George E. Macdonald

On this date in 1857, freethought editor George Everett Macdonald was born in Maine. He was largely self-educated, working as a youngster on an uncle’s farm in New Hampshire after his parents’ deaths. He joined his brother, Eugene Montague Macdonald, in New York City to work for a printing house. His brother, a foreman for The Truth Seeker, a freethought newspaper founded by D.M. Bennett, later purchased the paper with two others and established The Truth Seeker Co.

MacDonald, who contributed to The Truth Seekerparticularly humor pieces, eventually founded Freethought, a rationalist newspaper out of San Francisco in 1877. In 1907, he took over editorship of The Truth Seeker until 1937. He edited the book, Fifty Years of Freethought, which, in a folksy style, chronicled events in American freethought. Vol. I was published in 1927 and Vol. II, with a foreword by Clarence Darrow, was published in 1931. Darrow called Macdonald “a valiant soldier for human liberty.” (D. 1937)

Freedom From Religion Foundation