Pushing the Anarchists—A Scene on a Street-car—How Herman Muntzenberg Gave Himself Away—The Secret Signal—“D——n the Informers”—A Satchelful of Bombs—More about Engel’s Murderous Plan—Drilling the Lehr und Wehr Verein—Breitenfeld’s Cowardice—An Anarchist Judas—The Hagemans—Dynamite in Gas-pipe—An Admirer of Lingg—A Scheme to Remove the Author—The Hospitalities of the Police Station—Mr. Jebolinski’s Indignation—A Bogus Milkman—An Unwilling Visitor—Mistaken for a Detective—An Eccentric Prisoner—Division of Labor at the Dynamite Factory—Clermont’s Dilemma—The Arrangements for the Haymarket.
THE Anarchists, both in and out of prison, had begun to discover about this time that there was a law in the land, and that its majesty would be vindicated. They were confronted with stubborn, serious facts, and they realized that they were in a world of perplexities. They had been circumvented at every step in their efforts at concealment, and their plot had been revealed in its most essential parts. Their leaders had been gathered in, and their comrades were being arrested every day. Cunning and shrewd as they supposed themselves to be, they had discovered that society was equal to the task of probing their secrets. At first they had assumed an air of bravado and indifference, but, seeing how easily their bluff could be called and how closely we had the record of each, they realized that evasion or silence was not calculated either to keep their necks out of the halter or to save them from the penitentiary. Those arrested nearly all turned craven cowards, and this situation of affairs did not contribute to the comfort of those still outside, who were in momentary dread of apprehension. Arrest followed arrest, and Mr. Furthmann and I were kept exceedingly busy in directing the taking of confessions and assimilating the material for future use. Still the good work went on.
The first victim, after the Hermann brothers, to fall under police control was Herman Muntzenberg. He was arrested on the evening of May 20, at eight o’clock, and the circumstances attending his arrest were somewhat peculiar. On the evening in question, Officers Schuettler and Hoffman were transferring the Hermann brothers from the Larrabee Street Station to the Chicago Avenue Station. They boarded an open street-car with their prisoners, whom they placed on a rear seat facing front, stationing themselves immediately behind on the platform. In the middle of the car, facing to the rear, sat a stranger. Presently the officers noticed that the man was making signs to the Hermanns. In response, Lorenz Hermann placed his right hand over his mouth. This was followed by another sign from the stranger. Officer Schuettler recognized the fact that the man was a friend of the Hermanns, and he requested the prisoners not to divulge the officers’ identity. The stranger seemed to be in doubt about something, left his seat, and, placing himself at the side of Abraham Hermann, started a conversation. He appeared to be an old acquaintance. This was sufficient for the officers. When the car reached the corner of Wells Street and Chicago Avenue, the stranger was about to leave. He was quietly told by the officers not to trouble himself just then to get off the car, but to keep his seat a little while longer. Naturally the man was surprised at this request of men whom he did not know, and indignantly declined to ride any farther. The officers promptly told him to consider himself under arrest and not to move if he valued his life. They had in the meantime recognized the man as the little fellow who had carried the satchel filled with dynamite bombs to Neff’s Hall, along with Lingg. It was Herman Muntzenberg.
From a Photograph.
The three prisoners were taken to the station, and Muntzenberg was locked up by himself over night. The next day he was brought into my office. The density of his ignorance respecting Anarchy or Anarchists was astonishing. Like the rest, he absolutely knew nothing. Some days afterwards, however, he took a different view of things. A confession was looked for, and he was given an opportunity.
“I see everybody is in trouble,” Muntzenberg began dolefully. “I am in for it myself. I cannot help anybody; nobody can help me.”
He hesitated, as if trying to decide what he should do, but finally, nerving himself, he continued:
“I will bear my own trouble. I will hurt no one else.”
“Ah,” said I, “there is Hermann, for instance; there are other people also who have given you away. They have all professed to be your friends in times past, and now they are trying to save their own necks and hang you. So you want to remain silent under their charges? Have you nothing to tell on the others?”
“That would do me no good,” answered Muntzenberg.
“Then,” said I, “what have you to say about yourself?”
“You don’t know the least thing about me,” defiantly remarked the little man.
“Probably you had such a bad headache from the smell of dynamite that you can’t remember anything.”
“Who told you I had a headache?” broke in Muntzenberg, now intensely interested.
“Were you not afraid,” I continued, not heeding the interruption, “that you would fall into the basement when you sat on the iron railing at the corner of North Avenue and Larrabee Street, near the police station, or did you feel confident that the bombs you had in your pocket would hold you in your place? Another thing—you are not in the habit of smoking cigars. Did they make you sick?”
Muntzenberg had remained somewhat passive up to this last shot, but he suddenly showed there was a good deal of vitality in him. His eyes flashed with excitement, and he was all attention.
“By the way,” I went on, “how much weight can you carry?”
“What do you mean?” interposed the anxious listener.
“I mean how much did that gray satchel weigh that you carried to 58 Clybourn Avenue May 4, about eight o’clock?”
“D——n the informers,” ejaculated the now irate little Anarchist. “Give me an hour to think matters over and call me again.”
He was sent back to his cell, and on the expiration of two hours he was brought back. He entered the office very meekly, and at once said:
“Captain, I see it is no use for me to be stubborn. Will you treat me like the others, if I tell all I have seen and what I have done myself?”
“I promise you the same right and privilege.”
Muntzenberg made his statement and was released by order of the State’s Attorney. He was a German, twenty-eight years old, five feet seven inches tall, stoutly built, with large head and eyes, and followed the trade of a blacksmith. At the time of his arrest he lived at No. 95 North Wells Street. On his release he promised to testify whenever wanted, but about the middle of the trial he took a leave of absence and has never been seen since. Once it was reported that he was dead, but the report could not be verified. Muntzenberg was a warm admirer of Lingg, Spies and Engel, and a persistent worker for their cause. He often lost several days’ work in a week to saunter out into the country, selling Most’s books and telling people to arm themselves. He earned good wages when he worked, and spent it all for Anarchy. Like others, he acknowledged that he had been led astray by incendiary literature. His statement was as follows:
“On May 4, about eight o’clock, I was sent to meet two men who carried a satchel filled with dynamite shells or bombs. I met them about a block from Thüringer Hall, 58 Clybourn Avenue. I told them that I had been asked to meet them and help carry the satchel. They said, ‘All right.’ I took it from them, put it on my shoulder and carried it to the hall. The satchel weighed about thirty pounds. In the afternoon of that day, about four o’clock, I came to the North Side and went to Hubner’s house, No. 11 Mohawk Street. He was not at home. I went out to look for him. I have known him for some time. I found him. The second time I wanted to see him I went to his house and found him at home in his room making transparencies for that night’s meeting at the Haymarket. He took lunch then, and after that we went to Seliger’s house, No. 442 Sedgwick Street. Reaching there, Hubner told Lingg and Seliger that I was his friend and all right. In the room of Lingg I saw two guns and two revolvers. Seliger was filling the bombs with dynamite. Lingg was cutting the fuse. One of them asked me if I had any sores on my hand. I said no. ‘Then,’ they said, ‘you can help us.’ My task was to fill in with dynamite the long gas-pipe shells. I filled six or eight shells or bombs. My head commenced to ache from the smell of the dynamite, so that I could not work any longer. Hubner also worked, putting caps on the fuse. I saw three or four men in the house at the time. I saw about ten round lead bombs on the bed, all empty. After they were finished they were put under the bed. I noticed about sixteen of the long gas-pipe shells or bombs about the room. At dark Hubner and I went to Neff’s Hall. Before leaving I saw one of the two, Lingg or Seliger, bring in a satchel and empty it of dirty clothes. As we were approaching the hall, Hubner asked me to see if they were coming. I went to see, and met them in the alley near the street. Both were carrying the satchel, each having hold of the ends of the handles on the satchel. I asked if I should help them. They answered yes. As they were tall men, I could not carry it with either one, and so I put it on my shoulder and carried it myself. I took it into the rear hall back of the saloon. After a little while one of them asked me where I had placed the satchel. I told him. He said that was not the right place and asked me to bring it back. So I went after it and put it into the narrow hallway. The satchel was two feet long, eighteen inches high and sixteen inches wide. It was covered with gray canvas. It weighed about thirty pounds. When I left Seliger’s house at dark, I took along with me three long bombs. I did so because one of the men there told me to do so. I knew they were bombs in the satchel when I carried them. Some one passed us on the street as we were going to the hall. Lingg said: ‘Those are heavy tools,’ meaning the contents of the satchel, to throw the party we met off his guard. I threw the three bombs I had into the lake on my way to Pullman, because I learned they were dangerous and I did not want them any longer. I saw at Neff’s Hall that night, May 4, a crowd of men together for a while, and then they began to part. They went away in groups of five or six. They all went on Clybourn Avenue to Larrabee Street. As we got to Larrabee Street, they all separated and spread on Larrabee Street. I went up to North Avenue and Larrabee Street to the police station with a strange man. I remained there for some time. I saw Seliger and Lingg near the station, going north on Larrabee Street. When I was at Seliger’s house one of the five men present said to me to throw bombs into the police station to kill the police, and if any patrol wagons escaped and came out to throw bombs into the wagons among the officers and shoot the horses. This was for the purpose of preventing them from giving assistance to each other. I smoked a cigar that night so that I would have a fire ready to light the bombs with and throw them if necessary. I only smoke cigars on Sundays, and, as I am not accustomed to smoke much, the cigar made me sick. I sat for some time on an iron railing on Larrabee Street, opposite the police station, on the southeast corner. I sat there about fifteen minutes. The wagon failed to come out, and, as I felt sick and could not do much anyway, I went home. Lingg and Seliger walked ahead of me. I saw them last when they crossed North Avenue, going north on Larrabee Street. The next evening I went to No. 58 Clybourn Avenue. I met Hubner, and he said that on the night of the shooting he was at Lincoln Park. I recognize this picture now shown me as being that of Seliger. I saw him making dynamite bombs at 442 Sedgwick Street on the afternoon of May 4 in company with Lingg. The man I have seen locked up in this station I saw working and making dynamite bombs in company with Seliger, and his name is Louis Lingg. When I was at Seliger’s house, Hubner told me to go to Lincoln Park, and there I would get my instructions.”
The next Anarchist brought into the station was August Gragge. He was a German, twenty-eight years of age, straight and stoutly built, a bricklayer by trade, and lived at No. 880 North Halsted Street. He was arrested on the 24th of May. I gave him an evening’s audience shortly after. It was apparent from his demeanor that he was a young man easily led astray by men of force and decision of character; therefore it was no wonder that he had become an extreme Anarchist, especially since he had been thrown a great deal into the company of some of the rankest leaders in the order and had attended meetings where gore and plunder formed the chief topics of discussion. When the authorities took him in hand, he soon modified his opinions. He stated that, like a great many others, he had been misled to believe that Anarchist doctrines were right and that no law existed to interfere with them; but after the law had been read to him, he acknowledged that he had pursued a wrong course. He had been a man of sober habits, and on being questioned he told a very straightforward story. After giving such information as he possessed he was released by the State’s Attorney, and he promised to mend his ways.
The statement he made to me was as follows:
“A man by the name of Lange and another, August Asher, coaxed me into the armed group. Charles Bock was our secretary four or five weeks ago. I heard Rau and Lingg speak in Neff’s Hall. Lingg spoke about dynamite and called on us to arm ourselves. They also wanted us to buy revolvers. I bought one—a big one—for $4. I paid $2 down. Asher and I went to the meeting at the Haymarket on the evening of May 4. I saw the circular that called that meeting. We had our big revolvers with us when we went there. When the shooting commenced we ran. I fell down, and about forty men ran over me and kept me down. I then lost my revolver. We had a meeting on Monday night, May 3, at Neff’s Hall. Abraham Hermann had three or four revolvers for sale. Asher always kept the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and at times I would read it. The first man I heard speak at the Haymarket was August Spies, then Parsons, and Fielden, next I saw Schnaubelt standing on the wagon with Spies. On account of its looking like rain it was decided to go to Zepf’s Hall. Parsons, however, told the people to remain, as he only had a few more words. The police finally came. Some of the people started to go away, but some one in a loud voice urged them to remain. Then firing commenced. I heard the explosion of the bomb. As I stated, I fell down. As soon as I could get up I started to run for the North Side. I went to Neff’s Hall. I found there several that I knew. I told them I had lost my revolver and then explained what had happened at the Haymarket. I carried my revolver in my hip pocket, and it dropped out as I fell. The revolver was loaded. I know Lingg. I have heard him speak at least four or five times. He would always call on the people to arm themselves. He also said that they were too slow in getting arms and that the time would come for their use and they ought to be ready.”
Gustav Breitenfeld was next arrested. He was a German, aged thirty, a brush-maker by trade, and lived in the lower flat of a two-story house at No. 18 Samuel Street. On May 4 he was commander of the second company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein, and he had previously taken an active part at all Anarchist meetings. He was regarded as a star Anarchist on the Northwest Side, and frequently visited the house of George Engel.
Gustav was an Anarchist jumping-jack. All that the leaders had to do was to pull the strings, and he responded. He served on all committees, and whenever in doubt as to any course of procedure he went to Engel for advice. He lacked judgment and brains, and he sought to make up the deficiency by consulting the leaders. But withal he was a dangerous man. He was quick-tempered, but a coward when he thought he was not likely to get the best of the situation.
On the night of May 4 he had his company ready near the city limits to murder people and set fire to buildings, only awaiting orders to set about the work of general destruction. They expected to see the police flee from the Haymarket, but as the reds did the running on that occasion, the combination failed. Their “signal” committees were scattered and their comrades became demoralized at the unexpected charge of the police.
Breitenfeld and his company heard the shooting at their place of rendezvous, and, failing to receive the signal to begin the attack, he went to Engel’s house to ascertain what was wrong. Learning of the drubbing his comrades had received at the Haymarket, he was not anxious to take similar “medicine,” and he skulked away like a whipped cur. A house had been chosen near the limits for the incendiary torches of his company, and it would have been in flames on their first advance if they had received the signal. But the company were dismissed, and all hurried home to escape danger. For two weeks they were in mortal dread of the police.
If, however, these misguided men had been started that night, with all things in their favor, there is no telling what fearful havoc they would have created. The company was composed of men desperate enough, under proper encouragement, to have murdered people asleep or awake. They would have held high carnival if the Haymarket meeting had come out according to expectations, and the able-bodied and the helpless would have suffered alike at their hands. Their plan was to shoot or stab everybody who opposed their onward march into the city, and, crazed with success, they would have hesitated at nothing.
Breitenfeld knew all the villainous arrangements, and he was therefore a man the police sought after. He was found on the 25th of May, at about seven o’clock, by Officers Stift and Schuettler, and brought to the Chicago Avenue Station. When I had the honor of meeting him, he at once assumed military airs, but he soon found himself reduced to the ranks. As he was one of the few who understood English, the law on conspiracies was read to him. Then he was informed that he had been indicted, and was told what could be proved against him. He became terribly excited, could hardly speak, but finally managed to say:
“Gentlemen, you have got the wrong man. You want to get my brother. I am not that Breitenfeld. I am a good, peaceable man.”
He was informed that lies were at a discount in the station just then, and that if he desired to speak and tell the truth an opportunity would be given him. If not, we would tolerate no nonsense. He refrained from speaking, and was sent below.
The next day he sent word that he wanted to see me. He was brought up, and on being seated before Assistant State’s Attorney Furthmann and all the officers, he said:
“Gentlemen, I beg your pardon. I told you a lie. I am the man you want. I have a wife and family, and I love them. I beg of you now, if you let me speak, I will tell the truth and everything I know.”
“Tell all you know,” said I, “and remember that I will know when you tell a falsehood.”
“I know you have everything by this time. If I tell you all and become a witness against these other fellows, will you let me go?”
“If you tell all and the truth, I will see the State’s Attorney for you and ask him to take you as a witness.”
Breitenfeld thereupon made a statement, and a few days later he was released. When subsequently called on to testify, he refused to do so. He had told others that the State could not convict anybody, and he would not help the prosecution. He was, therefore, let alone. He is still under indictment. With the lesson he had received it was thought he would reform. In this we were mistaken. He has since attended a number of meetings, and at the funeral of Mrs. Neebe turned out with his company. He is the same unrepentant Anarchist that he was before his trouble, but he is being carefully watched wherever he goes.
This is what he swore to at the station in the presence of Mr. Furthmann, myself and the officers:
“My name is Gustav Breitenfeld. I am thirty years old. I am married and I reside at No. 18 Samuel Street. I am a brush-maker. I am captain of the second company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. We have twenty men in our company. I know Fischer and Schrade. Schrade is drill-sergeant of my company. On Sunday, May 2, I was at Pullman. I heard of the riot plan on Monday afternoon, May 3. I know George Engel, Deitz and Fischer. They are the principal leaders in the Northwest Side group and of the armed men. Heier is the name of the man who keeps Thalia Hall on Milwaukee Avenue. I know Kraemer; he lives in the rear of Engel’s house. I think I saw Kraemer at the meeting held on the evening of May 3, at 54 West Lake Street. I know Schmidt, the carrier of the Arbeiter-Zeitung. At that meeting I saw Krueger, Schrade, Gruenwald, Clermont, Kraemer, Deitz, Engel, Fischer, Schnaubelt and Waller. Waller was the chairman of the meeting. The first thing I heard they were denouncing the police force for killing the workingmen at McCormick’s factory. I saw the revenge circular, which called the people to arms. I heard Engel say that when the word ‘Ruhe’ should appear in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, every one should go to his meeting-place selected by them and be ready for action. I heard some one say that as soon as they saw the heavens illuminated with red fires, then was the time to commence the revolution. Engel and Fischer volunteered to carry the news from the Haymarket to the armed men stationed at Wicker Park. Engel volunteered to act as a spy. I know Engel to have sold arms. At the meeting of May 3, I heard some one asking for dynamite bombs. I heard Engel respond that the dynamite bombs were ready and in good hands. Fischer agreed to have the circulars, calling the Haymarket meeting, printed. It was said that there would be from 20,000 to 30,000 people at that meeting, and that the police would interfere. Then would be a good time to attack them and get revenge on them for the killing of six of their comrades. The word ‘Ruhe’ would signify that they should get ready and be on the look-out. Engel said that they should look for it in the Arbeiter-Zeitung on May 4, and they were all to go to their respective places, as agreed upon, with their arms or guns. The Haymarket meeting was decided upon as a trap to catch the police. Engel, Kraemer and Krueger went to the meeting to see if there was a big crowd there, and when they got back home Engel said there were only 250 men present. I went to see Engel on the morning of May 4 at his house. He told me he had been at the meeting and there were present the number I have given. I attended the meeting of the Northwest Side group that decided to call the meeting for the evening of May 3, at 54 West Lake Street. I heard, at the last-named place, several say that the dynamite bombs were in good hands. I met Waller at Thalia Hall on May 4, about eleven o’clock in the evening, and he remarked that they had had a very hot time of it at the Haymarket. I saw Fischer on Wednesday, May 5, at Thalia Hall, and he then told me that Spies had been arrested about four o’clock that morning. Spies is the only one I know of the Spies family. I have known him five years.”
William Hageman was the next to inspect our plain and unpretentious office. He came in on his dignity and carried an air about him that plainly exhibited his complete contempt for the police. He was a German, about thirty years old, round-shouldered, a stair-builder by occupation, was married and had one child. He lived at the time of his arrest on the lower floor of a house at No. 49 Reese Street, and he could always be found whenever Anarchist plots were to be executed. His brother was, like himself, a rampant Anarchist, but with cunning enough to escape arrest. William was found by Officers Schuettler and Hoffman, about seven o’clock on themorning of May 26. He did not long remain in ignorance of the cause of his arrest, and then he wanted me to understand:
“My brother is no Anarchist. If any one does any squealing on him, don’t pay any attention to it, because it all means me. I am the fellow. The people often get us mixed.”
“You are the worst Anarchist of the two,” I remarked.
Hageman wanted to know how I had come to that conclusion.
“We know all about you,” said I.
“If you know it, be sure and don’t forget it,” was the reply. “I am sure you won’t learn anything from me.”
“All right. But just as sure as you are sitting there, I will find out all your performances, and every one you associated with during the last two years, before you leave this station. And you will tell it to me yourself.”
“Never; I will die first. I will kill myself first. I will stand any torture you may inflict on me, but I will never tell on my comrades or any one that worked for our cause.”
“You probably don’t remember the job you pledged yourself to undertake on the night of May 4. It was not a very small one either, but, of course, your nerves not being very strong that evening, you came here to a neighboring saloon several times to brace up, and your friends, lying in the rear of this station, felt very much the same way as you did. So you spelled one another and strengthened your nerves. Say, William, who said that the bombs were not good? You remember the third window in the station on the east side of the building and the little quarrel about the bombs—whether a round lead bomb should be thrown or a long gas-pipe bomb. Do you remember the two policemen that crossed the alley and stood still for a moment in the middle of that alley when you fellows thought you were discovered—how you all got into the dark side of the alley and ran? Now, remember, when you get ready to talk, I will tell my side of the story, and should you get stuck, you see I can help you out a great deal. You might recall what little you know of the Haymarket, how you were surprised that only one bomb was thrown and how the fellows detailed for that duty did not attend to their business. Here, officers, show this gentleman the suite of rooms which he is to occupy for the next four weeks. If you desire anything extra that is not on our bill of fare, just touch the button, and you will be waited on promptly. Any inattention on the part of the waiters must be reported to this office. If you should conclude to make a long stay with us, you had better provide yourself with a good supply of tobacco. You understand that when a man is at sea he finds that there are a good many things he needs that would come in handy.”
He did not like his apartments—singular to relate. There was no fire escape, the linen on the bed was not changed every day, and the noise of his neighbors kept him awake of nights. He had struck the wrong hotel, but his apartments had been engaged for him and paid for by the taxpayers, and he could not gracefully withdraw.
Hageman first got tired, then angry, and finally desperate. He realized that he was in trouble and made up his mind to take me into his confidence. He reached this conclusion on the afternoon of May 27, and sent the janitor to the office with a message that he desired to see me. He was informed in return that he could not see me unless he meant to talk business. Hageman responded that he was ready to talk on any subject upon which he might be questioned, and he was accordingly brought into the office, into the presence of Mr. Furthmann, myself and the detectives.
“Well,” said I, “I understand that you want to see me.”
“Yes, I do,” was the response, “but not in the presence of all these fellows.”
“Because my business is with you alone.”
“Well, you see, William, I am only one, and as what you tell here, which must be the truth, will have to be given by you in the Criminal Court, and as I may probably get killed before that time, there would be no one to testify to your statement if given to me alone.”
“Oh, that is the way you want to catch me!”
“There is no catch about it. If you don’t want to make a statement in the presence of all these men, I don’t want to hear anything from you.”
“Will you answer me one question?” asked Hageman, getting a little apprehensive that he might lose his only chance. “It is, has any one out of the many people locked up here squealed?”
“Well,” I answered, “most of them have already done so, and the others are fairly breaking their necks to follow suit.”
“This is a very unpleasant thing to do.”
“Yes, that is true.”
“Can I get out by telling you all I know, and can you keep me from testifying in court? You know this will kill a man forever.”
“Yes, but a great many policemen were killed, and they simply obeyed orders. If you think you are better than a policeman, you had better go down stairs again and await your trial in the Criminal Court.”
“Now, see here, Captain, I would never tell on anybody, but I have got a wife and little baby at home. It almost sets me crazy thinking of them, and for their sake I will tell all.”
Hageman did as he promised, but in the interview that ensued it became apparent that he was a double-faced man, and that, when it came to his family, he did not care a fig whether he landed the other fellows on the gallows or in the penitentiary. He had been a brave, boasting Anarchist. He had been accustomed to talk with his associates over foaming “schooners” of beer, and the more beer there was the greater his talk about killing people and overthrowing capital. He was a great reader of Anarchistic papers and literature, and the more fiery and unbridled the sentiment, the better he was pleased. He took a hand in every movement, attended all the meetings and picnics of the reds, and made himself quite a useful member of the order. He continually boasted of the bombs that he had hid away for use, and promised to let capitalists hear from him. The bombs he had were found to be of the round lead and gas-pipe patterns, and some of them he had received from Fischer a long time before May 4. He had been posted as to the manufacture of bombs by Lingg, and was a warm friend of Engel, whose talk about bombs suited him exactly. Hageman could not listen patiently to any discussion from which dynamite was left out, and in any peaceful gathering he was sure to become a disturber. If there was no dispute, he would start one himself, and, if necessary, back up his argument with blows. Whenever a dance or benefit was held to replenish the treasury for the purchase of dynamite, he was promptly on hand and exerted himself to the utmost to swell the receipts. Being such an active member, it was natural that he knew a great deal about his order, and he helped the State very materially with the points he furnished.
He was kept in custody until after the trial, and with the experience he had in prison one would think that he would cut loose altogether from Anarchy. Not so, however. While nearly all the others repented of their error, Hageman had no sooner regained his liberty than he became as radical as ever. He even threatened several times to kill State’s Attorney Grinnell, Judge Gary, myself and others. After the trial, I had a detective at every meeting of the Anarchists, and the reports brought me were that Hageman and Bernhard Schrade were the most violent and determined men in the union.
Hageman would boastingly say, “I never squealed to that man Schaack. If they had all done as I did, they would know very little about the Anarchists.”
One night, at 54 West Lake Street, this arrant knave was approached by one of his supposed warm friends, who happened, however, to be in my confidence, and who said to him:
“You don’t like Schaack, and I don’t like him. He is now here at the Desplaines Street Station. We can go into the alley and shoot him in his office. I have a revolver here with me now, and I will go into Florus’ and get one more. Then we will go and ‘do him.’ We will both go and fire together and run. But mind, let there be no arrest in our case; let us die before capture.”
“Do you mean this?” asked Hageman.
“Here is my hand. Here is my revolver, and if you play coward on me I will kill you standing up. Now, come on.”
Did Hageman respond? Not at all. He crawled on his belly with excuses.
“That man Schaack,” he said, “knows me so well that it is not safe to go around there.”
“Well,” replied his companion, “we can go through a vacant lot.”
“It is too dangerous, my boy,” said Hageman. “I could do all this well enough if I never would be found out.”
“Well,” said the companion, “you are a crazy coward, and don’t you ‘shoot your mouth’ hereafter where I am.”
Hageman subsided for the time, but he is again as rampant as ever.
Here is Hageman’s statement, which he made “for the sake of his own family,” but which helped to drive the nails into the coffins of other families:
“I was at the meeting held at Neff’s Hall, No. 121 West Lake Street. I saw Lingg there and heard him address the people, calling them to arms. I also saw Thielen, the two Lehmans and Peter Huber. Niendorf was chairman of the meeting, which had been called to consider the eight-hour movement. Some one at that meeting called out that there was a meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street and said, ‘Let us go there.’ Then a number of us went, including Huber, Thielen and myself. I stood at the right hand side as one entered the basement after I got there. The meeting lasted from half to three quarters of an hour. I saw there Fischer, Engel and Waller. Waller was chairman. I heard Engel speak. He told us to watch for the red fires, and when we saw them in the heavens, then was the time to commence the revolution. The fires were to be the signals for the outside posts that the riot at the Haymarket had commenced. It was also to be regarded as a signal that the police had made an attack on the meeting at the Haymarket, and then we should commence the work of destruction. Every one should pick out houses beforehand, so that they could be set on fire when the signal was given. Engel also said at this meeting that the stuff, meaning dynamite, was cheap, and that any member could buy some. He referred to the police and said that if they saw a patrol wagon on the street filled with officers they should destroy the wagon and the police by throwing bombs into the wagon. He (Engel) urged every man to do as much harm as possible, meaning destruction of property and killing people. I heard this plan repeated afterwards by a black-whiskered man named Waller. Waller said that this plan for the revolution had been adopted by the West Side armed group. Hermann and I were at the Haymarket meeting, but when the shooting began we ran away.”
Albert Jebolinski was another welcome guest on the 26th of May. He had been frequently invited to partake of the hospitalities of the station, but he appeared to be contented with putting up with dingy quarters in out-of-the-way places rather than run the risk of meeting a policeman. But on the day in question he received such a pressing invitation from Schuettler and Hoffman that he finally yielded. He was a German Pole, thirty-five years of age, of slim build, and, with a dark mustache and large goatee, he looked like a Frenchman. He lived at the time in a two-story brick building, first flat, at No. 11 Penn Street. The officers knew that he was a very suspicious man and that he would run blocks to get out of the way of a policeman, so great was his hatred of the force. They therefore approached his house cautiously, lest he might mistake them for blue-coats. They called rather early,—four o’clock in the morning,—and Schuettler, giving a regular milkman’s rap on the door, brought Mrs. Jebolinski to the front.
“Who is there,” she shouted before venturing to open the door, “and what is wanted?”
“I am here—the milkman,” responded Schuettler. “I want to see you, madam.”
With this assurance Mrs. Jebolinski opened the door, but the moment she discovered that it was not the milkman, she slammed the door to—not quick enough, however, to close it, for the officer, seeing his chance, had thrust his foot between the door and the frame. Hoffman came at once to the rescue and informed the woman that I had sent him after her husband.
“We don’t know anything about Capt. Schaack,” she responded, and again tried to close the door.
“Well, madam, I am sure the Captain knows something about you folks.”
And with this bit of information the officers pushed the door open. This was too much for Mrs. Jebolinski. She shouted to her husband:
“O Albert, the spitzel, the police!”
“Don’t open the door for anybody,” came in stentorian tones from Albert in an adjoining room. “Keep them out!”
The officers had meantime effected an entrance, and, following up the voice, found Albert in bed.
“Good morning, Albert,” said Schuettler, in pleasant, cheerful tones.
“Who told you to come here?” gruffly demanded Albert.
“Capt. Schaack desires to see you on pressing business.”
“Oh, yes; he must be in love with me, since he sent you so early to see me. Has no one killed that d——d bloodhound yet?”
“No, Albert, you will have a chance to see him soon, and then you can kill him.”
“You go and tell Schaack that you have seen me, and that will be sufficient. I will die first before I go. You cannot take me out of here. I want my breakfast, and I will take a sleep before my wife calls me.”
So saying, Albert jumped back into bed. Officer Schuettler remonstrated, and was finally obliged to pull him out. Albert then refused to dress. Talking to him had no more effect than talking to a stone wall.
Hoffman then opened the door, and Schuettler grabbed Albert under his arm and walked out with him despite his kicks and resistance. They got him out into the bracing atmosphere of the morning, and, although Albert was not dressed for company, they started off with him.
Mrs. Jebolinski rushed out after them, and, wildly gesticulating, shouted:
“Bring him back, bring him back, and I will dress him.”
The officers retraced their steps, but not back into the house. They took Albert to the wood-shed, and there he was dressed.
At the station he was invited down stairs and told that there were so many who wanted to see me that he would probably have a rest for a week. He was locked up, and during the first day he would neither eat nor drink. He was not coaxed, however, and the next morning he called the janitor, saying:
A HASTY TOILET.
“I am sick; will you give me a cup of coffee?”
The janitor replied that he would have to wait till nine o’clock, when the prisoners came down from court.
“Well,” said Albert, indignantly, “if I don’t get my coffee now, you can keep your breakfast.”
When nine o’clock came around the janitor made the round, inviting the sleepers to wake and get their breakfast.
“You can go to the d——l; you can’t make me eat,” said Jebolinski, and he settled himself for a nap.
But when the dinner hour came Albert made up for lost time and missed meals. At four o’clock he sent the janitor to the office to tell me that he wanted to see me. He was brought up.
“Well, Albert,” said I, “how much do you weigh now?”
“You had better let me go home. I will never tell you anything. It is no use keeping me here.”
“I don’t want you to tell me anything. I have secured more evidence in the last few days than I want, and now they are all arrested. I am going to prosecute you in court for conspiracy and murder; so you need not trouble yourself with being stubborn. I don’t want to see you again, not till I see you in court. Officer, take him back to the lock-up.”
“So you can do without me?”
“Yes, I am sure I can.”
Albert was escorted down stairs, but inside of two hours he asked for Officer Schuettler.
“I can see now,” he said to Schuettler, “that that man Schaack wants to hang me.”
“I am sure he is done with you,” replied the officer.
“I beg of you to tell the Captain I want to see him, and say to him that I will tell him about the bombs and everything else.”
Officer Schuettler reported the Anarchist’s wishes, and Jebolinski was once more brought up. He then confessed that he had four loaded bombs planted, which he would show if taken out.
He was accordingly taken in charge by Officers Schuettler and Hoffman, whom he led to a place north of Division Street near a planing-mill and linseed-oil factory. At that place there was a side-track, and, at a point where the locomotives were stopped to be dumped of their cinders, he unearthed his bombs. These bombs were covered with about four inches of cinders, midway between the rails, and when they were taken out they were found fully loaded, with fuse and caps. That there had been no explosion is almost a miracle. Had a locomotive been stationed over the spot for an hour, as frequently happened, the cinders would have been set on fire again. In an instant locomotive and all would have been blown to atoms, and no one would have known the precise cause. It was lucky for some engineer and fireman, and, in fact, for the locality, that no engine stood over the spot after those bombs had been planted.
On returning to the station, Jebolinski furnished the State with much valuable information. He was indicted and held as a witness. But he was never called, and after the trial he was given his liberty. He has been watched since and found to be attending strictly to his own business. In his statement he sets forth his attendance at the meeting at 121 West Lake Street, where were present Lingg, Rau and others, and his presence at the Haymarket meeting, from which he ran the moment the firing commenced. He also described the bombs,—three round lead and one long iron one,—which he had obtained from Hageman, the one-eyed carpenter.
Peter Huber was another distinguished caller, by special invitation. He was escorted to the office by Officers Whalen and Stift and took things very coolly. He was a lank, lean, consumptive-looking fellow, only twenty-nine years of age, and earned his living as a cabinet-maker. He was a German, married, and had two children, living in a two-story frame house at No. 96 Hudson Avenue. His manner was very quiet, and no one would have taken him for an Anarchist. But Peter, nevertheless, was heart and soul in the movement, and had regularly attended all the meetings. He had never made a speech—he was too diffident for that; he had never advised any one on Anarchy, but he had come to be trusted, and he knew all the leaders and all about dynamite bombs. He was so undemonstrative and non-communicative that at first I took him to be a paid detective in the ranks of the Socialists. When he was asked a question, he would take his own time to answer, and, once interrupted in his talk, he would stop and say no more.
A DANGEROUS STORING-PLACE.
On the second day after his arrest—May 25—Huber offered to answer questions, and he did this without any inducement. He thereupon furnished the State with several good points, and freely told everything. He was indicted, but released by order of the State’s Attorney. He was ready to testify at the trial, but was not wanted. He has since kept away from Anarchist meetings, and is now a useful man to his family.
Huber’s statement ran as follows:
“I belonged to the North Side armed group. I know Seliger, Hubner, Lehman the carpenter, the two Hagemans and Lingg. Some time in February last, George Engel made a great speech in Neff’s Hall, No. 58 Clybourn Avenue. I keep the Arbeiter-Zeitung. The Sunday edition of that paper is called Die Fackel. I saw the letter ‘Y,’ and the meaning of it is that, whenever we should see it in the paper, then there would be a meeting held that evening, of the armed men, at No. 54 West Lake Street. May 3d there was one such meeting called for that evening. On that evening I went to the saloon at No. 71 West Lake Street and drank a glass of beer. From there I went to No. 54 West Lake Street. While in the saloon at No. 54 West Lake Street, I heard some one say that a meeting would be held down stairs in the basement. So we went down stairs. When I entered I saw about thirty or forty present. I sat down on a bench, and we sat there for some time before the meeting opened. I heard some one say that it would be an indignation meeting on account of our workingmen having been killed at McCormick’s factory by the police on that day. I saw at that meeting the circular calling for revenge and the people to arms, because of the killing of our brothers. I saw the same circular that same evening at the hall No. 71 West Lake Street. Waller was chairman of the meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street. I met there Hubner, Abraham Hermann, Fischer and Breitenfeld, the captain of the second company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. I heard Engel make a speech, and during the whole time Breitenfeld was walking up and down the hall. I also saw Schnaubelt and Thielen there. I was at Neff’s Hall, No. 58 Clybourn Avenue, early Tuesday evening, May 4th, and saw there Lingg, Seliger and Hubner. I heard Engel, at No. 54 West Lake Street, explain his plan and the work that should be done under it. A meeting, he said, would be held at the Haymarket, and when the police interfered the crowd should attack them, and the armed men should be ready for action. Some one suggested that they should hold their meeting at the Market Square on the South Side, between Randolph and Madison Streets. Some one else remarked: ‘No, that is not a good place; it is a mouse trap.’ If they held the meeting there and the police interfered, and the crowd resisted them, the police would drive them all into the river. Some said, ‘That’s so,’ and then the meeting was fixed for the Haymarket, as Engel had suggested. We expected from 20,000 to 30,000 people present. We all had the idea that the police would interfere. Engel gave his plan about as follows: He said, ‘First call the meeting for the Haymarket,’ and then urged that the armed men be ready. He advised us to throw dynamite bombs into the stations, kill the police, throw dynamite bombs into the patrol wagons and shoot down the horses at the wagons. He repeated his plan for those who came in later to the meeting. The revenge circular was distributed both up stairs and down stairs at No. 54 West Lake Street. In the evening of May 3d, I saw Spies and Rau together in Zepf’s saloon. As to the word ‘Ruhe,’ I heard Engel say that when we saw that word appear in the paper, then we might know everything was right and ready. And we should watch for that signal. I heard Engel say that a man who could do no harm or create no disturbance should stay at home, as he was not wanted. When he had finished giving his plan, it was adopted. Schnaubelt said that outside cities, where they had comrades, should be notified at once as soon as the revolution was a success here. I saw Fischer at this meeting. He went to the Arbeiter-Zeitungto see if he could print the circular that night, calling the Haymarket meeting for the next evening. He came back and reported that the office was closed. He said he would attend to it in the morning. I saw Lingg, Seliger, Muntzenberg and Hubner in Neff’s saloon, No. 58 Clybourn Avenue, about eight o’clock on the evening of May 4th.”
Bernhard Schrade, a German, was a peculiar combination of eccentricities. He was arrested by Officers Whalen and Loewenstein on the evening of May 26, at nine o’clock, on Milwaukee Avenue, near Division Street. He was twenty-eight years of age, six feet tall, of straight and muscular build, nervous and quick-tempered, a carpenter by occupation, and he lived at No. 581 Milwaukee Avenue. When he was seated in the station it did not take us long to ascertain all he knew about Anarchy. In speaking of the Haymarket, he said that the right men had not been in their places, or things would have turned out quite differently. They had plenty of arms and bombs, he explained, but the leaders did not know their business. Early in the evening there was a large crowd, he said, but the great majority of them left in disgust because there was not a larger gathering and the speeches were not radical enough to suit their ideas. They expected something fiery and impetuous. (This was about the time Mayor Harrison was at the meeting, and the speeches were accordingly very mild.) Those that left the meeting and did not go home, Schrade said, hung around the saloons in the neighborhood. If six hundred police, he further said, had attacked the crowd an hour earlier, few of them would have been left with their lives. He knew the arrangements, and, had the plan been carried out, the loss of life would have been appalling.
Schrade was subsequently released by order of Assistant State’s Attorney Furthmann, and promised that he would testify in court. He was several times sent after to give further information, and he always responded.
AN OBSTREPEROUS PRISONER.
About one month after Schrade’s release, he and two others visited a saloon on North Avenue one night, and, after drinking a great deal of beer, they became exceedingly noisy and boisterous. The saloon-keeper attempted to quiet them, but was finally obliged to call an officer. Now, none of the bibulous individuals had any liking for a policeman. The moment they saw him enter they ordered him out and threatened that if he did not get out they would throw him out through the window. The officer was not at all alarmed, and, seeing that he was bent on keeping them quiet, the three disturbers pounced down upon him. The officer promptly brought his club into play, and soon his opponents measured their length upon the floor. The saw-dust was sprinkled with blood, but, before the reds could make a second assault, a citizen had brought the patrol wagon to the rescue. They were taken in charge and thrown into the wagon in their drunken stupor, and carted to the Larrabee Street Station.
On the way Schrade revived somewhat, and, not quite satisfied with the results of his former encounter, attempted to throw one of the officers over the side of the wagon. He was clinched by the throat, however, and kept quiet for the rest of the journey. The next morning the trio were fined in the Police Court and released on payment of the fines. Schrade became penitent and remained sober thereafter for some time. As he was out of work, I paid his board bill for two weeks, and kept him under surveillance to appear at the trial as a witness. When the trial began he was in good humor and told the State’s Attorney that he would give the same testimony that he had given at the station May 26. He was accordingly produced as a witness. On the stand he failed to unfold all the information he had previously given, but State’s Attorney Grinnell knew all the points in his former testimony, and before he got through with Schrade he made him a good witness for the State.
After the trial the police lost sight of Schrade for a long time, and wondered whether he had been quietly murdered by his former comrades or had left the city for his own good. But one day an officer reported to me that Schrade was still in the city. It was supposed, of course, that he would never again be found in the haunts of Socialists. It was discovered, however, that he was a member in good standing of Carpenters’ Union No. 241, formerly No. 1. This is the most rabid Anarchist organization in the city, and, were it not for some comparatively conservative members, would have long since sought revenge for the conviction and execution of the doomed conspirators.
Schrade and Hageman, since their restoration to full membership, were found to be as incendiary as ever in their utterances, and seemed to vie with each other in their efforts to show that they were better Anarchists even than before the time they informed on their companions and helped to bring them to the gallows. In fact, they became so demonstrative that some of the members threatened them with expulsion. For this they sought revenge by working upon weak-minded persons to influence them against the leaders in the organization. As long as the conservatives remain at the head of the carpenters’ union there is no special danger, but should such fanatics as Schrade and Hageman ever secure control, look out for blood.
August Ahlers was known to have been a close friend of Lingg, and accordingly I eagerly sought his acquaintance. But Ahlers after the Haymarket conceived an aversion to fresh air and kept himself in gloomy, unfrequented quarters. The officers knew that he had often visited Lingg’s room, sometimes remaining three or four hours, and, as Lingg never tolerated any one who could not be made useful, it was believed that Ahlers could furnish valuable information if found. Mrs. Seliger had stated that a great many visited Lingg, but most of them sought to conceal their faces or disguise themselves in some way, generally sneaking into the house as if they were going to steal something or kill somebody. This man Ahlers had been one of this kind. Lingg had every man who assisted him do certain special lines of work. Some would bring him lead, others gas-pipe, and others again charcoal, etc. Ahlers had helped in some way, and, with a pretty good description of him, the detectives were continually on the watch. Finally Officers Whalen and Loewenstein found him on the 26th of May, at No. 148 Chicago Avenue, and took him to the station. He had a sneaking demeanor, and when brought before me I asked him to give an account of himself between May 3d and May 6th. This he was unable to do, but after having been locked up for a while he gave some information about outside groups. As to Lingg he pretended to know very little, and as the officers could not identify him with any particular person, he was released on a promise of better behavior. He acknowledged having been a great admirer of the Anarchist leaders and a strong supporter of Anarchy, but now, he said, he would no longer affiliate with them. So far as the officers have observed, he has kept his promise and is attending strictly to his trade, that of a carpenter.
We had these kind of fellows by the hundred in this city on May 4, 1886, but fortunately God made most of them with big stomachs and no heart or courage.
Victor Clermont, a German, was almost dumbfounded when he was informed that I wanted to see him. Clermont is a French-sounding name, and, when Officers Whalen and Loewenstein took him in charge on suspicion, they mistook him for a Frenchman, especially as he looked very much like one, having a dark mustache and goatee. Clermont was taken to the station, and there gave his age as twenty-seven, occupation a cabinet-maker and pool-billiard maker, and his residence No. 116 Cornelia Street. When questioned with reference to Anarchy he expressed surprise that he should be taken for an Anarchist, but when he was informed as to his having mysteriously sneaked into dark basements which were lighted up with candles and whose doors were barricaded, he looked aghast.
“There is something wrong,” he said. “Somebody wants to involve me in the Haymarket trouble. I am sure I don’t know the least thing about Anarchists.”
“Well,” said I, “we will see if you can remember anything. Either you or your wife has some relatives living near the city. After the 4th of May you sent a lot of guns, rifles, ammunition and some bombs to them for safe-keeping. You took them away at night, and you have been so careful as to try and disguise yourself. Yet I cannot prosecute you on that. You have also been an active member on the Northwest Side in all Anarchist movements. You know all the things you have been engaged in, and so do we. I have your record right here.”
“Oh, yes,” said Victor, “I hear that you fellows have things down very fine, because you have everything your own way. Well, if I do acknowledge all I have done, what are you going to do with me?”
“I will do with you the same as I have done with others. I will hear your statement and see if you can tell the truth. If you lie to me or about any one else, I will stop you, and that is all. You are indicted, and I will send you to jail. If you tell the truth I will send for the State’s Attorney and ask him to let you go, but you must appear as a witness whenever we want you.”
“I suppose,” remarked Clermont, “that my case is like this—if I don’t, some one else will squeal.”
He then gave an account of himself and his Anarchist comrades. He was subsequently released and visited me very often for several weeks. He was out of employment and hard-up, and I gave him money with which to support himself. One evening he called and said to the officers that he had something important to tell me. I was very busy at the time and asked him if he wanted some money. Victor replied that he did not desire money. I offered him $5, however, and told him to come back the next day. He would not take the money at first, but when I told him that I could not wait any longer, he took it and left. On reaching Milwaukee and Chicago Avenues, he met some of his old cronies and told them that he was going away that night. Early next morning I was informed that he had gone. Victor remained away for a year, but, thinking things had blown over, he returned and set about to disabuse the Anarchists of the impression that he had ever “squealed.” While he has taken no active part in meetings since the trial, he appears to feel that he stands well with the Anarchists, and always tells them that when he was arrested “he never gave anything away.”
His statement was as follows. It was given at nine o’clock on the evening of May 26:
“I belong to the Northwest Side Lehr und Wehr Verein, the second company, of which Breitenfeld is captain. Some time ago, at a meeting held at 54 West Lake Street, it was stated that the police would break up their meetings if they knew when and where they held them, and that therefore it was necessary to adopt some secret way of calling their meetings. We adopted, ‘Y, komme,’ and when we saw that letter appear in the Arbeiter-Zeitung on any day we might know a meeting would be held at No. 54 West Lake Street. I was at Thalia Hall, May 3, early in the evening. We were to have held a meeting to elect new officers of the company, but no meeting was held. Some one came into the saloon and said that there were four of our workingmen killed at McCormick’s factory that afternoon. Then some one said that a call for a meeting that evening at No. 54 West Lake Street had been published in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and a lot of us went there to learn further particulars about the shooting of our men. I there saw those circulars calling for revenge and the people to arms. That circular made me very excited. I was one of the first to get to that meeting at 54 West Lake Street. At the commencement of the meeting we put a man at each door to prevent any one listening or seeing what was going on in the inside, and to admit only members. That meeting was only called for the armed men. Waller was chairman. I heard Engel make a speech, and he presented the plan adopted by the Northwest Side group.” (Here follows a detailed account of the “plan,” agreeing in every particular with that given by other witnesses as to blowing up police stations, setting fire to buildings, killing people, the use of the word “Ruhe,” etc.) “We expected that there would be present at the Haymarket meeting from 30,000 to 40,000 people and that then there would be a good chance for us to commence our revolution and attack the police and the government. There were also to be spies at the meeting to communicate with the groups in the outlying sections (Wicker Park and Lincoln Park). But the spies did not do their work, and then after Engel’s speech several got to talking about guns, fires and bombs. On the motion of Fischer it was decided to have 10,000 circulars calling the Haymarket meeting printed, and he said he would attend to it. First Market Square was proposed, but some one objected by saying it was a mouse trap in case of trouble, and the Haymarket was agreed upon. Before finishing telling about his plan Engel said it had been adopted by the Northwest Side group and referred to Fischer to answer if that was not so. Fischer replied, ‘Yes, that is the plan.’”
I asked Clermont if that was the first time he had ever heard of the “plan,” and he replied:
“Yes, it was the first time I had heard of the revolutionary plan. I never heard of it before, and only heard of it through Engel that night. This was the only plan I heard of to be followed for the revolution. I was at the Haymarket and expected to find a big crowd. To my surprise I only found about five hundred present.”
Clermont is now again in Chicago, and as rabid a red as ever. He is a leader on the Northwest Side, and detectives have reported to me that he has declared himself in favor of “bullets instead of ballots.” He is also a prominent organizer in the Anarchist “Sunday-school” scheme.