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Source: Free Society
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “An Anniversary”
Author(s): Austin, Kate
Date of publication: 26 October 1902
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 43
Pagination: 1

Austin, Kate. “An Anniversary.” Free Society 26 Oct. 1902 v9n43: p. 1.
full text
Leon Czolgosz (execution: personal response); anarchism; Leon Czolgosz; McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists); Leon Czolgosz (last words).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz.
Click here to view comments by Helen Tufts written in response to the article below.

Click here to view a response to Tufts’comments by William Holmes.


An Anniversary

     We who are drawn together by a common ideal, cannot permit the anniversary of Leon F. Czolgosz’s death to pass in silence. Silence would shame the great cause, the first seeds of which were sown in the red blood of its advocates and martyrs. The movement against government means more than any reform movement of the past. It is not a struggle against one form of tyranny, but a struggle against tyranny in every form. Rebellion is thought in action. Thought that does not produce action, is like a tree that bears blossoms but no fruit.
     In Czolgosz the rebel, we see incarnated the vital forces of our movement, viz., hatred of oppression and the courage to do. Men cannot hate oppression unless they possess sympathy and intelligence in a high degree. These qualities were not lacking in him, who was born in a so-called free republic.
     Czolgosz saw that the State is merely a band of thieves, knaves, and murderers; that the State was founded upon violence and existed by violence. He saw the parasites connected with it living in riotous waste and splendor off of the products of slaves. He saw the political pimps of the money barons busy enacting new schemes and methods to rob the workers. Doubtless he had been taught in childhood that the starry banner floating over the housetops of his native city was the emblem of liberty and purity; perhaps the boyish heart thrilled with pride to think that he was an American born, and therefore free.
     Yet it did not take him long to unlearn the lies of his youth. Experience and observation are a great aid to the mental development of sensitive minds. Before the roses of youth had faded on the brow of Czolgosz, he struck the State one blow. The head of a great republic reaped as he had sown; and cries of rage and cowardice echoed from blood-stained thrones and back again. Those who are so willing to shed the blood of the helpless thru [sic] their hired murderers; whose sleep is unbroken when the streets of their cities are stained with their bloody work—how they howl when a free, self-poised man dares all the horrors at their command, and hurls one of their number to the earth bathed in his own blood, for the first time in his worthless existence and then dies with a smile upon his face.
     All hail the memory of Leon Czolgosz, sublime in his boyish candor and simplicity, magnificent in his high moral courage and iron will. With pride we lift our heads to greet the rebel who on the threshold of death uttered these sublime words: “I am not sorry I killed the president. I did it for the working people—the good working people.”
     To that class who murder by wholesale, and always unite to torture liberty’s martyrs, we say:

“Go revel once more, ye cowardly knaves,
     With the wantons your lusts have made.
Be drunken again on the blood of slaves,
     That are slain in your marts of trade.”

     But know you this, the spirit that spoke at Buffalo is not dead. That spirit kindled new fires now smoldering in human minds. Government is doomed. On the far hills of our mental vision gleam the lights of the social revolution. We do not weep for its dead; we only learn a lesson from their fortitude, that drive more nails in the coffin of authority.
     Liberty’s martyrs are crowned with flowers of hope. Tyrants with despair, they are dead for all time. But our dead speak the language of the living, and are resurrected in each generation, to live innew [sic] beauty and strength.

     Caplinger Mills, Mo.



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