Helms, Robert P. George Brown: the cobbler anarchist of Philadelphia. Kate Sharpley Library: 2006. 40 pages, illustrated.
Robert P. Helms traces the life of an anarchist shoemaker from freethinking Northamptonshire to Philadelphia’s burgeoning anarchist movement of the 1890s. Never famous, and only occasionally infamous, Brown was typical of many of the militants who made the movement what it was, and his story sheds a fascinating light on the microcosm of a social movement.
‘The closer we examine this particular anarchist, the more he is his own unique self, the more fiercely determined he remains. He was somewhat wily, could be a bit pigheaded, but never for a selfish reason, never in a way that indicated even the slightest corruption. As yet another traveling anarchist noted in 1900, George’s “whole soul is in the cause. He is a most genial companion, with a warm, human heart, but rigidly uncompromising in his devotion to anarchist principles.”*’
*James F. Morton Jr. “Across the Continent III”Free Society, April 8, 1900
Robert P. Helms is a writer, historian & editor of the ‘deadanarchists.org’ website, an excellent collection of anarchist history (mainly related to Philadelphia.)
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