Comments on Abraham Isaak, September 9, 1901



Prof. Taylor and Jane Addams Talk of Isaak and Pfuetzner.


Their Views Conservative, Anarchy Being Their Religion.

Sociologists Say the Suspects Never Clamored for Blood of Monarchs or Presidents.

Professor Graham Taylor of the Chicago Commons said yesterday that Abraham Isaak, Sr., and [Clement] Pfuetzner, the Chicago anarchists accused of conspiracy to assassinate President McKinley, had often taken part in [image: PROFESSOR GRAHAM TAYLOR. (Sociologist says Anarchists Isaak and Pfuetzner, now under arrest, have never expressed radical opinions.)] discussions at the Commons, but never had advanced any radical views nor advocated bloodthirsty action. Professor Taylor said:

"Of the men arrested I know only Isaak and Pfuetzner. They are anarchists, to be sure, but they are individualists all through. Their anarchy is their religion. They are not clamoring for blood. If I had been here yesterday I would have accompanied Miss Addams to the mayor's office in the name of justice. If we, who are in settlements, totally desert those who trust us, what is left for them?"

Raymond [Robins], who went to the city hall with Miss Addams, lives at the Commons. It was represented to Miss Addams by Isaak's friends that he believed himself in great danger from the law; that they couldn't reach Mr. Isaak to offer him the services of a lawyer. They told Miss Addams that they wanted Isaak to have a lawyer, but every attempt to communicate this wish to him had failed. Miss Addams then set about to secure the desired permission from the mayor.

"Miss Addams had the right point of view," said Professor Taylor. "As a usual thing anarchists believe everything in the world is against them. I do not believe any conspiracy exists. I do not believe Czolgosz was inspired by any society, by any man or woman. The idea came into his own head; he planned alone; he executed alone; the crime is his. However, the propaganda that may inspire to violence should be checked. And the question today is how can we deal with anarchy? We cannot suppress it. The people must be taught the law is not against them."

"I was alarmed last night when my first interviewer called," said Miss Addams yesterday afternoon. "He seemed to have the impression I was guided by sentiment, which was most absurd."

"When did you first meet Mr. Isaak?" was asked of Miss Addams.

"During the visit of Prince Kropotkin. He called frequently, as he admired the Prince very much. Isaak is a man of quiet manners and seemingly logical -- more conservative, too, than the average anarchist."

"And Pfuetzner -- what of him?"

"I have known him longer than Isaak, and [image: MISS JANE ADDAMS. (Leader in Hull House work explains her interest in Anarchists Isaak and Pfuetzner.)] certainly never would connect him with any conspiracy. The others who have been arrested have not been at Hull House to my knowledge. This morning I received several telephone calls from friends of the Isaaks asking me of the result of my interview with Mayor Harrison. They have not called in person. Mr. [Robins] did not volunteer to defend them. We simply did what we could to quiet the anxiety of their friends. I [regret] it could not have been done without publicity, but I am glad we have been neither misunderstood nor misrepresented.

"What can we do with anarchy? We cannot suppress it. Russia is trying that -- with what success? The majority of anarchists cannot comprehend the doctrine -- the ideals preached by the few. They think the law is their worst enemy. We can only teach them that if they do right always the law is their best friend."

Miss Addams does not know Miss Goldman, and doesn't recall ever having heard her speak.

Mr. [Robins] is studying social conditions in Chicago. He is a college man, and he, too, voices the idea that no conspiracy existed for the assassination, and that Isaak and the other suspects whom he knows and with whom he has talked are guiltless of any complicity in the crime.