The Business of Anarchy: Spanish Immigrant Cigar Makers, Groups and Networks

Christopher J. Castaneda

During the last decade of the 19th century, Spanish immigrant cigar makers created a small but influential anarchist enclave in Brooklyn. They established newspapers, formed a variety of groups and joined a transnational network devoted to anarchist principles and the support of labor. The cigar makers felt pride in their craftsmanship and products and struggled intensely to promote a social revolution designed to end inequality worldwide. This small immigrant community left virtually no historical record except for the articles and essays that they or their colleagues printed in periodicals and pamphlets; through these, I will examine some of the strategies community members employed to support and promote both the cigar business and anarchism.