Ross Winn

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(1871 - 1912)


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About Ross Winn

Ross Winn (August 25, 1871 – August 8, 1912) was an American anarchist writer and publisher from Texas who was mostly active within the Southern United States.

Ross Winn was born in Texas in 1871. Prior to beginning his own publishing efforts, Winn frequently wrote articles for other radical papers. Winn's earliest known published writing appears in the January, 1894 issue of Twentieth Century. He was 23 when he wrote the piece, a plea for cooperation between socialists and anarchists. In a later piece, appearing in Free Society in December, 1900, Winn mentions becoming a "young convert" in realizing his own radical political notions twelve years earlier, when he was only 17 years old. It is likely that Winn, like many other anarchists of the time, became politicized by the execution of the Haymarket martyrs. Winn also wrote articles for The Firebrand, a short-lived, but renowned weekly out of Portland, Oregon; The Rebel, an anarchist journal published in Boston; and Emma Goldman's Mother Earth.

Sometime in 1894, Winn began his first paper, known as Cooperative Commonwealth. He then edited and published Coming Era for a brief time in 1898 and then Winn's Freelance in 1899. Later in 1899, Winn took over publication of Free Society and discontinued Coming Era and Winn's Freelance. In 1902, he announced a new paper called Winn's Firebrand. It's likely he fancied the name of the then-defunct weekly. His vision was for a paper that would appeal to people of all classes. According to Winn, it would be "just the kind of literature for missionary work among the masses". Winn considered the printed word as the most effective tool for social awakening, and saw the dissemination of anti-authoritarian ideals, especially in the conservative South, as his distinct calling. In 1900, Tennessee became his base of operation: "In establishing the magazine (in Mt. Juliet), as an independent publication, the flag of revolutionary thought is planted on Southern soil, and a residence of a lifetime in this section convinces me that it will be a fruitful field for libertarian ideas, if the right methods are used to present them." Winn and his future wife Augusta "Gussie" Smith moved into her family home in Mt. Juliet, the Warner Price Mumford Smith House.

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This person has authored 14 documents, with 8,250 words or 48,926 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1905 ~ (195 Words / 1,197 Characters)
Says the Agnostic: “It may be so Across the sky God sets his bow Of promise, and each day and night Gems the Universe with light. But yet the angel of the darker gloom Has cast the shadow of a deeper doom Athwart the human heart and brain, Whose name is Death, pale priest of pain. Into this world, like a far flung lance, Man is thrust by love, or lust perchance; Opens his feeble eyes and utters a cry, Nor knows that his end here is to die! Within its prison of flesh and bone The soul dwells apart and alone; Flutters for a brief span ’twixt pleasure and pain, And, like the snuffed candle, goes out again. And whence he comes and whither he goes, Nobody answers—for nobody knows. Like a breath for a moment he blows in suspense, And is gone and forgotten in the shadowy hence. And the scent of the flower of the sweet-smellin... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1895 ~ (142 Words / 883 Characters)
America! Once land of liberty And of the brave; Dark tyranny now shackles thee, No longer now art thou the free, Thy liberty is dead, and thee— Thou art its grave! America! Thou gem of all the seas And light of the earth; Though ruled by tyrants, yet the lees Of the proud people—the working bees Of human hive—bend not their knees Nor forget their birth. America! Thou shalt be free! Proclaim it from sea to sea! The tyrant’s heel Shall never feel Thy soil again, nor know thy clime, But once again will freedom twine With live oak, olive and the vine, And none shall kneel. (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1903 ~ (496 Words / 2,769 Characters)
Once upon a time, in a kingdom situated between two seas, the people kept a certain great monster, called an archic. This archic was a most ferocious beast with great iron claws and a mouth large enough to swallow a dozen men at a gulp. The people held this frightful monster in great esteem, although it was a great burden to them, for it had to be fed constantly upon the fat of the land, and demanded human flesh and blood, as well as the choice fruits of the soil, and was always hungry. This savage beast had to be securely chained, and a vast number of men, called archons, or officers of the archic, were required to feed and care for the monster. Every once in a while the archic would break his chain and do no end of mischief among the people; and at all times he had to have human blood to satisfy his appetite. Although the people feared the archic greatly, they agreed that he was a necessary evil, and very useful to keep other evil-doers quiet, for wh... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1911 ~ (523 Words / 3,216 Characters)
Governmentalists, authoritarians, believers in force and violence — worshipers at the shrine of brute force, never tire of repeating the assertion that government is an absolute concomitant of civilization, and the only force whereby social order is to be upheld. However, even a very casual examination of the various forms of public thought reveals the surprising fact that there is an universal mistrust of government, and from nowhere do we hear a note of satisfaction with the workings of our political machinery. In other words, the governmentalists themselves are dissatisfied with the results so far obtained from this paragon, and from nowhere do we hear ought but denunciations of official corruption and protests against the established authorities. An institution that never did give satisfaction, that works badly at all times, and which is constantly being changed and reformed cannot be regarded as a success. The governmental dupes themselves offer the stron... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1902 ~ (2,157 Words / 12,335 Characters)
A great many years ago ther was born, in an obscure village of Palestine, a babe; and its parents were so poor that this little child came into the world among the cattle and was laid in a manger upon a couch of straw. This infant of lowly origin had not even the birth certificate of legal parentage, for his mother was a virgin, and he was the progeny of the gods — which in those days was the polite term for bastard. But above the humble place of this poor babe’s nativity there shone a bright and radiant star — the star of genius. The great world of that day was as indifferent to the doings of the common people, the toilers, as it is to-day. The birth of a prince was an affair of great moment — not because a prince was wiser, or better, or more noble than other men, but because he WAS a prince, the son of a king. But this babe in the manger was not a prince; he was the nameless offspring of poverty and shame. But the star of genius, which has... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1900 ~ (355 Words / 2,104 Characters)
I am an Anarchist. I believe in liberty, absolute, unlimited. I believe that every man, woman and child should be free. But I do not believe in all the absurdities garbed and masked behind the word Anarchy, as expounded by many of its professed apostles. I do not believe that Anarchy stands for unorganized chaos, or that liberty leads to planless pandemonium. I believe in social organization, with cooperation as the basic principle. The pernicious doctrine that the family must be disrupted, in order to reach perfect and harmonious freedom under Anarchy, is too much propagated by a certain class of writers and speakers, whose prominence in our movement is a misfortune to the cause they profess to champion. I certainly do not believe in law-enforced marriage, in sex relations founded upon any kind of force, save the force of attraction, of love. I am old-fashioned and orthodox to that extent — I believe in love. I believe in the beauty of family life, and in the... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1896 ~ (700 Words / 4,028 Characters)
Throughout the centuries that have fled since man crawled forth from his cave an ignorant savage, there has been some form of organized government under which somebody has been oppressed. During all these unknown ages the people have had but little voice in the affairs of nations. For a long time the source of authority was not in this world at all. The king sat on his throne by the will of god, and therefore was not accountable to the people for his acts. He commanded — the people obeyed. He was lord of their bodies, and his partner, the priest, was master of their souls. The government of earth was a duplicate of the “kingdom of heaven.” God was the supreme despot above, the king was his faithful imitator below. Between the heavenly king and the earthly king the people were very much like the fellow who got caught between the devil and the deep sea. That is to say, if they rebelled against the one, they were confronted by the agents of the other, and the argum... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1903 ~ (435 Words / 2,785 Characters)
It has been remarked that the tendency of literature in all countries today is towards what is called realism, or that method which deals with human life and action as it is rather than as it should be, as under the method of the purely romantic. This is especially true of the literature of Germany, of France, of Russia, and of America — if we can properly say that America has a literature. This tendency is not the result of fashion, fad, or the impulse of imitation. Literature is a reflex of the national mind. This is not denying that literature is the most powerful factor in molding the human intellect, or that all intellectual advancement of the masses is due in greatest measure to the genius of the writers and thinkers of every nation. But genius itself cannot escape the influence of environment. The literature of romance has always flourished in that country and age where and when no great problems and revolutions occupied the public attenti... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1903 ~ (1,282 Words / 7,552 Characters)
The hand that holds the sword rules the world. The world worships the warrior and crowns with its veneration the victorious conqueror, tho his path to fame and glory be drenched with blood and tears. The shadow of the sword lies across every page of human history, and the bayonet’s bright gleam and the cannon’s red glare have lighted the path of national destiny from the Babylonian empire to the American republic. The pen of the statesman is worthless unless it is backed by the sword of the soldier. War has enslaved humanity, and by war humanity has broken its chains and widened the horizon of freedom. War is denounced. Physical force is decried. But in the last analysis every civilization is the child of war and every social order is founded on physical force. The sword and the pen have always been partners, and together the statesman and the soldier have wrought; and through all the ages the bayonet has been the agent of the brain. Vain,... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1902 ~ (241 Words / 1,342 Characters)
Kate Austin, a noble and heroic woman, a fearless friend of freedom and humanity, a great intellect and a warm, true heart, is dead. Born and reared upon a farm, and among simple and everyday folk, her mind expanded and her mental sweep touched the distant worlds, and beheld the glories of the intellectual life. In the van of the army of progress there are a few fine and fearless souls who are endowed with the prophetic spirit—who see and feel the glory of the on-coming achievements of the race; and of these Kate Austin was one. This woman, living a quiet domestic life, a farmer’s wife, became known to thousands of progressive thinkers through her contributions to the radical press; and her pen was a power well weilded in behalf of human freedom. She was one of the few who are not afraid of themselves, and have full faith in humanity. She was always fearlessly frank. She was not afraid of words. Kate Austin was a remarkable woman; one of those heroins whose names, tho... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1902 ~ (833 Words / 5,169 Characters)
The political reformers can find little that is really comforting in the result of the November elections. The Republican party representing the financial and commercial interests of the capitalist class is everywhere triumphant, while the forces of reform are once again squarely turned down by the American voters. The Socialists are making a mighty fuss over the increase of their vote, but this empty fact seems to me to be what the great Prentiss termed “a damned barren ideality.” The Chicago Public, which is the most intelligent political journal in the United States, sees nothing satisfactory in the outcome, except the lessons convincingly conveyed by it, lessons that will scarcely be heeded by the political managers. Inasmuch as The Firebrand predicted the result correctly two weeks before the election, giving all the reasons therefor, it is unnecessary for me to review the causes of this last victory of plutocracy over the people. For it was most certainly a plut... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1902 ~ (365 Words / 2,343 Characters)
A stands for Ananias, The politician’s patron saint. B is for Boodle, which Doth all legislation taint. C stands for Congress, D.C., Where all kinds of laws are invented. D stands for Democracy, Whose dupes are somewhat demented. E stands for Expansion, which Stands for piracy and plunder. F stands for Freedom, a word Mostly used for political thunder. G stands for Gall and Gab, The politicians’ greatest essentials. H is a sulphurious place Where lawyers need no credentials. I is the personal pronoun That the candidate uses most. J’s for a four-legged rascal, Prototype of a political host. K stands for Kansas State, &nb... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1895 ~ (332 Words / 2,032 Characters)
Once more we reach the anniversary of the martyrdom of Albert Parsons, Louis Lingg, George Engel, Adolph Fisher, and August Spies. Though dead, their silence is today more powerful than the voices strangled November 11th, 1887. By the murder of these five leaders of the people, the plutocrats thought to ensure their safety; instead they dug their grave. The world is gradually learning the true history and significance of this crime of crimes. Even now the boastful assertion of the daily press, that “Anarchy is dead” is heard no more. Instead comes the cry for repression to curb its rapid spread! All the powers of governmental despotism are to be invoked. Fools! Did they think they could annihilate principles by strangling the men who advocated them? Did not Parsons tell them: “Men die, but principles live”? Let us remember the Eleventh of November, and forget not the brave souls who, on this day, sealed with their liv... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (194 Words / 1,171 Characters)
Most of my readers are doubtless acquainted with the sad and terrible news of the shooting of our beloved and gifted comrade, Voltairine De Cleyre. We of The Firebrand office are so far from telegraphic communication that, as our paper goes to press, we are yet in ignorance of our strickened comrade’s condition. But we hope for the best. We are indebted to Comrade James Myers, of Philadelphia, for a report of the sad affair, and for newspaper clippings. Herman Helcher, the assailant of Comrade De Cleyre, seems from the account, to be an unfortunate victim of one of those false and vicious ideas that form the basis of Christian ethics. The idea of love-ownership, which is the foundation of the present system of legal marriange, was the logical motive that impelled this weak-minded boy to commit his terrible deed. Thousands of similar cases have occured and are constantly occuring. Much as all of us would deplore the death of our gifted, grand and... (From :


September 25, 1871 :
Birth Day.

September 08, 1912 :
Death Day.

April 27, 2020 ; 5:31:08 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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