‘Our Cause May Grow The Richer,’ Some thoughts on Billy MacQueen

Anarchist newspapers can flatter to deceive for the researcher in anarchist history. They often shed a light on some of what is happening at a certain time and in a certain place. They provide windows into areas of anarchist history and fill in some of the rather daunting gaps that come with the territory, but it would be foolhardy for us to insist that the study of anarchist print culture of a certain period is a full and realistic picture of anarchists and anarchist activity during that time. A good example of this would the newspaper War Commentary (November 1939-June 1945). The general reader looking at the paper’s anti-war articles, pages of anarchist and radical history, and comments on current affairs would be in ignorance of the bitterness existing within the ranks of the Anarchist Federation of Britain during the period of the paper’s publication. Not one mention was made of this tension within the pages of War Commentary. When the split occurred in January 1945, a split that fractured, and then created the landscape of British anarchism for the next fifty years, it came as a shock to many.

I want to look at the life of William (Billy or Mac) MacQueen, 1875-1908 and see what his scattered writings and publications tell us about him and the anarchist world he was part of. Just as importantly I want to see what they don’t tell us.[1]

The Free Commune

The Free Commune newspapers and leaflets were put together by William MacQueen and Alf Barton (1868-1933).[2] The pair knew each other well and had spoken together as early as September 1893 at a meeting organized by Leicester Anarchist Communists to protest the use of police violence against striking colliers. Interestingly MacQueen was representing London painters. The first two issues of the paper were published in Manchester (April 1898 and June 1898) while the third (October 1898) was based in Leeds. MacQueen and Barton also had the help of Tom Jones, a Manchester anarchist who appears to have dropped out of the project after the second issue. 

The three editions of The Free Commune were produced on thin paper with only the second paper reaching the lofty height of six pages. The others were only four pages long. According to John Quail in The Slow Burning Fuse they were produced at a time when the English movement was in decline and if we judge the health of a movement by the production of newspapers then he was correct. Liberty, The Torch and Alarm (all based in London) had all ceased publication in the immediate years before The Free Commune appeared and only Freedom carried on under the capable editorship of Alfred Marsh. That said we must remember that at this time there were anarchists doing things or at the very least thinking about their experiences as anarchists and assessing what next moves were necessary to bring about revolution. We should see the creation of The Free Commune as part of that experience. Both Barton and MacQueen had been active in the anarchist movement for some time before the appearance of the first issue. Barton, as a member of the Manchester anarchists, had played a prominent part in the free speech fight there and in 1892 had spoken at a large meeting in support of the Walsall anarchists. In 1895 he had authored a piece on ‘Anarchism’ for that year’s Labour Annual. MacQueen meanwhile had a reputation as a good outdoor speaker on anarchism in both Burnley and Leeds and worked hard for the cause. The work of these two anarchists then was local, based away from London and all too easily overlooked. Because we can’t see the fires doesn’t mean there wasn’t quite a bit of smoldering to catch our eye if we look in the right places. 

Although both MacQueen and Barton were class struggle anarchist communists, editions of The Free Commune suggest that they both saw anarchism as a rich tapestry and were easily able to reconcile what some of us may now see as contradictions or antagonisms within the concept. The first issue of the paper, for example, adopts an ‘Anarchist or Free Socialist position’ in its opening statement and yet, the paper also claimed to be ‘Free-lance in the realm of thought’. Barton writes a long piece on ‘Thoughts’ where he emphasizes that ‘the individual, each individual mind is the center of things’. The editors in a small piece suggest that there is a battle between the exploiters and the oppressed which may well be imminent. Sadly, The Free Commune offers little local evidence of that upcoming battle. There is mention of the creation of a co-operative electrical and bicycle workshop in Leeds as well as a report of some of the Northern Co-operative Societies visiting the anarchist inspired Clousden Hill Colony on Tyneside as part of their conference in Sunderland. There were also advertisements for two papers, the London based Freedom, together with some of their pamphlets and the San Francisco based anarchist-communist Free Society. Readers could take a subscription out for this, Les Temps Nouveaux and other Continental papers from the Free Commune Office in Manchester. All communications should be sent to MacQueen. At the very least we can see they were trying to establish the newspaper within the international world of anarchist newspapers.

There is an earnestness there but, if truth be told, little else. It is a fishing expedition to see if there are other likeminded people still active who wish to regenerate the movement of a few years ago. The feedback they received presumably encouraged the editors to continue.

Six pages long, the second issue of The Free Commune in June 1896 featured news of more anarchist activity with adverts and mentions of groups in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Derby and the Sheffield Free Communist Group as well as a list of subscribers to the paper. There is also an advertisement for the Leicester Socialist League. For the first time MacQueen writes for the paper, a small article on Co-operation, arguing for the need to establish colonies near towns and stating his disagreement with the ‘orthodox’ militants who believe this approach withdraws energy from the masses. On the contrary he argues, ‘Everything that purifies life helps the Revolution’. It is a telling phrase redolent with the period they are living in and their sense of what is possible. For example, the paper stresses the importance of the Brotherhood Church movement based on Tolstoyan lines, advertising their paper New Order[3] and the bicycle workshop in Leeds mentioned in No. 1, now called The Brotherhood Workshop and run on anarchist communist line, while at the same time portraying the Milan food riots and subsequent Bava Beccaris massacre as the ‘preliminary battle of the Revolution’.[4] Anything that moves us nearer to the Revolution, from bicycle workshops to riots, has to be supported. That urgency would characterize MacQueen and his work over the next few years.

The same eclectic approach to revolution is seen in the third issue of The Free Commune dated October 1898. The paper is now published in Leeds with Barton in Manchester and MacQueen in Leeds still looking after the arrangements. It includes a long article on Nietzsche by Barton, describing Nietzsche as a profound thinker, gifted writer and inspired prophet. Barton cautions against what he sees as Nietzsche’s ‘great contempt for the multitude’ and but sees the critical importance of Nietzsche as the smasher ‘of old idols’. There is also a telling comment on the assassination of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth by the Italian anarchist Luigi Luccheni, which had occurred the previous month on 10 September in Geneva. The editors are neither in favor nor opposed to the act but would like to see similar outrage every time a working woman is killed by the profit-mongering system. The issue also includes a small donors list and a notice announcing plans to produce a ‘small quarterly magazine devoted to libertarian thought.’ No further explanation is offered. Was it because they were too busy to put out a regular paper? Perhaps there was more political activity they were taking part in, or they simply felt they could get their ideas over more effectively in a longer quarterly magazine?

Whatever the reason or reasons The Free Commune: A Quarterly Magazine of Libertarian Thought published by The Leeds Free Commune Group appeared in 1899 and was dated January, February and March of that year. It is certainly bulkier than the paper, but the quarterly lacked the current news and commentary that had informed the newspaper, a constant problem for magazines like this where contemporary news can quickly become out of date by the time the magazine is published. Consequently, there is even more concentration on theory than anarchist activity.[5] For the purposes of this piece I want to look at MacQueen’s article on ‘Property’, which is an all-out attack on individual property ownership: ‘marked by tyranny and oppression’. For MacQueen individual property ownership is responsible for the power of religion and represents the individuality of the strong man, the chief. Property rights have been marked by ‘a trail of human woe’, you own property at the expense of someone else and the solution is to ‘throw open the path of production to free and voluntary associations on communist lines’. The progress of humanity is hindered by the existence of individual property. MacQueen’s article allows for no compromise whatsoever and appears to be indicative of a firmly held position based on reading and thinking as well as, perhaps, lived experience

All hell was let loose’

The Second Boer War began on 11 October 1899 and for some anarchists all hell was let loose. Many supported the Boers in the struggle seeing the war as another example of brutal British imperialism. MacQueen had written an occasional piece on the state of the anarchist movement in the North and Midlands of Britain for Freedom and the January- February issue of the paper contains his article ‘Some Northern Notes’. He writes that the anarchists in Leeds held a mass demonstration against the war organized by MacQueen and others on 1 October 1899 and that MacQueen himself had given a talk on ‘Communism and Anarchism’ in the manufacturing and colliery village of Thornhill Lea near Dewsbury. There is obviously a lot going on and one can imagine how anti-war activity and propaganda must have taken up so much time in the lives of some anarchists. Some of this time would have been spent in small organizing meetings, as well as the more public and grand settings such as the meeting that MacQueen helped organize for Emma Goldman in Leeds in December that year. It certainly wasn’t easy sailing being an anarchist at a time of massive patriotic feeling. A report by MacQueen in the September-October 1900 edition of Freedom, ‘A Few Bits of Propaganda’ noted that an anti-war event in Leeds had turned violent as it was attacked by supporters of the War. What MacQueen’s laconic account omits is that he was badly beaten by the mob and nearly lynched.

MacQueen’s views on how anarchists could bring about the Revolution became more focused as the War carried on. He became a firm adherent of the need for anarchists to create anarchist organizations, a view apparently gaining traction among his immediate comrades, presumably in meetings and private discussions and the annual picnic and conference of the Midland Anarchists which took place in August 1900, in Monsal Dale. From this rain-affected event came the Anarchist Newsletter of 31st August 1900, subtitled ‘A Means of communication between the comrades in England’.[6]

MacQueen explained in the introduction that the Newsletter grew out of the Conference. Anarchists in attendance felt that there was a lack of both working together and common action. Opportunities had been missed in this time of reaction and this paper would be a means of bringing comrades together and letting everyone know what is happening throughout the region. Barton provides a full report on the Conference and MacQueen’s final piece stresses ‘This is why we appear to bring the movement together, to check and discuss as at any firesides, in order that our cause may grow the richer, that we may be able to fight the harder for the REVOLUTION’.

Times appeared to be changing. It was no longer a matter of a few anarchists putting out newspaper feelers but now the production of a newsletter that reflects a movement and a newsletter that, even in a time of intense patriotic reaction, has its eyes fixed on the revolutionary prize through anarchist organization.

Meanwhile MacQueen continued to be busy. The small and rather unheralded pamphlet Anarchism by C.M. Wilson had been published by the Free Commune Anarchist Group (Leeds) in 1900. Described on the cover as Free Commune Pamphlets No. 1, it was reprinted from Fabian Tract No. 4 and is an attempt to explain to the uninitiated just what anarchism is, and what it is not. MacQueen was also working beyond Leeds. A brief note by him in the Jan-Feb 1900 Freedom tells of a meeting organized on 29 November 1899, to revive the anarchist movement in Hull. He reckoned there were at least fifty anarchists there and a significant number of them were German speakers. MacQueen also appears to have had some proficiency in the language. To this end the July 1901 Freedom mentions the publication, in German, of Johann Most’s pamphlet Die Gottespest (The Deistic Pestilence). It was also a Free Commune pamphlet, and it offers an indication of the direction MacQueen’s anarchism was taking him. It was also confirmation of his staunch atheism which had surfaced in his earlier essay on Property. 1901 also saw him publish Kropotkin’s The Development of Trade Unionism and another German language pamphlet by Most, Kommunistischer Anarchismus, (Anarchist Communism) the latter being printed and published by MacQueen in Leeds. The two German pamphlets were presumably initially aimed at the German movement in Hull with Die Gottespest being published by the Free Commune Press in Hull.

A sudden and dramatic change’

Things appeared to be motoring along nicely when there was a sudden and dramatic change in MacQueen’s life. He left Leeds and England altogether sometime in late 1901 or early 1902. By February of 1902 he was speaking at a German anarchist meeting in New York City. There is some uncertainty as to why MacQueen left England. He may have lost his job but this doesn’t entirely explain the move to America. The move may have happened due to his contact with German anarchists in New York. This is plausible as MacQueen began working with Most and his supporters immediately on his arrival. The early speaking engagement suggests he was certainly known in that milieu, he had, after all, published two of Most’s pamphlets. What we can say with certainty is that MacQueen entered a world of militancy and social tension that would test him like never before. It was a world he would embrace with his usual courage and enthusiasm. If there was a challenge to face he tended to run towards it and challenges there would be aplenty.

President William McKinley had been shot by Leon Czolgosz (who identified himself as an anarchist) on 6 September 1901 in Buffalo and died from his wounds days later. Czolgosz’s action had led to a fierce wave of anti-anarchist sentiment in the US. Several prominent anarchists had been arrested and some criminal anarchy acts were passed, including one in New York in 1902. Anarchist newspapers were also suppressed, some permanently. Emma Goldman in particular had been targeted by the press as Czolgosz had attended one of her meetings in Cleveland on 3 May 1901.

On 7 September 1901 Freiheit the German anarchist newspaper edited by Johann Most published an old article by Karl Heinzen called ‘Murder Against Murder’ which praised tyrannicide. Ironically Most had used it as a space filler as he was short of copy and the issue was probably already printing when McKinley was shot. But quickly Most was arrested and on 14 October 1901 he was convicted for printing ‘Murder Against Murder’ and sentenced to a years imprisonment. He was released pending appeal on the 29th of October, the same day as the execution of Czolgosz. Most was due to be arrested and attend his appeal hearing on 5 May, which he would go on to lose. The day before, (May 4) there was a large meeting of around 5,000 Most supporters at the New Irving Hall in New York. The meeting was crackling with anger and tension. MacQueen was a speaker at the meeting and was described by the New York Times (5 May 1902) as holding the meeting spell-bound with his attack on the government. ‘The laws of the American Government are rotten to the core’ was just one of the incendiary claims he is alleged to have made. Anger seethed and broke out regularly leading to armed detectives moving into the meeting and, after some struggles, arresting both MacQueen and Most. If nothing else this meeting allows us to sense how close MacQueen had become to Most, MacQueen’s considerable abilities as a speaker and, as the rallies against the Boer War had intimated, MacQueen’s refusal to back down when challenged.

The New York Times article also describes MacQueen as editor of Liberty a weekly workman’s paper based at 60 Gold Street, New York. He hadn’t wasted any time in joining the fray! Liberty ran from April 1902-March 1903 and MacQueen is named as the editor of the paper until December 1902. Its prospectus is clear and forthright: ‘Liberty advocates an unceasing war against Capitalism and Governmentalism by any and every means’. Vol 1. No 11 found MacQueen sympathizing with Czolgosz, arguing ‘Our respect for you, Leon, is only equaled by our detestation of the Irish American Boodle hunting vulture over who’s grave so many crocodile tears are shed’.

You can feel the anger and resentment in MacQueen’s words and how his words reflect the mood of his comrades and friends. This paper isn’t putting out feelers for interest, it isn’t reflecting a new organization either. Rather it is projecting the emotions and moods that MacQueen is meeting every day. Could it be that the Revolution he longed for was near? Was there something in the countless round of meetings, conversations, and socials that made him think so? We may never know with certainty what was said at those venues. What we can see is their effect on MacQueen the writer. Things weren’t smoldering anymore, rather there were fires seemingly everywhere wherever you looked and MacQueen played a significant part in stoking them. He spoke at countless meetings – many of them union meetings and was often cheered and occasionally attacked!!!

The Paterson strike

In April 1902 a strike broke out amongst the dyers in the silkworks of Paterson, New Jersey. The silk workers were from a variety of nationalities – including French, Italian, German, and English speakers. Paterson had a noticeable Italian anarchist presence and was the home of the important Italian language anarchist paper La Questione Sociale edited, at this time, by Luigi Galleani. MacQueen contributed to the English language section of the paper as did Emma Goldman. On 18 June a rally was held in support of the strikers where MacQueen spoke alongside Galleani. After the rally up to two thousand strikers and their supporters marched into Paterson leading to street battles with police that lasted for hours. Warrants were quickly issued for the arrest of MacQueen, Rudolf Grossman and Luigi Galleani, on charges of inciting to riot and malicious mischief. Grossman didn’t speak at the meeting but it is clear that the authorities saw outside anarchist militants as a threat that had to be crushed. Galleani fled to Canada and was sentenced in absentia while Grossman and MacQueen were sentenced to three years imprisonment for sedition and two for malicious mischief. They were released on bail pending appeal.

From here on the arc of MacQueen’s life becomes a little less clear. We know that MacQueen’s wife Nellie, who was Alfred Barton’s sister, and their children were refused entry in the USA as undesirables and had to return to the UK on 3 January 1903. Grossman had already jumped bail and left the USA and MacQueen would soon follow him, jumping his own bail and returning to the UK in order, one senses to be with his family and avoid imprisonment. He would find safety there. Dates are a little blurry for when he returned to England[7] but it is noticeable that some publishing activity that he may have been involved in took place in Leeds and Hull in 1903 and early 1904.

In 1904 Free Commune Press Hull published Die Verbrachen Gottes (The Crimes of God) by Sebastien Faure which continued the trend of militant atheism set by Die Gottespest. Earlier, in October 1903 the Free Commune Press in Leeds published an extract from Kropotkin’s ‘The Spirit of Revolt’ The latter’s commitment to unceasing action ‘sometimes good natured, sometimes terrible’ and its stress on an agitation that ‘is dictated by circumstances, means and temperament’ can be mirrored both in The Free Commune and MacQueen’s experiences in Paterson. For a few brief weeks there the Spirit of Revolt had surfaced. Men and women had broken free from the exhaustion and exploitation of work and together had sensed something better. The strike was defeated by July 1902, but the memory remained.

Then something totally surprising happened again! On 11 April 1904 the New York Times notes that MacQueen was back in New York having arrived the day before. The next day MacQueen surrendered himself to the police to begin his five year sentence. He certainly did not have to come back but seems to have returned to save the person who paid his bail bond, Philip Geyer, father of MacQueen’s counsel Robert Geyer. Indeed, there is some suggestion that Robert Geyer went to Leeds to talk to MacQueen about the situation. MacQueen spent some of his last day of freedom in New York with Robert Geyer and then the cell doors closed.

More publicity as a prisoner’

That wasn’t the end of the story though. Within the next two years MacQueen would gain more publicity as a prisoner than any time as a free man. His case, for reasons that are not too clear, was taken up by Alfred W. Wishart, a Minister of the Central Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1905 Wishart self-published the pamphlet William MacQueen: Reasons Why He Should Be Liberated. It is, to say the least, a most puzzling work. One presumes that Wishart was in close contact with MacQueen. He had letters of reference to the court as to MacQueen’s character and he portrays MacQueen as a respected trade unionist and a Tolstoyan anarchist who does not believe in violence. The latter thesis is proved, suggests Wishart, when MacQueen refused to speak with Emma Goldman at the 18 June meeting in Paterson and only took the platform when he heard she wasn’t coming.

This pamphlet offers years of puzzlement to historians of anarchism. A few points might be mentioned here. MacQueen’s writings certainly supported all types of pathways that would lead to the Revolution and thus were worth walking on. He does not appear too Tolstoyan in any way when you read them. Indeed, there is a staunch atheism in the pamphlets he chose to publish. He saw the union as an important pathway to the Revolution and spoke at many union meetings and sometimes was physically attacked but he and Grossman were viewed, after their arrests, with some suspicion as anarchists by the Central Federated Union, who after some discussion did support them. It would certainly be wise to disassociate oneself from Emma Goldman who at this time was a controversial figure in the national press, but the narrative presented by Wishart does not stand up. In Living My Life (p. 328) Goldman writes of William MacQueen visiting her and asking her to speak at the 18 June meeting in Paterson. She knew MacQueen from her visits to England where he had arranged a meeting in Leeds for her and he obviously felt he knew her well enough to ask her to speak. She initially accepted but after a brutal nightmare that featured Leon Czolgosz, she lost her nerve and wired MacQueen to say she could not come. We should understand that Goldman’s brutal treatment at the hands of the police and press after the assassination of McKinley had left her considerably traumatized. She did however speak at a New York meeting to discuss Paterson on 18 November 1902. One of the speakers that night was apparently Nellie, MacQueen’s wife. The only reason she would have been at the June 18 meeting was because MacQueen asked her to come and speak there!

We could go on breaking down this attempt to portray McQueen as a Tolstoyan upright pillar of the community but a worrying thought won’t go away. Where was Wishart getting this information from? Some of it may have been inferred by the odd piece of writing but one can’t help feeling that some of this information had come from MacQueen himself and that this was a joint narrative.[8] This assertion takes on new life when MacQueen’s case was taken up by the well-known English writer H.G. Wells. MacQueen is interviewed for Wells’ book The Future In America: A Search After Realities published by George Bell and Sons, London in 1908. The interview appears to have taken place in late 1906 or early 1907. In the book several of Wishart’s claims are repeated. MacQueen is respectable, a correspondent with William Morris and an anarchist of the Christian, Tolstoyan school who declined to speak on the same platform as that evil Emma Goldman. Luigi Galleani who preached ‘blind violence’ (246) had got off scot-free. The latter is true in the sense that Galleani had been acquitted of all charges, thanks to a hung jury on his return to Paterson in 1907. Presumably Wells had read Wishart’s pamphlet but also gained information through his interview with MacQueen in Trenton jail.

There is still the question of how Wells learnt about MacQueen’s case. One supposition is that Wishart provided him some of the necessary information. The Wells archive in Champagne, Illinois has a letter to Wells from MacQueen and Nellie dated 24th October 1906 and there are other letters after the publication of the book. An announcement in Freedom of June 1907 mentions that MacQueen had been released (he was pardoned after serving three years for sedition with the malicious mischief charge not being proved). Sadly he had contracted tuberculosis during his jail time. His return to England occasioned little or no fanfare in the anarchist press and the disease killed him in November 1908. The 8 December 1908 Freedom published MacQueen’s obituary. It was hardly a fulsome one after the amount of work he had done for anarchism.

Any road that might take him towards anarchy’

MacQueen is one of many anarchists who died young and never saw his full potential realized. If nothing else writing a little about him reflects a determination that at the very least he will not be forgotten. There’s something else, though. Often, we raid the anarchist past in the light of the anarchist present. Some of us may see him as a walking contradiction as we look for purity of theory and practice. The truth is, I sense, that for MacQueen the pursuit of anarchy was urgent and necessary. That pursuit, in his case, took the form of passionate and fiery speeches (in the most oppressive situations he chose attack, rather than defense), impulsive, sustained actions and thoughtful and inclusive writing. Action wasn’t careful and rational. It was messy, sometimes self-defeating and sometimes wonderfully exciting. All he had to guide him at each step was a steadfastness of morality and purpose. Any road that might take him towards anarchy was worth walking on and he appears to have had little of the rigidity and theoretical certainty that was a feature of the writings and practice of some other comrades of this period. On a more somber note, we cannot begin to know what he went through in prison, or when he became conscious of the disease that was killing him. We can only sense his love for his partner and children and his desire to see them instead of dying in jail. Under that emotional pressure he appears to have cracked. He wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. His life was no marginal one in the pursuit of the ideal and it should be celebrated, even if the ending was not what we might have wanted it to be.

I wrote at the beginning of this piece that anarchist newspapers can flatter to deceive. In the case of Billy MacQueen that is achingly so. We can find his traces and even draw on some of his beliefs and actions, but I would argue that we need to be wary of assuming too much. What we can say with some certainty is that his life as an anarchist touches always on the critical question that has always underscored anarchist struggle; how to defeat the sinewy and brutal beast that is capitalism before it occasions even more hurt. For a time, his life explored that challenge and offered possibilities to overcome it.

Barry Pateman [an update of ‘Free Commune and Billy MacQueen’ in KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 70-71, July 2012 https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/ngf357]


1, There is a fine bio of MacQueen by Nick Heath here: https://libcom.org/article/macqueen-william-billy-1875-1908
2, Sometime after 1900 Alf Barton would move far more towards socialism, joining the Independent Labour Party, then the British Socialist Party in 1913. He supported World War One and, after a little time with the Communist party he returned to the Independent Labour Party in the early nineteen twenties. He remained an active trade unionist. In 1922 his book A World History of the Workers (Labour Publishing Co.) was released. It is an impressively engaging and studious piece that needs to be resurrected!!
3, New Order was edited by J.C. Kenworthy a prominent Tolstoyan Christian anarchist who had visited Tolstoy in 1895. MacQueen had met Kenworthy in Leeds in 1897 and in an article in the November 1898 Freedom he stresses the strong influence of Kenworthy on the creation of the Brotherhood Workshop. (6 Victoria Road, Holbeck, Leeds)
4, The massacre of strikers protesting the cost of food in Milan 6-10 May 1898 became known as the Bava Beccaris massacre after the name of the General who organized the brutal response to the strikers and demonstrators.
5, Other articles of note are ‘Socialism and Politics’ by Barton and an interesting piece ‘A Dream?’ by E. Kelly which features an anarchist speaker being attacked by those he is urging to break their chains. It is an eerie foreshadowing of what would happen in a few months to those anarchist speakers who opposed the Second Boer War – including MacQueen himself.
6, The Newsletter was printed by the Leeds Anarchist Press Committee and all communications were to be sent to W. MacQueen.
7, In his pamphlet William MacQueen: Reasons Why He Should Be Released [Liberated] (1905) Alfred Wishart suggests MacQueen left America in April 1903.
8, This assertion is also given credence by Wishart’s appearance before the Board of Pardons in January 1907 to present papers suggesting that MacQueen wasn’t an anarchist. One has to presume that he did this with MacQueen’s permission.