Voltairine de Cleyre, the anarchist and feminist who revolutionized her time

Monday, December 09 13.36 GMT

Voltairine de Cleyre, the anarchist and feminist who revolutionized her time

Voltairine de Cleyre was writer, poet, essayist and journalist, who was born on November 17 from 1866, in Chicago.

His father admired Voltaire, as well as free thinking, so he decided to name his daughter, whom he taught to read and write in English and French.

That was how Voltairine showed talent for letters From an early age.

Although later they would separate, since their parent would enter it in the Convent of Our Lady of Lake Huron in Canada.

There, the girl escaped a year later and was forced to return, until in 1883 she would definitely leave.

From that experience he turned away completely from religion because he considered it a form of repression. Thus, he became an atheist.

They say that his great love was Dyer D. Lum, the suicide of that man marked her definitively.

Then he met James B. Elliot, with whom he had his only son, Harry, the June 12 of 1890.

He refused to live as a couple so Elliot would leave with the child for Philadelphia; they were few times that they saw each other again.

However, Harry would call his firstborn with his mother's name.

The anarchist rebel 


Free and rebel wrote brochures, articles, and essays.

He considered himself an individualist, since he defended the right to private property and competition, he thought that the State could be dispensed with.

His writings became increasingly anarchist. He turned to topics such as class struggle, abolition of poverty, detest gender differences, and more.

The 20 of June of 1912 passed away and in his grave it reads: I have died as I lived, as a free spirit, without owing any loyalty to the laws, to the earthly or to the divine.

After this their texts would be forgotten, and it was not until the 60 years, that they were rescued with the feminist movement.


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