscurity. lately, notwithstanding, tremendous collections of those papers have resurfaced, and within the Flash Press 3 popular students supply a landmark learn in their importance in addition to a big variety in their ribald articles and illustrations. together with brief stories of city lifestyles, editorials on prostitution, and moralizing rants opposed to homosexuality, those choices epitomize a unique kind of city journalism. right here, as well as supplying an intensive evaluation of this colourful reportage, its editors, and its viewers, the authors study nineteenth-century rules of sexuality and freedom that combined Tom Paine’s republicanism with components of the Marquis de Sade’s sexual ideology. additionally they hint the evolution of censorship and obscenity legislations, exhibiting how a string of felony battles eventually ended in the dying of the flash papers: editors have been hauled into courtroom, sentenced to detention center for felony obscenity and libel, and at last driven into chapter 11. yet now not earlier than they eternally replaced the talk over public sexuality and freedom of expression in America’s most crucial urban. (20080505)
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Extra info for The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York (Historical Studies of Urban America)
If being an actress represented a threat to one’s character, being an actress under the mentorship of Hamblin was many times worse. Hamblin encouraged the teenaged ingénue, putting her in a lead role in a play opposite himself. Louisa Missouri’s mother objected, and Louisa in an anti-maternal gesture moved from her mother’s house to lodge in a respectable boarding house. A tug of war ensued, her mother and brother pulling her one way and Hamblin seeking—and ﬁnding, with the help of a shady reporter for the New York Herald named William H.
How Snelling got involved in this story is unknown; either his prior championing of Josephine Clifton, his writings as a theater critic, or a link as yet undiscovered with Adeline Miller and her brothel, are possibilities. (Another ﬂash paper later proﬁled Snelling in a hostile article in December 1841 and alleged that he was the “protégé of the notorious woman Miller” as soon as he arrived in New York, serving her “in every capacity,” a clear sexual insinuation. )38 With the Censor now folded, Snelling’s response to Missouri’s dire situation of early June was to start BEGI N N I NGS [ 35 ] figure 11.
Meighan was a lad not quite twenty, born in Westchester County but [ 48 ] CH A PT ER ON E raised in New York City. Meighan coedited another weekly paper called the Star, so he was juggling two publications at once; he was “an industrious writer,” a friend later recalled. His “rake” appeared in cartoons as a farm implement, not a womanizing dandy, and he poked gentle fun at the Whip and the Flash. Despite his youthful age, Meighan was not a newcomer to the sporting world. ” In his opening issues, Meighan ribbed the other editors who derided him and politely asked for a truce, but soon his Rake was as lurid and mock-insulting as the others.