This is one of twelve sermons Earl Davis kept together in a twine-bound collection. While these manuscripts are undated, internal evidence clearly dates them to the years 1909-1911. The United States went through a recession in 1908, and there was increasing labor unrest, including a general strike in Philadelphia in 1910. These difficulties provide some of the backdrop to these manuscripts.
One of the manuscripts, “What About City Government,” has a clear notation that it was written for the “Pipe and Pen Club,” presumably some periodic gathering to discuss issues of the day. It is possible that all – or nearly all – of these manuscripts were prepared for that gathering, as they do not read like sermons.
In this piece, Davis responds to concerns about the rising number of divorces. He discusses the development of marriage from the evidence of prehistoric times to his present. He argues that the direction has been towards life-long monogamy held on equal basis between men and women. Since the rise in divorces coincides with a rise in the economic and political power of women, Davis sees this as evidence of a good trend.
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Transcription by Davis Baird. Item description based off writing and context provided by Davis Baird.
always Earl Clement Davis, minister, Unitarianism, religion, marriage, divorce, decay, old order is changing, ethical relationship
Davis, Earl Clement, "Marriage and Divorce [Twine Bound Bundle]" (1910). Manuscripts. 29.