Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Lawrence Hardy, 1886 July 24.
Volume J, 365-371, 7 p.
Reporter, Chicago Times.
Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. Cross-examination by Mr. Foster. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.
Attended a March 12, 1886 meeting at Zepf's Hall where he heard Spies, Fielden and Parsons speak. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): plans for warfare against the police and/or capitalists (vol.J 369), call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.J 367), Zepf's Hall (vol.J 365), Spies, August (vol.J 366), Parsons, Albert (vol.J 366), Fielden, Samuel (vol.J 366).
a witness for the people, having been duly sworn, was examined in chief by Mr. Ingham, and testified as follows:
Q What is your name?
A Lawrence Hardy.
Q What is your business, Mr. Hardy?
A Newspaper reporter.
Q How long have you been connected with the newspapers in this city.
A Since 1874.
Q Do you know the defendants or any of them, by sight?
A I know Mr. Parsons, Mr. Fielden, Mr. Schwab, Mr: Neebe and Mr. Spies.--I have seen Mr. Neebe and know who he is.
Q Were you present at a meeting on the 12th of March, of this year?
A Yes sir.
Q Where was that meeting held?
A At Zepf's Hall, corner of Des Plaines and West Lake.
Q You were present as a newspaper man, were you?
A Yes sir. I was there from the Chicago Times.
Q What took place after you got there?
Objected to. Objection overruled. Exception by defendants.
Q Just tell the story of the meeting.
MR. BLACK--Does your Honor hold that without any evidence that any of the defendants were there, that is competent?
THE COURT--That is what they are going on to prove.
MR. BLACK--How do you know that they are? He has not asked that.
He said "Go on and tell what occurred there. "--At which point we object.
THE COURT--Well, questions here are not put with the precision of problems in geometry, but they ought to be. Well, precede the question with that inquiry.
MR. INGHAM--Did you see any of these defendants at that meeting?
A Yes sir.
Q Which ones did you see there?
A Mr. Spies, Mr. Fielden, Mr. Parsons.
Q Did you hear any of these three men make speeches?
A I did sir.
Q How many of them?
A All of them.
Q Now, tell what took place after they entered the meeting and what was said by them.
Objected to in behalf of all the defendants as immaterial, and in behalf of the five other than the three named particularly, as incompetent. Objection overruled; exception by defendants.
A The Meeting wws on Friday night, March 12. I got there just as it was called to order, and I arrived at the meeting, I guess, at halfpast 7 or a quarter of 8; it had just been called to order and I cannot recall now who was the speaker. I think, it was one of the strikers at McCormick's factory. It was called a meeting of McCormick's ex-employes, but shortly after that, I think about a
quarter after 8 or half past 8, Mr. Fielden made his way to the platform, and talked I should think for about twenty- or twenty-five minutes. He was the first speaker of the three that I heard.
Q What did Fielden say?
A Well, I cannot recall. I made no particular notes of his speech and I cannot recall all that he did say, but I do recall a portion of it.
Q Well, give the portion which you can recall.
Q Among other things which he said, he said that the time had come for the workingmen to assert themselves. He said, "We are told that we must attain our ends, or aims, by obeying law and order". He said "Damn law and order;" He says "We have obeyed law and order long enough; the time has come for you men to strangle the law, or the law will strangle you." He said "What you should do is to organize and march up the Black Road, and take possession of McCormick's factory. It belongs to you it does not belong to him. You, made it, he didn't." And he continued in that strain for some little time.
Q Did you hear Spies make any speech that night?
A Mr. Spies made a speech in German, which I do not understand, sir.
Q Did you hear any other of the defendants make a speech that night?
A Mr. Parsons.
Q What did Parsons say?
A Well, Mr Parsons had some difficulty in getting to the stand.
The meeting was called by McCormick's men.
MR. FOSTER--Just what occurred there.
MR. INGHAM--Tell what occurred there?
A He got on a chair first in the audience, near the stage and tried to make a speech. But there was so much noise in the Hall that he did not succeed. Finally, he made his way to the stage.
Q Now, was there opposition to his speaking?
A There was, sir.
Q Who was that opposition from?
A Well, I inferred it came from the McCormick people.
Q Can you give the names of any who opposed it?
A No sir, I cannot.
Q Do you remember anything that was said in opposition to his speaking at the time by anyone--whether you remember their names or not?
A I recollect that somebody in the body of the house,--
MR. FOSTER--I suppose the defendants here are not bound by what somebody else did.
THE COURT--It is not a question as to whether they are bound by it or not, but in describing a meeting the whole that took place at the meeting is admissible, and then what it proves is a question for the jury.
MR. FOSTER--Well, I do not see how that is in the chain of prrof at all. Now, for instance, he says there was objection. That is
all right. There might have been, to his speaking at all; that is not material, to know, but what he spoke and what he said is material.
THE COURT--All meetings which any of the defendants were present at, the whole proceedings of the meetings are admissible. Then whether they assented or dissented is a question which the jury are to pass upon. The whole proceedings are admissible. (To witness) Proceed.
A There was somebody in the body of the hall objected to Mr. Parsons making a speech or being allowed to take the stand.
MR. FOSTER--Just tell what was said.
THE COURT--What was said.
A He said, "This is a meeting of McCormick's men, as I understand it." Upon which there was some disorder or noise in the rear of the hall, and Mr. Parsons, within a moment or two jumped down from the chair and made his way to the stage and began his speech which---well, am I to go on?
MR. INGHAM--Go on, yes sir. Tell whatever he said.
A He referred to the capitalists as having ground the workingmen under their heel and having robbed them for years past; he said that the time, he thought, had come for them to assert their rights to get them if they could, even by force, if necessary. He referred to the McCormick strike in particular, and stated that Mr. McCormick himself was not the real owner of the property; that it belonged to the workingmen who had created it. He referred to the strike of the year previous, July last year. And among other
things, stated that he thought that that had failed, if I recollect right, through the intercession of the police who had driven the men away. Abused the Pinkerton men.
MR. BLACK--Did he say intercession or interference?
A Interference, rather, yes. Excuse me. And he advised them to-I cannot say that he said, to arm themselves, but to get their rights by force, in some way.
MR. INGHAM-- Was anything said by either of these men about going to McCormick's? About the working men going to McCormick's, that you can recollect.
A Nothing except in Mr. Fielden's speech, where he advised them to go up on the Black road to the factory and take possession of the works; that they belonged to them.
Q How much of the time was Spies there?
A Well, I don't know. Mr. Spies I saw shortly after I came into the room, and saw him make his way toward the stand, heard what he had to say, and he disappeared. I did not watch him closely.
Q You could not understand him?
A I could not understand him and did not watch him after that.
Q Was he there while Parsons and Fielden were speaking?
A I cannot tell you whether he went out or remained in the hall.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY
Q Now, in these meetings, Mr. Hardy--it was a meeting at which all, persons could attend, I suppose?
A I suppose so.
Q In speaking about taking possession of McCormick's factory, was the idea for the working men to take possession of it, or to go there and destroy it?
A Well, I have given you his language as near as I can recall it.
Q Then your own language was, "to take possession of it as their property", as having been earned by them, built by them practically?"
A That is what Mr. Fielden said, yes.
Q Then there was nothing said about destroying it or blowing it up or anything of that kind?
A No sir, I don't think there was anything of that kind.
Q But was there a general dissertation there upon the wrongs of the working men, I suppose, and the heel of oppression of the rich, and all that kind.
A Yes sir.
Q There was no time fixed for going down the Black Road, I suppose, or anything like that?
A Well, I didn't hear any time.
Q There was no time fixed for any particular thing?
It was just one of those speeches, such as you have heard before?
A Yes sir; I have heard them a great many times.
Q There wasn't anything said about the Haymarket meeting or Ofiicer Degan, was there?
A No sir.