Albert Parsons : American Anarchist Leader and Haymarket Martyr

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(1848 - 1887)


...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.

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From : Evan Kelley Bio


"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 Defined by Some of Its Apostles," by Albert Parsons

"...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 Defined by Some of Its Apostles," by Albert Parsons

"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 Defined by Some of Its Apostles," by Albert Parsons


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About Albert Parsons

 Albert Parsons 1

Albert Parsons 1

A Summary of the Life of Albert Parsons
By Evan Kelley

Haymarket Martyr Albert Parsons was born on June 24th, 1848. At age five, he was orphaned and subsequently was raised by an African American slave named Esther. It is probable that this experience helped to shape his egalitarian views on race. However, he still served in the Confederate army under his brother, Major William Parsons. After the war he openly condemned slavery and began to develop as a socialist. He began to publish a journal called the Spectator, which argued for equal rights for African Americans.

In 1873, Parson married Lucy Waller. Lucy was half Creek Indian and half Mexican and, while initially living in Texas, conservative general disapproval and further pressure from the Ku Klux Klan caused the two to move to Chicago. It was here that both Albert and Lucy joined the Socialist Labor Party in 1876. They also helped to found the International Working People Association (IWPA), a labor organization that promoted racial and sexual equality. Furthermore, Parsons became the editor of the radical journal, Alarm.

In the midst of the labor strike for an eight hour work day, and in protest to the police brutality that caused the deaths of four workers, 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. The explosion killed eight men (one, a police officer) and injured dozens more. The police immediately attacked. Several were killed, hundreds were injured.

Witnesses identified Rudolph Schnaubelt as the bomb thrower, though arrested, he was released without charge. He soon fled to Argentina and was never heard from again. It would later be suspected and claimed by some that Schnaubelt was actually paid by the police to throw the bomb to start the pandemonium and break up the demonstration. After Scnaubelt's release, the police arrested Samuel Fielden, August Spies, Adolph Fisher, Louis Lingg, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab and George Engel. They sought to arrest Parsons as well, but he fled. Nevertheless, on the first day of trial, Parsons appeared in court by his free will to stand by his comrades.

During the trial, a number of witnesses were able to prove that none of the eight convicted had thrown the bomb. At this point, prosecution set towards charging all eight with conspiracy to commit murder, arguing that speeches and articles written by the individuals influenced the unknown bomber to his actions. Written works, as well as conversations reported by infiltrators (the police had spies that infiltrated anarchist meetings), were used to show that the men thought violence could be used as a revolutionary tool. Sadly, despite the lack of evidence and the preposterous charge, all eight men were found guilty. Parsons, Spies, Fisher, Lingg, Engel were sentenced to death. Neebe, Fielden and Scwab were sentenced to life imprisonment. Parsons was killed by hanging on November 10, 1887.

From : "A Summary of the Life of Albert Parsons," by Evan Kelley, from Anarchy Archives


This person has authored 17 documents, with 89,410 words or 541,422 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1887 Parsons, A.R. . Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis. Chicago, Mrs. A. R. Parsons [c1887]. CHAPTER II. VIEWS OF THE PRISONERS. Following are extracts from the speeches of the eight Chicago anarchists, relating to anarchy, made by them in reply to the question of the court why sentence should not be pronounced; including also other extracts from their writings: August Spies On Anarchy. "From their testimony one is forced to conclude that we had, in our speeches and publications, preached nothing else but destruction and dynamite. The court has this morning stated that there is no case in history like this. I have noticed, during this trial, that the gentlemen of the legal profession are not well versed in history. In all historical cases of this kind truth had to be perverted by the priests of the established power that was nearing its end. "What have...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1886 ~ (6,082 Words / 35,353 Characters)
The Great Anarchist Trial: The Haymarket Speeches As Delivered On The Evening Of The Throwing Of The Bomb, At Haymarket Square, Chicago, May 4, 1886, By: August Spies and Albert R. Parsons 1886 Published by the Chicago labor press association Room 17, No, 76 and 78 Fifth Ave., Chicago NOTE. The Chicago Times of August 10 contained the following statements, among others, in regard to the great trial: "The climax in the Anarchist trial was reached yesterday. Schwab, Spies and Parsons told their respective stories to the jury from the witness-chair, to a spell-bound audience of spectators, an amazed jury, and a surprised judge. Parsons was composed and eloquent. His brother, General W. H. Parsons, sat with eyes fixed upon him during the time he was upon the stand. As soon as Mr. August Spies retired Mr. Parsons took the st... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1883 ~ (1,777 Words / 11,475 Characters)
The Pittsburgh Manifesto to the Workingmen of America FELLOW-WORKMEN: The Declaration of Independence says: “…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them (the people) under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security.” This thought of Thomas Jefferson was the justification for armed resistance by our forefathers, which gave birth to our Republic, and do not the necessities of our present time compel us to reassert their declaration? Fellow-Workmen, we ask you to give us your attention for a few moments. We ask you candidly to read the following manifesto issued in your behalf, in the behalf of your wives and children, in behalf of humanity and progress. Our present society is founded on the exploitation of the propertyless classes... (From :


1848 :
Birth Day.

1887 :
Death Day.

November 15, 2016 ; 5:30:37 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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April 21, 2019 ; 5:04:38 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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