Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Adam Holzwarth Anarchist Collection
Mss 48  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (114.20 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Adam Holzwarth Anarchist Collection,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1909 -1929
    Collection Number: Mss 48
    Creator: Holzwarth, Adam
    Extent: .4 linear feet (1 document box)
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
    Physical Location: Del Sur
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    None known.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Adam Holzwarth Anarchist Collection. Mss 48. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchase, ca. 1969.


    The little that is known about Adam Holzwarth is drawn from the material in the collection. Holzwarth apparently was an early 20th century anarchist who lived in Oregon (Hillsboro and Portland). He had a brother, Charles, and a wife, Mary (who appears in the collection both as Mary Holzwarth and Mary Trautner). He and his wife were active supporters of Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger, and they kept in touch with others of similar political beliefs.
    It does not appear that any of the Holzwarths were close friends or associates of Goldman, Sanger, or other major figures of the time. In her autobiography, Living My Life, Goldman briefly describes three visits to Portland. She mentions only a few people in connection with these trips; Adam Holzwarth is not one of them. Judging from the material in this collection, he was one of the many who helped support the movement by attending lectures and gatherings, subscribing to periodicals, purchasing books and pamphlets, and personally spreading the word.
    One of the most interesting letters from Goldman to Holzwarth is dated May 10, 1912 and is written from San Diego, giving several directions for upcoming lectures and meetings in Portland. One part of the arrangement still needs to be discussed with her manager, Ben Reitman, and Goldman writes, "He is not with me now, but I am going back to LA today and we'll talk the matter over." It was on this trip to San Diego that Reitman was kidnapped and, with the complicity and encouragement of the city's mayor and police chief, kicked, beaten, burned, and then tarred and feathered (news clippings in the collection describe the incident). This letter may have been written from the hotel room in San Diego where Goldman was waiting to hear from Reitman.
    Another item in the collection demonstrates the depth of Adam and Mary's personal commitment to the ideals of the movement. This is their marriage contract, a document they drew up to confirm their union, which they refused on principle to legalize with a license:

    Portland, Oreg., Sept. 10th 1911.

    We, Adam Holzwarth and Mary Trautner, believing in the right of each person to control their own lives and denying the right of the State to tax for the privilege of getting married. Hereby agree to live together as husband and wife. And I, Adam Holzwarth promise and agree, so help me God, to care of Mary Trautner and any children that may be born but shall be free to separate unless our marriage can always be on mutual love and affection. And if she separates from me, never-the-less, I will help care for her and any children. And I recognize her as my true wife.

    Adam Holzwarth

    Mary Trautner

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains two series: Correspondence and Ephemera.
    Abbreviations used in the container list:

    Autographed Document Signed (in the hand of the author)
    Autographed Letter Unsigned
    Autographed Letter Signed
    Autographed Note Unsigned
    Autographed Note Signed
    no date
    Typed Letter Unsigned
    Typed Letter Signed

    Related Material

    At UCSB Special Collections:

    Mother Earth Publishing Association. Special Collections has a number of works published by Mother Earth, ca. 1907-1916. These have been cataloged separately and can be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries online catalog.

    Marie Stopes Birth Control Collection (Mss 122). Contains personal papers and correspondence, and birth control devices of the British birth control advocate. Stopes (1880-1958), trained as a paleobotanist, also was a pioneer in family planning. Also, numerous published works by Stopes.

    Published works on birth control, radical movements, and related subjects are cataloged separately and can be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries online catalog.


    University of California, Berkeley. The Emma Goldman Papers Project has a website, detailing their work, at: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/