Born March 7, 1844 in New Canaan, Connecticut, Anthony Comstock went on to become America’s most successful Christian social reformer. Read his courageous life story in “Outlawed! How Anthony Comstock Fought and Won the Purity of a Nation” and our new comic book, “Anthony Comstock, Fighter” due to be released later this month.
Here is an excerpt from “Outlawed!” Available in our store in book, ebook and audio mp3.
[Mr. Comstock's] love for children is not “academic” or in the abstract; it has a basis that nothing can ever take from him. A friend … recently had an interesting experience with Mr. Comstock on this side of his nature. He writes about it as follows:
I called at his office and introduced myself … It was twenty minutes before he came in, and then he was just from a legal battle, and with his mind full of two other pressing cases. Twice he interrupted our brief conversation to speak to an assistant about them, and I could not but know that I had chosen an inopportune time to break in upon him. Yet he was courteous, determinedly so, and made me stay when I quite insisted upon leaving.
The impression he made upon me was of a man of dominating, dictatorial, fighting spirit, but resolutely subduing his harshnesses, because he recognized his limitations and fought himself as fiercely as he fought any other adversary. A man, moreover, to whom religion was a very real thing. A man who would have fought well in Cromwell’s Ironsides, singing hymns as he marched to battle.
But now mark how my impression of him was enlarged:
I chanced to show him the pictures of my little girls … and instantly, with bewildering suddenness, at sight of their little faces all the storm and stress of which he was the center seemed to fall away. For a moment he studied the pictures delightedly; then impulsively drew out his note-book, handed me a little snapshot of himself, told me the circumstances under which it had been taken, and added: “When you get home, give that to your little girls, and tell them it is ‘Uncle Tony.’”
At home I wrote him a brief note, which Grace and Muriel signed, telling him that two little girls in Illinois thanked their “Uncle Tony” for the picture he had sent. With that I supposed the incident closed; but in about ten days there came to them a letter (two closely typewritten pages) and a half-dozen colored post-cards, which this harassed and busy man had taken the time to send them. By way of acknowledgment Muriel sent him at Christmas time a little pin ball, of her own making, and a letter. A few days later there came to them another letter and a large and excellent photograph which hangs now, framed, in “the play corner.” They know it only as “Uncle Tony,” and that he is a friend and protector to all little children; but when they are older I shall tell them more about him and teach them to associate with that picture the lines of Bayard Taylor: “The bravest are the tenderest, The loving are the daring.”
Just think, I was in his presence less than twenty minutes!