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Schaack on the Anarchists
In the light of all the facts that have developed, I do not believe that it is too large a statement, nor too egotistical, to say that, but for the work done at the Chicago Avenue Station, the Anarchist leaders would soon have been given their liberty, and Anarchy would have been as rampant as ever in Chicago — worse indeed than before; for the conspirators would then have despised as well as hated the law…
I did not depend wholly upon police effort, but at once employed a number of outside men, choosing especially those who were familiar with the Anarchists and their haunts. The funds for this purpose were supplied to me by public-spirited citizens who wished the law vindicated and order preserved in Chicago...
In many of the smaller [anarchist] meetings held on Milwaukee Avenue or in that vicinity, a lot of crazy women were usually present, and whenever a proposition arose to kill some one or to blow up the city with dynamite. these "squaws" proved the most bloodthirsty. In fact, if any man laid out a plan to perpetrate mischief, they would show themselves much more eager to carry it out than the men, and it always seemed a pleasure to the Anarchists to have them present. They were always invited to the "war dances."
Judge Gary, Mr. Grinnell, Mr. Bonfield and myself were usually remembered at these gatherings, and they fairly went wild whenever bloodthirsty sentiments were uttered against us. The reporters and the so-called capitalistic press also shared in the general denunciations.
At one meeting, held on North Halsted Street, there were thirteen of these creatures in petticoats present, the most hideous-looking females that could possibly be found. If a reward of money had been offered for an uglier set, no one could have profited upon the collection. Some of them were pockmarked, others freckle-faced and red-haired, and others again held their snuff-boxes in their hands while the congress was in session. One female appeared at one of these meetings with her husband's boots on, and there was another one about six feet tall. She was a beauty She was raw-boned, had a turn-up nose, and looked as though she might have carried the red flag in Paris during the reign of the Commune...
[Describing another anarchist:] He was a large man with a black beard and large eyes, and very shabbily dressed. He looked as though he had been driving a coal cart for a year without washing or combing. He also had the appearance of being on the verge of hydrophobia...
Among the saloon-keepers there was one who seemed to have a special liking for me. This man, who had a place on Lake Street, when taking his first drink in the morning would invariably drink to my health, saying: "I hope that that d——d Luxemburger, Schaack, will be killed before I go to bed to-night;'' and when he was about to close his doggery for the day, he would take two drinks and say: "I hope I will find Schaack hanging to a lamp-post in the morning when I get up.''
When the saloon-keepers were particularly loaded with beer, they shouted louder than anyone else for Anarchy, and the louder and more vehemently they shouted the more "solid" did they become with their Anarchist customers. At every meeting held at these places, collections were taken up, and the saloon-keepers could always be counted upon to contribute liberally.
The worst of these ignorant fools never did realize why the saloon-keepers shouted so lustily for Anarchy until they came home to their wives and little ones crying for bread. Then, perhaps, it faintly dawned upon their minds that the saloon-keepers were after their nickels. These liquor-sellers were Anarchists for revenue only, and they sought in every way to keep on the right side of the rank and file of the party….
— from Anarchy and Anarchists by Michael John Schaack (1889).
See the main page on Michael John Schaack.