Historic, but not famous

Stephen Pearl Andrews, anarchist, linguist, abolitionist

Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812 – May 21, 1886) was an anarchist, linguist, political philosopher, outspoken abolitionist, and author of several books on the labor movement and Individualist anarchism. He grew up in Massachusetts, moved to Louisiana at 19 to practice law, gave lectures on abolition in Texas and received death threats for him and his family because of them. He studied languages, claiming to speak no less than 35 and became an expert in shorthand.

By the time he moved to New York City in the 1840s, his focus was on Utopian Societies. He became a devout individualist anarchist, became an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1846, established Unity Home.  He established a philosophy he called “universology”, which stressed the unity of all knowledge and activities. He was also “among the first Americans to discover Marx and the first to publish his Communist Manifesto in the U.S. He was among the first to use the term “scientology” and was considered a leader in the religious movement of Spiritualism. 

Andrews supported the right of employment and wage labor. He also believed the current system was not offering a living or fare wage for the labor exerted. He advocated for a fairer system through lectures and book writing.

 

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Historic, but not famous

Hippolyte Havel, writer, anarchist

Hippolyte Havel (1871–1950) was a anarchist from Czechoslovakia. He was friends with Emma Goldman. He lived in Greenwich Village, which he declared to be “a spiritual zone of mind”. When young, he had been imprisoned by the Austria-Hungary government for his anarchistic activities and declared insane. He was imprisoned, eventually moved from the insane asylum to a regular prison and escaped to England. Ms. Goldman brought him to NYC.

Mr. Havel was married to the anarchist Polly Holliday, who with him ran a restaurant on Washington Square in Greenwich Village frequented by radicals and artists. He worked there as a waiter, often calling customers “bourgeois pigs”. His rants attracted many people to the restaurant.

When not at the restaurant, he wrote a biography of Emma Goldman and an introductory essay to her collected Anarchism and Other Essays. He was also friends with Eugene O’Neill, who based the character Hugo Kalmar of The Iceman Cometh on him.

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Historic, but not famous

Polly Holladay, restaurant owner, bohemian, anarchist

Polly Holladay was an radical and an anarchist born in Evanston, Illinois. When she moved to New York she quickly found her peers in the free-thinkers and bohemians of Greenwich Village. She established a restaurant in the basement of 137 MacDougal Street, where the Liberal Club, another popular incubator for artists and intellectuals, also operated. Polly’s Restaurant would move locations twice before eventually closing, but it never left the Village.

In true bohemian fashion, the restaurant didn’t even have a formal name , it was often referred to it as “The Basement.” Locals knew it as “Polly’s Restaurant,” and they  came to discuss art, science, politics and revolution in the early 1900s.

They didn’t come for the food, but for the conversation and camaraderie. Polly’s was one of the bohemian-owned businesses in the area where people felt free, and encouraged, to express themselves. Groups like the Heterodoxy Club, established by Marie Jenney Howe, formed and held meetings in Polly’s. The Heterodoxy Club was a forum for women to discuss and develop tactics of progressive feminism, and was an early leader in feminist, lesbian and bisexual culture. To be a “Heterodite” as they were called, a woman was simply “not orthodox in her opinion.” Polly, and the other bohemians at the restaurant, certainly fit that bill. The restaurant was known for not only Polly, but her lover, Russian Anarchist Hippolyte Havel (chef), who wander the restaurant calling everyone “Bourgeois Pigs.”

Little is known of Polly after the restaurant closed. The building the restaurant was on McDougal Street and is no longer standing, having been demolished by New York University to make more office space for the Law School. The building had been eligible for landmark preservation.

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