Carl Nold Papers (1883-1934, bulk 1930-1934)
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Biography

Carl Nold was an anarchist activist who worked as a skilled machinist. He is notable as a co-defendant and prison comrade of Alexander Berkman, after Berkman's attempt to assassinate Henry Clay Frick. In his later years, Nold helped Agnes Inglis develop the Labadie Collection of anarchist letters and literature at the University of Michigan.

Nold was born in Wensberg, Germany in 1869. He emigrated to the United States in 1883, at age 14. From a young age, Nold was an adherent to the cause of anarchism. His activism in anarchist circles led to his 1892 imprisonment as a accomplice to murder. Nold and his roommate, Henry Bauer, who were living and working in Pittsburgh, had allowed Alexander Berkman to stay with them the night before his attempt on Frick's life. Secondary accounts, including Emma Goldman's Living My Life, suggest that Nold and Bauer were unaware of Berkman's mission. Nevertheless, both men were arrested and convicted of complicity in the assassination attempt. In prison, Berkman, Bauer and Nold formed a close friendship, and Nold is mentioned often in Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist.

After five years in prison, Nold was released. He continued to be active in anarchist politics, living for a while at an anarchist commune in Arkansas, and then participating in anarchist groups in St. Louis. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Nold was living and working in Detroit, Michigan. There he became acquainted with Agnes Inglis, who was organizing the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan. In the last years of his life, Nold helped Inglis by tracking down anarchist comrades and appealing for donations of their historical materials. During these years he also contributed to the journal Man! Nold died in 1934.