|Type:||Unmarked Location||Involved:||New York Freethinkers Association; Colman, Lucy N.; Mills, C.D.B.; Post, Amy|
|Location:||Seneca Harbor waterfront, Watkins Glen, NY||Cause:||Freethought / Atheism / Secular Humanism|
Nineteenth-century visitors came to Watkins (now Watkins Glen) by lake steamer or by rail. Here freethought publisher D. M. Bennett and other delegates to the New York Freethinkers Association convention arrived in 1878 and again in 1882.
In 1878, the New York Freethinkers Association held a famous convention in Watkins. There, atheist publisher D. M. Bennett and two others were arrested for selling a marriage reform tract. Rochester abolitionist, woman's-rights advocate, Quaker, and Spiritualist Amy Post paid bail for one of the arestees. The arrest eventually led to Bennett's imprisonment and to a trial that established the dubious Hicklin standard for obscenity which would prevail in American law until 1959. In 1882 the Association convened in Watkins a second time, giving Bennett a hero's welcome after his release from prison and a world tour.
The waterfront is now home to several sightseeing boats; the train station, built in 1876, now houses a waterfront restaurant.