Ernest Alfred Vizetelly. The Anarchists: Their Faith and Their Record. Turnbull and Spears Printers, Edingurgh, 1911.
THEIR FAITH AND THEIR RECORD
CHAPTER 4: THE ADVENT OF DYNAMITE
A Papal Warning against Revolutionism--Emile Gautier, the Apostle of Anarchism in France--Quarrels between Socialists and Anarchists-- Assassination of Alexander II. of Russia--Johann Most prosecuted and Imprisoned--Irish Extremists and Infernal Machines as " Cement "--Assassination of President Garfield--Futile Attempts to organise the French Anarchists--The Strike Disturbances at Montceau-les-Mines--Two French Anarchist Periodicals--Arrest of Anarchists at Lyons--Explosions at Lyons--Trial of the Lyonese Anarchists--Career and Defence of Prince Kropotkin--Sentences at the Lyons Trial--The Cyvoct Affair--Anarchism in Spain-- The so- called " Black Hand " Conspiracy in Andalusia--Seven Executions--Revolutionary Troubles in Italy and the Triple Alliance--Dynamite Oukages in Great Britain--The Niederwald Plot to blow up the German Kaiser and others--Anarchism in Austria--Drastic Action of the Austrian Authorities.
At the close of 1878 Pope Leo XIII., greatly concerned at the progress made by Revolutionary doctrines of one and another kind in various parts of Europe, issued a well meant Encyclical to the Archbishops and Bishops of the Catholic Church, in which he exhorted them to warn the faithful against such pernicious doctrines as Socialism, Anarchism and Nihilism, al1 of which he unreservedly denounced. In another age such action on the part of the successor of St Peter might have had important results, but that day was past, and the warnings of the Vatican altogether failed to arrest the march of reactionary tendencies among certain sections of the community In fact at an Anarchist Congress held in 1879. at La Chaux- de- Fond, on the Swiss side of the Jura, the employment of Propaganda by Deed was openly advised notably by Prince Kropotkin.
In that year a first amnesty in favour of the partisans Of the Paris Commune was voted by the French Legislature, and as the Communards who then returned home included a good many who had gone over to Anarchist ideas during their exile, the progress of those ideas in France now became much more rapid than previously. They found there, moreover, about this time a real apostle--the term is not excessive--in the person of a certain Emile Gautier who was some thirty years of age and a man of good family and high attainments. He had taken the highest rank in scholastic competitions he held the degree of Licentiate in Law, which qualified him for the bar; he wrote remarkably well, and he was also a powerful public speaker. Gautier took the Anarchist cause to heart, and not only did he advocate it in certain so- called " advanced " periodicals, but he lectured on it virtually all over the country, addressing audiences in such cities and towns as Amiens, Le Havre Beauvais, Reims, Versailles, Levallois- Perret (in the suburbs of Paris), Bourges, Villefranche, Lyons, Besseges St Etienne, Vienne, Arles, Marseilles, Beziers, Cette and Perpignan This went on for two or three years, and only once or twice did Gautier come into collision with the authorities' when he was summoned for using insulting language with respect to President Grevy, for which offences he was fined. In other respects he pursued his campaign virtually unhindered, generally evading the provisions of the law by one or another device, such as putting his case in a hypothetical fashion. That he made numerous converts is certain In 1879 the French Anarchists still regarded themselves as belonging more or less to the Socialist party, and they therefore sent delegates to two Socialist Congresses which met that year. But agreement was found to be impossible. The Socialists held it to be right to take part in electoral contests, whereas the Anarchists urged that the proletariate ought not to participate in them but ought to employ only revolutionary tactics. They again endeavoured to make their views prevail at a Socialist Congress held in Paris in May 1881, but again failed, and after a series of violent scenes were expelled from the gathering. The scission of the two parties then became more pronounced.
That year was a notable one in revolutionary annals. On March I3, the Emperor Alexander II. of Russia, the Liberator of the Serfs, was at last done to death by the Nihilists. It is needless to recapitulate the many attempts made upon his life since his accession to the throne during the Crimean War. But three of the more recent ones may be mentioned. On April 14, 1879, Alexander Solovieff fired two revolver shots at him, and on November 19 the same year Leo Hartmann, the son of a merchant of Archangel, attempted, in conjunction with a man named Goldenberg and a woman called Sophie Perovskaia, to blow him up in the outskirts of Moscow whilst he was travelling thither by train from Livadia in the Crimea. As it happened, the imperial luggage- van was blown to pieces, but the Czar remained uninjured. Hartmann managed to escape to France, and his presence there having been ascertained by the Russian authorities, a request for his extradition was at once addressed to the French Government. But that was long before the time of the Franco- Russian alliance, and the first Freycinet Ministry, then in office, refused to surrender Hartmann, whereupon Prince Orloff, the Russian ambassador, was recalled. Hartmann, however, was expelled from France in the following year, much to the disgust of the French Revolutionaries, who had beers jubilant at the refusal to surrender him. On February 17, 1880, there was another attempt to assassinate Alexander II., this occurring at the Winter palace at St Petersburg at a time when the late Duke of Edinburgh (brother of Edward VII.) was the Czar's guest there. On this occasion it was proposed to blow up the imperial party by means of dynamite while they were at dinner, but the explosion took place prematurely, and the only victims were several men of the Finnish Guard. Moreover, the dining- room suffered no injury whatever' so that even had the explosion been properly timed no harm would have resulted to the Emperor and his guests.
But on March I3, 1881, the result, so far as Alexander II. was concerned, was very different. Accompanied by his brother, the Grand Duke Michael, the Emperor was driving in a closed carriage towards the latter's residence, when an explosion injured the horses of the vehicle, together with one of the half dozen Cossacks who served as escort, and a moujik who was standing near. The Czar alighted, and went to see after the wounded, whilst a soldier of the Preobrajenski Guard, who was on the spot, flung himself on the man who had thrown the explosive, and who, although armed with a revolver and a dagger, was speedily secured.
Having given some instructions respecting the removal both of the injured men and of the captured Nihilist, the Emperor was walking away, followed by his brother and others, when a young fellow suddenly threw something at his feet. Instantly there was another explosion, and the next thing seen was the Emperor and many others lying on the ground. The Grand Duke Michael, however, was unhurt. The Sovereign, terribly injured, was conveyed as speedily as possible to the Winter Palace where he expired. Of a score or so of other persons, who were also wounded by this second explosion, two died one of them being the young fellow to whom it was due His real name appears to have been Grivenetzky, and he passed away in a hospital before his identity and guilt were established. Numerous arrests followed the Czar's death, one individual shooting himself when the police were about to apprehend him; and finally six persons including Ryssakoff, who had thrown the first explosive and two women (a certain Jesse Helmann and the Sophie Perovskaia who had assisted Hartmann in the Moscow train affair) were arraigned for the crime. All were found guilty, but Helmann, being enceinte, was reprieved. The five others were hanged on April 15 when they were driven to the place of execution in vehicles in which they sat with their backs to the horses, and with black boards hanging from their necks, each of these boards bearing in large white letters--so that he who ran might read the inscription--" Assassin of the Emperor."
Now, at that time a former member of the German Reichstag, Johann Most, had come to London where he published a Communist- Anarchist journal called " Die Freiheit " (" Liberty ") to which he contributed an article entitled " At Last! "--this being suggested by some German verse which was Englished at the time as follows:
" Seize these, seize those, and hold them fast But one shall reach thee still at last! "
This article attempted to justify the assassination of Alexander II., describing it as a " Brutus- like action" and an " heroic deed," and, what is more, declaring that it would make all " the long- forfeited heads " of sovereigns and heads of states tremble from Constantinople to Washington. The result was the prosecution of Most on the charge of approving the murder of the Czar and inciting people to murder foreign sovereigns generally He was found guilty at the May Sessions of the Central Criminal Court, but the jury recommended him to mercy on the ground that he was a foreigner and " might be suffering violent wrong." As a matter of fact, Most had been virtually driven from Germany by prince Bismarck, against whom the jury's recommendation seemed to be directed. Sentence was deferred until certain legal points had been disposed of by the Court of Crown Cases Reserved; but the jury's finding having been upheld, Most was sentenced by Lord Coleridge, OD June 29, to sixteen months' imprisonment with hard labour. After his release he betook himself to the United States, to carry on Anarchist propaganda there, and there we shall meet him again.
Another revolutionary element was at that time becoming very prominent across the Atlantic, but it was not identical with the Anarchist sect, and its efforts were not directed against American institutions. It was composed of adherents to the Irish Physical Force Party, and its aim, apparently, was to secure the independence of Ireland by means of dynamite outrages. It will be remembered that there was a mysterious explosion on board H.M.S. Doterel, and that infernal machines were discovered in what purported to be barrels of cement sent to this country by the steamships Malta and Bavarian. A deplorable event which occurred in America during this same year 1881, had no direct connection with Anarchism, Nihilism, or the grievances of Ireland; but, as we well know the force of precept and example, we cannot be certain that the views expounded and the deeds perpetrated by the Revolutionists at that period were without influence on the crime to which we refer. It will be remembered that Johann Most had threatened the doomed heads of all the rulers "from Constantinople to Washington"; and it so happened that on July 2--three days after Most had been sentenced to imprisonment--Washington was the scene of an unexpected tragedy. President Garfield was getting into a train at the railway station when he was shot by one Guiteau, described as a Chicago lawyer and disappointed place- hunter. The President was not killed on the spot; for some time, indeed, there were hopes of saving him, but at last, on September 9, he succumbed to his wounds.
There was great activity among the Anarchists that year. We mentioned that some of the French ones attended a Socialist Congress in Paris and were expelled from it. A gathering held at Cette, however, and attended by delegates from nearly all the south of France, pronounced in favour of Anarchist views and methods by a very large majority. In July, moreover, subsequent to the prosecution of Most, a special Anarchist Congress met in London to discuss methods and means of propaganda, its members including representatives of the French, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, German, Austrian, Swiss, and American groups. We shall have to refer to this Congress again, but we will here mention that the attempt to arrive at a common programme proved unsuccessful, perhaps because Anarchism is more essentially a form of individualism in which each takes his own independent course. Groups, whose members shared certain particular ideas and who combined with the view of carrying them into effect, and occasional small federations of such groups certainly existed, but no one group was of really important numerical strength, and (excepting in Spain, as we shall show hereafter) all attempts at a real organisation of the sect invariably failed. It would have probably implied the creation of some central board with a certain degree of authority to which the groups and petty federations would have had to submit. And this would have been the negation of one of the essential principles of Anarchism--that is, the denial of all authority If in contending with Anarchism various governments had only realised what is here set down, they would have spared themselves many blunders. But when it was told them, they refused to believe it. They long and obstinately clung to the conviction that there must be a central body, a directorate, a governing power of some kind. As for the statements, often repeated even by English newspapers of standing and repute, that London was--and is--the headquarters of the sect, the city whence the order for this or that deed went forth, no greater nonsense was ever written. It may, of course, be said that at the outset Bakunin, with his domineering personality, inspired and led the movement, and that the Federation Jurassienne, whence it so largely emanated, was an organised body, but after them (leaving Spain on one side, as we have said) all real organisation came to an end, and equality prevailed among the numerous small groups and the many solitaires.
It was in 1882 that the French Anarchists first began to practice the so- called Propaganda by Deed. A strike, for which the employers or rather their managers were largely to blame, occurred among the miners of Montceaules- les- Mines and Blanzy (Saone- et- Loire), from which localities the famous foundries and engineering works of Le Creusot chiefly derive their coal. The advent of some revolutionary leaders from Paris, but more par ticularly of several militant Anarchists from Lyons, greatly fanned the excitement, and deplorable excesses occurred. It was now that dynamite previously brought into play by the Nihilists and the members of the Irish Physical Force Party resident in America--began to figure in French risings. There were numerous explosions around Montceau, and on one occasion a chapel, that of Bois Duverne, was completely destroyed. The government (President Grevy's sixth ministry, headed by M. Duclerc, with M. Fallieres at the Interior and General Billot at the War Office) intervened very energetically, however; troops were despatched to the spot, the rising was suppressed, and nine of the ringleaders were tried and sentenced at Riom to imprisonment, much to the displeasure of the French Anarchists generally, and notably those of Lyons.
It is now advisable to mention that during the previous year the sect had managed to establish two periodicals, one called " La Revolution Sociale," in Paris, and one entitled " Le Droit Social," at Lyons. The last- named, which was issued once a week, speedily acquired an average circulation of 8000 copies. Its views were pithily summed up in a single sentence printed in its issue for Christmas Day, 1881: " Our action must be permanent rebellion by speech, by writing, by the dagger, by the gun, by dynamite, and even by the voting paper when it is a question of voting for Trinquet or Blanqui, who are ineligible, for everything unlawful is of service to us." The article in which those lines appeared was imputed at the time to Prince Kropotkin, but it was really written by Count Carlo Cafiero, to whom we have already referred more than once, and who, we may here add, died in 1883, after becoming insane during the previous year.
In the spring of 1882 " Le Droit Social," to which the well- known Anarchist writer, Jean Grave, contributed, under the pseudonym of Jehan Le Vagre, his work " La Societe au Lendemain de la Revolution," was killed by various prosecutions, and replaced by a similar journal entitled " L Etendard Revolutionnaire," whose programme was drafted by the geographer Elisee Reclus, then, if we are not mistaken, still resident in Switzerland. Now the Lyonnese Anarchists had taken some part in the Montceau disturbances. They had distributed tracts and leaflets of a nature to inflame the men on strike, and their organ " L'Etendard " had signified its approval of the excesses which had been committed. Already in August, at the time of the suppression of the disturbances, the authorities had resolved to take action against the Anarchist journal, and before long, various members of its staff being arrested, the paper ceased to appear. At this juncture some documents concerning the Anarchist party in the region were seized by the authorities, and as, on further investigation, they found that it included in its ranks a few foreigners--two or three, we think, at any rate less than half a dozen-- they decided to take proceedings against the sect generally on the charge of infringing the Law of March 23, 1872 by which the International Working Men's Association had been placed under interdict in France. This was, we believe, merely an expedient on the part of the authorities, who must have been well aware that the men they intended to prosecute really had little or nothing in common with the International as organised by Karl Marx.
Towards the close of September, just as " L'Etendard Revolutionnaire" was about to reappear, some thirty Anarchists of Lyons and neighbouring towns were suddenly arrested by the police, and during the ensuing weeks several more warrants were executed, in such wise that by October 21 fifty- two Anarchists had been lodged in prison. There were still warrants out for fourteen others, who contrived, however, to make their escape. The action of the police met with a speedy response on the part of other Anarchists. On the evening of October 23 came an explosion at a cafe on the Place Bellecour, frequented by middle- class folk, a person named Miodre then being killed and several others wounded. During the next few days dynamite cartridges were exploded with more or less serious results in other parts of Lyons, notably at the recruiting office of La Vitriolerie More arrests were then made, the garrison was called out to guard the public buildings and overawe the working- class faubourgs, and for several days business and amusements alike were suspended. There were, however, no further outrages.
The Anarchists who had been arrested were kept under lock and key until January in the following year, when they were brought to trial. There were, as we just now mentioned, fifty- two of them, the principal ones being, first, Emile Gautier, the so- called French apostle of Anarchism, of whom we have previously spoken; secondly, Toussaint Bordat, a journalist who had been connected both with " Le Droit Social " and " L'Etendard Revolutionnaire"; thirdly, Joseph Bernard, originally a locksmith, and subsequently a delegate of his trade at working- class congresses; and, fourthly, the well- known Prince Peter Kropotkin. There was also a young fellow named Ricard, who was said to be the leader of the Anarchist party at Saint Etienne.
The prosecution divided the prisoners into two categories. Twenty- two of them were charged with being members of an international association whose objects were the suspension of work, and the abolition of property, family, country, and religion, this being against the public peace; while the thirty others (among them being those whose names we have given) were indicted for having accepted functions in the said association and for having knowingly helped to develop it. Among Subsidiary charges brought forward during the proceeding was that of advising the employment of dynamite to bring about the Social Revolution, and that of attempting to seduce the military from its allegiance to the State.
Several of the accused defended themselves with spirit and ability, while a few declared that they belonged to no such association as was mentioned in the indictment, and even that they did not hold Anarchist opinions. Bordat equivocated in regard to his connection with the Anarchist press; but Gautier frankly admitted the propaganda he had carried on, asserting, however, that with respect to the employment of dynamite he had only spoken or written " figuratively." The most interesting part of the case, however, was that which concerned Prince Kropotkin, respecting whom it is now appropriate to give some particulars.
Peter Alexeyevitch Kropotkin was born at Moscow in 1842. " My father," he said to the Lyons judges, " was an owner of serfs--no, of slaves. In my childhood I often witnessed such scenes as are described in ' Uncle Tom's Cabin.' " At sixteen years of age he was at the School of the Pages, which he left to join the army, securing a commission in the Cossacks of the Amur, and becoming, when he was only nineteen, an aide- de- camp to the Governor of Siberia. At that period he travelled over most of the province in question, and in Manchuria also. " But I found," said he at Lyons, " that Russian Liberalism was only a mask, so I resigned from the army, and entered the Faculty of Mathematics at St Petersburg." He afterwards became secretary to the Russian Geographical Society, on whose behalf, moreover, he explored the glaciers of Finland and Sweden in 1871. He subsequently visited Belgium and Switzerland, in which latter country, in or about 1872, he was affiliated to the International. Then, on his return to Russia, he joined the Tchaikovski secret society, in connection with which both he and his brother were arrested in 1874. His brother was sent to Siberia, whilst he remained under detention, and falling ill was sent to a hospital, whence he contrived to escape in 1876, making his way first to England and then to Switzerland, where he arrived in the following year under the name of Pierre Le Vachoff. As we know, he there assisted Elisee Reclus in carrying on " Le Revolte." But in 1881 the Russian authorities induced the Swiss Government to expel him, and he then took up his residence at Thonon, on the Savoy side of the Lake of Geneva.
At the Lyons trial the presiding judge pressed Kropotkin with respect to his doings both in Switzerland and in England--for as regards the latter country he had attended the Anarchist Congress held in London in 1881 as a representative of the Lyons groups--but the Prince at first refused to reply on those subjects, holding that whatever he might have said, done, or written in foreign countries did not come within the jurisdiction of a French tribunal. From the legal standpoint he was right, but it was curious that a legal argument should emanate from a member of a sect which refuses to acknowledge any laws. The Prince's position was thus illogical; and there was, moreover, the point that he, a foreigner, had meddled in French affairs. If the judge possessed no right to question him as to what he had done elsewhere, how came it that he had assumed the right to interfere with the existing order of things in a country which was not his own ? A little later, however, Prince Kropotkin somewhat modified his attitude, and in reply to the charge that at the London Congress he had advocated the employment of dynamite, he declared that it had been advocated by some young men there, but that he himself had twice opposed it. At the same time he added: " When a party is placed in the necessity of employing dynamite it has to do so, as for instance in Russia, where the people would disappear if it did not employ the means which science places at its disposal." He also stated: " I have worked with all my strength for the triumph of the Anarchist party in France and abroad also." A lecture which he had delivered at Lyons was, however, only based, he said, on the proposition that universal suffrage could not bring about a solution of the social problems. He acknowledged certain journeys to Vienne and St Etienne, where he had met members of the French Anarchist Party, and had participated in a plan for its organisation; but he evaded the inquiry whether the association to which he belonged had for its object a change in the form of government. In his defence, speaking on the general question of Anarchism, he quoted James Stuart Mill as prophesying that the middle classes (bourgeoisie) would be expropriated. They had already expropriated the nobility, said Kropotkin, and would be expropriated in their turn by the masses. As for the trial, he declared it to be only a pretext for suppressing freedom of thought and the right of giving expression to one's thoughts.
On January 19 (1883) the Court convicted and passed judgment on forty- seven of the fifty- two prisoners. Kropotkin, Gautier, Bordat, and Bernard were each sentenced to pay a fine of 2000 francs and to undergo five years imprisonment, ten years police supervision, and four years deprivation of civil rights. Among the other cases three prisoners were sentenced to four years, four to three years, and five to two years imprisonment, with ten years surveillance, five years loss of civil rights, and the payment of various fines. Further, in eleven instances the sentence was fifteen months, and in ten twelve months imprisonment, with five years loss of civil rights and the payment of fines, but without police supervision. In the remaining cases smaller penalties were imposed.
There remained, however, the right of appeal, of which several prisoners, though not Kropotkin, availed themselves. The cases came on, again at Lyons, in the month of March, when the Procureur de la Republique exerted himself to prove that the International had been reconstituted at the London Congress of 1881. On that point, however, he was absolutely wrong. In the result the Appeal Court upheld the convictions and sentences of Gautier, Bordat, Bernard, and eight others, and made sundry reductions in respect to the remaining appellants.
It is indisputable that the sentences were serious ones, and some readers may even think they were unduly severe, and wonder at the law allowing them under such an indictment. But it may be pointed out that the law in question was voted by the National Assembly in the year following the insurrection of the Paris Commune, and that, at the time of its adoption, the International was credited with having contributed to the Commune in a far greater degree than was actually the case. Hence very severe penalties were enacted againt any attempt to revive the International in France.
The Lyons affair had a curious sequel. In January 1883 a man who passed under the name of Metayer was killed in Belgium by the explosion of a bomb which he carried in his pocket, and was found lying dead in a ditch. A young friend of his named Cyvoct was then arrested, and it was found that both he and the soidisant Metayer had been included in the warrants issued by the French authorities in connection with the Lyons proceedings Alleging that it was Cyvoct who had thrown the bomb into the cafe on the Place Bellecour, the French Government prevailed on Belgium to surrender him, to the great disgust and anger of the revolutionary elements in the former country, who claimed that he was a political offender entitled to the right of asylum. Thus bitter controversies ensued on the subject of " I'affaire Cyvoct."
At the trial of the young fellow it came out that he was only twenty- two years old, and had not belonged to the Anarchist party for more than twelve months, having previously led a well- ordered and industrious life. The evidence against him in connection with the Place Bellecour explosion was of the very flimsiest description, and thus, although the jury found him guilty and he was condemned to death (December 1883), President Grevy speedily granted him a pardon.
Earlier in the year, that is in March, there had been some rather serious disturbances in Paris, where many thousands of working people were without employment. Revolutionaries, and particularly some of the Anarchists, exploited this state of affairs, and steps were taken by them to convene a great demonstration on the Esplanade des Invalides. It degenerated into a riot, during which several shops were pillaged. Many arrests ensued, among the people who were apprehended being a prominent Anarchist named Emile Pouget, and a female notoriety of the time, an ax- schoolmistress called " La Vierge rouge" whose real name was Louise Michel. She had been mixed up in the Commune of 1871 and bans
ported for some years to New Caledonia. It is quite certain, however, that her case was one for treatment in hospital or asylum. Subject to hysteria, she had lost her mental balance. At times she raved, at others she was all gentleness, full of solicitude for the poor and suffering. Nevertheless, for her share in the disturbances of 1883 she was sent to prison like Pouget and several others.
We must now revert to 1882 and pass from France to Spain. Anarchism was still making progress there, not only in Catalonia but in Andalusia also. At a working- class Congress held at Seville, in the year in question, on which occasion 254 delegates assembled, representing 10 provincial unions and 632 local sections with 59,000 adherents, there was a distinct Anarchist element cooperating with the Socialists of various schools. Here it may be pointed out that the Spanish--and particularly the Catalonian--Anarchist differs in certain respects from his brothers of France and Italy. In strict logic he is not exactly an Anarchist, for in matters of economics he favours Collectivism, and he and his fellows have genuine organised trade federations, with local sections and distinct syndicates of trades. He is therefore more a Revolutionary Socialist than an Anarchist, though he freely assumes the latter name.
Of the conditions prevailing in Catalonia we shall have to speak hereafter. At present we are only concerned with Andalusia and the so- called Black Hand conspiracy there in 1882- 83. For many years previously the conditions of life in that province had been most deplorable, in spite of all the commerce of Cadiz, Malaga, and Jerez. The situation was not unlike that of Ireland. The bulk of the population was agrarian, and apart from bad harvests and vintages which had been frequent, the people suffered notoriously from the absenteeism of the great territorial proprietors Dukes, Marquises, and Counts, who seldom if ever visited their estates (often quite as large as those Of great English noblemen), but spent at Madrid and elsewhere the rent- money of which they incessantly drained the province. The Andaluz is generally satisfied with very little, and is often quite a happy- go- lucky fellow. But he is prompt to resent a wrong, and at the time of which we are writing something of the old bandit spirit survived in Andalusia. During our sojourns there in the seventies there were still men who took to the hills, men who held travellers to ransom or kidnapped well - to- do townsfolk for that purpose; and one can understand that by a natural process of evolution the remaining men of that class, and folk in whom a similar spirit lurked, should have taken to semi- Socialist or Anarchist notions.
In 1882 there existed in Andalusia two provincial comarcas or Federations of Workers, counting 30,000 adherents, a large proportion of whom belonged to the rural class. There were other agrarian organisations also, more or less secret, and bent far more on physical force courses than on any mere legal assertion of rights. At times the members of these societies also belonged to the Federation of Workers. That appears to have been the case of a certain Bartolome Gago Campos, who kept a tavern in the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontrera, the centre of the sherry trade. Owing, however, to an intrigue with a comrade's wife, he was suddenly expelled from his societies, and there seems to have been a suspicion that he then betrayed or meant to betray their secrets to the authorities. At all events, on December 4, 1882, there was a violent dispute between him and his cousin, Manoel Gago, and another man named Cristobal Fernandez Torrejon, near the mill of La Parilla, not far from Jerez. An affray ensuing, Bartolome was killed by the others, and buried by them on the scene of the encounter.
The crime came to the knowledge of the Commander of the Civil Guard at Jerez, Don Tomas Perez Monforte, and eventually a hundred persons were arrested on the charge of belonging to a society of Anarchist malefactors said to have its headquarters at Jerez, its alleged leaders being the trusted capataz or overseer of a titled vineyard proprietor, and a schoolmaster of the neighbouring town of Arcos. To the society in question Don Tomas Monforte assigned the name of " La Mano negra " or " The Black Hand," though there was no evidence that it had really borne any such appellation. One day, however, in the course of his investigations, he had noticed sundry imprints of a black hand on a white wall in the village of Villamartin, which nestles at the foot of the Serrana heights, where, in previous years, many a bandido had sought asylum. It was subsequently shown, however, that the imprints in question signified nothing-- being simply the work of an individual who, having broken a bottle of ink, had dried and in some degree cleansed his stained hand by pressing it against the wall on which the marks were found. But the Commander of the Civil Guard was a man of imagination. In his eyes the imprints were significant symbols, connected with the society to which the men whom he was arresting belonged; and it needed only another slight effort of fancy to bestow on that society the name of " The Black Hand," a name which since those days has repeatedly appealed to novelists and journalists, who, with picturesque recklessness, have assigned it to all sorts of nefarious organisations, including the Sicilian Mafia and the Camorra of Naples.
Nevertheless, whatever sentimentalists may have written in subsequent years, there is no doubt that many Of the men arrested early in 1883 were Revolutionists and some of them professional criminals. There had already been great excesses around Jerez during the Federalist rising of 1873, when Seville, Cadiz, Granada, ~alaga, Alicante, and particularly Cartagena, had proclaimed themselves independent cantons; and the affair of 1882- 1883 was in a measure an aftermath of that period, aggravated by agrarian conditions. The movement embraced a system of terrorism--extortion, arson, and the uprooting of the vineyards and the destruction of the crops of the wealthier landowners being among the proceedings advocated and occasionally attempted and even carried into effect. At the same time, the authorities undoubtedly went too far in accusing the Andalusian Federations of Workers of general complicity in the affair. If they did so it was undoubtedly simply in the hope of striking a decisive blow at Socialist as well as Anarchist tendencies in the province. The prisoners having been tried--the evidence against them was chiefly that of an informer--no fewer than fourteen were condemned to death for complicity in the murder of Bartolome Gago and other crimes. Among them were Francisco Corbacho, the Jerez capataz whom we have mentioned, and Juan Ruiz, the Arcos schoolmaster. Most of the remainder received sentences of imprisonment, " the chains for life " being the penalty pronounced in a score of cases. But there was great excitement among the working- classes of the province of Cadiz when the number of death- sentences became known. A serious Revolutionary rising, which the men of Puerta de Santa Maria seemed anxious to lead, became immi_ nent, whereupon five reprieves were accorded, and the execution of the other death- sentences was deferred until the authorities should be strong enough to deal with emergencies. In the interval repeated efforts were made to save some of the remaining prisoners. In the case of one who became insane a further indulto ensued A second escaped the penalty of the law by committing suicide; but on the morning of June 14, 1884, the other seven mounted the scaffolds which had been set up among the palm trees on the Plaza of Jerez, where three executioners were in attendance, and were strangled by means of the garrotte in the presence of a great military force and many awe- stricken spectators.
In respect to Revolutionary troubles, Italy was the first European country to claim attention in 1883. But although the Italian Anarchists participated in the disturbances on the principle of fishing in troubled waters, two of their leaders, Malatesta and Meslino, being arrested, the trouble was more particularly the outcome in part of the Italia .irredenta agitation, in part of the execution of a soldier named Oberdank, who had threatened the life of the Austrian Kaiser, and in part of the Triple Alliance of Italy, Germany, and Austria, first signed during the previous year. Already in 1879 Count Andrassy, the Austrian Foreign Minister, had warned the Italian Government that Austria would have to take measures for her self- protection if the Italia irredenta agitation were not checked. The Italian Government had replied by declining responsibility for that agitation, and during a subsequent exchange of views the way had been paved for the entry of Italy into an alliance with the empires of Central Europe, their formal compact with Russia having virtually come to an end owing to the Russo- Turkish War and the Treaty of Berlin, by which Russia had been despoiled of some of the fruits of her victories. At the same time, on a few points the three Empires still remained in agreement. It was the French invasion of Tunis and the establishment of a French Protectorate there which ultimately cast Italy into the arms of Germany and Austria, but a large body of Italian patriots bitterly resented the idea of any alliance with the last- named power, and early in 1883 when a bomb was thrown into the courtyard of the Palazzo di Venezia, the seat of the Austrian Embassy at Rome, more than a hundred persons were arrested in the Eternal City.
In Great Britain both 1883 and 1884, and particularly the first months of the ensuing year, were essentially a period of dynamite conspiracies and outrages. There was the Gallagher- Whitehead plot, followed by others at Birmingham, Liverpool, and Glasgow; there were explosions at the offices of the Local Government Board, Victoria Railway Station, the Tower of London, Westminster Hall, and the House of Commons, on which last occasion (January 24, 1885) the peers' and strangers' gallery was brought down and the seat usually occupied by Gladstone blown up. Several prosecutions and convictions ensued, with the introduction into Parliament of Sir William Harcourt's Explosive Substances Bill, which Lord Salisbury carpingly opposed, but which nevertheless became law. The plots and outrages in England were the work of extremists among the Irish Revolutionaries, not one of whom, we think, professed Anarchist opinions; but example is contagious, and this employment of dynamite--though the amount of damage it caused was relatively small and it altogether failed to achieve its principal objects--more than ever impressed the Anarchist mind. A little more care in making preparations, in selecting favourable opportunities, in timing explosions, and dynamite might yet become a most efficient weapon for furthering the cause of Revolution. That many a mind gave way to such ideas as those was proved conclusively by subsequent events.
It was by the means of dynamite that in the autumn of 1883 a group of German Anarchists plotted to assassinate the Kaiser. Hoedel's revolver and Nobiling's gun had proved ineffectual, but the terrible explosive which certain Irish Extremists were already using, might, perhaps, be employed successfully. Since the enactment of the repressive laws passed by the German Reichstag after the earlier attempts on the Emperor, and renewed in 1880 for a period of three years and a half, Anarchism had recruited a good many partisans from the ranks of the more revolutionary German Socialists, who were smarting under the severity of Bismarckian rule; and, in the general bitterness which prevailed, it was not surprising that some reckless men should resolve on a desperate deed, one by which not only the octogenarian Kaiser but others of his House and some of the chief men of the Empire, including the obnoxious Chancellor, might, perhaps, be destroyed.
An occasion when many of the highest and mightiest personages of the regime would be assembled together, presented itself in the autumn of 1883. There was to be great national patriotic ceremony in glorification of the Fatherland and the revival of the Empire. High on the summit of the Niederwald, which rises some eight hundred feet above the villages of Assmannshausen and Rudesheim, famous for their wines, there had been reared a gigantic statue of Germania, a symbolical " Wacht am Rhein " with face turned towards the great river at the point where it rushes past Bingen and the Mouse Tower of the egend which Southey put into English verse. Thirty six feet high and set on an even loftier pedestal, this bronze Germania, whose left hand rested on the hilt of a drawn sword, whilst with the right she held a laurel- wreathed imperial crown, had been designed,] cast and erected at a cost of 1,200,000 marks, derived in part from public subscriptions and in part from a parliamentary grant. And on September 28 that year the monument was to be inaugurated with all solemnity by the Emperor William, then six and eighty years of age, accompanied by " Unser Fritz," his heir; the " Red Prince," his nephew; and others of his family, while all the great ones of the " Grosse Zeit," Bismarck, Moltke, the surviving captains of the days of Koniggratz, Worth, Mars- la- Tour, Sedan and Metz were to assemble around him.
What an opportunity for a crime! What an opportunity for proving the virtues of dynamite, and at the same time annihilating several if not all of the men who had made United Germany! Such, at all events, was undoubtedly the thought of Kamerad Reinsdorf, a compositor, and certain of his friends, among whom were Kameraden Rupsch, Kuchler, Holzbauer and Bachmann, most of whom were also of the printing world. So they put their heads together, and finding that a disused drain ran across a road along which the Imperial party would have to pass, they resolved to use it for their purpose They secreted a considerable quantity of dynamite inside it, some of the explosive being in stone ware bottles or jars, then fuses were attached; briefly everything was got in readiness. But when the ceremony came nothing happened.
It was never clearly shown, at the subsequent trial of the conspirators before the Supreme Court at Leipzig (December 1884), whether their courage had failed them at the last moment, or whether a fuse had missed fire. The evidence against them consisted largely of their own denunciations and recriminations. Reinsdorf, who was the leader, defended himself with some ability, airing his knowledge by indulging in many classical quotations and allusions, but at the same time frankly confessing that he was a Communist- Anarchist, one who desired the abolition of all government and the expropriation of all holders of property. He, Rupsch and Kuchler, were condemned to death (December 1884), Holzbauer and Bachmann being sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, while three other defendants were acquitted. The trial was speedily followed by an act of Anarchist vengeance-- a police official named Rumpf, who had played an important part in unravelling the case, being stabbed to death at Frankfort. That did not check the course of the law, however; for in February 1885 the men under sentence of death were decapitated at Halle. On the other hand, the affair induced the Reichstag to vote, at Bismarck's request, an extremely stringent Explosives Law.
At the time of the Niederwald affair Anarchism had already recruited a large number of partisans in various parts of the Austrian dominions. There were groups at Vienna, Prague, Buda- Pesth, Presburg, (Edenburg, Temesvar, Agram, Cracow and Trieste, as well as in some of the towns of Styria and Carinthia. In and around the imperial capital the efforts of the police to prevent meetings and demonstrations frequently led to violent disturbances, in which both Revolutionaries and members of the police force occasionally lost their lives. In December 1883 a police superintendent was deliberately murdered at Florisdorf, a village across the Danube to the north of Vienna. At times, when crimes at common law were brought to light, it was found that the people implicated in them had Anarchist connections. For instance, in 1883, when a conspiracy to poison various people with cyanide of potassium was unravelled, the ringleader, an individual named Penkert, was found to be a disciple of Johann Most, with whom he had carried on a voluminous correspondence, which was seized. Subsequently an Anarchist printing- press having been discovered in the Viennese suburb of Neulerchenfeld, the authorities decided on drastic action against both the Anarchists and the Socialists. Both the Viennese police and the garrison were increased, and on February I, 1884, an Imperial decree virtually suspended the Constitution. Perquisitions were made in numerous directions, the Socialist organ " Die Zukunft " (" The Future ") was suspended, and 40 leading Socialists were expelled from the capital, while 238 Anarchists were placed under arrest. Of these, it was ascertained that no fewer than 215 were foreigners, and their expulsion from Austrian territory promptly ensued. The others, chief among whom was a certain Michael Kappauf, were tried on various charges and sentenced to imprisonment; but in the case of an Anarchist named Stellmacher, convicted of murder, the capital penalty was imposed.