Theodore Schroeder (1864-February 10, 1953) was a controversial
author who wrote on issues pertaining to freedom of expression.
Schroeder is one of the first authors to challenge the state of
freedom of speech in the United States. He stated that the US
government may be in a current state of tyranny and that the way
Americans view their liberties makes Americans hypocrites.
entered the University of Wisconsin in 1882 to study engineering,
then earned a law degree in 1889.
Schroeder practiced law for ten years in Salt Lake City, Utah,
working for statehood for Utah.
1900, Schroeder moved to New York. He formed the Free Speech League
(a precursor to the American Civil Liberties Union) with Lincoln
Steffens and others in 1902.
helped defend his anarchist friend Emma Goldman at her Denver
1904 Schroeder retired from practicing law and began writing.
the time of Schroeder's death, a friend Kuhn was preparing for
publication another book consisting of reprints of articles written
by Schroeder. These were directed mainly against the Mormon Church...The
headings of the articles were "Incest in Mormonism,"
"Polygamy in Congress," "Polygamy and the Constitution,"
"Polygamy and Inspired Lies," "The Sex-Determinant
in Mormon Theology," "Mormonism and Prostitution,"
"Proxies in Mormon Polygamy," "Was Joseph Smith,
'The Prophet,' an Abortionist?" "Sadism in Mormonism,"
and "Sanctified Lust."
His writings became the subject of a lawsuit following his death.
In his will, Schroeder left his estate to two friends, with the
instruction that the money from the estate be used to gather his
voluminous writings and publish them. Two of Schroeder's cousins
contested the will and successfully voided it.
upholding a lower court's decision, Judge O'Sullivan of the Connecticut
Supreme Court stated in a unanimous three-judge opinion, "The
law will not declare a trust valid when the object of the trust,
as the finding discloses, is to distribute articles which reek
of the sewer. The very enumeration of some of the titles which
Schroeder selected for his writings brands them indelibly, and
a reading of the article which he called "Prenatal Psychisms
and Mystical Pantheism" is a truly nauseating experience
in the field of pornography. The trust is invalid as being contrary
to public policy."