ABOUT THIS BOOK
Morality and the Mail in Nineteenth-Century America explores the evolution of postal innovations that sparked a communication revolution in nineteenth-century America. Wayne E. Fuller examines how evangelical Protestants, the nation’s dominant religious group, struggled against those transformations in American society that they believed threatened to paganize the Christian nation they were determined to save.
Drawing on House and Senate documents, postmasters general reports, and the Congressional Record, as well as sermons, speeches, and articles from numerous religious and secular periodicals, Fuller illuminates the problems the changed postal system posed for evangelicals, from Sunday mail delivery and Sunday newspapers to an avalanche of unseemly material brought into American homes via improved mail service and reduced postage prices. Along the way, Fuller offers new perspectives on the church and state controversy in the United States as well as on publishing, politics, birth control, the lottery, censorship, Congress’s postal power, and the waning of evangelical Protestant influence.