Voltairine de Cleyre
Portrait photograph of Voltairine de Cleyre
Voltairine de Cleyre in Philadelphia, 1901
Voltairine De Claire

(1866-11-17)November 17, 1866
Leslie, Michigan, United States
DiedJune 20, 1912(1912-06-20) (aged 45)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Resting placeWaldheim Cemetery
41°52′12″N 87°49′11″W / 41.869909°N 87.8197364°W / 41.869909; -87.8197364
Occupation(s)Writer, lecturer, tutor
EraSecond Industrial Revolution
MovementAnarchism, feminism, individualism
ChildrenHarry de Cleyre
RelativesAdelaide D. Thayer (sister)

Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912) was an American anarchist writer and public speaker. She was known for her opposition to capitalism, marriage, and the state, as well as the domination of religion over sexuality and over women's lives, all of which she saw as interconnected. She is often characterized as a major early feminist because of her views.

Born into extreme poverty in Michigan, at an early age, de Cleyre taught herself how to read and write, and became a lover of poetry. She was educated at a Catholic convent in Sarnia, Ontario, which improved her literary and linguistic capabilities, but also influenced her turn towards anti-theism and anti-authoritarianism. After graduating, de Cleyre began her activist career in the freethought movement, lecturing around the country and writing for a number of rationalist publications. Drawn towards socialism and individualist anarchism, she converted fully to anarchism in the wake of the Haymarket affair, which radicalized her against the state and capitalism.

She moved to Philadelphia, where she lived for most of her adult life. There she gave birth to her son Harry, although she did not raise him. She taught many of the city's Jewish anarchists, with whom she became closely involved, and had a series of affairs with a number of different men, including Dyer Lum, James B. Elliott and Samuel H. Gordon (the latter of whom instigated a years-long feud between de Cleyre and Emma Goldman). By the late 1890s, de Cleyre was a leading figure in the American anarchist movement, regular speaking at events, writing for publications and organizing anarchist groups. She also went on a lecture tour of the United Kingdom, during which she was introduced to Spanish anarchists, who influenced her adoption of the philosophy of anarchism without adjectives and her later defense of propaganda of the deed.

Following an assassination attempt by Herman Helcher, her physical health rapidly deteriorated and she was never able to fully recover. Nevertheless, after a few years, she returned to writing and public speaking. During the free speech fights of the early 20th century, she was arrested for inciting a riot in Philadelphia, but was ultimately acquitted due to a lack of evidence. Towards the end of the 1900s, she grew increasingly depressed and for a while lost her faith in anarchism. But by 1910, she had returned to the movement and moved to Chicago, where she began lecturing on progressive education. During the final years of her life, she was a keen supporter of the Mexican Revolution and continued her speaking and writing engagements. But her health sharply declined and she died in 1912; she was buried near the grave of the Haymarket anarchists.

Although eulogized by many anarchists of her time, including Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons and Alexander Berkman, she was largely forgotten or ignored in many histories of the anarchist movement, due in part to her short life. Her biographers, Paul Avrich and Margaret Marsh, and collectors of her writings, such as A. J. Brigati, Sharon Presley and Crispin Sartwell, brought her life and work back to public attention by the turn of the 21st century.

Early life


Voltairine de Cleyre was born on November 17, 1866, in Leslie, Michigan.[1] She was the third daughter of Hector, a French-American artisan and socialist, and Harriet De Claire, a New Englander whose family was involved in the abolitionist movement.[2] She was named by her freethinking father after the French philosopher Voltaire.[3] Although a delicate child, she inherited a stubbornness and intelligence from her parents that cultivated a rebellious spirit in her from an early age.[4]

After the death of their first child, Marion, the family moved to a small house in St. Johns in May 1867.[5] Voltairine was only one year old when they moved,[6] and she grew up in extreme poverty.[7] Adelaide De Claire later attributed her sister's radicalism to their experiences with poverty, which developed within her a sense of sympathy and compassion for the poor and working class.[8] She also recalled that, unable to afford Christmas presents, the two sisters made gifts for their parents out of scraps.[9] Their financial difficulties made Voltairine's father bitter and demanding; he would regularly complain about her writing letters to him in pencil.[10] Meanwhile, Voltairine's mother withdrew her affections from her.[11] Although she would remain a devoted daughter throughout her life, Voltairine never forgave her mother for her cold behavior towards her and was proud to have lived her own life, rather than that which her mother wanted for her.[12]

As Voltairine grew up, she developed a love of nature,[13] as well as a "headstrong and emotional" personality.[14] Her sister Adelaide remembered her as a "wayward" child, who was "often very rude to those who loved her best".[15] At the age of four, she was refused entry to primary school because of her young age. Indignant at the rejection, she taught herself how to read and was admitted the next year, studying their until her graduation at the age of twelve.[16] She and her sister spent much of their time at home reading poetry and novels by British writers, including Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Walter Scott. Adelaide recalled one of their fondest memories of her mother was when she read them poetry by Lord Byron, while putting them to bed. Byron's writing style in particular would be a strong influence on Voltairine's own poetry.[17] Before long, Voltairine herself was writing her own poetry,[18] which she often did while sitting in the branches of the family's maple trees, where she retreated in search of privacy.[19] In her childhood poetry, Voltairine wrote of her wishes to be different and her love of nature.[20] Hippolyte Havel later described her earliest poems as including a "vein of sadness"; after Adelaide rediscovered these poems in the 1930s, they made her cry: "to think that neither Mother, nor Father nor I realized nor recognized Voltai's beautiful spirit nor soul."[21] Adelaide and Voltairine's sadness was compounded in the 1870s,[22] when their father left St. Johns to seek work elsewhere and never returned home.[23]

In early 1879, Voltairine was sent to live with her father in Port Huron, after Adelaide fell gravely ill and their mother was unable to care for them both.[24] The now-adolescent Voltairine became restless in Port Huron and was homesick for her house, trees and pet birds in St. Johns. She disliked the "nasty hole" of Port Huron and frequently expressed her wish to return home. Each Sunday, her father tried to cheer her up with visits to the local park or taking her on ferry boat rides, but her homesickness only got worse.[25] In September 1880, her father enrolled her to be educated in the convent of Our Lady of Lake Huron,[26] across the river in the Canadian city of Sarnia,[27] hoping the institution would discipline her and rid her of her love of idle reading.[28] Voltairine considered her three years at the convent to have been a prison sentence,[29] one of the darkest periods of her life, from which she was left with a lasting psychological trauma.[30] She never understood nor forgave her father for sending her there, and felt abandoned by him.[31] Within a few weeks of arriving at the convent, she attempted to escape, crossing the river back to Port Huron and immediately setting off to St. Johns. But after seventeen miles of walking, she realized she would never make it home and returned to Port Huron, where he father brought her back to the convent.[32]

Catholic education

At the convent, De Cleyre was made to get up at 5:45 and go to morning prayers. As a Protestant, she was not compelled to recite the Catholic prayers and was allowed to read the Bible, which was denied to Catholic students. In between her set meal times, she attended classes given by the Carmelite nuns, of whom she only encountered one that was sympathetic to her (Mary Médard).[33] Her correspondence was monitored and sometimes withheld by the nuns; on one occasion, a letter from Adelaide was only released to her following her father's intervention, upon which she proudly displayed the letter in her belt.[34] Adelaide recounted that Voltairine couldn't speak openly about how she was punished by the nuns, but once told her of how other students were forbidden from speaking to her for a week.[35] After some weeks, Voltairine's homesickness partly subsided and her reactions against the rules imposed on her became more tempered. When she was allowed to visit her father, she seized the opportunity to write her mother an uncensored letter that the nuns couldn't read; she admitted that she was opening up to the education and reassured her mother that she wasn't having Catholicism imposed on her.[36] Voltairine was a keen student, rising to become head of her class. When she wrote to her mother before her fourteenth birthday, she was clearly happier and was beginning to display her improving literary talents in her letters.[37]

In her time at the convent, De Cleyre improved her grasp on writing and music,[38] became fluent in the French language and learned how to play the piano. She continued to see her father and regularly wrote to her mother, with her letters throughout the period showing her in high spirits; she also cultivated what became a lifelong friendship with her teacher Sister Médard.[39] Her anti-Catholicism was also tempered by her time in the convent, as she developed a sympathy for the Catholic Church's aesthetics and ethics, particularly its charity towards the poor and its ideal of fraternity.[40] She even considered joining the Carmelite order as a nun,[41] and wrote poems of her belief in the Christian heaven.[42] But despite her convictions, her skepticism continued to flourish and she began to doubt the existence of the Christian God, even as she was praying to him: "I suffered hell a thousand times while I was wondering where it was located."[43] She later recalled how difficult this process was, as her internal struggle between disbelief and "religious superstition" coincided with the struggle between her own rebellious spirit and the nuns' instructions on the necessity of obeying authority. It was during her time "in the heart of Catholicism" that she became a freethinker, like her father before her, and punishments for her insubordination increased up until the moment she was to begin her final exams.[44]

Weeks before she was due to graduate, she was already exhausted by her frequent punishment, as well as by a bout of catarrh. She was sent home to rest, but was warned by the nuns that she would remain under strict surveillance, which made her agitated and paranoid about being watched. After recovering, she returned to the convent and, on December 20, 1883, submitted her graduation essay - a prose poem titled "The Fine Arts"[45] - for which she finally graduated with a gold medal.[46] Voltairine's time in the convent was a formative experience for her, as by the time of her graduation, she was already a committed anti-theist and anti-authoritarian.[47] She later recounted that this experience with "Ignorance and Superstition", which left "white scars on her soul", had convinced her that her own will was supreme, and laid the foundations for her later conversion to anarchism.[48]

Political career


At the age of 17, Voltairine returned home to St. Johns,[49] where she found that the convent's education had left her unprepared to find work.[50] Again struggling with poverty, she offered her services as a private tutor for handwriting, music and the French language;[51] in late 1885, she moved in with her aunt in Greenville, Michigan to pursue this line of work.[52] By this time, Voltairine had become a convinced freethinker[53] and celebrated the "burial of [her] past self" by writing a poem, in which she declared she would turn herself over to the service of humanity.[54] Over the subsequent years, she became an active participant in the freethought movement, giving lectures at their meetings and writing for their periodicals.[55] It was through atheism than she first came into contact with anarchism, as the two tendencies often crossed over due to their rejection of clerical and political authority.[56] Voltairine began to see her personal struggle for freedom from religion as interconnected with humankind's struggle for social freedom, progressively emerging from her isolation into wider society.[57]

In 1886, she moved to Grand Rapids, where she became editor-in-chief of the weekly freethought magazine The Progressive Age.[58] She published several essays and stories under the pen names of "Fanny Fern", adopted from the popular writer of the same name.[59] From 1887, she also changed how she signed her real name, from Voltairine De Claire to Voltairine de Cleyre.[60] During this time, she began going on speaking tours at freethought events in towns throughout Montcalm County.[61] She frequently recounted her experiences in the convent, speaking of how the church "murdered" any signs of intellect or youthful vitality.[62] Hundreds of people, sometimes even thousands, would travel to attend De Cleyre's lectures, whose style of oratory fit in with the intense and vitriolic tirades that characterized the speeches of many radical speakers of the period.[63] De Cleyre considered herself "more of a writer" than an orator, expressing contempt for the disjointed and repetitive character of extemporaneous speaking. Her speeches were always carefully prepared, pre-written and read from paper; although some audience members complained that this detracted from her speaking power, Emma Goldman later praised her method for its brilliance and originality,[64] noting how "her pale face lit up with the inner fire of her ideal".[65] Jay Fox expressed that he had been captivated by her eloquence, which "packed his mind full of ideas".[66] Sadakichi Hartmann was likewise impressed by her "even delivery, the subdued enthusiasm of her voice, the abundance of information, thought and argument, and the logical sequence of the same".[67] De Cleyre herself recalled that, after one of her speeches, an old man was so charmed by her that he demanded she give a eulogy at his funeral.[68]

As the years went by, De Cleyre became increasingly famous among freethinking circles, motivating her to undertake lecture tours for the American Secular Union,[69] which took her throughout the Midwestern and Northeastern United States.[70] She would always return to Michigan, where she would stay at her place in Grand Rapids, her aunt's house in Greenville, or visit her family in St. Johns; her sister and mother disapproved of her new-found radical politics and talked very little about their opinions.[71] Voltairine told her mother that she only advocated for these "new and strange ideas" because she thought they were correct, largely leaving them out of conversation in order to respect her mother's feelings, but telling her what they were as she though she deserved to know. Despite their differences, De Cleyre was always happy to return home and her family was always happy to see her when she did.[72] During these periods, she wrote of the differences she had seen in the landscape between "the darting ravines, of the wild Alleghenies" and the "broad, fair, level fields of southern Michigan", both of which she position beneath the "sublime peak" of science, "over whose majestic brow is bursting the glory of the new day, when all shall be truth seekers, when none shall walk blindfold, and knowledge be the savior of mankind.".[73]

De Cleyre's writings on freethought during this period demonstrated a clear intellectual synthesis of rationalism with romanticism and utopianism. Demand for De Cleyre as a speaker and writer grew throughout the United States, as she contributed prose and poetry to several freethought periodicals, including the Boston Investigator[74] and The Truth Seeker.[75] She enjoyed traveling around the country and seeing the "wonderful sweet things" of the world, although she also reported of the poverty and repression she saw, "misery enough to make one’s blood stand still in the veins."[74] Of the former, she wrote of a lover she had taken in Pittsburgh, as well as the theater and her love of dancing; while of the latter, she wrote of visiting the steel works and prisons, where the routine and oppressive atmosphere reminded her of the convent.[76] By this time, de Cleyre had begun to consider the freethought movement too narrow in scope, which led her to branch out into other social reform movements. Her travels also brought her into contact with the women's suffrage movement, which she sympathized with as a feminist but considered too conventional, as well as socialism and anarchism.[77]

Conversion to anarchism

In December 1887, after she gave a lecture on Thomas Paine in Linesville, Pennsylvania,[78] De Cleyre attended a lecture by the socialist Clarence Darrow, whose speech introduced her to the socialist programme for improving the conditions of the working classes.[79] She quickly became a convinced anti-capitalist, writing denunciations of the "coal-kings" and "salt-owners" that created monopolies, unemployment and the exploitation of labor. Although she was not yet an anarchist, she saw anarchy as preferable to the "incalculable amount of damage" caused by monopoly capitalism.[80] She proudly considered herself a socialist and began to write about socialist themes in her essays and speeches, which progressed from a freethinking rejection of clerical authority to a rejection of all forms of oppression.[81] Debates and discussions with Jewish anarchists in Pittsburgh influenced her to begin studying anarchist theory,[82] driving her towards the individualist anarchism advocated in Benjamin Tucker's newspaper Liberty.[83] Before long, she had abandoned state socialism and began moving towards anarchism.[84]

Illustration of the Haymarket affair

De Cleyre's conversion to anarchism was accelerated by the Haymarket affair.[85] After police attempted to shut down a workers' rally in Chicago, someone in the crowd threw a bomb and the police subsequently opened fire on the crowd; several people were killed in the violence.[86] Although the bomb thrower's identity was never discovered, eight men who had organized the rally were found guilty of the crime in a show trial; one committed suicide, four were executed, and the remaining three were given long prison sentences, although they would eventually be pardoned by Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld.[87] The affair deeply affected de Cleyre, who dedicated poems to people that had defended the Haymarket anarchists and regularly attended annual commemorations of the affair, where she delivered some of the most powerful speeches of her career.[88]

When news of the bombing had first reached her, she initially felt outraged and proclaimed that the perpetrators "ought to be hanged", a reaction which she immediately regretted.[89] She followed the trial enthusiastically, quickly coming to the conclusion that the men had been falsely accused and that the trial was a farce,[90] which led her to question whether "justice under the law" was really a possibility.[91] She began traveling to Chicago on her lecture tours, which brought her into touch with the friends and family of the Haymarket defendants.[92] When four of the men were hanged, they became martyrs in her eyes.[93] She soon embraced their ideal of anarchism, a philosophy she would hold to for the rest of her life.[94] Emma Goldman later described the Haymarket affair as de Cleyre's raison d'être, and depicted her as having dedicated her life to eliminating the cause of the affair: "the injustices of the governmental system".[95]

The following year, de Cleyre had a series of romantic affairs which left a lasting impact on her life.[96] She was first attracted to Thomas Hamilton Garside, a Scottish labor union organizer, who she fell deeply in love with.[97] But after a few months of their relationship, he abandoned de Cleyre, which emotionally devastated her.[98] She wrote several poems about her feelings of betrayal and moved back home to St Johns, where her sister recalled her pacing frantically around the garden in a state of distress.[99] De Cleyre was comforted by Dyer Lum, a man 27 years older than her who became a stabilizing influence in her life,[100] as "her teacher, her confidant her comrade".[101] Although they lived apart, they shared a great love for each other and expressed it in poetry.[102] Under Lum's guidance, her understanding of anarchism developed and matured.[103] Like her mentor, de Cleyre rejected both communist and collectivist anarchism, aligning instead with Lum's understanding of mutualism and adopting his evolutionary ethics.[104] Although the two disagreed on the issue of women's rights,[105] the two aligned with each other in both political ideology and personal temperament, from their synthesis of socialism and individualism to their struggles with depression.[106] De Cleyre later said that meeting Lum was "one of the best fortunes of my life."[107] But their affair was ultimately unstable and short-lived, as Lum was unwilling to leave his wife and de Cleyre continued to pursue romantic affairs with other men,[108] although they would remain friends and collaborators until Lum's death.[109]

Move to Philadelphia, motherhood and tutoring

De Cleyre, Christmas 1891

In June 1888, de Cleyre visited Philadelphia for the first time, having been invited to speak at a freethinkers' meeting. She was so impressed by the city that she decided to move there the following year, making the city her home for the next two decades.[110] There she met the freethinker James B. Elliott,[111] who de Cleyre described as "a whole entertainment committee in himself."[112] The two struck up a brief romantic relationship,[113] but as de Cleyre refused Elliott's proposal of marriage, it quickly broke down and they separated, although they remained friends and lived together for several years afterwards.[114] During this time, de Cleyre became pregnant, but it was not a happy memory for her, as her pregnancy was characterized by long periods of pain and sickness, which she described as akin to torture.[115] She considered having an abortion, but her doctor advised against it, believing her health wasn't strong enough to sustain one.[116] On June 12, 1890, de Cleyre gave birth to their son Harry,[117] but her chronic condition and depressive mood made her feel physically and emotionally incapable of raising him.[118] She soon went off to lecture at freethought events in Kansas, where she remained for almost a year,[119] supplementing her income by tutoring and writing in the small town of Enterprise.[115] She returned to Philadelphia in 1891, but she kept away from her son,[120] as her granddaughters recalled: "he just did not fit into her life, her plans, at all."[121] She attempted to give him piano lessons, but quickly grew frustrated at his lack of enthusiasm for the task and stopped.[122] Her sister Adelaide, herself childless, asked if she could take care of Harry, to which de Cleyre responded that it was up to Elliott to decide;[123] he refused.[122] When Harry later enrolled in technical school, de Cleyre initially paid for his education, but he failed to apply himself and didn't complete his course, so she refused to pay for any further education.[124] Her correspondence from this period never mentions her son.[116]

In Philadelphia, de Cleyre began tutoring Jewish anarchist immigrants in the English language, which provided her with a small income,[125] for which she often worked 16 hour days.[126] Many of her students were in more extreme poverty than de Cleyre had ever experienced. She herself still lived in poor conditions and her work exhausted her, but her lack of professional education meant that she had no options for alternative lines of work; she considered studying for a law degree but never pursued the idea.[127] Her income was only occasionally supplemented by translation and publishing work.[128] She lived an austere lifestyle, possessing few clothes and eating very little, which, combined with overwork, worsened her chronic illness.[129] Her financial situation slowly improved over the course of the 1890s, allowing her to financially support her mother and even to buy a piano.[130] During this time, she lived and worked among Philadelphia's immigrant Jewish community,[131] taking on hundreds of Jewish students, becoming friends with hundreds more and even having a romantic relationship with two Jewish men. She admired her students' love of learning, work ethic and dedication to radical activism, praising them as "the most liberal minded and active comrades in the movement, as well as the most transcendental dreamers."[132] Her new comrades were likewise smitten with her "beautiful spirit", regularly giving her gifts, even on their meager salaries.[133] In her later essay, "The Making of an Anarchist", she praised the Jewish community's dedication to their education and commitment to the radical movement, even in the face of extreme poverty and antisemitism in the United States.[134] But she was also worried by the tendency of some of her Jewish comrades to assimilate into the dominant American capitalist culture, relinquishing social change for individual advancement.[135]

While she taught her students the English language, de Cleyre herself endeavored to learn Yiddish, eventually becoming fluent in it,[136] which placed her alongside Rudolf Rocker as one of a few goyish anarchists that could speak the language.[137] She regularly read and contributed articles to the Yiddish anarchist magazine, the Fraye Arbeter Shtime. She even warned the editor Saul Yanovsky against cutting up or changing her words when translating them from English, saying she would rather he not publish her words than change them. She also translated Yiddish essays and articles from Mother Earth, and even tried her hand at writing original works in Yiddish, but only one has survived.[138] Meanwhile, a number of her own pupils gained enough fluency in English to publish articles in anglophone anarchist publications. Nathan Navro, who de Cleyre described as "the best character I have ever known in all this world", contributed English poems to Free Society and, influenced by his tutor, eventually quit his job at the cigar factory to pursue a music education.[139] Joseph J. Cohen attended her English lessons with his wife and daughter, the latter of whom sat on de Cleyre's lap and played with items on her desk while her parents were taught.[140] De Cleyre believed that Cohen would accomplish great things; he soon became a leading figure in Philadelphia's Jewish anarchist movement, establishing the Stelton and Sunrise Colonies and eventually taking over as editor of Fraye Arbeter Shtime.[141]

She was particularly attracted to her young student Samuel H. Gordon, who later became her lover. They lived and worked together on de Cleyre's propaganda, with Gordon's English capabilities progressing to an extent that he was able to give speeches about revolution.[142] She even paid for his medical education, after which he began to move away from anarchism as he saw personal professional success. He disliked her pets, forcing de Cleyre to lock away one of her cats, which consequently ran away.[143] As time went on, they argued more frequently and more angrily, with one particularly bad argument ending in them both taking poison, which they survived but caused them physical damage.[144] De Cleyre herself claimed that the argument was because she had rejected his marriage proposal, refusing to become a domestic housewife, which she compared to a form of slavery: "I will never, let come what will, accept the condition of married slavery again. I will not do things for you; I will not live with you, for if I do I suffer the tortures of owning and being owned."[145]

Feud with Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman, with whom de Cleyre would have an interpersonal feud for most of her life

It was around this time, in August 1893, that de Cleyre first met Emma Goldman. Although sick with catarrh, de Cleyre managed to attend a rally that Goldman was due to address, but Goldman was herself arrested before she could speak. De Cleyre spoke in her place, protesting against the suppression of freedom of speech.[146] They met again in December, when de Cleyre travelled to New York and spoke in her defense, comparing her to Jesus and calling for people to rebel against tyranny and reclaim their human rights.[147] She visited Goldman in her cell on Blackwell's Island, where they discussed anarchism and the recent imprisonment of Alexander Berkman. Goldman was delighted to meet another anarchist woman and hoped it would turn into a lasting friendship. De Cleyre herself offered Goldman a place to stay and recuperate after she was released.[148] Back in Philadelphia, de Cleyre wrote that she would soon return to see Goldman, together with her partner Gordon. But Gordon was a follower of Johann Most, who had denounced Berkman, and had himself attacked Goldman as a "disrupter of the movement".[149] Goldman informed de Cleyre that she preferred not to see Gordon, as it would have used up one of her two monthly prison visitations, which she wanted to reserve for her own partner and close friends. De Cleyre was hurt by the rebuff and didn't write back. She didn't even speak to Goldman after her release, when the two attended the same events. They only resumed contact when Goldman appealed for de Cleyre's help in campaigning for the reduction of Berkman's prison sentence, although de Cleyre sent her response to Goldman's partner and refused to reply to further letters from her.[150]

Although they shared an anarchist feminist outlook, the two had divergent backgrounds and personalities.[151] Historian Paul Avrich said that De Cleyre and Goldman differed "as poetry differs from prose",[152] while their mutual friend Carl Nold compared their oratory respectively to a violin and a bass drum.[153] De Cleyre herself disliked Goldman's style of public speaking and writing, dismissing her work as "incoherent", while also privately admitting their "force".[152] They personally disliked each other's partners, with Goldman denouncing "that dog Gordon who sapped her dry and then cast her away", while de Cleyre was disgusted by Goldman's "vulgar" partner Ben Reitman.[154] They also insulted each other's looks, with de Cleyre thinking Goldman to be "dumpy and unattractive",[155] while Goldman couldn't understand why men found de Cleyre so attractive when she lived such an ascetic lifestyle.[156]

De Cleyre disliked Goldman's "flamboyant and self-indulgent" lifestyle, fearing that under the influence of public figures such as Goldman and Lucy Parsons, the anarchist movement was "losing its soul".[157] De Cleyre's ascetic cricitisms of Goldman's indulgences in material pleasures caused a reaction from the latter,[158] who thought it tantamount to a "denial of life and joy".[159] De Cleyre's "puritan" resentment of what she perceived as middle class extravagance, from social drinking to birthday parties, drew criticism from other anarchists, with Thomas Keell remarking that "she set a higher standard for the movement than the all too human comrades were ready to accept."[160] She routinely denounced respectability politics and intellectualism, which she thought was moving the anarchist movement away from the working class and towards the bourgeoisie.[161] Goldman took this as a personal attack and denied the charges, while also defending her appeals to the middle classes and insisting that anarchism was built "not on classes, but on men and women".[162] In spite of their disagreements, Goldman always attempted to treat de Cleyre with respect, giving her a special mention at the International Anarchist Congress of Amsterdam, where she called her a "brilliant woman of exceptional literary talent".[163]

Agitation, education and organization

By the turn of the century, de Cleyre had become one of the leading public figures of the American anarchist movement.[164] She acted as a link between the Jewish immigrants and American workers of Philadelphia, and contributed several articles, poems and stories to many anarchist publications.[165] Her writing style was unique due to its careful method of composition, research and revision, which she carried out entirely in her mind before committing it to paper as though it were already pre-written. She then went through several drafts, polishing and tightening up her wording for the sake of "literary beauty", trying to make it "better than life and circumstances permitted." She even ensured that the copy she sent to publishers was done in "clear and beautiful handwriting", while continuing to improve her work that she did not think ready.[166]

She delivered numerous lectures throughout the Northeastern United States.[167] At a German anarchist event in New York, in May 1894, she met Johann Most, whose speeches she described as "musical", remarking that he was so eloquent that it was "no wonder the press hates and caricatures and vilifies him."[168] Her regular speaking engagements included commemorations of the Paris Commune, which took place each March, and memorial meetings for the Haymarket martyrs, which took place each May. At one such meeting, she praised Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld for pardoning the defendants, saying he deserved a "wreath of laurels" as he had "sacrified his political career to an act of justice."[169] She paid tribute to the Haymarket martyrs, believing they hadn't died in vain, as their sacrifice had served to invigorate the anarchist movement.[170]

She was also active as a movement functionary, organizing meetings, establishing groups and distributing literature.[171] In the early 1890s, she established an anarchist study group together with Dyer Lum and William Hanson,[172] and in 1892, she co-founded the Ladies' Liberal League (LLL), a freethinking feminist group which organized forums on various political subjects.[171] Through the LLL, she met Margaret Perle McLeod and Natasha Noshkin, the latter a Narodnik,[173] with whom she helped establish a Radical Library that provided an education space for Jewish anarchists in Philadelphia.[174] She also became friends with the Danish-American anarchist Mary Hansen and her English partner George Brown, with whom she regularly had dinner and discussed literature, eventually moving in with them in 1894.[175]

Over time, her tutoring work, anarchist activism and sustained poverty exhausted de Cleyre, who remarked of herself that she was "only one of the commonest people, only a worked-out body, a shriveled and withered soul."[176] Aside from visiting her friends, she lived a rather isolated and secluded life, kept company by her pet cats, birds and fish. De Cleyre thought of herself as a "rather cold, self-reliant sort of an individual, looking for help from nobody and given to biting my lips a good deal."[177] Although often lonely and depressed, de Cleyre cherished the independence she had in Philadelphia and thought herself strong for living her life according to her own principles.[178]

Travels in Britain

De Cleyre, pictured in 1897 during her time in London

On December 28, 1894, de Cleyre met the English anarchist Charles Mowbray, who had finished his speaking tour of the United States with a lecture for the Ladies' Liberal League.[179] He was arrested soon after by Pennsylvania State Police, on charges of incitement and sedition, but De Cleyre gathered funds for his legal defense and secured his release.[180] Mowbray ended up staying in America and continuing his anarchist agitational campaign, culminating with his establishment of the anarchist communist magazine The Rebel.[181] Despite her disagreements with communist economics, De Cleyre contributed extensively to the publication, writing articles under the nom de plume "X.Y.Z."[182] She spoke on behalf of the "Rebel Group" at a Haymarket memorial in Boston and was briefly considered for the role of editor-in-chief.[183] Another contributor to the magazine, Harry Kelly, told her of his recent trip to England and the anarchists he had met there. One of these English anarchists was John Turner, who came to Philadelphia to give a lecture of anarchism for the LLL and became close friends with de Cleyre.[184] De Cleyre, whose health was declining due to overwork and arguments with her partner, decided to travel to the United Kingdom.[185] She had always wanted to visit Europe and her new acquaintances attracted her to England, to which travel had become increasingly easier and cheaper.[186] She set sail on June 13, 1897. Although the ship was uncomfortable and crowded, within a week, she arrived in Liverpool and went by train to London, where she was warmly welcomed by the local anarchists.[187] She stayed in London for two months, as a guest in John and Mary Turner's house on Lamb's Conduit Street. She was introduced to the Freedom Group, as well as the German historian Max Nettlau, Jewish anarchist editor Abraham Frumkin and the labor organizer William Wess.[188]

Through Wess, she met the famous Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin,[189] who told her about his escape from the Russian Empire over a cup of tea.[190] There she also met Mary Turner's sister-in-law Lizzie Bell, the wife of Thomas Hastie Bell, with whom she became fast friends and stayed in each other's company throughout de Cleyre's time in Britain. Turner Bell was with de Cleyre when the latter gave a lecture in Trafalgar Square, after which she recited a revolutionary poem by Ferdinand Freiligrath. Despite his relative lack of English comprehension, Frumkin reported being deeply moved by de Cleyre's speeches, comparing them to those of Louise Michel.[191] She met again with Kropotkin at his house in Bromley,[192] shortly before he departed for a lecture tour in the United States. De Cleyre herself caught a cold during her visit, which bothered her during her own trip to lecture in Portsmouth.[193] Her British companions showed her all of London's tourist attractions, as well as places of recent anarchist history. She bought clothes at the Petticoat Lane Market and went to see plays such as A Doll's House and The Lady of the Camellias. She was a repeat visitor of the British Museum, where she saw Lord Byron's own handwriting; during her travels, she also paid her respects at the graves of Byron and George Eliot.[194] She even traveled to visit Stonehenge, which she had wanted to see her whole life; she was mesmerized by the sight, as well as the surrounding countryside, remarking "you would not have thought there was so lonely a place in England."[195] In contrast, she strongly disliked London due to its heavy air pollution,[196] while also remarking that the streets were kept cleaner than those in American cities.[197] She was nevertheless very happy among her friends in the city, which provided a much-needed break from her work life, causing her health and mood to sharply improve.[197]

In August 1897, a group of Spanish anarchists arrived in London, having escaped the severe political repression of the Montjuïc trials.[198] While in Philadelphia, de Cleyre herself had been active in spreading awareness of the repression in Spain, writing to members of Congress, including Senator William E. Chandler, asking them to press the Spanish state to stop the repression.[199] She greeted 28 of the Spanish refugees upon their arrival in Euston Station, from which Tom Bell immediately took them to have their wounds treated by a doctor.[200] They then held a mass meeting in Trafalgar Square and smaller meetings in private homes,[201] where they described to de Cleyre the repression they had faced and showed the scars left by their torture in the Montjuïc Castle.[202] At one of these meetings, the Italian anarchist Michele Angiolillo resolved to assassinate the Spanish prime minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, in revenge for the repression.[203] De Cleyre herself sympathized with his attack against Castillo, writing three poems and a short story about his "spirit that walked erect, and met the beast in its den."[204] His execution inspired her to write another poem, "Light Upon Waldheim", in which she lovingly described the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument in Waldheim Cemetery.[205] Her meetings with the Spanish anarchists, who had strengthened her committment to libertarian and anti-authoritarian thought, also inspired her to begin learning the Spanish language.[206] She was most impressed by Fernando Tarrida del Mármol, from whom she adopted and developed the philosophy of anarchism without adjectives.[207] During this time, she also met a number of French anarchists, including former Communards, such as Jean Grave.[208] In mid-August, she took a week-long trip to Paris, where she met Sébastien Faure and saw the city's sites, even visiting the Père Lachaise Cemetery, where many revolutionaries were buried.[209]

After returning to Britain, she decided to visit Scotland. While staying in Glasgow's neighborhood of Govanhill with Maggie and Will Duff, she quickly fell in love with the country, remarking that if she could make a living there, she would never return to America.[210] She gave a series of lectures in all of Scotland's major cities, remarking with sadness that Dundee had been "disfigured by vomiting chimneys" and reporting of its problems with child labour. In Glasgow, she spoke at meetings of the newly-established Independent Labour Party (ILP).[211] Before she left, the Duffs gifted her with a poetry collection by the English socialist Francis Adams; she remained lifelong friends with the Duffs, who published her anti-theist poem "The Gods and the People" in Glasgow.[212] On September 25, 1897, she left Glasgow and returned to London, stopping off at Bradford, Leeds and Manchester, where she gave a series of lectures on anarchism and feminism. Back in London, on October 6, she gave one final address to the Jewish anarchists at the South Place Ethical Society, which marked the end of her British lecture tour.[213] She was thrown a farewell party on her last night in London, after which she journeyed to Southampton and disembarked for her return to America. She left having had a much-needed break from the stresses of her worklife in America, having made several new friends from Britain, France, Spain and Russia, and having gained a new perspective on anarchism and libertarianism.[214]

Return to activism in America

de Cleyre was reinvigorated by her time in Britain, returning to America with a stack of new poems and articles which she published in various anarchist papers. She returned to her usual speaking engagements, lecturing at trade unionist and freethinkers' meetings throughout the country, and addressing memorial commemorations for the Paris Commune and Haymarket affair.[215] She also began writing regular reports on the United States for the Freedom newspaper in London, and started a translation of a critical work by Jean Grave.[216] Her work on the latter was accelerated by the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, despite her problems translating the "awful jumble" of ideas.[217] She thought the book's thirteenth chapter, for which Grave had been prosecuted for sedition, had been made more relevant now that the United States was moving further in the direction of colonialism, imperialism and militarism.[218] Although she criticized the United States' prosecution of the war, she did not offer an unqualified condemnation of the war itself. Due to her experiences seeing the Spanish exiles in London, she believed that the Spanish Empire needed to be broken up, and that in the stage of history they were in, a government was required to do that.[219]

Once again, she began to overwork herself and her health began to sharply decline. While continuing her writing, she again returned to her tutoring work, which worsened her health but marginally improved her financial situation. Despite at one point making so little money that she was malnourished, she refused to take any money from the anarchist movement, declining to become a "paid agitator making a trade of my beliefs."[220] In order to conserve her energy, she curbed her speaking and writing efforts, passing her "American Notes" column at Freedom over to Harry Kelly. Before long, Freedom readers and Kelly himself were asking de Cleyre to return to the column, but she declined, as she hadn't yet recovered enough to do so.[221] Her busy schedule was interrupted in July 1898, when she was visited her sister Adelaide, who photographed her with her cats and met her friends, taking a liking to Nathan Navro and Mary Hansen.[222] Her mother didn't like her friends as much and expressed disgust at de Cleyre's living conditions, writing to Adelaide that "it's a great shame the way she uses her money for others and neglects herself."[223] She dressed plainly and cut her hair short, after it had begun to fall out. As her health hadn't improved much, she took a retreat to Atlantic City, but she ended up hating the city and sought a more isolated locale instead.[224] She was able to find a quiet farm in Torresdale, owned by the spiritualist Sada Bailey Fowler. There she enjoyed being closer to nature and watching the sun rise each morning from her bedroom, which provided a peaceful and relaxing environment for her.[225]

She soon returned to Philadelphia and went back to tutoring, public speaking and writing, even going back on the lecture circuit, which allowed her to visit her family in St. Johns. Every November 11, she stopped in Chicago to give an address on the Haymarket martyrs, while staying with Abraham and Mary Isaak.[226] While in the city in November 1899, she met the Russian social revolutionary Nahum Berman, a writer and publisher, who she described as a "child of the twenty-fifth century".[227] Attracted by his intelligence and extroverted personality, de Cleyre briefly had a relationship with him in Chicago, before she went back to Philadelphia.[228] He died only a few months after she left, with de Cleyre vowing to continue his work.[229]

Inspired by Berman, she established another anarchist reading group, hoping to educate herself and others further on anarchist philosophy.[230] C. L. James compiled the group's reading list and it met each Sunday, when each of its members would discuss the anarchist thinker they had read that week. The group, which de Cleyre called the Social Science Club, soon became the foremost anarchist group in Philadelphia, holding public lectures and publishing anarchist literature, including the work of Peter Kropotkin.[231] Together with other members of the group, including Perle McLeod, Mary Hansen and George Brown, she moved into a house in Fairmount Avenue.[232] By this time, her partner Samuel H. Gordon had graduated as a Doctor of Medicine, left the anarchist movement and broken up with de Cleyre. She remarked to her sister that, although they remained friends, they couldn't remain together as de Cleyre rejected the "regular program of married life".[233] de Cleyre and her anarchist group held a number of public meetings outside Philadelphia City Hall,[234] where she gave speeches and distributed leaflets, gaining hundreds of new converts to the anarchist movement.[235] She was even proposed to represent the American movement at an anarchist congress in Paris, but she declined and Emma Goldman was delegated in her place; the congress was ultimately suppressed by the French police.[236] She continued to hold public meetings, which attracted hundreds of audience members to hear speeches on a variety of subjects, some of whom became members of the movement. de Cleyre remarked that, although such propaganda work wasn't expected to convert the whole crowd, it served well to normalize anarchism among the general public. de Cleyre and George brown also gave lectures to high school and university students, and distributed anarchist propaganda at labor union meetings.[237]

Assassination, repression and direct action

Their propaganda activities began to face difficulties in the wake of the assassination of William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, which unleashed a wave of political repression against the anarchist movement.[238] de Cleyre hoped that the widespread anti-anarchist sentiment would subside, but it continued unabated over the subsequent weeks, which made de Cleyre worry for her comrades' safety.[239] de Cleyre herself remarked that the attacks against Emma Goldman, who she personally disliked, made her "so sick that I wish they would deport us to that island in the Sea, and let us live in peace far from anything that would ever remind me of America."[240] Philadelphia police raided anarchist clubs, broke up their public meetings and harassed their members. Although de Cleyre herself was never arrested, she publicly denounced the political repression, which reminded her of the repression that had followed the Haymarket affair.[241] In March 1902, after Senator Joseph R. Hawley offered $1,000 (equivalent to $35,215 in 2023) to take a shot at an anarchist, de Cleyre publicly accepted his challenge in an open letter published in the Free Society newspaper.[242]

de Cleyre herself had been critical of William McKinley's policies of American imperialism, including his annexations of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Although she did not agree with his assassination, she held no personal sympathy for McKinley, remarking to her mother that assassination attempts were an occupational hazard of being a head of state.[243] de Cleyre held McKinley's support for capitalism and imperialism to be responsible for his own death, believing that such exploitative conditions influenced "the desperate [to] act desperately."[244] Although de Cleyre had previously rejected violence as a pacifist, believing peaceful education to be a better method of advancing anarchism, her sympathy for Czolgosz's attack against McKinley marked a turning point, as she increasingly began to accept violent methods such as propaganda of the deed.[245] She continued to believe that violent action was almost always unreasonable, but also accepted the view of others who saw it as necessary, coming to consider that there were some cases in which violence became the only effective way of opposing tyranny. She refused to cast judgement against anarchist assassins, as she empathized with their situation that she thought had driven them to commit such acts.[246] To de Cleyre, anarchists should not preach violence, but should not condemn violent acts against the system either, but should instead hold the state and capitalism responsible for such attacks.[247] She believed that violent attacks by individuals were inevitable responses to state violence, considering the violence of the former to be much less severe than the violence of the latter.[248] She sympathized with the self-sacrifice displayed by anarchist assassins, and mourned them when they were executed.[249] While never abandoning her preference for non-violence and education, influenced by Tolstoy's belief that "it is easier to conquer war with peace", she also began to vocally support acts of "direct action" as a means by which to resist oppression.[250]

Later life

Assassination attempt and declining health

In late 1902, one of de Cleyre's students, Herman Helcher, developed an obsession with her and began to harbor paranoid delusions about her actions, which led him to decide to attempt to murder her.[251] On December 19, 1902, while on her way to a lesson, de Cleyre was shot three times by Helcher at point blank range.[252] With one bullet in her chest and two more in her back,[253] she was rushed to the Hahnemann University Hospital, but as the establishment practiced homeopathy,[254] no surgery to remove the bullets was performed.[255] Although the wounds were presumed to be fatal, her condition recovered after a few days.[254]

Keeping to her principle of sympathy for anarchist assassins, de Cleyre refused to identify or press charges against Helcher.[256] Like Angiolillo, Bresci and Czolgosz before him,[257] she expressed empathy for his situation, due to his mental disorder and extreme poverty, which she believed had driven him to attempt such an act of violence.[258] While she was still in recovery, she publicly defended him,[259] refusing to appear as a witness in his trial and campaigning from his release from jail.[260] She appealed to Free Society in an open letter, asking that her comrades in the anarchist movement show him forgiveness[261] and organize a defense fund for him.[262] Despite her appeals, Helcher was found guilty of attempted murder. He was committed to a mental asylum, where he died.[263]

Within two weeks of the attack, de Cleyre quickly recovered, and she was able to return home on January 2, 1903. She soon resumed her regular life, giving public lectures on the issue of "Crime and Punishment" before audiences of hundreds of people.[264] Keeping her would-be murderer in mind, she rallied against the prison system, declaring that the greatest crimes were committed not by individuals, but by the government. She pointed out that, in all the years of retributive justice, states had never been able to eliminate crime.[265] She also rejected the criminal psychology of Cesare Lombroso, doubting his hypothesis that criminals were naturally inclined to commit crime.[266] She admitted that some criminals were driven by mental disorders, like Helcher himself, but believed that they ought to be treated medically rather than subjected to carceral punishment.[267] To de Cleyre, prisons were not institutions of rehabilitation; she believed that carceral methods of punishment only cultivated bitterness in prisoners and alienated them further from society and other people. She thus called for the abolition of retributive justice, the resolving of material conditions that drove people to crime and medical treatment for those with mental disorders.[268] de Cleyre's response to her own attempted murder gained her substantial sympathy from the public and generated publicity in the Philadelphia press, which complemented her forgiving attitude and even began commissioning her to write for their publications.[269]

By May 1903, de Cleyre had fully resumed her anarchist activism, once again organizing public meetings and rallying support for a textile workers' strike in Germantown. But her activities again exhausted her and, on the advice of her doctors to seek rest and recuperation, she decided to take a trip to Norway.[270] On June 24, she set sail from New York on a steam ship headed to Christiania. As her trip coincided with German kaiser Wilhelm II's state visit to Norway, the local press speculated whether she was intending to assassinate him and she was closely surveilled by the Norwegian police from the moment she arrived in the country.[271] In the Norwegian capital, she was chaperoned by the anarchist Kristofer Hansteen, who showed her the city's art galleries and local sights. She then traveled to Nes, where she stayed with the engineer Olav Anderson and spent five weeks hiking and enjoying the natural environment. But she ended up being disappointed with Norway's "chilly" climate and people, and decided to return to visit Glasgow.[272] She went back to Christiania, where on August 18, she gave a public speech on "The Anarchist Ideal" at a mass meeting of the Norwegian Labour Party, a translation of which was later printed by Olav Kringen in the Social-Demokraten.[273] She then departed for Scotland and, on August 24, arrived in Glasgow, where she was again stayed with the Duffs and repeated her lecture of "Crime and Punishment" in Pollokshaws.[274] On September 12, she again left Scotland and departed for London, where she was greeted by Harry Kelly and introduced to Errico Malatesta, Nikolai Tchaikovsky, Varlam Cherkezishvili and Sophie Kropotkin. She stayed with Kelly at his house in Anerley, where she met the German anarchist Rudolf Rocker, a fellow Yiddish-speaking gentile.[275] On September 17, she repeated her lecture on "Crime and Punishment" at the South Place Institute.[276]

Upon her return to the United States, her health suddenly experienced a dramatic decline as her sinus inflammation relapsed; her chronic condition was finally diagnosed as an atrophy of tissues caused by a catarrh in her nose. By early 1904, the infection had spread to the rest of her head and her ears, causing her to temporarily experience hearing loss and leaving her with a loud pounding noise in her ears than lasted for the rest of her life.[277] The infection compelled her to rest and recuperate, as the pain caused her difficulty in speaking and prevented her from concentrating on her writing. She nevertheless wrote on a weekly basis to John Turner, who was at that point being held for deportation under the Immigration Act of 1903.[278] Her health failed to improve, even after spending a month at the Philadelphia Jewish Hospital and two further months at a farm in Torresdale. She then went to the Medico-Chirurgical Hospital, where she stayed from September 1904 to January 1905. During this time, she experienced regular convulsions and her condition was presumed fatal; Moses Harman prepared an obituary and memorial issue of Lucifer for her.[279] Natasha Noshkin and Emma Goldman themselves established the "Friends of Voltairine de Cleyre" group, which appealed for financial support from the anarchist movement.[280] Goldman, who had not seen de Cleyre since their feud, committed herself fully to supporting her. Hillel Solotaroff recommended that they approach Samuel Gordon to request he help his former lover and benefactor, but Gordon refused.[281]

Despite her condition, on Christmas Day of 1904, de Cleyre left the hospital to attend a meeting being held by the Russian Socialist Revolutionary Catherine Breshkovsky.[282] Herself enamored with the Russian populist movement and impressed by Breshovsky, de Cleyre attempted to speak at the meeting, but her condition prevented her from doing so and her friends forced her to return to hospital.[283] After she left hospital, her mother came from St. Johns care for her, but her health still failed to improve. Before long, the intense pain caused by her chronic illness made her contemplate suicide.[284] After her mother returned to Michigan and Nathan Navro took over her care, she took a morphine overdose, leaving a suicide note in which she committed her body to research at the Hahnemann Medical College.[285] But the morphine ultimately did not kill her. Under Navro's continued care, she finally began to make a recovery, although she would remain in chronic pain and weakened health for the rest of her life.[286]

Return to writing

Alexander Berkman, the editor of Mother Earth and a close collaborator of de Cleyre's during the late 1900s

As de Cleyre's health began to improve,[287] the American anarchist movement was also experiencing a revival, as the political repression that had followed the McKinley assassination gave way to a new wave of organization.[288] After three years of severe illness, by the spring of 1906, de Cleyre had regained enough of her strength to return to her regular activities, including teaching, writing and public speaking engagements.[289] By October 1906, she had returned fully to active agitation, organizing a lecture series for the Social Science Club and addressing the annual Haymarket memorial event in Chicago.[290] She then went on another lecture tour, speaking at freethought meetings in several cities of the Northeastern United States.[291]

While visiting New York, she visited Emma Goldman and spoke together with her at anarchist meetings; their relationship had improved substantially since Goldman had aided de Cleyre through her illness.[292] As she also toured North America, Goldman kept de Cleyre informed about the growth of the anarchist movement throughout the continent. In letters to Goldman, de Cleyre was happy to hear such news, but regretted that her health prevented her from realizing her dream of seeing the Pacific coast.[293] Before long, de Cleyre once again began referring to Goldman as her "friend and comrade" and later defended her against attacks from an English socialist paper.[294] She also contributed essays, short stories and poems to Goldman's magazine Mother Earth, which gave her a platform to discuss many of the debates within the anarchist movement that her illness had prevented her from commenting on between 1903 and 1906.[295]

Through this publication, de Cleyre met its editor Alexander Berkman;[296] although she thought him an "excellent editor", she found him difficult to work for due to his many demands, which she thought impossible to fulfill. She attempted to start a weekly publication with Berkman, but the project wasn't realized during her lifetime, only taking form in 1916 with the publication of The Blast.[297] Her contact with Berkman had first begun over a decade earlier, when he was in prison for his attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick.[298] Their correspondence was a comfort for both of them, both through Berkman's prison sentence and de Cleyre's bout with chronic illness.[299] She had also campaigned actively for his release[300] and encouraged him to write his Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist.[301] Berkman credited de Cleyre for reviving his spirits at a time when he was contemplating suicide.[302] Over the summer of 1906, the two became close friends.[303] She gave him advice for writing and editing his memoirs, telling him to "strike out an independent line" and helping him through writer's block with suggestions to go on long walks, touch grass and observe nature.[304] Over the five years he took to finish the book, she proofread every page, issued corrections and style suggestions, and dared him to "write things which others have been afraid to write."[305] de Cleyre predicted that it would be hailed as a masterpiece, and her biographer Paul Avrich partly credits her for the book's positive reception.[306]

Free speech fights

During the Panic of 1907, which saw millions of workers lose their jobs,[307] the Philadelphia anarchists organized a series of unemployment demonstrations and mass meetings.[308] In an address to unemployed workers on February 20, 1908,[309] de Cleyre spoke out against the capitalist system and called for workers to expropriate the means of production and private property.[310] The workers' demonstration then marched down Broad Street towards Philadelphia City Hall, but were blocked by the police, who attempted to disperse the crowd with a baton charge. This escalated the demonstration into a riot and several of the demonstrators were arrested.[311] Some hours later, de Cleyre herself was arrested for the first and only time in her life,[312] charged with incitement.[311] Her arresting officers were surprised that she did not resemble the stereotypical anarchist and that her papers included revolutionary poems about worms.[313]

She and Chaim Weinberg were tried on June 18, 1908, but as the prosecution failed to produce a witness,[314] the judge rendered a "not guilty" verdict. Four Italian workers that were directly implicated in the riot were convicted and sentenced to several years of penal labor.[315] In response, de Cleyre immediately established a defense committee in order to raise funds for the convicted workers and agitate for their release.[316] Although at times she worried that they would not be released without activists "storm[ing] the prison", by 1909, she managed to secure the release of two of the prisoners.[317]

Emma Goldman speaking before an unemployment demonstration in New York

The Broad Street Riot came at a time when a number of unemployment riots and free speech fights were breaking out throughout the country.[318] On June 30, 1909, a mass meeting was held at the Cooper Union by the National Free Speech Committee, on which de Cleyre was one of the leading anarchist members.[319] At the meeting, she declared that the only way that freedom of speech could be defended was by continuing to speak freely: "Speak, speak, speak, and remember that whenever any one’s liberty to speak is denied, your liberty is denied also, and your place is there where the attack is."[320] When the police prevented Emma Goldman from speaking at a number of public meetings in Philadelphia, on September 28 and October 17, 1909, de Cleyre organized rallies against police censorship and in defense of her freedom of speech.[321]

Worsening depression

While continuing to teach in the evenings, de Cleyre dedicated herself to anarchist activism, writing for multiple publications, taking public speaking engagements in several northeastern cities, and overseeing the integration of the Social Science Club and Radical Library into The Workers Circle.[322] She began earning enough money from her teaching to move into a well-furnished apartment, but her chronic illness still caused her severe and constant pain.[323] She wrote to Berkman that she had begun to hate life itself, which she saw as having caused endless suffering. Despite her public activities, in her personal life, she became isolated and fell into a deep depression. When she was visited by Samuel Gordon, she apparently did not recognize him, even though she still kept a picture of him on her wall.[324] As she turned inward, she increasingly expressed self-pity, telling her mother that joy no longer appealed to her. Her depression left her without hope and sapped her of her energy, telling Joseph Cohen that she felt "both dead and alive at once."[325]

Following an address at the annual Haymarket memorial event in Chicago,[326] she went back to her family home in St. Johns to spend some time with her mother.[327] She also visited Port Huron and Sarnia, which she had not seen since childhood, and found that both towns had experienced great urban decay, comparing their state to that of a graveyard.[328] In St. Johns, she took time to enjoy the winter snow and gaze at the moon and stars; she was also a comforting presence to her aging mother, who she believed was suffering from loneliness.[329] Her return to her the place of her childhood provoked a sense of nostalgia within her, but she ultimately resolved to return to Philadelphia.[330] By December 1909, she was back in Philadelphia, where her depression again resurfaced,[331] eventually leading her to leave the city for good.[332]

As de Cleyre's depression worsened, she began to lose her faith in anarchism, coming to believe that societal ignorance and prejudice were too strong to overcome, while also doubting her own place in the world and even whether she had achieved anything.[333] In February 1910, she rejected Berkman's invitation to speak in New York as she felt that she had nothing to say and was sick of talking about anarchism.[334] Berkman now found himself having to provide de Cleyre with moral support; he suggested that she leave Philadelphia to do another lecture tour, but she rebuffed him, expressing doubts about the qualities of liberty and progress, as well as a deep depression that now prevented her even from enjoying music.[335] Joseph Cohen likewise suggested she do a lecture tour and she in turn rebuffed him too, repeating that she had nothing to say and that she no longer believed in her former anarchist philosophy.[336] But as her depression continued, she began to reconsider their suggestions that she could benefit from a change in location.[337] By August 1910, she had decided to move to Chicago.[338]

Ferrer movement activism

Francesc Ferrer, the Catalan pedagog that inspired the Ferrer movement

In October 1910, she left Philadelphia for the last time, moving through New York while lecturing on the subjects of literature, anarchism and education.[337] In Buffalo, New York, she addressed a meeting of the Ferrer movement, which had formed after the execution of the Catalan pedagog Francesc Ferrer.[339] She sympathized deeply with Ferrer's anti-authoritarian and secular approach to education, and fiercely denounced the Spanish state for executing a teacher.[340] She lectured on the need for "integral" education to improve people's skills, without interference from the church or state. Alongside book learning, she believed that children ought to be educated by observing nature and doing things for themselves. Her ideal school was a boarding school in the countryside, with a farm and workshop provided for children to learn any craft of their choosing.[341] Her educational letters received criticism from a number of Buffalo newspapers, which prompted her to point out that her formal education had been in a Catholic school but her own philosophy had been shaped by her experiences in life.[342]

From Buffalo, she moved on to Cleveland, where she addressed another meeting of the Ferrer movement in the pouring rain. She recalled that a priest had become so angry with her anti-Catholic remarks that he went to get a police officer, but never managed to return with one.[343] At a meeting of the local freethinkers' society, she observed a group of Tuckerites (followers of Benjamin Tucker) expressing their "old narrow excommunicative spirit" against anarchist communists, which reminded her of the old internecine debates of the 1890s.[344] She then traveled through Michigan, finally arriving in Chicago in time to address the annual Haymarket memorial event. She rented a room in the city from the local Jewish anarchists Jacob and Anna Livshis, who she had stayed with in her previous trips to the city.[345] In Chicago, she again supported herself through tutoring work, gaining many clients after posting an advert in the Fraye Arbeter Shtime. Through teaching English and mathematics, she was able to earn a weekly salary of $13.50 (equivalent to $441 in 2023), part of which she sent to her mother.[346]

She continued her lectures in Chicago, giving weekly talks at the city's Modern School.[347] Despite her interest in pedagogy, she largely didn't teach children, as she disliked being around them. She also became more critical of the Ferrer movement due to its vague educational programme, which she felt did not clearly outline what it wanted children to learn and how.[348] She found the Chicago Modern School "unsatisfactory", complaining the Saul Yanovsky that it was financially and morally chaotic, and telling Joseph Cohen that there was "too much 'liberty' and too little orderly idea of work."[349] She left the school in January 1911 and turned down an offer from Alexander Berkman to take over management of a Ferrer school in New York,[350] pointing out that only one of the people involved in it had teaching experience. She worried that activists like Leonard Abbott had hastily joined the Modern Education movement without understanding what such education entailed.[351] Before long, she had become completely disillusioned with the Ferrer movement and began to think that the best way to change education was to convert teachers within state schools to progressive methods.[352]

Support for the Mexican Revolution

Mexican revolutionaries following the First Battle of Tijuana

Her change in location ultimately failed to affect her mood, and de Cleyre once again fell into a depression. She found it increasingly difficult to write and lacked the confidence that drove her during her earlier years, reporting to Cohen that she had become apathetic towards her previous beliefs.[353] Physically and emotionally exhausted, she became irritable towards those around her, finding living in the communal Livshis house difficult due to its lack of privacy.[354] She longed for peace and quiet, even finding herself desiring to return to a convent, and believed that she had become "too old to be alive, and ought to die."[355] Just as her depression was reaching its lowest point, the Mexican Revolution broke out,[356] with a revolt by Ricardo Flores Magón's Mexican Liberal Party establishing revolutionary communes in Baja California.[357]

Her spirits were rapidly lifted and she devoted herself to supporting the revolution, returning to her writing, lecturing and fundraising activities.[358] She believed that the events in Mexico were the social revolution she had been waiting for most of her adult life; recalling Dyer Lum's maxim that "events are the true schoolmasters", she was reenergised by the actions of the Magonistas.[359] She found the direct action of the Mexican peasant movement to be a refreshing alternative to the urban "theory-spinners" of the American anarchist publications.[360] She denounced the racism expressed by White Americans towards the indigenous Mexican and Mestizo revolutionaries, exhalting their desire for land and freedom and rejecting American stereotypes of "Mexican laziness".[361] By July 1911, she was acting as the Chicago correspondent for the Magonista newspaper Regeneración[362] and, together with Honoré Jackson,[363] established the Mexican Liberal Defense League, for which she served as treasurer.[364]

She appealed for funds from anarchist newspapers and groups, including her own former branch of the Workers Circle.[363] She defended the revolution at both public and private meetings, distributed copies of Regeneración and William C. Owen's pamphlets throughout Chicago, and gave lectures at meetings of several radical groups. She was ultimately dissatisifed with the $250 (equivalent to $7,893 in 2023) which she managed to collect for the revolution,[365] expressing frustration that American libertarians had been so slow and ineffectual in aiding the struggling Mexican revolutionaries.[366] During this time, she met and began a relationship with the Czech anarchist Joseph Kucera, whose idealism was attractive to her and who she collaborated with closely on her activities to support the revolution.[367] She also studied the Spanish language and planned to travel to Los Angeles in order to more directly participate in the revolution, but her illness prevented her from going, so Kucera went instead. Her last published poem was dedicated to the Mexican Revolution.[368]

Final years and death

In her later years, De Cleyre developed a strong sympathy for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which moved her closer to left-wing politics and anti-capitalism. At the same time, she abandoned her long-held pacifism, began advocating for violent social revolution and appealed for her readers to carry out direct action.[369] In the wake of the Los Angeles Times bombing in 1910, she wrote a letter to Saul Yanovsky in which she expressed regret that the bombing hadn't killed Harrison Gray Otis, who she held responsible for the deaths of the strike breakers in the attack; in a subsequent letter to Alexander Berkman, she reported of her new-found "class consciousness" and belief in class conflict.[369] Together with Berkman and Goldman, she publicly defended the McNamaras and accused the labor leaders Samuel Gompers and Morris Hillquit - who had demanded they be punished - of hypocrisy. She asked why they hadn't demanded justice for the many more workers that had died in the Johnstown Flood of 1889, Panic of 1907 and Cherry Mine disaster of 1909, and declared that such events had made violence against the capitalist system a necessity.[370] During the San Diego free speech fight of 1912, she expressed outrage that one hundred members of the IWW "had been made to kneel and kiss the flag", declaring that she would rather have been shot than forced to prostrate herself.[371]

Despite her failing health, she over-worked herself writing letters, giving speeches, organizing meetings and demonstrations and editing others' memoirs.[372] In particular, she "longed to complete" her translation of Louise Michel's memoirs, but by April 1912, her health broke under fatigue. She experienced chronic pain, headaches and sensory overload, exacerbated by the extreme temperatures of both the winters and summers in Chicago.[373] She also experienced social isolation and homesickness for Philadelphia, ultimately deciding to return there.[374] Days after she gave a recitation of a revolutionary poem by Ferdinand Freiligrath, at a benefit for the Anarchist Red Cross in Chicago's West Side, she came down with an attack of otitis media on April 17. She was moved to the St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital, where her infection was found to have spread to her brain, for which she received an immediate operation.[375] By the time that her son and her pupil Nathan Navro had arrived from Philadelphia, she had lost the ability to speak or move her body. When a priest came to administer last rites, she expressed her disapproval with a scowl. De Cleyre spent the last nine weeks of her life in pain in her hospital bed,[376] finally dying on June 20, 1912.[377]

De Cleyre's grave in Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois

Three days later, her body was buried at the Waldheim Cemetery, next to the tomb of the Haymarket martyrs.[378] Her funeral was attended by 2,000 people,[379] including representatives of several trade unions, such as the IWW's Bill Haywood, Vincent Saint John and William E. Trautmann. De Cleyre's sister Addie recalled Lucy Parsons arranging red carnations on her casket, while the crowd stood in silence. Simultaneous gatherings were held in Philadelphia and New York's Lower East Side, the latter of which was attended by Alexander Berkman, Harry Kelly and Saul Yanovsky.[380] When Emma Goldman returned to Chicago from a lecture tour, she immediately went to lay flowers - "the only monument she ever wanted" - at her grave, where she expressed her feeling that the Haymarket martyrs had gained another member.[381]

Political thought


From an early age, Voltairine de Cleyre despised authority and loved liberty; when pressed as to why she considered herself an anarchist, she responded "because I cannot help it."[382] She was driven towards anarchism by the Haymarket affair and was specifically drawn to the individualist anarchism of Benjamin Tucker, although she never adopted the label of "individualist" for herself.[383] de Cleyre believed that the state was unable to solve poverty, and even contributed to worsening it. She saw anarchism as a means to change social conditions by establishing freedom and abolishing authority over individuals, a common cause she noted across all anarchist schools of thought.[384]

She considered herself to be an anarchist without adjectives, rejecting qualifying economic labels, as she was more interested in changing social conditions and believed that free economic experimentation ought to be upheld. She believed that no future anarchist society would comply with prescriptive proposals from the present day. To her, internecine conflicts over economic ideology resembled Christian schisms between "inquisitors" and "heretics".[385] de Cleyre also rejected the supposition that anarchism was an inherently violent or foreign ideology, instead upholding a peaceful approach to anarchism that was in keeping with American revolutionary traditions of self-governance and decentralization.[386]


Alongside Emma Goldman, de Cleyre was one of the main figures of anarchist feminism at the turn of the century in the United States. They advocated for the abolition of gender roles, which they saw as an extension of political authority into the personal domain, and the establishment of women's self-determination.[387] de Cleyre rejected the idea that gender roles were natural, pointing out that they were products of socialization, where girls were prohibited from exhibiting masculine behavior and vice versa.[388]

de Cleyre's feminist writings confronted issues that most mainstream feminists of her time ignored, such as women's sexuality, economic independence and patriarchal family structures.[389] She rejected the institutions of marriage and the nuclear family, which she saw as inherently oppressive to women, as it positioned women as subservient to and dependent on men. She also rejected the concept of women's "natural rights", calling instead for women to empower themselves, stand up and fight for gender equality. She also believed that, if material conditions changed so that poverty were eliminated, gender inequality would in turn disappear.[390]

To de Cleyre, the Church and State both played central roles in the oppression of women, with the former teaching that women are inherently inferior, while the latter prohibited women from discussing issues such as marital rape through obscenity laws and prevented women from achieving economic independence by protecting monopoly capitalism and wage labor.[391]


de Cleyre was a staunch opponent of the Christian Church, influenced by her time spent in a Catholic convent as a child, which had initially led her to reject superstition, embrace freethought and advocate for the separation of church and state.[392] She entered the freethought movement at a time of heightened puritanism, when advocating against religion presented a genuine physical danger to her and other freethinking activists.[393] Inspired by freethinking women such as Ella Gibson, Victoria Woodhull, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, de Cleyre broke from her religious education and "buried her past self".[394]

Pointing out the influence that parents had on their child's early intellectual development, which often resulted in the indoctrination of religious ideas, she emphasised the importance of teaching children critical thinking.[395] de Cleyre herself came to believe that the "God-Idea" presented an inherent danger to society, as it was used to suppress liberty and women's rights. She instead called for people to embrace rationalism and the scientific method; to de Cleyre, truth results from freedom, rather than force. She rejected the institutions of the church, state and marriage as authoritarian, considering them to be analogous to slavery. She thus saw anarchism, freethought and feminism as "inextricably intertwined".[396]


de Cleyre believed that each historical era had a "dominant idea" that people adhered to, and that in her own period in time, this dominant idea was economic materialism or "Thing-Worship". In counterposition to this, she upheld individuals' free will and moral responsibility to commit themselves to their own ideals.[397] She also accepted the influence that material conditions had on people's actions, and while she believed each person was responsible for their own actions, she rejected retributive justice as a solution to criminal behavior, instead proposing the abolition of poverty as a way to solve crime.[398] She was also a fierce advocate of freedom of speech, speaking out against censorship and defending people from political repression even when she disagreed with what they had to say. de Cleyre was committed to what poet Franklin Rosemont called "wild freedom".[399]



A flier advertising a memorial event held a few days after De Cleyre's death

De Cleyre was eulogised in Regeneración and Mother Earth; Emma Goldman wrote in the latter of her friend "whose body had never known respite from pain, whose soul had never tasted peace, and who yet never relaxed, until the end, in her zeal, her wonderful zeal, for the ideal she loved so well—Anarchism, the redeemer of the human race."[400] Goldman said that De Cleyre was "beautiful in her spiritual defiance and filled with the revolt of a flaming ideal."[381] Jay Fox said that "her memory will linger long, like the odor of a fragrant rose crushed at full bloom; like the impress of a great thought flashed on the mind."[401] From Glasgow, her friend Will Duff wrote "Voltairine, I am pleased to have been your friend and comrade, for you were one of the bravest, truest, and sweetest women that ever lived. You need no stone nor funeral bell; you are tombed in the true hearts that loved you well."[401] Tributes to her were also written for a memorial issue of Mother Earth by Alexander Berkman,[402] who said: "Her life was a protest against all sham, a challenge to all hypocrisy, and an inspiration for social rebellion".[403] German anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker called her "one of the most wonderful women that America has given the world."[404] German anarchist historian Max Nettlau called her "the pearl of Anarchy" who shone with "libertarian feeling and artistic beauty."[404] Romanian-American anarchist Marcus Graham said she was "the most thoughtful woman anarchist" of her century.[404]

Her nurse Annie Livshis compiled a memorial collection of her poems, portrait and favorite song, and sent her fur hat to her mother with a letter of appreciation. Later in 1912, De Cleyre's friends, led by Alexander Berkman, formed a committee to collect and publish her writings.[405] Berkman's own Prison Memoirs, which de Cleyre helped edit, was published after her death. Berkman returned the favor by editing her own writings into a collection of Selected Works, which was published by Mother Earth in 1914.[306] Her son Harry de Cleyre treated her Selected Works as his own personal Bible, praising her for her "stubborn defense of those being oppressed".[406] de Cleyre's mother Harriet also began signing her name as "Harriet de Cleyre", in tribute to her late daughter.[407]

Emma Goldman described De Cleyre as "the poet-rebel, the liberty-loving artist, the greatest woman Anarchist of America."[408] In her biography of de Cleyre, Emma Goldman described her as the "most gifted and brilliant Anarchist woman America ever produced..."[409] She called her "a forceful personality, a brilliant mind, a fervent idealist, an unflinching fighter, a devoted and loyal comrade."[163] Goldman considered her biography of de Cleyre to be among her best work, although it was later found to have included a number of factual errors and distortions.[163] When Goldman died, according to her wishes, she was buried near de Cleyre and the Haymarket anarchists at Waldheim Cemetery.[410] On the anniversary of her death, over the subsequent years, memorial meetings were held in cities throughout the United States. George Edwards set her poem "The Hurricane" to music, Leonard Abbott cited her in his lecture series on radical literature, and her poems were regularly recited at the Ferrer Colony.[401]


A. J. Brigati considered de Cleyre to be among the most influential figures of the freethought movement.[411] American politician Leonard Abbott placed her alongside Louise Michel and Emma Goldman, who he considered to be "the three great anarchist women of modern times."[404] Libertarian feminist scholar Sharon Presley considered de Cleyre's feminist writings to be among her "most important theoretical contributions", noting how many of her views anticipated contemporary feminist arguments on gender roles and institutional oppression.[412]

Already in the 1930s, Emma Goldman remarked that de Cleyre's life and work "had little influence in America, which of course did not speak against her. It was due to her personality as it was hard for her to get out of her shell."[413] Goldman regretted that, after de Cleyre's death, no prominent American public figure had taken up anarchism as their "life's goal". She thought that the lack of public figures in the anarchist movement was responsible for there being "no movement in the States or in other countries outside of Spain".[413] George Brown thought that de Cleyre had "spent her tortured life in the service of an obscure cause. Had she done the same work in some popular cause, she would have been famous and the world would have acclaimed her, as I believe her to have been, the greatest woman America has produced."[414]

Historical recognition

Compared with other leading figures in American anarchism, De Cleyre has received relatively little scholarly attention. Many historians of classical anarchism neglected to give her attention, others perpetuated factual errors and myths about her, and even Max Nettlau's work on her has been obscure or unpublished. Her work was also largely neglected from collections of anarchist and feminist works, with only her essay "Anarchism and American Traditions" receiving attention from documentarians.[415] Historian Paul Avrich attributed this scholarly neglect to her short life, which ended before the major events of the early 20th century.[416]

Paul Avrich's 1978 book An American Anarchist has been credited as one of the main contributions to scholarship about de Cleyre, who, as of the early 21st century, remained largely unstudied in academic circles.[411] In 2004, A. J. Brigati edited and published the first modern collection of her work, The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader, which included annotations and scholarly analysis of her life and work.[411] In 2005, two more collections of her speeches and articles were published: Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine De Cleyre – Anarchist, Feminist, Genius, edited by Presley and Crispin Sartwell and published by SUNY Press,[417] and Gates of Freedom: Voltairine De Cleyre and the Revolution of the Mind, from University of Michigan Press.[418] Her papers are held at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, in New York City.[419] In 2018, The New York Times published a belated obituary for her.[420]

Selected works



See also


  1. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 19; Brigati 2004, p. vii; Campbell 2013, p. 65; Marsh 1981, p. 125; Palczewski 1995, p. 54; Sartwell 2005a, p. 4.
  2. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 18–19; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66; DeLamotte 2004, p. 4; Filanti 2022, p. 4.
  3. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 19; Brigati 2004, p. vii; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66; DeLamotte 2004, p. 4; Palczewski 1995, p. 54; Sartwell 2005a, p. 4; Shone 2013, p. 38.
  4. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 18.
  5. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 19–20; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66; Shone 2013, p. 38.
  6. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 20; Shone 2013, p. 38.
  7. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 20; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66; DeLamotte 2004, p. 4; Marsh 1981, p. 125; Presley 2005a, p. 18; Sartwell 2005a, p. 4; Shone 2013, p. 38.
  8. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 20–21.
  9. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 21; Sartwell 2005a, p. 4.
  10. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 21–22.
  11. ^ a b Avrich 1978, p. 22.
  12. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 23–24.
  13. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 24; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66; Sartwell 2005a, pp. 4–5.
  14. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 24; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66.
  15. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 24; Sartwell 2005a, pp. 4–5.
  16. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 24–25; Sartwell 2005a, pp. 4–5.
  17. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 25.
  18. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 25–26; Campbell 2013, pp. 65–66.
  19. ^ a b Avrich 1978, pp. 25–26.
  20. ^ a b Avrich 1978, pp. 26–27.
  21. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 27.
  22. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 27–28.
  23. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 27–28; Marsh 1981, p. 125.
  24. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 28; Marsh 1981, pp. 125–126.
  25. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 28–29.
  26. ^ Avrich 1978, pp. 29–30; Campbell 2012, p. 13; Campbell 2013, p. 66; Marsh 1981, pp. 125–126; Sartwell 2005a, p. 5; Shone 2013, p. 38.
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  37. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 33.
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  49. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 38; Campbell 2013, p. 67; Marsh 1981, pp. 127–128.
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  52. ^ Avrich 1978, p. 38; Marsh 1981, p. 128.
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Other sources