Chronology (1869 - 1900)

The chronology was created to assist researchers using the comprehensive collection of The Emma Goldman Papers and to supplement the introductory essays and indexes to the microfilm edition. It serves also to fill some of the obvious gaps in the collection, to compensate for the various government seizures of Goldman's letters and papers during her most active period of political activity in the United States up to her deportation--papers that Goldman herself unsuccessfully tried to retrieve while she was writing her autobiography. The chronological details of Goldman's public life in America--the magnitude of her lecture schedule, the extent of her travels, and the evolution of her varied and far-reaching political friendships--are a critical complement to her correspondence, lecture manuscripts, and government surveillance documents, and together, they constitute a more accurate historical representation of Goldman's life work.

The research involved in locating relatively rare source material for tracking and recording a full list of Goldman's speaking engagements (sometimes numbering over three hundred in a year), and determining which of her scheduled lectures were barred by the police, was daunting. For these, and other events in her life, the Project editors relied primarily on the sometimes flawed recollections in Goldman's autobiography, reports from Mother Earth magazine, her chronicle of her experiences in Russia, letters and government documents in the collection, and various secondary historical sources. Despite the generally inconsistent reporting in the mainstream press about controversial anarchists, newspaper accounts of Goldman's lectures were a crucial resource for the identification of dates and places of, as well as the character of the public response to, Goldman's lectures. Though inevitably incomplete, the chronology will facilitate effective use of this immense collection.


June 27 Emma Goldman born to Taube Bienowitch and Abraham Goldman in Kovno, Lithuania, a province of the Russian Empire. Siblings include step-sisters Helena (b. 1860) and Lena (b. 1862) Zodikow, and brothers Louis (b. 1870), Herman (b. 1872), and Morris (b. 1879, identified as "Yegor" in Goldman's autobiography, Living My Life). Goldman's girlhood and adolescence spent in Kovno, Popelan, Königsberg, and St. Petersburg.


November 21 Alexander (Sasha) Berkman born in Vilna, Russia.


March 1 Czar Alexander II assassinated by Nihilists in St. Petersburg.


December Goldman immigrates to the United States with her sister Helena; they settle in Rochester, N.Y., with their sister Lena.


Goldman finds employment as a garment worker.

On May 1, three hundred thousand workers throughout the country strike for the eight-hour workday. On May 4 in Chicago's Haymarket Square during a workers' protest of police violence the day before, a bomb is thrown that results in the deaths of seven police officers. Although the identity of the bomb-thrower is never determined, prominent anarchists and organizers of the event are held responsible and sentenced to death. Goldman attributes her political awakening to German socialist Johanna Greie's eloquent defense of the innocence of the Haymarket anarchists at a Rochester lecture during the Haymarket trial. During this period, Goldman begins to read anarchist literature on a regular basis, including German anarchist Johann Most's paper Die Freiheit.

The other members of Goldman's family emigrate from St. Petersburg to Rochester.


February Marries fellow factory worker Jacob A. Kersner, gaining U.S. citizenship.

November 11 Execution of four Chicago anarchists found guilty in the Haymarket Square bombing elicits international outcry.


Goldman divorces Kersner and leaves Rochester. Moves to New Haven, Conn., where she works at a corset factory. Meets many Russian socialists and anarchists, including Dr. Hillel Solotaroff who, during visits from New York, lectures in New Haven.

Goldman returns to Rochester where she lives with her sister Helena's family and works in a sewing factory. Under pressure, she agrees to remarry Kersner; after a brief reconciliation, Goldman is shunned by her parents and the Jewish community of Rochester for her insistence on finalizing the divorce.


Goldman arrives in New York City on Aug. 15; meets Johann Most, editor of Die Freiheit, and Alexander Berkman; gains employment doing piece work for a silk waist factory. Goldman's political activities include support work at the office of Die Freiheit, and help with the organization of the second anniversary commemoration of the hanging of the Haymarket martyrs.

Goldman and Berkman become lovers. She shares an apartment with Berkman, his cousin Modest Stein, and their mutual friend Helen Minkin.

Berkman and Goldman contemplate returning to Russia when they hear about political repression there, but lack the necessary financial resources.


January Johann Most arranges Goldman's first public lecture tour to Rochester, Buffalo, and Cleveland to speak on the limitations of the eight-hour movement. In the course of her tour, Goldman demonstrates her talents as an orator and realizes the need to articulate her political beliefs independently; her growing autonomy causes tensions with Most.

February-July Goldman presents a series of lectures in New York City and Newark, N.J., on subjects ranging from the "Paris Commune, 1871," to "The Right To Be Lazy," and on Most's Pittsburgh Manifesto of 1883, sponsored primarily by the International Working People's Association, and delivered in German and in Yiddish.

Goldman works tirelessly to recruit women workers to join the cloakmakers strike, organized by Jewish labor leader Joseph Barondess that begins in February.

Goldman becomes ill and is forced to spend several weeks convalescing. During this period she has a brief affair with Modest Stein.

Accompanies Johann Most on his two-week lecture tour of New England.

Summer To earn enough money to return to Russia and respond to the political repression there, Goldman moves briefly with comrades, including Berkman, to New Haven, with plans to start a dressmaking cooperative. Until they build a clientele, Goldman works temporarily at the corset factory where she had worked in 1888. Berkman gains employment in the printing trade.

Goldman helps to organize an anarchist educational and social group in New Haven that becomes a gathering place for German, Russian, and Jewish immigrants; among their invited speakers are Johann Most and Hillel Solotaroff, a leader of the anarchist group Pioneers of Liberty.

Fall When the members of Goldman's dressmaking cooperative fall ill or move away, Goldman and Berkman move back to New York where they begin to attend meetings of the Autonomie group, led by Most's chief contender, Josef Peukert.

October Goldman lectures in Elizabeth, N.J., and Baltimore. Her two talks in Baltimore are before the International Workingmen's Association and the Workingmen's Educational Society. She reaches both German and Eastern European Jewish immigrant communities, many of whom participate in a conference of Yiddish anarchist organizations in December.


March 16 Goldman scheduled to speak at the "Great Commune Celebration" sponsored by the International Worker's Association in New Haven.

May 1 Goldman marches with the Working Women's Society of the United Hebrew Trades in New York's May Day parade.

June 18 Goldman addresses a mass meeting to protest the second imprisonment of Johann Most at Blackwell's Island after the Supreme Court rejects the appeal of his 1887 conviction for illegal assembly and incitement to riot following the Haymarket executions.


Winter and Spring In search of a financial base, Goldman moves to Massachusetts--first to Springfield to work in a photography studio with Modest Stein ("Fedya"), and then to Worcester, where, with Alexander Berkman, Stein and Goldman open their own studio. When the photography business fails, they open an ice-cream parlor with the renewed aim of returning to Russia to respond to the political repression under Czar Alexander III.

May 1 Anarchists disrupt the Central Labor Union's May Day celebration in Union Square, New York. In retaliation, the organizers of the celebration stop Goldman's speaking by hitching a horse to the open wagon she is using as a platform and pulling it away.

July-August Goldman, Berkman, and Stein return to New York to respond to the lockout of employees of the Carnegie Steel Company in Homestead, Pa. On July 6, Pinkerton guards hired by plant manager Henry Clay Frick kill nine striking steel workers; Goldman and Berkman decide to avenge their deaths.

On July 23, Berkman attempts to assassinate Frick, but fails. Goldman is suspected of, but not charged with, complicity; police raid her apartment and seize her papers. Debate within the labor movement about the effectiveness of Berkman's action follows; Johann Most denounces Berkman and questions his motives. As public antagonism to Berkman's act mounts, Goldman temporarily goes into hiding.

August 1 Goldman chairs a meeting of over three hundred anarchists to discuss Berkman's act. Other speakers include Autonomie group leader Josef Peukert, Dyer D. Lum, editor of the Alarm, and Italian anarchist Saverio Merlino, an editor of Solidarity.

September 19 Berkman found guilty on all counts and sentenced to twenty-two years in prison; Goldman learns about his sentence while she is lecturing in Baltimore. Announcement prompts audience pandemonium, police action, and Goldman's consequent arrest.

November 24 Goldman visits Berkman at the Western State Penitentiary in Pittsburgh.

December Goldman appears only occasionally in public to lecture. Speaks in Manhattan on Dec. 4, denouncing government anti-immigration legislation; other speakers at the event include anarchist journalist John Edelmann, Spanish anarchist Pedro Esteve, and Saverio Merlino.

During this period, Goldman meets German anarchist Robert Reitzel, editor of the Der arme Teufel.

Attends anarchist meetings, where, in late December, Goldman meets and falls in love with Austrian anarchist Edward Brady.


General financial panic deepens into one of the worst economic depressions in U.S. history.

June-July Goldman returns temporarily to Rochester to recuperate from illness.

June 26 Governor John Peter Altgeld pardons three men found guilty of the Haymarket bombing.

August The day after a riot of the unemployed on Aug. 17, Goldman addresses a public meeting, urging those in need to take bread if they are hungry. The next evening she helps lead a procession of several hundred anarchists to Union Square, where, among many other speakers, she addresses a crowd of the unemployed.

On Aug. 21, Goldman again leads a march of a thousand people to Union Square, where, speaking in German and English, she repeats her belief that workers have a right to take bread if they are hungry, and to demonstrate their needs "before the palaces of the rich"; about three thousand gather to listen. Goldman's speech is characterized by the press as "incendiary" and, over a week later, cited as the reason for her arrest.

Goldman lectures in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, on Aug. 23, before traveling to Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, Goldman meets German anarchist Max Baginksi and American-born anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre for the first time.

August 31 Scheduled to speak to the unemployed, Goldman is arrested in Philadelphia on New York warrants charging her with incitement to riot for her Aug. 21 speech.

September On Sept. 6, a New York Grand Jury indicts Goldman on three charges. She is returned from Philadelphia to New York on Sept. 9, where she is placed in confinement. On Sept. 11, pleads not guilty; released on bail Sept. 14. Benefit concert on Sept. 23 intended to raise money for Goldman's defense is a financial failure.

October 4-9 Goldman tried in court; defended by ex-mayor of New York A. Oakey Hall. Denies speaking the words attributed to her by police detectives who monitored her speech. Jury finds Goldman guilty of aiding and abetting an unlawful assemblage.

October 16 Goldman is sentenced to Blackwell's Island penitentiary for one year. Begins her term on Oct. 18.

In prison, Goldman is initially put in charge of the sewing shop, but soon trained to serve as a nurse in the prison hospital. Reads widely while in prison.

December 16 Benefit concert and ball held in New York City for Goldman and others imprisoned for speaking at the Aug. 21 demonstration. Voltairine de Cleyre delivers a speech, "In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation."


May-July Strike of the Pullman railroad car plant in Chicago begins on May 11; by July 3, federal troops are called in to quell the strike.

August 17 Goldman released from prison after serving ten months. She sells a report about her prison experience for $150 to the New York World, which publishes it the day after her release.

August 19 Large anarchist gathering in New York welcomes Goldman back. Among the speakers are Voltairine de Cleyre, English anarchist Charles Mowbray, and Italian anarchist Maria Roda.

August 21 Goldman scheduled to speak on "The Right of Free Speech" at a mass meeting called by the American Labor Union in Newark.

September Meets with the American journalist and labor rights advocate John Swinton and his wife Orsena, who had both visited her at Blackwell's Island.

Goldman's interest in reaching more American-born citizens grows; resolves to conduct more propaganda in the English language.

Goldman speaks in Baltimore.

Moves into an apartment with Edward Brady.

October Goldman begins a new campaign for the commutation of Berkman's prison sentence; works as a nurse.

November 11 Goldman speaks at a poorly attended commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs in New York; other speakers include Charles Mowbray, German anarchist and barkeeper Justus Schwab, Voltairine de Cleyre, Max Baginski, and John Edelmann, editor of the anarchist journal Solidarity.

Mid-November Scheduled to speak with Charles Mowbray in West Hoboken, N.J., and Baltimore.


January 5 Goldman helps organize a benefit ball sponsored by the joint anarchist groups of New York.

January 24 Goldman lectures on strikes at a meeting in New York City.

Spring Goldman and friends Claus Timmerman and Edward Brady open an ice-cream parlor in Brownsville, Brooklyn; within three months, the venture fails and the shop is closed.

Summer Upon investigating the possibility of appealing Berkman's case before the Supreme Court, Goldman and others discover there are no grounds for an appeal, as Berkman made no formal objections to the judge's rulings during the proceedings. Goldman tries to convince Berkman to appeal to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons to set aside or reduce his prison sentence and begins to solicit funds for that purpose.

Mid-August Goldman sails to England under the name "Mrs. E. G. Brady" fearing that her real identity would limit her freedom to travel in Europe. Funds for her travel and a portion of living expenses are provided by Modest Stein.

Fall Spends five-and-a-half weeks in Great Britain, where she finds a greater amount of political freedom than in the United States. During her three weeks in England, she addresses large crowds at open-air meetings in London, and meetings at Hyde Park, Whitechapel, Canning Town, Barking, and Stratford. Topics include "The Futility of Politics and Its Corrupting Influence."

On Sept. 13, Goldman appears among several other lecturers--including James Tochatti of the British anarchist journal Liberty and French anarchist Louise Michel--at an event in Finsbury. She lectures on "Political Justice in England and America," highlighting Berkman's case.

In England, meets anarchist theorists Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta, among others.

German police authorities monitor Goldman's movements in London, prepared to arrest her if she enters Germany.

Mid-September-December On Sept. 14 Goldman travels to Scotland; delivers successful lectures in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Maybole.

By Oct. 1, Goldman travels to Vienna to begin formal training in nursing and midwifery at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus. Keeps a low profile in Vienna, as political persecution there is known to be harsh.

During this period she discovers and devours works by Friedrich Nietzsche, attends performances of Wagner operas, sees Eleonora Duse perform, and attends the lectures of Professor Karl Bruhl and Sigmund Freud.


March Goldman completes her medical training in Austria; travels to Paris where she meets anarchist editor Augustin Hamon.

April Back in New York, Goldman resides with Edward Brady in a German neighborhood on Eleventh Street; she rebels against Brady's periodic fits of jealousy. Earns a meager living as a midwife and nurse; witnesses the plight of many women suffering from unwanted pregnancies.

Persuades Berkman to appeal to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons for his release from prison. Helps to launch a broad-based campaign for his case; solicits Voltairine de Cleyre's support.

Helps to arrange lectures for the English anarchist and labor leader John Turner, whose visit gives Goldman the opportunity to gain experience addressing English-speaking audiences. Goldman speaks at Turner's concluding lecture in New York on Apr. 30.

Begins to suffer from "nervous attacks" that are attributed to an inverted womb; Goldman unwilling to undergo surgery to resolve the problem.

May 1 At a demonstration in Union Square, Goldman helps to distribute a May Day anarchist manifesto written by her and a group of American-born comrades in New York.

June Brady supports Goldman financially so that she can take a break from nursing to relax and begin preparations for an East Coast winter lecture series. In her leisure time, Brady tutors Goldman's reading of the works of the seventeenth-century French dramatists Racine, Corneille, and Moliere. Independently, she studies modern literature, including the novels of Emile Zola.

June 7 Bomb explodes in a religious procession in Barcelona, killing eleven people; Spanish authorities imprison over four hundred people, including anarchists, suspected of involvement in the bombing. The severity of the punishment sparks international protests.

September Goldman is urged to support the free-silver campaign of presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan; she declines, considering the free-silver issue and the presidential campaign diversions from a radical agenda.

October 12 Johann Most, Goldman's former mentor, denounces her at an event in New York when she solicits funds for the commemoration of the execution of the Haymarket martyrs.

November 4-8 In Philadelphia, on Nov. 4, Goldman speaks at the Ladies' Liberal League about her "Experiences on Blackwell's Island." On Nov. 8, she delivers two lectures--before a mass meeting called by a Jewish group to honor the Haymarket martyrs and to raise money for Berkman, the second on "Woman's Cause" to the Young Men's Liberal League.

November 11-15 Goldman lectures in Baltimore and raises money for Berkman's appeal.

November 18-26 Following an appearance in Buffalo, Goldman lectures to enthusiastic audiences in Pittsburgh, primarily in German, and continues to raise money for the Berkman fund. Topics include "The Jews in America," "Anarchism in America," and "The Effect of the Recent Election on the Condition of the Workingmen." Her concluding lecture addresses the Haymarket Affair.


March 4 William McKinley inaugurated as president of the United States.

April 23-25 Goldman's lectures in Providence, R.I., include "What Is Anarchism?" and "Is It Possible to Realize Anarchism?" The audience at an open-air meeting is reportedly "spell-bound" by Goldman's message. When she attempts to speak at another open-air meeting, however, the police intervene on the grounds that she doesn't have a permit. Local socialists disavow any connection to Goldman.

May Goldman speaks in Philadelphia; her lecture on "The Women in the Present and Future" is "loudly applauded." She is credited with the ability to relate anarchism to the working people of Philadelphia, thus helping to boost the movement there.

Returning to New York, Goldman undergoes an operation on her foot, requiring several months of recuperation.

May 28 Carl Nold and Henry Bauer, convicted and imprisoned for aiding Berkman's attempt to assassinate Frick, are released from the Western State Penitentiary in Pittsburgh.

July Goldman's lecture on "Marriage" is published in the anarchist journal The Firebrand.

August 8 Anarchist Michel Angiolillo assassinates Antonio Canovas del Castillo, premier of Spain, who in May had ordered the execution of five anarchists held responsible for the bombing in Barcelona the year before. The torture and inhumane treatment of several hundred others imprisoned in connection with the bombing were widely protested throughout Europe. In New York, Goldman and others--including Italian and Spanish anarchists, and Harry Kelly, John Edelmann, Justus Schwab, and Edward Brady--had organized a demonstration in front of the Spanish consulate.

August 16 Goldman among several speakers at a meeting of one thousand people in New York celebrating Canovas's assassination.

August 22 In response to criticism from anarchists that she had glorified Canovas's murder, Goldman defends her position at a small meeting in New York.

September-December Goldman conducts a lecture tour through eighteen cities in eastern and midwestern states to promote anarchism and Alexander Berkman's release from prison--intended topics include "Why I am an Anarchist-Communist," "Woman," "Marriage," and "Berkman's Unjust Sentence."

September 3-8 Lectures begin in Providence, R.I.; speaks at two open-air meetings--attended by thousands--when the mayor warns Goldman that she will be arrested if she speaks in the open-air again. Despite the prohibition, Goldman continues to lecture in Providence; addresses the assassination of the Spanish premier.

On Sept. 5, she speaks in Boston on "Must We Become Angels to Live in an Anarchist Society?" and collects money for the victims of the Spanish authorities in the aftermath of the assassination of the premier.

When she attempts to address another open-air meeting in Providence on Sept. 7, she is arrested and jailed overnight. The following day she is given twenty-four hours to leave town or face three months imprisonment.

Mid-September Goldman returns to Boston on Sept. 12 where she lectures on the Sept. 10 killings of immigrant miners striking in Hazleton, Pa. Travels to New Haven and New York to speak again on the Hazleton strikers.

Beginning Sept. 15, Goldman delivers four lectures in Philadelphia before several English-speaking organizations, including the Ladies' Liberal League and the Single Tax Society. Her lectures include "Free Love." Before the largest free-thought organization of Philadelphia, the Friendship Liberal League, she critiques the freethinkers' "partial application of the principles of freedom."

September 17 Portland editor A. J. Pope arrested and jailed for sending "obscene" material in the anarchist Firebrand through the mail. Abe Isaak and Henry Addis, the other Firebrand editors, are arrested within the next few days on the same charge.

Late September From Philadelphia, Goldman travels to Washington, D.C., where she lectures before a German free-thought society.

Goldman then travels to Pittsburgh to meet Carl Nold and Henry Bauer; they inform her that if Berkman's appeal for pardon is denied, he plans to attempt an escape from prison.

Goldman speaks before the Turnerverein in Monaca, Pa.; complies with their request not to speak on her proposed topic, "Woman, Marriage, and Prostitution."

On Sept. 27, Goldman addresses a labor congress organized by Eugene Debs in Chicago.

October Goldman remains in Chicago to lecture; speaks to the Lucifer Circle on the theme of "Prostitution: Its Causes and Cure" and on "Free Love." On Oct. 13 Goldman is among several speakers-- including Max Baginski, Lucy Parsons, and Moses Harman--at a well-attended event to raise money for the imprisoned editors of the Firebrand.

October 16-23 In St. Louis, Goldman speaks to German- and English-speaking audiences while continuing to raise money for Berkman's prison fund.

On Oct. 19, the St. Louis House of Delegates passes a resolution supporting the mayor's prohibition of Goldman's open-air meetings. Goldman's lectures--including "Revolution" and "Why I Am an Anarchist and Communist"--are held in private halls under police surveillance.

Late October Traveling for hours by train and wagon to learn about the plight of farmers, Goldman speaks to well-attended meetings in Caplinger Mills, Mo., home of rural anarchist Kate Austin. Her lecture topics include "The Aim of Humanity," "Religion," "Anarchy," and "Free Love."

Early November Goldman scheduled to lecture in Kansas City and Topeka, Kans.

On Nov. 11 in Chicago, Goldman addresses an assembly in German to commemorate the Haymarket martyrs.

Mid-November Goldman lectures four times in Detroit, aided by Robert Reitzel and his paper, Der arme Teufel. On Nov. 19, Goldman speaks at the People's Tabernacle despite opposition from the congregation; the event is sensationalized in the press. In response to Goldman's talk, the deacons and members of the church request the pastor's resignation.

Late November-December Goldman lectures in Cleveland before several liberal societies, including the Franklin Club. On Nov. 21 she lectures on "What Anarchy Means" and collects donations for the Firebrand editors.

Goldman delivers several successful lectures in Buffalo--where she speaks at the Trade and Labor Council Hall, the Spiritualist Temple, and before German anarchists--and Rochester, where she visits her family for the first time since 1894. Considers her meetings in Rochester, Buffalo, and Detroit to be the best of her 1897 tour.

Berkman's appeal before the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons is postponed.

By mid-December, Goldman returns to New York.


January Goldman announces her lecture topics for the year: "Charity," "Patriotism," "Authority," "Majority Rule," "The New Woman," "The Woman Question," and "The Inquisition of Our Postal Service."

Goldman's youngest brother, Morris, moves into the apartment she shares with Brady in New York City.

During this period, Goldman is in contact with Filipino rebels and helps to support their attempts to gain independence from Spain.

January 5 Goldman scheduled to speak on "The New Woman" (in German) to the Social Science Club in Brooklyn.

January 21-23 Lectures on anarchism in English and Yiddish in Providence without interference from the mayor or police; Goldman assisted by John H. Cook, former president of the Central Labor Union.

To help cover traveling expenses, Goldman earns a percentage on sales she makes for Brady's stationery business while on tour.

January 24 Lectures on "Authority" to economics students in Boston.

February 13 Goldman scheduled to speak to the Philosophical Society in Brooklyn.

February-June Twelve-state lecture tour: Goldman addresses sixty-six meetings and participates in one debate. Several reporters note Goldman's improvement as a public speaker as she develops her command of the English language.

February 15 The U.S.S. Maine explodes in Havana harbor, killing 2 officers and 258 crew members, which becomes the spark for the Spanish-American War.

February 16-20 Goldman's tour begins in Philadelphia where she lectures before several well-attended gatherings sponsored by the Ladies' Liberal League, the Single Tax Society, the Society of Ethical Research, and the German Anarchist Society. Notes an increasing interest in anarchism among younger members of the Friendship Liberal League, to which she lectures twice. Topics include "The Absurdity of Non-resistance to Evil," "The Basis of Morality," and "Freedom."

February 23-March 12 After scheduled visits to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Goldman is invited to Pittsburgh and coal mining towns in western Pennsylvania by anarchists Carl Nold and Henry Bauer in association with the International Workingmen's Association. Though the Pittsburgh region is heavily populated by Germans, most of Goldman's speaking engagements are purposely conducted in English.

Talks include "Patriotism," with specific reference to the miners shot by the police at Hazleton, Pa., in September, and the possibility of war between Spain and the United States. She addresses the Monaca, Pa., local of the Glass Blowers' Union, one of the most conservative unions in the country. Lectures in western coal mining towns include McKeesport, Roscoe, West Newton, and Homestead; Goldman also scheduled to speak in Beaver Falls, Carnegie, Duquesne, Charleroi, and Tarentum. Goldman's engagement in Allegheny is canceled when the owners of the liberal Northside Turner Hall refuse to let her speak.

Goldman suffers several "nervous attacks" from the strain of continuous lecturing.

March 12 Goldman among several speakers at an international celebration of the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Paris Commune in Pittsburgh attended by three hundred people.

Mid-March Goldman delivers three lectures in Cleveland, including a well-attended meeting of the Franklin Club.

Just weeks before his death on Mar. 31, Goldman visits the ailing Robert Reitzel in Detroit.

March 20-26 In Chicago, Goldman is aided by Josef Peukert, who secures for her several speaking engagements before labor unions. Addresses the Economic Educational Club (a primarily American-born audience), the Brewers and Malters Union, the Painters and Decorators Union, the Co-operative College of Citizenship, the Turn-Verein Vorwärts Society, the German group of the International Workingmen's Association, and the Bakers' and Confectioners' Union. Lectures include "Trades Unionism," "Passive Resistance" (both in German), and "The New Woman."

While in Chicago, she visits Max Baginski at the Arbeiter Zeitung office. Fearing that Baginski had disapproved of Berkman's attempt to kill Frick, she had avoided seeing him; she finds, however, that they share many similar viewpoints. She also meets Moses Harman, the editor of Lucifer, with whom she discusses women's emancipation.

Visits Michael Schwab, who served more than six years in prison for charges relating to the Haymarket affair before he was pardoned. Hospitalized with tuberculosis, Schwab dies a few months later, on June 29.

March 27-28 Goldman lectures in Cincinnati to a large meeting of the Ohio Liberal Society.

Brady complains about their separation; she responds by asserting her need for freedom.

March 29-April 2 Goldman returns to Chicago for additional lectures; speaks before the gymnastic society Gut Heil in a Chicago suburb and to residents of a Jewish neighborhood in Chicago.

On Mar. 31, Goldman lectures on "The Inquisition of Our Postal Service" to the Progressive Bohemian Labor Organization, addressing recent censorship cases, including the conviction of the Firebrand editors. The organization votes unanimously to adopt a resolution protesting postal censorship.

On Apr. 2, Goldman honored at a farewell meeting held by the Committee on Agitation of the Progressive Labor Organizations of Chicago.

April 3-4 Goldman scheduled to speak in Milwaukee.

April 6-10 "Patriotism" is among the five lectures Goldman presents in St. Louis; encounters no interference by the mayor or police. Local comrades note an increase of young women in attendance.

April 13-18 Goldman makes her first visit to Denver, where she is hosted by a small group of American anarchists. Her five lectures are met with surprising enthusiasm--"The Basis of Morality" noted as her best. Sponsors include the Denver Educational Club, a largely Jewish group.

Mid-April Goldman visits Salt Lake City.

April 24 Spanish-American War begins.

Late April-May Goldman in San Francisco; opens her engagements with a lecture on "Patriotism," which, following the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, becomes her most important and successful lecture. Her other speeches--at least four, including a talk at a May Day celebration--are well attended and receive fair press coverage. Goldman also debates the German socialist Emil Lies, editor of the Tageblatt. Goldman especially impressed with Abe Isaak, former editor of the Firebrand and current editor of Free Society, who had recently settled in San Francisco with his family. Goldman's San Francisco activities supported in part by local single-taxers.

While in San Francisco, Goldman meets the young socialist Anna Strunsky, who will become a lifelong friend and associate, and through Strunsky, the writer Jack London.

In San Jose, her lecture on "Patriotism" is so controversial that she has difficulty maintaining control of the platform. From San Jose, she travels for the first time to Los Angeles, sponsored by a wealthy acquaintance from New Mexico. Lectures to several large audiences. Goldman severs her relationship with her sponsor when he proposes marriage; she continues lecturing among Jewish sympathizers and organizes a group to conduct ongoing anarchist activities. Goldman denounced in the Freiheit for having alienated workers from anarchism when, under the direction of her wealthy manager, she lectured and resided in expensive halls and hotels.

Following Los Angeles, she returns to San Francisco for additional lectures.

Early June Goldman delivers three lectures in Portland, Oreg. Logistical problems cause the cancellation of scheduled events in Tacoma and Seattle.

June 7 In Chicago, Goldman attends the first convention of Eugene Debs's Social Democracy movement; in her view it is a "fiasco." When she is at first prevented from speaking at the event, Debs personally invites Goldman to address the convention.

July Pleased with the success of her lecture tour, Goldman returns to New York. In association with Salvatore Palavicini and other Italian anarchists, helps to support local labor struggles.

September 10 Empress Elizabeth of Austria is stabbed by anarchist Luigi Leccheni. Goldman considers the act a "folly" but refuses to condemn it; her activities are subsequently monitored by the police and scorned by the press.

November-December Goldman supports efforts of Berkman's defense committee to seek a pardon. With Justus Schwab and Brady, she reluctantly follows the recommendation of defense attorneys to seek Andrew Carnegie's influence in granting a pardon. They approach Benjamin Tucker, editor of Liberty, to meet with Carnegie, but reject his suggestion that Berkman be presented as a "penitent sinner." All plans to meet with Carnegie are eventually abandoned.

November 24 International Anti-Anarchist Conference, prompted by the assassination of the Empress of Austria, is convened by Italian government officials in Rome; attended by fifty-four delegates representing twenty-one countries, including police chiefs from several European countries and major cities. Conference marks the development of strategic international surveillance of and exchange of information about anarchist activities.


January Goldman ends her relationship with Edward Brady.

January 5 Goldman speaks at a large meeting at Cooper Union to protest the International Anti-Anarchist Conference in Rome.

Late January-September Goldman conducts a nine-month lecture tour of eleven states, beginning in Barre, Vt., where she is hosted by Salvatore Palavicini. She delivers several lectures in Barre, including "The New Woman" and "The Corrupting Influence of Politics on Man"--the first anarchist lectures in English ever presented there.

When she is prevented from delivering her last lecture, "Authority versus Liberty," on Jan. 31, Goldman's comrades print and distribute five thousand copies of a manifesto containing the text of Goldman's barred speech.

While in Barre, Goldman meets Luigi Galleani, editor of the anarchist journal Cronaca Sovversiva.

February President William McKinley signs peace treaty with Spain. United States acquires Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; Spain relinquishes its claim to Cuba.

Insurgent forces begin rebellion against U.S. rule in the Philippines.

Mid-February Goldman delivers ten lectures, in German and English, in Philadelphia; speaks before the Friendship Liberal League, Ladies' Liberal League, the Fellowship for Ethical Research, the Knights of Liberty, and the Arbeiter Bund.

Goldman helps organize a regional committee of anarchists from Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

Late February Goldman addresses two large meetings in Cleveland.

March Goldman's lectures in Detroit include "The Power of the Idea" and "A Criticism of Ethics." Goldman is offered financial support for her future medical studies by Herman Miller, a friend of Robert Reitzel and president of the Cleveland Brewing Company.

Invited by the Ohio Liberal Society to lecture on trade unionism, Goldman addresses three meetings in Cincinnati. From Cincinnati, Goldman travels to St. Louis where she delivers ten lectures, including one before the conservative Bricklayers' Union.

Close by, she speaks before two large gatherings in the mining town of Mount Olive. Her lecture on "The Eight-Hour Struggle and the Condition of the Miners of the Whole World" is especially well received.

April-May Goldman spends over a month in Chicago, delivering about twenty-five lectures. Her efforts to speak before a wide variety of trade unions, philosophical and social societies, and women's clubs are aided by Max Baginski and other German comrades; the International Workingmen's Association helps her organize English lectures.

Goldman lectures on "Trades-Unionism and What It Should Be" and other issues in German and English before the International Workingmen's Association and trade unions including the Brewers and Malters Union, the Painters and Decorators Union, and the Journeymen Tailors Union. Goldman's presentation to the conservative Amalgamated Wood Workers Union is the first to take place by an anarchist.

Additional lectures--including "Religion," "Women's Emancipation," "Politics and Its Corrupting Influence on Man," "The Origin of Evil," and "The Basis of Morality"--are delivered to the Friesinuge Gemeinde, several chapters of the Turner Society, the Freethought Society, and the Women's Sick Benefit Society. Her lecture on "Sex Problems" is debated by many of the Chicago comrades who feel the subject matter is inappropriate for public discussion.

Before leaving Chicago, Goldman organizes a social science club so that the local comrades will continue to organize in her absence.

May Goldman spends a few days visiting miners in Spring Valley, Ill. By May 20, she arrives in Tacoma, Wash., where she participates in a debate on "Socialism versus Anarchism." A group of spiritualists lend her use of their temple free of charge for a series of lectures, but when she proposes to lecture on "Free Love," they deny her the use of the hall.

Goldman delivers two well-attended lectures in Seattle.

June Goldman visits an anarchist colony at Lakebay, Wash. By June 10, she is scheduled to hold a series of meetings in Portland, Oreg., followed by lectures in the farming community of Scio, Oreg., where use of the city hall is donated to Goldman by the marshal of Scio.

June-August Goldman arrives in San Francisco on June 22, where she begins a seven-week series of lectures in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Stockton. "Why I Am an Anarchist Communist," "The Aim of Humanity," "The Development of Trades-Unionism," and "Charity" number among her lectures. Socialists antagonistic to her on several occasions. Her lecture on "Sex Problems" continues to stir debate; some applaud her courage to speak about this taboo issue.

Mid-Late August Goldman delivers three lectures in Ouray, Colo., followed by several lectures in Denver, including "The Power of an Idea," "Education" before the Smeltermen's Union, and an open-air meeting on "Patriotism."

September At the invitation of Kate Austin, Goldman travels to the farming community of Caplinger Mills, Mo., where she delivers three lectures, including "Patriotism."

September 6 In the mining town of Spring Valley, Ill., Goldman heads a Labor Day procession, which ends with a meeting in the central market place, a direct violation of the mayor's denial of authorization to do so.

September 23-October 10 Goldman addresses thirteen meetings in Pittsburgh and surrounding cities, including West Newton, McDonald, and Roscoe, Pa.

Fall Goldman arranges for their trusted comrade Eric B. Morton to begin to dig a tunnel for Berkman's escape.

Mid-October Goldman's lecture tour complete, she returns to New York City. Under the guise of pursuing a new legal action in Berkman's case, with Saul Yanofsky of the Freie Arbeiter Stimme, Goldman raises money to support the cost of digging Berkman's prison escape tunnel. If successful, Berkman intends to meet Goldman in Europe.

November 3 Goldman embarks for Europe to attend the 1900 International Anti-Parliamentary Congress in Paris and with the intention of studying medicine in Zurich, Switzerland.

November 13-December 9 Goldman arrives in London where she stays with Harry Kelly and his family and lectures in English and German. Among her proposed topics are "America: The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave," "Strikes and Their Effect on the American Worker," and "Marriage." While visiting Peter Kropotkin at his home in Bromley, she meets the Russian populist Nicholas Chaikovsky, whom Goldman greatly admires. She argues heatedly with Kropotkin about the political significance of "the sex problem."

Following one of her German lectures, she meets the Czechoslovakian refugee Hippolyte Havel, with whom she later falls in love.

December 9 Goldman appears in London among a cast of international speakers, including Louise Michel and Kropotkin, at a "Grand Meeting and Concert for the Benefit of the Agitation in Favour of the Political Victims in Italy."

December 10-22 Goldman travels to Leeds and Bradford for several lectures.

December 23 Goldman returns to London.


January Goldman attends a Russian New Year party in London where she meets notable Russian revolutionary exiles, including L. B. Goldenberg and V. N. Cherkezov.

Goldman travels to Glasgow, Dundee, and Edinburgh, Scotland to lecture. On Jan. 21 in Dundee she lectures on "Authority versus Liberty" and "The Aim of Humanity." In Edinburgh, she meets anarchist Thomas Bell.

February Goldman spends the month in London before traveling to Paris. On Feb. 20, Goldman speaks out against the Anglo-Boer War at a meeting of the Freedom Discussion Group; lectures on "The Effect of War on the Workers." Her activities are credited for providing impetus to the London anarchist movement.

On Feb. 25, Goldman scheduled to deliver her lecture "The Basis of Morality" in German. On Feb. 26, she is honored at a farewell concert and ball where she speaks about the striking Bohemian miners; other speakers include Peter Kropotkin and Louise Michel.

Goldman begins debate in the anarchist press about the importance of developing consistent propaganda and supporting individual lecturers financially.

March-October Accompanied by Hippolyte Havel, Goldman visits Paris in preparation for the September International Anti-Parliamentary Congress in Paris. While immersing herself in French culture, Goldman becomes acquainted with the leading figures of the French anarchist movement and other progressive circles, including Augustin Hamon and Victor Dave. Decides against pursuing further medical studies so that she can concentrate on political activities.

Goldman delivers a statement to the organizing committee of the Paris congress about her most recent lecture tour in the United States, the necessity of organizing American-born citizens into the anarchist movement, and the reluctance of some anarchists to participate in the Paris congress.

U.S. anarchists debate the importance of selecting American-born delegates to represent their movement at the Paris congress; it is eventually decided that Goldman, although an immigrant, will be a suitable representative. Other representatives also selected. Goldman asked by several American comrades, including Lizzie and William Holmes, Abe Isaak, and Susan Patton, to present papers at the congress.

June-July Goldman meets up with some Italian comrades from the United States, including Salvatore Palavicini. Reunites with Max Baginski when he arrives in Paris.

June 14 French intelligence notes presence of Goldman and Havel at a women's congress in Paris.

July 16 The tunnel being dug for Berkman's escape is discovered. Although prison officials cannot verify who is responsible, Berkman is placed in solitary confinement. Eric B. Morton, sick from the physical hardship of digging the tunnel, sails to France where he is nursed back to health by Goldman.

July 29 King Umberto of Italy is killed by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian anarchist Goldman had met in Paterson, N.J.

September Meets Oscar Panizza, whose writings she had read in the Der arme Teufel. Discusses issues of sexuality, including homosexuality, with Dr. Eugene Schmidt.

September 18 The International Anti-Parliamentary Congress, scheduled to begin the following day, is prohibited by the French Council of Ministers. Protest meeting called for that evening is prevented by the police. Though some of the scheduled meetings are canceled, others take place in secret locations.

Goldman's "The Sex Question" is one of eight anarchist lectures scheduled to be presented on Sept. 21--although some French comrades were opposed to this topic being addressed in public for fear that it would lead to further misconceptions of anarchism.

During this period, Goldman also attends the Neo-Malthusian Congress in Paris, which holds its meetings in secret because of a French law prohibiting organized attempts to limit offspring. Goldman obtains birth control literature and contraceptives to take back to the United States.

Late September-November Following the Paris congress, Goldman earns her living as a boarding room cook and as an American tour guide at the Paris Exposition.

December Goldman returns to New York with Hippolyte Havel and Eric B. Morton. Newspaper reports claim that Goldman had, under an assumed name, rented a hall on Dec. 11 for a mass meeting of the Social Science Club. Goldman the principal speaker; statement favoring the assassination of King Umberto attributed to her.

Goldman scheduled to speak to the Italian group of New London, Conn., on Dec. 23.

Black Links

Emma Goldman Page:
Chronology (1901 - 1919):
Chronology (1920 - 1940) :
Previous Page:
Next Page: