The Margaret Sanger Papers


Schmidt, Matthew A. ( ? - ? )

Militant labor activist. A trade unionist, Matthew Schmidt, along with his associate David Caplan, was accused of conspiracy in the dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times building on October 1, 1910, in which more than 20 people died. The event led to a virulent attack in the press and in the courts on the entire labor Left, which, in turn, inspired efforts to support the defense efforts both of Schmidt and Caplan. Schmidt managed to escape and went into hiding. Although not an anarchist, he was a friend of Emma Goldman's and visited her in 1914 when he finally came out of hiding. Among the people Schmidt met there was Donald Vose who, unbeknownst to Goldman, was working undercover for William J. Burns, a private detective looking for Schmidt. After Schmidt was arrested a few days later, Goldman published an attack on Vose in Mother Earth entitled "The Accursed" (January 1916).
References: Richard Drinnon, Rebel in Paradise: A Biography of Emma Goldman (1961).