Joe Peacott and Jerry Kaplan
Rocking The Cradle of Liberty
A Guide to Anarchist-Connected Historical Sites in Boston
“The news of the death of my old friend Josiah Warren, then of Edward Linton, and now of Lysander Spooner, has reached me in each case from Boston. If Boston kills more friends to true liberty, it must be that she produces more than other cities.”
—Victor Drury of Minneapolis in a letter to Liberty, June 18, 1887
Anarchist ideas and activities have been a part of Boston’s history from colonial days through the present. And, from the mid-1800s until the late 1920s, the city was a center of libertarian activity in the United States. In this pamphlet, we provide a brief overview of the history of this movement, and make note of the many places, buildings, and institutions in Boston associated with the anarchists, a number of which are still in existence today. Since this guidebook covers anarchists of several eras and schools of thought, we have divided it into a number of shorter chapters, grouping anarchists according to their ideas and actions and/or the times during which they lived and worked.
In the first section we cover the anarchists involved in the struggle to abolish slavery. From there, we move on to discuss the so-called “Boston Anarchists,” the radical individualists associated with Josiah Warren, Benjamin Tucker, et al., some of whom were also involved in the fight against slavery. Included here, as well, are some people associated with the anarchists of the nineteenth century who, while not individualists, do not fit easily into any other category. Then we deal with the social revolutionary anarchists of various tendencies, especially those associated with Sacco and Vanzetti and the Italian-American anarchist movement of which they were a part. Lastly, we include a chapter on the anarchists and their associates who lived or were active in Boston from the late 1920s until the present.
We make no attempt in this pamphlet to provide in-depth discussion of the ideas of the people and movements about whom we are writing. This has already been done by many other writers, and we provide a bibliography for those wishing to learn more about those discussed in this booklet. In addition, there are people, groups, and sites with connections to the anarchists of Boston that we have not included, because we were unable to find out enough information concerning them to enable us to write anything worthwhile about them here. We welcome any further information which readers can provide.
While anarchists lived, worked, met, wrote, organized, and agitated all over Boston, the places cited in this pamphlet are mostly located in the older parts of the city, such as downtown, Beacon Hill, the North End, the South End, and the Back Bay. Although we have chosen not to include maps in this guidebook, we do provide an index at the end which lists all extant addresses, streets, buildings, and other sites to which we refer. This should make it easier for someone visiting these places to see all the buildings or sites on a specific street or in a certain neighborhood, or have a feel for the range of activities held at some public buildings, such as Faneuil Hall, which are mentioned a number of times. If a building, place, or institution appears in this pamphlet more than once, the street address is usually given in the text only the first time it is referred to, but is included in the index, as well. Any building or place for which we do not list a specific street address is well-known enough that it can be found on any detailed street map of the city by name. [In this online version we have eliminated the index since the ability to search this document electronically obviates the need for one. JP]
Lastly, since we write about both sites that are still in existence and those either long gone or that could not be located with certainty, we have put the ones that can still be seen in bold type to distinguish them from those we could not find or that have disappeared.
Joe Peacott and Jerry Kaplan, June 2002
Garrison and the No Government Abolitionists
Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, a national movement against slavery emerged in the United States. Composed of black people, both freeborn and former slaves, as well as white people, this movement contained within it various factions advocating different programs to bring about the destruction of slavery in this country. One of these tendencies, made up largely of people from Boston and Massachusetts, advocated the abolition not just of slavery, but of the state itself. Consistent with anarchist beliefs, these abolitionists refused to vote or take any other part in the business of government and considered the Constitution a “covenant with death” and the power structures based on it evil institutions that promoted the continued existence of slavery. The most prominent representative of this point of view was William Lloyd Garrison.
Garrison was a christian anarchist, who believed that all human governments would inevitably come into conflict with the principles of christianity as he saw it. In his view, only when people lived under a government of god, with no rule of one person by another, people, inspired by their personal experience of the divine, unmediated by the pronouncements of priests and other clerics, would live in equity and harmony, free of government, authority, and hierarchy. Such ideas were not unknown in Boston and were not original with Garrison. In the 1630s, Anne Hutchinson similarly challenged both the civil and religious hierarchy of the Boston of her day. She lived in a house at the northwest corner of School and Washington Streets that burned in the great fire of 1711, and was shortly thereafter replaced by the present building on this site, which initially housed an apothecary shop and became the Old Corner Bookstore in 1829. Described as an antinomian, Hutchinson believed every individual was as capable as any other of understanding and interpreting the word of god, and that true christians were capable of living without the direction of ministers and magistrates. She was expelled from Boston for heresy in 1638. Mary Dyer, who later became a Quaker and was hanged on the Boston Common for her apostasy, voluntarily left Boston with Hutchinson to demonstrate her support for her. Both Hutchinson and Dyer are memorialized by statues outside the State House on Beacon Street, at the top of Beacon Hill.
Garrison, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, arrived in Boston in 1826. In 1827, he took a job as typesetter at the National Philanthropist, with offices in Merchants Hall at the northeast corner of Water and Congress Streets, and became an editor at the journal the next year. On July 4th, 1829, Garrison spoke out against slavery to a large public gathering for the first time in a speech at the Park Street Church at One Park Street. A plaque outside the church makes note of this event. Ten days later, he attended the Freedom Jubilee at the African Meeting House at 8 Smith Court. This church was the also the site of the founding meeting of the New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEAS) in 1832, in which Garrison participated. In 1831 he began publishing The Liberator from Merchants Hall, at times living as well as working in the offices of the newspaper. While Merchants Hall no longer exists, there is a commemorative plaque about Garrison and The Liberator on the side of the building which now stands where the hall was once located. The Liberator was to become one of the most important abolitionist journals in the country, known for its principled stand against slavery and government.
In 1834, Garrison moved The Liberator to Cornhill, a street located a short distance from the offices of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society at 46 Washington Street, where he attended the Society’s convention in 1836. Both of these sites have since been supplanted by City Hall Plaza. Except for a short period during 1835 when it was published from 46 Washington Street, The Liberator offices were located at various addresses on Cornhill through 1860, sharing space there with the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (MASS) during the 1840s and 1850s. From 1860 through its final issue, The Liberator was published on Washington Street, at No. 221, in the block between Bromfield and Winter Streets. Because of changes in the numbering of buildings on Washington Street, we are uncertain whether this building still stands.
MASS, of which Garrison remained an active member throughout its existence, held annual meetings at various halls and public buildings throughout Boston, most of which no longer exist. However, in 1839, 1842, and 1844, the Society held some of its convention sessions in Faneuil Hall and the State House, and its 1849 convention again at Faneuil Hall, a short distance from the waterfront. Garrison attended and spoke at all of these meetings. The State House session in 1842 was also addressed by Nathaniel P. Rogers, an anarchist abolitionist from New Hampshire, who, in later years, had a falling-out with Garrison, whom he considered insufficiently libertarian. In May, 1843, Garrison spoke once more in Faneuil Hall, delivering an “Address to the Slaves of the United States,” and chaired another anti-slavery meeting in this hall in November of that year. In the next two years, Garrison took part in two other meetings there, speaking out in January 1845 against the annexation of Texas, and attending the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in May 1846, at which meeting loyalty to the United States government was “denounced as rebellion against God.” The New England Anti-Slavery Society later held its 1849 convention in Faneuil Hall, as well.
On October 21, 1835, Garrison attended a meeting of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society at its office at 46 Washington Street. A large pro-slavery crowd gathered outside and the mayor ordered the meeting broken up. Wary of the mob, Garrison dropped out of a rear window into Wilson’s Lane, which now lies under City Hall Plaza, and took shelter in the shop of a carpenter nearby. The anti-abolitionists quickly learned his whereabouts, however, and dragged him from his hiding place. He was rescued by two local truckers and turned over to police and the mayor, who took him inside the south entrance of the Old State House on State Street, then serving as Boston’s City Hall. He was subsequently taken out the north entrance while a distraction was created on the south side, and was transported to the Leverett Street Jail, only a few blocks from Garrison’s residence at the time at 23 Brighton Street. Both the jail and Garrison’s home, as well as most of the rest of what was then the West End, have since been demolished.
In 1838, Garrison and other anti-government abolitionists, including Adin Ballou, formed the New England Non-Resistance Society (NENRS), for which Garrison wrote a Declaration of Sentiments which rejected any involvement with governments, including voting. Ballou was also a christian anarchist and the author of Non-Resistance in Relation to Human Governments, published in 1839 by NENRS, which shared the building on Cornhill where The Liberator was published. The Society published its journal, The Non-Resistant, from Cornhill for a number of years, as well. Ballou served as the president of the NENRS for a time, in addition to being one of the principals of a libertarian christian intentional community in Hopedale, Massachusetts. The October 1845 annual meeting of the Society was held in the chapel under the Museum, a theater on Tremont Street which has since been replaced by the Flatley Building at 18 Tremont Street. Ballou also attended the Peace Convention in Boston in March 1866 at Tremont Temple. This church burned and was rebuilt several times, always at the same location, with the present building at 88 Tremont Street dating to the 1890s.
Over the years Garrison participated in meetings and other activities at various locations, including lecturing at the Charles Street Meeting House at the northwest corner of Mount Vernon and Charles Streets. When a group of former slaves, freed by their owner at his death, arrived in Boston at Long Wharf in 1847, Garrison was there to meet them. These new arrivals went on to form the Ebenezer Baptist Church, located at 157 West Springfield Street in the South End. In 1850, Garrison attended a gathering at the African Meeting House which was called to develop a plan of resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law, and addressed an abolitionist meeting at Faneuil Hall which was broken up by pro-slavery protestors. He met John Brown in 1857 at the home of abolitionist Theodore Parker at 1 Exeter Place, once located where the Swissotel now stands on Avenue de Lafayette. In December 1859, at a John Brown Memorial Observance Day meeting at Tremont Temple, he read Brown’s address to the court and came out in favor of slave rebellions. But, the following year, when Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and others tried to commemorate the anniversary of John Brown’s execution in the same church, anti-abolitionists took over meeting. In 1863 he was seated in the balcony at the Music Hall, now called the Orpheum Theater and located on Hamilton Place, when the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation was made in Boston. He was also a participant in the Radical Club, a radical religious organization, whose meetings were held in a pair of townhouses at 13 and 17 Chestnut Street on Beacon Hill from 1867 to 1880. Twice in 1873 he participated in meetings of the American Woman Suffrage Association, speaking at their convention in Tremont Temple in May, and appearing on the platform at their meeting in Faneuil Hall in December.
Garrison and his family lived at various addresses around the city during his years in Boston, however most of the houses, as well as the streets on which they were located, are now gone. For six years in the 1840s, he lived on Pine Street, but all the houses on the south side of this street, where Garrison’s home at No. 13 once stood, have since been demolished. He subsequently lived on Shawmut Avenue and Concord Street in the South End. His last home in Boston, where he lived from 1864 until his death in 1879, was called Rockledge, and is located at 125 Highland Street in Roxbury. His funeral was held several blocks away from Rockledge at the First Religious Society of Roxbury, now the First Church in Roxbury, on Eliot Square. Garrison was buried in the same plot as his wife, who died three years earlier, at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, and his death mask is in the collection of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.
There are a number of other locations in Boston associated with Garrison. Garrison Street in the South End is named for him, and there is a large statue of him on the Commonwealth Avenue mall at Dartmouth Street, which was erected in 1885. The Boston Public Library in Copley Square possesses a collection of his papers, as does the Massachusetts Historical Society at 1154 Boylston Street in the Fenway area. In addition to his papers, the Historical Society also owns a tea and coffee service presented to Garrison in 1846 by anti-slavery activists in Edinburgh, as well as a bust of Garrison made by Anne Whitney, whose studio was at 92 Mount Vernon Street on Beacon Hill. One of Whitney’s students, Edmonia Lewis, who had a studio at 89 Tremont Street between 1862 and 1865, sculpted Forever Free, which depicted a man and woman breaking their chains, as a tribute to Garrison.
Two other associates of Garrison bear mention. Charles Lenox Remond worked closely with Garrison and shared his rejection of government, voting, and the US Constitution. At the Faneuil Hall session of the 1842 Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society convention, Remond unrolled an appeal signed by 60,000 Irish people urging Americans of Irish ancestry to join the abolitionists. He had brought this petition back from a trip to Britain and Ireland, during which he and Garrison boycotted the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London, remaining in the observers’ balcony, since the organizers refused to admit women as delegates. At another meeting at Faneuil Hall in 1842, Remond spoke out against turning escaped slave George Latimer over to his former owner after he was arrested in Boston, and, in the same year, he addressed the Massachusetts House of Representatives at the State House on Beacon Hill, protesting against segregated accommodations on trains in Massachusetts. He spoke at an 1850 gathering at the African Meeting House, where resolutions were passed pledging eternal resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law and called for the establishment of a League for Freedom to “rescue and protect the slave, at every hazard.” In 1851, Remond petitioned the legislature in favor of erecting the monument to the victims of the Boston Massacre which stands on the Tremont Street side of the Boston Common, and, in 1854, participated in a meeting at Tremont Temple on the night of a failed attempt to rescue former slave Anthony Burns, who was in custody awaiting return to his former owner in Virginia. After the civil war, Remond worked at the Custom House, and was associated with the anarchist-dominated New England Labor Reform League (NELRL) in the 1870s.
Wendell Phillips, another ally of Garrison and anti-political abolitionist, was born in the building on the west corner of Beacon and Walnut Streets on Beacon Hill. Phillips participated in the Faneuil Hall protest against the return of George Latimer to slavery, at which meeting he publicly denounced the Constitution. Again at Faneuil Hall, in October 1850, he spoke at a meeting which called for the formation of a “Committee of Vigilance and Safety” to protect former slaves and other black Bostonians who were now at increased risk of legal abduction under the new Fugitive Slave Law. The next month, in the same hall, he attempted to speak at another meeting, but was drowned out by pro-Fugitive Slave Law hecklers who eventually caused the meeting to be dispersed. In 1851, he spoke at Tremont Temple at a rally of the Vigilance Committee against the arrest and planned “rendition” of former slave Thomas Sims. Phillips also spoke at the Music Hall in 1860, as well as at the 1861 Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society annual meeting and the founding convention of the NELRL in 1869, both held at Tremont Temple. He remained active in the League for a number of years. Phillips lived for a while at 115 Essex Street, now the site of a large commercial building named after him. The intersection of Essex Street, Harrison Avenue, and Chauncy Streets at which this building is located is known as Phillips Square.
Archibald Grimké, one of Garrison’s early biographers, was the nephew of another christian anarchist and associate of Garrison, Sarah Grimké, a quote from whom is engraved on the outside wall of the United States Courthouse located at Northern Avenue and Courthouse Way on the waterfront. A former slave, Archibald first came to Boston in 1869 to visit Sarah and her sister and brother-in-law, Angelina Grimké and Theodore Weld, also abolitionists. After moving to Hyde Park, he boarded for a time with the Welds, and later lived in an apartment on Milton Avenue. Most of the places he worked and lived are no longer standing or could not be found, but his 1903 residence at 528 Columbus Avenue in the South End still exists. In 1884 and 1911, he spoke at memorials for Wendell Phillips at Tremont Temple, and in 1886 he served on the committee to erect the monument to the victims of the Boston Massacre. Though not an anarchist, Grimké was a labor reformer and supporter of the eight hour day, and remained an anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-imperialist writer, speaker, and activist throughout his life, giving talks on various topics at the Charles Street Meeting House in 1899, Tremont Temple in 1890, and Faneuil Hall in 1903.
While few of the no government abolitionists remained anarchists throughout their lives, with most of them supporting the federal government during the civil war and Wendell Phillips running for governor of Massachusetts in 1876 (with future anarchist Dyer D. Lum as his running mate for lieutenant governor), up until 1860 they put forward a clear, uncompromising anarchist position against slavery and government. Although this movement self-destructed at the beginning of the civil war, some of its participants did manage to maintain their libertarian principles and became influential activists and writers among the individualist anarchists.
For a time during the 1800s, Boston was the center of the individualist tendency within the anarchist movement. The individualists advocated total liberty for individuals, limited only by the equal liberty of others. They rejected government as an institution of violence and coercion, incompatible with individual freedom, and called for its immediate abolition. Unlike some other anarchists, however, the individualists advocated private ownership of the means of production and the products of labor by the producers themselves, either individually or as members of voluntary groups, as well as a system of land tenure based on use and occupancy. The individualists believed that such private ownership and tenure would keep individuals from being pushed around or exploited by others, a danger they believed existed in any collective enterprise, even one without a formal government. While advocating the retention of private property, these anarchists opposed profit, interest, and rent as forms of robbery that were able to exist only where government protected monopoly/oligopoly forms of property ownership. Abolition of government would therefore result in the collapse of inequitable economic relations. Because so many of the advocates of the individualist strain of anarchist thought during this time had connections to Boston, they were sometimes referred to simply as “Boston Anarchists.”
The earliest anarchist promoter of the individualist idea, Josiah Warren, called the first American anarchist by his biographer, was born in Boston in 1798. He lived elsewhere for much of his life and was a founding member of Modern Times on Long Island, one of his many attempts at living in a libertarian community alongside mainstream society. The writer Moncure Conway, who had attended meetings of the Vigilance Committee in Tremont Temple in 1854, visited Modern Times in 1857 and published an article about it in Fortnightly Review in 1865.
During the years he lived in other places, Warren was a frequent visitor to Boston, staying nearly two years during the late 1840s. He used these stays to spread his ideas about individualism and anarchy, participating in various discussion groups and lecture series, including the Sunday Lyceums of the Boston Free Discussion Society, the People’s Sunday Meeting, and the Radical Club, mentioned in the previous section. His talks were frequently announced in the pages of The Investigator, a freethought journal that years earlier had been published from Merchants Hall at the northeast corner of Water and Congress Streets. He also published some issues of his Periodical Letter on the Principles and Progress of the “Equity Movement” from Boston in the 1850s, when he was taking a short break from the community on Long Island. In 1863, he relocated to Boston from Modern Times and lived between the city and Cliftondale, Massachusetts, for the remainder of his life.
Warren rented an office in 1863 in Scollay’s Building on Tremont Row. This building was demolished in later years, but was located at what is now a traffic island at the intersection of Tremont, Court, and Cambridge Streets. His residence at the time was at 25 Spring Street. This street, like most of the West End, later fell victim to “urban renewal.” He was listed in a directory for that year as a Counselor in Equity. He attended and spoke at the 1866 Peace Convention in Tremont Temple, which passed a number of anti-government resolutions and rejected involvement in politics. Three years later, he spoke again in the same hall, at the founding convention of the New England Labor Reform League (NELRL), the most important of the anarchist-associated organizations in Boston at the time. Although the NELRL included non-anarchists among its members, most of the officers and activists in the group were individualists and anarchists. It was an agitational, but not activist, organization. At its frequent conventions, the NELRL passed resolutions on issues of the day in an attempt to popularize anarchist positions on labor, money, land, and other social issues. The Boston newspapers regularly reported on the proceedings of these conferences and sometimes published the texts of the resolutions passed. While Warren was apparently not very active in the organization, it was inspired by his ideas and led largely by his associates and fellow-thinkers.
After returning to Massachusetts, Warren continued to write about and promote intentional communities, although he did not participate in any more such projects himself. He came to feel that more initial planning would be necessary for such communities to be successful in the future, and, after observing the Public Garden, believed they should contain a similar central recreation area. Warren also wrote on any number of other social issues, publishing a Quarterly Letter, various books, and articles in the Massachusetts anarchist journal The Word. He died in 1874 at the home of fellow individualist and boatbuilder Edward D. Linton at 29 City Square in Charlestown.
A Boston merchant, Amos B. Keith, who shared many of Warren’s ideas and about whom Warren wrote in his Periodical Letter, maintained a business based on the principles of equitable commerce in the 1840s and 1850s. His enterprises, which included commercial, educational, publishing, and social facilities were located at various locations over the years, with one Boston House of Equity building at 332 Washington Street and another at the corner of Friend and Market Streets. After a fire at the Friend Street building, repairs were made, but the business located there closed soon afterwards. The educational department from this site was relocated to Chapman Hall on Chapman Place, which was later demolished and replaced with a portion of the Parker House, at the southeast corner of School and Tremont Streets. The current Parker House building dates to 1927, but is on the site of the original. One of the buildings in which Keith lived in the 1850s, at 1 Central Place, now Music Hall Place, is still in use.
Another associate of Warren, and a popularizer of his ideas and projects, was Stephen Pearl Andrews. Born in Templeton, Massachusetts, in 1812, he moved to Boston with his family in 1843 and set up his Phonographic Institution in a building at 21 School Street. The Andrewses lived for part of the 1840s at 9 West Cedar Street on Beacon Hill. An advocate of phonetic reform and designer of a new way of writing, he spoke and put on exhibitions at various places, including Tremont Temple. He later acquired a partner, Augustus F. Boyle. William Lloyd Garrison, who studied phonography with Boyle, was a founding member with Andrews, and others, of the American Phonographic Society and, with Andrews’ wife Mary Ann Andrews, served as a member of its executive council. Public exhibitions by Andrews that demonstrated that his new phonography could facilitate the achievement of literacy by both white and black people greatly impressed other abolitionists, as well, and phonographic mottoes were hung at the 1846 Anti-Slavery Fair in Faneuil Hall.
In the late 1840s, Andrews moved to New York, but, on a subsequent visit to Boston in 1850, he heard Josiah Warren speak on “Equitable Commerce.” Persuaded of the validity of Warren’s social and economic ideas, he published The Science of Society, an exposition of individualist anarchist thought, in 1851, and was a co-founder of Modern Times. Andrews subsequently lectured widely on this settlement in an attempt to publicize its accomplishments and recruit members, speaking in Boston at several sessions of the People’s Sunday Meeting in 1851, and at the Music Hall in 1852.
He remained an activist and writer for various causes until the end of his life. He attended the founding convention of the NELRL in Tremont Temple in 1869, as well as later meetings of this group, and participated in the Radical Club. In the 1870s, Andrews devoted his time to developing his theory of a “universal science” called Universology and an artificial language called Alwato. In the middle of this decade, he set up a branch of his Normal University of the Pantarchy in the Hotel St. Elmo at 130 West Brookline Street in the South End, where all classes were conducted in Alwato.
William B. Greene, born in Massachusetts and a resident of Boston for a number of years, was an anarchist who proposed a mutual banking system very similar to that of the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. He was associated with and may have lived at Brook Farm in 1841, a non-anarchist intentional community in West Roxbury, which was later, from 1842 to 1847, the residence of Charles A. Dana, the author of Proudhon’s Bank of the People. While none of the buildings from the original community exist, the location at 670 Baker Street, on the site of Gethsemane Cemetery, is maintained as an historical site. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention that met at the State House in 1853, and over the years filed a number of unsuccessful petitions, one of which was signed by Josiah Warren, to obtain a charter for a mutual bank from the General Court, the name of the Massachusetts legislature that met, and still meets, in the State House.
In addition to trying to advance his projects through such governmental means, Greene was also a public speaker, writer, and participant in a number of organizations. His books included Equality, published in 1849, and Mutual Banking, published in 1850. In 1875, his Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments was published in Boston by Lee and Shepard which was located at the time at 41 and 45 Franklin Street. He was a cofounder of the New England Labor Reform League at Tremont Temple in 1869, and later served as an officer of the League.
Greene resided at a number of different places in Boston, living in the Parker House at various points in the 1860s and 1870s. He also patronized Elizabeth Peabody’s bookstore nearby, at 15 West Street, a building that now bears a plaque commemorating Peabody’s shop. Peabody was a teacher and publisher, and attended the 1861 meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society at Tremont Temple.
Greene’s daughter Bessie was an anarchist and member of the NELRL, as well as a friend of Josiah Warren near the end of his life. She died with her lover Susan Dimock in a shipwreck off the coast of England in 1875. Dimock was a physician and worked and lived at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, where she founded the first school for nurses in the United States. Two of the buildings that date to Dimock’s tenure at the hospital, the Zakrzewska and Cary Buildings, are now part of the Dimock Community Health Care Center at 41 and 55 Dimock Street in Roxbury. Dimock’s body, but not Greene’s, was recovered in England and transported back to the United States, courtesy of William B. Greene, for burial at Forest Hills Cemetery, where her original headstone was replaced with a newly carved replica in the 1990s.
Free Love and Anarchy
Angela Tilton Heywood and Ezra Heywood were among the more notorious of the Boston anarchists. Ezra began his activist career as an abolitionist, having met Garrison in Framingham, Massachusetts, and joining with him in the libertarian anti-slavery movement in Boston in 1858. From 1859 to 1864, he was the general agent of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, and spoke at the Music Hall in 1860 and 1861, using this forum to denounce the Civil War in the latter year.
In 1865, Ezra married fellow abolitionist Angela Tilton at the Old South Church at the northeast corner of Washington and Milk Streets. Angela, who, in her late teens, had attended lectures by Garrison and Phillips, was the child of Lucy M. Tilton, an anarchist, abolitionist, labor reformer, and advocate of free love, who served as an officer in the NELRL. For the remainder of their lives together the Heywoods remained partners in the movements for anarchy, individual freedom, peace, free love, tax abolition, and labor reform.
Ezra attended the Peace Convention in Boston in 1866 at Tremont Temple, where anti-government sentiments were espoused. At this meeting, Henry C. Wright stated that “All governments assume power to create and annul moral obligations and to use deadly force in carrying out their purposes.” In 1867, Ezra spoke at a mass meeting of workers in Faneuil Hall, and spoke there again in 1868 at a meeting of the Workingmen’s Party. The next year, he was a member of the organizing committee for, and a participant in, the first convention of the NELRL, held at Tremont Temple, and served as the league’s first president. He also attended the Radical Club.
During the 1870s and 1880s, the Heywoods were involved with a number of organizations, often serving as officers. They remained active in the NELRL, as well as the New England Free Love League, the New England Anti-Tax League, and the New England Anti-Death League, none of which were exclusively anarchist organizations. During 1877 and 1878, they also gave a series of classes on their version of socialism, the essential conditions of which were defined by Ezra as “free love, free labor, free land, unrestricted exchange.” But their most influential contribution to the anarchist movement was an anarchist journal called The Word, which they published from 1872 until 1893. This newspaper listed Angela’s address in 1880 as 18 Edinboro Street, in Chinatown. This was likely an office since the Heywoods lived outside Boston. A large industrial building remains at this site.
Ezra was arrested by moral crusader Anthony Comstock on obscenity charges for publishing Cupid’s Yokes, at the New England Free Love League convention in Boston in 1877. After his arrest, he was held in the Charles Street Jail at the corner of Charles and Cambridge Streets. After he was sentenced to two years in jail, a mass meeting attended by 6000 people was held at Faneuil Hall to protest his conviction. He was pardoned and released after being incarcerated for six months in Dedham jail, where Sacco and Vanzetti would be held almost 50 years later. One of Heywood’s lawyers in this case was James F. Pickering, whose office was at 35 Congress Street in 1877, but had once been located in the Old State House. For around thirty years, he lived in a house at 9 Common Street in Charlestown. Pickering attended the 1888 convention of the NELRL.
Ezra was again arrested by Comstock in 1882, for publishing two “objectionable” poems by Walt Whitman. His lawyers in this case were Pickering and John Storer Cobb, who lived at the time in the Hotel Union at 301 Shawmut Avenue in the South End. Arrested for a third time in 1890, he was sentenced to two years in Charlestown State Prison, which has since been demolished and replaced by Bunker Hill Community College.
Angela was a frequent contributor to The Word, writing some of its most inflammatory and sexually explicit pieces, but, unlike her husband who ended up in jail because of his journal’s “obscene” contents, she managed to avoid arrest and imprisonment. In 1889, in response to a controversy regarding the penis-like shape of the monument to the victims of the Boston Massacre, she wrote an article praising the structural change prompted by the puritanical critics of the original design. In this piece, she contended that the new, and final, work was even more sexual, and thereby better, than the original, despite the contrary intentions of those who hoped to desexualize it by the alteration. The anarchist journal Liberty also devoted some space to the monument, printing a poem read at its unveiling in 1888 by John Boyle O’Reilly.
In 1893, a year after his release from jail, Ezra died at the home of Angela’s sisters, Josephine and Flora Tilton, at 202 Huntington Avenue, where the funeral was also held. These two sisters were also anarchists and individualists and worked closely with the Heywoods, serving as officers in the Labor Reform, Anti-Tax, and Free Love Leagues. Josephine had also once worked as a compositor apprentice on The Liberator, and corresponded with Albert Parsons, one of the anarchists executed after the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. Flora’s husband, Archibald H. Simpson, an early member of the anarchist International Working People’s Association, a secretary of the Boston Anarchists’ Club, and contributor to The Word and the anarchist newspaper Liberty, shared their living quarters from 1889 on. They lived at 301 Shawmut Avenue during the 1880s and 1890, and then at 85 Westland Avenue in the Fenway area in 1891 and 1892. During the next several years they lived at several different addresses on Huntington Avenue, including No. 202, all of which have been demolished. Their residence in 1897 was at 47 St. Botolph Street in the South End. In 1909, they moved to an apartment building at 13 Garrison Street in the same neighborhood, and Flora remained there three or four years, at which time she moved to Brookline. Flora later returned to Boston and lived at 132 Hemenway Street in the Fenway area from 1915 to 1917.
The NELRL apparently fell apart with the death of Ezra in 1893, in which year it seems to have held its last convention. The second last annual meeting, in 1892, was held in Commercial Hall on Washington Street, at the corner of Kneeland Street. Because of changes in numbering, however, it is unclear which of the large buildings near this corner, one of which is a former theater, was used for this meeting.
Born in Massachusetts in 1808, Lysander Spooner trained as a lawyer and practiced law in Ohio and Massachusetts. In the 1840s he set up a letter mail company to compete with the post office, and though driven from business by the government, this enterprise caused a marked reduction in the cost of postage. From the 1850s on he was a participant in the abolitionist movement, writing The Unconstitutionality of Slavery and A Defence for Fugitive Slaves, and becoming a member of the Vigilance Committee in Boston, which met at Tremont Temple from 1850 to 1860. This committee was formed in response to the Fugitive Slave Law passed in 1850, and included among its members both Garrison and Phillips. In 1859, he was involved in a plot to kidnap the governor of Virginia to trade for John Brown, and had hired the boat and pilot to be used in the operation, which, however, was never carried out. He later participated in the NELRL, and was a prolific writer, the author of many works putting forward an anti-government, individualist point of view.
In 1867, he self-published his pamphlets No Treason No. 1 and 2 at 14 Bromfield Street. A number of the buildings in which he lived on Beacon Hill from 1860 to 1887 continue to be used as residences, including 36 Pinckney Street, where he lived from 1860 to 1865; 70 Revere Street, his home from 1866 to 1878; and 109 Myrtle Street, where he stayed from 1879 until his death in 1887. During his years on Beacon Hill he read and studied at the Boston Athenaeum, a private library that has been located at 10 1/2 Beacon Street from 1848 until today.
On his death in 1887, a funeral was held in his room at 109 Myrtle Street. He was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain with Lucy A. B. Calhoun, in a plot with a simple marker. In recent years, a monument was erected in his memory at the gravesite. The Boston Public Library in Copley Square possesses a collection of his papers.
Liberty, the Mother, not the Daughter, of Order
In Boston in 1881, Benjamin R. Tucker began publication of what would prove to be the most widely read individualist anarchist journal in the United States. Born in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Tucker, when young, attended the New Bedford Lyceum, where he heard talks by Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison. He came to Boston in 1870 to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located then at 491 Boylston Street. The Boston campus of MIT was demolished in 1939, but a commemorative plaque remains on the side of the building presently located at this address between Berkeley and Clarendon Streets. While a student he lived on Pemberton Square, Temple Street, and Bowdoin Street on Beacon Hill, and walked across the Boston Common and alongside the Public Garden on his way to the MIT campus.
During his student years, Tucker attended lectures at Tremont Temple and the Music Hall, and visited the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. He also attended meetings of the Boston Eight-Hour League, where he first encountered Ellis B. McKenzie, Edward D. Linton, and John Orvis. His association with the anarchist movement began in 1872, when he attended a meeting of the NELRL, where he met Josiah Warren, Ezra Heywood, William B. Greene, and Lysander Spooner. He soon became an activist and officer in the League. At about the same time as his first NELRL meeting, he heard Victoria Woodhull, a social and sex radical and associate of Stephen Pearl Andrews, speak at the Music Hall, where she lectured on “The Principles of Social Freedom.” Later that same year, Tucker attended a meeting at Parker Memorial Hall, where the Reverend Octavius B. Frothingham, a president of the Free Religious Association, criticized the members of the society which owned the hall for denying Woodhull space to give a lecture. This building is located in the South End at the northeast corner of Berkeley and Appleton Streets. The NELRL provided a forum for Woodhull the next spring, although the League was therefore not able to meet in Tremont Temple, as originally planned, since the Temple, like the Parker society, was unwilling to let Woodhull speak on its premises. Tucker continued to associate with Woodhull for a couple more years, and he shared his first sexual experience with her in the Parker House in late 1873. He also served as an officer in the New England Free Love League that year.
From May 1877 to February 1878 Tucker published Radical Review from New Bedford. Its contributors included Spooner, Andrews, Heywood, Sidney H. Morse, and Dyer D. Lum. In 1878, he was confronted by Anthony Comstock, whom he had criticized in this journal, at a public meeting of the Society for the Suppression of Vice in the Park Street Church.
Tucker worked in various capacities at the Boston Globe from 1878 to 1889, and began publication of his anarchist paper Liberty in Boston in 1881. His editorial offices were in Post Office Square for a number of years, and in 1891 they were located at 45 Milk Street, in a building replaced by the present one at that address in 1892. During 1888, Tucker published a German version of Liberty, called Libertas, which was edited by George and Emma Schumm, who lived at 38 Thornton Street in Roxbury in 1893 and 1894. Tucker left Boston in 1892, but continued publishing Liberty until 1908.
Some Other Associates of the Boston Anarchists of the Nineteenth Century
Many other people participated in the activities of the anarchist individualists of Boston. Among them were William and Helen Tufts Bailie. Both anarchists, William ran a wicker/rattan business in Boston for many years and was the biographer of Josiah Warren. Both were contributors to Liberty, as was William’s former lover Helena Born. William’s rattan ware business was located at 117 Merrimac Street in the West End in 1896, and the Bailie Basket Company conducted business at 111 Summer Street in 1922, in the Church Green Building. The Bailies’ home from 1903 to 1905 was at 55 Bearse Street in Dorchester, and from 1914 to 1919 they lived at 219 Harvard Avenue in Allston.
Sidney H. Morse was a sculptor and longtime individualist who, in early years, was a member of a “parlor meeting” where he discussed Warren’s ideas with others, including Tucker. In 1865, he established The Radical, which reflected the views of the Free Religious Association, and was editor until 1872. He was also active in the NELRL and was literary executor of the estate of Josiah Warren, of whom he cast a medallion after his death. He contributed to Liberty, Radical Review, and the Boston freethought journal The Index, of which he served as editor-pro-tem in 1877. In 1880 he lived at 28 Oxford Street in Chinatown. There is a large apartment block at that address today, but its age is unclear. His 1886 business address was 9 Park Street, located at the corner of Beacon Street on Beacon Hill.
Laura Cuppy Smith Kendrick was an officer in the NELRL and New England Free Love League (NEFLL), as well as the National Defense Association (NDA) to defend the victims of Anthony Comstock. She spoke at the Indignation Meeting called to protest the sentence of Ezra Heywood at Faneuil Hall in 1878, and was the NDA’s delegate to plead his case in Washington, procuring a presidential pardon for Heywood. She was an associate of William James L. Colville, a spiritualist preacher and lecturer who spoke at her funeral. Colville lived in 1881 and 1882 at 94 Pembroke Street and 30 Worcester Square, respectively, in the South End.
J. M. L. Babcock was a member of the NELRL, New England Anti-Death League, New England Anti-Tax League (NEATL), NEFLL, and the Boston Anarchists’ Club, and spoke at the Indignation Meeting at Faneuil Hall in 1878. The Anarchists’ Club, while mainly composed of individualists, hosted speakers of many different viewpoints, from Lucy Parsons and Peter Kropotkin to Victor Yarros, George Schumm, and Benjamin Tucker. He also was publisher of a periodical called New Age, to which Spooner was a contributor. He roomed during 1886 at 109 Myrtle Street, where Spooner, at whose funeral and memorial meeting he spoke, also lived. Another member and officer of the NELRL, physician Lula Mulliken, lived in a row house at 15 Charles Street at the base of Beacon Hill from 1868 to 1874. Mulliken was also a participant in the Anti-Tax Convention in 1877.
Ellis B. McKenzie, a ship carpenter, was a contributor to Liberty, one of the speakers at the memorial meeting for Spooner, and a lecturer at the Anarchists’ Club. In 1882, he stayed at 301 Shawmut Avenue, and from 1886 to 1887 lived in a triple-decker house at 171 H Street in South Boston. In 1888 he lived at 84 Berkeley Street in the South End and from 1889 to 1891 at 850 East Broadway in South Boston.
Moses Hull was a member of NELRL, NEATL, and NEFLL, and a Convenor of the Social Freedom Convention in 1875 that was attended by Ezra Heywood and anarchist Lois Waisbrooker, among others. He was a lecturer and published a free love journal called Hull’s Crucible in association with his lover Mattie Sawyer. He lived at 27 Milford Street in the South End in 1873. Hull spoke at the Indignation Meeting at Faneuil Hall in 1878, calling for “anarchy…anything that will deliver honest people out of the hands of the mob called a government…”
John Orvis was a member and officer of the NELRL, as well as a speaker at Spooner’s memorial meeting. He was educated at Brook Farm, at 670 Baker Street, in his youth, and later lived in Jamaica Plain, on Seaverns Avenue near Centre Street in 1874 and Forest Hills Street near Green Street from 1875 until his death in 1897.
Port Royal Davis, a barber and former slave, participated in the NEFLL convention in 1888, but was probably not an anarchist. He lived and worked in various buildings on Beacon Hill from 1872 until 1894. Those that are still in use include 42 Phillips Street, his place of business from the time of the convention until 1893, and 24 Anderson Street where he lived in 1888, before moving into the building which contained his shop the next year. Others of his residences and/or workplaces include 18, 19, 27 and 34 Garden Street; 18, 22, and 28 Grove Street; and 14 and 28 Phillips Street. The Word reported that Davis “said that slaves, who cohabited without marriage got on better than married blacks; & that what he has seen of life in Boston convinced him that white marriage does not work well here!”
Steven T. Byington was a contributor to Liberty, and later to the anarchist journal Man! He translated Max Stirner’s The Ego and Its/His Own into English with the assistance of the Schumms, for publication by Tucker in 1907. He worked for Ginn and Company, a publisher, for many years. From 1941 until 1957, when he died, Byington worked as a proofreader in the company’s offices at 20 Providence Street, now 20 Park Plaza, in the building that contains the Park Plaza Hotel, as well as a number of offices.
Frank K. Foster was a cigar seller, a founder of the American Federation of Labor, and the editor of the Labor Leader from 1890 to 1894. During his editorship, this journal adopted an anarchist position advocating “Socialism based on Free Association,” opposing state interference in the freedom of workers to contract and attacking state interference in labor/management affairs. Tucker excerpted his work in Liberty, to whose book publishing project he was a subscriber. He lived from 1888 to 1889 at 49 Coleman Street, in 1891 at 48 Edson Street, and from 1893 to 1895 at 61 Wrentham Street, all located in Dorchester.
Henry David Thoreau was a tax rebel during the United States war against Mexico and participated in the abolitionist movement, speaking at the annual Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society picnic in Framingham, Massachusetts, where Garrison burnt a copy of the United States Constitution. He also was the author of Civil Disobedience, first published by Elizabeth Peabody in 1849, in which he declared “That government is best which governs not at all.” Thoreau lived for a time at 4 Pinckney Street on Beacon hill, and was a regular visitor at the Old Corner Bookstore. He also wrote for and served as assistant editor of The Dial, which was published by Peabody during the time she maintained her bookstore at 15 West Street.
George Francis Train, a native of Boston, was associated with the anarchist movement off and on over the years. An activist in many causes, he published a newspaper in Chicago called The Psychoanarchist, was a defender of the Haymarket anarchists, and had poems published in The Word. In 1862 he spoke at Tremont Temple, and was arrested that same year in Faneuil Hall after attempting to speak out in opposition to senator Charles Sumner. When Train was jailed in New York on obscenity charges for reprinting sections of the bible, the NELRL passed a resolution in his defense at its convention in 1873. In 1879, however, he attacked Ezra Heywood in the pages of The Word for accepting the pardon that resulted in his release from jail. During a lecture tour in Boston in 1889, Train was arrested at the Tremont House hotel, since replaced by the Tremont Building at the southwest corner of Tremont and Beacon Streets, in regard to a debt of $669.07. He was imprisoned at the Charles Street Jail. Shortly after his release, he delivered a lecture at the Music Hall.
Philosopher William James, at least for a time, considered himself an anarchist, and quoted the “valiant anarchistic writer” Morrison Swift in his book Pragmatism. In 1860 he enrolled in Harvard Medical School, where he remained until 1865. The school was then located on the site of the present-day Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In 1866, James observed patients at this hospital, whose Bulfinch Building, which was the main hospital building at this time, can still be seen on the MGH campus, and returned to the medical school in 1872 to attend lectures by Henry P. Bowditch, whose lab on North Grove Street he used for experiments. James attended a lecture by Louis Agassiz on evolution at Tremont Temple in 1861, lived for part of the 1860s at 131 Mount Vernon Street, had a room on Bowdoin Street on Beacon Hill in 1866, and in 1869 lived at 267 Hanover Street in the North End. He was involved in the movement against the United States occupation of the Phillipines and participated in an anti-imperialist public protest at Faneuil Hall in 1898. In 1906 and 1907 he lectured at the Lowell Institute, which had offices in the Exchange Building at 53 State Street.
In addition to numerous plays, Oscar Wilde, who visited Boston in 1882, also wrote a pamphlet, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, in which he outlined a libertarian socialism, which he saw as the means to a society of true individualists. During his time in the city, he stayed at the Hotel Vendome, at the southwest corner of Dartmouth Street and Commonwealth Avenue in the Back Bay, which has since been converted to condominiums. Wilde was also the guest of Julia Ward Howe at her home at 241 Beacon Street in the Back Bay, and spoke at the Music Hall while in town. He met and socialized with a number of people and groups while in the area, but it is not known if he encountered Benjamin Tucker, publisher of an American edition of Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol, during this visit to Boston.
The Social Revolutionary Anarchists: The Coming Tide
With the rise of immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a new kind of anarchism arrived in the United States. This tendency within anarchism differed from the homegrown variety represented by the likes of the individualist “Boston Anarchists” primarily in its advocacy of the overthrow of governments by revolutionary rather than peaceful means, support for collectivist/communist economic relations, and rejection of private property. While the social revolutionary anarchists took their inspiration from the anarchists of Europe, their ideas soon gained a dominance within the American anarchist movement that persists to the present day.
Years before this movement came into being, one of the best known of the European anarchist thinkers and activists visited Boston. In 1861, Michael Bakunin, considered by some to be the Father of Modern Anarchism, visited the city for a short time after escaping from exile in Siberia, where he had been sent to live out the rest of his life for his revolutionary activities after his prison sentence was commuted. His journey took him first to San Francisco, then to New York by steamship. From there he visited Boston, arriving on either November 21 or 22 and staying for more than a week. While in the area he appears to have busied himself with visits to a number of prominent individuals, including the governor of Massachusetts, John Andrews, presumably at his office in the State House, and Charles Sumner, a senator. Both were radical Republicans and abolitionists. He is known to have paid a visit to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in Cambridge, who also held anti-slavery views, and dined twice at the home of Martin Kennard, another abolitionist and a jeweler by trade, who lived just outside of Boston in Brookline. In addition, Bakunin visited Kennard’s office at 219 Washington Street, possibly the address at that time of the Jewelers Exchange Building at the corner of Bromfield and Washington Streets. He left Boston in early December and soon after returned to Europe to continue his revolutionary activities. Although his writings were an important influence on the social revolutionary anarchists, there is no evidence that his brief visit played any role in the growth of the anarchist movement either in Boston or elsewhere in the United States.
On December 22, 1880, the first and only issue of The An-archist appeared in Boston. The paper, whose subtitle was “A Socialistic Revolutionary Review,” was published by Dr. Nathan-Ganz at 3 Worcester Square, a rowhouse in the South End. The paper advocated the violent overthrow of the government, declaring in its opening editorial “we will fight all tyrannies and self-imposed authorities, may they appear in whatever form.” Nathan-Ganz, a shadowy character who used many pseudonyms throughout his life, was born Eduard Nathan in Mainz, Germany. It is unclear when he came to Boston. Although he claimed to have resided in the US since 1873, Nathan-Ganz was known to give out false information about himself. In addition to publishing his own paper, Nathan-Ganz wrote for numerous other anarchist and socialist papers, and also contributed to the Boston Daily Globe, one of whose editors at the time was the individualist anarchist, Benjamin Tucker. His paper evidently attracted some attention from both the press and the authorities. And not just in Boston. The New York Herald wrote an article about Nathan-Ganz and his paper, headlining it “Extreme Radicalism To have an Organ in America. Abolish the State. Legality a Word Invented by Rascals and Applied by Cowards.” Within a short time Nathan-Ganz was arrested for fraud and misuse of postal services, charges of which he was later acquitted, although only after spending two months in a Boston jail. Nathan-Ganz later claimed all copies of a second issue had been confiscated and destroyed. He also subsequently said that Tucker received all the papers of The An-archist, including correspondence and subscription list, without which, Tucker’s paper, Liberty, would not have appeared. Tucker denied the claim. In any case, soon after his release he left Boston for London.
Five years after the demise of The An-Anarchist, another anarchist paper made its debut in Boston. The Rebel was first published in September 1895. Subtitled “a monthly journal devoted to the exposition of anarchist communism,” it was founded by Harry M. Kelly, Charles W. Mowbray, James Robb, and Nahum H. Berman, and had its office first at 170 Hanover Street and, after February 1896, at 174 Hanover, where the Central Artery is now. Harry Kelly became the paper’s printer and co-publisher, along with, in succession, H. A. Koch, James Robb, and H. Boekenkamp. As a young man who had already worked in the trade union movement for six years, Kelly, a printer by trade, had arrived in Boston only the winter before. In an article published in Emma Goldman’s Mother Earth eighteen years later, he described how, walking down Washington Street towards South Station, he happened to come across a handbill above the doorway of a public hall announcing a free lecture by Charles W. Mowbray that evening and decided to attend. That meeting was followed by several others as his interest in anarchist communism grew. He and Mowbray soon became friends. After returning from a trip to England where he met a number of prominent anarchists, including Peter Kropotkin, Kelly began to plan the publication of The Rebel.
A British immigrant and tailor by trade, Charles Wilfred Mowbray had come to the States in 1894 and settled in Boston the following year. Mowbray was an experienced and skillful orator who continued to speak to groups after he settled in the US. In a single month, February 1896, he spoke on “Trade Unionism and Anarchism,” “The Woman Question,” “The Labor Press,” and “Anarchist Communism,” and debated a Boston Single Tax Society member on “Single Tax vs. Anarchist Communism.” Mowbray also played a leading role in the creation of the Boston anarchist communist group, Rebel, of which Kelly, the group’s only American born member, became the secretary. Kelly also served as secretary of the Union Co-Operative Printer’s Society at 170 Hanover Street while Mowbray was secretary of The Union Co-Operative Society of Journeymen Tailors, located after February 1896 at 45 Eliot Street which was then between Jacob Wirth’s restaurant and Tremont Street on what is now Stuart Street. Both unions became affiliated to the Central Labor Union of Boston and Mowbray was elected its vice-president and Kelly its financial secretary. In 1895 Mowbray also served as president of the Co-Operative Tailors Society, the secretary of which was James Mangan, who lived at 255 Bunker Hill Street in Charlestown. In the same year, Mowbray became the editor of The Rebel, although he apparently did not contribute much to the paper. For a time he lived at 25 Mechanic Street in Roxbury. Years later, long after Mowbray and Kelly left the city, the Central Labor Union directed its delegation to bring the matter of the Sacco-Vanzetti case before the American Federation of Labor so that the issue could be “properly placed before the public and a new trial ordered for these men, and that justice may be done.”
The Rebel Group included Nahum Berman, a Russian Jewish immigrant, who served as The Rebel’s compositor and also functioned as editor, contributor, publisher, and pressman. Berman, a tireless worker for the movement, had previously worked on Dyer Lum’s Alarm, F. S. Merlino and John H. Edelmann’s Solidarity, and Johann Most’s Freiheit. Most came to Boston to speak, mostly likely in German, in 1883; in 1896, when he spoke at a twenty-fifth anniversary commemoration of the Paris Commune; and again in 1906.
Another member of the group was James Robb, a tailor like Mowbray, who at the time lived at 29 and later 13 Meridian Street in East Boston. When a raffle was held to raise money for the paper Robb sewed the tailor-made suit that was its prize. Finally, there was Henry Boekenkamp, a cigarmaker, who in the mid 1880’s lived at 33 Cranston Street in Jamaica Plain.
With the funds from the raffle, The Rebel was published. The first issue was a modest 8-1/2 x 11” eight-page production, increased to 12 pages for the second issue. When friends of the group attempted to sell the first issue on the Boston Common, they were approached by policemen and warned “never to show up again on the Common with that sheet.” In all, six numbers came out in the eight months before the paper folded. The Rebel was succeeded by a “little sheet” entitled The Match, of which only two issues were published before it, too, ceased publication. Not long after The Match folded, Kelly left for New York, followed a few years later by Mowbray.
On November 17, 1895, the Rebel Group arranged for Voltairine de Cleyre, a well known anarchist based in Philadelphia, to speak at a Haymarket memorial meeting in Caledonian Hall at 45b Eliot Street at which Kelly and Mowbray also spoke. De Cleyre, respected and admired by both the individualist and social revolutionary anarchists, had spoken in Boston on at least one other occasion, in 1890, when she delivered a speech on the “Economic Tendency of Freethought,” for the American Secular Union. It was at the Haymarket Memorial she met Nahum Berman who, years later, became her lover after leaving Boston for Chicago in 1899.
Many years after Kelly’s departure from Boston he wrote in his unpublished autobiography that he had made arrangements for Emma Goldman’s stay in the city. While he wrote that she lectured the nights she was in Boston, it is unclear if she did during this period. It is possible she spoke to small groups of friends and anarchists, and that these were events unannounced to the general public. Her first known lecture in Boston occurred over two-and-a-half years later, and Goldman spoke publicly in Boston at least ten times. On September 5, 1897 she presented a lecture on the question “Must We Become Angels to Live in an Anarchist Society?” and returned one week later to give her views on “The Rights of People.” The following year Goldman spoke twice in Boston: on January 24, on the subject of “Authority” at Phoenix Hall on Washington Street and September 18, on “Charity.” She came back again in 1901, and gave talks in Boston and Lynn. In 1907, she spoke on “Direct Action as the Logical Tactic of Anarchism” at Paine Memorial Hall, then located at 9 Appleton Street, now a lot next to the building which currently bears the 9 Appleton Street address. On December 13 the same year, she lectured at a hall at 15 Leverett Street, a street that once ran from Staniford Street to Leverett Circle. Eight years later, on January 29, 1915, Goldman delivered two more talks in Boston, the first in German, the other in Yiddish. After being deported in 1919, Goldman did not return to the United States until 1934, when the government allowed her into the country for a ninety-day speaking tour that took her to a number of cities, including Boston. Goldman’s agent in Boston before her deportation was Philip Trachtenberg who lived at 12 Willard Street. The street, which no longer exists, was located just east of Leverett Circle.
Anarchism’s best known theorist, Peter Kropotkin, visited Boston twice, first in 1897, and again in 1901. During his first visit in November of 1897 he gave eight lectures in Boston and Cambridge. His first talk was sponsored by the Workingmen’s Educational Club and presented at the Columbia Theatre at 978 Washington Street, at what is now the southeast corner of Washington and Herald Streets, where a parking garage presently stands. The subject was “Socialism and Its Modern Development.” He also spoke at the Lowell Institute at either 53 State Street or 491 Boylston Street, on “Savages and Barbarism,” and “The Medieval.” Due to a busy schedule he was unable to give a talk to the Central Labor Union of Boston at the invitation of his old friend, the individualist William Bailie.
Apparently, Kropotkin so impressed a number of Harvard professors that in the Fall of 1901 he was invited back to speak. This was after the first edition of his Memoirs of an Anarchist was published in Boston in 1899 by Houghton Mifflin, which kept an edition of his book in print as late as 1930. Kropotkin arrived from England towards the end of February and stayed at the Colonial Club in Cambridge where he remained for over a month. He returned to the Lowell Institute, where he delivered a well-received series of eight lectures on Russian literature, and gave a number of other lectures in the area, including at Wellesley College, Harvard, and the South Congregational Church which was then at the southeast corner of Newbury and Exeter Streets. He also spoke to anarchist comrades at meetings arranged by them. The Lowell Institute lectures were later published in book form as Ideals and Realities in Russian Literature. Much more recently, probably sometime in the 1970s, another of his books, Mutual Aid, was published in Boston by Porter-Sargent, which was located at 11 Beacon Street.
Kropotkin’s best attended public lecture was arranged by the Boston Anarchist Group and took place at Paine Memorial Hall. The Boston Anarchist Group was very likely the same group as the Anarchist Club mentioned earlier. The subject of Kropotkin’s talk was “Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal.” The meeting was opened by A. H. Simpson, an individualist and contributor to Tucker’s Liberty, and attended by an appreciative crowd who repeatedly interrupted his talk with applause. Prior to his departure, a farewell gathering was held for him at Phoenix Hall. He left for New York on March 29.
The Italian Anarchists
“We do not argue about whether property is greedy or not, if masters are good or bad, if the state is paternal or despotic, if laws are just or unjust, if courts are fair or unfair, if police are merciful or brutal. When we talk about property, state, masters, government laws, courts and police, we say only that we don’t want any of them.”
Italian immigrants began arriving in Boston in great numbers in the 1890s. Among them were those who brought with them their anarchist beliefs. As early as 1895 or 1896 the well known Italian anarchist Pietro Gori spoke in Boston, suggesting that there was already a number of anarchists in the area. The anarchist Gruppo Autonomo was probably formed sometime at the turn of the century. Based in East Boston, the group met every Sunday at the Italian Independent Naturalization Club at 42 Maverick Street in Maverick Square. At the time of the arrest of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in 1920 the group had 40-50 members. Interestingly, the group counted among its members one Spaniard, Frank Lopez, who was to testify at the trial of the two men and play an important role in publicizing the case. From its formation to its demise in 1920 following the Palmer raids on radicals, Gruppo Autonomo published a small number of pamphlets, including two plays, and at least one book.
The Italian anarchists of Boston were influenced by Luigi Galleani, who arrived in the US in 1901. In 1903 he began publishing Cronaca Sovversiva, a paper which a number of Boston anarchists wrote for and many more read. Published first in Barre, Vermont, it was moved to Lynn, a town north of Boston, in 1912. Galleani advocated an uncompromising revolutionary doctrine, rejecting all piecemeal approaches as counterproductive and promoting direct action against the state and all its representatives. Galleani spoke in Boston on occasion, on Richmond Street in the North End, possibly at the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) hall at 141 Richmond, and at the Gruppo Autonomo clubhouse in East Boston. His paper did not escape the attention of the authorities. In 1918, Cronaca Sovversiva was labeled “the most rabid, seditious, and anarchistic sheet ever published in the United States” by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation, and had already been banned from the mails the previous year. The anarchists of Gruppo Autonomo were Galleanists and Sacco and Vanzetti were both subscribers and contributors to this paper.
One of the local members of Gruppo Autonomo was Carlo Valdinoci, who in 1913 lived at what is now a vacant lot at 170 Norfolk Avenue, in Roxbury, first with his brother Ercole, and later, their sister Assunta, as well. In 1915, Carlo became involved with Cronaca Sovversiva, serving as its publisher from 1916 until 1917, when a warrant for his arrest was issued for engaging in an illegal lottery, a lottery meant to raise money for the paper. He managed to elude his pursuers. In 1918, Carlo and Gabriella “Ella” Antolini were traveling by train with a bag of dynamite and a loaded .32 Colt automatic when Antolini aroused suspicion and was arrested. Although Valdinoci was not with Antolini when she was arrested, the police were soon on his tracks. Before the authorities were able to catch up with him, however, Valdinoci was killed on June 2, 1919, when the bomb he was delivering to US Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer exploded prematurely, causing considerable damage to Palmer’s Washington home, but only one fatality–Valdinoci.
The investigation of the Palmer bombing led investigators to the Boston area where the two prime suspects, Valdinoci and Umberto Colarossi lived. One piece of evidence, a handgun found at the site of the explosion, had been purchased in 1918 at Iver Johnson, a shop which would figure in the case of Sacco and Vanzetti as well. The FBI agent on the case was Feri Felix Weiss, who had an office at 45 Milk Street. He was assisted in his work by an informer, Frank Bellucci, who worked at 36 Bromfield Street and lived at 55 Revere Street on Beacon Hill. Colarossi was eliminated from suspicion when it was discovered he had been arrested in Chicago a few days before the bombing, where he had been picked up with other anarchists on a tip they were planning to set off a bomb there. Valdinoci was eventually identified as the dead person at the scene of the Washington bombing. Weiss was later involved in the investigation of the Sacco and Vanzetti case, working out of his office at 7 Water Street at the time.
Meanwhile, Antolini was convicted of unlawful possession of explosives, served 18 months in prison in Jefferson City, Missouri, and paid a $2,000 fine. During her imprisonment, she became friends with fellow prisoner Emma Goldman. Years late, Ella returned to Boston and, along with another anarchist, Concetta Silvestri, worked at Priscilla Wedding Gowns, a business still operating in Boston today. Colarossi, who lived in East Boston, was caught up in the mass arrests of radicals in 1919 and 1920 and deported on July 15, 1920.
Other local anarchists included Salvatore “Sam” Farulla and his brother Vincenzo, who lived in East Boston from about 1914 to 1922. Farulla was a member of the original Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee (SVDC). Jenny and Joe Salemme also lived in East Boston, as did Adelfo Sanchioni and his brother Renato. Bartolomeo Provo moved to Boston and worked with the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, as did Sebastiano Magliocca, who came to East Boston in 1921. Another anarchist, who was not very popular with his associates, was Giovanni Gambera, briefly a member of the SVDC. He lived at 30 Dacia Street and 125 Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury and worked with mosaics and marble at 6 Beacon Street and in the Little Building at 80 Boylston Street.
One more member of Gruppo Autonomo deserving mention is Vincenzo Colarossi, cousin of the above mentioned Umberto and a tailor by trade, who rented a room in the North End at the end of Hanover Street. Vanzetti often stayed at Colarossi’s when he visited Boston. Colarossi later served on the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, as did many members of the Galleanist group. In the 1920’s and 1930’s he lived at 262 East Cottage Street and 15 Mallon Road in Dorchester, and 60 and 8 Seymour Street in Roxbury.
Printer Aldino Felicani, also a member of Gruppo Autonomo, was later to play an important role in the defense of Sacco and Vanzetti. The founder and treasurer of the SVDC and a close friend of both men, he arrived in Boston in the Fall of 1918 and began working as a linotype operator at the Italian daily, La Notizia, which was located at 261 Hanover Street and later at 32 Battery Street, now an empty lot. Felicani’s plans to publish an Italian language anarchist journal, Cara Compagna, with Vanzetti, were interrupted when Vanzetti and Sacco were arrested in 1920, after which he dedicated himself to the case, putting his printing skills and organizational talent to work for their release.
By 1916 it became clear that the government was preparing to enter the war in Europe. On September 25, 1916, an antiwar demonstration was held in North Square in the North End. A confrontation between police and protesters led to the arrest of three Galleanist anarchists: Mario Buda, Federico Cari and Raffaele “Bruno” Schiavina, all of whom lived in Roxbury. Buda was sentenced to three months in prison but his sentence was reversed on appeal. Cari was sentenced to nine months and Schiavina was acquitted.
On the evening of December 6 the same year, a riot erupted between the police and a crowd that had gathered to listen to a representative of the IWW in front of the Church of the Sacred Heart in North Square, prior to an IWW meeting which was to be held nearby at 141 Richmond Street. Four people were arrested, including at least one anarchist, Alfonso Faggotti, from Warren Street, Charlestown, who was apprehended at the scene for stabbing a police officer. He later received an 18-month sentence for his troubles. In 1919, Faggotti, Giuseppe Solari, who had lived at the rear of 206 Hanover Street, and six other Galleanists were deported with Galleani back to Italy.
On the day following the North Square riot six more individuals were arrested. In apparent retaliation, early on the morning of Sunday, December 17, a bomb was set off outside the Salutation Street police station, which occupied the block of Commercial Street between Salutation Street and Battery Street. The explosion caused considerable damage to the station and lesser damage to some of the surrounding buildings, but there were no injuries. Ironically, an IWW meeting room diagonally opposite from where the bomb exploded, quite possibly at 32-34 Battery Street, had its windows blown out. Two people were subsequently taken into custody in connection with the bombing.
In the three years that followed there occurred a number of other bombings across the country, many thought to be the work of anarchists. On January 15, 1919, a large storage tank containing 14,000 tons of molasses, located on Commercial Street in the North End, exploded, sending a deadly wave of the thick syrup, as high as thirty feet, down the street and across the waterfront. Twenty-one people died and 150 were injured. The company owning the tank claimed anarchists were to blame, but a judge hearing the subsequent lawsuits found that poor construction and structural problems caused the disaster and held the company liable. A plaque commemorating the so-called molasses flood is located on a low wall adjacent to the sidewalk on Commercial Street, just south of the playground at Langone Park.
Then, between April 22 and 26, 1919, thirty bombs were mailed from New York City to congress members, senators, governors, mayors, two judges, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, and others. Most were intercepted before they reached their intended targets. Of the few that reached their destinations, only one exploded, seriously injuring a maid who had been asked to unwrap the package.
The nation’s papers were full of accounts of the bombs in the days that followed and the mood was tense. When paraders celebrating the First of May marched in Roxbury they were attacked by the police and bystanders. Four people, including two policemen, were shot, a police captain suffered a fatal heart attack, and a total of 116 marchers were arrested. Among those taken into custody were anarchists, including Antonio Cesarini of Roxbury. Fourteen marchers were found guilty of disturbing the peace, receiving sentences up to eighteen months. The presiding Judge was Albert F. Hayden, who had an office at 84 State Street. After the trial the Judge let it be known what he thought of “these foreigners.”
The anarchists, in return, let it be known what they thought of Judge Hayden. On the night of June 2, 1919, a bomb was placed on the porch of his home at 11 Wayne Street in Roxbury. The blast destroyed the front and sides of the house. Five other homes were also damaged, and every house on the street had its windows shattered. There were, however, no injuries. Another bomb exploded shortly after midnight at the home of State Representative Leland W. Powers in nearby Newtonville. Powers had introduced an anti-sedition bill making it a crime to, among other things, advocate the overthrow of the State government. The bill became law only days before the bombing.
Determined to rid the country of foreign-born anarchists and other radical elements, the Justice Department, with the assistance of local authorities engaged in a massive wave of arrests beginning in November 1919 and ending in early 1920. These nation-wide detentions became known as the Palmer Raids. In January, hundreds of radicals were arrested in New England and detained on Deer Island, in Boston Harbor, with the intention of deporting them. It was in this atmosphere that Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were to be arrested only a few months later.
The Sacco-Vanzetti Case
The story of Sacco and Vanzetti’s arrest, trial and execution has been written about in numerous books and countless articles and won’t be recounted here. Both men lived outside of Boston, Sacco in Stoughton, Vanzetti in Plymouth. Although Vanzetti occasionally bought fish on the city’s docks to resell on the streets of Plymouth, and Sacco worked for a very brief time at the Victoria Shoe Company at 16 New Street on Mayo’s Wharf in East Boston, both men worked elsewhere, as well. Additionally, the robbery and murders for which they were arrested occurred in the town of South Braintree, on the South Shore. Nevertheless, the two had strong personal and political ties to Boston and the city figured prominently in the case. As recently as 1997, the Boston Globe Magazine named the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti as one of the twelve key events in Boston’s history in the last 125 years.
When Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested for their alleged participation in a payroll robbery and the murder of two men in May 1920, Felicani and others quickly formed the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee (SVDC), which played a central role in bringing the case to national and international attention. The committee’s office was first located in upstairs rooms at 32-34 Battery Street, a building that was located just off the northeast corner of Battery and Commercial Streets, where no buildings stand today. The committee soon relocated to the third floor of 256 Hanover Street in the heart of the North End, where they occupied two rooms, Nos. 17 and 18, consisting of a large anteroom and small inner office.
Felicani edited the committee’s Italian language L’Agitazione, which put out 36 issues between 1920 and 1925. The defense committee issued four publications during its existence; in addition to L’Agitazione there was Protesta Umana (1926-27?), The Official Bulletin of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee (1925-28, and 1930 as a memorial bulletin), and the Sacco-Vanzetti Bulletin (only one issue, 1924). The FBI, which soon took an interest in the case, compiled a list of about 1,000 individuals who were receiving L’Agitazione. Since some of those on the list were receiving up to 100 copies, the paper likely reached a considerable number of readers.
The Defense Committee also published a number of pamphlets, as did other groups who took on the cause of the convicted pair. One such group, the anarchist Road to Freedom group, published a pamphlet by Vanzetti, Background of the Plymouth Trial. Although the place of publication is given as Boston and its printer was Felicani’s Excelsior Press, the Road to Freedom group was based in New York.
The SVDC went through a number of lawyers over the seven years the legal issues played out in the courts. Fred Moore, a radical labor lawyer, was hired in the Fall of 1920 to defend the two accused men. Assisting him were two local lawyers, the brothers Jeremiah J. and Thomas F. McAnarney. Moore moved into 5 Rollins Place on Beacon Hill and set up a temporary office in the Olympian Building at 3 Tremont Row. From there he moved his office to 68 Pemberton Square, but was forced to give it up due to lack of funds. From then on he worked out of his Beacon Hill residence. The McAnarneys’ office was located in the Flatley Building at 18 Tremont Street. In 1924, after a motion for a retrial was denied, William Thompson became chief counsel for Sacco and Vanzetti, replacing the controversial Moore and the McAnarneys. Thompson’s office was located in the Tremont Building at 73 Tremont Street. Thompson’s associate on the case, Herbert B. Ehrmann, had his offices at 200 Devonshire where 1 Federal Street now stands, moving later to 80 Federal Street. Before his involvement in the case, he occupied an office in the Boston Post Building at 17 Milk Street. Ehrmann authored two books on the case in later years, including one published in Boston. In August of 1927, just three weeks before their execution, another lawyer, Arthur D. Hill, who had joined the case with Thompson, replaced him as chief counsel. His office was at 53 State Street and he lived at 17 Brimmer Street at the foot of Beacon Hill.
Sacco’s alibi for the day of the Braintree robbery placed him in Boston. He testified he took a morning train to South Station and walked to the North End. After a time he went to Boni’s Restaurant at 16 North Square to have lunch with Felice Guadagni, editor of Gazetta del Massachusetts which was at the time located at 141 Richmond Street, and soon after moved on to 298 Hanover Street, now a pastry shop. While at Boni’s, Sacco met Albert Bosco and they were later joined by John D. Williams, a socialist and an advertising agent for the Boston Transcript, located in the Transcript Building on the southeast corner of Washington and Milk Streets. Guadagni was the first to visit Sacco and Vanzetti after their arrest and became a member of the Defense Committee. After lunch, Sacco testified, he went to the Italian Consulate at 142 Berkeley Street, from where he returned to the North End. Stopping for coffee, he ran into Guadagni and Antonio Dentamaro, who lived at 350 Hanover Street. All four men testified at the trial, and Guadagni and Bosco also appeared before the Lowell Committee, which was appointed in 1927 by then Governor Fuller to review the case. At the trial, Carlo Affè testified he met Sacco at 180 North Street that day to settle up a grocery debt.
Part of the State’s case against Vanzetti focused on his revolver. The prosecution believed the gun found on Vanzetti at the time of his arrest had been taken from one of the mortally wounded victims at the scene of the crime. The victim’s Harrison & Richardson revolver had had its hammer replaced only three weeks before his murder at Iver Johnson at 155 Washington Street at Adams Square, where Washington and Devonshire Streets once met near the southeast corner of City Hall Plaza. Lincoln Wadsworth, the clerk in charge of repairs at Iver Johnson, testified for the State in 1920 and again later before the Lowell Committee, that he had received the revolver at the shop. During this time he lived at 87 St. Stephen Street in the Fenway area and 28 Garden Street on Beacon Hill, and in 1927, when he appeared before the Lowell Committee, at 100 Myrtle Street, also on Beacon Hill.
Throughout the years in which the trial, motions for a new trial, appeals, and review took place, the Defense Committee sponsored numerous protest meetings in rented halls and open spaces to increase public awareness, gather support, and raise funds. Other radical and liberal groups, some forming ad hoc committees, others working within already existing organizations, also held meetings. The meetings sponsored by the Defense Committee were often multilingual affairs with Italian, English, Spanish and Yiddish speakers lined up. They often included anarchists, labor organizers, and members of Boston’s elite.
One such early meeting was held at the Grand Opera House on November 27, 1921. Bad weather apparently kept many people away from what had been promoted as an international protest meeting on behalf of the two, drawing only about 150 attendees. The Opera House, razed in 1958, was located directly across from Northeastern University on Huntington Avenue in the Fenway area. On February 8, 1922, a meeting was held under the auspices of the Committee of the League for Democratic Control, a liberal group, at Lorimer Hall in Tremont Temple. An FBI report filed at the time described the audience at the only half-filled hall as “the parlor type of radicals.” On Sunday, March 11, 1923, a meeting of about 800 met at Ford Hall Forum on Ashburton Place, to listen to speakers. Although sponsored by the Defense Committee, the meeting was chaired by Elizabeth Glendower Evans, a prominent Bostonian, cofounder of the New England Civil Liberties Union, and executive of the above mentioned Committee of the League for Democratic Control. Evans is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery. One of the speakers at this event was former Boston resident and anarchist, Harry Kelly. On April 8 the same year a protest meeting cosponsored by the Defense Committee and the Marine Transport Workers of the IWW was held at Paine Memorial Hall. The hall was the site of numerous protest meetings during those years. Among those who spoke at the April 8 event was Lucy Parsons, after whom the radical bookstore The Lucy Parsons Center at 549 Columbus Avenue in the South End is named. About 500 attended. And on Friday, May 18, 1923, a dance and fund raiser was held at Scenic Auditorium which was located on Berkeley Street.
By the summer of 1927, as the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti neared, the demonstrations had grown larger and more frequent. On Sunday, July 31, the Defense Committee held an outdoor protest meeting on the Charles Street side of Boston Common. A crowd of about 5,000 attended. Meanwhile, the Communists, who had used the Sacco-Vanzetti case for their own purposes and were, time and again, a thorn in the side of the Defense Committee, held their own protest on the plaza at the Old City Hall located on School Street at the corner of City Hall Avenue. A week earlier, on July 24, the Communists had organized another protest meeting on the Common which attracted a crowd of only two hundred.
On Sunday August 7, 1927, three days before the executions were scheduled to take place, police broke up another meeting of some 5,000 on the Common and arrested four. On August 9, beginning with a small group of half a dozen and eventually growing to over 100, a demonstration took place on Beacon Street in front of the State House, flouting a law requiring a permit. Demonstrators were given seven minutes to disperse. Those that stayed were carted off to the Third Division Police Station at what is now 74 Joy Street. As the protesters were led away they were replaced by others. Thirty-nine were arrested that first day. The next day the scene was repeated with those refusing to disperse again arrested and brought to the Joy Street station. Among the participants were a number of well known artists and writers, including John Dos Passos, whose book on the case, Facing the Chair, had been published earlier that year by the SVDC; Dorothy Parker; Edna St. Vincent Millay; and Michael Gold, an editor of The New Masses. Also arrested was an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), anarchist Rose Pesotta. Later that day, less than an hour before they were to be executed, the Governor granted the two men a twelve day reprieve in order to allow two final appeals to be heard before the Supreme Judicial Court.
In the meantime, liberal intellectuals also made a last ditch effort to influence the political process by forming the Citizens National Committee for Sacco and Vanzetti. From its headquarters in the Bellevue Hotel at 23 Beacon Street, near the State House, the group sent a letter to prominent individuals urging them to sign an appeal. Five hundred did and the petition was presented to the authorities. Unfortunately, their efforts were ultimately no more successful than the demonstrations outside in influencing the final outcome.
The protests, however, continued. On Sunday, August 14, police broke up a meeting of between 5 and 10,000 demonstrators and curious bystanders who had gathered on the Common. The following Sunday, the Superintendent of Police finally refused to issue any more permits and meetings on the Common were no longer allowed. Nevertheless, in a pattern that had become predictable, sympathizers and the curious gathered in the park anyway, their numbers double that of the previous week. Prevented from holding a meeting, the crowd formed a march, determined to express their support for the doomed men. When the demonstrators made their way to Tremont Street the police descended upon the peaceful marchers, dispersing the crowd and hauling several of them to the Joy Street Police Station. That night a smaller protest meeting of 1,000, sponsored by the Communists, was successfully held indoors at the Scenic Temple in the South End. The SVDC had held its final meeting at Scenic Auditorium the evening before.
On Monday, the day of the execution, supporters marched in front of the State House and Charlestown Prison, where the anarchists were being held. This is the same prison, on the site now occupied by Bunker Hill Community College, where Ezra Heywood served a two-year sentence almost forty years before. A total of 172 were arrested and charged with loitering and sauntering. Although there was a heavy police presence, there was no serious violence. The pair were executed just after midnight on August 22. On Wednesday, their bodies were taken to Joseph Langone’s Funeral Parlor at 383 Hanover Street. That Sunday some 200,000 people lined the streets of Boston to watch the funeral procession. Gathering at North End Park at the end of Hanover Street, at the foot of Copp’s Hill, where a skating rink now stands, the procession began making its way down Hanover Street to Scollay Square, on the site now occupied by City Hall Plaza. There the coffins were placed on horse-drawn hearses. Although the Defense Committee had been refused permission to route the procession down Beacon Street and past the State House, there was an attempt to take the march this way. The police, however, intervened and the procession went down Tremont Street. Many followed the cortege down the streets of Boston. The procession reached Forest Hills Cemetery just after 4:00. A large crowd gathered on the lawn outside the crematory to mourn their death and a funeral service was held in the chapel within. Among those who attended the service and witnessed the cremation was Rose Pesotta. Memorial meetings for the executed anarchists were held yearly at the Old South Meeting House from 1928-1932.
On the day after the execution, members of a memorial committee offered a plaque commemorating the two men to be placed on Boston Common. Not surprisingly, city officials would not allow it. In 1937, a bronze bas-relief plaque of the executed anarchists, created by Gutzon Borglum, of Mount Rushmore fame, was offered to the Governor of Massachusetts, who declined to accept it. It was again offered to the Governor in 1947, as well as to the Mayor of Boston, and was again refused. It was offered a final time in 1957 with the same unsurprising results. The original plaque was subsequently lost, but in 1960 a plaster model, similar but not identical to the final bronze casting, was found and an aluminum cast was made for the Community Church of Boston, located in Copley Square at 565 Boylston Street. The Church has had a long connection to the Sacco-Vanzetti case. While the other churches in Boston remained silent, the Community Church provided active support to the defense. During the 1920s, the Church was located in Steinert Hall at 162 Boylston Street, across from Boston Common, and later held services for a time at Symphony Hall at the southwest corner of Massachusetts and Huntington Avenues in the Fenway area. Since 1977, the Church has presented an annual Sacco-Vanzetti award for contributions to the struggle for social justice and, in November 1997, sponsored a talk on Borglum’s missing bronze casting.
A block away, at the Boston Public Library, hangs the plaster model of the Sacco-Vanzetti plaque. The Library is also in possession of a portion of Sacco and Vanzetti’s ashes as well as one of six original pairs of death masks. On October 26 and 27, 1979, the Library sponsored a conference, “Sacco-Vanzetti: Developments and Reconsiderations,” on the occasion of the formal presentation of the Aldino Felicani Collection to the library by his sons. The collection includes a substantially complete set of the papers of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee. The papers and statements delivered at the conference were subsequently published by the Library in 1982. Another public commemoration can be found on a large sculpture, located in the lobby of the McCormack State Office Building on Ashburton Place, which includes the words “Nicola & Bart” on one of its many inscribed surfaces. The location of this inscription at the very top of this large piece suggests, however, that its creator did not want to draw too much attention to the names. One can also find the names of the two men on the sign on the front of the Sons of Italy Lodge No. 2730 at 464 Commercial Street in the North End, which is named the Sacco & Vanzetti Lodge.
In 1972, the American Historical Society held the fifth annual conference of the American Italian Historical Association in the North End. The theme of the conference was “Italian American ‘Radicalism’: Old World Origins and New World Developments,” and focused on the anarchist movement. The conference was hosted by the North Bennet Street Industrial School, now the North Bennet Street School, located at 39 North Bennet Street, and the Boston Public Library which sponsored an exhibit and reception in its North End Branch at 25 Parmenter Street. The Boston Public Library participants included Robert D’Attillio, who later became a founding member of Black Rose magazine in 1978, and is an expert on Sacco and Vanzetti; Louis Joughin, who co-authored a book on the case; Francis Russell, who wrote two books on the subject; and Nunzio Pernicone, author of a book on Italian anarchism.
The Aftermath: Anarchists after 1927
Anarchist activity in Boston diminished after the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The period from the late 1920s until the widespread revival of anarchism in this country coinciding with the movement against the Vietnam war in the 1960s remained relatively quiet. The Italian anarchists continued to hold meetings, fund raisers, and picnics. Sam Dolgoff, a well known figure in the anarchist movement, came to Boston in 1935 and spoke at the East Boston Anarchists’ Casa del Popolo, which in all likelihood was their clubhouse at 42 Maverick Street, Maverick Square.
Around 1930, the East Boston anarchists formed a new group called Circolo Aurora which continued meeting at the Italian Independent Naturalization Club at 42 Maverick Street until the club was torn down in the 1950s, at which time a few of the remaining group continued to meet nearby at 9A Meridian Street until 1965. In addition to the East Boston Group there was another large group in Needham (Gruppo Libertá, formed in 1925), and smaller groups in Milford, Roxbury, Lynn and other towns. The Needham group, with about 30-40 members, was composed of a number of anarchists who at one time or another had lived in Boston, such as Luigi Falsini who came from East Boston, where, for a time, he lived in a brick triple decker at 12 Whitby Street; Domenico Ricci, a one-time resident of Roxbury; and Gabriella “Ella” Antolini, formerly of the South End.
In 1927, Aldino Felicani began publishing The Lantern (1927-29) with Gardner Jackson, who had given up his job as a reporter for the Boston Globe in 1926 to work full time as a publicist for the Sacco-Vanzetti cause. Jackson lived for a time at 109 Queensberry Street in the Fenway area. He co-edited The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1928 and, on the twentieth anniversary of the executions, co-authored a manifesto, The Sacco-Vanzetti Case: Twenty Years Later. In later years, he and Felicani attended dinners at the Athens Olympia Restaurant at 51 Stuart Street.
Beginning in 1938, Felicani began publishing the anti-fascist bilingual periodical Controcorrente! Countercurrent, which was published out of his print shop. In 1957, it was revived as an Italian language periodical in a smaller format as Controcorrente which lasted until his death in 1967. His printshop, Excelsior Press, was located on 88 Salem Street, followed by 188 Hanover Street, 47 and 49 Portland Street, and 157 Milk Street, where it remained for many years. Manlio Reffi, a linotype operator, was the secretary of the Press for many years, starting in the 1920’s, and lived at 36 Monument Square in Charlestown. In addition to his printing activities, Felicani once picketed and leafleted at the Museum of Fine Arts, on Huntington Avenue in the Fenway area, when it exhibited paintings by Alvan Fuller, the governor who presided over the executions of Sacco and Vanzetti. After the elder Felicani died in 1967, Excelsior Press continued under his sons. In 1977, they published a pamphlet by Erte Sanchioni entitled What Is Anarchism? Sanchioni, who was born in East Boston in 1918, was the son of Adelfo and Vilma Sanchioni, both anarchists who had belonged to the group which published Galleani’s Cronaca Sovversiva. Adelfo Sanchioni had also been active on the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee and had known the men personally.
Labor organizer Rose Pesotta, mentioned earlier, had lived on and off in Boston since 1916. In 1938 she was sent to organize non-union dressmakers and lived with her sister in the city for the next two years. Boston had the reputation of being a difficult place to organize. In fact, in her autobiography she titles the chapter on her two years here, “Graveyard: Boston is Boston.” While organizing for the ILGWU she was arrested and fined for distributing leaflets. Her union headquarters were in a building downtown on LaGrange Street near Tremont Street. By the time she left in 1940, she had succeeded in revitalizing the dressmakers’ union. A few years later, in June 1944, she returned to Boston to attend the 25th ILGWU convention at the Hotel Statler at 50 Providence Street, now 50 Park Plaza. The hotel has since been renamed the Park Plaza. There she resigned from the General Executive Board of the Union and returned to work as a seamstress. In 1953, she and Frank Lopez, who at one time had been the secretary for the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, and was by then known as Albert Martin, married, only to divorce two years later. Pesotta’s second book, dealing with her childhood growing up in the Pale of Jewish Settlement in Tsarist Russia, was published by Excelsior Press in 1957. In addition to her union work, Pesotta had also once been a member of the New York City anarchist group, Road to Freedom, which published Vanzetti’s pamphlet, Background of the Plymouth Trial.
Finally, the Group Free Society published Thomas Eyges autobiographical Beyond the Horizon: The Story of a Radical Emigrant in Boston in 1944. The book recounts his involvement with the revolutionary movement in London. It includes an introduction by Harry Kelly, whose important role in the early years of Boston’s anarchist history is discussed earlier in this pamphlet. At the time of the book’s publication Eyges lived at 72 Willowwood Street in Dorchester.
The Anarchists of Boston from the 1950s Onward
Robert and Phyllis Calese, who were once active in the anarchist movement in New York, moved there in 1956 from the Boston area. Robert, who had lived at the time in the suburbs of Boston, received his MLS degree from Simmons College at 300 The Fenway in 1951, and took a job in a library in Boston. His wife Phyllis was also a Simmons graduate and librarian, and they were married at the Community Church of Boston in 1956. After they relocated to New York later that year, the Caleses became increasingly involved with the anarchists there. They were friends of Esther and Sam Dolgoff and members of the Libertarian League, of which Phyllis became treasurer.
Playwright Eugene O’Neill had ties to both Boston and the anarchist movement. He patronized Benjamin Tucker’s New York bookstore, attended lectures and plays at the anarchist Ferrer Center in the same city, was a friend of Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman and others in the Mother Earth group, and corresponded with Goldman and Berkman after they were deported. His first published writing, an anonymous poem called “The American Sovereign,” appeared in Mother Earth, and his editor at Random House was a nephew of Goldman. O’Neill included anarchist characters in his plays, including The Iceman Cometh. He lived at the Shelton Hotel at 91 Bay State Road, where he died in 1953. The former hotel is now used as housing for Boston University. O’Neill is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.
In 1968, Ben Morea, an anarchist who edited a publication called Black Mask and was a member of the Up Against the Wall Motherfucker chapter of SDS in New York, came to Boston to participate in a demonstration on the Boston Common against a curfew then being used by police to keep hippies out of this public park. The demonstrators were attacked by police and Morea and others sought refuge in the Arlington Street Church at the northwest corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets, where they were again attacked. The demonstrators defended themselves and Morea was arrested and charged with stabbing a recuperating veteran who joined in the police attack on the demonstrators.
In 1965, Spencer Sacco, the grandson of Nicola Sacco attended Boston University on Commonwealth Avenue. And from 1974 to 1981 John J. Most, the son of anarchist Johann Most, who was mentioned earlier in this pamphlet, lived in an apartment at 100 Norway Street in the Fenway area. Most shared his father’s anarchist views. John’s son, Johnny Most, was, for years, the radio voice of the Boston Celtics basketball team. According to his father, however, Johnny had no interest in anarchist ideas.
In the 1970s, Fag Rag was published by a group of anarchists at 22 Bromfield Street downtown. During a gay pride march in 1977, Charley Shively, a member of the Fag Rag group, burned his Harvard diploma, an insurance policy on which he was unable to list his lover, an anti-sodomy section of the Massachusetts criminal codes, and pages from the bible condemning homosexual sex. His protest took place on the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. Shively has written and spoken extensively about the individualist anarchists of Boston, edited the works of Lysander Spooner, and was a member of the Black Rose magazine collective in the mid-1980s.
The Black Rose group, which maintained a post office box in Boston, sponsored a lecture series from 1979 to 1992 and published twelve issues of a journal called Black Rose from 1979 to 1987. Although Black Rose held most of its activities in Cambridge, it participated in several events in Boston. During 1975, the group, in association with the publication Black Circles, brought anarchists Karl Hess and Noam Chomsky, in January and March, respectively, to speak at the University of Massachusetts building at 100 Arlington Street downtown. In 1978 they co-sponsored a representative from the Spanish anarchist syndicalist union CNT, Miguel Mesa, who spoke on labor and its role in post-Franco Spain at the Galaxy in the Piano Factory Building at 791 Tremont Street in the South End.
Black Rose member Ann Kotell took part in the Association of Libertarian Feminists panel discussion at the 1978 national convention of the Libertarian Party at the Copley Plaza Hotel at 138 St. James Avenue in Copley Square. She spoke on “Alternative Means of Changing the Culture.” A 1991 panel discussion titled “The Child Sex Panic and Growing Repression in America” and held at 100 Arlington Street, was co-sponsored by Black Rose, Fag Rag, and several non-anarchist publications, with Charley Shively serving as one of the moderators. A few members of Black Rose who attended MIT lived at 34 The Fenway in Boston in the mid-eighties, a building recognizable by the large black flag that hung from it. Some Black Rose meetings were held there, as well.
In 1983, Red Book, a radical bookstore in Cambridge, moved to 92 Green Street in Jamaica Plain. A reorganization of the bookstore in 1992 resulted in a number of changes, including a new name, the Lucy Parsons Center (LPC), and the naming of a new advisory council, one of whose members was Paul Rabin of Black Rose. The name change also signaled the beginning of its evolution from an independent socialist collective to a collective composed primarily of anarchists and anti-authoritarians. In the mid-1990s the bookstore moved back to Cambridge, and from there for a brief time to Somerville, before returning to Boston in 1999, when it opened at its present location at 549 Columbus Avenue in the South End. The bookstore stocks hundreds of anarchist-related books and periodicals, including NaKhDAR, a photocopied zine which lists no address but was published in Boston by “a handful of Iranians,” who believe it to be the first anarchist paper in the US to be written (primarily) in Farsi.
The bookstore has also sponsored a number of talks by anarchists over the years. In 1992 the bookstore, then still at 92 Green Street in Jamaica Plain, celebrated the publication of C. George Benello’s From the Ground Up by South End Press, which at the time had its offices in a converted townhouse at 116 St. Botolph Street in the South End. The event included a talk by the book’s editors, including Len Krimerman, who, in 1966, coedited, with Lewis Perry, Patterns of Anarchy, an important but out-of-print anthology of individualist and collectivist anarchist writings. Perry went on to write Radical Abolitionism: Anarchy and the Government of God in Antislavery Thought, which discusses the prevalence of anarchist thought among the abolitionists. Benello, who died in 1987, had contributed articles to anarchist publications, including two to Black Rose. More recently, in June 2000, the LPC sponsored a discussion entitled “Beyond Capitalism: Revolutionary Strategies from the Non-Leninist Left,” which included Jon Bekken, editor of Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, and Stas Vysotski of the Sabate Anarchist Collective. The bookstore also sponsors a weekly Radical Film Night and has shown such films as Giuliani Montaldo’s 1971 film, Sacco and Vanzetti, and Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher’s Free Voice of Labor (1980) on the Jewish anarchist and labor movements in the United States.
Homes Not Jails, a radical anti-poverty group which included anarchists, staged three takeovers of abandoned Boston buildings in 1997 to bring attention to the situation of the city’s homeless population. Two of the buildings are located in the South End. One is the former Alexandra Hotel at the southwest corner of Washington Street and Massachusetts Avenue, and the other is a row house at 433 Massachusetts Avenue. The third occupation took place at 20 Hancock Street on Beacon Hill, where a plaque notes that the building was, from 1830 to 1867, the residence of US Senator and abolitionist Charles Sumner, who met with Russian anarchist Bakunin during his visit to the United States. The group disbanded over disagreements on tactics and direction, with most of the anarchists joining the LPC.
We Dare Be Free was originally published in Cambridge by a group of anarchists and moved to Boston with the LPC, but folded after producing six issues between 1998 and 2000. The group that put out this newspaper hosted Sam Mbah, author of African Anarchism, when he spoke in October 1998 at the Community Church of Boston, and sponsored the first New England Anarchist Bookfair at the same location the following year. After the anti-globalization events in Seattle in 2000, the We Dare Be Free group, three of the members of LPC, and some other anarchists formed the Sabate Anarchist Collective, an anarcho-communist group. Another group, Barricada, although it did not start as an anarchist organization, over time became one. Their paper, Barricada, whose first issue appeared in November 2000, initially called itself a Revolutionary Leftist Publication, but changed its subtitle to Revolutionary Anarchist Monthly in its eighth issue, published in September 2001. The paper and group maintain a Boston post office box and some of its members also belong to the LPC collective.
The first issue of Northeastern Anarchist was published in February 2001. The paper is a quarterly publication of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC). The organization was first proposed by the anarchists of We Dare Be Free and was established by the Sabate anarchist collective, Groupe Anarchiste Émile-Henry from Quebec, a couple of other groups which dissolved soon after its formation, and a number of unaffiliated anarchists. In early 2002, the Barricada Collective became a member of NEFAC, and Barricada is now the official monthly publication of the English speaking section of NEFAC. Northeastern Anarchist shares its PO Box with the Sabate Anarchist Collective, which includes some members of LPC and serves as the paper’s editorial collective. The Sabate collective sponsored the second annual New England Anarchist Bookfair in October 2000, which, like the first, took place at the Community Church of Boston. In 2001, NEFAC hosted its fourth regional conference at the same church and at MIT in Cambridge. Another local anarchist group affiliated with NEFAC is the Sophia Perovskaya Collective, formed in the summer of 2001 by students at Northeastern University.
The Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade, an anarchist social group and publishing project, was founded in 1986 by a small group which included members of Black Rose and the authors of this pamphlet. All of the founding members were residents of Boston at the time. The BAD Brigade met from 1986 to 1993 in Cambridge, and then moved its weekly social gatherings to Crossroads, located at 405 Beacon Street in the Back Bay. They held their get-togethers there for about a year, before moving them back to Cambridge. The Brigade ceased meeting in 1999 and its publishing project was taken over by the Bad Press, which, with the Anarchist Archive Project, is the co-publisher of this pamphlet. The Anarchist Archive Project was located at 46 Tremlett Street in Dorchester from 1985 to 1986.
During a tour of the United States in 1987, Belfast anarchists Louise O’Meara and Sean McLaughlin spoke in Roxbury at the Church of the United Community at 116 Roxbury Street. While this event was sponsored by non-anarchists, during their visit to Massachusetts, O’Meara and McLaughlin also spoke at a Black Rose lecture at MIT in Cambridge.
In 1985, Alyson Publications, which had offices in a building at 40 Plympton Street in the South End, published the first English translation of The Hustler, a novel by German anarchist John Henry Mackay, that was first published in Germany in 1926. Also located in the South End is Haley House, a bakery and a resource for homeless people, operated by the anarchist Catholic Workers at 23 Dartmouth Street. Haley House publishes the magazine What’s Up. Nearby, in Copley Square, is the Boston Public Library, which, in addition to the holdings mentioned earlier, possesses a collection of L’Adunata dei Refrattari, an Italian language anarchist periodical, published in New York from 1922 to 1971. And a few blocks away from the library is the Prudential Building, built outside Copley Square in the 1960’s. The skywalk at the top of this building has a display of pictures of Boston historical figures, which includes a number of anarchists, including Anne Hutchinson, Henry David Thoreau, Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, and William Lloyd Garrison. The skywalk also features a reproduction of the August 23, 1927, front page of the Boston Globe, which has a headline announcing the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.
The information in this pamphlet was gleaned from multiple sources, most of which are listed below. The holdings of the Anarchist Archive Project were also an important source. Additional details about addresses and streets was obtained from the Boston directories located at the Boston Public Library, as well as local newspapers in its print and microfilm collections. Special thanks to Barry Pateman for providing information and materials on Emma Goldman and Harry Kelly, and Mark Laskey for bringing us up-to-date on current anarchist groups and activities.
L'Adunata dei Refrattari. Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Alphonso, Tommy-Ann. “Panel Explores ‘Child Sex Panic.’” Gay Community News, November 18, 1991.
Atkinson, Brooks. Walden and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau. New York: Modern Library, 1950.
Avrich, Paul. An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1978.
________. Anarchist Portraits. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1988.
________. Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1995.
________. The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984.
________. The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the U.S. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1980.
________. Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1991.
Bailie, William. Josiah Warren: The First American Anarchist. Boston: Small, Maynard, 1906.
Bearse, Austin. Reminiscences of Fugitive-Slave Law Days in Boston. Boston: Warren Richardson, 1880.
Beatty, Noëlle Blackmer. Literary Byways of Boston & Cambridge. Washington: Starhill Press, 1991.
Becker, Heiner. “The Mystery of Dr Nathan-Ganz.” The Raven, October, 1988.
Bergen, Phillip. Old Boston in Early Photographs, 1850-1918. New York: Dover, 1990.
Berman, Paul. “The Torch & the Axe: The Unknown Aftermath of the Sacco-Vanzetti Affair.” Village Voice, May 17, 1988.
Bernstein, Samuel. The First International in America. New York: Augustus M. Kelly, 1965.
Bjork, Daniel W. William James: The Center of His Vision. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1988.
Black Cat: Newsletter of the IWW-Boston Branch. October and November, 1977.
Black Circles (1975-76?). Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Black Heritage Trail. US Government Printing Office, 1992.
Black Mask and Up Against the Wall Motherfucker. London: Unpopular Books & Sabotage Editions, 1993.
Black Rose. Folder of uncataloged items, Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Black Rose (second series, 1979-87). Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Blatt, Martin, ed. The Collected Works of Ezra H. Heywood. Weston, MA: M&S Press, 1985.
________. Free Love and Anarchism: The Biography of Ezra Heywood. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1989.
Blumenfeld, Harold. Sacco and Vanzetti: Murderers or Murdered? New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1972.
“Bomb Blows Hole in Police Station Wall.” Boston Globe, December 18, 1916.
Boston African American Discovery Guide. Boston: Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1995.
The Boston Investigator. Microfilm version at the Boston Public Library.
Boston Women’s Heritage Trail: Four Centuries of Boston Women. Boston: Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, 1991.
“Boston Radicals.” Boston Sunday Globe, April 5, 1891.
“Brook Farm: A Newly Protected Urban Wild.” Discover Boston’s Urban Wilds, Summer, 1989.
Bruce, Jr., Dickson D. Archibald Grimké: Portrait of a Black Independent. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1993.
Campbell, Robert, and Peter Vanderwarker. Cityscapes of Boston: An American City Through Time. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
________. “The Molasses Flood.” Boston Globe Magazine, April 1, 2001.
Cline, Linda, and Robert C. Hayden. A Cultural Guide to African-American Heritage in New England. Malden, MA: Cline Transportation Service, 1992.
Collison, Gary. Shadrach Minkins: From Fugitive Slave to Citizen. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1997.
Coon, Deborah J. “‘One Moment in the World’s Salvation’: Anarchism and the Radicalization of William James.” The Journal of American History, June, 1996.
Coughlin, Michael E., Charles H. Hamilton, and Mark A. Sullivan, eds. Benjamin R. Tucker and the Champions of Liberty: A Centenary Anthology. St. Paul, MN: Michael E. Coughlin; New York: Mark Sullivan, .
Cushing, Jr., George M. Great Buildings of Boston: A Photographic Guide. New York: Dover, 1982.
D’Attilio, Robert. “The Sacco and Vanzetti Case”: Fact and Symbol. Talk recorded at the Old South Meeting House, Boston, on May 28th, 1992. Anarchist Archives Project collection.
________. Talk recorded at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, held at the Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts in Cambridge on August 21, 1997. Anarchist Archives Project collection.
DeLeon, David. The American as Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1978.
Dickinson, Alice. The Sacco-Vanzetti Case, 1920-27: Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. NY: Franklin Watts, 1972.
Dolgoff, Sam. Fragments: A Memoir. Cambridge, England: Refract Publications, 1986.
Dos Passos, John. Facing the Chair: Sacco and Vanzetti: The Story of the Americanization of Two Foreign Born Workmen. New York: Oriole Chapbooks, n.d.
Drachman, Virginia G. Hospital with a Heart: Women Doctors and the Paradox of Separatism at the New England Hospital, 1862-1969. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1984.
Drake, Samuel Adams. Old Landmarks and Historic Personages of Boston. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1986.
Ehrmann, Herbert B. The Case That Will Not Die: Commonwealth vs. Sacco and Vanzetti. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969.
________. The Untried Case: The Sacco-Vanzetti Case and the Morelli Gang. New York: Vanguard Press, 1960.
Ellman, Richard. Oscar Wilde. New York: Knopf, 1988.
Eyges, Thomas B. Beyond the Horizon. Boston: Group Free Society, 1944.
Faneuil Hall. US Government Printing Office, 1995.
Feinstein, Howard M. Becoming William James. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1984.
Felix, David. Protest: Sacco-Vanzetti and the Intellectuals. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1965.
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley. The Rebel Girl: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers, 1973.
Frankfurter, Marion Denman, and Gardner Jackson, eds. The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, n.d.
Galleani, Luigi. The End of Anarchism? Trans. From the Italian by Max Sartin with an introduction by M. S. [Max Sartin]. Sanday, Orkney, UK: Cienfuegos Press, 1982.
Glassgold, Peter, ed. Anarchy! An Anthology of Emma Goldman’s Mother Earth. Washington: Counterpoint, 2001.
Goldman, Emma. Living My Life. In two volumes. New York: Dover Publications, 1970.
Green, James R., and Hugh Carter Donahue. Boston’s Workers: A Labor History. Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1979.
Greene, William B. Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1875.
Grimké, Angelina Weld. “A Biographical Sketch of Archibald H. Grimké.” Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimké. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.
Grimké, Archibald H. William Lloyd Garrison. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969.
Handlin, Oscar. Boston’s Immigrants 1790-1880. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1991.
________. “A Russian Anarchist Visits Boston.” The New England Quarterly, March, 1942.
Harris, John. The Boston Globe Historic Walks in Old Boston. Second Edition. Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 1989.
Hayden, Robert C. African-Americans in Boston: More than 350 Years. Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1992.
Hecht, David. Russian Radicals Look to America. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1947.
Heywood, William S., ed. Autobiography of Adin Ballou. Lowell, MA: Vox Populi Press-Thompson & Hill, 1896.
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Cheerful Yesterdays. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co, 1898.
The History Project. Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.
Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Black Bostonians. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1979.
The Index. Microfilm version at the Boston Public Library.
Joughin, G. Louis, and Edmund M. Morgan. The Legacy of Sacco and Vanzetti. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1978.
Juravich, Tom, William F. Hartford, and James R. Green. Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions. Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1996.
Kay, Jane Holtz. Lost Boston. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980.
Kelly, Harry. “An Anarchist in the Making.” Mother Earth, April 1913.
________. Unpublished autobiography. Photocopy in the Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Kenneally, Christopher. The Massachusetts Legacy. Holbrook, MA: Adams Publishing, 1995.
King, Moses. King’s How to See Boston. King’s Handbooks, 1895.
Kline, William Gary. The Individualist Anarchists: A Critique of Liberalism. Lanham, MD: Univ. Press of America, 1987.
Kropotkin, Peter. Ideals and Realities in Russian Literature. New York: McClure, Philips, 1905.
________. Kropotkin’s Revolutionary Pamphlets. Edited by Roger N. Baldwin. New York: Dover, 1970.
________. Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1899.
________. Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution. Boston: Extending Horizons Books-Porter Sargent, n.d.
Kruh, David. Always Something Doing: A History of Boston’s Infamous Scollay Square. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1990.
Lader, Lawrence. The Bold Brahmins: New England’s War Against Slavery (1831-1863). New York: E. P. Dutton, 1961.
Lawrence, Robert Means. Old Park Street and Its Vicinity. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1922.
Leeder, Elaine. The Gentle General: Rose Pesotta, Anarchist and Labor Organizer. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press: 1993.
Lerner, Gerda. The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Woman’s Rights and Abolition. New York: Schocken, 1971.
Liberty. Microfiche version by Libertarian Microfiche Publishing, Berrima, Australia, 1980.
Location: A Historical Map of Lesbian and Gay Boston. The Map Collective of Boston Gay and Lesbian Architects and Designers and The Boston Area Lesbian and Gay History Project, 1995.
Marr, John. “The Great Boston Molasses Flood.” Murder Can Be Fun, No. 11, 1989.
Marsh, Margaret S. Anarchist Women 1870-1920. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1981.
________. “The Anarchist-Feminist Response to the ‘Woman Question’ in Late Nineteenth-Century America.” American Quarterly, Fall 1978.
Martin, James J. Men Against the State: The Expositors of Individualist Anarchism in America, 1827-1908. Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles, 1970.
The Match (1896). Photocopy in the Anarchist Archives Project Collection.
Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. New York: St. Martins, 1998.
McElroy, Wendy. Individualist Feminism of the Nineteenth Century: Collected Writings and Biographical Profiles. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001.
________. Liberty 1881-1906: A Comprehensive Index. St. Paul, MN: Michael E. Coughlin, 1982.
McIntyre, A. McVoy. Beacon Hill: A Walking Tour. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.
McNulty, Elizabeth. Boston Then and Now. San Diego: Thunder Bay Press, 1999.
Merrill, Walter M., ed. The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison Volume III: No Union with Slaveholders 1841-1849. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1973.
Meyers, Alison, “‘It Was a Really Good Night for Anarchists…’: Two Belfast Anarchists Tour North America.” Instead of a Magazine, Summer 1987.
Montgomery, David. Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans 1862-1872. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1982.
“Morrison I. Swift.” Obituary in Newton Graphic, June 20, 1946.
Nelson, Truman, ed. Documents of Upheaval: Selections from William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, 1831-1865. New York: Hill and Wang, 1966.
Noble, Laurie Carter, “Remembering the Ladies?” Back Bay Courant. Date not known.
The Non-Resistant. Microfilm version at the Boston Public Library.
O’Connor, Thomas H. Boston A to Z. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 2000.
The People’s Paper: Devoted to the Interests and Progress of Man. Issues for weeks ending January 19 and February 16, 1856.
Perry, Lewis. Radical Abolitionism: Anarchy and the Government of God in Antislavery Thought. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1995.
________. “Versions of Anarchism in the Antislavery Movement.” American Quarterly, Winter 1968.
Pesotta, Rose. Bread Upon the Waters. Cornell, NY: ILR Press, 1987.
“Pickets Again in Station. Thirty-Nine State House Paraders are Arrested.” Boston Post, August 11, 1927.
Porter, Katherine Anne. The Never-Ending Wrong. Boston: Little, Brown, 1977.
Proceedings of the Indignation Meeting…to Protest Against…the Conviction and Imprisonment of Ezra H. Heywood. Boston: Benj. R. Tucker, 1878.
Proceedings of the Peace Conventions, Held in Boston, March 14 & 15, 1866; and in Providence, May 16th, 1866. Universal Peace Society, 1866.
The Rebel. New York: Greenwood Reprint Corporation, 1968.
Reichert, William O. “The Melancholy Political Thought of Morrison I. Swift.” New England Quarterly, December 1976.
________. Partisans of Freedom: A Study in American Anarchism. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green Univ. Popular Press, 1976.
________. “The Philosophical Anarchism of Adin Ballou.” Huntington Library Quarterly, August, 1964.
Residents and Associates of the South End House. The City Wilderness: A Settlement Study. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1898.
Roediger, Dave, and Franklin Rosemont, eds. Haymarket Scrapbook. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1986.
Ross, Marjorie Drake. The Book of Boston: The Victorian Period 1837 to 1901. New York: Hastings House, 1964.
Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1999.
Russell, Francis. Sacco and Vanzetti: The Case Resolved. New York: Harper and Row, 1986.
________. Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.
Russell, Patrick G. “The Day Boston Mob Attacked Garrison.” Boston Globe, October 21, 1985.
Sachs, Emanie L. The Terrible Siren: Victoria Woodhull 1838-1927. New York: Harper's, 1928.
Sacco-Vanzetti: Developments and Reconsiderations—1979. Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1982.
The Sacco-Vanzetti Case: Transcript of the Record of the Trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in the Courts of Massachusetts and Subsequent Proceedings. Six volumes. New York: Henry Holt, 1928-29.
The Sacco-Vanzetti Case: Twenty Years Later. [Boston: Aldino Felicani, Gardner Jackson, and others, 1947.]
The Sacco and Vanzetti Case. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation files. Available on the internet at <foia.fbi.gov/Vanzetti.htm>.
Sanchioni, Erte. What Is Anarchism? Boston: The Excelsior Press, 1977.
Seaburg, Carl. “The Founding of the Community Church.” The Community Church News, September, 1995.
Schorow, Stephanie. “City to Get Sacco, Vanzetti Memorial.” Boston Herald, August 20, 1997.
________. “Mystery Shrouds Sculpture.” Boston Herald, August 22, 1997.
________. “The Search for the Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial.” Talk recorded at the Community Church of Boston, November 2, 1997. Anarchist Archives Project collection.
Schuster, Eunice Minette. Native American Anarchism: A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism. Port Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited, 1983.
Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell. The Great Boston Fire of 1872. Dover, NH: Arcadia, 1997.
Sargent, Mrs. John T., ed. Sketches and Reminiscences of the Radical Club of Chestnut Street, Boston. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1880.
Sears, Hal D. The Sex Radicals: Free Love in High Victorian America. Lawrence: Regents Press of Kansas, 1977.
Shively, Charles, ed. The Collected Works of Lysander Spooner. Weston, MA: M&S Press, 1971.
Sprading, Charles T., ed. Liberty and the Great Libertarians. San Francisco: Fox and Wilkes, 1995.
Stern, Madeline. The Pantarch: A Biography of Stephen Pearl Andrews. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1968.
Stoehr, Taylor. Free Love in America: A Documentary History. New York: AMS Press, 1979.
Sullivan, Robert David. “Marching Through History: A Year-by-Year Account of Boston Pride’s Greatest Hits.” Supplement to Boston Phoenix, May, 1995.
Swift, Morrison I. “Altruria in California.” Overland Monthly, June, 1897.
Thomas, John L. The Liberator: William Lloyd Garrison. Boston: Little, Brown, 1963.
Thornton, Willis. The Nine Lives of Citizen Train. New York, 1948.
“Three Police Hurt in North Square Riot.” Boston Globe, December 7, 1916.
Trautman, Fredric. The Voice of Terror: A Biography of Johann Most. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.
Tucker, Franklin B. “Church Celebrates Long History in Neighborhood: Ebenezer Baptist Church is 125 Years Old.” South End News, October 24, 1996.
Tuttle, Sam. Sam Tuttle’s Picture Book of Old Massachusetts. Scotia, NY: Americana Review, 1992.
Vanderwarker, Peter. Boston Then and Now: 59 Boston Sites Photographed in the Past and Present. New York: Dover, 1982.
Vanzetti, Bartolomeo. Background of the Plymouth Trial. Boston: Road to Freedom Group, 1926?
Velcoli, Rudolph J. Italian American Radicalism: Old World Origins and New World Developments. Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Conference of the American Italian Historical Association. Staten Island, NY: American Italian Historical Society, 1972?
Von Frank, Albert J. The Trials of Anthony Burns: Freedom and Slavery in Emerson’s Boston. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1998.
Weeks, Robert P., ed. Commonwealth vs. Sacco and Vanzetti. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1958
Weston, Jr., George F. Boston Ways: High, By, and Folk. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
Whitehill, Walter Muir. Boston: A Topographical History. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1996.
________. Boston Statues. Barre, MA: Barre Publishers, 1970.
Wilde, Oscar. The Ballad of Reading Goal. New York: Benj. R. Tucker, 1899.
________. The Soul of Man Under Socialism. New York: Oriole Chapbooks, n.d.
Wilson, Susan. Boston Sites and Insights: A Multicultural Guide to Fifty Historic Landmarks in and Around Boston. Boston: Beacon Press, 1994.
________. Literary Trail of Greater Boston. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
________. Garden of Memories: A Guide to Historic Forest Hills. Boston: Forest Hills Educational Trust, 1998.
The Word: A Monthly Journal of Reform. Incomplete microfilm collection at the Boston Public Library.
Wunderlich, Roger. Low Living and High Thinking at Modern Times, New York. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1992.