Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis as Defined by Some of Its Apostles : Appendix
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(1848 - 1887) ~ American Anarchist Leader and Haymarket Martyr : ...Parsons spoke at the laborers demonstration in Haymarket Square on May fourth, 1886. That morning at around 10 a.m. 180 policemen arrived at the scene and told the crowd to disperse. At this point, a bomb was thrown at the police from an alleyway. (From : Evan Kelley Bio.)
• "Thousands of volumes have been written to record the acts of governments; the most trifling amelioration due to law has been recorded; its good effects have been exaggerated, its bad effects passed by in silence. But where is the book recording what has been achieved by free co-operation of well-inspired men?" (From : "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis as....)
• "In the growth of individualism (especially during the last three centuries) we merely see the endeavors of the individual towards emancipating, himself from the steadily growing powers of capital and state. But side by side with this growth we see also, throughout history up to our own times, the latent struggle of the producers of wealth for maintaining the partial communism of old..." (From : "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis as....)
• "...the very next step to be made by society, as soon as the present regime of property undergoes a modification, will be in a communist sense. We are communists. But our communism is not that of either the Phalanstere or the authoritarian school: it is anarchist communism, communism without government, free communism." (From : "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis as....)
the hostility of disinterested men who believed in fair play, and that justice should be done though the heavens fall."
"Will the case, in your judgment, be called to the United States supreme court, and on what grounds?"
"It will; first, because under the sixth amendment of the federal constitution it is provided that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a trial by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime shall have been committed. The fifteenth amendment provides that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. If these men are executed the state of Illinois, through its courts, will have executed seven men without the due process provided and guaranteed by the constitution, which is the supreme law and which accords to the accused a trial by an impartial jury. It was proved on the trial that the special bailiff, Henry L. Ryce, who was appointed to serve the special venire, said to Otis S. Favor, a reputable merchant in Chicago, that he was managing the case against the accused and knew what he was about, and that the accused would hang as certain as death. 'I am calling such men as the defendants will have to challenge and so waste their challenges,' he said. This was made a special ground for a now trial, although Judge Gary had refused the defendants the privilege to introduce Mr. Otis Favor to prove that the bailiff acknowledged with a chuckle that he was packing the jury so that it would not be impartial. Juryman Adams admitted before the trial that if he was on the jury he would hang all of them. This was proved. Juror Denker stated to two credible witnesses before the trial that the whole d----d crowd ought to be hanged. Several of the jurors, who can be named, as they are all of record, admitted that they were prejudiced so that it would take strong evidence to overcome their already predetermined judgment of their guilt. On this statement of record the fourteenth amendment can be invoked and a writ of error must issue overruling the action of a state court, which has doomed seven men to death, having denied them an impartial trial, as required by the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. Their death would be judicial murder. Such would be the sentence of mankind and the verdict of history.
"2. There is a precedent from Missouri where a writ of error was for review by the United States supreme court on the ground that the evidence was obtained by unlawful search and seizure, and a violation of the sanctity of letters unlawfully seized. A letter to Mr. Spies, written a year before the trial, was seized, after breaking open his private editorial desk, and was permitted to be read on the trial by Judge Gary, the purpose of which was to show be had received--not answered--a letter from Herr Most about medicine that was good for the relief of the Hocking valley strikers of 1885. Evidence obtained by a violation of such safeguards to the citizen is a violation of all rights guaranteed by the constitution. Of course, where courts are now constituted to protect vested wrongs in many cases, as witness Justice Field's decisions in California in favor of the Chinese and in protection of Senator Stanford against the Pacific commission, there is no way to estimate the result of even an application for a writ of error in this case. It may be that 'blood is what is wanted and blood they must have, and thus verify the saying that 'whom the gods would destroy they first make mad."'
"What is your own history and political status ?
"I have held positions of honor under three governors and two presidents. I was on the supreme court bench, a member of the United States centennial commission, was state senator, was in the Charleston convention of 1860, and commanded an active cavalry brigade in the confederate service throughout the war. I am a Jeffersonian democrat and believe the ballot will yet redeem the nation."--Correspondence Daily News.
Citizen Geo. Francis Train, Champion of Free Speech, Free Press and Public Assemblage:
Despotism of America's money-mongers again demonstrated. They deny the, right of the people to assemble to hear you speak to them. Free speech! They will not allow the people to buy or read the Psycho Anarchist. Free press! They interdict the right of the people to assemble and petition for redress of grievances. Right of assembly!
United States constitution nullified by Supreme court's decision. Revolution!
The people clubbed, arrested, imprisoned, shot and hung in violation of law and constitution at behest of America's monopolists.
Free speech, free press, and right to assemble cost seven years' bloody revolution of 1776. But degenerate Americans style those who maintain the Declaration of Independence as anarchists. Jefferson, Adams, Hancock, Washington, Franklin, Paine, Henry and other revolutionary sires they ridicule. as " fools.," "cranks," etc. America's plutocrats of 1887 sneer at these things.
Police censorship over press, speech and assemblage! Russia, Spain, Italy, France--abashed! Working-womens' union prohibited by Chicago police from singing the " Marseilles " at social entertainments!
Tyrants forge missing link. Chain complete. America joins "International Brotherhood of Man." Proletariat of every clime and tongue, from Moscow, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, London and Paris to Chicago, join refrain and sing the
Ye sons of Toil, awake to glory;
Hark! hark, what myriads bid you rise!
Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary
Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Shall hateful tyrants, mischief breeding!
With hireling hosts, a ruffianbaud,
Affright and desolate the land,
While peace and liberty lie bleeding?
To arms, to arms, ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath!
March on, march on, all hearts resolved,
On liberty or death!
With luxury and pride surrounded,
The vile insatiate despots dare,
Their thirst of power and gold unbounded,
To meet and vend the light an air,
To meet and vend the light and air;
Like beasts of burden would they load us,
Like gods would bid their slaves adore;
But man is man, and who is more?
Then shall they longer lash and goad us?
Oh! Liberty, can man resign thee
Once having felt thy gen'rous flame?
Can dungeons, bolts, or bars confine thee?
Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
Too long the world has wept, bewailing
That falsehood's dagger tyrantswield;
But freedom is our sword and shield,
And all their arts are unavailing.
Onward! Citizen Train! Freedom shall not perish! Let the welkin ring, and from land to land labor's innumerable hosts proclaim --"Liberty! Fraternity I Equality!" Salut!
A. R. PARSONS,
Under the deep shadow of that awful tragedy, enacted on the eleventh day of November, many shameful deeds passed almost unnoticed; the gloom, so dense that the close of the century will scarcely see it lightened, veiled the blackness of injustices that would have appalled the hearts of the people if thrown up against the light of freedom in brighter days. Now, it is well that they be brought forth for investigation; the judgment of the people must be given on proceedings done in the name of "law and order," in this so-called free country.
It will be remembered that in the extras of Friday Nov. 11th a casual notice of the arrest of Mrs. Parsons "for persistent disobedience of orders," and that of a lady friend for haranging the people" was given. The officers were reported as being "very courteous and gentle," an I the ladies "were given arm-chairs in the registry office merely to keep them away from the crowd and prevent trouble."
This is the true story: On Thursday evening after Governor Oglesby's tardy decision had been given, Mrs. Parsons accompanied by Mr. Holmesand myself, went to the jail to plead for a last sad interview. She was denied an entrance, but was told by the deputy-sheriff in charge that she would be admitted at half-past eight the following morning. At that time she, with her children and myself was promptly as near to the gates as the police would permit. Every street for two blocks away leading towards the jail was crossed by a rope and guarded by a line of police armed with Winchester rifles. At the first corner Mrs. Parsons quietly made known her errand. The lieutenant said she could not get in there, but that she should pass on to the next corner, and the officer there would perhaps let her through.
She did so with the same result. Another captain told her she must get an order from the sheriff; on inquiring where he could be found, she was told to go on to another corner where a message might be sent to him. At this corner no one knew anything about it and again we were sent on; and so, for more than an hour we were urged along in a veritable game of "Pussy wants a corner" that would have been rediculous had it not been so tragical. Sometimes it was a deputy sheriff who was to be found at a certain corner, sometimes it was the peculiarity of location that promised an entrance beyond the death-line; but it was always "not this corner but some other corner." Not once did an officer say, "you positively cannot see your husband. You are forbidden to enter his prison and bid him farewell," but always offered the inducement that if she passed quietly along, at some indefinite point she would be admitted.
Meanwhile the precious moments were flying; sweet little Lulu's face was blue with cold, and her beautiful eyes were swimming with tears. Manly little Albert, too, was shivering in the raw atmosphere, as he patiently followed his grief stricken mother from one warlike street to another.
Then Mrs. Parsons besought the officers only to take the children in for their father's last blessing and farewell; for one last interview that his memory might never be effaced from their young and impressible minds; one last look that the image of that noble father might dwell forever in their heart of hearts ; one moment in which to listen to the last dear words that his loving and prophetic soul might dictate to the darling children left to live after him. In vain. The one humble prayer the brave woman ever voiced to the authorities in power, was denied her. They heeded her not except to hurry her along.
The last sad moments of her dear one's life were wasting so steadily, so relentlessly. Who can picture her agony'? Who can wonder at her desperate protest against the " regulations of the law" which were killing her husband and forbidding her approach. She determinedly crossed the death line and told them " to kill her as they were murdering her husband." No, they were not so merciful. They dragged her outside, inveigled her around to a quieter corner, with the promise of "seeing about it," and there ordered her, her two children and myself into a patrol wagon awaiting us. What had the innocent children done?
Pleaded dumbly with soft, tearful eyes for their father. What was my crime? faithfulness to a sorrowing sister.
Gave me her promise true;
Gave me her promise true,
Which ne'er forgot will be,
And for bonny Annie Laurie,
I'd lay me down and dee.
Her brow is like the snawdrift;
Her throat is like the swan;
Her face it is the fairest,
That e'er the sun shone on;
That e'er the sun shone on,
And dark blue is her e'e,
And for bonny Annie Laurie,
I'd lay me down and dee.
Like dew on th'gowan lying,
Is the fa' o' her fairv feet,
And like winds in summer sighing,
Her voice is low and sweet:
Her voice is low and sweet,
And she's a' the world to me,
And for bonny Annie Laurie,
I'd lay me down and dee.
As the clear tenor voice rang through the gloomy corridors the other prisoners raised themselves on their elbows and listened. Doubtless to many the beautiful lines recalled tender memories of other days.
Early the morning of the 11th all the doomed men were awake. Parsons ate fried oysters and seemed to enjoy them. After breakfasting, he recited Marc Cook's beautiful poem entitled "Waiting," with smiling features:
Tell me, 0 sounding sea! I pray,
Et rnally undulating,
Where is the good ship that sailed away
Once on a long-gone summer's day--
Sailed and left me waiting.
No braver ship was ever seen,
As over the sunlit waters
She glided on with stately mien
Of a fair, white-vested ocean queen--
A queen among Neptune's daughters.
Her sails were white as the wings of a dove--
Alas, for the fate she was daring
Gaily she rode the waves above,
Gaily, as if all conscious of
The precious freight she was bearing.
And never before sailed ship from shore
With a cargo half so precious;
Youth, hope and love my good ship bore,
And all the fair visions that come no more
In sadder days to refresh us.
Yes, hope and love, the dreams of fame,
Youths sweet self-satisfaction,
Ambition, which kindles the blood to flame,
The lusty longing to win a name
On life's broad field of action:
All these my good ship bore away--
With such rare treasures freighted
She sailed on that long-flown summer's day:
How long it is no tongue can say--
Yet still have I waited --waited!
And ever this barren shore have I paced
With eyes still wearily straining,
Gazing out on the water's waste,
Where naught remains of the faith that I placed
In the blue waves, uncomplaining.
And so, through the long and desolate years,
Have I watched for my ship's returning;
Watched and waited mid doubts and fears,
Waited and watched, when the scalding tears
Adown my cheeks were burning
The seasons have gone and rolled away,
Each with its burden freighted,
But whether December or whether May,
Inflush of the morn or twilight gray,
Still have I waited--waited!
The busy world to the New has turned,
Its pulses palpitating;
Again have life's bitter lessons been learned,
And hands have labored and hearts have burned,
While I for my ship have been waiting.
But now I am wearv and hope is flown
And the sea's sad undulating
Breaks or, my car like a dismal moan;
My ship has gone down in the waters unknown,
And vain has been all my waiting.
After awhile spent in conversation, the question of his funeral arising, be again drew upon his retentive memory and expressed his inmost thoughts in these beautiful lines, from the same author as the preceding:
Come not to my grave with your mournings,
With your lamentations and tears,
With your sad forebodings and fears; When my lips are dumb,
Do not come.
Bring no long train of carriages,
No hearse crowned with waving plumes,
Which the gaunt glory of death illumes:
But with bands on my breast
Let me rest.
Insult not my dust with your pity,
Ye who're left on this desolate shore
Still to suffer and lose and deplore--
'Tis I should, as I do,
For me no more are the hardships,
The bitterness, heartaches, and strife,
The sadness and sorrow of life,
But the glory divine-
This is mine.
Poor creatures! Afraid of the darkness,
Who groan at the anguish to come?
How silent I go to my home;
Cease your sorrowful bell;
During the reading of the death warrant his face was a study. His eyes were unnaturally brilliant, but whatever emotion he felt was firmly checked by the indomitable spirit which had hitherto sustained him. He toyed carelessly with his mustache and let his eyes rest easily upon the objects about him. As the men moved forward Parsons turned to the Jenkins' of the press, who were scrutinizing every action and said sarcastically:
Won't you come inside?"
When the halter was placed about his neck he never faltered. He stood erect, looking earnestly yet reproachfully at the people before him. The nooses were quickly adjusted, the caps pulled down, and a hasty movement made for the traps. Then from beneath the hoods came these words:
Spies: "There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle to-day!"
Fischer: "Hurrah for anarchy--"
Engel: "Hurrah for anarchy!"
Fischer: "This is the happiest moment of my life!"
Parsons: "Will I be allowed to speak, O men of America? Lot me speak, Sheriff Matson! Let the voice of the people be heard! 0----" But the signal had been given, and the officers of the state performed their mission by strangling both speakers and speech.
COOK COUNTY JAIL, Nov. 11, 1887.--My Dear Comrade Lum: Eight o'clock A.M. The guard has just awakened me. I have washed face and drank cup of coffee. The doctor asked if I wanted stimulants. I said no. The dear "boys," Engel, Fischer and Spies, saluted me with firm voices.
Please see Sheriff Matson and take charge of my papers and letters. Among them find MS. letters from Gen. W. H. Parsons' book--return it to Norfolk, Va. Please have my book on "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis" put into good shape, etc.
LATER.--Well, my dear old comrade, the fatal hour draws near Ceasar kept me awake till late at night with the noise (music) of hammer and saw, erecting his throne, my scaffold. Refinement! Civilization! Matson (sheriff) tells me he refused to agree to let Ceasar (state) secrete my body, and be has just got my wife's address from me to send her my remains. Magnanimous Ceasar! Alas, good-bye! Hail the social revolution! Salutations to all.
A. R. PARSONS.
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