Carl Nold Papers (1883-1934, bulk 1930-1934)
Summary Information
Title: Carl Nold Papers
Creator: Nold, Carl, 1869-1934
Inclusive dates: 1883-1934
Bulk dates: 1930-1934
Extent: .25 Linear Feet (1 small manuscript box)
Carl Nold was a German-born anarchist who was involved in the Homestead Strike (1892) and served prison time for being involved in the plot to assasinate Henry Clay Frick. This collection is comprised of his correspondence, some photos, news clippings, articles about or by Nold, and court documents.
Call number: ams0026
Language: English and German
Repository: University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center), Joseph A. Labadie Collection

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).

Preferred Citation:

Carl Nold Papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center)

Collection History
Acquisition Information:

These papers were a gift of Carl Nold. (date unknown)


The papers are arranged in three series: Correspondence, Manuscript, and Personal.

The Correspondence series is the largest part of the collection. It primarily consists of incoming letters from Chaplin's anarchist comrades. Much of it concerns donations of historical material to the Labadie Collection, or reunion meetings.

The Manuscript Series consists of one very brief allegorical story by Nold.

The Personal series consists of one folder containing newspaper clippings and a few photographs, and a second folder containing court documents relating to Nold's 1892 conviction in the Berkman case.


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.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Papers of this German immigrant anarchist include correspondence, an essay entitled "Six Pathfinders," and court documents for indictments of Henry Bauer and Carl Nold by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the 1892 cases resulting from the attempted assassination of Henry C. Frick by Alexander Berkman. Among the correspondents are Hippolyte Havel, A. Isaac, Harry M. Kelly, Kate Rotchek, as well as Lucy Parsons, whose letters concern anarchists, the International Labor Defense, and criticism of Emma Goldman's autobiography. Also included are poems and an essay by Robert Reitzel, a photo, and a scrapbook about Reitzel's death. The papers are in English and German.

Contents List
   Container / Location    Title
Correspondence [series]:
Incoming [subseries]:
Mixed Materials   1   1
Nold, Carl, 1869-1934
Outgoing [subseries]:
Mixed Materials   1   2
Ashida, K
Mixed Materials   1   3
Austin, Jennie B
Mixed Materials   1   4
Bishop, William Warner, to Carl Nold
Mixed Materials   1   5
Havel, Hippolyte
Mixed Materials   1   6
Isaak, Abe
Mixed Materials   1   7
Kelly, Harry May, to Carl Nold
Mixed Materials   1   8
Lott, August
Mixed Materials   1   9
Mühsam, Erich
Mixed Materials   1   10
Parsons, Lucy Eldine (Gonzalez)
Mixed Materials   1   11
Reifgraber, Jacob I
Mixed Materials   1   12
Romm, Robert D
Mixed Materials   1   13
Rotchek, Kate
Mixed Materials   1   14
Scott, John G
Mixed Materials   1   15
Yaffe, H
Mixed Materials   1   16
Alex (Berkman?) and Elsie
Manuscripts [series]:
Mixed Materials   1   17
Six pathfinders
Personal [series]:
Mixed Materials   1   18
Reitzel, Robert, works
Mixed Materials   1   19
Nold, Carl, 1869-1934
Mixed Materials   1   20
Robert Reitzel on his sick bed
Mixed Materials   1   21
ANA photos
Mixed Materials   1   22