The Rise and Fall of Anarchy_
Eighteen and Eighty Eight_
Geo N. McLean_
02|03 >> _ Under the fascination of rose-tinted delusion whose fatal mists obscure the mental and moral realm of thought, many become criminals, goaded on by blind infatuation which persevered in becomes a passion all-absorbing in its nature. In the blindness of their infatuation they seek to immortalize their names by a bold and base attempt at the subversion of law and order.
x-41/87 | _The Third of Chapters --
This great and unprecedented anarchistic conspiracy of May 4th will doubtless result in a blessing to America. First, it will teach the administrators of law and justice the necessity of being watchful of this treacherous element in society which would thus ruthlessly violate every sacred principle of right and honor.
The bravery of the police on that eventful night of May 4th is worthy of note in the history of Chicago, and those who fell in the defence of our birthrights as American citizens have builded a monument in the hearts of a grateful people that shall endure while the star-spangled banner shall continue to wave “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Were we to disturb, disquiet, and bring up from their tombs the most hideous monsters from the dead of the dark and superstitious ages of the gloomy past, their hands deep purple with the blood of their murdered fellow men, we should fail to find a parallel that would compare with this unscrupulous cold-blooded massacre, along with the bold attempt at the subversion of law.
On the fifth of the month eight of the leaders of anarchy were arrested and indicted for murder and conspiracy. The police raided the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung, the organ of the socialistic and anarchistic labor agitators, obtaining quantities of dynamite bombs, flags, and inflammatory literature which was offered in the trial as corroborative evidence. August Spies, a German, was the editor of the Zeitung and a ringleader of the anarchists. A. R. Parsons, an American, was editor of the Alarm. Samuel Fielden, of English nationality, laborer. Oscar Neebe, German. Adolph Fischer, a German. Louis Lingg, a German, carpenter. George Engel, German, and Michal Schwab. These are the ones who were indicted for murder and anarchy. A. R. Parsons fled the night of the riot and consequently was not arrested, but he subsequently came in and gave himself up to the officials in the criminal court, doubtless thinking by this semblance of honor to impress the court of his innocence and thereby secure acquittal.
The attorneys for the State in the prosecution were as follows: Julius S. Grinnell; and assistants State, George Ingham and Frank Walker.
Col. W. P. Black, Solomon Zeisler, and Mr. Foster, of Iowa, were for the defence, who availed themselves of every technicality in the interests of their clients. Four long and tedious weeks were consumed in obtaining a jury, exhausting fourteen panels of jurors in securing twelve competent men to try this case. His Honor, Judge J. E. Gary, presiding.
The names of the jury accepted by the State and the defence were Major J. H. Cole, F. E. Osborne, S. G. Randall, A. H. Reed, J. H. Bruyton, A. Hamilton, G. W. Adams, J. B. Greiner, C. B. Todd, C. A. Ludwig, T. E. Denker, and H. T. Sanford.
An application was filed with State’s Attorney Grinnell for a separate trial in the case of Neebe, Spies, Schwab, and Fielden, but was overruled by his Honor, Judge Gary, as they had been jointly indicted for conspiracy and murder.
On Friday, July 10th, 1886, the case of the anarchists was opened by the prosecution in the taking of evidence.
Officers Steel, Barber, Reed and McMahon, who were wounded in the riot of May the 4th, were so far recovered as to be able to be present.
Felix Puschek was sworn and submitted plans of the Haymarket Pg 22 and several halls in the city known to be headquarters for the meetings of the anarchists.
Police Inspector Bonfield next took the stand and related how the police attempted to disperse the unlawful assemblage of armed Anarchists, and detailed the circumstance of the bomb-throwing, already related. He also identified the following circular, by which the meeting was called:
“Attention, working men! Great mass-meeting to-night, at 7 o’clock, Haymarket square, between Desplaines and Halsted. Good speakers will be present to denounce the late atrocious act of the police, the shooting of our fellow working men yesterday afternoon. Working men, arm and appear in full force.”
Some of the anarchists indicted for conspiracy turned State’s evidence. Gottfried Waller, a Swiss by nationality, a cabinet-maker by trade, formerly a socialist, and a member of the Lehr and Wehr Verein, testified that the latter organization comprised various armed groups of anarchists; that the letter “Y” in the Arbeiter Zeitung meant for the armed section to meet at Grief’sGreif’s hall; that he acted as chairman of the meeting of seventy or eighty persons, Engel, Fischer and Breitenfeld, the commander of the Lehr and Wehr, being present. The witness testified that Engel unfolded a plan whereby if a collision between the strikers and the police should occur, the word “Ruhe” would appear in the Arbeiter as a signal for the Lehr and Wehr and the Northwest group of anarchists to assemble in Wicker Park with arms. They should then storm the North avenue police station, and proceed thence to other stations, using dynamite and shooting down all who opposed them, and should cut the telegraph wires to prevent communication with the outside world. Engel said the best way to begin would be to throw a dynamite bomb into the police station, and that when the populace saw that the police were overpowered, tumult would spread through the city, and the anarchists would be joined by the working men. This plan, Engel said, had been adopted by the Northwest group. It was decided to appoint a committee to keep watch of affairs in the city and to call a meeting for the next night in the Haymarket. Fischer was directed to get the handbills calling the meeting printed. Those present at the preliminary meeting represented various groups throughout the city. Fischer announced that the word “Ruhe” would mean that a revolution had been started. Engel put the motion, and the plan was adopted. The committee on action was composed of members from each group; the witness knew only one—Kraemer. The members of the armed groups were known by numbers, and witness number was 19.
Spies was questioned in January, 1885, at Grand Rapids, Mich., relative to these secret organizations, when he said that force must bring about the necessary reform which the ballot-box had failed to inaugurate and was incompetent to perform. Shook, of Grand Rapids, also testified that Spies had said that the secret drilled organizations of Chicago for the revolution of society numbered over 3,000, and that none except members of those organizations knew of the modus operandi by which they intended to wage their warfare.
Lieutenant Bowler testified to seeing men in the crowd fire upon the police with revolvers; officers S. C. Bohner and E. J. Hawley saw Fielden fire. In the line of proving up the conspiracy to incite the working men to violence, it was shown by the evidence of James L. Frazer, E. T. Baker, A. S. Leckie, Frank Pg 24 Haraster, Sergeant John Enright and officer L. H. McShane, that Spies and Fielden incited the mob to attack McCormick’s Reaper Works and the non-union employes on May 3. Detective Reuben Slayton testified to having arrested Fischer at the Arbeiter Zeitungoffice. He had a loaded revolver hid under his coat; a file-grooved dagger and a fulminating cap, used to explode dynamite bombs. Theodore Fricke, former business manager of the Arbeiter, identified the copy of the “Revenge” circular as being in Spies’ handwriting. Lieutenant William Ward testified to having commanded the Haymarket meeting to disperse in the name of the people of Illinois, and that Fielden cried, “We are peaceable,” laying a slight emphasis on the last word.
William Seliger, of 442 Sedgwick street, testified that Louis Lingg boarded with him, and that himself, Lingg, Huebner, Manzenberg and Hewmann worked at making dynamite bombs of a spherical shape. He attended the various meetings. He identified the calls for the armed sections to meet in the Arbeiter Zeitung. BalthasarBalthazar Rau brought the “Revenge” circular to Zephf’s hall. Lingg worked at first on “gas-pipe” bombs; they made forty or fifty bombs the Tuesday before the riot. Lingg said they were to be used that evening; he and Lingg carried a small trunk full of the bombs to Neff’s hall, 58 Clybourne avenue, that evening, where they were divided up among the anarchists; besides the Northwest group the Sachsen Bund met at Neff’s hall; witness, Lingg, Thieben and Gustave Lehmen and two others from the Lehr and Wehr Verein, left Neff’s hall for the Larrabee street police station; Lingg said a disturbance must be made on the North side to prevent the police from going to the West side; Lingg wanted to throw a bomb into the station; the police were outside, and they could not get near; the patrol-wagon came along completely manned, and Lingg wanted to throw a bomb under the wagon; he asked witness for fire from his cigar; witness went into a hallway and lit a match, and before he returned the wagon had passed: they returned to Neff’s hall where he heard a bomb had fallen on the West side, and killed a great many; Hewmann blamed Lingg and said in an angry voice, “You are the cause of it all;” they then went and hid their bombs under sidewalks and in various places, and went home; Lingg first brought dynamite to the house about six weeks before May 1, in a long wooden box; he made a wooden spoon to handle it with in filling the bombs; witness belonged to the Northwest group, and his number was 72, Engel was also a member. [The bombs were here produced and Judge Gary ordered them removed immediately from the court roomcourtroom and from the building.] Seliger’s testimony was unshaken on cross-examination. Mrs. Bertha Seliger corroborated her husband’s testimony, testifying that at one time six or seven men were at work making bombs, and that after the Haymarket Lingg tore up the floor of a closet to secrete those he had on hand.
Lieutenant John D. Shea, Chief of the Detective force, testified to having assisted in the raid on the Arbeiter Zeitung office, May 5. The galley of type from which the “Revenge” circular was printed, copies of Herr Most’s book, and other anarchistic literature, red flags and banners with treasonable devices, and a quantity of dynamite were found. The witness asked Spies if he wrote the “Revenge” circular, and he refused to answer. When he arrested Fischer he asked him where he was on the night of the Haymarket meeting. Fisher said in the Arbeiter ZietungZeitung office with Schwab, and that Rau brought word that Pg 26 Spies was at the Haymarket, that a big crowd was there, and they all went over. He had a belt, a dagger, and a fulminating cap on him when arrested, but he said he carried them for protection. I said: ‘You didn’t need them in the office.’ He said: ‘I intended to go away, but was arrested.’ I also said: ‘There has been found other weapons like this sharpened dagger; how is it you come to carry this?’ He said he put it in his pocket for his own protection.
Detective William Jones testified that he had a locksmith open a closet in Spies office, and in a desk were found two bars of dynamite, a long fuse, a box of fulminating caps, some letters, and copies of both the celebrated circulars. At Fischer’s home he found a lot of cartridges and a blouse of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. Officer Duffy found two thousand copies of the circular calling upon the working men to arm, and the manuscript of the “Revenge” circular in the Arbeiter Zeitung office. Herr Most’s book, “The Science of Revolutionary Warfare,” found in the Arbeiteroffice, was offered in evidence; also the manual for the manufacture of explosives and poisons.
Bernhard Schrader, a native of Prussia, five years in this country, a carpenter by trade, testified that he was a member of the Lehr und Wehr Verein; was at the meeting at Greif’s hall the night of May 3, and he corroborated Waller’s testimony throughout. Besides those mentioned by Waller, Schrader named Hadermann, Thiel and Danafeldt, as attendants at the meeting. He saw BalthausarBalthazar Rau distributing the “Revenge” circulars at a meeting of the Carpenter’s Union on Desplaines street. Witness was present also at the Sunday meeting on Emma street. It was here agreed to cripple the fire department, in case they were called out, by cutting their hose. Witness went to the meeting at 54 West Lake street in response to the signal “Y” in the Arbeiter Zeitung. He was at the Haymarket, but did not know who threw the bomb. The Northwest group of the Lehr und Wehr were armed with Springfield rifles. Witness’ number in the organization was 3,312.
Lieutenant Edward Steele testified that when the police entered the Haymarket somebody cried out: “Here come the blood-hounds. You do your duty, and we’ll do ours.”
Lieutenant Michael Quinn testified that he heard this exclamation and that the man who made it was Fielden, just as he ceased speaking on the wagon. About the instant the bomb exploded, Fielden exclaimed: “We are peaceable!”
Lieutenant Stanton testified that the bomb exploded four seconds after his company of eighteen men entered the Haymarket. Every member of his company except two were wounded, and two—Degan and Redden—killed. The witness was wounded in eleven places. Officers Krueger and Wessler testified to having seen Fielden shoot at the police with a revolver.
Gustave Lehman, one of the conspirators, gave a detailed account of various meetings; the afternoon of May 4 he was at Lingg’s house where men with cloths over their faces were making dynamite bombs; Huebner was cutting fuse; Lingg gave witness a small hand-satchel with two bombs, fuse, caps, and a can of dynamite; at 3 o’clock in the morning, after the Haymarket explosion, he got out of bed and carried this material back to Ogden’s grove and hid it, where it was found by Officer Hoffman; money to buy dynamite was raised at a dance of the Carpenters’ Union, at Florus’ Hall, 71 West Lake street. Lingg took this money and bought dynamite; Lingg taught them how Pg 28 to make bombs. M. H. Williamson and Clarence P. Dresser, reporters, had heard Fielden, Parsons and Spies counsel violence; the latter at the Arbeiter Zeitungoffice had advised that the new Board of Trade be blown up on the night of its opening. George Munn and Herman Pudewa, printers, worked on the “Revenge” circular in the Arbeiter Zeitungoffice; Richard Reichel, office-boy, got the “copy” for it from Spies.
The most sensational evidence of the trial, as showing the inside workings of the armed sections of the socialists, and at the same time the most damaging as indicative of their motives and designs, was that of Detective Andrew C. Johnson, of the Pinkerton agency, an entirely disinterested person who was detailed in December, 1884, by his agency, which had been employed by the First National Bank to furnish details of the secret meetings which it was known were being held by revolutionary plotters at various places throughout the city. Johnson is a Scandinavian, thin-faced and sandy-haired, born in Copenhagen, and thirty-five years of age. He told his story in a calm, collected, business-like manner. Mr. Grinnell asked:
“Do you know any of the defendants?” Witness—“I do.”
“Name them.”—“Parsons, Fielden, Spies, Schwab and Lingg.”
“Were you at any time connected with any group of the International Workingmen’s Association?”—“I was.”
“What group?”—“The American group.”
“Were you a member of any armed section of the socialists of this city?”—“Yes, sir.”
“When did you begin attendance at their meetings?”—“The first meeting I attended was the 22d of February 1885, at Pg 29 Baum’s pavilion. The last meeting I attended was the 24th of January of this year.”
“At whose instance did you go to their meetings?”—“At the instance of my agency.”
“Did you from time to time make reports of what you heard and saw at their meetings?”—“I did.”
Mr. Grinnell passed over to witness a bundle of papers and asked: “Have you in your hand a report of the meeting of the 22d of February, 1885?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Were any of the defendants present at that meeting?”—“Yes, sir; Parsons was present.”
“Refer to your memoranda and tell me what was said by Parsons at that meeting.”—Objected to; overruled.—“Parsons stated that the reason the meeting had been called in that locality was so as to give the many merchant princes who resided there an opportunity to attend and see what the Communists had to say about the distribution of wealth. He said: ‘I want you all to unite together and throw off the yoke. We need no president, no congressmen, no police, no militia, and no judges. They are all leeches, sucking the blood of the poor, who have to support them all by their labor. I say to you, rise one and all, and let us exterminate them all. Woe to the police or to the military whom they send against us.’”
“That was where?”—“At Baum’s pavilion, corner of Cottage Grove avenue and Twenty-second street.”
“Have you a report of any other of the defendants speaking at that meeting?”—“No, sir.”
“What is the next memorandum that you have?”—“The next meeting was March 1. That night I became a member. I went to Thielen, who was at the time acting as treasurer and secretary for the association, and gave him my name and signified my willingness to join the association. He entered my name in a book and handed me a red card with my name on and a number.”
“When and where was that?”—“That was March 1, 1885, at GriefsGreif’s hall, No. 54 West Lake street, in this city.”
“Have you what was said and done at that meeting?”—“I have a report of it here.”
“Who spoke?”—“Parsons, Fielden, Spies, and others.”
“Any other of the defendants?”—“No sir.”
“State what Fielden said, and then what Parsons said.”—“A lecture was given by a man named Bailey on the subject of socialism and christianity, and the question arose as to whether christianity ought to be introduced in their meetings.”
“What did Fielden, Spies and Parsons say there?”—“Fielden said that he thought this matter ought not to be introduced into their meetings. Parsons said, ‘I am of the same opinion,’ and Spies also said that it ought not to be introduced.”
“Now state the next meeting.”—“The next meeting was March 4, at the same place.”
“Who were present?”—“Parsons, Fielden and Spies were present, and spoke.”
“When was the memorandum made that you have of that meeting?”—“The same day, immediately after the termination of the meeting. Parsons said: ‘We are sorely in need of funds to publish the Alarm. As many of you as are able ought to give as much as you can, because our paper is our most powerful weapon, and it is only through the paper that we can hope to reach the masses.’ During his lecture he introduced christianity. Spies stood up and said: ‘We don’t want any christianity Pg 31 here in our meetings at all. We have told you so before.’ Fielden made no speech.”
“When was the next meeting?”—“March 22.”
“Were any speeches made by any of the defendants there?”—“Yes, sir, Spies spoke. Previously a man named Bishop introduced a resolution of sympathy for a girl named Sorell. Bishop stated that the girl had been assaulted by her master. She had applied for a warrant, which had been refused her on account of the high social standing of her master. Spies said: ‘What is the use of passing resolutions? We must act, and revenge the girl. Here is a fine opportunity for some of our young men to go and shoot Wight.’ That was the man who had assaulted the girl.”
“Do your reports contain references to speeches made by others?”—“They do.”
“You are only picking out speeches made by the defendants?”—“That is all.”
“When was the next meeting?”—“March 29, 1885, at Grief’sGreif’s hall. The defendant, Fielden, spoke at that meeting. He said: ‘A few explosions in the city of Chicago would help the cause considerably. There is the new Board of Trade, a roost of thieves and robbers. We ought to commence by blowing that up.’”
“Were other speeches made at that meeting?”—“There were, but no others made by the defendants.”
“When was the next meeting?”—“April 1, at Greif’s hall. Spies, Fielden and Parsons were present at the meeting. Spies made a lengthy speech on this occasion. His speech was in regard to acts of cruelty committed by the police in Chicago; he spoke of the number of arrests made, and the number of convictions Pg 32 in proportion. He also referred to the case of the girl who preferred a charge of assault against police-sergeant Patton, of the West Chicago avenue station.”
“Who else spoke there?”—“Fielden. Spies had said before that he had advised the girl to get a pistol and go and shoot the policeman. Fielden stood up and said; ‘That is what she ought to do.’”
“What was the next meeting?”—“April 8, 1885, at Greif’s hall. Parsons made a lengthy speech. He referred frequently in his address to the strike at the McCormick harvester works. He said: ‘There is but one of two things for the men to do. They must either go to work for the wages offered them or else starve.’ In concluding his remarks he referred to the strike at La Salle, Illinois. He said: ‘To-morrow morning or the next day the authorities here in the city will probably send a trainload of policemen or militia to La Salle to shoot down the working people there. Now, there is a way to prevent this. All you have to do is to get some soap and place it on the rails and the train will be unable to move.’ Parsons spoke at great length of the crimes, as he termed them, of the capitalists, and he said to those present that it was an absolute necessity for them to unite against them, as that was the only way they could fight the capitalists.”
“Who else spoke there?”—“Fielden. He said it was a blessing something had been discovered wherewith the working men could fight the police and militia with their Gatling guns.”
“What was the next meeting you had?”—“April 19. That meeting was held at No. 106 Randolph street, because the hall at No. 54 Lake street was engaged. At this meeting Parsons offered a resolution of sympathy for Louis Riel and the half-breeds Pg 33 in the Northwest who were in rebellion against the Canadian government. Neither Parsons nor Fielden spoke at the meeting.”
“What was the next meeting?”—“April 22, at Greif’s hall. Referring to the opening of the new Board of Trade building, Parsons said: ‘What a splendid opportunity there will be next Tuesday night for some bold fellow to make the capitalists tremble by blowing up the building and all the thieves and robbers that are there.’ At the conclusion of his speech he said that the working men of Chicago should form in processions on Market square Tuesday evening next, and he invited all those present to get as many of their friends as they could to join in the procession.”
“Did any other of the defendants speak there?”—“Fielden said: ‘I also wish to invite as many of you as can come and as many as you can get. Go around to the lodging-houses and get all you can to join in the procession—the more the merrier.’”
“When was the next meeting?”—“April 26, at Greif’s hall.”
“Did any of the defendants speak there?”—“There were present Parsons, Fielden, Spies. Parsons said: ‘I wish you all to consider the misery of the working classes, and the cause of all the misery is these institutions termed government. I lived on snow-balls all last winter, but, by G—d! I won’t do it this winter.’”
“What was the next meeting at which any of the defendants attended?”—“April 30, at Market square; Parsons and Fielden. Parsons said: ‘We have assembled here to determine in which way best to celebrate the dedication of the new Board of Trade building, and to give the working men of Chicago a chance to state their views in the matter’. Fielden then said: ‘I want all the working men of Chicago, the country, and the world in general to arm themselves and sweep the capitalists off the face of the earth.’ Parsons then said: ‘Every working man in Chicago must save a little of his wages every week until he has enough to buy a Colt’s revolver and a Winchester rifle, for the only way that the working people will get their rights is by the point of the bayonet. We want you to form in procession now, and we will march to the Board of Trade. We will halt there, and while the band is playing we will sing the Marseillaise.’”
“Did you march in the procession, too?”—“I did.”
“Where were you in that line of march?”—“I was in the center of the procession.”
“Did any of the defendants march with you?”—“Not with me, but in the procession Fielden, Spies, Parsons and Neebe marched.”
“What was the next meeting?”—“There was something occuredoccurred the night of May 30. I was standing at the corner of Washington street and Fifth avenue close behind Spies. That was Decoration day, and as the procession passed by, Spies said: ‘A half-dozen dynamite bombs would scatter them all.’ A little later a gentleman who was standing near remarked upon the fine appearance of the Illinois National Guard, who were then passing. Spies said: ‘They are only boys, and would be no use in case of a riot. Fifty determined men would soon disarm them all.’”
“When was the next meeting?”—“The next meeting was on the Lake front, May 31, and Fielden and Parsons was there. Fielden said: ‘It is only by strength and force that you can overthrow the government.’ Parsons also spoke, but I don’t recollect what he said.”
“Go on to the next meeting.”—“The next meeting was June 7, at Ogden’s grove. There were present Fielden, Parsons and Spies. Fielden said: ‘Every working man in Chicago ought to belong to organizations. It is of no use to go to our masters to give us more wages or better times. I mean for you to use force. It is of no use for the working people to hope to gain anything by means of an ordinary weapon. Every one of you must learn the use of dynamite, for that is the power with which we hope to gain our rights.’ Schwab also spoke at that meeting in German, which I do not understand.”
“When was the next meeting?”—“The next meeting was August 19, at Greif’s hall. Parsons and Fielden spoke. Parsons referred to the late strike of the street car employes, and said that if but one shot had been fired, and Bonfield had happened to be shot, the whole city would have been deluged in blood, and social revolution would have been inaugurated. The next meeting was August 24, at Greif’s hall.”
“Do you know of a fellow named Bodendecke speaking at those meetings?”—“Occasionally, but not frequently; I don’t know where he is now. There were some twenty or twenty-three men present at that meeting, and twenty women.”
“Name who were present.”—“Besides the two defendants, Parsons, and Fielden, there was Baltus, Bodendecke, Boyd, Lawson, Parker, Franklin and Schneider.”
“State what occuredoccurred there.”—“After being there a short time a man armed with a long cavalry sword and dressed in a blue blouse and wearing a slouch hat came into the room. He ordered all those present to fall in. He then called off certain Pg 36 names, and all those present answered to their names. He inquired whether there were any new members who wished to join the military company, and some one replied that there was. He then said: ‘Whoever wants to join step to the front.’ Myself and two others stepped to the front. We were asked separately to give our names. I gave my name, which was put down in a book, and I was then told that my number was 16. Previous to my name being put down in the book, a man to whom I was speaking asked whether there was any one present who knew me, or whether any one could vouch for my being a true man. The defendant, Parsons and Bodendecke spoke up and said they would vouch for me. The other two were asked their names in turn, and as they were properly vouched for, their names were entered in a similar manner in a book, and they were given numbers. The man who came into the room armed then inquired of two other men in the room whether they were members of the American group. Both said they were and he asked to see their cards. As they were unable to show cards they were expelled, as were two others. The doors were closed and the remainder were asked to fall in line, and we were drilled about three-quarters of an hour—put through a regular manual of drill, marching, countermarching, wheeling, forming fours, etc.”
“Who drilled you?”—“The man that came in with the sword; I didn’t ascertain his name. At the expiration of that time the drill-instructor stated that he would now introduce some of the members of the first company of the German organization. He went outside and in a few minutes returned accompanied by ten other men, dressed as he himself was, each one armed with a Springfield rifle. When they all got into the room he placed them in line facing us and introduced them as members of the first company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. He said that he was going to drill them a little while to let us see how far they had got with their drill. He drilled them about ten minutes in a regular musket drill. At the end of that time a man in the employ of the proprietor of the saloon at No. 54 West Lake street came into the room with two tin boxes, which he placed on the table at the south end of the room. The drill-instructor then asked all those present to step up and examine the two tin boxes, as they were the latest improved dynamite bomb. I stepped to the front with the others, and examined the two tins.”
“Describe them as near as you can.”—“They were about the size and had the appearance of ordinary preserved fruit cans. The top part unscrewed, and on the inside the cans were filled with a light-brown mixture. There was also a small glass tube inserted in the center of the can. The tube was in connection with a screw, and it was explained that when the can was thrown against any hard sabstancesubstance it would explode.”
“Was that mixture a liquid?”—“Inside of the glass tube was a liquid.”
“Was there anything around that glass tube?”—“Yes, sir; it was a brownish mixture.”
“Was that a liquid?”—“No, sir; it looked more like fine sawdust.”
“Did you feel of it?”—“I did not. The drill-instructor told us we should be very careful about selecting new members of company, because if we were not, there was no telling whom we might get into our midst. The next proceeding of the evening was to select officers. A man named Walters was chosen Captain, and Parsons was chosen Lieutenant. Some discussion arose as to what the company should be called. It was decided eventually that we should be called the International Rifles. The drill-instructor then suggested that we ought to choose some other hall, as we were not quite safe there. He added: ‘We have a fine place at No. 636 Milwaukee avenue. We have a shooting range in the basement, where we practice shooting regularly.’ Parsons inquired whether it was not possible for us to rent the same place. The drill-instructor informed him he did not know. The question of renting another hall was postponed, and our next meeting was fixed for the next Monday.”
Mr. Salomon—“A meeting of what?”
Witness—“A meeting of the armed section of the American group.”
Mr. Grinnell—“Who drilled that company that night?”—Witness—“That German, and Parsons and Fielden.”
“When was the next meeting?”—“The following Monday, the 31st of August, at the same place. Parsons and Fielden were present, and others. That was a meeting of the armed section, and it was held at Greif’s hall. Capt. Walters drilled us about an hour and a half. Afterward a consultation was held by the members of the company as to the best way of procuring arms. Some one suggested that each member should pay so much a week until a sufficient amount had been raised wherewith to purchase a rifle for each member of the company. Parsons said: ‘Look here, boys, why can’t we make a raid some night on the militia armory? There are only two or three men on guard there, and it is easily done.’ This suggestion seemed to be favored by the members, and it was finally decided to put the matter off until the nights got a little longer.”
Capt. Black—“Which matter was put off?”
Witness—“The raid on the armory.”
Mr. Grinnell—“When was the next meeting?”—Witness—“September 3, 1885, at No. 54 West Lake street. Fielden made a speech there and said: ‘It is useless for you to suppose that you can ever obtain anything in any other way than by force. You must arm yourselves and prepare for the coming revolution.’ That was one of the ordinary meetings of the association. The next meeting was October 11, at Twelfth street Turner hall. Spies and Fielden were present. Fielden said: ‘The Eight-Hour law will be of no benefit to the working men. You must organize and use force. You must crush out the present Government by force. It is the only way in which you can better your present condition.’ I left with Fielden before the meeting terminated.”
“When was the next meeting you attended?”—“The next meeting was December 20, at Twelfth street Turner hall. Fielden was present. He said: ‘All the crowned heads of Europe are trembling at the very name of Socialism, and I hope soon to see a few Liskes in the United States to put away a few of the tools of the capitalists. The execution of Riel in the Northwest was downright murder.’”—“Was that an open meeting?”—“It was as far as I know. I saw no one refused admission.”
“How about those other meetings you have mentioned, aside from the armed sections?”—“Aside from the meetings of the armed section I should say that they were public. I never saw any one refused admission.”—“Was there any precaution taken?”—“A precaution was taken in this way: A member of the group was generally stationed at the door, and as each member entered the hall he was closely scrutinized. The next meeting was December 30.”
“What place?”—“At No. 106 Randolph.”
“Who spoke there?”—“Fielden. At this meeting a stranger asked a question, and Fielden replied to the question.”
“Do you know what the question was?”—“The question was: ‘Would the destruction of private property assist universal co-operation?’ Fielden replied: ‘Neither I or any body else can tell what is going to be in a hundred years from now, but this everybody knows: If private property is done away with, it would insure a better state of things generally. And we are trying all we can to teach the people the best way in which to bring about this change.’”
“Who was present at that meeting?”—“Fielden, only. The next meeting was January of this year, at Twelfth street Turner hall. Fielden and Schwab were present. Fielden, referring to the troubles in Ireland, said: ‘If every Irishman would become a Socialist, he would have a better opportunity to secure home-rule for Ireland. I want all Irishmen to destroy all the private property they can lay their hands on.’ He also referred to other matters. What he said had reference to Pinkerton’s detective agency.”
“What was it he said?”—“He said Pinkerton’s detectives were a lot of cold-blooded murderers, and the worst enemies the working men had, and they were all in the pay of the capitalists.”
“Is that all that was said there? Was that one of these ordinary opening meetings?”—“It was.”
“What else happened?”—“Schwab also addressed this meeting in German. During his speech he was frequently applauded. The next meeting I attended was January 14, at No. 106 Randolph Street.”
“January of this year?”—“Yes, sir.”
“What was said at this meeting?”—“Before the meeting commenced the defendants, Fielden and Spies, had a conversation which I overheard.”
“Where was that?”—“That was held in the hall near the door.”
“State what you heard.”—“Spies said to Fielden: ‘Don’t say very much about that article on Anarchists in an afternoon paper. You simply need to state that a reporter of the paper had an interview with me a few days ago, but that most of the statements of the paper are lies.’”
“How was that conversation carried on?”—“It was carried on quietly and was not meant for anybody else to hear.”
Capt. Black objected to the last part of the answer, and succeeded in having it stricken out.
“What was the tone of voice?”—“In whispers.”
“When did they leave?”—“Spies further said: ‘You must be careful in your remarks. You don’t know who might be amongst us to-night.’ Spies then went away and the meeting was called to order.”
“What did he say?“—“He made a long talk, commenting on the articles that appeared. He said almost all of the statements were lies. He said in regard to dynamite bombs: ‘It is quite true we have lots of explosives and dynamite in our possession, and we will not hesitate to use them when the proper time comes. We care nothing at all either for the military or the police. All of these are in the pay of the capitalists.’ He further said that ‘even in the regular army most of the soldiers are in sympathy with us, and most of them have been driven to enlist. I have had a letter from a friend out West. He told me that he had seen a soldier on the frontier reading a copy of the Alarm.’ Others then made speeches. Afterward Fielden again spoke at the same meeting in regard to the question asked him, what was the Socialist idea of the eight-hour movement. Fielden said: ‘We don’t object to but we don’t believe in it. Whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day he is still a slave. We propose to abolish slavery altogether.’ That is all of that meeting. Fielden said, the 24th of January, at a meeting held at No. 106 Randolph street—”
“What is the name of that, Jung’s hall?”—“Yes, I believe it is Jung’s hall. Fielden said good results were sure to follow the abolishment of private property.”
“When did you quit this branch of your business?”—“The latter part of January last.”
“Did you know then of Pinkerton’s agency having any other men employed in the same line that you were employed in?”—“I knew there had been another man, but whether he was employed then I do not know.”
“Have you lately, within the last few days, ascertained, and do you know the fact, that you have seen any Pinkerton men in these meetings?”—“That is so.”
“But you did not know it at that time?”—“I did not know it at that time.”
“How often did you drill with the armed section?”—“Only twice.”
“How often did they drill?”—“Once a week.”
“Have you got any information from any other members of the organization? If they drilled after that?”
Objected to and withdrawn.
“Did you ascertain from any of the defendants if they drilled after that?”—“I did not.”
“Have you had any other talk with Parsons outside of these utterances?”—“I have.”
“Have you had any talk with Spies, Fielden, Parsons, and other defendants as to the purposes of their organization?”—“I have talked frequently with Parsons and Fielden at various times and at various places. I cannot recollect as to what was said at each place and when it was said.”
“Can you give me the substance or purport of what was said at any time?”
Captain Black objected, unless time and place were given.
“What was the object of the armed section as was expressed by the members?”—“At the first meeting of the armed section the discussion arose as to what the company should be called. Some one suggested that the company should be amalgamated with the German organization, and the company was to be called the Fourth Company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. This idea was opposed, and finally it was decided that it should be called the International Rifles. It was further said and understood by all the members that in case of a conflict with the authorities the International Rifles were to act in concert with the Lehr und Wehr Verein, and obey the orders of the officers of that organization.”
“What was said at any time as to when this revolution was to take place—when was to be the culmination of the conflict?”—“The 1st of May was frequently mentioned as a good opportunity.”
“What 1st of May?”—“This present. As far as I remember it was at a meeting at Twelfth street Turner hall on one occasion in December, and it was the defendant Fielden that said the 1st of May would be the time to strike the blow. There would be so many strikes and there would be 50,000 men out of work—that is to say if the eight-hour movement was a failure.”
“Have you ever met any of them at the Arbeiter Zeitungoffice?”—“I have.”
“What conversation did you have?”—“I had a conversation with Parsons some time in March. The conversation took place in the Alarm office in the Arbeiter Zeitungbuilding. This office is situated in the back of the building.”
“Well, state what you remember of the conversation.”—“I asked Parsons if he did not think it advisable to get some papers printed in the Scandinavian language, as I thought I could make use of them. I intended to distribute them among the Scandinavian people along Milwaukee avenue and that neighborhood. Parsons replied: ‘Yes, it is a good idea, and the best thing you can do is to bring the matter up in our next meeting. Bring it up before the meeting, and I will see that it is attended to. It is no use, we must have the Scandinavians with us.’”
“Did you have any talk with any of these defendants about the purposes and objects of the social revolution, so-called?”—“I have had numerous conversations with Fielden and Parsons but I cannot remember distinctly what was said.”
“What was Parsons’ relation to the Alarm?”—“He was the editor.”
“Did you ever see a book by Most called ‘The Modern Science of Revolutionary Warfare?’ Look at that book and state whether you have seen it before.”—“I have.”
“Where?”—“I have seen it at meetings at Twelfth street Turner hall; at No. 54 West Lake street, and also at No. 106 Randolph.”
“Who had charge of the distribution of it?”—“The Chairman.”
“Of the respective meetings?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Were they sold or given away?”—“They were sold.”
“Do you know whether or not any steps were taken to distribute the Alarm?”
“There were a number of those present at that particular meeting who bought a number of copies of the Alarm, and said that they would try their best to sell them and obtain new subscribers.”
“Do you know a man named Schneider and one Thomas Brown?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Did they belong to the American group?”—“Both of them.”
“Did they belong to the armed section?”—“Both of them.”
“Where usually did the American group meet before the time you ceased your connection with it?”
“During the last few meetings it met at No. 106 Randolph street.”
“Prior to that where did it meet?”—“It had met at No. 54 West Lake street, also at No. 45 North Clark street, and on the Lake front.”
“Did you ever meet with the American group at No. 107 Fifth avenue?”—“No, sir.”
“No. 636 Milwaukee avenue was the place mentioned as the proper place for drilling. Were you ever there?”—“I was there.”
“Did they meet more than once there?”—“I don’t know.”
“Do you know what the hall is called?”—“I do.”
“What is it?”—“Thalia hall.”
“When you joined this organization did it cost you anything?”—“Ten cents.”
“How often did you pay the contributions?”—“Once a month.”
“How much?”—“Ten cents.”
“When you joined the armed section did that require any special contribution?”—“No, sir.”
“What was Fielden’s office in the group of the armed section?”
“He was Treasurer and Secretary of the organization—of the group.”
“Did he hold any office, or was he simply a private in the armed section?”
“He held no office while I attended there.”
Cross-examined by Mr. Foster:—“Where were you before you came here?”
“I was a police officer in England eight years.”
“In uniform?”—“Part of the time.”
“How long did you do detective service there?”—“Three years.”
“At what place?”—“In Lancashire.”
“How long have you been with Pinkerton?”—“Three years.”
“What did you do before you became a detective here? Were you ever in any legitimate business?”
Mr. Grinnell—“In any other legitimate business?”
Witness—“I was storekeeper at the Windsor hotel.”
“Was that meeting at Baum’s hall a public one?”—“It was.”
“March 1 you became a member?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Were your antecedents inquired into?“—“No, sir.”
“You just paid your ten cents and were received?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Is not that your experience, that anybody who could pay 10 cents could be received?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Did you ever see anybody excluded?”—“No, sir, except reporters. I have seen reporters excluded sometimes.”
“Were not reporters generally freely admitted?”—“Not very often.”
“They had seats for them and a table?”—“I don’t know. I never saw more than one at a time there.”
“Did you ever see anybody excluded by the doorkeeper?”
“Did you ever have any ushers—anybody who got seats for strangers.”
“No, sir; but I saw some of the old members get up and give their seats when strangers came in.”
“You stated that Mr. Spies introduced resolutions in sympathy with a girl?”
“Somebody else introduced them but Spies opposed it. He said there was no use making resolutions.”
“That is, the girl had had her day in court and it was no use passing resolutions?”
“He said it would be a good opportunity for some one to take a pistol and go and shoot Wight.”
“You are sure Spies said that?”—“Yes, sir.”
“You wrote out your report immediately with all the facts fresh in your mind.”—“Yes, I wrote it that night.”
“Didn’t you write in your report [reading from it] that Keegan said that after Spies got through with his remarks?”—“Yes, but Mr. Spies said it also.”
“You are sure of that?”—“Yes, sir.”
“Will you show me the place in your report where this is said?“—“I don’t find it.”
“Then your memory is better now than it was immediately after the meeting?”
“It is considerably better now that I have refreshed it.”
“A detective’s memory gets better as the time goes on, does it?”
Mr. Grinnell objected to this kind of cross-examination.
Referring to the charges against Sergt. Patton, Mr. Foster asked: “Were the circumstances stated that the girl had been grossly abused, but his brother officers stood round and swore him out?”
“It may have been.”
“And was it not stated as a general expression that such a man ought to be shot?”
“It may have been.”
In regard to the strike at La Salle, Mr. Foster made it appear as if Parsons had simply stated in general terms that if soap was put on the rails the train would not be able to move, but that he did not advise anybody to go and put the soap on. Fielden’s remark that something had been discovered by which the working men could resist the police and militia, and Parson’s remark that he would not live on snow-ballssnowballs another winter, were represented by Mr. Foster in an equally innocent and harmless light.
The cross-examination for the day concluded with the following questions and answers:
“You heard Fielden say: ‘While we march toward the Board of Trade we will sing the Marseillaise hymn?’”—“Yes, sir.”
“That you understood to be the French national hymn?”—“Yes, sir.”
W. H. Freeman, a reporter, testified as follows:
“I was at the corner of Randolph and Desplaines streets. Saw Parsons speaking, and listened to what he had to say. Some one said Mayor Harrison was there and I tried to find him. There was a big crowd. Parsons said that Jay Gould was a robber, and asked what was to be done. Somebody shouted, ‘Throw him in the lake.’ Parsons said: ‘No, that won’t do. We must overthrow the system by which he was enabled to secure so much money.’ He shouted frequently: ‘To arms! to arms!’ and the crowd applauded. There were six or eight persons on the wagon. Fielden, the next speaker, discussed legislation, saying that Martin Foran had admitted that it was impossible for the working men to get their rights through legislation, and that the people were fools to send such a man to Congress when he owned that the legislation could not better them. He justified the forthcoming revolution, saying it was just as proper as the colonial revolution. The police came up quietly and my first knowledge of it was the command to disperse. Then the bomb exploded. It made a terrible noise, and a moment after the firing commenced. Parsons, Spies and Fielden were on the wagon, and I think I saw Schwab there. I crouched down behind the wagon until after the firing was Pg 50 over; then I went to the Desplaines street station. On getting out on the street I saw two officers lying wounded. I spoke to them but they didn’t answer, so I told the sergeant of a patrol-wagon about it.”
Officer McKeogh testified:
“I was at the Haymarket on the night of May 4. Parsons followed Spies, saying: ‘I am a Socialist from the top of my head to the soles of my feet, and I’ll express my sentiments if I die before morning.’ Again he said: ‘I pay rent for the house I live in.’ Some one asked: ‘What does the landlord do with the money?’ Parsons replied: ‘I am glad you asked that question. The landlord pays taxes, they go to pay the sheriff, the militia, and the Pinkertonites.’ The crowd cheered, then Parsons cried: ‘To arms! to arms!’ and Fielden took the stand. He said: ‘The law does not protect you, working men. Did the law protect you when the police shot down your brothers at McCormick’s? Did the law protect you when McCormick closed the doors of his factory and left you and your wives and children to starve? I say throttle the law; strangle it, kill it!’”
H. E. O. Heineman, formerly a reporter on the Arbeiter Zeitung, was asked:
“Mr. Heineman, you were formerly an Internationalist?”—“Yes, sir.”
“When did you cease your connection with them?”—“About two years ago.”
“Whom of the defendants do you know that were in that association or society before you left it?”—“Of my own knowledge I know none but one, that is Neebe. He used to belong to the same group that I did.”
“Did you ever meet with any of the others at any of the Pg 51 meetings?”—“Yes; Spies, Schwab, and I think, Parsons.”
“That was about the time Herr Most came here and delivered some speeches?”—“Yes, sir.”
“And it was on account of those speeches you severed your connection with the Anarchists?”—“Yes.”
“Whom did you see on the speaker’s wagon at the Haymarket?”—“I saw the speakers, Spies, Schwab and Fielden, and Rudolph Schnaubelt, whom I had formerly known from my connection with the Internationalists.”
“You say Schnaubelt was on the wagon. How long after the cloud came up and the crowd thinned out did you see him?”—“I cannot say.”
“Well, how long before the police came did you miss Schnaubelt?”—“I cannot say; perhaps ten minutes.”
“You say Mr. Neebe was a member of the Internationalist organization. Now, you didn’t have any passwords, did you? It wasn’t an organization where you drilled, was it?”—“It was an avowed Socialistic order.”
Another sensational witness was Harry L. Gilmer, a workman, who testified that he saw Spies and Rudolph Schnaubelt standing inside the mouth of the alley at the Haymarket; that Spies lit a match for Schnaubelt, who in turn lit the fuse of the bomb and threw it among the police. An effort was made to shake the testimony of this witness, which was not successful, and witnesses were then brought forward to impeach his veracity, but the state produced many prominent men who knew him, and who stated that they would believe him under oath.
Captain Frank Schaack, in charge of the East Chicago avenue police station, who unearthed the Anarchists’ conspiracy after the Haymarket, was called to the stand on Thursday, July Pg 52 29. Lingg’s trunk was placed before him. He was asked:
“Do you know any of the defendants in this case?”
“I have seen Spies, Schwab and Parsons, and Engel and Lingg were arrested and confined in my station.”
“When did you first converse with Lingg about this case?”
“About 3 o’clock on the afternoon of May 14. First I asked him his name. He told me. I asked him if he was at the meeting at 54 Lake street on Tuesday night. He said: ‘Yes.’ Then he said he made dynamite. I asked him what for. He said: ‘To use then.’ He looked excited. I asked why he disliked the police. He said he had a reason; the police clubbed the men at McCormick’s. He said he was down on the police because they took the part of the capitalists. I said: ‘Why don’t you use guns instead of dynamite?’ He said guns wouldn’t do; that the militia would outnumber the Socialists. I asked him how he learned to make dynamite. He said out of books, and that he made bombs out of gas-pipe and out of lead and metal mixed. He said he got the lead on the streets and the gas-pipe along the river or anywhere he could.”
“What other conversation did you have?”
“Lingg said he made those bombs and meant to use them. Then Mrs. Seliger accused him of making bombs a few weeks after he came to her house. I knew then that he had made a good many. John Thielen was arrested at the same time, and from him we got two bombs. I said to Lingg: ‘This man says you gave him the bombs. What have you to say?’ He looked at Thielen and shook his head, and Thielen said: ‘Oh, it’s no use, everything is known; you might just as well talk.’ But Lingg refused to say anything.”
“Well, this trunk here was brought to my office. Under the lining I found a lot of dynamite and some fuse and asked him if that was the kind of dynamite he used. He said it was; that he got it at a store on Lake street. There were three kinds of dynamite. He said he experimented once with a long bomb; that he put it in a tree, touched it off, and that it riddled the tree to atoms. I asked him if he knew Spies. He said ‘Yes, for some time;’ that he was often at the Arbeiter Zeitung office. I asked him how long he had been a Socialist. He said he’d been a Socialist as long as he could think.”
“Did you have any conversation with Engel?”
“Yes, on the 18th, in the evening, I asked him where he was May 3. He said he worked for a man named Koch. I asked him if he made a speech at the meeting at 54 Lake street. He said no, but that he was at the meeting. The second time I talked with him his wife came. She brought him a bunch of flowers. He got excited, and cried: ‘What good are those flowers to me? Here I am locked up in a dark cell.’ Then his wife said: ‘Papa, see what trouble you’ve got yourself into; why haven’t you stopped this nonsense?’ He said: ‘Mamma, I can’t. I am cursed with eloquence. What is in a man must come out. LouisLouise Michel suffered for the cause. She is a woman; why should I not suffer? I am a man, and I will stand it like a man.’”
“How many bombs in all did you find?”—Objected to.
“Tell the jury what experiments you made with those bombs.”
“One bomb found in Lingg’s room, which Schuettler said was loaded with a funnel, I put in a box two feet square and buried in the ground three feet deep at Lake View. Officers Pg 54 Stift, Rehm and Loewenstein were there. We touched the bomb off. It blew the box to pieces, fragments carried off the branches of trees, and the ground was torn up for a great distance. This black dynamite, also found in Lingg’s room, was put in a beer keg. Part of this dynamite Lingg gave to Thielen, and this is a fragment of a round bomb I experimented with. On top of this bomb I had a round piece of iron thirty-four inches wide, some heavy planks, a piece of steel forty-two inches wide and weighing 180 pounds; then an iron boiler twenty-two inches wide and fourteen inches high; then on top of that a stone weighing 132 pounds. The stone was burst to pieces, nine holes were shot through the iron boiler, the steel cover was cracked, and the planks were split into kindling wood. Portions of the other bombs I cut off, and gave them to Profs. Haines and Paton.”
There were bushels of bombs before the jury. Coils of fuse was unwound. Dynamite in paper packages and in tin boxes was displayed. The court-room looked like the interior of an arsenal so far as the tremendous character of the explosives were concerned. Pieces of metal, gas-pipe, tin cans, and iron boxes rattled together. Capt. Schaack, pointing to the bombs, said he got two from Hoffman, one from fireman Miller, and one from Officer Loewenstein. He was not allowed to tell how many bombs in all he received until the officers first told where the bombs were found.
“Now about those conversations. Did Lingg say anything about the use of those bombs?”
“He said he intended to use them against the Gatling-guns of the militia; that a revolution was impending. I asked him about that satchel he brought to Neff’s place. He said he saw one there. Then I asked him where he got the moulds to mould the round bombs. He said he made them out of clay; that they could be used about two times, then they were no good. He said he saw the ‘Revenge’ circular on the West side.”
“Who did he say was at his place May 4?”—“He said about six in all, but he only knew the two Lehmans.”
Capt. Schaack was asked by Mr. Ingham whether he experimented with fuse.
“I did. I also experimented with dynamite cartridges. I had one inserted into a stone weighing perhaps thirty pounds. The explosion broke this stone into atoms.”
Cross-examined by Mr. Foster.—“What Lingg said to you, Captain, was substantially this: That there was to be a conflict between the police and the Gatling-guns on one side and the laboring men on the other, and that he was making these bombs to use when that time came?”
“That’s about it, only he said the time had actually come.”
“Those experiments you made were made for your own satisfaction?”
“They were made to enable me to testify to the character of the stuff that was found.”
“As a matter of fact you woke up Engel in his cell after midnight to interrogate him, didn’t you?”
“Well, I don’t remember. If I did, I did, and I suppose I did. I had a right to do it.”
“Do you know of two detectives at your station who went to Lingg’s cell late at night and exhibited a rope saying they were going to hang him?”
“I do not, and I do not believe anything of the kind was done.”
Officer Hoffman, of the Larrabee street station, testified that he found nine round bombs and four long ones under a sidewalk near Clyde street and Clybourn avenue.
“Who was with you at the time?”—“Gustav Lehman.”
Under John Thielen’s house the witness found two long bombs, two boxes of cartridges, two cigar boxes full of dynamite, one rifle, and one revolver.
“What else?”—“Lehman pointed out to me a can holding about a gallon, and this was filled with dynamite.”
“Look at this box of caps. Where did you find them?”—“They were with the dynamite. They were all under the sidewalk on Clybourn avenue, back of Ogden’s grove.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Frank Walker opened the proceedings Friday, July 30, by reading extracts from Parsons’ Alarm, dated May 2d of this year. It was a speech delivered by Parsons April 29, the night the new Board of Trade was dedicated, and that occasion afforded the speaker his subject. The speech was full of rabid utterances, of which the following are samples:
“To-night the property owners are dedicating a temple for the plunder of the people. We assemble as Anarchists and Communists to protest against the system of society founded on spoilation of the people.” In conclusion Parsons advised his hearers to save their money and buy revolvers and rifles, and recommended the use of dynamite.
Under date of December 26, 1885, the Alarm contained a long description of what qualities should center in a revolutionist. “The revolutionist,” it was said, “must dedicate his life exclusively to his idea, living in this world only for the purpose of more surely destroying it. He hates every law and science, and Pg 57 knows of but one science—that of destruction. He despises public sentiment and social morality. All his sentiments of friendship, love and sympathy must be suppressed. Equally must he hate everything that stands in the way to the attainment of his ends. He must have but one thought—merciless revolution; he must be bound by no ties, and must not hesitate to destroy all institutions and systems.”
On February 6, 1886, the Alarm paid its respects to Captain Bonfield, and the attention of the revolutionists was called to the clubbing done by the police at the time of the car-men’s strike, by saying: “American sovereigns, if you don’t like this, get guns or dynamite.”
The names of those appointed to act as a bureau of information for the Anarchists were printed in the Alarm under date January 9, 1886. Joseph Bock, B. Rau, August Spies, A. R. Parsons and Anton Hirschberger were the names given. On March 20, 1886, the Alarmsaid: “All argument is no good unless based on force.”
On another occasion, speaking of the eight-hour movement, it was said: “All roads lead to Rome; so must all labor movements lead to Socialism.” Later the Alarmsaid: “One pound of dynamite is better than a bushel of ballots. Working men, to arms! Death to luxurious idleness!” All articles from which these extracts were taken had Parsons’ name appended as the writer. April 24, the date of the last issue of the Alarm, the Knights of Labor were assailed “for attempting to prevent the people from exterminating the predatory beasts—the capitalists.” Mr. Ingham reads from Herr Most’s book a description of an infernal machine to burn down buildings. This apparatus is described as of wonderful efficiency and dirt cheap. It is read to secure the admission as evidence of the four tin boxes spoken of by Detective Jansen, who saw them exhibited at 54 West Lake street.
The Court is not sure the contents in both cases are the same, and Officer Coughlin, of the Chicago avenue station, is put on the stand to prove the character of the compound. He experimented with one can by means of a fulminating cap. He tried to explode the can but failed, then he attached a fuse and an explosion followed. A quantity of burning liquid, much resembling vitriol, was distributed in all directions, a stream was thrown five or six feet high, and for a space of ten feet in all directions the grass was set on fire, and it burned for fully five minutes.
Charles B. Prouty is called. He was formerly manager of a gun store on State street.
“Have you ever seen any of the defendants before?”—“I have seen Engel and Parsons.”
“When did you converse with Engel last, before May 4?”—“Some time last fall. Mr. Engel and his wife called at the store and inquired for some big revolvers. They found one that suited them, to present to some society. They said they wanted 100 or 200 for this society. A week later they said this revolver would do and they wanted some 200 revolvers. I told them I thought I could get them, but when they came back the second time I found I couldn’t. They were much disappointed and said they would go some place else.”
“What was the price?”—“I think $5.50. They were either 44 or 45 calibre revolvers.”
“What did you say about the price?”—“I told them that was very cheap and said they could make a handsome profit on them. They said they didn’t want to make any profit; that the weapons were for a society.”
Captain Black, on the cross-examination, brings it out that the witness sold the gun to Engel, thinking he wanted to go into some speculation.
W. J. Reynolds, also in the gun business at 73 State street, has seen Parsons, and he thinks Engel.
“When did you see Parsons relative to your buisnessbusiness, and tell what it was?”
“I think it was in February or March. He came into the store and wanted to purchase about forty remodeled Remington guns. Parsons spoke to me several times about this purchase, but it was never made. Parsons seemed undecided.”
“State whether your concern ever sold any rifle or revolver cartridges, which were to be delivered, and were delivered, at 636 Milwaukee avenue—Thalia hall?”
This question is overruled by the court unless the cartridges were delivered by the witness in person. Capt. Black takes the witness in hand and he said he never knew Parsons by name until yesterday, then that person was pointed out to him in court.
“That’s all,” says Capt. Black.—“Mr. Reynolds,” says Mr. Grinnell, “was Parsons pointed out to you, or did you not point out the man you had seen before?”
“I pointed out the man I had seen before.”
A manuscript in Spies’ handwriting is offered in evidence. It is a manuscript of an editorial which was printed in the Arbeiter Zeitung of May 4 and captioned: “Blood and Powder as a Cure for Dissatisfied Working Men.” In another part of the paper was the following: “This evening there is a great meeting at the Haymarket. No working men ought to stay away.”
Manuscript in Schwab’s handwriting is submitted. This matter appeared in the Arbeiter Zeitung May 4, and one passage is as follows: “The heroes of the club dispensed with their cudgels yesterday.” This has reference to the riot at McCormick’s.
Another extract; “Reports of the capitalist papers have all been dictated by the police.” Still another: “The armory on the Lake front is guarded by military tramps.” And another: “Milwaukee, usually so quiet, yesterday became the scene of quite a number of labor riots.” Under date of May 3, Spies’ paper said: “A hot conflict. The termination of the radical elements bring the extortioners in numerous instances to terms.” January 5, 1885, Spies wrote concerning a report of a meeting at 54 West Lake street: “Comrade Spies, in the course of his speech said: ‘And if we commence to murder we obey the law of necessity for self-preservation.’” January 19, 1885, the Arbeiter Zeitung contained a two column report of a meeting held at Mueller’s hall. Dynamite, blood and bombs were the nice points dealt with, and the comments thereon was what the state wanted read. But first a translation should have been made, and to do this an adjournment is taken until 2 o’clock.
As the trial progressed public interest in the development of the Anarchist plot to overthrow law and order increased. The courtroom would not hold half of the people that applied for admission, and hundreds were turned away. Scattered throughout the courtroom were numerous red flags and banners of the Lehr und Wehr Verein and the various Anarchist groups. Detective James Bonfield was recalled to identify the flags and banners found at the Arbeiter Zeitung office. They were as follows: “In the Absence of Law all Men are Free”; “Every Government Pg 61 is a Conspiracy against the People”; “Down with all Laws”; “Fifteenth Section Boys Stick together”; “Proletarians of all Countries, unite”; “International Working People’s Association of Chicago. Presented by the Socialistic Women’s Society July 16, 1875”.
Saturday, July 31, the state introduced more translations from the Arbeiter Zeitung. The paper of January 6, under the caption of “A New Military Law,” contained the following editorials: “After the adoption of the law and its working we have learned a lesson. The vote of 1881 has shown that we are stronger than ever. There exists to-day an invisible network of Socialistic forces. We are stronger than ever.”
On January 22, 1886, an editorial asked: “How can the eight-hour day be brought about? Why, every clear-headed man can see that the result can be obtained by no other means than armed force.”
The next day it was said: “The rottenness of our social institutions cannot be covered up with whitewash. Capital sucks its force out of the labor of the working men. The misery has become unbearable. Let us not treat with our enemies on May 1. Therefore, comrades, arm to the teeth. We want to demand our rights on May 1.”
Regarding the riot in London, a meeting was held at the Twelfth street Turner hall, Neebe presiding; Fielden the orator, and his speech and the proceedings were reported under date of February 15. Fielden said: “The time is not so far distant when the down-trodden in Chicago will rise like their brothers in London, and march up Michigan avenue, the red flag at their head.” Schwab spoke, calling on the people to rally around the red flag of revolution. An editorial on February 17 said: Pg 62 “Hundreds and thousands of reasons indicate that force will bring about a successful termination in the struggle for liberty.” April 10 it was said: “What happened yesterday in East St. Louis may happen in Chicago. It is high time to be prepared to complete the ammunition and be ready.”
On April 22 Spies wrote: “Working men, arm yourselves. May 1 is close at hand.” Six days later he said: “What Anarchists predicted six months ago has been realized now. The power of the manufacturers must be met with armed working men. The logic of facts requires this. Arms are more necessary now than ever. It is time to arm yourselves. Whoever has not money sell your watch and buy firearms. Patience has been preached—the working men have had too much of patience.”
On April 29 Spies wrote: “The wage slave who is not utterly demoralized should have a breech-loader in his house.” And the next day he said: “As we have been informed the police have received secret orders to keep themselves in readiness for fear of a riot on Saturday next, to the working men we again say: Arm yourselves! Keep your arms hidden so that they will not be stolen by the minions of the law, as has happened before.” In the Letter-Box was the following: “A dynamite cartridge explodes not through concussion. A percussion primer is necessary.”
January 5, in the Arbeiter Zeitung, a report said: “The meeting which the American group held at 54 West Lake street was one of the best meetings ever held in Chicago. Comrade Spies said: ‘When we murder we put an end to general murder. We only follow the law of self-preservation.’”
On January 18 all working men were called to attend a meeting at Steinmetz hall. “To Arms,” was the caption. “Those who desire instruction in drilling will not have to pay.” At Mueller’s hall, a few days later, Schwab made an address, saying: “We have made all preparations for a revolution by force.” Spies said: “I have been accused by a paper that I tried to stir up a revolution. I concede this. What is crime, anyhow? When the working men try to secure the fruits of their labor it is called crime.”
Guns, dynamite and prussic acid, Spies preached, should be given the working men, and “for every clubbed head in the ranks of the working men there should be exacted twelve dead policemen.” In a long discourse on the means of action, Spies said: “In the action itself one must be personally at the place, to select personally that point of the place of action which is the most important, and is coupled with the greatest danger, upon which depends chiefly the success or failure of the whole affair. Otherwise the thing would reach the long ears of the police, which, as is known to every one, hear the grass grow and the fleas cough; but if this theory is acted on, the danger of discovery is extremely small.” “The Love of Self-Sacrifice”, as manifested by those who were killed during the uprising of the Paris Commune, while fighting under the red flag, was the subject of a long address on March 22, and March 23 it was said the question of arming was the one uppermost in labor circles. Working men, it was held, ought to be armed long ago. Daggers and revolvers were easily purchased; hand-grenades were plentiful, and so was dynamite. The approaching contest should not be gone into with empty hands.
The State here rested its case.
The Fourth of Chapters --
Scotland Yard told us in February, 1917, that Hindus were conspiring in bomb plots with certain Germans in the United States. If it was true, it was against the laws of our country. They supplied us with a few names, but tactfully suggested that inasmuch as it was our country and our laws which the plotters were attempting to disturb, we would prefer to develop the case ourselves. Various authorities in this country had already had strong suspicions of the British claims, but as yet those suspicions had not grown to proof of any specific act. So we went to work. _00-00-00-00 >>