The Blazing Star Library (plan)

The project of a Blazing Star Library, reprinting the works of William Batchelder Greene is not a new one, but, like the Blazing Star, the possibility of completing the project has seemed to retreat before my efforts for a couple of decades now. With the archiving of what seem to be the last of the “Omega” articles, however, perhaps I’ve done more than a bit of catching up.

An adequate edition of Greene’s works would have to document not only the breadth of his interests, but also the simultaneous development of several lines of thought in his work. And that’s probably more than most readers are prepared to take on. But, taking some cues from the plan for the Bakunin Library, it might well be possible to construct a set of collections that each build on the material presented in the earlier volumes, minimizing repetition of themes in all but the most focused volumes. Four significantly different versions of the mutual bank writings would be distributed over three volumes. Variants of the writings on transcendentalism would appear in two. Some minor variations between editions could simply be described in notes. 

The other project I’ve pursued for an equally long time has been a biography of Greene, detailing both his life and that of his fascinating family. That dream, I am afraid, is probably going to go unfulfilled. But I have assembled a rich collection of fragments, clippings and anecdotes, as well as texts by other members of the family, at least some of which should probably be preserved in print alongside works like Greene’s own “Apriori Autobiography”—if only to simplify the task for some future biographer.

What follows is a rough sketch for an edition in five or six volumes. The first is something I will certainly complete, either as a Corvus Edition or in cooperation with another publisher. The second is a revision and expansion of Greene’s own Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments, which is probably as close to a marketable anthology as we could expect to assemble. And the others will almost certainly appear, if they appear, as print-on-demand Corvus collections. 

I. — OMEGA: Early Writings by William Batchelder Greene

(108,000 words + intro)
  • “Fourierism” (1844)
  • “Mr. Emerson and Transcendentalism” (1845)
  • “The Bhagvat Gheeta and the Doctrine of Immortality” (1845)
  • Omega, [Letter to the editor], The Worcester Palladium 15 no. 23 (June 07, 1848): 3. [see below]
  • Omega, “Equality.—No. 1,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 29 (July 18, 1849): 3
  • Omega, “Equality.—No. 2. The Banking System,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 30 (July 25, 1849): 3
  • Omega, “Equality.—No. 3. The Repeal of the Usury Laws,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 31 (August 1, 1849): 2-3.
  • Omega, “Capital and Labor.—No. I,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 37 (September 12, 1849): 2-3.
  • Omega, “Capital and Labor.—No. II. Socialism in Massachusetts,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 38 (September 19, 1849): 2-3.
  • Omega, “The Red Republic,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 44 (October 31, 1849): 3.
  • Omega, “Plutocracy,” The Worcester Palladium 16 no. 45 (November 7, 1849): 2-3.
  • Omega, “Equality—No. 6. Cain and Abel,” The Worcester Palladium 17 no. 31 (July 31, 1850): 3.
  • Omega, “Plutocracy,” The Worcester Palladium 17 no. 41 (October 9, 1850): 2-3.
  • Omega, “Resistance to Law,” The Worcester Palladium 18 no. 18 (April 30, 1851): 2.
  • Omega, “The Bible and State Rights,” The Worcester Palladium 18 no. 20 (May 14, 1851): 3.
  • Omega, “Free Banking Law,” The Worcester Palladium 18 no. 23 (June 4, 1851): 2. [see below]
  • Omega, “Letter from Turkey,” The Worcester Palladium 21 no. 19 (May 10, 1854): 2.
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 21 no. 23 (June 7, 1854): 2. [Paris]
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 21 no. 24 (June 14, 1854): 2–3. [Paris]
  • W. B. G., “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 21 no. 51 (December 20, 1854): 2. [Paris]
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 22 no. 12 (March 21, 1855): 2.
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 22 no. 19 (May 9, 1855): 2.
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 22 no. 20 (May 16, 1855)
  • Omega, “Our Foreign Correspondence,” The Worcester Palladium 22 no. 44 (October 31, 1855): 2-3. [Turin]
  • “Human Pantheism.” The Spirit of the Age, I, 25 (December 22, 1849), 394.
  • William B. Greene and William Henry Channing, “Mutual Banking,” The Spirit of the Age 2, no. 4 (January 26, 1850): 61.
  • William B. Greene, “Mutual Banking (concluded),” The Spirit of the Age 2, no. 5 (February 2, 1850): 69-70.
  • Address to Kossuth (1852)
  • Mass. Constitutional Convention speech (1853)
  • Articles from The Spirit of the Age (1849-1850) —  related contributions by A. Brisbane, J. K. Ingalls, W. H. Channing and Pierre Leroux
  • Mutual banking petitions

II. — Fragments: A William Batchelder Greene Anthology

(101,000 + uncollected Word essays + intro)
  • “Song of Espousal” (1840)
  • The Sovereignty Of The People (1868)
  • The History of Marriage (186?)
  • Declaration of Sentiments and Constitution of the New-England Labor-Reform League. Boston New-England Labor-Reform League (1869)
  • The Blazing Star (1870)
  • Mutual Banking, Showing The Radical Deficiencies Of The Existing Circulating Medium, And The Advantages Of A Free Currency (1870) — full text
  • A Letter To The Rev. H. Foote In Vindication Of The Poorer Class Of Boston Working Women (1973)
  • International Address, An Elaborate, Comprehensive And Very Entertaining Exposition Of The Working People’s International Association (1873)
  • Critical Comments Upon Certain Passages in the Introductory Portion of Dr. Edward Clarke’s Book On “Sex In Education” (1874)
  • William Batchelder Greene, “The Right of Suffrage” [original publication unknown; included in Fragments, 1875]
  • Articles in The Word (1973-1876)
  • “The Great Pyramid of Ghizeh, and the Ritual of Blue Masonry” (1874)

III. — Philosophical and Theological Writings

(100,000 words + minor items + intro)
  • First Principles (1842)
  • The Doctrine of Life: With Some of Its Theological Applications (1843)
  • The Doctrine Of The Trinity: Briefly And Impartially Examined In The Light Of History And Philosophy (1847)
  • Articles on the doctrine of the trinity
  • Remarks In Refutation Of The Treatise Of Jonathan Edwards (1848)
  • The Incarnation (1848)
  • Letter to Rev. Eber Carpenter (1849) [if a copy can be obtained]
  • A New Gnosis (1849)
  • Transcendentalism (1849)
  • The Book Of Job (1866)
  • The Facts Of Consciousness And The Philosophy Of Mr. Herbert Spencer ()
  • The Blazing Star; With An Appendix Treating Of The Jewish Kabbala (1872)

IV. — “A Special Answer to a Special Prayer:” Biographical and Autobiographical Sources

  • [brief biography]
  • [overview of works]
  • Remarks On The History Of Science; Followed By An Apriori Autobiography
  • Documents in the Case of Major Andrew Washburn, Late of the Fourteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, Heavy Artillery (1862)
  • [correspondence]
  • [biographical fragments]
  • [newspaper clippings]
  • [works of uncertain authorship]

The Mutual Banking Tradition: I

(84,000 words + appendices + intro)
  • Equality (1849) — full text
  • Mutual Banking (1850) — full text
  • The Radical Deficiency Of The Existing Circulating Medium, And The Advantages Of A Mutual Currency (1857)
  • reviews of Greene’s mutual banking works
  • [land bank texts]
  • [Thomas Mendenhall — notes and excerpts]
  • [Edward Kellogg — notes and excerpts]
  • Joshua King Ingalls, “A Review: Labor and Other Capital,”

The Mutual Banking Tradition: II

[Kuehn, Westrup, Mutual Bank Propaganda, etc.]

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2309 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.