In broke out the great strike in Pittsburg. The Homestead fight, the defeat of the Pinkertons, the appearance of the militia, the suppression of the strikers, and the complete triumph of the reaction are matters of comparatively recent history. Stirred to the very depths by the terrible events at the seat of war, Alexander Berkman resolved to sacrifice his life to the Cause and thus give an object lesson to the wage slaves of America of active Anarchist solidarity with labor.
His attack upon Frick, the Gessler of Pittsburg, failed, and the twenty-two-year-old youth was doomed to a living death of twenty-two years in the penitentiary. The bourgeoisie, which for decades had exalted and eulogized tyrannicide, now was filled with terrible rage. The capitalist press organized a systematic campaign of calumny and misrepresentation against Anarchists. The police exerted every effort to involve Emma Goldman in the act of Alexander Berkman. The feared agitator was to be silenced by all means.
It was only due to the circumstance of her presence in New York that she escaped the clutches of the law. It was a similar circumstance which, nine years later, during the McKinley incident, was instrumental in preserving her liberty. It is almost incredible with what amount of stupidity, baseness, and vileness the journalists of the period sought to overwhelm the Anarchist.
One must peruse the newspaper files to realize the enormity of incrimination and slander. It would be difficult to portray the agony of soul Emma Goldman experienced in those days.
The act of Berkman was severely criticized by Most and some of his followers among the German and Jewish Anarchists. Bitter accusations and recriminations at public meetings and private gatherings followed. Persecuted on all sides, both because she championed Berkman and his act, and on account of her revolutionary activity, Emma Goldman was harassed even to the extent of inability to secure shelter. Too proud to seek safety in the denial of her identity, she chose to pass the nights in the public parks rather than expose her friends to danger or vexation by her visits.
The already bitter cup was filled to overflowing by the attempted suicide of a young comrade who had shared living quarters with Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and a mutual artist friend. Many changes have since taken place. Alexander Berkman has survived the Pennsylvania Inferno, and is back again in the ranks of the militant Anarchists, his spirit unbroken, his soul full of enthusiasm for the ideals of his youth.
The artist comrade is now among the well-known illustrators of New York. The suicide candidate left America shortly after his unfortunate attempt to die, and was subsequently arrested and condemned to eight years of hard labor for smuggling Anarchist literature into Germany. He, too, has withstood the terrors of prison life, and has returned to the revolutionary movement, since earning the well deserved reputation of a talented writer in Germany.
To avoid indefinite camping in the parks Emma Goldman finally was forced to move into a house on Third Street, occupied exclusively by prostitutes. There, among the outcasts of our good Christian society, she could at least rent a bit of a room, and find rest and work at her sewing machine.
The women of the street showed more refinement of feeling and sincere sympathy than the priests of the Church. But human endurance had been exhausted by overmuch suffering and privation.
Here Emma Goldman found friends ready to aid her. Justus Schwab, one of the finest representatives of the German revolutionary period of that time, and Dr. Solotaroff were indefatigable in the care of the patient.
Here, too, she met Edward Brady, the new friendship subsequently ripening into close intimacy. Brady had been an active participant in the revolutionary movement of Austria and had, at the time of his acquaintance with Emma Goldman, lately been released from an Austrian prison after an incarceration of ten years. Physicians diagnosed the illness as consumption, and the patient was advised to leave New York. She went to Rochester, in the hope that the home circle would help to restore her to health.
Her parents had several years previously emigrated to America, settling in that city. Among the leading traits of the Jewish race is the strong attachment between the members of the family, and, especially, between parents and children. Though her conservative parents could not sympathize with the idealist aspirations of Emma Goldman and did not approve of her mode of life, they now received their sick daughter with open arms.
The rest and care enjoyed in the parental home, and the cheering presence of the beloved sister Helene, proved so beneficial that within a short time she was sufficiently restored to resume her energetic activity.
There is no rest in the life of Emma Goldman. Ceaseless effort and continuous striving toward the conceived goal are the essentials of her nature. Too much precious time had already been wasted. It was imperative to resume her labors immediately. The country was in the throes of a crisis, and thousands of unemployed crowded the streets of the large industrial centers. Cold and hungry they tramped through the land in the vain search for work and bread. The Anarchists developed a strenuous propaganda among the unemployed and the strikers.
A monster demonstration of striking cloakmakers and of the unemployed took place at Union Square, New York. Emma Goldman was one of the invited speakers. If they do not give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.
The capitalist press again raised the alarm. If Socialists and Anarchists were to be permitted to continue agitating, there was imminent danger that the workingmen would soon learn to understand the manner in which they are robbed of the joy and happiness of life. Such a possibility was to be prevented at all cost. She was detained by the Philadelphia authorities and incarcerated for several days in the Moyamensing prison, awaiting the extradition papers which Byrnes intrusted to Detective Jacobs.
This man Jacobs whom Emma Goldman again met several years later under very unpleasant circumstances proposed to her, while she was returning a prisoner to New York, to betray the cause of labor.
In the name of his superior, Chief Byrnes, he offered lucrative reward. How stupid men sometimes are! In October, , Emma Goldman was tried in the criminal courts of New York on the charge of inciting to riot.
Since the foundation of the Republic she was the first woman — Mrs. Surratt excepted — to be imprisoned for a political offense. Respectable society had long before stamped upon her the Scarlet Letter. Emma Goldman passed her time in the penitentiary in the capacity of nurse in the prison hospital.
Here she found opportunity to shed some rays of kindness into the dark lives of the unfortunates whose sisters of the street did not disdain two years previously to share with her the same house. She also found in prison opportunity to study English and its literature, and to familiarize her self with the great American writers.
Back into the arena, richer in experience, purified by suffering. She did not feel herself deserted and alone any more. Many hands were stretched out to welcome her.
There were at the time numerous intellectual oases in New York. Among others she also met at this time a number of American Anarchists, and formed the friendship of Voltairine de Cleyre, Wm. Lum, former editor of the Alarm and executor of the last wishes of the Chicago martyrs. In John Swinton, the noble old fighter for liberty, she found one of her staunchest friends. Through Arthur Brisbane, now chief lieutenant of William Randolph Hearst, she became acquainted with the writings of Fourier.
Brisbane then was not yet submerged in the swamp of political corruption. Emma Goldman became, upon her release from the penitentiary, a factor in the public life of New York. She was appreciated in radical ranks for her devotion, her idealism, and earnestness. Various persons sought her friendship, and some tried to persuade her to aid in the furtherance of their special side issues.
Thus Rev. Parkhurst, during the Lexow investigation, did his utmost to induce her to join the Vigilance Committee in order to fight Tammany Hall. It is hardly necessary to mention what reply the latter received from Emma Goldman. Incidentally, Maria Louise subsequently became a Mahatma. During the free-silver campaign, ex-Burgess McLuckie, one of the most genuine personalities in the Homestead strike, visited New York in an endeavor to enthuse the local radicals for free silver.
In the struggle of the Anarchists in France reached its highest expression. The white terror on the part of the Republican upstarts was answered by the red terror of our French comrades.
With feverish anxiety the Anarchists throughout the world followed this social struggle. Propaganda by deed found its reverberating echo in almost all countries. In order to better familiarize herself with conditions in the old world, Emma Goldman left for Europe, in the year After a lecture tour in England and Scotland, she went to Vienna where she entered the Allgemeine Krankenhaus to prepare herself as midwife and nurse, and where at the same time she studied social conditions.
She also found opportunity to acquaint herself with the newest literature of Europe: Hauptmann, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Zola, Thomas Hardy, and other artist rebels were read with great enthusiasm. In the autumn of she returned to New York by way of Zurich and Paris. The barbaric sentence of twenty-two years had roused tremendous indignation among the radical elements. It was therefore suggested that these Sultans of Pennsylvania be approached — not with a view of obtaining their grace, but with the request that they do not attempt to influence the Board.
Ernest Crosby offered to see Carnegie, on condition that Alexander Berkman repudiate his act. That, however, was absolutely out of the question.
He would never be guilty of such forswearing of his own personality and self-respect. In the year she undertook her first great lecture tour, which extended as far as California. This tour popularized her name as the representative of the oppressed, her eloquence ringing from coast to coast. In California Emma Goldman became friendly with the members of the Isaak family, and learned to appreciate their efforts for the Cause.
Under tremendous obstacles the Isaaks first published the Firebrand and, upon its suppression by the Postal Department, the Free Society. It was also during this tour that Emma Goldman met that grand old rebel of sexual freedom, Moses Harman. During the Spanish-American war the spirit of chauvinism was at its highest tide. To check this dangerous situation, and at the same time collect funds for the revolutionary Cubans, Emma Goldman became affiliated with the Latin comrades, among others with Gori, Esteve, Palaviccini, Merlino, Petruccini, and Ferrara.
In the year followed another protracted tour of agitation, terminating on the Pacific Coast. Repeated arrests and accusations, though without ultimate bad results, marked every propaganda tour. In November of the same year the untiring agitator went on a second lecture tour to England and Scotland, closing her journey with the first International Anarchist Congress at Paris.
It was at the time of the Boer war, and again jingoism was at its height, as two years previously it had celebrated its orgies during the Spanish-American war. Various meetings, both in England and Scotland, were disturbed and broken up by patriotic mobs. Emma Goldman found on this occasion the opportunity of again meeting various English comrades and interesting personalities like Tom Mann and the sisters Rossetti, the gifted daughters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, then publishers of the Anarchist review, the Torch.
One of her life-long hopes found here its fulfillment: she came in close and friendly touch with Peter Kropotkin, Enrico Malatesta, Nicholas Tchaikovsky, W. Tcherkessov, and Louise Michel. Old warriors in the cause of humanity, whose deeds have enthused thousands of followers throughout the world, and whose life and work have inspired other thousands with noble idealism and self-sacrifice. Old warriors they, yet ever young with the courage of earlier days, unbroken in spirit and filled with the firm hope of the final triumph of Anarchy.
The chasm in the revolutionary labor movement, which resulted from the disruption of the Internationale, could not be bridged any more. Two social philosophies were engaged in bitter combat. The International Congress in , at Paris; in , at Zurich, and in , at London, produced irreconcilable differences. The majority of Social Democrats, forswearing their libertarian past and becoming politicians, succeeded in excluding the revolutionary and Anarchist delegates.
The latter decided thenceforth to hold separate congresses. Their first congress was to take place in , at Paris. The congress of the revolutionists was suppressed, and the delegates dispersed two days prior to the scheduled opening.
However, the renegade did not accomplish his object. A number of delegates succeeded in holding a secret conference in the house of a comrade outside of Paris, where various points of theory and tactics were discussed. Emma Goldman took considerable part in these proceedings, and on that occasion came in contact with numerous representatives of the Anarchist movement of Europe.
Owing to the suppression of the congress, the delegates were in danger of being expelled from France. At this time also came the bad news from America regarding another unsuccessful attempt to liberate Alexander Berkman, proving a great shock to Emma Goldman. In November, , she returned to America to devote herself to her profession of nurse, at the same time taking an active part in the American propaganda. Among other activities she organized monster meetings of protest against the terrible outrages of the Spanish government, perpetrated upon the political prisoners tortured in Montjuich.
In her vocation as nurse Emma Goldman enjoyed many opportunities of meeting the most unusual and peculiar characters. Soon after her return from Europe she became acquainted with a patient by the name of Mrs. Stander, a morphine fiend, suffering excruciating agonies.
She required careful attention to enable her to supervise a very important business she conducted, — that of Mrs. In Third Street, near Third Avenue, was situated her private residence, and near it, connected by a separate entrance, was her place of business.
One evening, the nurse, upon entering the room of her patient, suddenly came face to face with a male visitor, bull necked and of brutal appearance. The man was no other than Mr. Jacobs, the detective who seven years previously had brought Emma Goldman a prisoner from Philadelphia and who had attempted to persuade her, on their way to New York, to betray the cause of the workingmen.
It would be difficult to describe the expression of bewilderment on the countenance of the man as he so unexpectedly faced Emma Goldman, the nurse of his mistress. The brute was suddenly transformed into a gentleman, exerting himself to excuse his shameful behavior on the previous occasion.
Stander, and go-between for the house and the police. Several years later, as one of the detective staff of District Attorney Jerome, he committed perjury, was convicted, and sent to Sing Sing for a year. He is now probably employed by some private detective agency, a desirable pillar of respectable society. In Peter Kropotkin was invited by the Lowell Institute of Massachusetts to deliver a series of lectures on Russian literature.
It was his second American tour, and naturally the comrades were anxious to use his presence for the benefit of the movement. Emma Goldman entered into correspondence with Kropotkin and succeeded in securing his consent to arrange for him a series of lectures. She also devoted her energies to organizing the tours of other well known Anarchists, principally those of Charles W.
Mowbray and John Turner. Similarly she always took part in all the activities of the movement, ever ready to give her time, ability, and energy to the Cause. Immediately an unprecedented campaign of persecution was set in motion against Emma Goldman as the best known Anarchist in the country.
Although there was absolutely no foundation for the accusation, she, together with other prominent Anarchists, was arrested in Chicago, kept in confinement for several weeks, and subjected to severest cross-examination. Never before in the history of the country had such a terrible man-hunt taken place against a person in public life. But the efforts of police and press to connect Emma Goldman with Czolgosz proved futile.
Yet the episode left her wounded to the heart. The physical suffering, the humiliation and brutality at the hands of the police she could bear. The depression of soul was far worse. She was overwhelmed by the realization of the stupidity, lack of understanding, and vileness which characterized the events of those terrible days.
The attitude of misunderstanding on the part of the majority of her own comrades toward Czolgosz almost drove her to desperation. Stirred to the very inmost of her soul, she published an article on Czolgosz in which she tried to explain the deed in its social and individual aspects. This terrible persecution and, especially, the attitude of her comrades made it impossible for her to continue propaganda.
The soreness of body and soul had first to heal. During — she did not resume the platform. Yet one thing the persecution of Emma Goldman accomplished. Her name was brought before the public with greater frequency and emphasis than ever before, the malicious harassing of the much maligned agitator arousing strong sympathy in many circles. Persons in various walks of life began to get interested in her struggle and her ideas.
A better understanding and appreciation were now beginning to manifest themselves. Again she threw herself into her public activities, organizing an energetic movement for the defense of Turner, whom the Immigration authorities condemned to deportation on account of the Anarchist exclusion law, passed after the death of McKinley. When Paul Orleneff and Mme. Nazimova arrived in New York to acquaint the American public with Russian dramatic art, Emma Goldman became the manager of the undertaking.
By much patience and perseverance she succeeded in raising the necessary funds to introduce the Russian artists to the theatergoers of New York and Chicago. Though financially not a success, the venture proved of great artistic value. As manager of the Russian theater Emma Goldman enjoyed some unique experiences. If the latter should some day write her autobiography, she will no doubt have many interesting anecdotes to relate in connection with these experiences.
The weekly Anarchist publication Free Society, issued by the Isaak family, was forced to suspend in consequence of the nation-wide fury that swept the country after the death of McKinley.
To fill out the gap Emma Goldman, in co-operation with Max Baginski and other comrades, decided to publish a monthly magazine devoted to the furtherance of Anarchist ideas in life and literature. The first issue of Mother Earth appeared in the month of March, , the initial expenses of the periodical partly covered by the proceeds of a theater benefit given by Orleneff, Mme.
Nazimova, and their company, in favor of the Anarchist magazine. Under tremendous difficulties and obstacles the tireless propagandist has succeeded in continuing Mother Earth uninterruptedly since — an achievement rarely equalled in the annals of radical publications. In May, , Alexander Berkman at last left the hell of Pennsylvania, where he had passed the best fourteen years of his life. No one had believed in the possibility of his survival. His liberation terminated a nightmare of fourteen years for Emma Goldman, and an important chapter of her career was thus concluded.
Nowhere had the birth of the Russian revolution aroused such vital and active response as among the Russians living in America. The heroes of the revolutionary movement in Russia, Tchaikovsky, Mme.
Breshkovskaia, Gershuni, and others visited these shores to waken the sympathies of the American people toward the struggle for liberty, and to collect aid for its continuance and support. The success of these efforts was to a considerable extent due to the exertions, eloquence, and the talent for organization on the part of Emma Goldman. This opportunity enabled her to give valuable services to the struggle for liberty in her native land. It is not generally known that it is the Anarchists who are mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral as well as financial, of most of the radical undertakings.
The Anarchist is indifferent to acknowledged appreciation; the needs of the Cause absorb his whole interest, and to these he devotes his energy and abilities. Yet it may be mentioned that some otherwise decent folks, though at all times anxious for Anarchist support and co-operation, are ever willing to monopolize all the credit for the work done. During the last several decades it was chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every struggle for liberty.
But for fear of shocking the respectable mob, who looks upon the Anarchists as the apostles of Satan, and because of their social position in bourgeois society, the would-be radicals ignore the activity of the Anarchists. She wrote passionately about issues that concerned humanity including prisons, religion, marriage, free love, the right of choice, capitalism, homosexuality, gender politics and militarism.
Anarchism and Other Essays was first published by her own publishing house, Mother Earth. He was a great friend of the playwright, Eugene O'Neill, who based some of the characters in his plays on Havel. Havel provides a detailed biography of Emma Goldman and ends with a stirring call to emancipate humanity. Emma Goldman's preface describes her own journey and motives. Twelve chapters delineate Goldman's philosophy and ideas.
It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony. Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony. To accomplish that unity, Anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts, the individual and society. Religion Religion! God is everything, man is nothing, says religion.
But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began. Anarchism rouses man to rebellion against this black monster. Break your mental fetters, says Anarchism to man, for not until you think and judge for yourself will you get rid of the dominion of darkness, the greatest obstacle to all progress.
Man is being robbed not merely of the products of his labor, but of the power of free initiative, of originality, and the interest in, or desire for, the things he is making. Anarchism cannot but repudiate such a method of production: its goal is the freest possible expression of all the latent powers of the individual.
But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began. They lived in a land and at a time when antagonism between parent and offspring was fated to find its most acute expression, irreconcilable hostility. Twelve chapters delineate Goldman's philosophy and ideas.
But very few have succeeded in preserving their European education and culture while at the same time assimilating themselves with American life. Thanks to the regenerating power of the new philosophy, the government lost a soldier, but the cause of liberty gained a man. Emma Goldman's preface describes her own journey and motives.
Anarchism rouses man to rebellion against this black monster.
That is the tragedy of the person prominent in the public eye. The physical suffering, the humiliation and brutality at the hands of the police she could bear. The representative of a revolutionizing idea stands between two fires: on the one hand, the persecution of the existing powers which hold him responsible for all acts resulting from social conditions; and, on the other, the lack of understanding on the part of his own followers who often judge all his activity from a narrow standpoint. It is altogether different with the written mode of human expression. It was imperative to resume her labors immediately.
The artist comrade is now among the well-known illustrators of New York. Energetic protests on the part of the intellectual element of America succeeded in overthrowing the dastardly conspiracy against free speech.
Of great importance to her future development was her acquaintance with John Most, who exerted a tremendous influence over the younger elements. German fairy tales and stories, rich in the miraculous deeds of the heroic knights of Kurland, wove their spell over the youthful mind. Under present conditions the antagonism of economic and social interests results in relentless war among the social units, and creates an insurmountable obstacle in the way of a co-operative common wealth.
The police exerted every effort to involve Emma Goldman in the act of Alexander Berkman. The whole intelligensia of Russia was filled with theillegal spirit: revolutionary sentiments penetrated into every home, from mansion to hovel, impregnating the military, the chinovniks, factory workers, and peasants. Of what avail is all this when, at the same time, the living John Browns and Proudhons are being crucified? The man was no other than Mr. The colleges and other institutions of learning, are they not models of organization, offering the people fine opportunities for instruction?
It was the most heroic period in the great battle of emancipation, a battle for freedom such as the world had never witnessed before.
By virtue of her eloquence, energy, and brilliant mentality, she moulds the minds and hearts of thousands of her auditors. What, then, are the objections? The yearning of the enslaved, the promised land of the oppressed, the goal of all longing for progress. Persons in various walks of life began to get interested in her struggle and her ideas. To accomplish that unity, Anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts, the individual and society. During the last several decades it was chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every struggle for liberty.