Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On November 17

On this day in ...
... 1866, Voltairine de Cleyre (right) was born in Leslie, Michigan, into a poor family with ties to the Underground Railroad. Sent to a convent school in Canada where her family hoped she would get a better education, de Cleyre soon embraced atheism and free-thought movements of the day. Following the 1887 Haymarket executions about which we've posted here, she became an anarchist. She was, in the words of Russia-born anarchist Emma Goldman, "the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced." Her many speeches and writings may be found in a number of collections, among them Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre (Sharon Presley & Crispin Sartwell eds., 2005). De Cleyre survived 2 suicide attempts and 1 assassination attempt before dying from meningitis in Chicago in 1912.

(Prior November 17 posts are here and here.)

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