Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Red Emma, the greatest orator of all American history, was born on the 27th of June, 1869, in the Russian province of Kovno. When she was 17, she emigrated to America and arrived in January 1886, the year the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated. By 1887, horrified by the Chicago Haymarket massacre and trial, she joined the Anarchist movement and was active in the denunciation of the appaling conditions of labour prevalent at that time.
Frontispiece from Anarchism and Other Essays
in Dana Ward's Goldman Site

    Although John Cowper had the greatest admiration for Emma, her name, strangely enough, does not appear in Autobiography, and we have but few dates concerning their friendship. However, a volume of their correspondence edited by Prof. Goodway has been published by Cecil Woolf, London. In this volume, Prof. Goodway states: 'Contact had definitely been attained by 19 April 1916 when, the evening before her trial for lecturing on birth control, a dinner was given for Goldman at the Brevoort Hotel, New York, attended by such luminaries of the American art world as Robert Henri, George Bellows and John Sloan, and at which John Cowper spoke.' Emma Goldman remembers:
When at the close I was given the floor to reply to the various points raised, I called the attention of the guests to the fact that the presence of Mr. Powys at a banquet given to an anarchist was by no means his first libertarian gesture. He had given striking proof of his intellectual integrity some years previously in Chicago when he had refused to speak at the Hebrew Institute because that institution had denied its premises to Alexander Berkman. (Emma Goldman, Living My Life.)

In 1917 she was again arrested as a pacifist with Alexander Berkman, her companion. and spent two years in prison. At the end of her emprisonment she was expelled to Russia in 1919. When she finally managed to flee Russia in the twenties, her adventurous life was not at an end. She was always at the front to denounce all forms of injustice and her book, which sums up her beliefs and fights, Living My Life, is quite remarkable.
(Photograph 1901, Sept.10 Chicago) obtained from Library of Congress
in Dana Ward's Goldman Site

Henry Miller, who had heard her in San Diego in 1913, remarked that:
Powys, needless to say, had his own select luminaries whom he raved about. I use the word 'raved' advisedly. I had never before heard any one rave in public, particularly about authors, thinkers, philosophers. Emma Goldman, equally inspired on the platform, and often Sibylline in utterance, gave nevertheless the impression of radiating from an intellectual centre. Warm and emotional though she was, the fire she gave off was an electrical one. Powys fulminated with the fire and smoke of the soul, or the depths which cradle the soul. (The Books of my Life)

Early in 1936, living at that time in England, she asked Powys to help her for she badly needed to find work. Powys immediately answered: 'I was so honoured & pleased to get a letter from you... I have the greatest admiration for you'. And a little later he added: 'Everyone in America of course knows the name of E.G. — & all Americans of every class (now between 25 & 35 or even 30 & 40 years of age) remember your name from their childhood — one of the great names of history along with Kropotkin & Bakunin and Tolstoy — as a champion of human and individual liberty on moral spiritual & philosophical lines.'
(9 February 1936, quoted by Prof. Goodway in The Powys Review, No.15)