Hampton's Magazine

Benjamin Hampton established Hampton's Magazine in 1907. Published monthly, it cost fifteen cents. The main objective of Hampton's magazine was to give information on controversial political issues. Hampton pointed out: "We are going to expose evil wherever we can; we are going to expose it calmly and truly; we are going to expose it in order that it may be replaced by good".

Contributors included Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Joseph Conrad, Harris Merton Lyon, O. Henry, P.G. Wodehouse, Ellis Parker Butler and Edwin Balmer.

Hampton's Magazine was especially concerned with business corruption and published articles such as: The Trust That Will Control All Trusts (August, 1909), Water Power and the Price of Bread (July, 1909) and The Heart of the Railroad Problem (December, 1910). By 1910 the magazine had a circulation of 440,000.

Rheta Childe Dorr, a strong supporter of women's suffrage, was also a regular contributor to Hampton's Magazine. In 1910 a collection of her articles, What Eight Million Women Want, was published. The book was very successful and sold over half a million copies.

When Hampton was considering publishing an article on the New York and Hartford Railroad in 1910, he was warned that if he went ahead, he would be out of business in ninety days. Hampton ignored the threat and published the article. The threat was carried out, advertising dried up and when he tried to borrow $30,000 from his bank he was refused. Although Hampton's business was valued at $2,000,000, he was unable to obtain a loan from any bank in America. As a result, Benjamin Hampton was forced to close down Hampton's Magazine.

Primary Sources

(1) Benjamin Hampton, Hampton Magazine (1907)

We are going to expose evil wherever we can; we are going to expose it calmly and truly; we are going to expose it in order that it may be replaced by good, and we are going to hold, by the very process, the loyal army of subscribers, whose standing and number command advertising. There is not going to be any let-down.

(2) Rheta Childe Dorr, What Eight Million Women Want (1910)

Not only in the United States, but in every constitutional country in the world the movement towards admitting women to full political equality with men is gathering strength. In half a dozen countries women are already completely enfranchised. In England the opposition is seeking terms of surrender. In the United States the stoutest enemy of the movement acknowledges that woman suffrage is ultimately inevitable. The voting strength of the world is about to be doubled, and the new element is absolutely an unknown quantity. Does anyone question that this is the most important political fact the modern world has ever faced?

I have asked you to consider three facts, but in reality they are but three manifestations of one fact, to my mind the most important human fact society has yet encountered. Women have ceased to exist as a subsidiary class in the community. They are no longer wholly dependent, economically, intellectually, and spiritually, on a ruling class of men. They look on life with the eyes of reasoning adults, where once they regarded it as trusting children. Women now form a new social group, separate, and to a degree homogeneous. Already they have evolved a group opinion and a group ideal.

And this brings me to my reason for believing that society will soon be compelled to make a serious survey of the opinions and ideals of women. As far as these have found collective expressions, it is evident that they differ very radically from accepted opinions and ideals of men. As a matter of fact, it is inevitable that this should be so. Back of the

differences between the masculine and the feminine ideal lie centuries of different habits, different duties, different ambitions, different opportunities, different rewards.

Women, since society became an organized body, have been engaged in the rearing, as well as the bearing of children. They have made the home, they have cared for the sick, ministered to the aged, and given to the poor. The universal destiny of the mass of women trained them to feed and clothe, to invent, manufacture, build, repair, contrive, conserve, economize. They lived lives of constant service, within the narrow confines of a home. Their labor was given to those they loved, and the reward they looked for was purely a spiritual reward.

A thousand generations of service, unpaid, loving, intimate, must have left the strongest kind of a mental habit in its wake. Women, when they emerged from the seclusion of their homes and began to mingle in the world procession, when they were thrown on their own financial responsibility, found themselves willy-nilly in the ranks of the producers, the wage earners; when the enlightenment of education was no longer denied them, when their responsibilities ceased to be entirely domestic and became somewhat social, when, in a word, women began to think, they naturally thought in human terms. They couldn't have thought otherwise if they had tried.

They might have learned, it is true. In certain circumstances women might have been persuaded to adopt the commercial habit of thought. But the circumstances were exactly propitious for the encouragement of the old-time woman habit of service. The modern thinking, planning, self-governing, educated woman came into a world which is losing faith in the commercial ideal, and is endeavoring to substitute in its place a social ideal. She came into a generation which is reaching passionate hands towards democracy. She became one with a nation which is weary of wars and hatreds, impatient with greed and privilege, sickened of poverty, disease, and social injustice. The modern, free-functioning woman accepted without the slightest difficulty these new ideals of democracy and social service. Where men could do little more than theorize in these matters, women were able easily and effectively to act.

I hope that I shall not be suspected of ascribing to women any ingrained or fundamental moral superiority to men. Women are not better than men. The mantle of moral superiority forced upon them as a substitute for intellectual equality they accepted, because they could not help themselves. They dropped it as soon as the substitute was no longer necessary.