Queer Places:
Mount Airy Colony, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520

Hilda Kovner Adel (1892-1984) was a New York anarchist, member of Frayhayt group. She denounced U.S. intervention in the U.S.S.R. and organized support for political prisoners; Emma Goldman helped her arrange an abortion the day Goldman was deported; she was the companion of Sam Adel.

Hilda Kovner Adel was born in Chernigov, Russia, and emigrated in the United States in 1906. She lived with an uncle in Etna, Pennsylvania, until 1912. She moved to Boston and entered radical circles. She sold anarchist literature and in 1917 she engaged in antidraft resistance. In 1917 she met Sam Adel and they moved to New York City. They stayed at Alexander Berkman's room for a few days until he came back from jail.

Hilda Kovner Adel and her companion Sam Adel were young anarchists in New York City in 1917, when the United States entered the First World War. Opponents of the war, they frequented the offices of Mother Earth, published by Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, and attended their trial for obstructing the draft, for which Emma and Sasha (as Berkman was called) were sentenced to two years in prison plus a ten thousand dollar fine each. In 1918 Hilda and Sam joined the Frayhayt Group, a circle of Jewish anarchists who distributed leaflets denouncing American military intervention in Soviet Russia. In a celebrated case, Jacob Abrams, Mollie Steimer and two other members of the group were imprisoned under the Sedition Act and subsequently deported. To assist them, Hilda and Sam helped organize the Political Prisoners Defense and Relief Committee, to which Emma Goldman refers in her autobiography.

Hilda Adel worked for M. Eleanor Fitzgerald at the Provincetown Players. Fitzgerald was the lover of Alexander Berkman.

In 1927 Hilda and Sam settled in the Mount Airy Colony at Croton, New York, of Harry Kelly, where Sam died around 1960 and Hilda in 1984, at the age of ninety-two. They called their cottega Samilda (Sam + Hilda). Sam was an uncle of Leon Edel, the noted literary historian and biographer of Henry lames.


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