Source: The Spirit of Labor
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The Radicals” [chapter 7]
Author(s): Hapgood, Hutchins
Publisher: Duffield and Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1907
Pagination: 138-66 (excerpt below includes only pages 153-55)
|Hapgood, Hutchins. “The Radicals” [chapter 7]. The Spirit of Labor. New York: Duffield, 1907: pp. 138-66.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|Anton Johannsen; McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists).|
|Jean Grave; Anton Johannsen; Maggie Johannsen; William McKinley.|
|From title page: By Hutchins Hapgood, Author of “The Autobiography of a Thief.”|
The Radicals [excerpt]
A few nights following the death
of President McKinley, Anton was attending a meeting of the Union. After the
meeting, Anton and several other officers went, as usual, to a saloon. They
talked about the assassination, Anton, an enthusiastic Socialist, and a sceptical
Scotchman who never committed himself. While they were talking and drinking,
a stranger who seemed to be under the influence of 
liquor came up to them and asked a pointed question as to what they felt about
the assassination. The Socialist, who was a Swede, said: “Well, I don’t know.
I sorry he dead, but I sorry he capitalist.” The stranger then asked the Scotchman,
who replied: “My God, I was just going to ask you. What do you think?” Then
the stranger put the question to Anton, who “was rather sceptical as to the
justification of his butting in.” But he replied: “I would have as much and
perhaps more sympathy for my neighbor if he were killed than for McKinley.
I should feel sorry for his wife and children.”
This reply did not suit the stranger, and he cried out that Anton was an anarchist. There was great confusion in the saloon and it looked like a fight, until the Scotchman gave the stranger the signal of the Masonic Order, and then it was all right.
Anton had become sufficiently known as an anarchist to make Maggie nervous about what might happen to him, in the excitement following McKinley’s assassination. So she burnt up the copies of Free Society, Jean Grave’s book and some Socialistic papers; fearful that her husband might be arrested.  Anton “was disappointed,” as he expressed it, at this, for at that time, in the first flush of his anarchistic faith, he would have welcomed arrest. At a later time—now—he is much cooler about all theories. Now that he is more of an anarchist, in the sense of being more of a sceptic, he is far less of a propagandist. He is now as sceptical about anarchism as he is about any other system of running the world’s affairs successfully.