Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

William James Linton:

49) Slanderers.

Hamden / CT 1879

8-page pamphlet with printed self-wrappers.

Linton’s feud with slandering reviewers also took place in the political field. He had published this pamphlet on his private press in January 1879 as a resonse to George Howell and James Knowles of the Working Men’s Association in London and in defence of Gustave Paul Cluseret. Linton had been in cahoots with the adventurous General in 1869 in New York, where they sought ways to back the guerrila war of Cespedes in Cuba. Linton knew him as a military supporter of Garibaldi, who had also fought in the rank of a Union General in the American Civil War. Shortly afterwards he had made his mark as an associate of Mikail Bakunin during the events of the Paris Commune. Linton thought of him as “a brave, earnest, chivalrous, and perhaps somewhat too hot-headed and self-opinionated republican, true to his party, if not always what I might think wise in his course.” (Memories) Although it had been widely known that Cluseret had also participated in the Fenian insurrection in Ireland in 1866 (he was therefore sentenced to death in his absence) and that he moreover had been involved in the American Fenians’plan to raid Canada, Linton “could never believe Cluseret low enough to have been a Fenian. When he was named one in 1876 by George Howell, the English radical artisan leader, in an article in the Nineteenth Century, Linton rushed to deny the slur. The editor of the journal rightly refused Linton’s wild rebuttal, leaving Linton to hate him and Howell for ever. Cluseret, who lived till 1900, if he ever learned of Linton’s valiant defence, never disabused him. The General had small sense of irony, but he loved mysteries.” (F.B. Smith)