days after the hangings, Lucy Parsons returned to the downtown Chicago office
where she had worked up to the date of the executions. "I have commenced
the task of preparing the manuscript left by my husband for publication,"
she was quoted as saying. "It is a duty I owe to him and to the world and
shall be sacredly performed. I shall give my whole time to this work for
months to come. Plans for the future? I have none. I am drifting along on
the river of time, knowing little and caring less where it shall land me."
Lucy Parsons's duty was "sacredly performed" by 1889 with the appearance of Life of Albert Parsons, with Brief History of the Labor Movement in America, published by Lucy herself. Dedicated with love "to the sacred memory of one whose only crime was that he lived in advance of his time," the book is a compendium of writings about Parsons and the issues that concerned him, as well as a collection of many things he authored. Among its contents are surveys of the labor movement in Chicago and America by socialists Joseph Gruenhut and George Schilling, numerous articles and editorials by Parsons from the Alarm, a section on Haymarket that includes his speeches at the Haymarket rally and in court, and letters composed in prison, notably his farewell message to his children (see the "Affecting Interviews" entry in the "Shadow of the Gallows" section of Act IV).
The design on the cover, the triangle topped with a star and surrounded with the three-word motto of the French Revolution ("Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"), may have been adopted from the iconography of the several labor and political organizations to which Parsons belonged.
Lucy subsequently edited a series of radical newspapers. The Chicago Historical Society owns a copy of one these, The Liberator, dated November 11, 1905, the nineteenth anniversary of her husband's death. It carries on its back page an advertisement for the second edition of this book, including a few promotional blurbs. A testimonial from the Chicago Record Herald, dated earlier the same year, calls the book "A surprisingly temperate and strong presentation of evidence showing that Parsons was a victim of popular furore [sic]. The figure of Parsons walking into Court of his own free will, and there condemned to death under unusual circumstances, has dramatic interest which will serve to keep the book alive." "Every thinker and student should have this book in their possession," the advertisement declares. The book cost $1.25, $1.75 bound in half morocco.