Eugene M. MacDonald

On this date in 1855, Eugene M. MacDonald was born. The American journalist became a foreman at The Truth Seeker, a 19th-century freethought newspaper. When Truth Seeker founder D.M. Bennett died, MacDonald and two others established The Truth Seeker Company, buying the newspaper in 1883. MacDonald edited the 19th century's leading freethought publication for 26 years. His brother, George MacDonald, took over editorship when Eugene retired shortly before his death. Truth Seeker readers and contributors included Clarence Darrow, who, in 1931, wrote that he had been connected with The Truth Seeker for 50 years. D. 1909.

Sample of The Truth Seeker coverage, 1892

“The Chicago World's Fair having been decreed, the kind of church people who adopt meddling as a means of grace saw that now was their day of salvation. Hitherto, with their fussy restrictions on Sunday work and amusements, they had been obliged to function merely as local nuisances. Now they would close the World's Fair on Sunday and make themselves felt as pests by all nations. . . . The meddlers resolved to memorialize Congress to pay no money, make no appropriations in behalf of the Fair, save on the promise that the key should be turned on the exhibits every Saturday night, with no relief until Monday morning. They circulated petitions to this effect, and did such a business in collecting names that in some places they claimed more signatures than there were people.”

—George MacDonald, Fifty Years of Freethought, Vol. II (1929)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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