Monday, September 15, 2008
Puzzle pieces: W. H. Channing's "The Present"
I've emphasized before the importance of William Henry Channing's The Spirit of the Age, as the closest thing we have to a mid-19th century American mutualist paper. Channing is equally important as part of the late-transcendentalist/radical Unitarian/free-religionist current with which American individualist anarchism was in constant dialogue. William B. Greene was himself a part of that current, as was Sidney H. Morse and, at least early on, Joshua King Ingalls. Tucker was influenced by it, and his Radical Review was full of contributors from it. And a great deal of attention was paid in the early issues of Liberty, to what Tucker felt was its decline. Channing's earlier paper, The Present, has also turned up at Google Books, along with a number of volumes of the Western Messenger, which he co-edited. There's some very interesting stuff in The Present, including some discussion of William B. Greene's philosophical and theological work.