Judge Grinnell’s Opening—Statement of the Case—The Light of the 4th of May—The Dynamite Argument—Spies’ Fatal Prophecy—The Eight-hour Strike—The Growth of the Conspiracy—Spies’ Cowardice at McCormick’s—The “Revenge” Circular—Work of the Arbeiter-Zeitung and the Alarm—The Secret Signal—A Frightful Plan—“Ruhe”—Lingg, the Bomb-maker—The Haymarket Conspiracy—The Meeting—“We are Peaceable”—After the Murder—The Complete Case Presented.
IT was on Thursday, the 15th of July, that the preliminary work was finally ended and the court was ready for a formal statement of the case. This statement was made by State’s Attorney Grinnell, and his arraignment of the defendants was such a clear, convincing and masterful argument—giving, as it did, the whole history of the Anarchist conspiracy, and foreshadowing eloquently and in detail all the proof which was to be got before the jury—that I will print here a verbatim copy of his speech, believing that the reader will find nowhere else so business-like a statement of what these prisoners did and how they did it.
During the delivery of Mr. Grinnell’s remarks the crowded court-room, prisoners and sympathizing Anarchists, wounded policemen, judge, jurors and representatives of the press hung upon his words with a keen interest which has seldom been duplicated in the annals of American jurisprudence.
Mr. Grinnell said:
“Gentlemen:—For the first time in the history of our country are people on trial for their lives for endeavoring to make Anarchy the rule, and in that attempt for ruthlessly and awfully destroying life. I hope that while the youngest of us lives this in his memory will be the last and only time in our country when such a trial shall take place. It will or will not take place as this case is determined.
“The State now and at no time hereafter will say aught to arouse your prejudices or your indignation, having confidence in the case that we present; and I hope I shall not at any time during this trial say anything to you which will in any way or manner excite your passions. I want your reason. I want your careful analysis. I want your careful attention. We—my associates and myself—ask the conviction of no man from malice, from prejudice, from anything except the facts and the law. I am here, gentlemen, to maintain the law, not to break it; and, however you may believe that any of these men have broken the law through their notions of Anarchy, try them on the facts. We believe, gentlemen, that we have a case that shall command your respect, and demonstrate to you the truthfulness of all the declarations in it, and, further, that by careful attention and close analysis you can determine who are guilty and the nature of the crime.
“On the 4th of May, 1886, a few short weeks ago, there occurred, at what is called Haymarket Square, the most fearful massacre ever witnessed or heard of in this country. The crime culminated there—you are to find the perpetrators. The charge against the defendants is that they are responsible for that act. The testimony that shall be presented to you will be the testimony which will show their innocence or their guilty complicity in that crime.
HON. JULIUS S. GRINNELL.
From a Photograph.
“We have been in this city inclined to believe, as we have all through the country, that, however extravagantly men may talk about our laws and our country, however severely they may criticise our Constitution and our institutions; that as we are all in favor of full liberty, of free speech, the great good sense of our people would never permit acts based upon sentiments which meant the overthrow of law. We have believed it for years; we were taught it at our schools in our infancy, we were taught it in our maturer years in school, and all our walks in life thereafter have taught us that our institutions, founded on our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and our universal freedom, were above and beyond all Anarchy. The 4th of May demonstrated that we were wrong, that we had too much confidence, that a certain class of individuals, some of them recently come here, as the testimony will show, believe that here in this country our Constitution is a lie. Insults are offered to the Declaration of Independence, the name of Washington is reviled and traduced, and we are taught by these men, as the testimony will show, that freedom in this country means lawlessness and absolute licence to do as we please, no matter whether it hurts others or not. In the light of the 4th of May we now know that the preachings of Anarchy, the suggestions of these defendants hourly and daily for years, have been sapping our institutions, and that where they have cried murder, bloodshed, Anarchy and dynamite, they have meant what they said, and proposed to do what they threatened.
“We will prove, gentlemen, in this case, that Spies no longer ago than last February said that they were armed in this city for bloodshed and riot. We will prove that he said then that they were ready in the city of Chicago for Anarchy, and when told, by a gentleman to whom he made the declaration, that they ‘would be hung like snakes,’ said—and there was the insult to the Father of our Country—then he said George Washington was no better than a rebel, as if there was any possible comparison between those declarations, between that sentiment of Washington’s and his noble deeds, and the Anarchy of this man. He has said in public meetings—and the details of them I will not now worry you with—he has said in public meetings for the last year and a half, to go back no further—he and Neebe and Schwab and Parsons and Fielden have said in public meetings here in the city of Chicago that the only way to adjust the wrongs of any man was by bloodshed, by dynamite, by the pistol, by the Winchester rifle. They have advised, as will appear in proof here, that dynamite was cheap, and ‘you had better forego some luxuries, buy dynamite, kill capitalists, down with the police, murder them, dispose of the militia, and then demand your rights.’ That is Anarchy.
“On the 11th day of October, 1885, in a prominent public hall upon the West Side, August Spies, the defendant in this case, and his confrères there, introduced a resolution at a public meeting, in which he said that he did not believe that the eight-hour movement would do the laboring man any good. We will prove in this case that he has always been opposed to the eight-hour law. That is not what he wants. He wants Anarchy. These defendants that I mentioned passed a resolution, which we shall offer in evidence here, and it shall be read to you later—to the effect that the laboring men must arm, must prepare themselves with rifles and dynamite. When? By the 1st of May, 1886, because then would come the contest.
“I will prove to you that Parsons—be it said to the shame of our country, because I understand that he was born on our soil—that Parsons, in an infamous paper published by him, called the Alarm, has defined the use of dynamite, told how it should be used, how capitalists could be destroyed by it, how policemen could be absolutely wiped from the face of the earth by one bomb; and further has published a plan in his paper of street-warfare by dynamite against militia and the authorities.
“Gentlemen, leaders of any great cause are either heroes or cowards. The testimony in this case will show that August Spies, Parsons, Schwab and Neebe are the biggest cowards that I have ever seen in the course of my life. They have advised the use of dynamite and have advised the destruction of property for months and years in the city of Chicago, and now pitifully smile at our institutions, as they have through their lives—and, like cowards contemplating crime, they sought to establish an alibi for the 4th of May, of which I will speak directly.
“I will prove to you further that in January last August Spies told a newspaper reporter of integrity, honesty and fidelity that they were going to precipitate the matter on or about the 1st of May; that he told this man how they could dispose of the police, and in that connection he told that reporter that they would arrange it so that their meeting should be at or near the intersection of two streets. Having this as Randolph Street and Desplaines (pointing on map), not calling it any particular name, and that he would have a meeting in which there should be assembled large bodies of laboring men, of which he falsely claims to be the exponent; that they would be located just above the intersection of the streets; that he and his dynamiters would be there; that they would be provided with dynamite bombs at the place of meeting; that they would hold a meeting there; that the police or the militia would walk up towards them; that when they got up there their dynamite-throwers would be situated on different sides of the street near the walks; that when they proceeded up here they would throw the dynamite into their ranks, clean them out and take possession of the town. ‘But,’ said the reporter to him, ‘Mr. Spies, that sounds to me like braggadocio and vaporing nonsense.’ That is, gentlemen, what it has sounded to us for years. Let it sound no longer like that to us. Spies said to him, red in the face and excited: ‘I tell you I am telling the truth, and mark my words, that it will happen on or about the 1st of May, 1886.’ And the reason he was so ready to say so was because he believes our Constitution is a lie, our institutions are not worthy of respect, and he desires to pose as a leader, although in fact a coward.
“That is not all, gentlemen. Mr. Spies at that interview at that time handed that gentlemanly reporter—and I will commend him to you now, whatever may be your notion of newspaper men. Look at that man when he goes upon the stand and judge him by his words and by his appearance. He, Spies, did more than what I have said. At that time he handed to the newspaper reporter a dynamite bomb, empty—almost the exact duplicate of the bomb Lingg made which killed the officers; handed it to this witness and said to him: ‘These are the bombs that our men are making in the city of Chicago, and they are distributed from the Arbeiter-Zeitung office, because the men who make them have not the facilities for distributing them, and we distribute them here.’
“Those are facts that will be proven here.
“I want to suggest to you now, gentlemen, this is a vastly more important case than perhaps any of you have a conception of. Perhaps I have been with it so long, have investigated it so much, come in contact with such fearful and terrible things so often, that my notions may be somewhat exaggerated; but I think not. I think they are worse even than my conception has pictured. The firing upon Fort Sumter was a terrible thing to our country, but it was open warfare. I think it was nothing compared with this insidious, infamous plot to ruin our laws and our country secretly and in this cowardly way; the strength of our institutions may depend upon this case, because there is only one step beyond republicanism—that is Anarchy. See that we never take that step, and let us stand to-day as we have stood for years, firmly planted on the laws of our country.
“After teaching Anarchy, bombs, the manufacture of them and everything of that character for months, and I may say for years, here in town, having put the ball in motion, having done everything toward the end they declared should be accomplished—towards the end they sought—then began the numerous conspiracies. The beginning of the whole matter was among the nest of snakes in the Arbeiter-Zeitung office, and the foundation of the conspiracy, published, notorious and open, was at West Twelfth Street Turner Hall, on the 11th of October last. At that time, on the introduction of that resolution by Spies, it was opposed by one man in the audience, who is a labor agitator, but not an Anarchist—opposed by one man in that audience, and he was denounced; he was told to take a back seat, and in support of the resolution it was there said by Spies—and a man, as I understand, by the name of Belz was chairman—that the time for argument has passed; the only argument by which to meet these things was dynamite and the rifle—by force.
“As is well known, requiring no proof, for a long time before, it was arranged by a universal arrangement or consent among all the laboring classes in town that there should be a universal strike for eight hours, to take place on or about the 1st day of May. On the 1st day of May began those strikes. On the 2nd—on the 3d—the 2nd was Sunday—on the 3d day of May, on Monday, you will remember from your reading, as it will appear in proof here, there was difficulty at McCormick’s factory down on what they called the Black Road. The fact about that meeting was this: A large number of lumber-shovers, or men who work in the lumber-yards, had a meeting appointed to wait on the lumber-dealers, There were a great many of them Bohemians, some Germans, and some of other nationalities—mostly embraced in those two nationalities that I first spoke of, but all nationalities represented there. The chief officers and the chief men in the movement were Bohemians. Some of them will be presented to you by us. The committee that was to wait upon the lumber-dealers was to report there in an open place called the Black Road, or in that locality, to the meeting, what the lumber-dealers proposed. In other words, a peaceful proposition was made by that committee to the lumbermen to accede to eight hours, and a meeting was held there; the committee were to come back from the lumber-dealers and report to that meeting. Spies and a man by the name of Fehling—who ought also to have been in this indictment, and I will say just a word later about that—one other man whose identity we have not fully established—went down there uninvited by any of that committee, or by the chairman of it—went down there and made an inflammatory speech for the purpose of precipitating that riot. That is the truth. It was precipitated. I am rather inclined to think that some other of these men were there. I am not going to state anything to you here, at any time, in this case, that I do not believe I can prove. I know Spies was there, and spoke from the top of a car. He wrote up the speech later on, which I will speak of directly. The president of that organization down there, the laborers, opposed his speaking and informed the people that this man was not one of them, but that he was a Socialist, and they did not want to hear him. He insisted upon speaking, and the friend that was with him has fled the city and does not dare return. That will be in proof. Spies did the unmanly thing that he always does. He exasperated other people to rush on McCormick’s regardless of the president of that committee, who desired quiet and peace and desired it honestly, although he was in favor of eight hours. But Spies is not anxious for eight hours. We will prove that in this case. He does not want eight hours. If the laboring men—if the bosses and employers in the city of Chicago on the 1st day of May had universally acceded to the eight-hour project, Spies was a dead duck; they would have had no further use for him, and he didn’t want it. Therefore he went down there and exasperated the people, and he made a speech. The police didn’t come on the ground until after McCormick’s was attacked, and until after stones and bombs were used, or pistols and lead against McCormick’s factory. What does Spies do, this redoubtable knight? He runs away and gets home just as soon as he can. He takes a car and comes north. I will say nothing more about that meeting for the present. Let us follow Spies. Now, mind you, he saw trouble. He had exasperated this crowd to attack McCormick’s; they did attack McCormick’s, and stones were thrown by the mob at McCormick’s men—some of them—they are called scabs; they didn’t happen to belong to any union. Of course my opinion about that may be different from some of yours; I will not criticise. I believe one man is just as good as another, whether he belongs to a union or not. If he is an honest man and desires to work, I think he ought to be permitted to work. But those fellows didn’t belong to the union. They swam across the river, got away the best they could, saved their lives. But what does Spies do? He rushes away as soon as he can, when he sees the starting of the difficulty; when he has got everybody inflamed into frenzy and madness he quietly gets out to save his august person; he quietly gets out and goes away. That is not all. He lands that afternoon at the corner of Desplaines and Lake, where there was a crowd of other men, laborers meeting there, and pronounces a lie by telling them that ‘twelve or fourteen of your brothers have been killed at McCormick’s, and by the bloodhounds, the police.’ Spies knew as well as anything that he ever knew in his life that he was uttering a falsehood. He knew, if he knew anything, that, so far as his observation was concerned, not a man had been killed—not a single man had been killed—and he inflamed the people there by his suggestion, heated as he was and showing excitement, coming in there at Desplaines and Lake at that meeting, inflaming those people so that they were then ready to go with the torch and the sword and level everything before them.
“That is not all. He left there about four o’clock in the afternoon, perhaps between four and five, and went to this nest of treason and Anarchy, No. 107 Fifth Avenue, and there about five o’clock arrived, heated, excited, and told his men not to stop work, that he wanted to use them. What did he do? He then and there wrote what is called the ‘Revenge’ circular. It is written in English and in German. The English part is tame, more tame than the German—and he knew what he was doing then; there was a plan in that. We have the circular as printed, which will be presented to you. We have in addition to that the type from which it was printed; we have in addition to that the manuscript from which the type was set. The manuscript is in Spies’ handwriting! That ‘Revenge’ circular, gentlemen, perpetrated another lie. It said that ‘six of your brothers have been killed at McCormick’s.’ He decreased it a little. That ‘Revenge’ circular was hurriedly passed out to all the German settlements of the town and everywhere, by every possible means. Neebe distributed them; others distributed them. They were ‘revenge;’ revenge for what? Revenge for the declared murder of the brothers of the laboring men at McCormick’s Monday afternoon—when he had no knowledge that a single man was killed. I have since learned and shall prove that one man did die days or weeks afterwards from wounds he did receive there, and only one.
“I want to suggest another thing to you here. It will appear in proof—because we have had the German part of that circular translated—that the German part of that circular is the most infamous thing that ever was in print. The translation of the German part of that circular is not like the English part. A man picking up the circular who was an English scholar—as I remember, the English part of the circular comes first, and following that is the German part—and any man, even some of these German newspaper men, would pick that up, and the first thing they would read would be the English part, not the German. They would read the English hastily through and they would say, ‘That’s some of Spies’ vaporing nonsense again; nothing very serious about it, but bad—bad taste—bad judgment in inflamed times.’ But the revenge circular as printed in German is altogether a different thing. It is not only treason and Anarchy, but a bid to bloodshed, and a bid to war. Anybody reading the English part of that circular would drop it—even the Germans. And the German newspapers until afterwards did not perceive the dissimilarity between the two, the English and the German. Now, where is this matter read? It is fortunate for the English-speaking people that defendants embrace only two of that class; one of them was born in this country, the other in England. That circular was read among the Germans. That circular was spread throughout the western part and the northern part of the city of Chicago and in other places, at the instance of Spies, who had it circulated himself. ‘Revenge on the bloodhounds, the police.’ For his life, in regard to those who were killed, he could not have known whether anybody was killed or not, because he took care of his royal person so speedily after the difficulty at McCormick’s that he had no chance to know whether anybody was killed, and he took good care to see that he was not hurt. So much for the ‘Revenge’ circular.
“Now, gentlemen, we are getting down to the 4th of May. There is more in it than this. Monday was the 3d day of May; Tuesday was the 4th, the day the bomb was thrown. Everything was ripe with the Anarchists for ruining the town. Bombs were to be thrown in all parts of the city of Chicago. Everything was to be done that could be done to ruin law and order. I wish to say right here, gentlemen, that the proof in this case will develop a strange state of facts in regard to the complicity of others in this matter, and in that particular perhaps there ought to be some apology for myself. The conspiracy was so large, the number of criminals interested in that conspiracy so appalling, that I distrusted my own judgment, and, whereas in my soul I believed that at least thirty men and perhaps more should have been indicted for murder, the developments in the case were of that kind, when the grand jury was in session, that the facts could not all clearly be known. And further, there was that feeling and inspiration in the matter, if you please, that the leaders, the men who have incited these things, the men who have caused this anarchy and bloodshed here, and who seek for more—that they should be picked out and, if possible, punished and blotted out.
“The Arbeiter-Zeitung, the paper itself—we shall attempt to show you in proof here its circulation, or its sworn issue for a year. We will have them translated for you. We will also attempt to show to you from the Alarm, the English organ of the Anarchists—that is what it is called, just think of it—the English organ of the Anarchists, published by the redoubtable and courageous Parsons. We will show you in proof its writings and its sentiments, its invitations to Anarchy, to bloodshed, to the throwing of bombs, and his advice to people how to make bombs.
“If I prove only this that I have stated to you, it seems to me that from every principle of law and evidence, from every principle of justice, the men whose names I have mentioned should be punished.
“But one step more. This was Monday night, remember, that Spies wrote the ‘Revenge’ circular. That was not all he wrote. He himself wrote the account of his speech, wrote the account of the McCormick riot, wrote his notions about it, and that is in his handwriting. We have the manuscript. And in that he said this, gentlemen—that ‘so far as the McCormick matter was concerned it was a failure, and if there only had been one bomb the result might have been different.’ The one bomb at least was supplied by his inflammatory utterances the next night.
“On Monday evening, after Spies had inflamed these people up there—on Monday in the daytime, rather, appeared in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, a newspaper published at 107 Fifth Avenue—it is a four-page paper, it has been constantly and carefully read in the progress of this trial by the gentlemen seated over there in a row—in the Arbeiter-Zeitung appeared on Monday, in a column devoted to editorial notices, a secret word for the meeting of the armed men. That was in German—the letter ‘Y,’ called ypsilon in German—“Ypsilon, come Monday night.” Ypsilon was the secret word agreed on by the armed men to meet in secret session, when they saw printed in this treasonable sheet that secret word. As I am informed and believe from the proof, Balthasar Rau wrote that secret word. The armed men of the Anarchists, to be brief, are those of the Anarchists who are willing to throw bombs and fire pistols behind people’s backs. It is divided into groups. Why, all their literature from Pittsburg to San Francisco, including the pen of Neebe, Spies, Schwab and Parsons—all of them have advised how to make up groups, based upon the Anarchistic notions. On that page appears this secret word. Balthasar Rau is the confidential friend of Spies, works in their office; he is not an editorial writer, he is not a writer at all, unless he occasionally essays to say something in print. I do not know, but I believe that that is his writing, the letter ‘Y’ in German—‘Come Monday night.’ That is all there was of it. What does it mean? Pursuant to that secret word, on Monday night—that is the same night that Spies got back from McCormick’s—on that night the armed men did assemble pursuant to ‘Ypsilon, come Monday night,’ and they knew where to go to. They went to Greif’s Hall. Greif’s Hall is on Lake Street, just east of Clinton.” Mr. Grinnell indicated the points on a map. “This is Zepf’s Hall (indicating); the name will be mentioned to you. Here is Desplaines Street Station, so that you can keep in your mind from this map the idea. Here is Desplaines Street Station; north up here to Lake, Zepf’s Hall; east, Greif’s Hall. They met. Greif’s Hall is a four-story building, as I remember; a family lives in it, there is a saloon, and down in the basement is a place for truck and one thing and another, and also a rough-and-ready place for meetings. The armed men were there; Fischer was there; Lingg was there; Engel was there. The armed men met there with others—other armed men than those that I have mentioned. They pass into Greif’s Hall; they say to Mr. Greif: ‘Have you a hall we can take?’ He said: ‘No, my halls are all occupied;’ one kind of labor association was meeting in one hall, and another in another; but he said, ‘If you want the basement’—and I have a plan and map of the basement—‘if you want the basement, go down stairs and hold your meeting.’ So these men, the numbers of them variously estimated from thirty to sixty, meet in that place. Among them were Fischer, Lingg, Engel and Schnaubelt. Schnaubelt is in this indictment, and not here. He has run away. These men met in this hall underneath the saloon, a dingy and dark basement—the only proper place for conspirators—by the light of a dingy lamp—and they held an organized meeting. The plan of warfare was devised—not for the next night. I will explain that. But for some night. Engel, a man who is gray, has been in this country some years and talks some English—he understands me, and laughs and smiles at every word I utter—Engel was at that meeting that night, and told the plan. I am going to be brief about the recitation of that plan. That was the most fearfully declared plan that I ever heard in my life. It meant destruction to this town absolutely if this programme had been carried out. Engel said: ‘When you see printed in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, under the Letter-box, the word ‘Ruhe,’ that night prepare for war.’ ‘Ruhe’ means ‘rest,’ ‘peace.’ The manuscript for that is in our possession and is in the handwriting of Spies. That word on Tuesday morning appeared in the Arbeiter-Zeitung and in a double lead, with an emphasis under it, before it and behind it. It meant ‘war.’ They understood it; and Engel refers to Fischer in the meeting and he says: ‘Is not this the order of the Northwest group?’ That isanother group for conspiracy and treason. Fischer said ‘Yes.’ As I am informed, Fischer undertook to carry the word back to the Arbeiter-Zeitung office and have it inserted. Fischer was the foreman of the Arbeiter-Zeitung office at that time. He carried the word back, I assume. Spies wrote it out, double-leaded it, made it emphatic, and they were ready for war.
“But that was not all. Somebody had to make the bombs. Lingg was there, and he said that he would make the bombs. He was the bomb-maker of the Anarchists, and we have found and traced to him at least twenty-two of these infernal machines, one of which passed from his hands to the man who threw it at the Haymarket Square. I will prove to your absolute satisfaction that Lingg made the bomb that killed the officers, and will show to you that it was his bomb, and his manufacture alone. Lingg lived at No. 442 Sedgwick Street, occupied a room in Seliger’s house. Seliger is in this indictment for murder also. He is not on trial. I am not yet prepared to say whether the State will use him as a witness or not. I will have a suggestion to make on that subject directly.
“Lingg was to make the bombs. Engel devised the plan and deliberately told him over and over so that there would be no mistake. Now, what was the plan? That these conspirators should proceed to Lingg’s house that next night, or before night, and obtain from Lingg the bombs. He had already sixteen halves, or eight whole bombs. But he wanted more, and they were to be filled with dynamite on Tuesday afternoon.
“And what next? Then these people were informed where they could obtain them, and he was to go, as he did, in the evening, or between seven and eight o’clock, to Neff’s Hall, at No. 58 Clybourn Avenue. They went to work. There Seliger helped fill the bombs that afternoon. Lingg was there. Lingg left in the afternoon. He didn’t stay there through it all, but came back again. I do not think that Lingg was at the Haymarket that night; he may have been; I don’t think he was. His part on the programme—part of it had been performed—was to furnish the bombs and do the work elsewhere.
“Now, gentlemen, just look at this plan, and this is the plan that Engel told them should be performed. They were to get these bombs; certain of them were to be at the Haymarket Square, where this meeting was; and in this meeting, mind you, in this conspiracy meeting the programme was that there should be at least twenty-five thousand laboring men present; that they would not hold the meeting down on the square, but that they would get up in the street, because they were out in a great open place there, the police could come down on them and clean them all out; but they must get back where the alleys were, instead of holding the meeting down here where it was advertised. You see there are two blocks here. Instead of holding the meeting on this broad spot here (indicating on the map), they were to hold it up here; and that very thing was discussed down there that night in the conspiracy meeting, as to the feasibility of holding it here where the police could corner them. Then these individuals with the bombs were to distribute themselves in different parts of the city. They were to destroy the station-houses; they were to throw bombs at every patrol wagon that they saw going toward the Haymarket Square with police officers. They expected there would be a row down there at the Haymarket Square, of course. There was going to be one bomb thrown there at least, and perhaps more, and that would call the police down; but the police must be taken care of and must not be permitted to go, and theywere to be destroyed, absolutely wiped off from the earth by bombs in other parts of the city. And Lingg went around with bombs in his pocket that night and desired to throw them at a patrol wagon and was only restrained by his friends. And they were to build a fire up toward Wicker Park—some building was to be set on fire for the purpose of attracting the police in that direction and scattering them about. Others were to take other parts of the city and burn them so that they would be destroyed.
“Now, this sounds as if it was a large story. But that is what Spies had been talking for years; that is what Parsons had been talking for years; that is what he came back here so courageously, on the arm of the learned counsel on the other side, to hear again in court.
“That meeting that night was fruitful of great results. A bomb was thrown at the Haymarket, and seven killed and many others injured. It is not necessary for me to go into any more of the details of that conspiracy. It was carried out to the letter.
“Now, there is one other little step in this case, gentlemen, that I wish to bring to your attention. When that ‘Revenge’ circular was circulated, Fischer, immediately thereafter, and at the conspiracy meeting—Fischer is the foreman printer of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and the immediate friend of Spies and all these people—Fischer was to advertise, to see that the proper number of people came to that meeting, and he got up an advertisement, and it was printed. He ordered twenty thousand. That advertisement will be presented to you in the proof. That advertisement called for ‘Revenge’ and ‘A big meeting of the workingmen at the Haymarket Square on Tuesday night.’ Now, you see, the ‘Ruhe’ had appeared. The conspiracy was all complete; everything was arranged; there was only one step more to make—to get the laboring men there—because, thank God, all the laboring men were not in this conspiracy. A very few were in it. It is to their credit, gentlemen; and in my investigation in this case I have more respect for the laboring man than I had before. The laboring man as a class is an honest man, and when he saw the ‘Revenge’ circular and the call ‘to arms’ he stayed away. Fischer had the advertisement printed, and the last sentence is this: ‘Workingmen, come armed.’ But that was a little too much for Spies; that was too close home. After about five thousand of these circulars were printed, Spies orders that sentence stricken out; but the whole twenty thousand were distributed, and with Spies’ knowledge. Spies was preparing the alibi.
“On the evening of Tuesday, at 107 Fifth Avenue, there was a meeting of these conspirators, of these Anarchists, of what is called the American group, that Parsons and Fielden and, I suppose, Spies belong to, and some others. That was held at 107 Fifth Avenue. That is at the Arbeiter-Zeitung office. They were there on Tuesday night. Parsons was on Halsted Street, to be sure, but yet seemed anxious to get away and go down to this other meeting on the South Side. He went down there. The meeting was advertised for a large number of laboring men. The laboring men did not materialize to any large extent. Between Halsted and Desplaines there were hundreds of people walking backwards and forwards, wondering why the meeting did not take place. It was advertised for half past seven; they expected to precipitate the matter at half past seven, because, pursuant to ‘Ruhe’ and the other declarations, and pursuant to Engel and Lingg and Fischer’s arrangement at the conspiracy meeting, they were to begin their work in the other parts of the city about eight o’clock, as they expected the police would precipitate the difficulty—they would precipitate the difficulty by the police coming about eight, or between half past seven and eight. Good speakers were advertised, yet no names given. Spies went over there that night himself, wandered around, seemed careless, walked over here with his friend Schnaubelt, up to the other street—with Schwab, too. Schwab went away finally and went up to Deering. They marched backwards and forwards there, and finally Spies comes back to the corner here and opens the meeting, and says, when he opens it: ‘We will not obstruct that road on Randolph Street, but will go up here.’ So he got where he had always said they would get, just above the intersection of the streets. They got up there on the wagon, and Spies opened the meeting.
“Now, gentlemen, we have got down to the meeting. I have endeavored to give you, in a kind of historical way, how this thing leads up to, without saying specifically, the proof. I have told you that we would prove declarations of these men, time out of number, about dynamite and bombs, and the destruction of property and the destruction of the police. That we will attempt to do. There is no need of my specifying or saying what each individual witness will say.
“Neebe has upheld bloodshed and riot time and again, although from all the inquiries put to you it would seem as if he was known as one of these peaceable, peaceful, quiet labor organizers.
“The laboring men did not come to any large extent. There probably were not two thousand men there at any time, even early in the evening. There were not enough there to get up a riot. They could not get up a riot with such a small number as that, and they were compelled to have somebody speak to keep what they had; they were dissolving—going away. Now, Spies was there. He is the man, I think, that knew of ‘Ruhe;’ I think that he himself will state—I think others will state—that they knew of all the circumstances about the ‘Ruhe,’ and about what they were going to do. I think the proof will show that he knew of the whole conspiracy. He did not stop it. They will undertake to show that he tried to. Now, I want you to watch that carefully. We will have something to say on that subject as the basis of all this. There never was a great criminal in the world, especially if he was a coward, but what, if he undertook to commit a great crime and wanted to conceal himself, he prepared an alibi. Parsons, Fielden, Schwab, Neebe and Spies prepared that alibi. They were going to let these three other men suffer, let the man that threw the bomb suffer; but they, who had been teaching dynamite for years, asking people to throw bombs for years—they, after the bomb had been thrown, were going to say that they were not liable at all.
“Now, at that meeting, Spies got back up here and opened the meeting. There was some significance in the very way he opened it. We will have it all here. Fortunately, one of the newspaper reporters—Mr. English, of the Tribune—stood there with his overcoat on, with his hands in his pocket, not daring to take his paper out, and took a minute of everything that was said—wrote in shorthand, with his hand in his pocket, what they said, as long as he could. Spies opened the meeting up here near the alley. A wagon was standing there upon which they stood and from which they spoke. Spies found that the meeting was going to dissolve; there wasn’t going to be any interference by the police to any extent unless they could keep that crowd there. So he sends Balthasar Rau over to the Arbeiter-Zeitung office, where the American group were. Now, how did he know that they were over there? They went over to the Arbeiter-Zeitung office to get Parsons, Fielden and the rest of them to come over and address the meeting, and they came over, and we will have what they said—where speeches were inflammatory, denunciatory, crying for bloodshed—everything of that character.
“Gentlemen, I have called several of these men cowards. The testimony will show that they are. I am rather inclined to think that Fielden, although he is an Anarchist, is the only man in the whole crowd that stood his ground that night.
“The history of the throwing of that bomb shows that the police did not interfere any too soon. Gentlemen, it is our humble opinion, from looking this case all over, that Inspector Bonfield, although it is sad to think that life is destroyed—I think Inspector Bonfield did the wisest thing that he possibly could have done, to have called the police there that night as he did. If he had not, the next night it would have had to be done, or the next, and whereas seven poor men are dead, there would have been instead hundreds, perhaps thousands. I say again, to the credit of Bonfield and the police, I wish it understood that at that meeting it was the wisest thing that ever happened to this town, although cruel as it may seem in the light of the fact that seven died. Hundreds and perhaps thousands were saved. Anarchy had been taught and cried for months; it had almost come with its demoralization, and the strength and courage of the police saved the town.
“About ten o’clock, from the reports coming to Bonfield, as will appear in proof, the inflammatory utterances of these American citizens, of these people, had decided Bonfield that the meeting must be broken up. He was wise. He passed down there with his force of police, and, gentlemen, not a policeman except the commanding officer in front had a weapon in his hand. They marched down there shoulder to shoulder, covering the whole street, and came to the wagon. Fielden was shouting to the police, talking about the bloodhounds as they advanced, because he was facing them as he spoke. He probably saw them as they turned the corner. They formed here (indicating on the map), in this court back here, and marched into the street at Desplaines, occupying almost the entire width of the street, facing down—what we may call up Desplaines Street, north towards where this meeting was. The meeting was held about the vicinity of that alley. This property here, all through there, is Crane’s factory—R. T. Crane & Co. Here is an alley that runs in through here. Eagle Street is here, and of course here is Lake, and here is Randolph. Fielden was speaking; the police came up to the wagon; Captain Ward stepped up to the crowd and told them that he commanded them, in the name of the people of the State of Illinois, to depart, to leave, to disperse. He made the ordinary statutory declaration. Fielden stepped from the wagon and said: ‘We are peaceable,’ so that it could be heard a long distance around him. At that moment a man, who a moment before had been on the wagon, stepped to the corner of that alley, lighted the bomb and threw it into the police. Fielden stepped from the wagon and began firing. He is the only one, I told you, of the crowd, that has got any of the elements of the hero in him; he was willing to stand his ground. The others fled. Parsons never did a manly thing in his life, and neither did the others. They are not for law; they are against the law. Although Fielden is against the law, he did have the English stubbornness to stand up there and shoot, and he fired from over the wagon until finally he disappeared.
“I have given you in detail a good deal of the proof. I have told you the reason that I did it was, not only for your own edification, but so that these gentlemen could know what we expect to prove. We have nothing to conceal, we have nothing to hide. We expect as fair a statement from them as to their case.
“I have only a word or two more to you, gentlemen. Remember, gentlemen, that this meeting was called for half-past seven. The police did not appear until half-past ten. There are nearly three long hours—about half-past ten, between ten and half-past ten. The bomb-throwers had become discouraged. Those individuals that were situated in different parts of the town had not received the communication, because the conspiracy embraced the fact that spies were to be located there to scatter the word, and then was to continue this destruction. The police came so late, and so many went away, that it was absolutely coming very near to being a fiasco. They had been arranging for it for months. The conspiracy had been clearly declared and established. The only thing they needed was the crowd. The crowd failed to come. The police failed to interfere, and finally, at the last moment, having interfered, most of those that were there had gone. And there was another thing. These men that were interested in the throwing of the bomb were paralyzed, notwithstanding their firing and the shooting, by the attitude of the police who stood up there; and in all my examination of these men, asking each and every one of them as far as I could what they did there that night, I have failed to find a man that ran. They stood up there and fired at these wretches who were pouring into them, from both sides of the street, a volley of shots from pistols. One bomb was fired and thrown, and just the moment that happened, not a policeman with his club—scarcely one—not a policeman with a pistol in his hand, but every one standing there waiting for orders. The bomb was thrown, and the firing began from both sides of the policemen and from the crowd, and them alone. The police never fired a shot until after many of their men had already bit the dust.
“I will attempt to show to you, gentlemen, who threw the bomb, from this locality (indicating on map). I have said to you that the bomb that was thrown was made by Lingg. I will prove that.
“I have one other suggestion to make to you. There never was a conspiracy in the world, either small or great—not a conspiracy ever established in the world, but what there was needed some conspirator to give the first information of its existence and its purposes. I want you to be cautious, gentlemen, about an unjust criticism of any member of that conspiracy who first gave us the ideas about it and its ends. Seliger gave us the information, the first information, which led to the knowledge of this terrible conspiracy, led to the knowledge of the facts relating to it. I said to you, we may not use Seliger; but I say to you this, gentlemen, that not a single conspirator placed upon the witness-stand by the State shall be so placed there without we can do something to corroborate his statements; and even if we do not, I have yet to learn of a man that dare say that that conspiracy did not exist. And so far as that is concerned as a question of law, when a conspirator or a co-conspirator gives his testimony in court, you have a right to reject it if you desire. But, gentlemen, before you reject it the court will simply instruct you in regard to a conspirator’s testimony that his testimony is to be considered like any other witness, and that you have a right to consider his credibility in view of the fact that he is a co-conspirator.
“This indictment is for murder, a serious charge. Under our statute the jury fixes the penalty. If murder, the penalty is not less than fourteen years; it may be for life; it may be the death penalty. For manslaughter, the lower degree under murder, under our statute, which is somewhat different from statutes in other States, the penalty is any number of years’ imprisonment and may be for life. The indictment in this case is for murder. There are a great many counts here, but the chief thing is the count against these men for murder. Now, it is not necessary in a case of this kind, nor in any case of murder, or any other kind, that the individual who commits the exact and particular offense—for instance, the man who threw the bomb—should be in court at all. He need not even be indicted. The question for you to determine is, having ascertained that a murder was committed, not only who did it, but who is responsible for it, who abetted it, assisted it, or encouraged it? There is no question of law in the case.
“We will show to you, I think to your entire satisfaction, that, although perhaps none of these men personally threw that bomb, they each and all abetted, encouraged and advised the throwing of it, and therefore are as guilty as the individual who in fact threw it. They are accessories.
“I have talked to you, gentlemen, longer than I expected to, and chiefly so that you would know something about this case, know something about the facts. I have given you not, perhaps, all the details, but I have given you, as a whole, the facts. I want you to patiently listen to the evidence in this case from both sides, and be careful in your analysis. You have, most of you, been here some time, and you have been admirably patient. Only continue that way, and be patient in the matter, and make up your minds when the testimony is all presented, and not before. It may take some days to get at the proof and to place it all before you, so that you can clearly understand it. A great deal of the proof has to come from the mouths of witnesses whose language will have to be interpreted to you. That will take more time. But the whole case will finally be presented to you substantially, I think, as I have stated it. I will now leave the matter with you.”