Emma Goldman once referred to Voltairine De Cleyre as, “The most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.”
In the early 1880s she moved to Grand Rapids and was active in the anti-clerical, Free Thought Movement. Voltairine soon began writing for various publications and exploring other political disciplines. However, it was the Haymarket uprising in Chicago in 1886 that finally brought her to embrace anarchism. More specifically, it was the hanging of the Haymarket Martyrs in 1887, that solidified her belief and commitment in political anarchism.
De Cleyre wrote about numerous other topics, including the Mexican Revolution. She died in 1912, at the young age of 46. However, despite her short life, she not only impacted those who heard her speeches, she continues to inspire generations of people who will consecrate their service to the world!
For more information about De Cleyre’s life and her writing, see our original post from 2016.