Born Catherine Cooper, Austin's family moved to Hook's Point, Iowa when she was six where she married in August 1883. Around the same time, her father discovered Lucifer, an anarchist/free love journal published by Moses Harman. Austin and her entire family were influenced by Hamon's writings, but it was the Haymarket Riot of 1886 and the ensuing reaction which brought Austin to anarchism.
A member of the American Press Writers' Association, Austin wrote for many working-class and radical newspapers. She also contributed to Lucifer and to anarchist periodicals such as The Firebrand, Free Society, Discontent, and The Demonstrator. Austin's interests included sexual reform and the economic status of working people. In 1897 and 1899, Emma Goldman visited Austin at her home in Caplinger Mills, Missouri, where she gave several well-attended lectures.
"Her devotion to liberty made her an anarchist; her hostility to patriarchy made her a feminist. She was too much the former to join the organized women’s movements of her day, and too much the latter to ally with mainline political anarchists—most of them men—whose devotion to liberty often stopped short of women’s liberation."
— Miller, Howard S. Kate Austin: A Feminist-Anarchist on the Farmer's Last Frontier
- Nold, Carl (June–July 1934). "Kate Austin". Man!. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Falk, Candace (2008). Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years Made for America, 1890-1901. University of Illinois Press. p. 517. ISBN 9780252075414.
- "AUSTIN, Kate, American journalist.- An Anarchist Witness of the Haymarket Drama". Research on Anarchism. Retrieved 2006-03-25.
- Presley, Sharon. "Feminism in Liberty". Feminista! The Journal of Feminist Construction. Retrieved 2006-03-25.
- "Kate Austin". The Lucy Parsons Project. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Avrich, Paul; Avrich, Karen (2012). Sasha and Emma. Harvard University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780674067677.
- Miller, Howard S. (April 1996). "Kate Austin: A Feminist-Anarchist on the Farmer's Last Frontier". Nature, Society and Thought 9 (2): 189–209.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- "Woman", an unpublished 1901 essay by Austin at Wikisource
- "An Open Letter to James F. Morton, Jr.", Free Society, Vol. IX. No. 24, Whole No. 366 (June 15, 1902). 2–3
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