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Emma Goldman Residence

120 Kelly St
Rochester, NY 14605, US

Category: Friends of Labor

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

The 1887 City Directory lists "Emma Goldman, tailoress, boards 120 Kelly." Born in Russia in 1869, Goldman had moved to Rochester from New York City in 1886 and worked 10 hours a day making overcoats, earning $2.50 a week. Responding to the November 1887 execution of the Haymarket martyrs, Goldman became an anarchist, dedicating herself "to the memory of my martyred comrades, to make their cause my own." She ended a brief marriage and returned to New York City in 1889, working as a seamstress and factory hand and organizing a cloak makers strike.
Following the 1892 defeat of Homestead steelworkers by an army of Pinkerton guards, Goldman assisted her lover, Alexander Berkman, in his failed attempt to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, Chairman of Carnegie Steel. After years of opposing the established order through her journal, Mother Earth, and through lecture tours, free speech fights and arrests, and dissemination of birth control information, Emma Goldman was imprisoned in 1917 for organizing against military conscription; upon her release in 1919 she was deported to Russia.
As critical of Soviet as of U.S. suppression of free speech, Goldman soon left Russia, traveled and lectured in Europe and Canada, then settled in France with Berkman and wrote an autobiography, Living My Life. Finally allowed to visit the U.S. in 1934, Goldman made a 90- day lecture tour, even visiting Rochester where she told a City Club audience that "your city and the action of the State of Illinois in the Haymarket cases made an anarchist out of me." She supported the anarchists during the Spanish Civil War and was raising funds for Spain when she died in Canada in 1940. She was buried in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery near the monument to the Haymarket martyrs.