“I hope to do some work for the Labor Cause…”

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One of the bits of Liberty‘s prehistory that undoubtedly needs to be better documented is Tucker’s entry into the anarchist movement. I recently purchased microfilm of The Word, Ezra Heywood’s paper, and just ran across this in the Nov. 1872 issue:

B. R. Tucker, New Bedford, Mass. ‘I hope to do some work for the Labor Cause but first wish to study the question that I may thoroughly understand it. For this reason I send for your publications. I wish you would hold a Convention in New Bedford. The conservatives here need a little stirring up. They have not been shocked in a long time.’

Tucker was a regular correspondent to The Word, and contributed a number of interesting accounts of current events, meetings of the various reform leagues, etc. And alongside one of his letters is a poem that suggests that perhaps someone in the movement was as taken with him as he was with his new-found anarchism:

To B. R. T.

O youth with blood as noble, free,
As e’er did course in kingly veins,
With high resolve so early fixed,
With mind and heart attuned!

No peril threatens thee or thine,
While to thy soul thou lend’st the sway,
While loyal thought to deeds conspire,
While thou remain’st in love’s enthrall!

Oh love that shrines a Universe!
What trustful charity it lends,
What wise forbearing with the race,—
Thy pure ideal blazoned still!


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.