The Margaret Sanger Papers


Roberts, Walter Adolphe (1886-1962)

Jamaican-born author and editor. Married Katherine Amelia Hickey (1917; divorced 1923). Raised on a Kingston coffee plantation, Roberts came to New York and in 1911, became an associate editor at The National Sunday Magazine. He served as Paris correspondent for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1914 to 1916. One of her new circle of Greenwich Village-based intellectuals and artists and a fellow member of the Liberal Club, Roberts had a love affair with Margaret Sanger from 1913 to 1914. In the spirit of her new bohemianism and commitment to free love, she did not keep the affair secret from her husband. When William Sanger could not accept this new arrangement, Margaret Sanger, though she had lost interest in Roberts, in effect, ended her marriage. The two rekindled their affair in 1917 and though it again did not last, Sanger and Roberts remained friends. Roberts was a contributor to Sanger's monthly Birth Control Review and in 1918, briefly served as managing editor. He became an editor at Ainslee's Magazine from 1918 to 1921, took a post as European correspondent for Metropolitan Magazine from 1923 to 1924 and then edited several other periodicals and magazines. In 1925-26, he edited and published the four-volume American Parade. Roberts was also the author of numerous books, including Pierrot Wounded and other Poems (1919), The Moralist (1931) and Lands of the Inner Seas, the West Indies (1948). In the 1930s, Roberts worked with the Harlem-based Jamaica Progressive League which sought independence for the island. He returned to Jamaica in 1956 to teach at Kingston University.
References: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America (1992).