Letter to Senator Hawley (1902)

by Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912)

[In reply to U.S. Senator Joseph R. Hawley’s remark, in the wake of the McKinley assassination, that he would pay a thousand dollars to have a shot at an anarchist.]

You may by merely paying your carfare to my home (address below) shoot at me for nothing. I will not resist. I will stand straight before you at any distance you wish me to, and you may shoot, in the presence of witnesses. Does not your American commercial instinct seize upon this as a bargain? But if payment of the $1,000 is a necessary part of your proposition, then when I have given you the shot, I will give the money to the propaganda of the idea of a free society in which there shall be neither assassins nor presidents, beggars nor senators.

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