chapter  14
Emma Goldman
Pages 8

Goldman carried this identification with her to Rochester, New York, where she emigrated in the winter of 1885 with Helena. Working in a Rochester sweatshop, she met and married a fellow immigrant, Jacob Kersner. But she found herself increasingly absorbed by the trial of a group of anarchist labor organizers in Chicago, convicted and eventually executed for allegedly inspiring a bomb explosion in Haymarket Square in 1886. After hearing a compelling anarchist speaker, Johanna Greie, defend their cause, Emma became convinced of their innocence and persuaded by their politics. These events, along with her disappointing marriage and her experience of exploitation as a garment worker, inspired her decision to leave Rochester for New York City. Here she immediately became part of the group around the flamboyant German immigrant agitator Johann Most, editor of the paper Die Freiheit. Within a few years, Emma Goldman became one of the most admired and controversial figures in the anarchist movement and in American public life.