Source: Lucifer, the Light-Bearer
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Jane Addams and the Imprisoned Anarchists”
Date of publication: 21 September 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 36
Series: third series
|“Jane Addams and the Imprisoned Anarchists.” Lucifer, the Light-Bearer 21 Sept. 1901 v5n36 (3rd series): p. 291.|
|Jane Addams; anarchists (Chicago, IL: incarceration); law (due process); anarchism (dealing with).|
|Jane Addams; Abraham Isaak; Charles Lamb.|
The date of publication provided by the magazine is September 21, E. M. 301.
Whole No. 883.
Alternate magazine title: Lucifer, the Lightbearer.
Jane Addams and the Imprisoned Anarchists
When Jane Addams, of Hull House fame, heard that
the publishers of “Free Society” were arrested and held without warrant and
denied communication with friends or attorneys, she visited police headquarters
and asked to see Mr. Isaak, and did all that she could toward obtaining for
the imprisoned men and women a fair hearing.
“This action on the part of Miss Addams,” says a writer in the “Record-Herald,” “has been the subject of some comment and even of adverse criticism, and it may be well to inquire why she was thus engaged at the very same hour when the ministers of the gospel all over the country were condemning the Anarchists and when a Chicago divine of some note was declaring ‘that all Anarchists should be driven to hell.’
“Anyone who has listened to Miss Addams’ public lectures has gained several distinct impressions which may be able to throw some light upon this action. She is inclined to the extreme doctrine of non-resistance, to a belief that evil cannot be successfully resisted, but must in the end be overcome by good. She is not even an adherent of the school of scientific Anarchy, to which the suspect Isaak and his comrades belong, according to which school all law and government are not only unnecessary, but represent the repressive and retrogade [sic] tendency in social evolution.
“Disagreeing with the philosophy of the arrested men, she nevertheless knew several of them personally, having met them through that neighborly hospitality which Hull House extends to all who care to come to it, regardless of class, nationality or either social or religious creed.
“Charles Lamb says you cannot hate a man when you know him, and apparently Miss Addams has verified this in experience. During the time of the first public excitement she was able to judge these men whom she knew by her previous knowledge of their characters, and was not frightened by the fact that they were labeled Anarchists even at the moment when that word was associated with a dastardly crime. She was able to recollect that Mr. Isaak and his friends are merely members of a school, who, following the direction indicated by the orthodox Democrat, that the least government is the best government, add [sic] that the entire absence of government is better than the best government.
“They contend that the statutory and judge-made law of the past has been largely class legislation, enacted and enforced for the benefit of the few, and that the most hateful aspect of human life is continually found in connection with the army, the police and the courts. This being the Anarchist position, Miss Addams quite logically contends that, society having laid down a general rule of law that the right of counsel shall not be denied and that bail shall not be refused except in capital cases, and then only when there is some proof of the guilt of the accused it is especially unfortunate to seem to deny these rights to any class of persons on account of their published beliefs—and particularly so when such a denial of legal right illustrates the position they constantly take in regard to the system of law and order. So far from tending to suppress Anarchy or even to dissuade the Anarchist, such a course inevitably and directly strengthens him in his position. She believes that no person should override the law, be he judge, policeman or Anarchist.
“Referring again to one of Miss Addams’ lectures, she maintained that there was a certain corrective power in the position of the anarchist in respect to the present-day tendency toward special legislation. She points out that it is well to have the rights of the individual proclaimed in this time of much lawmaking for the protection of favored cla[s]ses and of property rights.
“Doubtless there are many persons who sympathize with this position, and, while they did not have the opportunity to express it in prompt action as Miss Addams did, they are grateful for at least this small demonstration in favor of the integrity of legal guaranties.”