Justus Schwab

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Justus Schwab, from Leslie's Weekly, Feb. 21, 1874.

Justus Schwab (1847-1900) was a German-American radical, best known for the saloon he kept on First Street in New York City. His close friend Emma Goldman described the "Beer-Hole" in her memoir, Living My Life, as "the most famous radical center in New York." The son of a German revolutionary, who had been imprisoned for four years after the revolution of 1848, Schwab emigrated to New York in May 1869 and worked as a mason. He joined the German section of the International, and was arrested wearing a red flag during the Tompkins Square riot. During the 1880s he opened his saloon on 50 First Street, and joined the Socialist Labor Party. He worked closely with the German anarchist Johann Most, and soon was expelled, along with 40 other radicals, from the SLP for their attempts to decentralize power within the party and to oppose reformist alliances with the Greenback Party. The expelled radicals began to meet in Schwab's saloon as the Social Revolutionary Club of New York. Schwab served as interim editor of Most's newspaper Freiheit in 1882 and introduced Most to the Social Revolutionary Club when Most came to the United States. Schwab and Most broke with each other in 1886 over the revelation that a number of German anarchists had raised money by insuring their tenements and then setting fire to them. (Schwab denounced the arsonists, saying that "the means must not desecrate the end;" Most publicly refused to condemn them.) In spite of the schism, Schwab's saloon remained a lively center for radicals and artists in New York, and he maintained close friendships with movement figures such as Emma Goldman, Ed Brady, and John Swinton in New York City, and Robert Reitzel in Detroit.

Schwab contracted tuberculosis in the winter of 1895, and remained bed-ridden until his death on December 18, 1900. His funeral drew mourners from all factions within the radical movement, with nearly 2,000 in attendence and eulogies by Swinton, Most, George Biederkapp, and others. Emma Goldman, who attended the memorial, refused to speak, later writing htat "I knew I could not express in words what he had meant in my life. Champion of freedom, sponsor of labour's cause, pleader for joy in life, Justus had a surpassing capacity for friendship, a veritable genius for responding generously and beautifully. He had always been reticent about his own great life and work. For me to sing his praises in the market-place would have been a breach of faith."

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New York Times (1874)

From "Defeat of the Communists: The Mass-Meeting and Parade Broken Up," in the New York Times, January 14, 1874.

Capt. Walsh, with Sergts. Cass and Berghold and twenty-two men, made for the largest crowd, assembled round a banner inscribed "The Tenth Ward Working Men's Organization," and here there was a fray, in which Sergt. Berghold had his head broken, and his assailants fared no better. They told their stories afterward at the Sventeenth Precinct Station-house, corner of Fifth street and Second avenue, where they were conveyed, and at which thenceforward the interest centered. Christian Meyer, who struck the Sergeant, confessed his misdeeds with much naivete, as he was sitting with head bandaged and a broken wrist in a sling in the officers' quarters. He said he was a painter by trade, belonging to an association with 3,000 members; that there were about 100 of them only present; that every one was armed in some way, his own weapon being a claw-hammer, with a thong to put his hand through; and that they had orders not to fight unless they were attacked. The Sergeant pushed him, so he obeyed orders and hit the Sergeant. Justus Schwab, another captive, who wore a red flag around his waist, said his father had served four years' imprisonment for riot at Frankfort, Germany: that he had been four years and eight months in the country, and fourteen weeks out of work. He thought every man should defend the State, and that the State should provide for every man. He thought the working men would triumph, and commenced to sing the Marseillaise, a performance which was checked. On Hofflicher, another leader, was found a somewhat elaborate Communistic badge. The vicinity of the station-house for several blocks was thronged until quite late in the afternoon, and in the Bowery as far down as Canal street, knots of men were gathered on the corners as late as 2 o'clock, waiting for the procession. In the vicinity of the Seventeenth Precinct Station-house the task of dispersing the multitude kept the officers well employed. There were incessant skirmishes in which clubs were judiciously applied with seasonable but not excessive severity, and prisoners were continually being brought in. The scrambles of the mob as the officers advanced were not unamusing; in fact, it seemed as if they rather enjoyed the exercise. The housetops and windows for blocks were crowded with patient spectators. . .

New York Times (1900)

From "Justus Schwab Mourned: Anarchists Forget Their Differences at His Funeral," in the New York Times, December 21, 1900.

The disciples of extreme Socialism and Anarchy in this city were assembled in harmony yesterday under one roof. This, it is declared, is without a precedent. The occasion was the funeral of Justus Schwab.
The Anarchists gathered in a dingy hall on East Fourth Street. All differences were forgotten, and there was not a single man or woman who gave evidence of any feeling other than sorrow at the loss of the dead disciple. At times during the speeches which were made over the body almost every one there broke down and wept. Dark, bearded faces that had worn a scowl of discontent for years were softened with grief, and men who had been bitter enemies of Justus Schwab while he was alive cried like children.
Emma Goldman, the woman Anarchist leader, who had been the dead man’s closest friend, was the only one present who did not give some indication of emotion. She sat calmly throughout the ceremonies, although John Most, who had been opposed to Schwab for years, gave way completely to his grief several times.
The funeral services were held in the assembly room of the Labor Lyceum at 64 East Fourth Street. The body was taken from the room over the saloon at 50 First Street, where Schwab had lived, early in the day and placed on a bier in the middle of the assembly room. The coffin was open so that the face of the dead man could be seen, and coffin and bier were draped with flags. The emblem of Anarchy was wrapped around the coffin and thrown over the lower part of it, and flags from various labor unions hung below. There was a pile of flowers that brightened up the dark hall, arranged on a table at one end. There were wreaths from Cigar Makers’ Union No. 90, from an Italian Anarchist society, and from the Social Science Club.
The funeral service was marked by the absolute absence of any religious ceremonial, and consisted of speeches by various friends of the dead man. The band of the Carl Sahm Club, which was stationed at one end of the hall, played a dirge that seemed to harmonize with the sombre surroundings, and the Lieber Tafel Singing Society, which the dead Anarchist had founded, sang "Eventide." George Biederkapp, the author of a book of Socialist poems, recited an original poem eulogizing Schwab, entitled, "The Storm Has Passed," and when he had taken his seat almost every one in the room was in tears. Alexander Jonas, a Socialist leader, made a short speech in German and was followed by John Swinton, who spoke in English.
"I am entirely overcome," he said, "when I attempt to speak of our dead brother. I have never known a man so self-sacrificing, so faithful, so noble."
John Most, who had been the leader of the Anarchist faction opposed to Schwab, was the next speaker. He spoke in German and in the most dramatic manner. When he had completed his speech he was evidently exhausted, and sank into a chair as the pall-bearers lifted the coffin and carried it out to the hearse, which was waiting for it.
As the hearse started slowly down Second Avenue, followed by a few carriages, nearly 2,000 people, many of them in tears, fell in line behind it. The procession passed by the little saloon where Schwab had lived and then proceeded slowly to the ferry at the foot of East Houston Street. All along the route the windows of the tenements were filled with people. At the ferry the carriages followed the hearse and the Anarchists on foot dispersed quietly. The body was taken to Fresh Pond, L. I., for cremation.

Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931)

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 11.

On Saturdays when I did not have to lecture, we used to visit the saloon of Justus Schwab, the most famous radical center in New York. Schwab was the traditional Teuton in appearance, over six feet tall, broad-chested, and strait as a tree. On his wide shoulders and strong neck rested a magnificent head, trained in curly red hair and beard. His eyes were full of fire and intensity. But it was his voice, deep and tender, that was his peculiar characteristic. It would have made him famous if he had chosen an operatic career. Justus was too much the rebel and the dreamer, however, to care about such things. The rear room of his little place on First Street was a Mecca for French Communards, Spanish and Italian refugees, Russian politicals, and German socialists and anarchists who bad escaped the iron heel of Bismarck, Everyone gathered at Justus's. Justus, as we affectionately called him, was the comrade, adviser, and friend of all. The circle was interspersed with many Americans, among them writers and artists. John Swinton, Ambrose Bierce, James Huneker, Sadakichi Hartmann, and other literati loved to listen to Justus's golden voice, drink his delicious beer and wine, and argue world-problems far into the night. Together with Ed [Brady] I became a regular frequenter. Ed would dilate on the subtleties of some English, French, or German word, a group of philologists his forum. I would clash swords with Huneker and his friends about anarchism. Justus loved those battles and would urge me on. Then he would pat me on the back and say: "Emmachen, your head is not made for a hat; it is made for the rope. Just took at those soft curves--the rope would easily snuggle into them." At which Ed would wince.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 12.

[While Goldman was imprisoned in 1894.]

June saw many prisoners discharged from the sick-ward, only a few beds remaining occupied. For the first time since coming to the hospital I had some leisure, enabling me to read more systematically. I had accumulated a large library; John Swinton had sent me many books, as did also other friends; but most of them were from Justus Schwab. He had never come to see me; he had asked Ed to tell me that it was impossible for him to visit me. He hated prison so much that he would not be able to leave me behind. If he should come, he would be tempted to use force to take me back with him, and it would only cause trouble. Instead he sent me stacks of books. Walt Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Spencer, Wikipedia:John Stuart Mill, and many other English and American authors I learned to know and love through the friendship of Justus. At the same time other elements also became interested in my salvation -- spiritualists and metaphysical redeemers of various kinds. I tried honestly to get at their meaning, but I was no doubt too much of the earth to follow their shadows in the clouds.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 16.

Almost five years had passed since I had first met the editor of the Armer Teufel, while he was visiting New York. The recollection of that experience now stood out vividly before me. It was late one evening, while still at my sewing-machine, that I heard violent knocking on the shutters of my window. "Let in the errant knights!" boomed the bass of Justus. Beside him I saw a man almost as tall and broad-shouldered as himself, whom I at once recognized as Robert Reitzel. Before I could greet him, he began to upbraid me playfully. "A fine anarchist you are!" he thundered. "You preach the need of leisure, and work longer than a galley-slave. We have come to break your chains, and we are going to take you with us if we have to use force. March! Little girl, get ready! Come on out here, since you don't seem too anxious to invite us into your virgin chamber." My unexpected visitors were standing in full view of the street-lamp. Reitzel wore no hat. A shock of blond hair, already considerably greyed, fell in confusion over his high forehead. He looked big and strong, more youthful and vital than Justus. He was holding on to the windowsill with both hands, his eyes inquisitively scrutinizing my face. "What's the verdict?" he exclaimed; "am I acceptable?" "Am I?" I questioned in return. "You have passed long ago," he replied, "and I have come to give you the prize, to offer myself as your knight."
Soon I was walking between the two men in the direction of Justus's place. There we were met by hilarious hurrahs and "Hoch soll er leben," and calls for more wine. Justus, with his usual graciousness, rolled up his sleeves, got behind the counter, and insisted on playing host. Robert gallantly offered his arm to lead me to the head of the table. As we walked up the aisle Justus intoned the wedding-march from Lohengrin. The strains were taken up by the whole group of men, who had splendid voices.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 18.

Carnegie's eagerness to have Kropotkin visit him was an indication that he would listen favourably to a plea for the liberation of Sasha, some of our friends held. I opposed the idea, but finally succombed to the arguments of Justus and Ed, who pointed out that we should not allow our own feelings to stand in the way of Sasha's freedom. Justus suggested that we write to Benjamin R. Tucker, requesting him to see Carnegie in the matter.
I knew Tucker only through his writings in Liberty, the individualist-anarchist publication, of which he was founder and editor. He wielded a forceful pen and he had done much to introduce his readers to some of the best works in German and French literature. But his attitude towards communist-anarchists was very narrow and charged with insulting rancour. "Tucker doesn't impress me as a large nature," I said to Justus, who insisted that I was wrong and that we must at least give the man a chance. A short letter, signed by Justus Schwab, Ed Brady and me, was sent to Benjamin R. Tucker, stating our case and asking whether he would consent to see Carnegie, who was expected shortly from Scotland.
Tucker's reply was a lengthy epistle setting forth the conditions on which he would approach Carnegie. [. . .] The letter contained not a word about Sasha's sentence, which, even from a legal view-point, was barbarous; not a word about the torture he had already endured; not a single expression of ordinary humanity from Mr. Tucker, the exponent of a great social ideal. Nothing but cold calculation how to belittle Sasha and his friends while at the same time advancing his own lofty position.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 20.

Ed was charming, full of tact, considerately noninvasive. Our flat had separate entrances; we came and went our different ways. It was the busy season for Ed's firm, and my time was fully occupied by raising money for Sasha's project and getting ready for my trip abroad. On my occasional free evenings or Saturday afternoons Ed would invite me to dinner or to the theatre, afterwards going to Justus's place. He never once referred to our old life. Instead we discussed my plans for Europe and he seemed greatly interested in them. He was pleased to hear that Herman Miller and Carl Stone were to finance my study of medicine, and he promised to pay me a visit in Europe, as he was planning to go abroad the following year. His mother had been ailing of late; she was growing old and he was anxious to see her as soon as possible.
Justus's place continued to be the most interesting in New York, but its former gaiety was dampened by the alarming condition of its host. I had not been informed, while touring the country, of his illness, and on my return I was appalled to find him wasted and weak. His needs had urged him to go for a rest; Mrs. Schwab and their son could manage the place in his absence. But Justus would not consent. He laughed and joked as usual, but his glorious voice had lost its old ring. It was heart-rending to see our "giant oak" beginning to break.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 20.

Many friends came to the steamer to say adieu to me and to Mary Isaak, who was sailing with me. Ed was not among them, and I was grateful for it. It would have been even more difficult to control my tears in his presence. It was most painful to say good-bye to Justus, whom we all knew to be dying of tuberculosis. He looked very ill, and I felt saddened by the thought that I might never see him alive again.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 23.

DIRECTLY I WAS SETTLED IN MY NEW ROOM, I WENT TO SEE JUSTUS Schwab. I found him in bed, a mere shadow of his former self. A lump rose in my throat at the sight of our giant so wasted. I knew that Mrs. Schwab worked very hard taking care of the saloon and I begged her to let me nurse Justus. She promised, though she was sure that the sick man would have no one attend him but herself. We were all aware of the tender relationship that existed between Justus and his family. His wife had been his companion all through the years. She had always been the picture of health, but Justus's illness, worry, and overwork were visibly telling on her; she had lost her bloom and looked wan.
While I was talking to Mrs. Schwab, Ed came in. He became embarrassed on seeing me; I also was confused. He quickly regained control of himself and approached us. Mrs. Schwab excused herself by saying she had to look after her patient, and we were left alone. It was a painful moment, to which neither of us could for some time find the right approach.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 25.

[After being arrested, then cleared of charges in the Assassination of William McKinley]

I saw only the few friends that came to our house, and occasionally I visited Justus.
Justus had been opposed to my coming to New York. Even now he feared for my safety; I was in danger of being kidnapped and taken to Buffalo, he thought, and he strongly urged a body-guard for me. It was good to see him so concerned, and I sought to humour him. His old friends, among them Ed and Claus, often gathered in his place to cheer him. We all knew that Death was daily creeping nearer and that before long he would claim his toll.
Early one morning Ed called to tell me that the end had come. I was asked to be one of the speakers at the funeral of Justus, but I felt compelled to refuse. I knew I could not express in words what he had meant in my life. Champion of freedom, sponsor of labour's cause, pleader for joy in life, Justus had a surpassing capacity for friendship, a veritable genius for responding generously and beautifully. He had always been reticent about his own great life and work. For me to sing his praises in the market-place would have been a breach of faith. The vast throng of people from every rank that followed the remains to the crematorium testified to the deep affection and high regard Justus had inspired in those who knew him.
The loss of Justus increased the dullness of my life. The small circle of friends who used to meet at his place was now scattered; more and more I withdrew into my own four walls. The struggle for the necessities of existence became more severe.

LibCom.org

From Nick Heath, "Schwab, Justus (1847-1900)," at libcom.org.

Justus Schwab was born in Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany in 1847. His father took part in the 1848 revolution and for this served four years imprisonment for rioting against the Prussian military. His father allegedly ran a tavern, according to the rather unreliable New York Times. He apparently inherited a small fortune from his father. He learnt the trade of mason [sic] and may have been active in the labour movement in the late 1860s.
He immigrated to New York in May 1869, and may have lost his job during the 1873 depression. He joined the German section of the IWMA in New York. With unemployment reaching high figures workers demanded public assistance from the municipal authorities. A large meeting in Tompkins Square was broken up by police in January 1874. When Schwab and other German workers resisted they were clubbed by the cops. The square was cleared but Schwab marched back holding a red flag and started singing the Marseillaise. He was then arrested and charged with incitement to riot and waving a red flag. The breaking up of the meeting ended the unemployed agitation, however.
He married shortly after the incident and by 1880 had two children. Justus now opened a saloon on 50 First Street, which became a centre for radicals. He was targeted by the temperance movement as well as by the police. Refusing like so many saloon keepers to bribe the police with drinks his saloon was often raided. He was arrested in June 1876 for selling beer on a Sunday, but was acquitted. He became chair of the Committee of Arrangements during the great strike of 1877. In April of the same year he appeared in court for disorderly conduct during a meeting but was again released.
[. . .] In 1882 Schwab became interim editor of Freiheit whilst Most was travelling from Europe to the USA. He remained a close associate of Most for years, formally introducing him to the Club at his first appearance before an American audience. However in 1886 he fell out with Most over the scam organised by several anarchists to insure their tenements and then to claim after setting fire to them. Several were arrested and sentenced. This caused a rift in the German movement with Most refusing to denounce the fire-raisers. Schwab, always a morally upright man, refused to back Most and he was then called a coward by him, and his followers now boycotted the saloon. As Schwab wrote to another anarchist Robert Reitzel, “the means must not desecrate the end”.

Tom Goyens, in Germany and the Americas (2005)

From Tom Goyens, "Schwab, Justus H.," in Germany and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, Vol. 3: O-Z. Ed. Thomas Adam. Santa Barbara, Cali.: ABC-CLIO. 957-958.

Schwab, Justus H.

b. (?) 1847; Frankfurt am Main
d. December 18, 1900; New York City
German American saloonkeeper who, from 1870 until his death, played a pivotal role in New York's Socialist and anarchist movements. Schwab was an imposing man, broad shouldered with curly blonde hair and a stentorian voice. A friend once described him as a "Viking," a figure too large for his cozy little tavern. Another characterized him as a muscular fellow with an enormous appetite, a sense of humor, and a popular joviality befitting a southern German.
Schwab was the son of a Forty-Eighter who had served four years in prison for rioting against the Prussians. The young Schwab learned the masonry trade and possibly participated in the late 1860s labor movement in Germany. He immigrated to New York in May 1869 and joined the German section of the International Workingmen's Association. Difficult economic times during the 1870s led unemployed workers to demand public assistance from city authorities. Schwab participated in the protests, believing a government should be run by and for the workers. In January 1874, for example, he marched together with thousands of the unemployed in a demonstration in Tompkins Square that was ultimately violently dispersed by police officers. Schwab was promptly arrested and accused of inciting to riot and "waving a red flag."
Sometime after these events, Schwab married and had four children. It is at this time that he opened a corner saloon on 50 First Street in the heart of Little Germany. This saloon would become a prominent bohemian meeting place for French communards, Russian revolutionaries, German anarchists, and American artists and was well known throughout the Lower East Side. Inevitably, Schwab's cafe became a target for police and antisaloon leaguers. Twice, in 1876 and 1877, he was arrested for selling lager beer on Sunday and for disorderly conduct, but was released each time.
In 1879 Schwab was still a prominent member of the New York section of the Socialist Labor Party, but by 1880 he strongly opposed the party's hierarchy and reformism. Expelled as a dissident, Schwab became a leader of a group of antistatist Socialists. In October 1881 he was chosen as a delegate for New York at the Chicago convention of social revolutionaries. In 1882 Schwab was instrumental in moving Freiheit, the London radical paper edited by Johann Most, to New York. The two men remained close friends until 1886, when Schwab broke with Most because of his involvement with arsonists. His saloon, however, remained an important hub of radical activities, frequented by such luminaries as Emma Goldman and Ambrose Bierce.
Aside from providing a space for countercultural groups, Schwab himself remained active in the movement. He contributed to legal defense funds for anarchists and free speech campaigns. He was also a member of the Internationale Arbeiter-Lindertafel, a popular German anarchist musical society in New York.

Tom Goyens

See also Anarchists; Forty-Eighters; Most, Johann; New York City; Socialist Labor Party
References and Further Reading
"Defense of Justus Schwab." Outlook 48 (November 25, 1893).
Goldman, Emma. Living My Life. 2 vols. London and New York: Knopf, 1931.
Lynch, Denis Tilden. The Wild Seventies. New York and London: Appleton-Century, 1941.

Mentions

Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931)

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 10.

Sasha was by no means without friends. They proved their loyalty from the very first. Now two groups came forward to organize the campaign for the commutation of his sentence. The East Side group comprised various social elements, labour men, and leading Jewish socialists. Among them were M. Zametkin, an old Russian revolutionary; Louis Miller, an energetic and influential man in the ghetto; and Isaac Hourwitch, a comparatively recent arrival in America after his exile in Siberia. The last was especially ardent as a spokesman for Sasha. There was also Shevitch, who had from the beginning defended Sasha in the German daily Volkszeitung, of which he was editor-in-chief. Our friend Solotaroff, Annie Netter, young Michael Cohn, and others were the most active in the East Side group.
The moving spirit of the American group was Dyer D. Lum, a man of exceptional abilities, a poet and writer on economic and philosophical subjects. With him were John Edelman, the gifted architect and publicist; William C. Owen, an Englishman of literary talents, and Justus Schwab, the well-known German anarchist.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 11.

[After being arrested for her "Take Bread" speech in New York in 1893, and being extradited from Philadelphia to New York City.]

I was overjoyed to find Ed, Justus, and Dr. Julius Hoffman waiting for me there. In the afternoon I was brought before a judge and charged with inciting to riot on three counts. My trial was set for the 28th of September; my bail, to the amount of five thousand dollars, was given by Dr. Julius Hoffmann. In triumph my friends took me to Justus's den.
In my accumulated mail I found an underground letter from Sasha. He had read about my arrest. "Now you are indeed my sailor girl," he wrote. He had at last established communication with Nold and Bauer and they were arranging a sub rosa prison publication. They had already chosen a name; it was to be called " Gefängniss-Blüthen (Prison Blossoms)." I felt a weight lifted off my heart. Sasha had come back, he was beginning to take an interest in life, he would hold out! At most he would have to serve seven years on the first charge. We must work energetically to get his sentence commuted. I was light-hearted and happy in the thought that we might yet succeed in wrenching Sasha from his living grave.
Justus's place was crowded. People I had never before seen now came to express their sympathy. I had suddenly become an important personage, though I could not understand why, since I had done or said nothing that merited distinction. But I was glad to see so much interest in my ideas. I never doubted for a moment that it was the social theories I represented, and not I personally, that was attracting attention. My trial would give me a wonderful chance for propaganda. I must prepare for it. My defence in open court should carry the message of anarchism to the whole country.
I missed Claus Timmermann in the crowd and wondered what could be keeping him away. I turned to Ed and asked what had happened to cause Claus to neglect such an opportunity for free drinks. Ed was at first evasive, but on my insisting he informed me that the police had raided my grandmother's grocery store, expecting to find me there. Later on they arrested Claus. Knowing that he was often under the influence of liquor, the police hoped to learn from him my whereabouts. But Claus refused to talk, whereupon they beat him into unconsciousness and then railroaded him to six months in Blackwell's Island on the charge of resisting arrest.
As my own trial was approaching, Fedya, Ed, Justus, and other friends urged the need of counsel. I knew they were right. Sasha's mock trial had proved that, and now also the fate of Claus. I, too, would have no chance if I went into court without an attorney.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 11.

[During her trial in September 1893.]

At noon on the first day of the trial I went out to lunch with Ed, Justus, and John Henry Mackay, the anarchist poet. But when the court adjourned and my attorney was about to accompany me home, we were stopped. For the remainder of the trial, we were informed, I would be in the custody of the court. I would have to be sent to the Tombs. My counsel protested that I was out on bail, and that only in cases of murder was such procedure permissible. But to no purpose I had to remain in custody. My friends gave me an ovation, cheering and singing revolutionary songs, the voice of Justus thundering above the rest. I called to them to keep our banner flying and to drink my portion, in addition to their own, to the day when courts and jailers would be no more.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 13.

After the meeting the closer comrades gathered at Justus's place. Maria Rodda was with us and I was anxious to know all about her. Pedro Esteve, a Spanish anarchist, acted as interpreter. I learned that Maria had been a schoolmate of Santa Caserio, their teacher having been Ada Negri, the ardent poetess of revolt. Through Caserio, Maria, then barely fourteen, had joined an anarchist group. When Caserio killed Carnot, President of France, their group had been raided and Maria, with all the other members, was sent to prison. On her release she came to America, together with her younger sister.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 13.

Of the many invitations showered on me I welcomed most one from the Swintons. They wrote asking me to come to dinner and to bring Ed and Justus. Their apartment was simply and beautifully furnished and full of curios and gifts. I saw a lovely samovar sent them by Russian exiles in recognition of Swinton's tireless work in behalf of Russian freedom, an exquisite set of Sèvres given him by French Communards who had escaped the fury of Thiers and Galliffet after the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, beautiful peasant embroidery from Hungary, and other gifts of appreciation of the splendid spirit and personality of the great American libertarian. [. . .]
They were charming hosts. John was especially gracious and full of warmth. He was a man of wide experience in people and affairs and he proved a veritable mint of information to me. I learned for the first time of his share in the campaign to save the Chicago anarchists from the gallows and of other public-spirited Americans who had valiantly defended my comrades. I became acquainted with Swinton's activities against the Russian-American Extradition Treaty, and the part he and his friends had played in the labour movement. The evening with the Swintons showed me a new angle of my adopted country. Until my imprisonment I had believed that except for Albert Parsons, Dyer D. Lum, Voltairine de Cleyre, and a few others America was barren of idealists. Her men and women cared only for material acquisitions, I had thought. Swinton's account of the liberty-loving people who had been and still were in every struggle against oppression changed my superficial judgment. John Swinton made me see that Americans, once aroused, were as capable of idealism and sacrifice as my Russian heroes and heroines. I left the Swintons with a new faith in the possibilities of America. On our way down town I talked with Ed and Justus, telling them that from now on I meant to devote myself to propaganda in English, among the American people. Propaganda in foreign circles was, of course, very necessary, but real social changes could be accomplished only by the natives. Their enlightenment was therefore much more vital, we all agreed.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 14.

Ed played the host to me at an elaborate dinner he had prepared, with wine sent by Justus Schwab. He was rich now, he informed me; he was earning fifteen dollars a week! Then he related news of our friends: Fedya, Justus, Claus, and, most of all, Sasha.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 15.

In the midst of my preparations came the news of tortures in the Spanish prison of Montjuich. Three hundred men and women, mostly trade-unionists, with a sprinkling of anarchists, had been arrested in 1896 as a result of a bomb explosion in Barcelona during a religious procession. The entire world was appalled by the resurrection of the Inquisition, by prisoners being kept for days without food or water, flogged, and burned with hot irons. One even had had his tongue cut out. The fiendish methods were used to extort confessions from the unfortunates. Several went mad and in their delirium implicated their innocent comrades, who were immediately condemned to death. The person responsible for these horrors was the Prime Minister of Spain, Canovas del Castillo. Liberal-minded papers in Europe, like the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Paris Intransigeant, were arousing public sentiment against the nineteenth-century Inquisition. Advanced members of the House of Commons, the Reichstag, and the Chamber of Deputies were calling for action to stay the hand of Canovas. Only America remained dumb. Excepting the radical publications, the press maintained a conspiracy of silence. Together with my friends I strongly felt the necessity of breaking through that wall. In conference with Ed, Justus, John Edelman, and Harry Kelly, who had come from Boston, and with the co-operation of Italian and Spanish anarchists, we decided to start our campaign with a large mass meeting.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 15.

It was caused by Nietzsche. Ever since my return from Vienna I had been hoping that Ed would read my books. I had asked him to do so and he promised he would when he had more time. It made me very sad to find Ed so indifferent to the new literary forces in the world. One evening we were gathered at Justus’s place at a farewell party. James Huneker was present and a young friend of ours, P. Yelineck, a talented painter. They began discussing Nietzsche. I took part, expressing my enthusiasm over the great poet-philosopher and dwelling on the impression of his works on me. Huneker was surprised. "I did not know you were interested in anything outside of propaganda," he remarked. "That is because you don't know anything about anarchism," I replied, " else you would understand that it embraces every phase of life and effort and that it undermines the old, outlived values." Yelineck asserted that he was an anarchist because he was an artist; all creative people must be anarchists, he held, because they need scope and freedom for their expression. Hunker insisted that art has nothing to do with any ism. "Nietzsche himself is the proof of it," he argued; "he is an aristocrat, his ideal is the superman because he has no sympathy with or faith in the common herd." I pointed out that Nietzsche was not a social theorist but a poet, a rebel and innovator. His aristocracy was neither of birth nor of purse; it was of the spirit. In that respect Nietzsche was an anarchist, and all true anarchists were aristocrats, I said. Then Ed spoke. His voice sounded cold and constrained, and I sensed the tempest behind it. "Nietzsche is a fool," he said, "a man with a diseased mind. He was doomed from birth to the idiocy which finally overtook him. He will be forgotten in less than a decade, and so will all those other pseudo-moderns. They are contortionists in comparison with the truly great of the past." "But you haven't read Nietzsche!" I objected heatedly; "how can you talk about him?" "Oh, yes, I have," he retorted, " I read long ago all the silly books you brought from abroad." I was dumbfounded. Huneker and Yelineck turned on Ed, but my hurt was too great to continue the discussion. He had known how I had wanted him to share my books, how I had hoped and waited for him to recognize their value and significance. How could he have kept me in suspense, how could he have remained silent after he had read them? Of course, he had a right to his opinion; that I believed implicitly. It was not his differing from me that had stabbed me to the quick; it was his scorn and ridicule of what had come to mean so much to me. Huneker, Yelineck, strangers in a measure, welcomed my appreciation of the new spirit, while my own lover made me appear silly, childish, incapable of judgment. I wanted to run away from Justus’s place, to be alone; but I checked myself. I could not bear an open conflict with Ed.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 20.

One evening I went to Justus's place, where I had promised to meet Ed. I found him in the circle of his philologic cronies, discussing, as usual, the etymology of words. An old literary friend, whom I had not seen for a long time, was there, and while I waited for Ed, I conversed with him. It grew late, but Ed showed no disposition to leave. I told him I was going home, and I left, accompanied by the writer, who lived in the same neighbourhood. At my door I bade him good-bye and immediately went to bed.

From Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931), Vol. I, Chapter 21.

Ed's letter contained no mention of the new relationship in his life. He merely inquired what he should do with my things. He was planning to move up-town, he wrote, and he did not want to take what he had always considered mine. I cabled him that I wanted nothing but my books and asked him to pack them in a box and store it with Justus.