Fluttering the Anarchist Dove-cote—Confessions by Piecemeal—Statements from the Small Fry—One of Schnaubelt’s Friends—“Some One Wants to Hang Me”—Neebe’s Bloodthirsty Threats—Burrowing in the Dark—The Starved-out Cut-throat—Torturing a Woman—Hopes of Habeas Corpus—“Little” Krueger’s Work—Planning a Rescue—The Signal “???” and its Meaning—A Red-haired Man’s Story—Firing the Socialist Heart—Meetings with Locked Doors—An Ambush for the Police—The Red Flag Episode—Beer and Philosophy—Baum’s Wife and Baby—A Wife-beating Revolutionist—Brother Eppinger’s Duties
THE work of ferreting out and arresting the conspirators might have stopped with the number already gathered in, so far as the necessity for procuring evidence to be used in court was concerned, but it was continued to the end that every conspicuous or minor character in the murderous plot might be made to feel the power of the law, which each had so persistently defied. I had the names and descriptions of all identified with Engel’s plan, their haunts, their traits of character, and their influence in the order, and detectives, under instructions, were continually on the search. Anarchist localities were overhauled, unfrequented places visited, and convenient hiding-places inspected. Every one wanted was finally brought from under cover. Not a guilty one escaped, except Schnaubelt. Anarchistic sympathizers did everything in their power to conceal their friends, but the police proved equal to the emergency.
Rudolph Dannenberg, a German, was one who held himself aloof from the rest of humanity. He lived at No. 218 Fulton Street, and on the 27th of May Officers Loewenstein and Whalen found him surrounded by his family. During the few moments’ conversation I had with him, it became apparent that he was like all his associates—a firm enemy of the existing order of society. He stated that, although he was only a tailor, he could fire a revolver as unerringly as any one and throw a bomb as far as anybody. He declared that he thought himself adapted to something higher, something better than being a tailor, and he had joined the Anarchists in order to bring himself before the public and achieve distinction. He had carefully read the Arbeiter-Zeitung, had noticed the names of various people, and he did not see why he could not become great like them and see his name and deeds frequently paraded in the papers. He felt that he had the requisite ability, and communicated his ambition and his desires to his wife.
Mrs. Dannenberg was a plain, unassuming woman, and did not dare to remonstrate with a man who had finally discovered his forte. He strutted about the house with the conscious pride that greatness was within his grasp, and his changed demeanor really impressed the woman to the extent that she believed he was already a great man. Dannenberg lost no time in joining the Lehr und Wehr Verein, and eagerly made the acquaintance of all the leading men in the order. He secured recognition, and his heart swelled with joy when he attended the secret meetings held by the order.
All these little confessions were adroitly extracted by piecemeal. Noticing that here was a man who felt himself above the “goose” and the needle, I concluded to send him below to discover, if he could, the difference between being a tailor and an Anarchist in search of greatness. I treated him with perfect indifference, and he seemed to feel the indignity greatly. He was put in a cell, and for two days no one went near him except the janitor.
Dannenberg finally got uneasy and sent word that he desired to see me. He was informed in return that he would be sent to the County Jail the next day. He then wanted to know if he would not be given an opportunity to speak, and insisted on having a hearing. He was brought into the office and told that he would be given just five minutes to tell what he had to say.
“Gentlemen,” he said, in great haste, “you think because I am a tailor I am of no account, and consequently you seem disposed to punish me. My oath is just as good as the other fellows’.”
“What do you mean?” I inquired. “We have not asked you for your oath, and we do not want it.”
“Oh, I see now,” said Rudolph, beginning to get angry, “you only want the small fry. Well, look here, Captain, I don’t give a continental. I will tell on the other big fellows, now, for the fun of the thing. They must be punished as well as the little fellows. It is evident that the other big fellows want to talk themselves out.”
“I think you have got the thing down very fine,” were my consoling words.
“Yes, I know the people want to hang somebody,” said Rudolph, “and if they can only hang a tailor they will be satisfied.”
Time was called on the speaker, the five minutes having been exhausted, and Rudolph was about to be escorted down stairs.
“Stop! stop! officer, I have not commenced yet to talk, and I want to be heard.”
“Well,” said I, “you want to commence very soon.”
Dannenberg again planted himself firmly in his chair, and then proceeded to relieve himself of the burden on his mind. He gave quite an interesting statement, and was subsequently released by order of the State’s Attorney. He was indicted for murder before his release, and he left after promising to report when wanted. Some time after he was re-arrested and put in a room with fifteen others.
THE CONSPIRACY MEETING AT 54 WEST LAKE STREET.
Waller Reading Engel’s “Plan.”
Every one of these fifteen was morose, sullen and dejected. There was not a cheerful word among them. They felt uncertain about their own fate and took a gloomy view of life. The presence of Dannenberg was like a cheerful fire in a blizzard. He had forgotten all about the misfortune of being a tailor and a crushed Anarchist, and he kept the company full of life with his wit and drollery.
On his final release, Dannenberg went back to his trade, quit Anarchy, and now takes the greatest sort of pride in telling his friends that he is simply a “knight of the needle.”
After stating his age to be thirty-two years, Dannenberg swore:
“I went to the meeting in the basement at No. 54 West Lake Street. I heard Engel speak. I heard Fischer say that he would attend to the printing of the circulars for the Haymarket meeting. I used to belong to the Lehr und Wehr Verein, but I quit two months ago. I was at Thalia Hall, on Milwaukee Avenue, Sunday, May 2d. I used to go there very often. I know George Engel. At the meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street, he was called on for a speech, and he responded. I heard him speak of his plan—a plan for riots, fires, the destruction of buildings and property, and the killing of people and the police. I heard him speak of the meeting to be held at the Haymarket, and that, if they started there, then would be the time for us to commence the rebellion all over the city. A man named Schrade, sitting by my side, remarked to me that Engel had made a very destructive speech. This talk made me laugh. Engel continued by saying that when we saw the heavens red, then was our time to commence. The Northwest Side group, he said, would meet at Wicker Park, and the North Side group at Lincoln Park. The moment we saw the fires, as a signal, then we should throw bombs, shoot down the policemen and everybody who stood in our way, and begin the general destruction of property and life. I never heard of this plan before this time. Engel was the only one who spoke of the plan. At this meeting I knew Breitenfeld and Waller, who was chairman. I heard some one at that meeting ask for dynamite bombs and how to get them, and some said: ‘You ought to know it by this time.’ Engel also spoke of the word ‘Ruhe.’ It was to be a signal word, and when it should appear in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, then was the time to be ready for a riot.”
Carl Max Emil English registered at the station on the 1st of June. He might have been gathered in long before, but he was kept under watch in the hopes of bagging a more important Anarchist. It was known that English was a particular friend of Schnaubelt’s, and the officers kept their eye on him continually, thinking the bomb-thrower might be found through his unconscious intervention. But they waited and watched in vain, and finally Officers Palmer and Cosgrove arrested English on suspicion. He was turned over to me, and then it was ascertained that he knew more of the Anarchists in Pullman, where he worked, than he did of those in Chicago. When called an Anarchist he objected, and insisted that he was simply a Socialist—a distinction without a difference in his case. He stated, however, that all the Anarchists in America “looked upon Chicago as the main center of Anarchy,” and in Pullman they got all their inspiration from Chicago. He acknowledged an acquaintance with Muntzenberg, who, he said, had sold John Most’s books and other Anarchistic literature at Pullman. Muntzenberg had been in Pullman after the 4th of May, and had carried dynamite bombs with him. The Socialists, said English, had become frightened at this exhibition and had refrained from having any further dealings with Muntzenberg.
English was allowed to go, with an injunction that he had better stay in Pullman, where he belonged. He has since remained at home and is now giving more of his time to the study of sound literature on economic subjects. He came to America from Germany, in October, 1885, and was led astray by Most’s writings. Had he lived in Chicago he would have been a very handy man for Lingg. In the old country he had worked in the manufacture of torpedoes, etc., for the Government, and he was well posted on explosives. He was twenty-four years of age, and just such a man as Lingg could have utilized.
August Kraemer, a German, thought he was sharper than the police. He had escaped their attentions, and he was felicitating himself that he knew how to elude them successfully. One day, however—June 1st—he was cheerfully greeted by Officers Whalen and Stift, and when they notified him of the pleasure his company would give us at the station, he became motionless with surprise. Recovering himself, he declared that it was an awful outrage to arrest a man for nothing and assured the officers again and again that he had never heard of Socialists or Anarchists, did not know a single one of that class and would not be able to recognize one if pointed out to him. In fact, he had not even heard that a bomb had been thrown at the Haymarket. He played this role of ignorance when brought before me, but I soon brought him to his senses.
“You have played the old lady long enough,” I said. “We are men here who do not believe a word you say, and don’t want any of your tea-party stories. Is not George Engel your friend? Did you not drink beer in Engel’s rear room, May 4th, about eleven o’clock? Were you not there when a lot of men waited for orders to blow up and burn down houses? Were you not at the Haymarket with Engel, and did you not walk around with him on the outskirts of the crowd?”
“Who told you this?” came promptly from Kraemer.
“One of those little gods you prayed to at Thalia Hall on Sundays. Why, you hypocrite, you and twenty more get together, talk and give your opinions about dynamite and how to construct poisoned daggers, and work out a plan to fight the police and militia, drink beer and liquor, and call that a prayer-meeting. What have you to say to all this? If you can not answer I will give it to you plainer.”
“Mein Gott, some one wants to hang me,” exclaimed August. “I know Herr Engel; he is a good man.”
“Yes, in your estimation.”
“If you only knew how awfully sorry he felt for the officers that were killed.”
“Oh, yes. Well, do you now think that we know something about you?”
“I admit that you know all about me, but Herr Engel said that night that it was wrong to have such a miscarriage. He did not believe in killing a few people. All revolutions, Engel believed, ought to come about by themselves, and then the police and soldiers would be with them. If the people would fight, then the authorities, police and all, would throw their guns away and run. Then the victory would be won without spilling any blood, but such a foolish thing as the Haymarket affair Engel would have nothing to do with.”
“Yes; all this Engel said after 10:30 o’clock that night, May 4th.”
“Yes, he said it in his back room.”
“That is all I want of you. Officers, lock up this dynamitard.”
“Captain, will you not let me make a statement?”
“I know something. For God’s sake don’t lock me up.”
“Well, then, speak, double-quick time, and let there be no lying.”
Kraemer calmed himself and proceeded to unfold his story. He was subsequently released on promising to testify in court and that he would become a better man. He was indicted by the grand jury for conspiracy to murder. He was not asked to testify, and it was supposed that after all his troubles he would attend strictly to his own business, that of a carpenter. Not so. He was to be found in the company of the worst Anarchists between May 4th and the time of the execution, but, when he finally discovered that there was a law in the State to hang conspirators and murderers, he grew frightened. He now remains at home instead of skulking into dark cellars and devising means of revenge. He lived, at the time of his arrest, at No. 286 Milwaukee Avenue, in the rear, his friend Engel occupying the front part of the building. He was thirty-three years of age, married, well built, five feet eight inches in height, and an active man.
His statement was as follows:
“I attended the meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street the night of May 3d. I was there about fifteen minutes when the meeting was called to order. Some one suggested that every man of a group should see that every one present was one of their members. I was asked what group I belonged to. I could not tell. I do not belong to any group. Then I was told to go out because I could not give the pass-word. I told them that I belonged to the Socialists, but they told me I could not remain. I then went away. I have often been at Thalia Hall at the ‘Bible class.’ I met there frequently Engel and Fischer. That was in the month of April, 1886. At one meeting, when Engel and Fischer were present, some one called on the people to be ready with arms; that the time would soon come when they must be organized and ready to defend themselves. While I was at 54 West Lake Street that evening, May 3, some one complained that there were so few present and said that there had always been a good attendance until that night, and that it was very strange. As I could not give the sign I was put out. I heard Engel say that no revolution could be a success with only a small group; there must be general, united action.”
Martin Bechtel was also requested to report at the station for an interview. He willingly responded, and conversed quite freely. He was a beer-brewer by profession, and on May 4 was foreman in the brewery of Bartholomae & Leicht. He was also president of the Brewers’ Union and presided at a meeting on the afternoon of May 3. His statement of that meeting was as follows:
“I had a meeting called of the brewers for that afternoon, and there I saw a lot of those ‘Revenge’ circulars. I saw all the men reading them, and, while some did not appear to care much, others got greatly excited over the way the police had been clubbing the people at McCormick’s factory. There was considerable excitement for awhile, and this was kept up until I called the meeting to order. I found that I had to be very strict before I could do anything. We transacted our business with great difficulty. I was interrupted now and then by some one coming in and talking excitedly about the police killing people at the factory. I restored order once more, when Oscar Neebe came in with a new supply of circulars and handed them around to the boys. Then the fire was in the straw again. After Neebe had distributed his circulars, he was called on for a speech, and whenever he was asked by any one if it was true that the police had been killing people in the manner described by the circular, he would answer: ‘Oh, yes; I know it is true. I saw it all. We must get ready and take revenge. Get ready; you all know what to do. You have all been to our meetings; you have all had instructions. Come out like men and show the capitalists what you are made of. Show these bloodhounds, these hirelings of the capitalists—I mean the blue-coated police—that we are not afraid of them. We must meet them and teach them a lesson. They have no regard for you or your families. You must feel the same to them.’ Such was the character of his speech and replies, and that is all I can report of the meeting.”
Mr. Bechtel was thanked for his information, and left the office.
It came out that during that day, after leaving that meeting, Neebe went into a saloon on Clark Street, near Division, and said that “by to-morrow or before to-morrow midnight the city of Chicago would swim in blood, or perhaps lie in ashes.” There would be a revolution, everything was ready, and he said that he would do his share of the work. At one time he was so wrought up with excitement that he fairly shouted at the top of his voice and made loud threats. In the trial, it was a fortunate thing for Neebe that certain documents were not at hand, or he would have undoubtedly been hung instead of being let off with the fifteen years’ sentence in the penitentiary which he is now working out. The documents desired were in some manner lost, and, when some of the material witnesses were looked for to appear at the trial, they could not be found.
Neebe knew perfectly well the character of the men he addressed at the brewers’ meeting. They were all fire-eaters on the question of Anarchy, and the name of the Brewers’ Union was simply adopted as a cloak. The brewing companies could greatly contribute to the promotion of law, order and decency by replacing every one of them with men who appreciate good government and the privileges of citizenship.
In one brewery on the North Side, these “reds” managed to get the teamsters and beer-peddlers inoculated with their heresy, and the result was that the police were often called upon to quell disturbances growing either out of arguments with customers or saloon patrons. The injury thus done to the trade of the company must have been large. Is it a fear of these men or is there a lack of better material that keeps them in their places? It is certain that such men are doing the brewing companies no good. They are a bad lot and need watching. They are watched.
Moritz Neff was the owner of what has been called the “Shanty of the Communists,” at No. 58 Clybourn Avenue, known also as “Neff’s Hall.” He was intimate with the leaders of Anarchy and knew a great deal about their movements. On the 1st of June, Schuettler and Stift were sent to tell him that I desired to see him. He came, not under arrest, but voluntarily, as soon as he had secured some one to run his saloon during his absence. He was a German, about thirty-six years of age, unmarried, and had kept the Anarchist headquarters for over seven years. He attended closely to business, rented his hall in the rear of the saloon to various unions and clubs, and made plenty of money. His place was a sort of “go-as-you-please” headquarters for the Anarchists, and if all their plottings there had been carried into execution the city of Chicago would not now stand as a monument of thrift, energy, enterprise and wealth. The hall was rented to any one who desired it. No questions were asked, and no publicity was ever given to the proceedings through Neff. He could keep secrets, and the Anarchists knew it. He also knew them thoroughly. He was a good judge of character, and, as most of his patrons were low-browed, ignorant and impulsive fellows, he would in the presence of some of the more sensible ones call them “fools and cattle.” Neff gave up his money freely to these people for the advancement of their cause, but he was never known to howl against law and order or make threats against capitalists, like other Anarchist saloon-keepers. He always kept on friendly terms with the police, and promised Lieutenant Baus to keep him posted whenever anything of importance transpired. This promise, however, seems to have been shrewdly made with a view to “pulling the wool over the eyes” of the Lieutenant. Neff would say, “Don’t trouble yourself. Whenever there is anything going on, I will put you on;” but he never found anything worth while reporting. The officers managed to gather a good deal of information respecting the character of the meetings held, but, as no important or dangerous results were ever expected to grow out of them, the Anarchists were permitted to remain unmolested.
On the night of May 4, after the Anarchists had been put to rout, those of the North Side group hastened from their various posts to meet at Neff’s place. They were still inclined to go on with the revolution, and Neff reproached them for not continuing it the moment it was started.
“What the d——l,” said he, “did you carry bombs for all night and not do anything? Why didn’t you go to the Chicago Avenue Station and blow the d——d building to h——l with every one in it?”
This staggered the hot-heads, and not one made a reply.
“Why,” continued Neff, “you are all cowards; not one of you dare go with me now.”
No one advanced to accept the challenge. Presently, the hour getting near eleven o’clock, Neff said:
“Get out! I am going to close up, and to-morrow we will have different music, and we will see who dances.”
Knowing the great resort his place had been for Anarchists, Neff was in momentary dread of becoming involved in the Haymarket affair. He was very uneasy, and, as described by an acquaintance of his, “his clothes and shirt collar did not fit him very well for a number of days.” When he entered my office, Neff straightened up and appeared as if his mind was made up for the worst and as if he had resolved that the police should be no wiser through any information he possessed. It was not long, however, before he discovered that we meant business, and that playing the fool in the matter would not be tolerated. In the room were Assistant State’s Attorney Furthmann, six detectives and myself, and he was kept busy framing answers that would not compromise himself. Finally Neff looked us all over very carefully and said:
“I know I am called here to answer questions and tell on the Anarchists. I will now tell all I know.”
He then gave a straightforward story and appeared as a witness at the trial, giving all its substantial points. After that trial he sold out his place and left the city. He remained away for a time, but recently came to Chicago on a visit. His conduct has been such as to justify the hope that he will hereafter hold himself aloof from Anarchists.
John Weiman, a Suabian, was a peculiar genius. He was only twenty-three years of age, and yet he imagined that he could successfully hoodwink the police. He had been pointed out as an associate of some of the leaders, and it was decided to bring him to see what he had to say for himself. He lived at No. 30 Barker Street, and when notified, about the 6th of June, that I wished to become acquainted with him, he assumed a highly injured air. The moment he set foot inside the office, he threw up both hands and, in a loud voice, insisted that a great mistake had been made in arresting him.
THE “CZAR BOMB.”—From a Photograph.
This is one of the round bombs made by Lingg, and similar to the infernal machine thrown at the Haymarket. It is about three inches in diameter, and consists of two hollow hemispheres of lead, filled with dynamite, and secured by means of an iron bolt and nut. It is fitted with fuse and fulminating cap.
“I am no Socialist, no Anarchist, no Nihilist, no Communist,” he declared. “I don’t know Spies, Parsons, Schwab, Fischer, Lingg, Engel, Neebe or Fielden. I never attended any meetings at No. 54, No. 71 or No. 120 West Lake Street, and I have never been in the Communisten-Bude [the Shanty of the Communists] at No. 58 Clybourn Avenue; never was at Mueller’s Hall basement, or at Thalia Hall, or at No. 63 Emma Street.”
“That is right, John,” said I. “Keep on and tell me a few more places where you have never been, and I shall be much obliged to you. Then I will know all the places and all the leaders of the whole Anarchist outfit.”
“Yes,” said John, “I have heard of you, and I don’t want to be troubled too much. I know that you are acquainted with all those places and know all the people who went there, and I heard of a lot of people getting arrested every day who knew all the leaders and frequented those meeting-places. I thought I would tell you all at first, because I am sick and I can’t stand much talking-to.”
“How came you to know so much?” I inquired; “that is to say, how do you know the names of the members?”
“Well, I have a friend, and he told me all these things, but he ran away from the city. I don’t know where he is now.”
“What is his name and where did he live?”
“He is a carpenter. I used to call him Carl. He lived on Randolph Street, near Union.”
Further inquiries failed to elicit anything of importance, and he was turned loose to wander at his own sweet pleasure.
Emil Mende, a German, was a man thoroughly capable of desperate deeds. He lived at No. 51 Meagher Street, and so villainous a disposition did he possess that his own sister and his brother-in-law were obliged to report him at the station. Even the people in his own neighborhood feared him, and those that knew him best shunned him. He was a dangerous man. For two months preceding May 4, he boasted how the Anarchists would blow up the city and kill every one who was not an Anarchist. He talked about it so often and in such an earnest way that his neighbors grew apprehensive lest he might set fire to the neighborhood. The children would run across the street to avoid meeting him. He was always full of liquor, and his chief study was how to get a living without work. He thought he had found it in Anarchy, and he stood ready to commit any crime to accomplish his purpose. He became a drunken loafer through attending Anarchistic meetings, and when his sister remonstrated with him he turned against her and threatened to kill her. His conduct finally became so unbearable that his brother-in-law, Emil Sauer, gave information against him to the police. Mende, he said, belonged to the Lehr und Wehr Verein of the Southwest Side group and would assemble with his comrades in lonely, retired places, where the police could not see them drill. They would sneak into the buildings selected for their meeting-places, and after their drills they would quietly sneak out again, like so many thieves who had committed a successful burglary. Sauer said he had come to know many of the members, but he did not know their names or where they lived. They all had numbers, were well armed with rifles and revolvers, and they drilled frequently.
“I remember the night of May 4,” said Sauer, “Mende left the house about eight o’clock. He looked wild and desperate. He carried with him a huge revolver and a lot of cartridges. About eleven o’clock the same evening, after the bomb had exploded, he came sneaking home, and had in his possession two rifles and three dynamite bombs. He brought them all into the house at first, and, becoming alarmed, he took them all to No. 647 South Canal Street. There he was seen either going under the house or under the sidewalk. When he came out he had nothing with him. Mende, when he first began to attend the meetings, had very little to say about Anarchy. He kept on, and during the six months preceding the Haymarket riot he was perfectly crazy on the subject. After he had become a member of the armed group, he would speak of nothing else but killing people and destroying the city. On the evening of May 4, before leaving home, he said:
“‘This is our night. This night we will show our strength. I would like to see any one oppose us. Nothing can stand before us. Before daylight to-morrow blood will flow deep in the streets, and the air will be hot. Then we will have a new government.’
“After he had been gone about twenty minutes, some one came in and asked for him. The man looked like a starved-out cut-throat. He was told that Mende had gone. The fellow remarked, ‘Then it is all right. I know where to find him.’ He pulled his hat over his eyes, turned up his coat collar and disappeared. This man was watched. He went west from our house, and about a block away he met five other men. They all went west together.
“On the afternoon of May 4, Mende said to me:
“‘I want you to go with us. Everything is very well planned. There is no fear that we will not get all the help we want after we have started. We are going to move like an army. If we should get whipped at first, or if we should have to run, then we all have places to go to. The Southwest Side group is going to a church on Eighteenth Street, and we will fortify ourselves there until we get help. We will have a lot of dynamite bombs to keep everybody away. We have rifles and revolvers, and no one will dare come near us. We can hold the fort there for a few days, and no one will trouble us. Only throw out a bomb once a day, and that will be sufficient to prevent the enemy from coming near. The North Side group is going to follow our plan. They are going to take charge of St. Michael’s Church.We have things down fine. You had better come along. There is no danger. We expect a lot of people here from Michigan and all the mining towns. They will all come here as soon as we begin the attack.’
“Mende asked me at one time to go with him,—this was during the McCormick strike,—and told me they were going to take with them tin cans, which would be filled with kerosene. These cans would have strong corks in them, and through each a hole had been drilled, for the insertion of a cap and fuse. They would simply light the fuse, throw the can into a lumber yard, and walk off. No one would discover who did it, and then they would see a big fire. ‘In this way we’ll bring these d——d capitalists to time.’ I told Mende that I would have nothing to do with him or his plans.
“Two days after the bomb had been thrown, he said to me:
“‘I know the man who threw the bomb, and, you bet, he is a good friend of mine. He will never be arrested.’
“About eight days after the explosion, he told me that he knew the man who made bombs, and that the man was going to leave the city. This man, he also said, had changed his clothes, and he (Mende) had got the clothes from a man named Sisterer, who lived on Sixteenth Street. I then asked him the name of the man who made the bombs, and he said it was Louis Lingg.”
Mrs. Sauer next related her grievances against her brother.
“This brute,” she began, “not being satisfied with having all the neighbors afraid of him, had to torment the life out of me, telling me that he belonged to those fellows who would kill, give no quarter and take none. In a fight the result would be victory or death. He would tell me that as soon as they had established their government the children of the capitalists would be hunted up and killed, and every trace of a capitalist wiped off the face of the earth. My brother reads all kinds of Anarchist books and papers. I saw him have a big revolver and a lot of cartridges, and he said:
“‘We are going to kill all the police now in a few days. They all must be killed. They stand in our way. We cannot get our rights so long as we let those bloodhounds live. So we have decided to kill them all. We are ready now, and you will not see any more of those fellows hanging around the corners.’
“He also said that the Fire Department was a well-organized body, and they, too, must be destroyed.
“‘Before the battle commences,’ he said, ‘we are going to fix the bridges with dynamite, so that, in case the Fire Department should come to the relief of the police or go to work to extinguish the fires that we start, we will blow the bridges, firemen, horses and all to h—l.’
“He further stated that the city would be set on fire in all parts, so that the police and firemen would be obliged to stay in their own neighborhoods, and it would be impossible for any large bodies of them to get together in one place. Then, when everything was in confusion, they had places selected where they would meet in a body and come into the center of the city, where they would rob and plunder every jewelry store and bank, and places where they could get the most valuable things they wanted.
“‘We have,’ he said, ‘all these places picked out already. We have on hand all the dynamite we want, and when we make a start we will have our tools and materials with us.’
“A few days after the 4th of May, my brother also said that it was too bad that their committee had become split up during the charge of the police at the Haymarket. They failed to get together again, and the men on the outside were expecting every second to receive orders from that committee to commence setting fires and killing people. He stated that on that night he was at the Hinman Street Station, and that it was surrounded by seventy-five men, fifty of them having rifles and the balance large revolvers and dynamite bombs. They waited in an alley for orders. Everything, he said, was complete; every man had his place and knew what work he had to perform. They only needed the signal from the committee. The plan was that, as soon as they had received their orders, some of them should get near the windows of the station and throw in bombs among the policemen. Then others were to be ready with their revolvers and shoot down any officer who had not been killed by the explosion and who attempted to save himself by jumping out through the window. The fifty men with rifles were to have placed themselves in front of the station, and as soon as the officers made an attempt to march out, they should kill them in the hallway before they could get outside. ‘But,’ said he, ‘the officers at this station will be killed yet, because they have interfered with us and injured the success of the strikers.’
“He spoke also about their going to barricade themselves in churches if they got whipped, until they had secured help. He said that they had a lot of bombs buried near the city, and they were there still for future use. ‘They will not spoil,’ he said. My brother further told me one night that he had to run home or he would have been arrested. I saw him come home, and he looked very much excited. He went into the back yard—just like the coward—and remained there for some time. Later he told me that a lot of them went together to blow up a freight-house with dynamite bombs. This freight-house is on the corner of Meagher and Jefferson Streets. He said that he had the place picked out, and everything was ready. Then one of their number, who stood guard, gave the signal to run, and they all ran away. They had a meeting-place appointed in case they should be disturbed, and there they met afterwards. They decided to renew the attack, but finally, at the suggestion of a man named Sisterer, that they postpone it till another night, they all went home. On his way home my brother thought that some detective was following him. He became frightened and started on the run, and ran until he arrived home safely.”
ANARCHIST AMMUNITION—1. From Photographs.
When a sister would tell such a story, fully corroborated by others, of a brother, it can easily be seen that he must have been a desperate man. It must be borne in mind that about the time Mrs. Sauer notified me of her brother’s acts the city was wrought up to a high pitch of excitement over the foul murder at the Haymarket, and there was a general sentiment that all the conspirators identified with that plot ought to hang. It required, therefore, no little courage on the part of a sister to give up her own brother to take his chances on the charges made.
Mende must have reached a very low, or rather a very high standing among the bloodthirsty bandits, and the revelations concerning him showed that he was not only capable of tormenting a poor woman by his savage threats, but willing and anxious to distinguish himself in any wild carnival of riot, bloodshed and incendiarism. He was a man the police wanted, and he was accordingly arrested by Officers Whalen and Loewenstein on the 7th of June. At the station he gave his age as twenty-nine years, and his occupation as that of a carpenter. He was tall, well-built, wore a heavy beard and weighed about 160 pounds. His appearance did not belie the statements made about him, and subsequent inquiries showed that he was all his sister had represented him to be. What he had told his sister about the arrangements around the Hinman Street Station was found to be strictly true, and the details about the riot at the Haymarket and the signal to the armed men in the outlying sections of the city were borne out by the statements of other Anarchists.
While on his way to the station, Mende seemed perfectly indifferent to his fate. It came out, however, that much of his stoical air had been inspired by statements previously communicated to him by his Anarchist associates. The attorneys of the Anarchists, Messrs. Salomon & Zeisler, had advised the order that in case of arrest the distressed brother should seek to notify some friend they might meet while being taken through the streets to the station, and then, the information being brought to them, they would at once secure a release on a writ of habeas corpus. Mende acted on this advice. He knew probably, like the rest, that, once locked up, his chances for communicating with his friends for a day or two would be exceedingly doubtful, and so, while he was being marched through the streets, he encountered a friend and told him his name; and that friend immediately rushed to the office of the attorneys and gave the name of the prisoner and the station to which he was being taken.
Mende had scarcely been locked up when the counsel came to the Chicago Avenue Station and demanded to see the prisoner. They were refused. On the next day they applied for a writ of habeas corpus and wanted the prisoner brought into court. The object of this was to put me on the stand in the case, and, by various questions, to obtain such information as the State might possess with reference to the Anarchists. I was not to be caught in such a trap, and State’s Attorney Grinnell decided to release the prisoner, have him indicted and subsequently re-arrested.
During the short time Mende was at the station he was plied with questions, but he answered them all with denials. He said that he had never spoken to his sister about Anarchy and had never belonged to any organization. Under cross-fire, however, he admitted that he had attended the meetings and owned a big revolver. The revolver, he said, he had sold to one Peter Mann about the 1st of June. After his experience at the station he was, as might have been expected, at war with his relatives, but he kept away from meetings.
Polikarp Sisterer, a German Pole, was an associate of Mende, but, unlike that rapscallion, he was not violent or demonstrative. Having a family may have done much toward tempering his disposition, but still he was an Anarchist in the full sense of the word. He was a quiet, deep-plotting fellow, and perhaps on that account might be regarded as really a more dangerous man. He was a sober man, not given to beer-drinking and wine-guzzling like Mende; and, like Cassius of old, had a “lean and hungry look,” bringing him within that class concerning whom the injunction “Beware” might well be heeded in any special crisis. He was arrested on the 8th of June by Officers Whalen and Loewenstein and taken to the station. On the way thither he, like Mende, communicated his troubles to friends on the street, and was subsequently released under the same conditions. At the station he gave his age as thirty-one years, his occupation as that of a carpenter, and his residence as No. 85 West Sixteenth Street. He belonged, like Mende, to the Carpenters’ Union, which met at Zepf’s Hall, and took an active part in all Anarchistic movements. He was at first exceedingly non-communicative to the police, and insisted, whenever he did speak, that he had no secrets to divulge. He was shown to the “cooler” down stairs, and the next day he was in a talkative mood. He willingly took all the officers into his confidence and talked unreservedly. He said:
“I belong to the Carpenters’ Union, and Louis Lingg belongs to the same organization. I have known Lingg for about eight months. We were good friends, and, after the meetings of the union were over, Lingg and I often went home together. I got acquainted with him at those meetings. Lingg was a good worker for the carpenters, and they all like him for the interest he displayed in their behalf. I saw him at our union meeting on Monday evening about eight o’clock in Zepf’s Hall. He made a speech there and called all of us to arms and to be ready. He said that the police were ready to club us and would only protect the capitalists and work only in the interests of the capitalists. ‘You can see for yourselves,’ Lingg said ‘how the police acted at the McCormick factory; they clubbed our people, they killed six of our brothers, and now we will fight them and take revenge.’ He worked us all up, and every one was highly excited. He said that everything was ready and if we would only stick together we would win a certain victory. I saw at this meeting Hageman, Poch, Mende, Lehman, Louis Rentz and Kaiser. Rau and Niendorf were there and distributed the revenge circulars. That day—Monday—was a very exciting one among the Anarchists, and it would not have taken much to have started very serious trouble. Crowds of excited people were on Lake Street, from Union Street to the river, on that afternoon, and all were in bad temper. I attended the meeting on the afternoon of May 3d, at about three o’clock, at No. 71 West Lake Street, at Florus’ Hall. I never was at any meeting held at No. 54 West Lake Street, at Greif’s Hall, but I heard from others as to what had been done there. I saw Lingg again on the 5th of May, at Florus’ Hall. I spoke to him, but he had very little to say. He looked downhearted. While I was there he disappeared, and I never saw him again.”
“Did you not give him money and clothes to get out of the city?” I asked.
“Well, no one can prove that. If you think I did, you had better find your witness.”
“Do you mean to say that you did not help Lingg?”
Sisterer hung his head and would vouchsafe no answer.
He was released, as I have already stated, but since this episode in his career, he has taken the lesson to heart and appears to be determined to keep away from uncanny places on moonless nights.
August Krueger, alias “Little Krueger,” was a different sort of a man from the rest of his chosen brotherhood. He was quite an intelligent fellow, well educated, with genteel manners, well chosen language and rather natty dress. He was a draftsman by occupation, and he was highly skilled. He was, with all his bloodthirsty professions, a very clever fellow, and became quite popular with his low-browed associates. He belonged to the Northwest Side company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein and took great interest in the drills. His ideas, however, were somewhat different from those of the other Anarchists. He did not believe in riots, but thought a revolution should be brought about by a general uprising of the people. In the old country, he had been a Socialist, but had been obliged to leave some seven years before the time of the Haymarket riot. Arriving here, he identified himself with the Anarchists, and, taking a deep interest in all movements directed against capitalists, he soon became highly esteemed by Spies and others. He was at the Haymarket meeting, having come in the company of Schnaubelt, the bomb-thrower, and claimed that he also left the meeting in his company. While not in perfect accord with his associates on isolated riots, and while he did not sanction such methods to hurt people, Krueger still entered into their plans and worked hard for their cause, and when Spies and others had been condemned to die he originated a plot to release them from the jail, which, however, failing to secure members enough to carry it out, he finally abandoned.
A GROUP OF THE LEHR UND WEHR VEREIN.
From a Photograph.
The figure on the extreme right is that of “Little Krueger.”
After the Haymarket riot, Krueger was continually watched by the detectives, and on the 13th of June he was arrested. He was found at the Terra Cotta Works, on Clybourn and Wrightwood Avenues, and brought to the Chicago Avenue Station. Here he showed that he had considerable grit. He was the kind of man who would risk his life for a good chance in a general revolution, and, although he characterized some of the Anarchists as fools, he stubbornly refused to testify against them. He was kept for two hours under a steady fusillade of questions by Assistant State’s Attorney Furthmann, but he held out doggedly under the heavy fire. He could not be made to inform. He was subsequently released by order of the State’s Attorney. He was, when last heard of, still working for Messrs. Parkhurst & Co., the proprietors of the works, and appears to be well liked by them. In spite of his warning, he still adheres to his old ideas.
His answers to the questions asked him were as follows:
“I am twenty-one years of age. I came from Germany seven years ago. I reside at No. 72 Kenion Street, near Paulina. I was a member of the Lehr und Wehr Verein a year and a half. I know Breitenfeld. He is the commander of the second company of the Lehr und Wehr Verein. I am orderly sergeant and secretary of that company. Schrade was captain. I heard of the letter ‘Y’ about the first of April. We had a different signal. It was ‘???.’ This signal invited the armed organizations. I cannot say who originated the signal. The signal was then changed to ‘Y.’ We always met up-stairs under this signal ‘Y,’ except the last two meetings. I saw that letter last on Sunday preceding the riot. I went to that meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street (May 3) alone. I got to the meeting about 8:30 o’clock. I went into the saloon and then went down stairs. There were then only a few people present. Seeing that the meeting had not started, I went up stairs again. Breitenfeld had charge of the door. I was not asked to show my card, but I had it with me. It was a red card—No. 8. That is my number. We all go by numbers. I went down stairs again for a second time about a quarter to nine o’clock.”
A picture being shown him of Schnaubelt, he said:
“I might have seen him. On Tuesday night, May 4, I was at Engel’s house from nine o’clock to eleven o’clock. At the meeting I know that Fischer volunteered to have circulars printed for the Haymarket meeting. I am in favor of a complete revolution—that is, when a majority of the people are in favor of it. I am an Anarchist, and will remain one as long as I live. My father was one, and he was warden of a penitentiary in the old country. I had to leave there because I was an Anarchist. I am opposed to all single attacks, like that at the Haymarket. I am in favor, also, of peaceable agitation. I could say more about others, but they are in trouble enough now. I don’t want to be put down as a ‘squealer.’ I hope you will not insist on my becoming one, as I will not.”
Emil Niendorf, a German, was arrested on the 14th of June, by Officers Schuettler and Stift, and brought to the station. He had scarcely entered the place when he demanded to see me at once. On being brought into the office, he was asked what he wanted to say.
“Well,” opened up Niendorf, “I don’t want to be locked up here six weeks. Neither do I want you folks to believe that I am a stubborn man. I want to talk. I want to tell you who I am, what I have done, and I don’t want to be looked upon as a murderer. I am an eight-hour man. I want to get eight hours in a peaceable way. I do not want to kill people. I have no use for those rattle-heads.”
Niendorf was informed that all the officers connected with the station were too busy to attend to his case then, and that he would have to remain until the next day, when he would have an opportunity to tell all his troubles. He was locked up, but during the night, it appears, some prisoner or some one from the outside “put a flea in his ear,” telling him not to open his mouth, to be a brave man, and he would come out all right. The next morning at ten o’clock he was brought into my office, but he was not at all communicative. He sat down and said nothing.
“Well, Niendorf, how do you feel?” asked Mr. Furthmann. “How did you sleep?”
Not an answer.
“Are you sick?” interestedly inquired Furthmann.
“Did any one insult you or hurt you?” continued Furthmann.
Still no response.
“Who has changed your mind since you were here?” I inquired.
Not a syllable of reply.
“See here,” said I, “you cannot make us feel bad. I will give you just two minutes by the watch to get over your lockjaw.”
This aroused Niendorf, and, looking around at all the officers present, he said:
“Gentlemen, I have been warned not to speak. I did not see the party, but some one called out my name and asked if I had been to the office yet. I answered no. The voice then said: ‘When you go there, don’t open your mouth, be motionless, and they will soon fire you out. Don’t forget.’”
“That is just what I expected,” I remarked. “Now you can do as you please—talk or not talk. That party is not a friend of yours, and he wants to see you go to jail. Officer, take him down stairs.”
“Are you not going to let me speak?” nervously inquired the prisoner.
“How long will it take you to find your speech?” exclaimed Furthmann.
“Have I got to swear to what I tell you?”
“Yes; you will have to do that whenever we send for you, and you must not leave the city without permission,” said I.
Niendorf then gave a statement of his knowledge of Anarchy. He appeared very ignorant, but, when spoken to, he showed that he was quite intelligent. He was twenty-six years of age, lived at No. 29 Croker Street, and, with fiery red hair, was a rather homely-looking man.
He was released, and after his departure the officers determined to ascertain whether it was an “Anarchist ghost” or a man in flesh and bones that had hovered about the station warning Niendorf not to squeal. A close watch was accordingly put in the cell department to fathom the mystery. About ten o’clock that night a young fellow called at the station for a night’s lodging. He was told to sit down and wait. He did so, and his wish was reported to me. Officer Loewenstein was sent back to look him over, and that officer presently returned and reported that the man did not look like a tramp. He looked more like an Israelite who had means, and the fellow was at once called into the office. There the officers unbuttoned his coat and discovered a clean young fellow, with a nice suit of clothes and a gold watch and chain.
“What is your name?” I asked sternly. “And don’t forget to give it right.”
“Oh, please,—I—I did not mean anything bad.”
“Are you not baptized; have you no name? Officer, lock him up until I find a name for him.”
“Let me go, and I will never come here again.”
“Who sent you here?” I demanded.
“I cannot tell—do let me go. I will never, I promise you, come back again.”
“I don’t think you will. When you leave here you will go through the ‘sewer.’”
With exclamations of great grief and remorse, he looked appealingly to all the officers in the room, and, recognizing Officer Loewenstein as one of his race, he fell on his knees and begged the officer not to have him put through the “sewer.”
“Were you not here last night?” asked the Captain.
“No, sir; it was another fellow.”
The turnkey of the station was sent for and confirmed the stranger’s denial. The now thoroughly frightened young man was then asked as to who the lodger of the night before was, but all he knew was that he himself had been hired by an unknown man that evening for one dollar to come and seek lodgings at the station to warn Anarchists. When the stranger had measurably recovered from his trepidation, he gave his name as Moses Wulf, and, his information being of no value, he was released with a severe lecture.
Niendorf’s statement ran as follows:
“I was at a meeting held May 3 at 8 P.M., at No. 122 West Lake Street. I was chairman. I heard some one state that the police had killed a dozen workingmen at McCormick’s factory. That created a great deal of excitement for some time at the meeting. Then some one shouted: ‘Better be quiet and let us attend to our own affairs.’ We were only looking after the eight-hour movement. I saw the revenge circular at that meeting, which called the people to arms. Louis Lingg was present to report some meeting and some business transactions as a committeeman. William Seliger was there as recording secretary of the meeting. Rau was there, and some one said to me that he had brought the circular. A man named Soenek made a speech and advised us to use force. It was decided, on motion, that we should act in sympathy with the people at McCormick’s factory. I have been a member of the North Side group for about a year. I was at a meeting at Zepf’s Hall May 3, which lasted till eleven o’clock p.m. About nine o’clock a man at the back door called out that all the men who belonged to the armed sections should go to 54 West Lake Street in the basement, where a meeting was to be held, and I saw a lot of members get up and leave the hall. I know Lingg belonged to the armed section. At one time he offered me some of his dynamite bombs. I told him I did not want any of them. He told me on another occasion that I had better take some and try some of his stuff. I told him that I was afraid to handle his stuff and I did not want it. Our meeting May 3 at Zepf’s Hall was known as that of the Central Labor Union. A little fellow named Lutz was financial secretary at that meeting. Rau was there only ten minutes. At a meeting held some time ago in Lake View, I was chairman. Lingg was one of the speakers, and also a man named Poch. Seliger called the meeting to order. I know Gruenwald; he is thirty-five years old, a carpenter by trade, five feet eight or nine inches tall, and has red whiskers. I heard Lingg say at several meetings that if any members wanted any of his ‘chocolate,’ meaning dynamite or dynamite bombs, he would supply them.”
Johannes Grueneberg, a German, had the distinction conferred on him of being one of the last of the more conspicuous Anarchists to be arrested. He had been known to the police for some time, in a general way, and inquiries about him brought out the fact that he was a prominent figure in Anarchistic circles. He knew where all the leaders lived, frequently visited them, and tramped around so often that he became quite a well-known character. Even the dogs that infested the localities through which he passed wagged their tails in cheerful recognition, and Grueneberg always had a kind word for both the brutes and his Anarchist friends. He was forty-five years of age, a married man with a family, and lived at No. 750 West Superior Street. He was a carpenter by trade. On the 17th of June he was working on a new building at No. 340 Dearborn Avenue, and, while right in the midst of an exhortation to the other workingmen on the beauties of Anarchy, he was interrupted by Officers Hoffman and Schuettler, who notified him that he was under arrest.
“That is just what I have been waiting for,” he exclaimed, not in the least disconcerted. “Is it that d——d Schaack that wants to see me? I will tell that fellow who I am. I will surprise him.”
“Johannes,” said Schuettler, “you can save yourself all of that trouble. Schaack knows all about you. I saw your name in the book.”
“Come on quick,” said Johannes, “I will show you a gamy man. Whenever I leave home I always bid my wife good-by, because I have expected to be arrested at any time, and did not know when I would see her again, for I will not squeal. I knew of these squealers, and I told my wife I would kill myself first before I would squeal.”
Officers and prisoner started for the station. Johannes opened up on a half run, and the officers could hardly keep up with him, so anxious did he appear. He entered the office with hair disordered and on end, and his eyes bulged out with excitement as he hurriedly surveyed some six officers who were in the office at the time.
“Which one of you fellows,” he wildly asked, “is Schaack? Show him to me quick.”
“Grueneberg,” said I, for I recognized him at once from the descriptions I had had of the man, “what is the matter?”
“Are you Schaack?”
“Yes, I am Schaack.”
“You sent for me to squeal, did you?”
He instantly pulled out a big jack-knife, and, handing it out towards me, he continued:
“Take this and cut my head off.”
He twice repeated the request, and, still holding out his extended hand, said:
“I will never squeal; you can kill me first.”
“I heard that you were crazy,” said I, “but I never thought you were quite so bad as this. You must suffer terribly. The weather is too warm for you. I think you had better go down stairs and have a glass of ice water.”
“No,” vehemently responded Johannes, “we had better settle this matter right now. I want to go out a free man, or else you will have to carry me out of here a dead man. I would thank you, however, for a glass of water, but don’t put me down stairs. I have heard too much of that place already.”
“Oh,” said I, “it is not a bad place. Just go down and see for yourself. You will like the place; it is nice and cool.”
“Please, Captain, let me sit in the next room,” said Johannes, cooling down considerably, and modulating his voice to a gentler key; “I will behave myself.”
His austerity of manner had completely vanished, and his ferocious mien and language had gradually disappeared. He saw in me a different man from what he had expected, and the courteous treatment accorded him had melted his heart and vanquished his anger. I granted his request and told an officer to sit with him in an adjoining room.
The moment the officer and prisoner were in the room, Johannes remarked:
“Schaack is not a bad fellow. Is he not going to stop arresting people?”
“Oh, no,” said the officer, “he has a long list yet.”
“Are you with him all the time?”
“Do you hear and see all?”
“Do the fellows all squeal?”
“Yes, every one of them. If they don’t squeal right away, they squeal the first chance they get.”
“I am too much of a man, and it would be very small in me to do so.”
“There have been as brave men as you in this office, and every one has squealed.”
“Well, when a man has a family, that cuts a big figure,” said Johannes, hesitatingly.
“If you are going to talk to Captain Schaack,” said the officer, reading the man’s mind, “you must understand that he does not want any fooling. You either tell him all or nothing, because some one has already told on you.”
This settled the matter with Grueneberg. He wanted to see me, and he was brought back into the office.
“I was a little excited,” began Johannes, apologetically.
“All right,” I assuringly replied; “sit down and tell on yourself first. I am going to give you a trial.”
Grueneberg then went on to say:
“Well, I am an Anarchist. I always worked hard for the working people. I am proud of it. I did good as long as I could, but now it is all up. I am a member of the Northwest Side group and always attended our meetings. I never missed one.
“On Monday night, May 3, I attended a meeting at Zepf’s Hall. I remained there until about 9:15 o’clock. From there I went to Greif’s Hall. This was a secret meeting of the armed men. While the meeting continued all the doors were kept locked, and guards stood on the outside of each door, and also on the inside, and extra guards on the sidewalk. If any one stopped on the sidewalk, he would be told to move on. I heard Engel speak of his plan; that it was a good one. If only every one would do his work, then the matter would be a very easy one of accomplishment. He stated that the plan had been made up last Sunday at 63 Emma Street, and had already been adopted by the Lehr und Wehr Verein and the groups. All who had heard of the plan, he said, were very much in favor of it, and all understood by this time how to act. ‘We are,’ he continued, ‘going to do this right, because all the boys look to us as the leaders, and we are going to call a meeting for to-morrow night at the Haymarket. Since all the people are excited, we will have a large crowd, and we will have things so shaped that the police will interfere. Then will be the chance to give it to them! I could notice by the acts of all present at this meeting that there was a great deal of bad blood among them against the police on account of the killing of so many people at McCormick’s.”
“Do you now believe that a single person was killed at McCormick’s?”
“Of course I do. You killed six men.”
“Not one was killed,” said I, “and you ought to know that by this time.”
“All I know,” said Johannes, “is what August Spies said. I was a carrier of the Anarchist, Engel’s paper. My route was on Madison Street, and on the Southwest Side,” he continued, dropping the 54 West Lake Street meeting.
“And what did you think of that paper?” I inquired.
“That was the best paper we ever had.”
“It was too bad,” added I, “that the sweet little paper died so young. Where was it printed?”
“I don’t know, because the papers were sent to my house by the Southwest Side group.”
“Who else carried that paper?”
“Messerschmidt, Schneider, Schoenfeld, Geimer and Kirbach. We each carried about fifty papers at a time.”
“Do you know anything more about the secret meeting at No. 54 West Lake Street, May 3d?”
“Well, I don’t know all. I went out twice.”
“And how did you get in every time?”
“I had a card, and I had to show that every time. That is all, and, besides, the boys all knew me.”
“What do you know about Louis Lingg?”
“He is a good man. I like him. He speaks to the point.”
“On dynamite,” I suggested.
“Yes, and on other things.”
“He only likes Anarchists,” I interrupted.
“Yes, that is so.”
“What do you know about the Arbeiter-Zeitung?”
“Well, it is a very good paper, but it is too mild.”
“Do you mean to tell me that a paper which advises people to murder and kill is too mild?” I asked.
“They don’t put force enough into it. They don’t keep up things as they ought to. I know all who visit there. I am a friend of all the Spieses.”
After being “roasted” for three hours, Johannes was permitted to go back to his work, and he left under the impression that, after all, he had not said anything criminally implicating any of his comrades. He was not asked to report when wanted, as he was too noisy a fellow to have around the station, and the officers were as well pleased to see him go as they had been pleased to arrest him. He inaugurated no reform on his release. On the contrary, he was again as rabid as ever and ran around night and day trying to gather a mob to go to the jail and liberate the Anarchists. He made no secret of his work. He loved the red flag, he said, and he would die for it if necessary. One night he came to me in company with two other fellows and demanded the return of a large red flag which at one time belonged to International Carpenters’ Union No. 1. This flag had been taken by the police with many others some time before. Grueneberg said that he had marched behind it many times and he was proud of it. He wanted to see the “dear old flag” once more and secure possession of it. I had the flag at the station, but, knowing that Anarchists had an “undying love” for Inspector Bonfield, I remarked:
“If you want the flag, all you have to do is to see the Inspector, and I am quite sure he will give it to you.”
An expression of intense disgust came over the faces of the three Anarchists, and Grueneberg excitedly exclaimed:
“Bonfield! Bonfield! Ah, the d——d black Bonfield! I see him? Oh, no! he is not gentleman enough for me to see.”
“Bonfield is a very clever fellow,” said I; “he likes such men as you.”
“Oh, yes; he would like my head in a bag. Good night, Mr. Schaack; I don’t want the flag.”
Grueneberg belonged at this time to Carpenters’ Union No. 241, and, on account of his peculiar and ridiculous actions, the members gradually grew suspicious of him and finally believed that he was a paid spy in the employ of some detective agency. They harbored their mistrust for a time, and then accused him of being a traitor. He demanded that charges be preferredagainst him, and it was done. Grueneberg failing to answer these charges, he was expelled from the union. A few weeks thereafter he reformed, and one day, meeting me, he said:
“I am done with these people. They are all cranks. No person can do enough for them. I worked with them night and day. They put me on all the committees. I had to do all the running, and for all my trouble and as a reward they call me a spy. I am working steady now and they can all go to the d——l. I am only sorry for my poor children—the way they suffered while I was giving my time to Anarchy. I have now worked four weeks and made full time. This I have not done before for the last two years.”
About two months after the above incident, Grueneberg and his family passed the Desplaines Street Station. Meeting me, Grueneberg spoke up, saying:
“Well, Captain, what do you think of my family now?”
“I must give you a great deal of credit,” said I pleasantly. “You are all looking remarkably well. A man that has gone as far as you in Anarchy deserves credit for such a great change, and if all the rest were kicked out of their unions, I think it would be a blessing to their poor wives and children.”
After bidding me good-by, Grueneberg and his family walked away proud and happy in their new condition, and I went to my office and drew this moral from the example of reform I had just seen: Here was a man who had belonged to the Anarchists for three or four years, and had been at one time one of the “rankest” kind. For two years his family had suffered want, and now, after having left the desperate band for two months only, his wife and children were once more made happy. Anarchy keeps men in poverty and families in trouble, distress and suffering.
Grueneberg up to the present time has kept away from his former associates, and his change appears permanent and sincere.
Otto Baum was one of the desperate Anarchists who made the air blue with imprecations against capital. He would have been gathered in with the others had it not been for his special care to keep out of the reach of the police. He lived at No. 137 Cleveland Avenue, was married and had three children, and, when he worked, which he rarely did, it was at the carpenter’s trade. He was a strong, robust man, nearly six feet high, and with black hair, full, black beard, and piercing black eyes, he presented a rather vicious appearance. When he first came to Chicago, some four years preceding the Haymarket meeting, he joined the Socialists, and he soon became a full-fledged Anarchist. He belonged to the notorious International Carpenters’ Union No. 1. This union had then a thousand members, and Baum’s number was 100. About two years ago the union changed its number to 241, and a worse set of Anarchists could not be found in the United States than the members of this organization just before the 4th of May, 1886. They were provided with all kinds of arms—revolvers, daggers, rifles, dynamite and fire-cans. Lingg was one of the leading spirits in this revolutionary gang. After the Haymarket explosion, when the police took up a hot pursuit of the conspirators, Baum changed his residence with his family and carefully kept off the streets during the daytime. On the conclusion of the trial of the leading conspirators, he became emboldened over the immunity he had enjoyed from arrest, and crawled out of his hole, like a coon does in the spring-time.
So great was Baum’s interest in Anarchy that he wholly neglected his family. He never troubled himself about wife or children, but hung around saloons guzzling beer and breathing vengeance against the police and society. He went lower and lower from day to day, and frequently reeled home in a drunken stupor, only to abuse his family. About a year and a half ago, when his last child was born, his neglect had left not a mouthful in the house, and, had it not been for the kindly assistance of friends and neighbors, the family would have been in a most deplorable condition. When the child was a week old, the wife, poor and sickly as she was, had to leave the house and seek work to supply the family with the necessaries of life. With food thus obtained, almost at the sacrifice of the poor woman’s life, the burly brute of a husband was always first at the table, and eagerly devoured what she had provided. Did he seek to obtain employment? Not at all. He preferred loafing and talking about Anarchy. The poor wife’s uncomplaining toil he rewarded with abuse and cruelty, calling her the vilest of names, and even kicking her about as if she were made of rubber. She was a delicate, sickly woman, but she bore his fiendish treatment, hoping that a change would come over him after the law had made an example of other Anarchists. But the change did not come, and finally she determined to seek the protection of the courts. Accordingly she went to the Chicago Avenue Police Court on the 6th of February, 1888, with her infant in her arms, and swore out a warrant against her husband.
The lazy giant was at once arrested, and on the next morning the poor woman appeared to testify against him. Being unable to speak English, an interpreter was called, and during the recital of her grievances and the many indignities imposed upon her by her liege lord, the court-room was as quiet almost as a death-chamber. All eagerly listened to her troubles, and, her statements being given in such a simple, convincing manner, many eyes were moist with tears. Justice Kersten, who presides over this court, has no regard for wife-beaters, and he promptly fined Baum $50.
“That,” said he, in an emphatic manner, “will keep you locked up for one hundred and three days.”
The brute was then locked up where so many of his former associates had been incarcerated two years previously, and in the afternoon he was sent to the House of Correction by Bailiff Scanlan.
During this episode it came out that Baum had been quite active in Anarchist circles, and at the time the Anarchists were confined in the County Jail he was engaged in an attempt to gather a mob to effect their liberation. One night he went about saying that he was determined to kill somebody before the next morning. The more he talked, the more frenzied he became, and with his frenzy grew his thirst for liquor, the need of which he felt to get up his courage to the required pitch. A few hours afterwards he was found in the yard fronting his house, asleep and “dead drunk.” The only courage he ever displayed was in lording it over his wife and beating her almost to death. He was a type of a very large class of Anarchists. He would call the better class of people tyrants, because they did not fill his pockets with plenty of money so that he could get drunk as often as he desired, but in his own household he was the meanest of tyrants.
THE WIFE-BEATER’S TRIAL.
Had Mrs. Baum been a little shrewder, she would not have had to endure his brutalities as long as she did. There are many other wives of Anarchists who are ill-treated by their husbands, but some of these managed to bring their lords to their senses by a neat ruse. While the investigations into the deeds of the Anarchists were going on the bandits would almost crawl into a sewer to get out of the way of the police, and, noticing the timely fright that overcame the “reds” whenever an officer or detective appeared in their midst, many shrewd wives quieted wrathful husbands by threatening to go out and see me. This ruse, I learn, was often resorted to to avert a beating from a drunken Anarchist.
Gustav Poch was a conspicuous figure in Anarchist plots, and never tired of working for the cause. But Anarchists are an anxious, jealous and thankless lot of people, and because Gustav was achieving a little more prominence than some of his immediate associates, they found fault with him and sought to degrade him. They might have secretly given him away to the police, and thus got him out of the way of their own advancement, but a fear for their own safety prevented such a course, and so they began calling him hard names. But I shall let Gustav state his own grievance. Here is a letter he wrote to his union:
Chicago, September 10, 1884.
At a meeting held on the 3rd of September, instant, of Branch No. 2, of Union No. 21, Carpenters and Joiners, the Secretary read a letter in which I, the undersigned, was insulted in a shameful manner. In this letter they called me a swindler simply for the purpose of breaking up the Union, and at the end of the letter they stated that I would be expelled from the Union on account of it. The letter was signed by Fr. Ebert and Dom. All these insults and injuries to my reputation I can’t let pass. My honor, my reputation and my future prosperity are damaged and at stake. I would, therefore, move that an investigation be made into the matter and that the instigators of the complaint be punished. What was their motive? For the last few weeks complaints have been made against me by the Secretary to the effect that I, as Acting Secretary, had made false entries on the books. As he could not exonerate himself in the eyes of my brothers, he drew up the letter, which was published at the meeting of September 3rd, and which was signed by Fritz Ebert and Dom, to put me in a bad light before the Union. The evidence: Fritz Ebert told me in the presence of John Zwirlein that the main object out of which this accusation originated was the following: I was selected by President Blair on the 3rd of May to the Main Committee in place of Brother Eppinger, who could not serve on account of having too much other work while the strike lasted. After that I held this position nineteen days. I got paid for twelve days, and they withheld seven days from me and said I was discharged from the Main Committee. Is there anything to show that I was expelled? Of course I put in my claim for $21 in writing, and no one ever told me what became of this claim. I was the only German-speaking representative on the Strike Committee, and I had to do more labor than any one else. Any one who participated in the strike during the last seven days can confirm this assertion. Now, how can Mr. Printer put up such a letter and show me up as a swindler?
In consequence of the insults inflicted on me, I beg for an investigation and for his punishment according to the rules and regulations of the Brotherhood.