Haymarket Affair Digital Collection


Reasons for Pardoning Fielden, Neebe and Schwab

by John P. Altgeld, Governor of Illinois, 1893


[Cover Page]












[Page Three]




On the night of May 4, 1886, a public meeting was held on Haymarket

Square in Chicago; there were from 800 to 1,000 people present,

nearly all being laboring men. There had been trouble, growing out of

the effort to introduce an eight-hour day, resulting in some

collisions with the police, in one of which several laboring people

were killed, and this meeting was called as a protest against alleged

police brutality.


The meeting was orderly and was attended by the mayor, who remained

until the crowd began to disperse and then went away. As soon as

Capt. John Bonfield, of the police department, learned that the mayor

had gone, he took a detachment of police and hurried to the meeting

for the purpose of dispersing the few that remained, and as the

police approached the place of meeting a bomb was thrown by some

unknown person, which exploded and wounded many and killed several

policemen, among the latter being one Mathias Degan. A number of

people were arrested and after a time August Spies, Albert R.

Parsons, Louis Lingg, Michael


[Page Four]


Schwab, Samuel Fielden, George Engle, Adolph Fischer and Oscar Neebe

were indicted for the murder of Mathias Degan. The prosecution could

not discover who had thrown the bomb and could not bring the really

guilty man to justice, and, as some of the men indicted were not at

the Haymarket meeting and had nothing to do with it, the prosecution

was forced to proceed on the theory that the men indicted were guilty

of murder because it was claimed they had at various times in the

past uttered and printed incendiary and seditious language,

practically advising the killing of policemen, of Pinkerton men and

others acting in that capacity, and that they were therefore

responsible for the murder of Mathias Degan. The public was greatly

excited and after a prolonged trial all of the defendants were found

guilty; Oscar Neebe was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment and

all of the other defendants were sentenced to be hanged. The case was

carried to the supreme court and was there affirmed in the fall of

1887. Soon thereafter Lingg committed suicide. The sentence of

Fielden and Schwab was commuted to imprisonment for life and Parsons,

Fischer, Engle and Spies were hanged, and the petitioners now ask to

have Neebe, Fielden and Schwab set at liberty.


The several thousand merchants, bankers, judges, lawyers and other

prominent citizens of Chicago who have by petition, by letter and in

other ways urged executive clemency, mostly base their appeal on the

ground that, assuming the prisoners to be guilty, they have been

punished enough, but a number of them who have examined the case more



[Page Five]


fully, and are more familiar with the record and with the facts

disclosed by the papers on file, base their appeal on entirely

different grounds. They assert,


FIRST-That the jury which tried the case was a packed jury selected to convict.


SECOND-That according to the law as laid down by the supreme court,

both prior to and again since the trial of this case, the jurors,

according to their own answers, were not competent jurors and the

trial was therefore not a legal trial.


THIRD-That the defendants were not proven to be guilty of the crime

charged in the indictment.


FOURTH-That as to the defendant Neebe, the state's attorney had

declared at the close of the evidence that there was no case against

him, and yet he has been kept in prison all these years.


FIFTH-That the trial judge was either so prejudiced against the

defendants, or else so determined to win the applause of a certain

class in the community that he could not and did not grant a fair



Upon the question of having been punished enough I will simply say

that if the defendants had a fair trial, and nothing has developed

since to show that they are not guilty of the crime charged in the

indictment, then there ought to be no executive interference, for no

punishment under our laws could then be too severe. Government must


[Page Six]


defend itself; life and property must be protected and law and order

must be maintained; murder must be punished, and if the defendants

are guilty of murder, either committed with their own hands or by

some one else acting on their advice, then, if they have had a fair

trial, there should be in this case no executive interference. The

soil of America is not adapted for the growth of anarchy. While our

institutions are not free from injustice, they are still the best

that have yet been devised, and therefore must be maintained.


Was the Jury Packed?




The record of the trial shows that the jury in this case was not

drawn in the manner that juries usually are drawn; that is, instead

of having a number of names drawn out of a box that contained many

hundred names, as the law contemplates shall be done in order to

insure a fair jury and give neither side the advantage, the trial

judge appointed one, Henry L. Ryce as a special bailiff to go out and

summon such men as he, Ryce, might select to act as jurors. While

this practice has been sustained in cases in which it did not appear

that either side had been prejudiced thereby, it is always a

dangerous practice, for it gives the bailiff absolute power to select

a jury that will be favorable to one side or the other. Counsel for

the state, in their printed brief, say that Ryce was appointed on

motion of defendants. While it appears that counsel for defendants

were in favor of having some one appointed, the record has this entry:


[Page Seven]


"Mr. Grinnell (the state's attorney) suggested Mr. Ryce as special

bailiff and he was accepted and appointed." But it makes no

difference on whose motion he was appointed if he did not select a

fair jury. It is shown that he boasted while selecting jurors that he

was managing this case; that these fellows would hang as certain as

death; that he was calling such men as the defendants would have to

challenge peremptorily and waste their challenges on, and that when

their challenges were exhausted they would have to take such men as

the prosecution wanted. It appears from the record of the trial that

the defendants were obliged to exhaust all of their peremptory

challenges and they had to take a jury, almost every member of which

stated frankly that he was prejudiced against them. On page 133 of

volume 1 of the record it appears that when the panel was about

two-thirds full, counsel for defendants called the attention of the

court to the fact that Ryce was summoning only prejudiced men, as

shown by their examinations, further: That he was confining himself

to particular classes, i. e., clerks, merchants, manufacturers, etc.

Counsel for defendants then moved the court to stop this and direct

Ryce to summon the jurors from the body of the people, that is, from

the community at large, and not from particular classes; but the

court refused to take any notice of the matter.


For the purpose of still further showing the misconduct of bailiff

Ryce reference is made to the affidavit of Otis S. Favor. Mr. Favor

is one of the most reputable and honorable business men of Chicago;

he was himself summoned by


[Page Eight]


Ryce as a juror, but was so prejudiced against the defendants that he

had to be excused, and he abstained from making any affidavit before

sentence because the state's attorney had requested him not to make

it, although he stood ready to go into court and tell what he knew if

the court wished him to do so, and he naturally supposed he would be

sent for. But after the supreme court had passed on the case and some

of the defendants were about to be hanged he felt that an injustice

was being done and he made the following affidavit:




Otis S. Favor, being duly sworn on oath says that he is a citizen of

the United States and of the State of Illinois, residing in Chicago,

and a merchant doing business at Nos. 6 and8 Wabash avenue, in the

city of Chicago, in said county. That he is very well acquainted with

Henry L. Ryce of Cook county, Illinois, who acted as special bailiff

in summoning jurors in the case of the People, etc., vs. Spies et

al., indictment for murder, tried in the criminal court of Cook

county in the summer of 1886. That affiant was himself summoned by

said Ryce for a juror in said cause, but was challenged and excused

therein because of his prejudice. That on several occasions in

conversation between affiant and said Ryce touching the summoning of

the jurors by said Ryce, and while said Ryce was so acting as special

bailiff as aforesaid, said Ryce said to this affiant and to other

persons in affiant's presence, in substance and effect as follows,

to-wit: "I (meaning said Ryce) am managing this case, (meaning this

case against Spies et al) and know what I am about. Those fellows

(meaning the defendants, Spies et al) are going to be hanged as

certain as death. I am calling such men as the defendants will have

to challenge peremtorily and waste their time and challenges. Then

they will have to take such men as the prosecution wants." That

affiant has been very reluctant to make any affidavit in this case,

having no


[Page Nine]


sympathy with anarchy nor relationship to or personal interest in the

defendants or any of them, and not being a socialist, communist or

anarchist; but affiant has an interest as a citizen, in the due

administration of the law, and that no injustice should be done under

judicial procedure, and believes that jurors should not be selected

with reference to their known views or prejudices. Affiant further

says that his personal relations with said Ryce were at said time,

and for many years theretofore had been most friendly and even

intimate, and that affiant is not prompted by any ill will toward

anyone in making this affidavit, but solely by a sense of duty and a

conviction of what is due to justice.


Affiant further says that about the beginning of October, 1886, when

the motion for a new trial was being argued in said cases before

Judge Cary, and when, as he was informed, application was made before

Judge Gary for leave to examine affiant in open court, touching the

matters above stated, this affiant went upon request from State's

Attorney Grinnell to his office during the noon recess of the court,

and there held an interview with said Grinnell, Mr. Ingham and said

Ryce, in the presence of several other persons, including some police

officers, where affiant repeated substantially the matters above

stated, and the said Ryce did not deny affiant's statements, and

affiant said that he would have to testify thereto if summoned as a

witness, but had refused to make an affidavit thereto, and affiant

was then and there asked and urged to persist in his refusal and to

make no affidavit. And affiant further saith not.




Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of November, A. D. 1887.



Notary Public in and for said County.


So far as shown no one connected with the state's attorney's office

has ever denied the statements of Mr. Favor, as to what took place in

that office, although his affidavit was made in November, 1887.


[Page Ten]


As to Bailiff Ryce, it appears that he has made a affidavit in which

he denies that he made the statement sworn to by Mr. Favor, but

unfortunately for him, the record of the trial is against him, for it

shows conclusively that he summoned only the class of men mentioned

in Mr. Favor's affidavit.  According to the record 981 men were

examined as to their qualifications as jurors, and most of them were

either employers, or men who had been pointed out to the bailiff by

their employer.  The following, taken from the original record of the

trial, are fair specimens of the answers of nearly all the jurors,

except that in the following cases the court succeeded in getting the

jurors to say that they believed they could try the case fairly

notwithstanding their prejudice:


Examination of the Jurors.


William Neil, a manufacturer, was examined at length; stated that he

had heard and read about the Haymarket trouble, and believed enough

of what he had so heard and read to form an opinion as to the guilt

of the defendants, which he still entertained; that he had expressed

said opinion, and then he added: "It would take pretty strong

evidence to remove the impression that I now have.  I could not

dismiss it from my mind; could not lay it altogethee aside during the

trial.  I believe my present opinion, based upon what I have heard

and read, would accompany me through the trial, and would influence

me in determining and getting at a verdict."


[Page Eleven]


He was challenged by the defendants on the ground of being

prejudiced, but the court then got him to say that he believed he

could give a fair verdict on whatever evidence he should hear, and

thereupon the challenge was overruled.


H. F. Chandler: In the stationary business, with Skeen, Stuart & Co.,

said: "I was pointed out to the deputy sheriff by my employer to be

summoned as a juror." He then stated that he had read and talked

about the Haymarket trouble, and had formed and frequently expressed

an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, and that he believed

the statements he had read and heard. He was asked:


Q. Is that a decided opinion as to the guilt of the the defendants?


A. It is a decided opinion, yes, sir.


Q. Your mind is pretty well made up now as to their guilt or innocence?


A. Yes, sir.


Q. Would it be hard to change your opinion?


A. It might be hard; I cannot say. I don't know whether it would be

hard or not.


He was challenged by the defendants on the ground of being

prejudiced. Then the court took him in hand and examined him at some

length and got him to state that he believed he could try the case

fairly. Then the challenge was overruled.


[Page Twelve]


F. L. Wilson: Am a manufacturer. I am prejudiced and have formed an

expressed opinion; that opinion would influence me in rendering a



He was challenged for cause, but was then examined by the court:


Q. Are you conscious in your own mind of any wish or desire that

there should be evidence produced in this trial which should prove

some of these men, or any of them, to be guilty?


A. Well, I think I have.


Being further pressed by the court he said that the only feeling he

had against the defendants was based upon having taken it for granted

that what he read about them was, in the main, true; that he believed

that sitting as a juror the effect of the evidence either for or

against the defendants would be increased or diminished by what he

had heard or read about the case. Then, on being still further

pressed by the court, he finally said: "Well, I feel that I hope that

the guilty one will be discovered or punished, not necessarily these



Q. Are you conscious of any other wish or desire about the matter

than that the actual truth may be discovered?


A. I don't think I am.


Thereupon the challenge was overruled.


George N. Porter, grocer, testified that he had formed and expressed

an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants


[Page Thirteen]


and that this opinion, he thought, would bias his judgment; he would

try to go by the evidence but that what he had read would have a

great deal to do with his verdict; his mind, he said, was certainly

biased now, and that it would take a great deal of evidence to change

it. He was challenged for cause by the defendants; was examined by

the court and said:


I think what I have heard and read before I came into court would

have some influence with me, but the court finally got him to say he

believed he could fairly and impartially try the case and render a

verdict according to law and evidence, and that he would try to do

so. Thereupon the court overruled the challenge for cause. Then he

was asked some more questions by the defendants' counsel and among

other things said:


Why, we have talked about it there a great many times and I have

always expressed my opinion. I believe what I have read in the

papers; believe that the parties are guilty. I would try to go by the

evidence, but inthis case it would be awful hard work for me to do it.


He was challenged a second time on the ground of being prejudiced;

was then again taken in hand by the court and examined at length, and

finally again said he believed he could try the case fairly on the

evidence; when the challenge for cause was overruled for the second



H. N. Smith, hardware merchant, stated among other things that he was

prejudiced and had quite a decided


[Page Fourteen]


opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants, that he had

expressed his opinion and still entertained it, and candidly stated

that he was afraid he would listen a little more attentively to the

testimony which concurred with his opinion than the testimony on the

other side; that some of the policemen injured were personal friends

of his. He was asked these questions:


Q. That is, you would be willing to have your opinion strengthened

and hate very much to have it dissolved?


A. I would.


Q. Under these circumstances do you think that you could render a

fair and impartial verdict?


A. I don't think I could.


Q. You think you would be prejudiced?


A. I think I would be because my feelings are very bitter.


Q. Would your prejudice in any way influence you in coming at an

opinion, in arriving at a verdict?


A. I think it would.


He was challenged on the ground of being prejudiced; was interrogated

at length by the court, and was brought to say he believed he could

try the case fairly on the evidence produced in court. Then the

challenge was overruled.


Leonard Gould, wholesale grocer, was examined at length; said he had

a decided prejudice against the defendants. Among other things he

said: "I really don't know


[Page Fifteen]


that I could do the case justice; if I was to sit on the case I

should just give my undivided attention to the evidence and calculate

to be governed by that." He was challenged for cause and the

challenge overruled. He was then asked the question over again,

whether he could render an impartial verdict based upon the evidence

alone, that would be produced in court, and he answered: "Well, I

answered that as far as I could answer it."


Q. You say you don't know that you can answer that either yes or no?


A. No, I don't know that I can.


Thereupon the court proceeded to examine him, endeavoring to get him

to state that he believed he could try the case fairly upon the

evidence that was produced in court, part of the examination being as



Q. Now, do you believe that you can-that you have sufficiently

reflected upon it-so as to examine your own mind, that you can fairly

and impartially determine the guilt or innocence of the defendants?


A. That is a difficult question for me to answer.


Q. Well, make up your mind as to whether you can render, fairly and

impartially render, a verdict in accordance with the law and the

evidence. Most men in business possibly have not gone through a

metaphysical examination so as to be prepared to answer a question of

this kind.


A. Judge, I don't believe I can answer that question.


[Page Sixteen]


Q. Can you answer whether you believe you know?


A. If I had to do that I should do the best I could.


Q. The question is whether you believe you could or not? I suppose,

Mr. Gould, that you know the law is that no man is to be convicted of

any offense with which he is charged unless the evidence proves that

he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?


A. That is true.


Q. The evidence heard in this case in court?


A. Yes.


Q. Do you believe that you can render a verdict in accordance with the law?


A. Well, I don't know that I could.


Q. Do you believe that you can't-if you don't know of any reason why

you cannot, do you believe that you can't?


A. I can not answer that question.


Q. Have you a belief one way or other as to whether you can or can

not? Not whether you are going to do it, but do you believe you can

not? That is the only thing. You are not required to state what is

going to happen next week or week after, but what do you believe

about yourself, whether you can or can't?


A. I am about where I was when I started.


Some more questions were asked and Mr. Gould answered:


[Page Seventeen]


Well, I believe I have gone just as far as I can in reply to that question.


Q. This question, naked and simple of itself is, do you believe that

you can fairly and impartially render a verdict in the case in

accordance with the law and evidence?


A. I believe I could.


Having finally badgered the juror into giving this last answer, the

court desisted. The defendants' counsel asked:


Do you believe you can do so uninfluenced by any prejudice or opinion

which you now have?


A. You bring it at a point that I object to and I do not feel

competent to answer.


Thereupon the juror was challenged a second time for cause, and the

challenge was overruled.


James H. Walker, dry goods merchant, stated that he had formed and

expressed an opinion as to the guilt of defendants; that he was

prejudiced, and stated that his prejudice would handicap him.


Q. Considering all prejudice and all opinions that you have, if the

testimony was equally balanced, would you decide one way or the other

in accordance with that opinion or your prejudice?


A. If the testimony was equally balanced, I should hold my present

opinion, sir.


[Page Eighteen]


Q. Assuming that your present opinion is, that you believe the

defendants guilty, would you believe your present opinion would

warrant you in convicting them?


A. I presume it would.


Q. Well, you believe it would; that is your present belief, is it.


A. Yes, sir.


He was challenged on the ground of prejudice.


The court then examined him at length, and finally asked:


Q. Do you believe that you can sit here and fairly and impartially

make up your mind, from the evidence, whether that evidence proves

that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or not?


A. I think I could, but I should believe that I was a little

handicapped in my judgment, sir.


Thereupon the court, in the presence of the jurors not yet examined, remarked:


Well, that is a sufficient qualification for a juror in the case-of

course, the more a man feels that he is handicapped the more he will

be guarded against it.


W. B. Allen, wholesale rubber business, stated among other things:


Q. I will ask you whether what you have formed from what you read and

heard is a slight impression or an opinion, or a conviction?


[Page Nineteen]


A. It is a decided conviction.


Q. You have made up your mind as to whether these men are guilty or innocent?


A. Yes, sir.


Q. It would be difficult to change that conviction, or impossible, perhaps?


A. Yes, sir.


Q. It would be impossible to change your conviction?


A. It would be hard to change my conviction.


He was challenged for cause by defendants. Then he was examined by

the court at length and finally brought to the point of saying that

he could try the case fairly and impartially and would do so. Then

the challenge for cause was overruled.


H. L. Anderson was examined at length and stated that he had formed

and expressed an opinion, still held it, was prejudiced, but that he

could lay aside his prejudices and grant a fair trial upon the

evidence. On being further examined he said that some of the

policemen injured were friends of his and he had talked with them

fully. He had formed an unqualified opinion as to the guilt or

innocence of the defendants, which he regarded as deep-seated, a firm

conviction that these defendants, or some of them, were guilty. He

was challenged on the ground of prejudice, but the challenge was



[Page Twenty]


M. D. Flavin, in the marble business. He had read and talked about

the Haymarket trouble and had formed and expressed an opinion as to

the guilt or innocence of the defendants, which he still held and

which was very strong; further, that one of the officers killed at

the Haymarket was a relative of his, although the relationship was

distant, but on account of this relationship his feelings were

perhaps different from what they would have been, and occasioned a

very strong opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, and that he

had stated to others that he believed what he had heard and read

about the matter. He was challenged on the ground of prejudice and

then stated, in answer to a question from the prosecution, that he

believed that he could give a fair and impartial verdict, when the

challenge was overruled.


Rush Harrison, in the silk department of Edson, Keith & Co., was

examined at length; stated that he had a deep-rooted conviction as to

the guilt or innocence of the defendants. He said:


"It would have considerable weight with me if selected as a juror. It

is pretty deep-rooted, that opinion is, and it would take a large

preponderance of evidence to remove it; it would require the

preponderance of evidence to remove the opinion I now possess. I feel

like every other good citizen does. I feel that these men are guilty;

we don't know which; we have formed this opinion by general reports

from the newspapers. Now, with that feeling, it would take some


[Page Twenty-One]


very positive evidence to make me think these men were not guilty, if

I should acquit them; that is what I mean. I should act entirely upon

the testimony; I would do as near as the main evidence would permit

me to do. Probably I would take the testimony alone."


Q. But you say that it would take positive evidence of their

innocence before you could consent to return them not guilty!


A. Yes, I should want some strong evidence.


Q. Well, if that strong evidence of their innocence was not

introduced, then you want to convict them, of course?


A. Certainly.


He was then challenged on the ground of being prejudiced, when the

judge proceeded to interrogate him and finally got him to say that he

believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence alone; then the

challenge was overruled.


J. R. Adams, importer, testified that he was prejudiced; had formed

and expressed opinions and still held them. He was challenged on this

ground, when the court proceeded to examine him at length, and

finally asked him this question:


Q. Do you believe that your convictions as to what the evidence

proved, or failed to prove, will be at all affected by what anybody

at all said or wrote about the matter before?


A. I believe they would.


[Page Twenty-Two]


The court (in the hearing of other jurors not yet examined)

exclaimed: "It is incomprehensible to me." The juror was excused.


B. L. Ames, dealer in hats and caps, stated that he was prejudiced;

had formed and expressed opinions; still held them. He was challenged

on these grounds. Then the court examined him at length; tried to

force him to say that he could try the case fairly without regard to

his prejudice, but he persisted in saying, in answer to the court's

questions, that he did not believe that he could sit as a juror,

listen to the evidence and from that alone make up his mind as to the

guilt or innocence of the defendants. Thereupon the court, in the

presence of other jurors not yet examined, lectured him as follows:


"Why not? What is to prevent your listening to the evidence and

acting alone upon it? Why can't you listen to the evidence and make

up your mind on it?


But the juror still insisted that he could not do it, and was discharged.


H. D. Bogardus, flour merchant, stated that he had read and talked

about the Haymarket trouble; had formed and expressed an opinion,

still held it, as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants; that

he was prejudiced; that this prejudice would certainly influence his

verdict if selected a juror. "I don't believe that I could give them

a fair trial upon the proof, for it would require very strong proof to


[Page Twenty-Three]


overcome my prejudice. I hardly think that you could bring proof

enough to change my opinion." He was challenged on the ground of



Then the court took him in hand and after a lengthy examination got

him to say: "I think I can fairly and impartially render a verdict in

this case in accordance with the law and the evidence."


Then the challenge was overruled.


Counsel for defendants then asked the juror further questions and he

replied: "I say it would require pretty strong testimony to overcome

my opinionat the present time; still, I think I could act independent

of my opinion. I would stand by my opinion, however, and I think that

the preponderance of proof would have to be strong to change my

opinion. I think the defendants are responsible for what occurred at

the Haymarket meeting. The preponderance of the evidence would have

to be in favor of the defendants' innocence with me."


Then the challenge for cause was renewed, when the court remarked, in

the presence of jurors not yet examined: "Every fairly intelligent

and honest man when he comes to investigate the question originally

for himself, upon authentic sources of information, will, in fact,

make his opinion from the authentic source, instead of hearsay that

he heard before.


The court then proceeded to again examine the juror, and as the juror

persisted in saying that he did not believe


[Page Twenty-Four]


he could give the defendants a fair trial, was finally discharged.


These examinations are fair specimens of all of them, and show

conclusively that Bailiff Ryce carried out the threat that Mr. Favor

swears to. Nearly every juror called stated that he had read and

talked about the matter and believed what he had heard and read, and

had formed and expressed an opinion, and still held it, as to the

guilt or innocence of the defendants; that he was prejudiced against

them; that that prejudice was deep-rooted, and that it would require

evidence to remove that prejudice.


A great many said they had been pointed out to the bailiff by their

employers to be summoned as jurors. Many stated frankly that they

believed the defendants to be guilty, and would convict unless their

opinions were overcome by strong proofs; and almost every one, after

having made these statements, was examined by the court in a manner

to force him to say that he would try the case fairly upon the

evidence produced in court, and whenever he was brought to this point

he was held to be a competent juror, and the defendants were obliged

to exhaust their challenges on men who declared in open court that

they were prejudiced and believed the defendants to be guilty.


The Twelve who Tried the Case.


The twelve jurors whom the defendants were finally forced to accept,

after the challenges were exhausted, were of the same general

character as the others, and a number


[Page Twenty-Five]


of them stated candidly that they were so prejudiced that they could

not try the case fairly, but each, when examined by the court, was

finally induced to say that he believed he could try the case fairly

upon the evidence that was produced in court alone. For example:


Theodore Denker, one of the twelve: "Am shipping clerk for Henry W.

King & Co. I have read and talked about the Haymarket tragedy, and

have formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of

the defendants of the crime charged in the indictment. I believe what

I read and heard, and still entertain that opinion."


Q. Is that opinion such as to prevent you from rendering an impartial

verdict in the case, sitting as a juror, under the testimony and the



A. I think it is.


He was challenged for cause on ground of prejudice. Then the state's

attorney and the court examined him and finally got him to say that

he believed he could try the case fairly upon the law and the

evidence, and the challenge was overruled. He was then asked further

questions by the defendants' counsel, and said:


"I have formed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants and have

expressed it. We conversed about the matter in the business house and

I expressed my opinion there; expressed my opinion quite frequently.

My mind was made up from what I read and did not hesitate to speak

about it."


[Page Twenty-Six]


Q. Would you feel yourself in any way governed or bound in listening

to the testimony and determining it upon the pre-judgment of the case

that you had expressed to others before?


A. Well that is a pretty hard question to answer.


He then stated to the court that he had not expressed an opinion as

to the truth of the reports he had read, and finally stated that he

believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence.


John B. Greiner, another one of the twelve: "Am a clerk for the

Northwestern railroad. I have heard and read about the killing of

Degan at the Haymarket on May 4, last, and have formed an opinion as

to the guilt or innocence of the defendants now on trial for that

crime. It is evident that the defendants are connected with that

affair from their being here."


Q. You regard that as evidence?


A. Well, I don't know exactly. Of course I would expect that it

connected them or they would not be here.


Q. So, then, the opinion that you now have has reference to the guilt

or innocence of some of these men, or all of them?


A. Certainly.


Q. Now, is that opinion one that would influence your verdict if you

should be elected as a juror to try the case?


A. I certainly think it would effect it to some extent; I don't see

how it could be otherwise.


[Page Twenty-Seven]


He further stated that there had been a strike in the freight

department of the Northwestern road, which affected the department he

was in. After some further examination he stated that he thought he

could try the case fairly on the evidence, and was then held to be



G. W. Adams, also one of the twelve: "Am traveling salesman; have

been an employer of painters. I read and talked about the Haymarket

trouble and formed an opinion as to the nature and character of the

crime committed there. I conversed freely with my friends about the



Q. Did you form an opinion at the time that the defendants were

connected with or responsible for the commission of that crime?


A. I thought some of them were interested in it, yes.


Q. And you still think so?


A. Yes.


Q. Nothing has transpired in the interval to change your mind at all,

I suppose?


A. No, sir.


Q. You say some of them, that is, in the newspaper accounts that you

read, the names of some of the defendants were referred to?


A. Yes, sir.


After further examination he testified that he thought he could try

the case fairly on the evidence.


[Page Twenty-Eight]


H. T. Sanford, another one of the twelve: Clerk for the Northwestern

railroad, in the freight auditor's office.


Q. Have you an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants

of the murder of Mathias J. Degan?


A. I have.


Q. From all that you have heard and that you have read, have you an

opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants of throwing

the bomb?


A. Yes, sir; I have.


Q. Have you a prejudice against socialists and communists?


A. Yes, sir; a decided prejudice.


Q. Do you believe that that prejudice would influence your verdict in

this case?


A. Well, as I know so little about it, it is a pretty hard question

to answer. I have an opinion in my own mind that the defendants

encouraged the throwing of that bomb.


Challenged for cause on the ground of prejudice.


On further examination, stated he believed he could try the case

fairly upon the evidence, and the challenge for cause was overruled.


Upon the whole, therefore, considering the facts brought to light

since the trial, as well as the record of the trial and the answers

of the jurors as given therein, it is clearly


[Page Twenty-Nine]


shown that while the counsel for defendants agreed to it, Ryce was

appointed special bailiff at the suggestion of the state's attorney,

and that he did summon a prejudiced jury which he believed would hang

the defendants, and further, that the fact that Ryce was summoning

only that kind of men was brought to the attention of the court

before the panel was full, and it was asked to stop it, but refused

to pay any attention to the matter, but permitted Ryce to go on and

then forced the defendants to go to trial before this jury.


While no collusion is proven between the judge and state's attorney,

it is clearly shown that after the verdict and while a motion for a

new trial was pending, a charge was filed in court that Ryce had

packed the jury, and that the attorney for the state got Mr. Favor to

refuse to make an affidavit bearing on this point, which the

defendants could use, and then the court refused to take any notice

of it unless the affidavit was obtained, although it was informed

that Mr. Favor would not make an affidavit, but stood ready to come

into court and make a full statement if the court desired him to do



These facts alone would call for executive interferance, especially

as Mr. Favor's affidavit was not before the supreme court at the time

it considered the case.


[Page Thirty]


Recent Decision of the Supreme Court as to Competency of Jurors.




The second point urged seemed to me to be equally conclusive. In the

case of the People vs. Coughlin, known as the Cronin case, recently

decided, the supreme court, in a remarkably able and comprehensive

review of the law on this subject, says among other things:


"The holding of this and other courts is substantially uniform, that

where it is once clearly shown that there exists in the mind of the

juror, at the time he is called to the jury box, a fixed and positive

opinion as to the merits of the case, or as to the guilt or innocence

of the defendant he is called to try, his statement that

notwithstanding such opinion he can render a fair and impartial

verdict according to the law and evidence, has little, if any,

tendency to establish his impartiality. This is so because a juror

who has sworn to have in his mind a fixed and positive opinion as to

the guilt or innocence of the accused is not impartial, as a matter

of fact. * * *


"It is difficult to see how, after a juror has avowed a fixed and

settled opinion as to the prisoner's guilt, a court can be legally

satisfied of the truth of his answer that he can render a fair and

impartial verdict, or find therefrom that he has the qualification of

impartiality, as required by the constitution. * * *


"Under such circumstances it is idle to inquire of the jurors whether

they can return just and impartial verdicts.


[Page Thirty-One]


The more clear and positive were their impressions of guilt, the more

certain they may be that they can act impartially in condemning the

guilty party. They go into the box in a state of mind that is well

calculated to give a color of guilt to all the evidence, and if the

accused escapes conviction, it will not be because the evidence has

not established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but because an

accused party condemned in advance, and called upon to exculpate

himself before a prejudiced tribunal, has succeeded in doing so. * *

* *


"To try a cause by such a jury, is to authorize men, who state that

they will lean in their finding against one of the parties, unjustly

to determine the rights of others, and it would be no difficult task

to predict, even before the evidence was heard, the verdict that

would be rendered. Nor can it be said that instructions from the

court would correct the bias of the jurors who swear they incline in

favor of one of the litigants. * * *


"Bontecou (one of the jurors in the Cronin case), it is true, was

brought to make answer that he could render a fair and impartial

verdict in accordance with the law and the evidence, but that result

was reached only after a singularly argumentative and persuasive

cross-examination by the court, in which the right of every person

accused of crime to an impartial trial and to the presumption of

innocence until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the duty

of every citizen, when summoned as a juror, to lay aside all opinions

and prejudices and accord the accused such trial


[Page Thirty-Two]


was set forth and decanted upon at length, and in which the

intimation was very clearly made that a juror who could not do this

was recreant to his duty as man and a citizen. Under pressure of this

sort of cross-examination, Bontecou seems to have been finally

brought to make answer in such a way as to profess an ability to sit

as an impartial juror, and on his so answering he was pronounced

competent, and the challenge as to him was overruled. Whatever may be

the weight ordinarily due to statements of this character by jurors,

their value as evidence is in no small degree impaired in this case

by the mode in which they were, in a certain sense, forced from the

mouth of the juror. The theory seemed to be that if a juror could in

any way be brought to answer that he could sit as an impartial juror,

that declaration of itself rendered him competent. Such a view, if it

was entertained, was a total misconception of the law. * * *


"It requires no profound knowledge of human nature to know that with

ordinary men opinions and prejudices are not amenable to the power of

the will, however honest the intention of the party may be to put

them aside. They are likely to remain in the mind of the juror in

spite of all his efforts to get rid of them, warping and giving

direction to his judgment, coloring the facts as they are developed

by the evidence and exerting an influence more or less potent, though

it be unconsciously to the juror himself, on the final result of his

deliberations. To compel a person accused of a crime to be tried by a

juror who has prejudged his case is not to give him a fair trial. Nor

should a defendant be


[Page Thirty-Three]


compelled to rely, as his security for the impartiality of the jurors

by whom he is to be tried, upon the restraining and controlling

influence upon the juror's mind of his oath to render a true verdict

according to the law and the evidence. His impartiality should appear

before he is permitted to take the oath. If he is not impartial then,

his oath can not be relied upon to make him so. In the terse and

expressive language of Lord Coke, already quoted, the jury should

`stand indifferent as he stands unsworn."'


Applying the law as here laid down in the Cronin case to the answers

of the jurors above given in the present case, it is very apparent

that most of the jurors were incompetent because they were not

impartial, for nearly all of them candidly stated that they were

prejudiced against the defendants and believed them guilty before

hearing the evidence, and the mere fact that the judge succeeded, by

a singularly suggestive examination, in getting them to state that

they believed they could try the case fairly on the evidence, did not

make them competent.


It is true that this case was before the supreme court, and that

court allowed the verdict to stand, and it is also true that in the

opinion of the majority of the court in the Cronin case an effort is

made to distinguish that case from this one, but it is evident that

the court did not have the record of this case before it when it

tried to make the distinction, and the opinion of the minority of the

court in the Cronin case expressly refers to this case as being

exactly like that one, so far as relates to the competency of the


[Page Thirty-Four]


jurors. The answers of the jurors were almost identical and the

examinations were the same. The very things which the supreme court

held to be fatal errors in the Cronin case constituted the entire

fabric of this case, so far as relates to the competency of the jury.

In fact, the trial judge in the Cronin case was guided by the rule

laid down in this case, yet the supreme court reversed the Cronin

case because two of the jurors were held to be incompetent, each

having testified that he had read and talked about the case and had

formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants;

that he was prejudiced; that he believed what he had read and that

his prejudice might influence his verdict; that his prejudice

amounted to a conviction on the subject of the guilt or innocence of

the defendants, but each finally said that he could and would try the

case fairly on the evidence alone, etc.


A careful comparison of the examination of these two jurors with that

of many of the jurors in this case shows that a number of the jurors

in this case expressed themselves, if anything, more strongly against

the defendants than these two did, and what is still more, one of

those summoned, Mr. M. D. Flavin, in this case, testified not only

that he had read and talked about the case and had formed and

expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants,

that hewas bitterly prejudiced, but further, that he was related to

one of the men who was killed, and that for that reason he felt more

strongly against the defendants than he otherwise might, yet he was

held to be competent


[Page Thirty-Five]


on his mere statement that he believed he could try the case fairly

on the evidence.


No matter what the defendants were charged with, they were entitled

to a fair trial, and no greater danger could possibly threaten our

institutions than to have the courts of justice run wild or give way

to popular clamor, and when the trial judge in this case ruled that a

relative of one of the men who was killed was a competent juror, and

this after the man had candidly stated that he was deeply prejudiced

and that his relationship caused him to feel more strongly than he

otherwise might, and when in scores of instances he ruled that men

who candidly declared that they believed the defendants to be guilty;

that this was a deep conviction and would influence their verdict,

and that it would require strong evidence to convince them that the

defendants were innocent, when in all these instances the trial judge

ruled that these men were competent jurors, simply because they had,

under his adroit manipulation, been led to say that they believed

they could try the case fairly on the evidence, then the proceedings

lost all semblance of a fair trial.


Does the Proof Show Guilt?




The state has never discovered who it was that threw the bomb which

killed the policemen, and the evidence does not show any connection

whatever between the defendants and the man who did throw it. The

trial judge in


[Page Thirty-Six]


overruling the motion for a new hearing, and again, recently in a

magazine article, used this language:


"The conviction has not gone on the ground that they did have

actually any personal participation in the particular act which

caused the death of Degan, but the conviction proceeds upon the

ground that they had generally, by speech and print, advised large

classes of the people, not particular individuals, but large classes,

to commit murder, and had left the commission, the time and place and

when, to the individual will and whim, or caprice, or whatever it may

be, of each individual man who listened to their advice, and that in

consequence of that advice, in pursuance of that advice, and

influenced by that advice, somebody not known did throw the bomb that

caused Degan's death. Now, if this is not a correct principle of the

law, then the defendants of course are entitled to a new trial. This

case is without precedent; there is no example in the law books of a

case of this sort."


The judge certainly told the truth when he stated that this case was

without a precedent, and that no example could be found in the law

books to sustain the law as above laid down. For, in all the

centuries during which government has been maintained among men, and

crime has been punished, no judge in a civilized country has ever

laid down such a rule before. The petitioners claim that it was laid

down in this case simply because the prosecution, not having

discovered the real criminal, would otherwise not have


[Page Thirty-Seven]


been able to convict anybody; that this course was then taken to

appease the fury of the public, and that the judgment was allowed to

stand for the same reason. I will not discuss this. But taking the

law as above laid down, it was necessary under it to prove, and that

beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person committing the violent

deed had at least heard or read the advice given to masses, for until

he either heard or read it he did not receive it, and if he did not

receive it, he did not commit the violent act in pursuance of that

advice; and it is here that the case for the state fails; with all

his apparent eagerness to force conviction in court, and his efforts

in defending his course since the trial, the judge, speaking on this

point in his magazine article, makes this statement: "It is probably

true that Rudolph Schnaubelt threw the bomb," which statement is a

mere surmise and is all that is known about it, and is certainly not

sufficient to convict eight men on. In fact, until the state proves

from whose hands the bomb came, it is impossible to show any

connection between the man who threw it and these defendants.


It is further shown that the mass of matter contained in the record

and quoted at length in the judge's magazine article, showing the use

of seditious and incendiary language, amounts to but little when its

source is considered. The two papers in which articles appeared at

intervals during years were obscure little sheets having scarcely any

circulation and the articles themselves were written at times of

great public excitement when an element in the community


[Page Thirty-Eight]


claimed to have been outraged; and the same is true of the speeches

made by the defendants and others; the apparently seditious

utterances were such as are always heard when men imagine that they

have been wronged or are excited or partially intoxicated; and the

talk of a gigantic anarchistic conspiracy is not believed by the then

chief of police, as will be shown hereafter, and it is not entitled

to serious notice, in view of the fact that, while Chicago had nearly

a million inhabitants, the meetings held on the lake front on Sundays

during the summer by these agitators rarely had fifty people present,

and most of these went from mere curiosity, while the meetings held

indoors during the winter were still smaller. The meetings held from

time to time by the masses of the laboring people must not be

confounded with the meetings above named, although in times of

excitement and trouble much violent talk was indulged in by

irresponsible parties, which was forgotten when the excitement was



Again, it is shown here that the bomb was, in all probability, thrown

by some one seeking personal revenge; that a course had been pursued

by the authorities which would naturally cause this; that for a

number of years prior to the Haymarket affair there had been labor

troubles, and in several cases a number of laboring people, guilty of

no offense, had been shot down in cold blood by Pinkerton men and

none of the murderers were brought to justice. The evidence taken at

coroners' inquests and presented here shows that in at least two

cases men were fired on and killed when they were running away and

there was consequently


[Page Thirty-Nine]


no occasion to shoot, yet nobody was punished; that in Chicago there

had been a number of strikes in which some of the police not only

took sides against the men, but without any authority of law invaded

and broke up peaceable meetings, and in scores of cases brutally

clubbed people who were guilty of no offense whatever. Reference is

made to the opinion of the late Judge McAllister in the case of the

Harmonia Association of Joiners against Brenan et al., reported in

the Chicago Legal News. Among other things Judge McAllister says:


"The facts established by a large number of witnesses and without any

opposing evidence are, that this society, having leased Turner Hall,

on West Twelfth street for the purpose, held a meeting in the

forenoon of said day in said hall composed of from 200 to 300

individuals, most of whom were journeymen cabinet makers engaged in

the several branches of the manufacture of furniture in Chicago, but

some of those in attendance were the proprietors in that business or

delegates sent by them. The object of the meeting was to obtain a

conference of the journeymen with such proprietors or their

authorized delegates with the view of endeavoring to secure an

increase of the price or diminution of the hours of labor. The

attendants were wholly unarmed and the meeting was perfectly

peaceable and orderly, and while the people were sitting quietly with

their backs toward the entrance hall, with a few persons on the stage

in front of them, and all engaged merely in the business for which

they had assembled, a force of from


[Page Forty]


fifteen to twenty policemen came suddenly into the hall, having a

policeman's club in one hand and a revolver in the other, and making

no pause to determine the actual character of the meeting, they

immediately shouted: "Get out of here, you damned sons-of-bitches,"

and began beating the people with their clubs, some of them actually

firing their revolvers. One young man was shot through the back of

the head and killed. But to complete the atrocity of the affair on

the part of the officers engaged in it, when the people hastened to

make their escape from the assembly room, they found policemen

stationed on either side of the stairway leading from the hall down

to the street, who applied their clubs to them as they passed,

seemingly with all the violence practicable under the circumstances.


"Mr. Jacob Beiersdorf, who was a manufacturer of furniture, employing

some 200 men, had been invited to the meeting and came, but as he was

about to enter the place where it was held, an inoffensive old man,

doing nothing unlawful, was stricken to the ground at his feet by a

policeman's club.


"These general facts were established by an overwhelming mass of

testimony, and for the purpose of the questions in the case, it is

needless to go farther into detail.


"The chief political right of the citizen in our government, based

upon the popular will as regulated by law, is the right of suffrage,

but to that right two others are auxilary and of almost equal



[Page Forty-One]


"1. The right of free speech and of a free press.


"2. The right of the people to assemble in a peaceable manner to

consult for the common good.


"These are among the fundamental principles of government and

guaranteed by our constitution. Section 17, article 2 of the bill of

rights declares: `The people have a right to assemble in a peaceable

manner to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions

to their representatives and apply for redress of grievances. Jurists

do not regard these declarations of the bill of rights as creating or

conferring the rights, but as a guarantee against their deprivation

or infringement by any of the powers or agencies of the government.

The rights themselves are regarded as the natural inalienable rights

belonging to every individual, or as political and based upon or

arising from principles inherent in the very nature of a system of

free government.'


"The right of the people to assemble in a peaceable manner to consult

for the common good being a constitutional right, it can be exercised

and enjoyed within the scope and spirit of that provision of the

constitution, independently of every other power of the state



"Judge Cooley, in his excellent work on `Torts,' speaking (p. 296) of

remedies for the invasion of political rights, says: `When a meeting

for any lawful purpose is actually called and held one who goes there

with the purpose to disturb and break it up and commits disorder to

that end, is a trespasser upon the rights of those who, for a time,



[Page Forty-Two]


control of the place of meeting. If several unite in the disorder it

may be a criminal riot."'


So much for Judge McAlister.


Now, it is shown that no attention was paid to the judge's decision;

that peaceable meetings were invaded and broken up and inoffensive

people were clubbed; that in 1885 there was a strike at the McCormick

Reaper factory on account of a reduction in wages and some Pinkerton

men, while on their way there, were hooted at by some people on the

street, when they fired into the crowd and fatally wounded several

people who had taken no part in any disturbance; that four of the

Pinkerton men were indicted for this murder by the grand jury, but

that the prosecuting officers apparently took no interest in the case

and allowed it to be continued a number of times, until the witnesses

were sworn out, and in the end the murderers went free; that after

this there was a strike on the West Division Street railway and that

some of the police, under the leadership of Capt. John Bonfield,

indulged in a brutality never equaled before; that even small

merchants standing on their own doorsteps and having no interest in

the strike were clubbed, then hustled into patrol wagons and thrown

into prison on no charge and not even booked; that a petition, signed

by about 1,000 of the leading citizens living on and near West

Madison street, was sent to the mayor and city council, praying for

the dismissal of Bonfield from the force but that on account of his

political influence he was retained. Let me say here that the charge

of brutality does


[Page Forty-Three]


not apply to all of the policemen of Chicago. There are many able,

honest and conscientious officers who do their duty quietly,

thoroughly and humanely.


As a specimen of the many papers filed in this connection I will give

the following, the first being from the officers of a corporation

that is one of the largest employers in Chicago:



CHICAGO, Nov. 21, 1885.


To the Chairman of the Committee, Chicago Trades and Labor Assembly:


Sir-In response to the request of your committee for information as

to the treatment received by certain employes of this company at the

hands of Captain Bonfield, and by his orders, during the strike of

the Western Division Railway Company's employes in July last, you are

advised as follows:


On that day of the strike, in which there was apparently an

indiscriminate arresting of persons who happened to be up on Madison

street, whether connected with the disturbance of peace or engaged in

legitimate business, a number of employes of this company were at

work upon said street near Hoyne avenue, opening a trench for the

laying of gas pipe.


The tool box of the employes was at the southeast corner of Hoyne and

Madison street. As the men assembled for labor shortly before 7 a.

m., they took their shovels and tools from the tool box, arranged

themselves along the trench preparatory to going to work when the

hour of seven should arrive. About this time and a little before the

men began to work a crowd of men, not employes of this company, came

surging down the street from the west, and seizing such shovels and

other tools of the men as lay upon the ground and about the box,

threw more or less of the loose dirt, which before had been taken

from the trench, upon the track of the railway company. About this

time Captain Bonfield and his force appeared upon the


[Page Forty-Four]


scene and began apparently an indiscriminate arrest of persons. Among

others arrested were the following employes of this company: Edward

Kane, Mike W. Kerwin, Dan Diamond, Jas. Hussey, Dennis Murray,

Patrick Brown and Pat Franey. No one of these persons had any

connection with the strike, or were guilty of obstructing the cars of

the railway company, or of any disturbance upon the street. Mr.

Kerwin had just arrived at the tool box and had not yet taken his

shovel preparatory to going to work, when he was arrested while

standing by the box and without resistance was put upon a street car

as prisoner. When upon the car he called to a friend among the

workmen, saying, "take care of my shovel." Thereupon Bonfield struck

him a violent blow with a club upon his head, inflicting a serious

wound, laying open his scalp, and saying as he did so, "I will shovel

you," or words to that effect. Another of the said employes, Edward

Kane, was also arrested by the tool box, two of the police seizing

him, one by each arm, and he was being put upon the car, a third man,

said by Kane and others to be Bonfield, struck him with a club upon

the head, severely cutting his head. Both of these men were seriously

injured and for a time disabled from attending to their business.

Both of these men, with blood streaming from cuts upon their heads,

respectively, as also all of the others above named, were hustled off

to the police station and locked up. The men were not "booked" as

they were locked up, and their friends had great difficulty in

finding them, so that bail might be offered and they released. After

they were found communication with them was denied for some time, by

Bonfield's orders it was said, and for several hours they were kept

in confinement in the lock-up upon Desplaines Street as criminals,

when their friends were desirous of bailing them out. Subsequently

they were all brought up for trial before Justice White. Upon the

hearing the city was represented by its attorney, Bonfield himself

being present, and from the testimony it appeared that all these men

had been arrested under the circumstances aforesaid, and without the

least cause, and that Kane and Kirwin had been cruelly assaulted and

beaten without the least justification therefor, and of course they

were all discharged.


[Page Forty-Five]


The officers of this company who are cognizant of the outrages

perpetrated upon these men, feel that the party by whom the same were

committed ought not to remain in a responsible position upon the


By C. K. G. Billings, V. P.


CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 1885.

ROBERT ELLIS, 974 West Madison street:


I kept a market at 974 West Madison street. I was in my place of

business waiting on customers and stepped to the door to get a

measure of vegetables. The first thing I knew, as I stood on the step

in front of my store, I received a blow over the shoulders with a

club and was seized and thrown off the sidewalk into a ditch being

dug there. I had my back to the person who struck me, but on

regaining my feet I saw that it was Bonfield who had assaulted me.

Two or three officers then came up. I told them not to hit me again.

They said go and get in the car, and I told them that I couldn't

leave my place of business as I was all alone there. They asked

Bonfield and he said, "Take him right along." They then shoved me

into the car and took me down the street to a patrol wagon, in which

I was taken to the Lake street station. I was locked up there from

this time, about 8 o'clock in the morning, till 8 o'clock in the

evening and then taken to the Desplaines street station. I was held

there a short time and then gave bail for my appearance, and got back

to my place of business about 9 o'clock that night. Subsequently when

I appeared in court I was discharged. It was about 8 o'clock in the

morning, July 3, 1885, when I was taken from my place of business.





CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 1385.


I was standing in my door about 7 o'clock in the morning of July 3,

1885. I saw a man standing on the edge of the sidewalk. He wasn't

doing anything at all. Bonfield came up to him, and without a word

being said by either, Bonfield hit him over the head with his club

and knocked him down. He also hit him twice after he had fallen. I

was standing about six feet from them when the assault occurred. I

don't know the man that was clubbed-never saw him before nor since.



1004 West Madison Street.


[Page Forty-Six]



CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 1885.


On the morning of July 3, 1885, about 7 o'clock, as I was standing on

the southeast corner of Madison street and Western avenue, I saw

Bonfield walk up to a man on the opposite corner, who was apparently

looking on at what was going on in the street. Bonfield hit him over

the head with his club and knocked him down. Some men who were near

him helped him over to the drug store on the corner where I was

standing. His face was covered with blood from the wound on his head

made by Bonfield's club, and he appeared to be badly hurt. A few

moments later, as I was standing in the same place, almost touching

elbows with another man, Bonfield came up facing us and said to us,

"stand back," at the same time striking the other man over the head

with his club. I stepped back and turned around to look for the other

man; saw him a few feet away with the blood running down over his

face, apparently badly hurt from the effect of the blow or blows he

had received from Bonfield. There was no riot or disorderly conduct

there at the time, except what Bonfield made himself by clubbing

innocent people who were taking no part in the strike. If they had

been there for the purpose of rioting they would surely have resisted

Bonfield's brutality.


I affirm that the above statement is a true and correct statement of facts.


JESSE CLOUD, 998 Monroe street.



CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 1885.


On the morning of July 3, 1885, I was driving up Madison street, just

coming from Johnson's bakery on Fifth avenue. When I got to the

corner of Market and Madison streets, I met the cars coming over the

bridge. On looking out of my wagon I saw Bonfield by the side of a

car. He snatched me from my wagon and struck me on the head cutting

it open, and put me in a car, leaving my wagon standing there

unprotected loaded with bakery goods, all of which were stolen,

except a few loaves of bread. I was taken to the Desplaines street

station and locked up for about ten hours. I was then bound over for

riot in $500 bail and released. During the time I was there I

received no attention of any kind, though my head was seriously cut.

Julius Goldzier, my


[Page Forty-Seven]


LAWYER went to Bonfield with me before the case was called in court,

and told him I had done nothing, and Bonfield said, "scratch his name

off," and I was released.


I swear to the truth of the above.





47 Flournoy street.


The following is from Captain Schaack, a very prominent police official:





CHICAGO, Ill., May 4, 1893.

Mr. G. E. DETWILER, Editor Rights of Labor:


Dear Sir: In reply to your communication of April 13, I will say that

in July, 1885, in the street car strike on the west side, I held the

office of lieutenant on the force. I was detailed with a company of

officers early in the morning in the vicinity of the car barns, I

believe on Western avenue and a little north of Madison street. My

orders were to see that the new men on the cars were not molested

when coming out of the barns.


One man came out and passed my lines about fifty feet. I saw one of

the men, either driver or conductor, leave the car at a stand-still.

I ran up near to the car, when I saw on the southeast corner of the

street Bonfield strike a man on the head with his club. He hit the

man twice and I saw the man fall to the ground.


Afterwards I was put on a train of cars, protecting the rear.

Bonfield had charge of the front. I saw many people getting clubbed

in front of the train but I held my men in the rear and gave orders

not to strike any one except they were struck first. Not one of my

officers hurt a person on that day or at any time.


Many people were arrested, all appearing. From what I saw in the

afternoon and the next day, no officer could state what they were

arrested for. The officers professed ignorance of having any

evidence, but "some one told them to take him in," meaning to lock

him up. On that afternoon, about 4 o'clock, I met Bonfield and he



[Page Forty-Eight]


me in the following words, in great anger: "If some of you

goody-goody fellows had used your clubs freely in the forenoon, you

would not need to use lead this afternoon." I told him that I did not

see any use clubbing people and that I would club no person to please

any one, meaning Bonfield, and that if lead had to be used, I thought

my officers could give lead and take it also. I will say that affair

was brutal and uncalled for.



No. 227 N. State Street.


Again it is shown that various attempts were made to bring to justice

the men who wore the uniform of the law while violating it, but all

to no avail; that the laboring people found the prisons always open

to receive them, but the courts of justice were practically closed to

them; that the prosecuting officers vied with each other in hunting

them down, but were deaf to their appeals; that in the spring of 1886

there were more labor disturbances in the city and particularly at

the McCormick factory; that under the leadership of Capt. Bonfield

the brutalities of the previous year were even exceeded. Some

affidavits and other evidence is offered on this point which I can

not give for want of space. It appears that this was the year of the

eight hour agitation and efforts were made to secure an eight hour

day about May 1, and that a number of laboring men standing, not on

the street, but on a vacant lot, were quietly discussingthe situation

in regard to the movement, when suddenly a large body of police under

orders from Bonfield charged on them and began to club them; that

some of the men, angered at the unprovoked assault, at first

resisted, but were soon dispersed; that some of the


[Page Forty-Nine]


police fired on the men while they were running and wounded a large

number who were already 100 feet or more away and were running as

fast as they could; that at least four of the number so shot down

died, that this was wanton and unprovoked murder, but there was not

even so much as an investigation.


Was it an Act of Personal Revenge?


While some men may tamely submit to being clubbed and seeing their

brothers shot down, there are some who will resent it and will

nurture a spirit of hatred and seek revenge for themselves, and the

occurrences that preceded the Haymarket tragedy indicate that the

bomb was thrown by some one who, instead of acting on the advice of

anybody, was simply seeking personal revenge for having been clubbed,

and that Capt. Bonfield is the man who is really responsible for the

death of the police officers.


It is also shown that the character of the Haymarket meeting sustains

this view. The evidence shows there were only 800 to 1,000 people

present, and that it was a peaceable and orderly meeting; that the

mayor of the city was present and saw nothing out of the way and that

he remained until the crowd began to disperse, the meeting being

practically over, and the crowd engaged in dispersing when he left;

that had the police remained away for twenty minutes more there would

have been nobody left


[Page Fifty]


there, but that as soon as Bonfield learned that the mayor had left

he could not resist the temptation to have some more people clubbed

and went up with a detachment of police to disperse the meeting, and

that on the appearance of the police the bomb was thrown by some

unknown person and several innocent and faithful officers, who were

simply obeying an uncalled for order of their superior, were killed;

all of these facts tend to show the improbability of the theory of

the prosecution that the bomb was thrown as the result of a

conspiracy on the part of the defendants to commit murder; if the

theory of the prosecution were correct there would have been many

bombs thrown; and the fact that only one was thrown shows that it was

an act of personal revenge.


It is further shown here that much of the evidence given at the trial

was a pure fabrication; that some of the prominent police officials

in their zeal, not only terrorized ignorant men by throwing them into

prison and threatening them with torture if they refused to swear to

anything desired, but that they offered money and employment to those

who would consent to do this. Further, that they deliberately planned

to have fictitious conspiracies formed in order that they might get

the glory of discovering them. In addition to the evidence in the

record of some witnesses who swore that they had been paid small sums

of money, etc., several documents are here referred to.


First, an interview with Capt. Ebersold published in the Chicago

Daily News May 10, 1889.


[Page Fifty-One]


Chief of Police Ebersold's Statement.


Ebersold was chief of the police of Chicago at the time of the

Haymarket trouble and for a long time before and thereafter, so that

he was in a position to know what was going on and his utterances

upon this point are therefore important. Among other things he says:


"It was my policy to quiet matters down as soon as possible after the

4th of May. The general unsettled state of things was an injury to



"On the other hand, Capt. Schaack wanted to keep things stirring. He

wanted bombs to be found here, there, all around, everywhere. I

thought people would lie down and sleep better if they were not

afraid that their homes would be blown to pieces any minute. But this

man, Schaack, this little boy who must have glory or his heart would

be broken, wanted none of that policy. Now, here is something the

public does not know. After we got the anarchist societies broken up,

Schaack wanted to send out men to again organize new societies right

away. You see what this would do. He wanted to keep the thing

boiling, keep himself prominent before the public. Well, I sat down

on that, I didn't believe in such work, and of course Schaack didn't

like it.


"After I heard all that, I began to think there was perhaps not so

much to all this anarchist business as they claimed, and I believe I

was right. Schaack thinks he knew all about those anarchists. Why, I

knew more


[Page Fifty-Two]


at that time than he knows to-day about them. I was following them

closely. As soon as Schaack began to get some notoriety, however, he

was spoiled."


This is a most important statement, when a chief of police who has

been watching the anarchists closely says that he was convinced that

there was not so much in all this anarchist business as was claimed,

and that a police captain wanted to send out men to have other

conspiracies formed in order to get the credit of discovering them

and keep the public excited, it throws a flood of light on the whole

situation and destroys the force of much of the testimony introduced

at the trial.


For if there has been any such extensive conspiracy as the

prosecution claims, the police would have soon discovered it. No

chief of police could discover a determination on the part of an

individual, or even a number of separate individuals, to have

personal revenge for having been maltreated, nor could any chief

discover a determination by any such individual to kill the next

policeman who might assault him. Consequently, the fact that the

police did not discover any conspiracy before the Haymarket affair

shows almost conclusively that no such extensive combination could

have existed.


As further bearing on the question of creating evidence reference is

made to the following affidavits:


[Page Fifty-Three]




Jacob Mikolanda, being first duly sworn, on oath states, that he took

no part in the so-called May troubles of 1886; that on or about the

8th day of May, 1886, two police officers, without a warrant or

without assigning any reasons therefor, took this affiant from a

saloon, where he was conducting himself peacefully, and obliged him

to accompany them to his house; that the same officers entered his

house without a search warrant, and ransacked the same, not even

permitting the baby's crib with its sleeping occupant, to escape

their unlawful and fruitless search; that in about a month after this

occurrence this affiant was summoned by Officer Peceny to accompany

him to the police station, as Lieutenant Shepard wished to speak to

me; that there without a warrant this affiant was thrown into jail;

that he was thereupon shown some photographs and asked if he knew the

persons, and on answering to the affirmative as to some of the

pictures, he was again thrown into prison; that he was then

transferred from one station to another for several days; that he was

importuned by a police captain and assistant state's attorney to turn

state's witness, being promised therefor money, the good will and

protection of the police, their political influence in securing a

position and his entire freedom; that on answering that he knew

nothing to which he could testify, he was thrown back into jail; that

his preliminary hearing was repeatedly continued for want of

prosecution, each continuance obliging this affiant to remain longer

in jail; that eventually this affiant was dismissed for want of





Subscribed and sworn to before me this 14th day of April, A. D. 1893.



Notary Public.




Vaclav Djmek, being first duly sworn, on oath states that he knows of

no cause for his arrest on the 7th day of May, A. D. 1886; that he

took no part in any of the troubles of the preceding days; that

without a warrant for his arrest, or without a search warrant for his

premises, the police entered the house on the night of the


[Page Fifty-Four]


7th day of May, 1886; that on being requested to show by what

authority they entered, the police heaped abuse upon this affiant and

his wife; that the police then proceeded to ransack the house, roused

this affiant's little children out of bed, pulled the same to pieces,

carried away this affiant's papers and pillow slips, because the same

were red; that on the way to the police station, though this affiant

offered no resistance whatever and went at the command of the officer

peacefully, this affiant was choked, covered by revolvers and

otherwise inhumanly treated by the police officers; that for many

days this affiant was jailed and refused a preliminary hearing; that

during said time he was threatened, and promised immunity by the

police if he would turn state's witness; that the police clerk and

officer Johnson repeatedly promised this affiant his freedom and

considerable money if he would turn state's witness; that on his

protestations that he knew of nothing to which he could testify, this

affiant was abused and ill-treated; that while he was jailed this

affiant was kicked, clubbed, beaten and scratched, had curses and

abuses heaped upon him and was threatened with hanging by the police;

that this affiant's wife was abused by the police when she sought

permission to see this affiant.




Subscribed and sworn to before me this 14th day of April, A. D. 1893.



Notary Public.


I will simply say in conclusion on this branch of the case that the

facts tend to show that the bomb was thrown as an act of personal

revenge, and that the prosecution has never discovered who threw it,

and the evidence utterly fails to show that the man who did throw it

ever heard or read a word coming from the defendants; consequently it

fails to show that he acted on any advice given by them. And if he

did not act on or hear any advice coming from the defendants, either

in speeches or through the press, then there was no case against them

even under the law as laid down by Judge Gary.


[Page Fifty-Five]


Fielden and Schwab.


At the trial a number of detectives and members of the police force

swore that the defendant, Fielden, at the Haymarket meeting, made

threats to kill, urging his hearers to do their duty as he would do

his, just as the policemen were coming up, and one policeman swears

that Fielden drew a revolver and fired at the police while he was

standing on the wagon and before the bomb was thrown, while some of

the others testified that he first climbed down off the wagon and

fired while standing by a wheel. On the other hand, it was proven by

a number of witnesses and by facts and circumstances that this

evidence must be absolutely untrue. A number of newspaper reporters

who testified on the part of the state said that they were standing

near Fielden, much nearer than the police were, and heard all that

was said and saw what was done; that they had been sent there for

that purpose, and that Fielden did not make any such threats as the

police swore to, and that he did not use a revolver. A number of

other men who were near, too, and some of them on the wagon on which

Felden stood at the time, swear to the same thing. Fielden himself

swears that he did not make any such threats as the police swore to,

and further, that he never had or used a revolver in his life. But if

there were any doubt about the fact that the evidence charging

Fielden with having used a revolver is unworthy of credit, it is

removed by Judge Gary and State's Attorney Grinnell. On November 8,

1887, when he question of commuting the death sentence as to Fielden


[Page Fifty-Six]


was before the governor, Judge Gary wrote a long letter in regard to

the case in which, in speaking of Fielden, he among other things,

says: "There is in the nature and private character of the man a love

of justice, an impatience at undeserved sufferings. * * * In his own

private life he was the honest, industrious and peaceful laboring

man. In what he said in court before sentence he was respectful and

decorous. His language and conduct since have been irreproachable. As

there is no evidence that he knew of any preparation to do the

specific act of throwing the bomb that killed Degan, he does not

understand even now that general advice to large masses to do

violence makes him responsible for the violence done by reason of

that advice. * * * In short, he was more a misguided enthusiast than

a criminal conscious of the horrible nature and effect of his

teachings and of his responsibility therefor."


The states attorney appended the foregoing letter beginning as

follows: "While endorsing and approving the foregoing statement by

Judge Gary, I wish to add thereto the suggestion * * * that Schwab's

conduct during the trial and when addressing the court before

sentence, like Fielden's was decorous, respectful to the law and

commendable. * * * It is further my desire to say that I believe that

Schwab was the pliant, weak tool of a stronger will and more

designing person. Schwab seems to be friendless."


[Page Fifty-Seven]


If what Judge Gary says about Fielden is true; if Fielden has "a

natural love of justice and in his private life was the honest,

industrious and peaceable laboring man," then Fielden's testimony is

entitled to credit, and when he says that he did not do the things

the police charge him with doing and that he never had or used a

revolver in his life, it is probably true, especially as he is

corroborated by a number of credible and disinterested witnesses.


Again, if Fielden did the things the police charged him with doing,

if he fired on them as they swear, then he was not a mere misguided

enthusiast who was to be held only for the consequences of his

teachings, and if either Judge Gary or State's Attorney Grinnell had

placed any reliance on the evidence of the police on this point they

would have written a different kind of a letter to the then executive.


In the fall of 1887 a number of the most prominent business men of

Chicago met to consult whether or not to ask executive clemency for

any of the condemned men. Mr. Grinnell was present and made a speech

in which in referring to this evidence he said that he had serious

doubts whether Fielden had a revolver on that occasion or whether

indeed Fielden ever had one.


Yet in arguing the case before the supreme court the previous spring

much stress was placed by the state on the evidence relating to what

Fielden did at the Haymarket meeting and that court was misled into

attaching great importance to it.


[Page Fifty-Eight]


It is now clear that there is no case made out against Fielden for

anything that he did on that night, and, as heretofore shown, in

order to hold him and the other defendants for the consequences and

effects of having given pernicious and criminal advice to large

masses to commit violence, whether orally, in speeches or in print,

it must be shown that the person committing the violence had read or

heard the advice, for until he had heard or read it he did not

receive, and if he never received the advice it can not be said that

he acted on it.


State's Attorney on Neebe's Innocence.




At the conclusion of the evidence for the state the Hon. Carter H.

Harrison, then mayor of Chicago, and Mr. F. S. Winston, then

corporation counsel for Chicago were in the court room and had a

conversation with Mr. Grinnell, the state's attorney in regard to the

evidence against Neebe, in which conversation, according to Mr.

Harrison and Mr. Winston, the state's attorney said that he did not

think he had a case against Neebe and that he wanted to dismiss as to

him, but was dissuaded from doing so by his associate attorneys, who

feared that such a step might influence the jury in favor of the

other defendants.


Mr. Harrison. in a letter, among other things, says: "I was present

in the court room when the state closed its case. The attorney for

Neebe moved his discharge on the ground that there was no evidence to

hold him on. The


[Page Fifty-Nine]


state's attorney, Mr. Julius S. Grinnell, and Mr. Fred S. Winston,

corporation counsel for the city, and myself were in earnest

conversation when the motion was made. Mr. Grinnell stated to us that

he didnot think there was sufficient testimony to convict Neebe. I

thereupon earnestly advised him, as the representative of the state,

to dismiss the case as to Neebe, and if I remember rightly he was

seriously thinking of doing so, but on consultation with his

assistants and on their advice he determined not to do so lest it

would have an injurious effect on the case as against the other

prisoners. * * * I took the position that such discharge being

clearly justified by the testimony would not prejudice the case as to

the others."


Mr. Winston adds the following to Mr. Harrison's letter:


MARCH, 21, 1889.


I concur in the statement of Mr. Harrison; I never believed there was

sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Neebe, and so stated during the





In January, 1890, Mr. Grinnell wrote a letter to Gov-Fifer, denying

that he had ever made any such statement as that mentioned by Mr.

Harrison and Mr. Winston; also that he did believe Neebe guilty; that

Mr. Harrison suggested the dismissal of the case as to Neebe, and

further that he would not have been surprised if Mr. Harrison had

made a similar suggestion as to others and then he says: "I said to

Mr. Harrison at that time substantially that I was afraid that the

jury might not think the testimony presented in the case sufficient

to convict Neebe, but that it was in their province to pass upon it.


[Page Sixty]


Now, if the statement of Messrs. Harrison and Winston is true, then

Grinnell should not have allowed Neebe to be sent to the

penitentiary, and even if we assume that both Mr. Harrison and Mr.

Winston are mistaken and that Mr. Grinnell simply used the language

he now says he used, then the case must have seemed very weak to him.

If, with a jury prejudiced to start with, a judge pressing for

conviction, and amid the almost irresistible fury with which the

trial was conducted, he still was afraid the jury might not think the

testimony in the case was sufficient to convict Neebe, then that

testimony must have seemed very weak to him, no matter what he may

now protest about it.


When the motion to dismiss the case as to Neebe was made, defendants'

counsel asked that the jury might be permitted to retire while the

motion was being argued, but the court refused to permit this, and

kept the jury present where it could hear all that the court had to

say, then when the argument on the motion was begun by defendants'

counsel the court did not wait to hear from the attorneys for the

state, but at once proceeded to argue the points itself with the

attorneys for the defendants, so that while the attorneys for the

state made no argument on the motion, twenty-five pages of the record

are filled with the colloquy or sparring that took place between the

court and the counsel for the defendants, the court in the presence

of the jury making insinuations as to what inference might be drawn

by the jury from the fact that Neebe owned a little stock in a paper

called the Arbeiter Zeitung and had been seen there


[Page Sixty-One]


although he took no part in the management until after the Haymarket

troubles, it appearing that the Arbeiter Zeitung had published some

very seditious articles with which, however, Neebe had nothing to do.

Finally one of the counsel for the defendants said: "I expected that

the representatives of the state might say something, but as your

honor saves them that trouble, you will excuse me if I reply briefly

to the suggestions you have made." Some other remarks were made by

the court, seriously affecting the whole case, and prejudicial to the

defendants, and then, referring to Neebe the court said:


"Whether he had anything to do with the dissemination of advice to

commit murder is I think a debatable question which the jury ought to

pass on." Finally the motion was overruled. Now, with all of the

eagerness shown by the court to convict Neebe, it must have regarded

the evidence against him as very weak, otherwise it would not have

made this admission, for if it was a debatable question whether the

evidence tended to show guilt, then that evidence must have been far

from being conclusive upon the question as to whether he was actually

guilty; this being so, the verdict should not have been allowed to

stand, because the law requires that a man shall be proven to be

guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before he can be convicted of a

criminal offense. I have examined all of the evidence against Neebe

with care and it utterly fails to prove even the shadow of a case

against him. Some of the other defendants were guilty ef using

seditious language, but even this cannot be said of Neebe.


[Page Sixty-Two]


Prejudice or Subserviency of Judge.




It is further charged with much bitterness by those who speak for the

prisoners that the record of the case shows that the judge conducted

the trial with malicious ferocity and forced eight men to be tried

together; that in cross-examining the state's witnesses he confined

counsel for the defense to the specific points touched on by the

state, while in the cross-examination of the defendants' witnesses he

permitted the state's attorney to go into all manner of subjects

entirely foreign to the matters on which the witnesses were examined

in chief; also that every ruling throughout the long trial on any

contested point was in favor of the state, and further, that page

after page of the record contains insinuating remarks of the judge,

made in the hearing of the jury, and with the evident intent of

bringing the jury to his way of thinking; that these speeches, coming

from the court, were much more damaging than any speeches from the

state's attorney could possibly have been; that the state's attorney

often took his cue from the judge's remarks; that the judge's

magazine article recently published, although written nearly six

years after the trial, is yet full of venom; that, pretending to

simply review the case, he had to drag into his article a letter

written by an excited woman to a newspaper after the trial was over,

and which therefore had nothing whatever to do with the case and was

put into the


[Page Sixty-Three]


articles simply to create a prejudice against the woman, as well as

against the dead and the living, and that, not content wtth this, he

in the same article makes an insinuating attack on one of the lawyers

for the defense, not for anything done at the trial, but because more

than a year after the trial when some of the defendants had been

hung, he ventured to express a few kind, if erroneous, sentiments

over the graves of his dead clients, whom he at least believed to be

innocent. It is urged that such ferocity or subserviency is without a

parallel in all history; that even Jeffries in England contented

himself with hanging his victims, and did not stop to berate them

after they were dead


These charges are of a personal character, and while they seem to be

sustained by the record of the trial and the papers before me and

tend to show that the trial was not fair, I do not care to discuss

this feature of the case any farther, because it is not necessary. I

am convinced that it is clearly my duty to act in this case for the

reasons already given, and I, therefore, grant an absolute pardon to

Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe and Michael Schwab this 26th day of June,




Governor of Illinois.