Only six months after she left Rochester for New York City, Emma Goldman had already emerged as the first woman lecturer in the German-speaking anarchist movement. She had come under the tutelage of the prominent German anarchist Johann Most, who encouraged her to undertake a two-week speaking tour of Rochester, Buffalo, and Cleveland in January 1890. It would be her first experiences speaking before sizeable audiences.
The first address of her lecture tour was held in Rochester. She spoke to German immigrant workers concerning the anarchist movement's fight for the eight-hour work day. The event took place at a meeting of the German Union, held in Rochester's Germania Hall. Goldman learned that she had substantial power to hold the attention of an audience.