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Graphic NewsHow Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism$
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Amanda Frisken

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042980

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

“We Simply Illustrate”

“We Simply Illustrate”

Sensationalizing Crime in the 1870s “Sporting” News

(p.13) Chapter 1 “We Simply Illustrate”
Graphic News

Amanda Frisken

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines sexuality discourse and definitions of obscenity in print media following the Civil War. Editors of illustrated sporting weeklies, such as Frank Leslie (The Days’ Doings) and Richard K. Fox (The National Police Gazette) pushed the boundaries of visual representation. Meanwhile, anti-vice activist Anthony Comstock sought control over what could be seen in print. In pursuing the prosecution of Victoria Woodhull, Tennessee Claflin, Ezra Heywood, and D. M. Bennett, as well as sporting publications, Comstock shifted the focus of visual culture. His success in eliminating images he found shocking distorted the visualization of alleged sexual crimes as primarily the racial assault on white women by men of color. In other words, Comstock helped make the racialized rape/lynching mythos the dominant visual expression of sexual violence.

Keywords:   Victoria Woodhull, Tennessee Claflin, Ezra Heywood, D. M. Bennett, Anthony Comstock, Frank Leslie, Richard K. Fox, National Police Gazette, The Days’ Doings, rape/lynching mythos

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