Craddock peddled sexual advice manuals with such unerotic titles as "Helps to Happy Husbands" and "Right Marital Living." She found "a decent customer base for her writings" but ran afoul of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, whose leader, Anthony Comstock, stamped out smut as a special agent of the U.S. Post Office. Comstock was not a believer in moral suasion: The society's logo featured images of a man in handcuffs being pushed into a cell and a top-hatted swell tossing books onto a pyre. Craddock's Manhattan apartment was raided by Comstock himself, who removed 600 offending publications. He even swiped her typewriter.
"I am taking my stand on the First Amendment," declared Craddock in the face of Comstockery, but that stand collapsed, and so did Ida Craddock. In October 1902, awaiting sentencing for the federal crime of sending "obscene" literature through the mails, she slit her wrist and bled to death. She left a poignant note to he mother: "Some day you will not be ashamed of me or my work. Some day you'll be proud of me."
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