"A Letter from Margaret Sanger"




Margaret Sanger Papers Microfilm Edition, Library of Congress, LCM 129:6.


No published version of this letter has been found. It is possible it was sent only to subscribers of Mother Earth.




I returned to this country on October 6th,--four days before William Sanger was released from Jail. On the sixth of November, my little daughter died from pneumonia.

A few days after my arrival, I informed the United States Attorney of my presence, asking him if the indictments issued against me a year ago were still pending, inasmuch as the issue on which I was indicted--birth control has been so thoroughly discussed during the past year in the various journals and magazines throughout the United States, and also inasmuch as no editors or publishers have been indicted. He replied that the indictments were still pending. The case was called for trial at the end of December, and postponed until January 4th. It is now set for Tuesday, January 18th., and will positively be tried on that date.

The opportunity was offered me to plead guilty, thereby ensuring my release after payment of a small fine. I refused to do this, because the whole issue is not one of a mistake, whereby getting into jail or keeping out of jail is of importance, but the issue involved is to raise the entire question of birth control out of the gutter of obscenity and into the light of human understanding.

The present indictments are based on twelve articles published in "The Woman Rebel", eleven of which discuss birth control. The twelfth is a philosophic defence of assassination. My case differs from William Sanger’s in this respect--that these indictments do not (in my opinion) violate the law. No question of distributing information in regard to the prevention of conception is at present involved.

I shall go into court on January 18th. without an attorney, because I cannot find any lawyer whose mental attitude toward this case is right.

I appeal to you to give me your moral and financial support at this time. Write letters to Judge Clayton, of the United States District Court, Post Office Building, New York City, before whom the case is to be tried. Write letters to newspapers. Hold protest meetings and send resolutions to your Congressmen and to the President of the United States. Raise funds for publicity. Address all communications to me at 26 Post Avenue, New York City.