Concept

Ammon Hennacy

Résumé
Ammon Ashford Hennacy (1893–1970) was an American Christian pacifist, anarchist, social activist, and member of the Catholic Worker Movement and Wobbly. He established the Joe Hill House of Hospitality in Salt Lake City, Utah, and practiced tax resistance. Hennacy was born in Negley, Ohio, to Quaker parents, Benjamin Frankin Hennacy and Eliza Eunice Fitz Randolph, and grew up as a Baptist. He studied at three different institutions, (a year at each one): Hiram College in Ohio in 1913, University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1914, and The Ohio State University in 1915. During this time, Hennacy was a card-carrying member of the Socialist Party of America and in his words "took military drills in order to learn how to kill capitalists." He was also the secretary of Hiram College's Intercollegiate Socialist Society. At the outbreak of World War I, Hennacy was imprisoned for two years in Atlanta, Georgia, for resisting conscription. While in prison the only book he was allowed was the Bible. This inspired him to radically depart from his earlier beliefs; he became a Christian pacifist and a Christian anarchist. He led a hunger strike and was punished with eight months in solitary confinement. Hennacy believed that adherence to Christianity required being a pacifist and, because governments constantly threaten or use force to resolve conflicts, this meant being an anarchist. In 1919, Hennacy married his first wife, Selma Melms, under common law. He later described her as the "daughter of the Socialist sheriff of Milwaukee, leader of the Yipsels, as the young Socialists were called, and secretary to the President of the State Federation of Labor." In May 1920, Hennacy graduated from the socialist Rand School of Social Science. In 1921, Hennacy and Melms hiked around the United States, passing through all 48 of the contiguous states. He settled down in 1925, buying a farm and raising his two children. In 1931, he began social work in Milwaukee and organised one of the first social worker unions.
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