The Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

The Haymarket Affair Evidence

What evidence survives, particularly from history's traumatic and controversial moments, is often random and incomplete. Most of what remains from the Haymarket Affair are documents and artifacts that some citizens decided, either around the time of the Haymarket Affair or afterward, ought to be preserved as part of the enduring narrative of the event. The Haymarket Affair Digital Collection includes material the Chicago Historical Society has preserved, and a few important documents from the Archives of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. (Documents and artifacts pertaining to the Haymarket Affair survive in other libraries, archives, and museums as well.)

  

By the time of the Haymarket Affair, the Chicago Historical Society was widely regarded as a repository for preserving the important documents and artifacts of Chicago's history. Many of the donors who gave Haymarket materials to the Chicago Historical Society were Chicagoans who had been involved in the event, or members of their families, such as Inspector John Bonfield and the grandson of Juror J. H. Brayton.

  

The Haymarket Affair was an event over which Chicagoans, indeed Americans in general, were deeply divided. Many condemned the trial as a grave miscarriage of justice and the execution of the defendants as a brutal act calculated to squelch the labor movement. Others viewed the defendants, and all anarchists, as terrorists and urged the execution of the defendants as a necessary measure to preserve civil order. Those who donated Haymarket materials to the Historical Society may have had in mind aspects of the Haymarket story, or even a particular version of the story, that they wanted to pass along to later generations through these objects and documents.

What is the Digital Collection? Next

Bomb from evidence book
Bomb from evidence book, People's Exhibit 129A.


Welcome to The Haymarket Affair Narrative
The Haymarket Affair Narrative
The Haymarket Affair Chronology
The Nature of Historical Evidence
The Haymarket Affair Evidence
What is the Digital Collection?
Highlights of the Collection
Building the Digital Collection
VIEW THE COLLECTION


 


Chicago Historical Society
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