any exuberance he might have retained about bringing about the cooperative
commonwealth. Drawn into the socialist movement through a complex web of
circumstances and experiences, he left it (with much less fanfare) because of a
radically altered situation. The socialist movement had failed to achieve its goal for
the United States. Though he moved on in other directions, Tucker did not regret
his years in it.
Paul T. Phillips, A Kingdom on Earth: Anglo-American Social Christianity
( University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996); Edward Norman, The
Victorian Christian Socialists ( Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1987). For
these organizations, see also William D. P. Bliss, ed., The New Encyclopedia of Social
Reform ( New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1908).
Tucker's two autobiographies tell his story from the perspective of journalism ( Out
of the Hell-Box [ New York: Morehouse-Gorham, 1945]) and through his poetry ( The
Minstrel Friar: His Legacy of Song [ Chicago: Ralph Fletcher Seymour, 1949]). The
collection of his papers in the Department of Special Collections, University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago, is superb. Many of the extended family's frequent letters
over the decades are here, as are Tucker's diary, copies of many unpublished as well as
published writings, and extensive clippings. A secondary, less well-organized collection is
at the Seabury-Western Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Tucker's and St. Stephen's Church
papers in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago's archives, though not voluminous, contain
some unique items. Unless otherwise stated, all subsequent references to the Tucker Papers
in this chapter are to the collection at the University of Illinois. The only previous scholarly
account of Tucker's life is Jacob H. Dorn, "Episcopal Priest and Socialist Activist: The Case
of Irwin St. John Tucker," Anglican and Episcopal History 61 ( June 1991): 167-96.
St. Irwin John Tucker, "'Unto My Life's End': An Appreciation of the Life of the
Rev. Gardiner C. Tucker," Living Church ( 17 December 1941): 9-10. For Tucker's
genealogical interests, see "The Tucker Family" and "Nil Desperandum," unpaginated
typescripts, Tucker Papers, Seabury-Western Seminary.
Tucker, Minstrel Friar, 20-70.
His father often whipped him for his "ungovernable temper." Tucker, Minstrel Friar, 39-40. His eldest brother later recalled Tucker's "unusual precocity of intellect and
aesthetic," but also "an unusual lack of maturity in most matters practical." Gardiner L.
Tucker to Tucker, 29 December 1935, Folder 90, Tucker Papers. On the issues of college
and money, see diary, 6 September, 2 October 1902, Folder 112, and Tucker to Mother, 29
August 1905, Folder 60, ibid.
Diary, 14 August, 2 October, 19 November 1902, Folder 112, Tucker Papers.
Tucker to Father, [ 25 February 1903], to Mother, 12 May [ 1903], Folder 58, to
Father, 6 January 1906, Folder 61, Tucker Papers. To reduce redundancy, Tucker's letters
to individual family members are cited as above, but those to multiple members are cited
simply as "to Family."
Tucker, Hell-Box, 68-76, and Tucker, Minstrel Friar, 117-20.
This period can be traced in detail in Tucker's diary and in Folders 61-64, Tucker
Clyde Griffen, "An Urban Church in Ferment: The Episcopal Church in New York
City, 1880-1900" (Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1960), 2, 11, 91-93; Tucker to
Family, 25 October 1909, Folder 64, 2 January 1910, Folder 65, Tucker Papers.