Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226257471 Published December 2012
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Documenting Intimate Matters

Primary Sources for a History of Sexuality in America

Edited by Thomas A. Foster

Documenting Intimate Matters

Edited by Thomas A. Foster

Foreword by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman
256 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226257471 Published December 2012
Cloth $69.00 ISBN: 9780226257464 Published December 2012
E-book $10.00 to $25.99 About E-books ISBN: 9780226257488 Published December 2012
Over time, sexuality in America has changed dramatically. Frequently redefined and often subject to different systems of regulation, it has been used as a means of control; it has been a way to understand ourselves and others; and it has been at the center of fierce political storms, including some of the most crucial changes in civil rights in the last decade. Edited by Thomas A. Foster, Documenting Intimate Matters features seventy-two documents that collectively highlight the broad diversity inherent in the history of American sexuality.
Complementing the third edition of Intimate Matters, by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman—often hailed as the definitive survey of sexual history in America—the multiple narratives presented by these documents reveal the complexity of this subject in US history. The historical moments captured in this volume will show that, contrary to popular misconception, the history of sexuality is not a simple story of increased freedoms and sexual liberation, but an ongoing struggle between change and continuity.

Foreword: Using Documenting Intimate Matters
John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman


1. Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641)
2. Jane Sharp, The Midwife’s Book (1671)
3. Anne Bradstreet, “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (1678)
4. Witchcraft Trial of Catherina Lujan, New Mexico (1708)
5. John Lawson on Native American Women, North Carolina (1709)
6. Diary of William Byrd, Virginia Planter (1710–1712)
7. Unchast Practices (1716)
8. Chassin to Father Bobe, Louisiana (1722)
9. The Boston News-Letter on “Sodomitical Clubs” (1726)
10. Slander and Reputation in North Carolina Court Cases (1747, 1749)
11. John Smith, Quaker, Courts Hannah Logan (1748)
12. Keeping a House of Fornication (1754)
13. Life and Dying Speech of Arthur, a Negro Man (1768)
14. Depositions in the case of Sarah Muckamugg, Rhode Island (1752–1774)


1. Documenting Philadelphia Women’s Self-Divorce in the Pennsylvania Gazette and Packet (1780s–1790s)
2. Sylvester Graham, Lecture to Young Men (1838)
3. Louisa Picquet, interviewed by H. Mattison, Louisa Picquet, the Octoroon; or, Inside Views of Southern Domestic Life
4. Abraham Lincoln’s correspondence with Speed (1842)
5. New York Sporting Whip (1843)
6. “The Lynching of a Mexican Woman in California” (1851)
7. “Indian Concubines,” the National Era (1858)
8. Willie Ann Grey, Letter to Her Husband (1866)
9. Civil War Love Letter (1864)
10. Horatio Robinson Storer, Criminal Abortion (1868)
11. John Humphrey Noyes, Male Continence (1872)
12. Diary of Frederick Ryman (1884)
13. Women’s Social Purity Meeting (1888)
14. Anthony Comstock, Traps for the Young (1883)


1. Nicholas F. Cooke, Satan in Society (1890)
2. Dr. Clelia Mosher, Mosher Survey (1892)
3. Alice B. Stockham, Tokology (1898)
4. Ida B. Wells, Red Record (1895)
5. W. E. B. DuBois, Philadelphia Negro (1899)
6. Jane Addams, Spirit of Youth (1909)
7. Mexican American Ballads (corridos)
8. Pacific Northwest Male Prostitution/Truancy (1913)
9. George J. Kneeland, Commercialized Prostitution in New York City (1913)
10. Robert A. Woods and Albert J. Kennedy, Young Working Girls (1913)
11. O. Edward Janney, White Slave Traffic (1911)
12. Louis Krauss, “Humanity”; or, What Every Father, Mother, Boy, and Girl Should Know (1915)
13. William J. Robinson, Sex Knowledge for Women and Girls (1917)
14. Mary Ware Dennett, Birth Control Laws: Shall We Keep Them or Abolish Them? (1926)


1. Bernarr Macfadden, “Mad Pleasure,” in True Romances (1924)
2. Bessie Smith, “Kitchen Man” (1929)
3. United States Motion Picture Production Code (1930)
4. World War II War Department Pamphlet on Venereal Disease (1940)
5. St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City (1945)
6. Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts (1950)
7. Letters to Alfred Kinsey (1953)
8. Letter to the Society for Humane Abortion (1966)
9. Mattachine Society—Stonewall Rebellion (1969)
10. Toni Cade, “The Pill: Genocide or Liberation?” (1969)
11. Anne Koedt, “Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” (1970)
12. Barbara Mehrhof and Pamela Kearon, “Rape: An Act of Terror” (1971)
13. Transvestite and Transsexual Liberation (1971)
14. Beverly Padilla, “Chicanas and Abortion” (1972)
15. Alex Comfort, Joy of Sex (1972)


1. Melvin Boozer, Address to Democratic National Convention (1980)
2. Larry Kramer, “I Can’t Believe You Want to Die” (1987)
3. Laura Alexander, “A Change of Heart” (1987)
4. Pornography and Civil Rights (1988)
5. Carla Trujillo, “Chicana Lesbians: Fear and Loathing in the Chicano Community” (1991)
6. “African American Women in Defense of Ourselves” (1991)
7. “Date Rape” Rape Zine (1990s)
8. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (1996)
9. Starr Report (1998)
10. Suggested Audio: Lil’ Kim, “How Many Licks?” (2000)
11. Susan Fitzmaurice, “Adventures in Child-Rearing: The Sexual Life of a Child Growing up with Down Syndrome" (2002)
12. Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
13. “Congressional Report on Abstinence Only Education” (2004)
14. Federal Marriage Amendment (2006)
15. Sexual Offenders Team Checks Sex Offenders’ Homes (2007)

Sources for Documents
Selected Bibliography
Permission Acknowledgments
Review Quotes
Regina Kunzel | University of Minnesota
Documenting Intimate Matters is economical, thorough, and timely, including documents from early to very recent American history. It is sure to be a popular and valued companion to courses on the history of sexuality and gender in the United States.”
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