Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/505

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[Liberty, May 31, 1884.]

Liberty made its first appearance in August, 1881. Of that issue a great many sample copies were mailed to selected addresses all over the world. Not one of these, however, was sent from this office directly to Nantucket, for I had never heard of a radical on that island. But, through some channel or other, a copy found its way thither; for, before the second number had been issued, an envelope bearing the Nantucket postmark came to me containing a greeting for Liberty, than which the paper has had none since more warm, more hearty, more sympathetic, more intelligent, more appreciative.

But the letter was anonymous. Its style and language, however, showed its writer to be a very superior person, which fact, of course, added value to the substance of its contents. The writer expressed his unqualified approval of the political and social doctrines enunciated in the first number of Liberty (and certainly in no number since have those doctrines been stated more boldly and nakedly than in that one), saying that these views had been held by him for years, and that the advent of an organ for their dissemination was what he had long been waiting for. He gently chided Liberty, nevertheless, for its anti-religious attitude, not so much apparently from any counter-attitude of his own or from any personal sensitiveness in that direction, as from a feeling that religious beliefs are essentially private in their nature and so peculiar to the individuals holding them as to exempt them from public consideration and criticism. After admonishing Liberty to abandon this objectionable feature of its policy, the letter closed by saying that I did not need to know the writer's name, but, for the dollar enclosed, I might send the paper regularly to "Post Office Box No. 22, Nantucket, Mass."

Only the substance of the letter is given above, the manuscript having been inadvertently destroyed with an accumulation of others some time ago. To the given address Liberty has regularly gone, and I never failed to wonder, when mailing-day came, as to the identity of the mysterious Nantucketer.

Lately came the revelation. It will be remembered that a

death occurred in Nantucket a few weeks ago which attracted