Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1 Direct examination by Captain Black. Cross-examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.N 140), socialists and/or socialism (vol.N 127), anarchists and/or anarchism (vol.N 143), call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.N 126), the Alarm (vol.N 138), Zepf's Hall (vol.N 113), eight-hour movement (vol.N 118), 1886 May 4 meeting of the American Group at the Arbeiter-Zeitung office (vol.N 109), arrangements made for the Haymarket meeting (vol.N 110), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.N 136), Knights of Labor (vol.N 132), Spies, August (vol.N 110), Parsons, Albert (vol.N 109), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.N 117), Parsons, Lucy (vol.N 110), Fielden, Samuel (vol.N 110), Fischer, Adolph (vol.N 115), attendance of women and children at labor meetings and rallies (vol.N 110).
Testimony of Albert Parsons, 1886 Aug. 9.
Volume N, 108-143, 36 p.
Parsons, Albert Richard, 1848-1887, defendant.
Editor of the Alarm.
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[Image, Volume N, Page 108]
Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Direct examination by Captain Black. Cross-examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al.
Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.N 140), socialists and/or socialism (vol.N 127), anarchists and/or anarchism (vol.N 143), call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.N 126), the Alarm (vol.N 138), Zepf's Hall (vol.N 113), eight-hour movement (vol.N 118), 1886 May 4 meeting of the American Group at the Arbeiter-Zeitung office (vol.N 109), arrangements made for the Haymarket meeting (vol.N 110), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.N 136), Knights of Labor (vol.N 132), Spies, August (vol.N 110), Parsons, Albert (vol.N 109), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.N 117), Parsons, Lucy (vol.N 110), Fielden, Samuel (vol.N 110), Fischer, Adolph (vol.N 115), attendance of women and children at labor meetings and rallies (vol.N 110).
ALBERT R. PARSONS,
One of the defendants, called and affirmed on behalf of the defendants, was examined in chief by MR. BLACK, and testified as follows:
Q. Will you give your full name?
A. Albert R. Parsons.
Q. How long have you resided in Chicago?
A. Thirteen years.
Q. What is your age?
A. I was born in 1848. I was
thirty eight years of age the 20th of last June.
Q. Where were you on Sunday, May 2nd, 1886?
A. The City of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Q. When did you reach Chicago from Cincinnati?
Q. Tuesday morning May 4th following.
Q. At what hour in the morning did you reach the city as you now remember?
A. I think it was between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning.
Q. Did you insert that day in the Daily News a notice calling for a meeting of the American Group at 107 Fifth Avenue on the evening of May 4th?
A. I did, or at least I wrote the notice, and it was carried to the office by some one.
Q. I will ask you whether or not you personally took it to the office, or was it carried there by some one else?
A. I think it was carried there by some one else. I am not sure of that.
Q. On the evening of May 4th, 1886, where were you, the evening of the Haymarket meeting?
A. Do you wish me to relate---
Q. Starting with the time when you went away from home for the evening?
A. Yes sir. I left my house in company with Mrs. Holmes, my wife and two children, About eight o'clock Tuesday evening, to attend this meeting called at 107 Fifth Avenue by the announcement in the Evening News of
that day. It was probably after eight, possible half past eight when I reached the office.
Q. What route did you take in going from your house to the office.
A. We walked from home. It was a pleasant night---until we got to Randolph and Halsted streets. There we took a car.
Q. Who of the party that you have mentioned took the car at that place?
A. Mrs. Holmes, my wife and children.
Q. And yourself?
Q. Did you meet at Halsted and Randolph any parties whom you knew?
A. Yes, I met two reporters that I have seen frequently at workingmen's meetings.
Q. Who were the two you saw?
A. One of them was a Times reporter whose name I don't know. The other, My. Heinemann of the Tribune, I am acquainted with.
Q. After reaching the meeting at 107 Fifth Avenue, how long did you remain there?
A. I think it was about half an hour.
Q. What then occurred?
A. well, after the business for which the meeting had been called was through with, or about that time, some one, I understood it was a committee, came over from the Haymarket, they stated that they came from the Haymarket or some one told me they did, and said that there was a large body of people there, and there were no speakers present except Mr. Spies, and it would be a great accommodation, and we were urged to come over, myself and Mr. Fielden, and address the mass meeting.
Q. What did you do?
A. Well, after finishing up the
work we adjourned and went over.
Q. How On foot or riding?
A. We walked.
Q. Who of the party walked with you going to the Haymarket?
A. Well, sir, we didn't all go together. They strung themselves along, and possibly all didn't go the same way. Of course when a meeting adjourns that way people go out, but myself and Mr. Fielden I distinctly remember crossed the river through the tunnel. We thought that was the nearest cut, and he was in company with me, and there were three or four others, but I don't remember their names.
Q. About what time did you reach the Haymarket? or rather the meeting on Desplaines street near the Haymarket?
A. I think it was after 9 o'clock.
Q. Who was speaking, if any one, at the time you got there?
A. Mr. Spies.
Q. How much of his speech did you hear, by minutes?
A. I didn't hear any of it. I only observed that he was speaking.
Q. What did you do when you reached the meeting?
A. Well, I managed, with the aid of some friends, to squeeze through the crowd, and as soon as I got to the wagon, I was assisted upon it at once by some gentlemen standing upon the wagon. In a few minutes, possibly within a minute or two, Mr. Spies concluded and introduced me. He said that I had arrived and would address the meeting, and asked their
indulgence and attention while I was talking to them.
Q. How long did you speak?
A. Well, possibly---they tell me since it was three quarters of an hour. I suppose it was.
Q. At the close of your speech what occurred?
A. At the close of my speech I got down from the wagon. I think it was Henry Spies who assisted me from the wagon. There was quite a crowd there.
Q. Where was Henry Spies standing at that time, if you noticed?
A. By the wagon; and I went to the wagon North of the one from which I had spoken, about 15 or 20 feet. There was a spring seat upon this wagon, and my wife and Mrs. Holmes were seated upon this listening to us; and I got into the wagon, and I asked them how they were enjoying themselves, and if they felt interest, etc., While talking with them---I possible remained on this wagon with them some ten minutes or more---there was a coolnesss in the atmosphere which attracted my attention. I looked up of course for rain, and I observed white clouds rolling over from the North, and I remarked to the ladies that it looked like rain, and we better close this meeting at once. I had that idea because the ladies were there and I didn't want them to get wet, and I got down from the wagon. Mr. Fielden was still speaking, and I got onto his wagon where he was
speaking, and says I, "Mr. Fielden, permit me to interrupt you a moment." "Certainly" he said. And I said, "Gentlemen, it appears as though it would rain. It is getting late. We might as well adjourn anyway, but if you desire to continue the meeting longer we can adjourn to Zepf's Hall on the corner near by." Someone said "No, we can't--" in the crowd---"it is occupied by a meeting of the furniture workers tonight." With that I looked and saw the lights through the windows of the hall and of course saw that it was occupied. I said nothing further. Mr. Fielden remarked that he would be through anyway in a moment. It didn't matter---he had only a few words to say. I got down from the wagon and went over to where the ladies were, and helped them off and told them to go down to this corner place if it should rain. And the meeting was about to adjourn anyway, and we would all get together and go home. There was quite a number of us living in that direction, and usually when that was the case we went home in company. They walked off and some one detained me for a moment to say something to me, and then I followed them in a moment afterwards and met near the edge of the crowd a man whom I knew very familiarly, Mr. Brown. "Hello Brown", says I. "I am very thirsty. This is a warm night, and this speaking
has made me hoarse. I must have a drink. Won't you go down and we will take a drink." "Yes", he says, "I will", and we moved off a little in the rear of the ladies to the saloon. We entered the saloon. I remember---
Q. Up to the time that you left upon that trip had the police appeared at the Haymarket meeting?
A. No sir.
Q. Had there been any explosion or any disturbance?
A. None whatever.
Q. Now go on---you reached the saloon, you say?
A. As I entered the saloon I noticed some four or five gentlemen standing at the bar. It is quite a large saloon, very long bar. There were possibly as many as ten people sitting at tables on the other side next the wall. There were probably five or six men standing what I would call around in the centre of the floor talking to each other, and among them I noticed an acquaintance of mine, Mr. Malkoff, and talking to a gentleman whom I never saw before, but of course I supposed at once that he was a reporter, as I am familiar with these men and know them when I see them mostly. I supposed at the time---it was in my mind that he was---
Q. Have you seen that same gentleman upon the witness
stand in the progress of this case?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Who was it?
A. I don't know his name.
Q. Mr. Whiting Allen?
A. Yes, I believe it was Mr. Allen.
Q. He is one of the witnesses who has testified in this case on behalf of the prosecution?
A. Yes sir, I recollect that that was the gentleman with Mr. Malkoff at that time. The ladies took seats at---well, the saloon building runs north and south---the bar is upon the west side of the building.
Q. The West or East side?
A. On the East side, and the tables are along near the wall on the West side. The ladies sat down about ten feet from the door in the saloon at the end of the first table with their backs to it looking out the street. I said something to them, and I believe that I stopped just then and introduced some one to Mrs. Parsons. I don't remember distinctly. At any rate afterwards I went to the bar with Brown, and we took a glass of beer together, and afterwards a cigar, I turned then and looked around to see who was sitting about, to see if there was any one I knew, and I observed Mr. Fischer sitting at one of the tables, and I said "Hello Fischer, how is it", something like that---he replied in some such manner, response. I sat down to the table near them I think for a few moments, and then I got up I
think and went around to where the ladies were, and I was standing near them looking out wondering if the meeting would not close, anxious to go home, supposing Mr. Fielden was going to be through every moment with his speech. All at once looking directly at the meeting I saw an illumination. It lit up the whole street, and instantly following it a deafening roar; and following that almost simultaneously were volums of shots, every flash of which it seemed to me I could see---of course being in the night. Since, the best comparison I can make since in my mind is that it was as though a hundred men held in their hands repeating revolvers, self cockers, and fired them as rapidly as they could be fired, until they were all gone, and then the shooting was over. That is, that was the first volley. Then there was occasional shots, and a bullet, one or two whistled near the door and struck the sign, at least I heard it, and afterwards, I have since learned that it did on the door and the sills. Well, of course I was transfixed. I looked at this thing and saw it all distinctly. The ladies didn't move. Mrs. Parsons did not, I know, but sat perfectly still. In a moment two or three men rushed breathlessly in at the door. That broke the apparent charm that was on us by the occurence in the street, and with that I called upon my wife and Mrs. Holmes to, come with me
to the rear of the saloon. They did, and we remained there until, well, we remained there possibly half an hour, twenty minutes or such a matter.
Q. Now, Mr. Parsons, going back to the meeting -- retracing our steps for a moment -- will you please tell us what was the substance of your speech that night, as fully as you can remember?
A. Well, sir, I have taken some notes of recollection since then to refresh my memory.
MR. GRINNELL: The notes that you have taken since that time ought not to be used.
MR. BLACK: The rule of law is well settled that a party may use anything for the purpose of refreshing his recollection.
MR. GRINNELL: It depends on when he wrote the notes.
THE WITNESS: I recollect distinctly of mentioning all of these points, but I could not recollect them seriatim from memory unless I did put them on paper, and that is the reason why I have done so. When I was introduced I looked at the crowd, and I observed that it was quite a large crowd. I am familiar with public speaking, and with crowds, and I should estimate there were three thousand men present, and I consider myself a judge of such matters. The street was packed from sidewalk to sidewalk, north and south of the wagon, but especially south of the wagon for a considerable distance, I faced the south. I first called attention of
those present to the evidences of discontent among the working classes, not alone of Chicago, not alone of the United States, but of the civilized world. I asked the question if those evidences of discontent as could be seen in strikes and lockouts, and boycotts were not indications that there was something radically wrong in the existing order of things in our social affairs. I then alluded to the eight hour movement. I spoke of it as a peaceable movement, a movement designed to give employment to the unemployed, work to the idle, and thereby bring comfort and cheer to the homes of the destitute, relieving the unrelieved and wearisome toil of those who worked, not alone ten hours, but twelve and fourteen and even sixteen hours a day. I said that the eight hour movement was in the interest of civilization, of prosperity, of the public welfare, and it was demanded by every interest of the community; and that I was glad to see them assembled upon this occasion to give their voice in favor of the adoption of the eight hour work day.. I then referred to the general condition again of labor in the country. I spoke of some of my travels through the State of Pennsylvania, and Ohio, where I had met and addressed thousands and thousands of workingmen. I told of the Tuscarora Valley, and of the Hocking Valley, and of the Monongahela Valley among the miners of this country,
where their wages averaged twenty-four and a half cents per day. I showed, of course, that these were not the wages they received while at work, but that the difficulty was that they did not work, they did not get the day's work, and consequently they had to sum up the totals, and divide it throughout the year, and it amounted to twenty-four and a half cents per day. I asked if this was not a condition of affairs calculated to arouse the discontent of the people, and to make them clamour for redress and for relief. I pointed to the fact that in the city of Pittsburgh a report was made by the superintendent of that city, I think he was Superintendent of Police, stating that at the Bethel Home, a charitable institution in the City of Pittsburgh, from January 1st 1884 to January 1st 1885, at this establishment, there were 26, 374 destitute men, tramps, American citizens, had called for a night's lodging or for a morsel of food in one establishment alone in the city of Pittsburgh. I referred of course to many other places, and to similar things showing the general, condition of labor in the country. I then spoke again of the eight hour movement, that it was designed to bring relief to these men and to the country, and that surely there was nothing in it to excite such hostility on the part of the employers, on the part of monopoly or corporations against it as was witnessed in
the country, and I referred to the refusal of those corporations and monoplies to grant and to accede to this modest request of the working classes, and to defeat it. I then referred to the fact that in the face of all these causes, producing these effects, the monopolistic newspapers, in the interest of corporations, blamed such men as me, blamed the agitators so-called, blamed the labor men for these evidences of discontent, this turmoil and confusion, and so-called disorder. I called the attention of the crowd specifically to that fact -- that we were being blamed for this thing, when on the contrary it was evident to any man who was fair, that we were simply calling the attention of the people to this condition of things, and seeking for a redress of this condition of things. I impressed that upon the crowd specifically, and I remember in response to it several gentlemen spoke out loudly and replied, said, "We need a great many more just such men as you to right these wrongs and to arouse the people." I spoke of the compulsory idleness, of the starvation wages and how these things drove the workingmen to desperation -- drove them to commit acts for which they ought not to be held at least responsible; that they were the creatures of circumstances, and this condition of things was the fault not of the workingman, but of those who claimed the right to control and
regulate the affairs of the workingman. I pointed out the fact that monopoly by its course in grinding down labor in this country and refusing to accede anything to them, refusing any concessions whatever, was in doing this thing, creating revolutionists, and if there was a single revolutionist in America, monopoly and corporation was responsible for his existence in this country. I specifically called attention to this fact in order to defend myself from the charges being made constantly through the mouth-piece of the Capitalistic press, the paid mouth-piece of these corporations. I called attention in this connection to the newspapers. I pointed to the Chicago Times and the Chicago Tribune and to other newspapers. I called the attention of the workingmen that night to the strike of 1877 when the Chicago Times declared that hand grenades should be thrown among the striking sailors who were upon a strike then upon the river wharves of this city, in order to teach them a lesson, and other strikers might be warned by their fate. I said then that the Chicago Times was the first dynamiter in America, and as the mouth-piece of monopoly and corporation it was the first to advocate the killing of people when they protested against wrong and oppression. I spoke of the Chicago Tribune which at that date advocated giving, when they give by the hand of charity bread to the poor, to put strychnine upon it. I pointed out that fact. I also called
attention to Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper which declared in an editorial that the American toiler must be driven to his task either by the slave driver's lash or the immediate prospect of want. I spoke of the New York Herald what it said about it, where it said that lead should be given to the tramp when he should come around; one of you workingmen, said I, is thrown out of employment and forced to wander from place to place in search of work away from your families and homes, the New York Herald said that when you asked for a crust of bread, it advised those of whom you applied for relief to fill you with lead instead of bread. I called attention to what Tom Scott said in the strike of 1877. Give them the rifle diet, said Mr. Scott, the railroad monopolist, and see how they like that kind of diet. I referred to Jay Gould, how he said that we would shortly have a monarchy in this republic, and to the Indianapolis Journal. I was familiar with these, had it at my tongue's end, these papers. Then I referred to how monopoly was putting into practice these threats. They not only used these threats, but put them into practice, and I cited East St. Louis, where Jay Gould called for men and paid them $5 a day for to fire upon harmless innocent unarmed workingmen, killing nine of them and one woman in cold blooded murder. I referred to the Saginaw Valley where the militia was used to
put down strikes. I referred to Lemont, Illinois, where defenceless and innocent citizens and their town was invaded by militia of the State of Illinois, and without any pretext, men, women and children were fired upon and slaughtered in cold blood. I referred to the previous day to McCormick's strike, and I denounced it as an outrage, the police, their action at that place; and I asked the workingment if these were not facts, and if monopoly and corporations were not responsible for this condition of things; if they were not driving the people into this condition of things. And then I used some such word, or some phrase in connection with the use of military or the police and the Pinkerton thugs to shoot down workingmen, and drive them back into submission and to starvation wages. I then referred to the Chicago papers of the day before -- I believe it was the evening Mail of Monday. My attention had been called to it on Tuesday afternoon. In an editorial it stated that fact, that Parsons and Spies incited this trouble at McCormick's, and that we ought to be lynched, we ought to be driven out of the city -- and I was away from Chicago in Cincinnati. I called attention to this fact. I called attention further to the fact that these papers were unnecessarily inciting the people against the workingmen; that there was nothing in this movement calculated to arouse any such
feelings. I denied the charge of this paper that we were sneaks and cowards, and I defied them to run us out of the city. I pointed to the fact that the capitalistic newspapers of Chicago, it was notorious that every one of them was a subsidized agent and organ of monopoly; that they all held stocks and bonds in the gas companies and railroad companies in this city, and that no man could be nominated for alderman in this city unless he had the sanction of some one of those corporations and monopolies, and such things in that connection. Then I said, "I am not here, fellow-workmen, "for the purpose of inciting anybody, but to tell the truth, "to state the facts as they do exist, though it should cost "my my life in doing it." I then referred to the Cincinnati demonstration to which I was present the Sunday previous. I said that the organizations of workingmen of that city, the Trade Unions and other organizations had a grand street parade and picnic. They sent for me to come down there and address them. It was an eight hour demonstration. I attended on that occasion and did speak to them. I referred to the fact that they turned out in thousands, and that they marched with Winchester rifles, three or four companies, I suppose there was a couple of hundred men at the head of the column--the Cincinnati Rifle Union. And I said that they bore at the head of the column the red flag -- the reg flag of liberty
of fraternity, of equality for labor all over the world -- the red flag of emancipated labor; and I pointed out that every other flag in the world repudiated the workingman, outlawed the workingman, and that he had no shield and no flag but the red one. I then referred to our country and to men saying that this was a movement of foreigners and so on in this country. I pointed out the fact that the desire for right and the thirst for liberty and for justice was not a foreign affair at all. It was one which concerned Americans as much as foreigners, and that patriotism was a humbug in this connection; that it was used to separate the people, to divide them and antagonize them against each other; that the Irish were separated, and their national feeling was kept alive as against an Englishman, in order that the exploiters and depredaters upon them might the more easily make them their victims and use them as their tools. I referred in that connection then to land monopoly, and I showed how the farms of this country were being driven into land tenures like that of Europe, and called attention to an article which appeared in the North American Review last December which I think was by an eminent statistician of this country, in which it is stated that in the little State of Connecticut alone there was three hundred and fifty million dollars of mortgages held upon farms, lying down on the Lagona Mountains
in the United States in the little State of Connecticut alone. The Chicago Tribune I referred to, which I believe this last spring had stated that over fifty per cent. perhaps two thirds of the farms of the States of Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan were under mortgages, and that monopoly was making it impossible for these men to pay for these farms; that they were breaking them up, forcing them to become tenants, and instituting the European system in this country; that I did not regard that as a question of patriotism, nor a foreign question, but an American question concerning Americans. I referred to the banking monopoly of the country by which a few men are empowered to make money scarce in order that they may control the markets, run corners on the medium of exchange, and produce a panic in the country by making money scarce. They made the price of articles dear, and threw labor out of employment, and brought on bankruptcy. I then said that monopoly owned labor and employed its armed hirelings to subject the people. In the light of these facts, and of your inalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it behooves you, as you love your wives and children, and if you would not see them perish of want and hunger, yourselves killed or cut down like dogs in the streets -- Americans in the interest of your liberty and independence, to arm, to arm yourselves. A voice
then said to me, "We are ready now". I responded, "You are "not". I didn't exactly understand what the gentleman meant, but I made that reply as has been testified to by many here. I called attention to the fact that the Constitution of the United States gave to the workingmen the right to keep and bear arms, but monopoly was seeking to deprive them of that right. I called attention to the fact that the Constitution of the United States gave us the right of free speech, of free press and of unmolested assembly, but that corporations and monopoly by its paid decisions in the courts, had trampled these rights under foot, or were attempting to do so. I called attention, that the government of the United States was in the hands of the money power, and that from this fact, the sway of this money power, that it was almost impossible for the poor man to get justice in a court of law; that law was for sale just like bread -- if you didn't have the money you couldn't get the bread. If you didn't have the money you couldn't get justice; that justice was almost beyond the reach of the poor, and that the poor were made poor and kept poor by the grinding processes of corporations and monoplies. I then called attention to socialism, and explained what it was. I told them Webster's definition of it; that it meant a more equitable arrangement of society, a more just and equitable arrangement of social affairs; that
there was nothing in the word or in the purposes of socialism for any one to become alarmed at. On the contrary it should be hailed with delight by all, as it was designed to make all happy and prosperous. I then spoke in this connection of the wage system of industry. I showed that under the wage system of industry -- that the wage system was a despotism, inherently and necessarily so, because under it the wage worker is forced and compelled to work on such conditions and such terms as the employer of labor may see fit to dictate to him. This I defined to be slavery, hence I said they were wage slaves, and the wage system was what socialism proposed to displace. I then showed the power that the wage system gave to the employing class by the lock-out, by blacklist, and by discharge; that I had myself been black-listed by employers because I exercised my right as an American of free speech; because I saw fit to be a member of a labor organization, I had been deprived repeatedly of my bread by my employer for that reason. I then called attention to the United States census for 1880, and I showed that the returns made there statistically gotten up by a Republican administration, by the administration of the Republican party, showed that 85 cents from every dollar produced on the average went to the profit taking classes, and that 15 cents on the average was the sum received by the producing class for having
produced the whole dollar. I said that this was wrong, and that in the face of such a condition of things we could expect nothing else but poverty and destitution, but want and misery. And I showed how under this arrangement that the workingmen of the United States were really doing ten hours work for two hours pay, and that it was said by the employers, "Well, you men want to work only eight hours -- "do you mean to say that we must pay you ten hours pay for "eight hours work." Let us answer to these men and say and prove to them by the statistics of the United States census that we are not receiving now but two hours pay for ten hours work, that that is what the wages of the country on the average represents. I referred to this condition of things. I spoke of corporations crowding the workingmen to the wall, and summed it up in some such words as these. Now, for years past the Associated Press manipulated by Jay Gould and his infamous minions has been sowing the seeds of revolution. These seeds are summarized about as follows: To deprive labor of the ballot. Second, to substitute a Monarchy for a Republic. To rob labor and then make poverty a crime. To deprive small farmers of their land, and then convert them into serfs to serve huge landlordism. To teach labor that bread and water were all they needed. To throw bombs into crowds of workingmen who refused
to labor for starvation wages. To take the ballot by force of arms from the majority if it was against the interests of corporation and capital. To put strychnine upon the bread of the poor. To hang laboring men to a lamp post by a mob in the absence of testimony to convict them. In fact to drive the people, the poor working classes into open mutiny against the laws in order to secure their punishment and conviction afterwards for it. These threats and these diabolical teachings I said had been openly and boldly spoken by the great conspiracy, the solid Associated Press, and the monopolies of this country for years against the lives and liberties of the poor workingmen of America who are as sensitive to the wrongs imposed upon them, as though they themselves possessed millions. I said that this was the seed from which had sprung the labor movement, and it was as natural as cause and effect. I then called the attention of workingmen present, and they appeared to be very much interested. I never saw a more quiet, orderly, interested crowd of men, and I have spoken to a great many in my life than were present on that occasion. I then called their attention to the fact that labor paid for everything, paid all the expenses of the Government, of the police, of the army, of the Judges, of the Congressmen, of the Legislators, of everything -- labor paid it all. That I as a tenant -- and I used
my own case as an illustration -- says I, "Now, the landlord "claims that he pays the taxes. What are the taxes? When "I pay him my rent I in fact pay the taxes. He claims that "he makes the repairs on the house and paints it up and all "those things. He doesn't do anything of the kind. He is "simply my agent, and looks after these things, and I as his "tenant pay for it all. And so it is with all tenants." Then I said that labor bears all the burdens, but derives none of the benefits of our present civilization. I referred to the fact that it was through these methods that the working people who produced all the wealth, were made poor and kept poor, and being poor they were ignorant, and that our school teachers had yet to learn the fact that the need of the people was more material comforts before it would become possible for them to be amenable to the influence of education; that ignorance was the result of poverty; that intemperance was produced by poverty, and for every man that was poor because he drank, I could show you twenty men who drank because they were poor. I said that this poverty, this discord, this commotion in the civilized world was the cause of disease, the cramming of people away into hovels and dens unfit for animals to live in was the cause of the death of the young, of old age coming upon the middle age; that it was the cause of crime; that poverty was at the
root and at the bottom of war, of discord and of strife; and that this poverty was an artificial and unnatural poverty which socialism proposed to remedy. I was at this time of course as you understand making a speech for socialism. I was talking now as a socialist. I then spoke as a Trades Unionist. I am a member of my union and of the Knights of Labor. I said that these organizations differed somewhat with the socialists in that they hoped to receive and obtain redress within the present system, but that I did not believe that was possible; that the study of social affairs, of historical development, had taught me that the system itself was at fault, and that as long as the cause remained, the effect would be felt; but that every Trade Union, every assembly of the Knights of Labor, every organization of workingmen had for its ultimate aim, let its course be what it might, the emancipation of labor from economic dependence; and whether they saw it or not, events and the development of this existing system, the wage system, its growth would force and of necessity would drive these men into socialism as the only savior, the only means by which they could live; that they could exist in the end in no other way. I then said if I remember rightly that strikes were an attempt to right these wrongs on the part of Unions and the Knights of Labor; that I did not believe in strikes -- I didn't believe
in them. I didn't believe that redress could be had by that method; that the power was in the hands of the employer to refuse; that if the men were on a strike, why the employer could meet the strike with a lock-out; could keep them out until they were so hungry that they would through their destitution be compelled to return and accept the terms of their employer. Therefore strikes must of necessity fail as a general thing. I then called attention to the scabs, and said that the Unionist made war upon the scabs. Says I, "Here is a distinction between socialism and trades Unions. The Unionist fights the scab. What is a scab? A man as a usual thing that has been out of employment, who is destitute and whose necessities drive him to go to work in some man's place who has employment, and of course he can only get the employment because he will take the work for less than the man who is employed is working for. He is at once denounced as scab by the Unionists, and war is made on him." Says I, "Gentlemen, socialism don't do this thing. They regard these man as the victims of a false system, and to be pitied. These scabs I might say could be compared to the fleas on the dog. The Unionist wants to kill the fleas, but the socialists would kill the dog, and that the dog is the wage system of wage slavery." I then pointed to the ballot -- how we were swindled at the ballot box. defrauded and cheated; how we were bulldozed, intimidated
bribed and corrupted -- yes, corrupted by the very money that had been stolen from us. Men would come to us then afterwards when we were poor, and they would give to us bread money if we would vote their ticket, and that we often did it through necessity; and in this way through these intimidations, through bribery and corruption that the workingmen had but little to expect from the ballot. I then pointed out the fact that we had petitioned or had passed resolutions, and had done everything in our power to redress, but there had been no relief, and no response in fact. There was a rebuff upon every occasion. I then said to them, "Gentlemen, "socialism means the free association of the people for the "purposes of production and consumption; in other words, "universal co-operation. This is the sum total of socialism, "and the solution of the present difficulties between capital "and labor." I then said that monopoly and corporations had formed a gigantic conspiracy against the poor classes, the working classes. I then called upon them to unite, to organize, to make every endeavor to obtain eight hours, that the eight hour movement meant a peaceful solution of the labor trouble; that if the employers of this country and all other countries would concede this demand, it meant peace, and if they refused this demand, it meant war, not by the working classes, not by laborers, but by monopolists
and corporations upon the lives and upon the liberties and upon the happiness of the working classes. The Government I said in the hands of monopoly and corporation deprives the laborer of the labor product, of their right to live, and they are driving labor into open revolt. They are forcing the people to defend themselves, to protect and maintain their right to self-preservation; that the monopoly conspiracy originated in the great railroad strike of 1877; that they had since that time proposed to use force, and they have used force. Vanderbilt said, "the public be damned." The New York World and other papers said -- the New York World specifically I called attention to, said that the American workingman must make up his mind to be contented with the wages he received, and not expect to receive any more wages than his European brother, and be contented with the station in life to which it has pleased God to call him. I called attention to that. I then appealed to them to defend themselves, their rights, their liberties, to combine, to unite, for in union there was strength. That, gentlemen, was about the substance of my hour's speech at the Haymarket.
Q. When you were referring in your speech to Jay Gould, or to the southwestern system, do you remember any interruption in the crowd, or any responses connected with the name of Gould?
A. Yes sir, some one said -- yes, I omitted
that -- it was in connection --
Q. With the East St. Louis strike or southwestern?
A. Yes sir, and how this 85 per cent. business created millionaires, etc. and some one said "hang him."
Q What did you respond to that?
A My response to that was that this was not a conflict between individuals, but for a change of system, and that socialism designed to remove the causes which produced the pauper and the millionaire.
Q But didn't aim at the life of the individual?
A No sir.
Q Now, during the progress of that meeting, or put it another way -- after your speech closed, did you observe as to whether or not the crowd retained its proportion or whether it was diminished?
A Well, sir, the crowd seemed to be very much interested -- that is the reason I continued to speak so long.
Q I mean after you were through speaking, what was the effect upon the crowd as to whether or not a great many of them went away?
A. At the conclusion of my speech, I didn't pay much attention to the crowd. I got down and went to the wagon where the ladies were, but I think I did notice them beginning on the outskirts to move off to the north and south.
Q. Was there during the entire time of your speech, or during the entire time you were there, any disturbance in
the crowd, any disorderly conduct that came under your observation?
A Not the slightest.
Q. Have you ever been arrested?
A No sir.
Q You were not arrested under the present charge?
A No sir.
Q When was it that you were taken into custody under the charge upon which you are now being indicted?
A On the 21st day of June in this court room.
Q That was at the time you appeared and surrendered yourself voluntarily?
A. Yes, a voluntary surrender to this court.
Cross Examination by
Q. Where were you born?
A. The city of Montgomery, the State of Alabama.
Q You have been in Chicago thirteen years?
A Yes sir.
Q What has been your business in Chicago since you came here?
A. Well, for about eight or nine years I was a printer, worked at the printing trade.
Q Worked at the case?
Q Setting type?
A. Yes sir.
Q That is the first eight or nine years of your residence here?
A. Yes sir.
Q Later than that, for the last four or five years, what have you been doing?
A. Well, four or five years ago myself and wife started a little business.
Q How long did you continue to conduct that?
A. I believe it was about a year -- a year and a half probably.
Q Over on West Indiana Street.
A No, it was on Larrabee Street.
Q Then what business did you employ yourself about?
A That was in the suit business on Larrabee Street.
Q What other business did you follow later?
A. Later than that for possibly a year and a half, myself and wife made ladies wrappers and suits, and I went out soliciting orders, and I went to restaurants, hotels, laundries and set places and sold these suits for a living.
Q For the last two or three years what have you been doing?
A For the last two years I believe I have been editor of the Alarm.
Q When did you start the editorship, or when was the Alarm started?
A. In October, 1884.
Q And continued ever since?
A. Yes sir.
Q It is a semi-monthly paper?
A. It was weekly for about a year.
Q And then twice a month?
A. Then it was twice a month.
Q. When did you write down or jot down the memorandum you have made of your utterances on the night of May 4th?
A As they have occurred to me.
Q. From time to time as the trial proceeded?
A Just as they occurred to me, and in looking over Mr. English's reports, and the newspapers and otherwise.
Q. You have picked it up from the newspapers?
A Some of it off course.
Q. And from the Tribune?
A It refreshed my memory somewhat.
Q. You told that crowd that night that the Chicago Times had advocated the throwing of hand grenades to strikers?
Q. And you told them that the Chicago Tribune had advocated the use of strychnine for tramps?
Q. You told them that Scott of Pennsylvania had advocated similar measures for striking workmen?
A. Yes sir, the use of the rifle diet.
Q. Did you tell them that, did you also in that connection give them advice that they should retaliate by use of the same means and weapons?
Q. Did you tell them that they should retaliate. Did you in that connection in substance tell your audience that they
should retaliate with similar means, with similar weapons?
A I told them they should defend themselves against such things, protect themselves.
A Anyway they could.
Q. By arming?
A If necessary.
Q. By the use of dynamite?
A If necessary, but I didn't mention dynamite at that meeting.
Q. Not at that meeting -- you have mentioned it at other meetings?
Q. You are an advocate of dynamite as a defensive weapon for the use of the workingman?
Objected to; objection sustained.
Q. You said nothing about dynamite that night?
A No sir.
Q. Did you say anything about bombs that night?
A Not a thing.
Q. You did say to that audience that the capitalists were in the habit of throwing bombs among strikers -- that is the police or the men who work for the capitalists?
A I said that the Chicago Times was the original dynamiter in the interest of monopoly in this country, and of throwing bombs.
Q. Then did you speak of dynamite?
A. No sir.
Q. You have just used the word? You stated the Chicago Times was defending the use of dynamite?
A No sir it was called hand grenades.
Q. You didn't use the word dynamite?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you say anything to the audience whatever about the use of bombs?
A. No sir.
Q. Either as a defensive means or something to use against them?
A No sir.
Q. You did not use that word?
A No sir.
Q. You told them that night that the present social system must be changed?
A Yes, in the interest of humanity.
Q. That was in the interest of humanity -- in the interest of laboring men?
A Including Vanderbilt too.
Q. In the interest of humanity you told them the social system must be changed?
Q. Did you explain to them how that should be changed, or what you meant by being chananged, how it could be brought about, how the social change should be brought about?
A No sir, because I didn't know myself.
Q. Didn't you tell that audience that the only means or manner of bringing about a social change was by force -- the existing order of things must be disposed of by force?
A I think I told the audience that the existing order of things was founded upon and maintained by force, and I think I said that the action of the monopolists and corporations, and congregated and concentrated wealth of the country would drive the people into the use of force before
they could obtain redress. I might have stated it -- I am not sure.
Q. You did advise them -- you told them that night that the ballot would do them no good?
A No, I didn't say that.
Q. Did you tell them that night that the ballot was useless for them, the majority was against them, and it was in the hands of capitalists?
A No sir, the workingmen are vastly in the majority. I didn't say the majority was against them at all.
Q. Didn't you say that night that the only means and way they could obtain their rights, or the benefits that you thought they ought to have, was by force, by overturning the existing order of things?
A No sir, I did not.
Q. You said nothing of that kind?
A No sir, I did not.
Q. What did you mean by the expression "to arms, to arms?"
A I said in my remarks here --
Q. Don't repeat what you said in your remarks. Tell us what you meant by the words, "To arms," if you did not mean to overthrow the existing order of things by force?
A I said in view of the St. Louis trouble, and the use of the military and the police upon strikers and upon workingmen etc., that if they would not see their children perishing with hunger, and their wives in misery and want, and themselves cut down like dogs in the street, that they should assert their rights as American citizens to arm themselves,
and protect themselves if necessary against oppression and wrong and such things as these.
Q. How many strikers were there there that night?
A Of course I couldn't tell whether there were any strikers or not.
Q. Wasn't that crowd composed almost entirely of socialists -- those immediately around the wagon -- those you knew were socialists?
A. It was not. There were very few socialists there.
Q You are a socialist?
A I am.
Q. Are you an Anarchist?
A I am as I understand it.
Q. The Alarm expressed your understanding of Anarchy, doesn't it?
Q. Do the articles written by yourself and signed by your initials express your idea of Anarchy?
Objected to as not proper cross examination.
MR. GRINNELL: That is all.
Whereupon Court adjourned to 10 o'clock, August 10th, 1886.