Newspaper Clippings: Beer for Baptism (1901)

Beer for Baptism.

Emma Goldman Mocks Religious Rite in Mining Town.

Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 16. – A curious story of Emma Goldman, which is vouched for by a Milwaukee man is being told.

It was in 1897 that the man in question happened to visit the mining town of Spring Valley, Ill., one of those forlorn, prairie mining towns where there is a good deal of actual misery and lots of underground hard work.

At the time of the visit of the Milwaukee man Emma Goldman was there, holding nightly meetings and drawing large crowds. Just before leaving the town, an anarchist family went to her and said they had a child they wanted christened. She announced to her street corner auditors that on the following evening she would christen an anarchist baby at the curbstone. The little innocent was brought into the crowd by the smiling parents, and Emma took it into her arms. Then she made a speech, saying it was an anarchist baby and that she was called upon to confirm it in the anarchist faith.

Meanwhile the father had disappeared for a moment and was seen returning from a nearby saloon. He elbowed his way back to the anarchist seeress’ side and handed her a pail. There was a tell-tale foam in the pail  Emma swooped her hand down into the depths of the pail and then deliberately sopped the little poll of the infant with – beer! The crowd cheered approvingly, the baby cried and the ceremony being over, the child was handed back to its parents and Emma launched forth into her regular evening talk.

The Wichita Beacon 36 no. 124 (September 17, 1901): 8.

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Independent scholar, translator and archivist.