Shaun Slifer

Ross Winn: Digging Up a Tennessee Anarchist
(w/ Ally Reeves)
self-published zine, 44 b&w pages, screenprinted cover

Several years ago, at the nudging of historian Robert Helms at a bowling alley in Ohio, the beginnings of my spiral into an obsession with obscured histories was born. Bob turned me and my cohort Ally Reeves on to the idea of trying to track down the gravestone of an obscure, turn-of-the-last-century anarchist publisher who had operated in the second half of his life from a home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee: Ross Winn. Ally and I lived in Nashville at the time, which is just West of Mt. Juliet, and eventually we started a little digging around...

That digging blossomed into a full-on obsession (at least, for me), and a few years later, after transplanting to Pittsburgh, we finished a zine which documented everything we knew about Ross Winn at that time, including the story of our journey. Before we started all of this, only a couple of details about Ross' life were known and no photographs were available - now the available information from our original research is all over the internet, with particular help from our friend Ryan Kaldari, a lot of special attention from Julie Herrada at the Labadie Collection, and the existing relatives of Ross' that we were able to find.

The 44 page, illustrated zine is currently out of print. However, an updated bio, with photos not available when the zine was originally published, can be browsed here: Ross Winn: biographical sketch. Ryan Kaldari has uploaded and transcribed all of the writing we have by Ross to WikiSource here, and the Labadie Collection provided us with scans of all of The Advance, Ross' last published paper, which Ryan has uploaded to WikiMedia Commons.