36 Facts About Albert Parsons


Albert Richard Parsons was a pioneering American socialist and later anarchist newspaper editor, orator, and labor activist.


Albert Parsons was born June 20,1848, in Montgomery, Alabama, one of the ten children of the proprietor of a shoe and leather factory who had originally hailed from Maine.


Albert Parsons claimed to be the scion of pioneer English immigrants, with "the first Albert Parsons family" arriving at Narragansett Bay in what is the state of Rhode Island in 1632.


Albert Parsons was a descendant of Major General Samuel Holden Parsons of Massachusetts, another officer in the Revolution, as well as a Captain Parsons who received wounds at the Battle of Bunker Hill.


In 1859, at the age of 11, Albert Parsons left his brother's household to go live with a sister in Waco, Texas.


Albert Parsons attended school for about a year before leaving to become an apprentice at the Galveston Daily News, a relationship that Albert Parsons characterized as being "indentured" for seven years in order to learn the printers' trade.


The coming of the American Civil War in 1861, or "the slave-holders' Rebellion," as he later called it, led Albert Parsons to leave what he described as the "printer's devil": the position of newsboy.


Albert Parsons left his job at the paper, joining an artillery company at a hastily constructed fort at Sabine Pass, Texas, where an elder brother was the captain of an infantry company.


Albert Parsons hired ex-slaves to help with the harvest and netted a sufficient sum from the sale of the crop to pay for six months' tuition at Waco University, today known as Baylor, a private Baptist college.


In 1869, having left the printing trade, Albert Parsons got a job as a traveling correspondent and business agent for the Houston Daily Telegraph, during which time he met Lucy Ella Gonzales, a woman of multi-ethnic heritage.


In 1870, Parsons was the beneficiary of Republican political patronage when he was appointed Assistant Assessor of United States Internal Revenue under the administration of Ulysses S Grant.


Albert Parsons worked as a secretary of the Texas State Senate before being appointed Chief Deputy Collector of United States Internal Revenue at Austin, Texas, a position which he held until 1873.


In Chicago, Albert Parsons obtained a job as a typesetter for the Chicago Times.


In 1874 Albert Parsons became interested in the labor politics as a byproduct of grassroot efforts to force the Chicago Relief and Aid Society to account for millions of dollars of relief aid raised by the group on behalf of victims of the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871.


Albert Parsons later recalled that this study had convinced him that "the complaints of the working people against the society were just and proper" and led him to draw parallels between the treatment of poor people in both the urban North and the Reconstruction South.


In 1875, Albert Parsons left the Republican Party's orbit and joined the ephemeral Social-Democratic Party of North America.


Albert Parsons was elected as one of two Chicago delegates to the organization's 2nd national Convention, held in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, at the end of 1879.


Albert Parsons was involved with the Knights of Labor during its embryonic period.


Albert Parsons joined the Knights of Labor, known then as "The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor," on July 4,1876, after having been invited to speak at a mass meeting of workers.


Albert Parsons remained a member of the order until his death more than a decade later.


Albert Parsons received an impressive one-sixth share of the vote.


Albert Parsons was one of the foremost speakers in the English language on behalf of the socialist cause in Chicago in the 1870s.


Albert Parsons was found there and escorted to Chicago City Hall, where he was ushered before the Chief of Police and about 30 of the city's "leading citizens".


Albert Parsons was allowed to leave, but he remained in Chicago despite the implied threat on his life.


At the turn of the decade, Albert Parsons withdrew from all participation in electoral politics.


Albert Parsons later recalled his rationale in his memoirs, written shortly before his execution in 1887:.


Albert Parsons turned his activity to the growing movement to establish the 8-hour day.


Albert Parsons was a delegate to the founding convention of this group.


Albert Parsons wrote on the theme in a November 1884 issue:.


Albert Parsons believes that all political laws are enacted only to force men to do those things they would not naturally, or if left untrammeled.


Albert Parsons believes that all governments tend to more laws, instead of less, and that therefore all governments ultimately become despotisms.


Albert Parsons originally declined to speak at the Haymarket fearing it would cause violence by holding the rally outdoors, but he changed his mind during the rally and eventually showed up while Spies was speaking.


The event ended around 10 pm and at the end of the event, after Albert Parsons had already left and as the audience was already drifting away, a large group of policemen came and forcefully told the crowd to disperse.


Albert Parsons was drinking a schooner of beer at Zeph's Hall when he saw a flash and heard the explosion followed by gunfire.


Albert Parsons was buried in the Waldheim Cemetery in a plot marked since 1893 by the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument, in Forest Park, Chicago.


Albert Parsons was a feminist, journalist, and labor leader, and one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World.