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In response to the state's entering into evidence over one hundred excerpts from the anarchists' writings, four of the five exhibits the defense offered were writings that tried to put their clients and their ideas in a good light. Three of these writings were the words not of anarchists but of highly respected figures, all reprinted in the Alarm. The purpose of submitting these texts was to show that the anarchists were not as extreme as the prosecution claimed.

Defense Exhibit 2, from the Alarm of June 13, 1885, was novelist Victor Hugo's "Address to the Rich and Poor," which calls for a classless society of abundance free of exploitation. Defense Exhibit 4, published in August of the same year, presents English philosopher John Stuart Mill's comments on communism. Mill remarks that communism would be preferable to an economy based on private property if this economy necessarily caused those who worked the hardest at the most disagreeable jobs to receive the lowest income. Defense Exhibit 5, from the Alarm of September 5, 1885, quoted a prominent clergymen arguing that the current tyranny of capital was fast becoming as bad as European despotism.

Defense Exhibit 3 defends anarchy as fair, natural, and right, and as based on faith in the goodness of humankind; government of any sort involves coercion and oppression. It is simply signed "P"—probably Albert Parsons.