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Craddock, Ida, (1857-1902.) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Craddock, Ida, (1857-1902.)

Historical Note:

Miss Ida C. Craddock was born in Philadelphia on August 1, 1857, of Quaker parents.  Her life was wholly dedicated to "preventing sexual evils and sufferings" by educating adults.  Her publications and lectures were condemned as obscenities by some and praised for their educational value by others.

            Miss Craddock was a Priestess and Pastor of the Church of Yoga, though also a member of the Unitarian faith, and was a student of religious eroticism.

            Although she was a patient for three months at the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane (1898, June 16-Sept. 7), Miss Craddock was never adjudged legally insane by a court, according to Dr. Owen Copp [TLS, 1 p.; 1913, Sept. 20].  Dr. Copp said she suffered from a chronic form of mental trouble which had existed six years prior to her admission.  Her puritan upbringing and intense moralistic conflicts, said A. Theodore Schroeder, brought her ultimately into mental hospitals and five jails.

            Criticism and persecution followed her from the time of her three-month imprisonment in Chicago-through visits to Denver, Washington, and Philadelphia-to New York City and her final imprisonment.  Her right to free speech had been suspended almost everywhere, and Anthony Comstock was effective in persecuting her for "disseminating obscene literature" and "wrongful use of the mails."

            The rough and inhumane treatment received by Miss Craddock in previous imprisonments [Juliet H. Severance, N.D.; The Truth Seeker, ca. 1902, Oct.] may have been on her mind October 16, 1902; she committed suicide on that day.  She was to have begun a five-year sentence on the following day.

            The Ida Craddock collection came to this repository as a part of the A. Theodore Schroeder Papers.  Mr. Schroeder, though never having met her personally, became interested in Miss Craddock and her teachings.  He collected her papers from various mutual friends after her death, and edited and published some of her works.

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