Digital editions of Josiah Warren, etc.

I was recently asked to clarify my notes on Warren’s publications:

Think of the sequence in this way:

First, there were two editions of Equitable Commerce in the 1840s, composed by Warren alone.

Second, there is a period in the 1850s when Warren collaborated with Stephen Pearl Andrews. Andrews substantially revised Equitable Commerce and published his Science of Society, based on Warren’s work. Warren also published a new work, Practical Details in Equitable Commerce.

Third, in the 1860s, Warren published another new work, True Civilization an Immediate Necessity, and the Last Ground of Hope for Mankind (which become the second book in a new, retitled series), then republished Equitable Commerce under the title True Civilization, a subject of vital and serious interest to all the people… (as the first book in that new series) and then added a third volume to the new trilogy, Practical Applications of the Elementary Principles of True Civilization to the Minute Details of Everyday Life.

In a sense, each of the later decades produced a revised and enlarged version of the original work.

Josiah Warren’s writings on equitable commerce have suffered from scarcity. Although there have been library editions of a number of the titles, there have been few, if any, popular editions. Of course, during his own time Warren issued a rather confusing array of editions, changing titles in mid-stream. Nearly the whole series of editions is now available in digital editions. This includes the five editions of Equitable Commerce:

  1. Equitable Commerce, 1846
  2. Equitable Commerce, 1849
  3. Equitable Commerce, 1852 (edited by Stephen Pearl Andrews)
  4. (reprinted as) True Civilization, a subject of vital and serious interest to all the people…, 1869
  5. True Civilization, a subject of vital and serious…, 1875

as well as the three other volumes in the series:

and Stephen Pearl Andrews’ The Science of Society:

We should also point to Sidney H. Morse’s Ethics of the Homestead Strike, which contains a nice discussion of Warren’s philosophy. Morse’s Liberty and Wealth, serialized in Liberty, will be available in a pamphlet form, together with Ethics…, So the Railway Kings Itch for an Empire, Do They? (which originally appeared in Tucker’s Radical Review), and some shorter works by Warren.

William Bailie’s Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist is also available, and my bibliography on Warren and equitable commerce is growing steadily as well.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.