And thereupon the defendants to maintain their cause offered the following evidence.
August 2nd, 1886, ten o'clock A. M.
CARTER A. HARRISON, a witness called and sworn on behalf of the defendants was examined in chief by Mr. Black and testified as follows:
Q Will you state your full name, please?
A Carter H. Harrison.
Q Where do you reside?
A Ashland Avenue, Chicago.
Q You are Mayor of the City of Chicago?
A I am.
Q And have been for how long a time?
A Over seven years---seven years last May.
Q You occupied that position then on May 4th?
A I did.
Q Are you personally acquainted with any of the defendants in this case?
A Two of them, Mr. Spies and Mr. Parsons; slightly, however, with Mr. Spies.
Q How long have you known them respectively?
A Mr. Spies merely by introduction, and I have a vague recollection that I talked with him a little while, Mr. Parsons some time last year or the year before last in a conversation at my office.
Q Were you in the City of Chicago on the 4th of May, the night of the 4th of May, 1886?
A I was.
Q Did you attend the haymarket meeting so called, the meeting on Desplaines street, at which the tragedy of May 4th, the evening of May 4th, occurred?
Q Will you state please how you came to go to that meeting or what led you to go to that meeting---I am not asking your motives, but whatever may have transpired or occurred that led you to go to that meeting, and at what hour you reached the ground?
MR. GRINNELL: He at first asks the motive and hedges on it to the last.
THE COURT: The question is rather ambigous and voluminous.
MR. BLACK: Do you understand the question?
A I understand the question.
MR. GRINNELL: Let him answer then.
THE WITNESS: On the day before there was a riot at McCormick's factory. There was some large number of windows destroyed and some shooting. That riot was said to me to have grown out of a speech made in the prairie by Mr. Spies. During the morning of the 4th, probably about noon, information came to me of the issuance of a circular of a very peculiar character, and a call for a meeting at haymarket that night. I called to the chief of police, and directed him that if anything should be said at that meeting that was likely to call out a recurrence of such proceedings as were at McCormick's factory, that the meeting should be dispersed. I believed that it was better for myself to be there and to disperse it myself, instead of leaving it to any policeman. I thought that my order would be better obeyed. I went there then for the purpose if I felt it necessary, for the safety of the city, to disperse that meeting.
Q What hour did you reach the scene?
A About five minutes before eight.
Q At what time with reference to your arrival upon the ground did the meeting in fact gather?
A There was a large concourse of people about the haymarket, in the street and on the sidewalk, walking up and down. It was so long before any speaking commenced that probably that two thirds of the people there assembled left apparently, at least to me. Of course I could not tell how many, because the same man might walk back and forth, but that is the way it struck me. It was somewhere at least about half past eight I should judge when the meeting as such, where the speaking took place, congregated around Crane's building or the alley near it.
Q Were you there at the time the meeting was called to order?
A I was there, but not directly in the meeting. I was on the haymarket, about the corner of Randolph and Desplaines, the south-west corner.
Q Did you hear the meeting called to order?
A I didn't hear the immediate call. I went over to it, then Mr. Spies was speaking when I got into it so I was close enough to hear. He probably had been speaking a minute, maybe two, before I got near enough to hear distinctly what he said.
Q How long did you remain at the meeting or upon the ground?
A I don't remember looking at my watch, but judging from the time when the bomb sounded and the time it took me to walk away, I the next day reached the conclusion that I left it between 10 and 10.05 o'clock.
Q What speakers did you hear addressing the crowd?
A I heard all except probably a minute or a minute and a half of Mr. Spies, and all of Mr. Parsons up to the time I left, with the exception of a break when I left him talking and went over to the station, probably being absent five minutes; maybe five to ten minutes.
Q At what portion either with reference to substance or with reference to time of Mr. Parson's remarks was it that you went to the station, and that this break occurred?
A That I couldn't tell positively.
Q Do you remember whether it was nearer the beginning of his address or near the close?
A It was nearer--- to make you understand---I heard all of Mr. Parson's speech, the beginning of it, until I should judge he was looking towards a close. I went over to the station, spoke to Capt. Bonfield and determined to go home, but instead of going immediately, I went back to hear a little more and then left. Probably I was there then five minutes.
A No sir.
Q He was still speaking?
A I left him speaking, but being a public speaker and having listened to a great many, I thought he was reaching the conclusion.
Q Within how long a time after you left the ground did you hear the explosion that you have referred to?
A That I have to measure by the time it took me to walk. I live about a mile and a quarter from the haymarket. I walked very rapidly, reached my home, undressed and was about ready to go to bed when I heard the bomb---I judge about twenty minutes from the time that I left. That is the way I say about 10.05 that I left, because of measuring it. I did not look at my watch, but I did look at my watch or my clock just after hearing the bomb, because I went down and commenced telephoning at once to the central station.
Q What part of the ground were you on while you were attending this meeting, Mr. Harrison?
A I was about the center of Desplaines street, probably a little nearer the west of the center than the east---that is, a little more than half of Desplaines street was between me and its Eastern curb. I was not at one fixed point. I moved back and forth, sometimes a little to to the north of the speakers, but most of the time to the south of them.
Q Did you notice the location of the alley that runs parallel with Randolph street, and immediately south of the Crane Bros'. establishment that night?
A I noticed it, when I first went up I remember thinking that they had erected a stand just north of the alley, but hadn't noticed it when I first went down. I didn't know that they were on a wagon.
Q In other words, when you first went down there, you didn't observe any stand but when you found them speaking you supposed they had erected one?
A I saw afterwards they were on a wagon.
Q You did see afterwards while the meeting was in progress that it was a truck wagon?
A Yes sir, something of the sort.
Q Was your presence at the meeting or in the meeting observed, if you know?
A I thought that Mr. Spies observed me from the fact that the tone of his speech very suddenly changed when I had struck a match to light my cigar, the full flame of the match shining in my face, and when it died out I saw the people around me as far as from here to the court were looking towards me, and I saw that I was observed, and remarked to my son that was by me that I thought Mr. Spies had seen me. That is a mere conjecture.
Q You know your presence was observed by numbers of the people in the audience?
Q Did you have any conversation that evening with any citizens who knew you or recognized you?
A One man came to me and remarked "You are known here". Says I, "I am very glad of it."
Q Can you recall substantially the tenor of the remarks or the substance of the remarks made by Mr. Spies in your hearing?
A A part of that speech, for probably a minute was such that I feared that it was leading up to such that it would force me to disperse the meeting.
Q You were there for that purpose?
A I was there for that purpose. When I say for that purpose, it was my own determination to do it against the will of the police.
Q I understand. I mean you had adopted the resolution to do it personally if it became necessary in your judgment?
A Yes sir; Mr. Spies, a part of his speech was of the character that I thought was leading up to it, and it was just after I lit my match, I say---my cigar goes out a great deal, and I use more matches than I do cigars a good deal---I struck it, and the first one went out. I put two together, and the flame was wide and it made quite a blaze in my face. Almost immediately afterwards I noticed this change in the tone of his speech, and as I say, I turned to my son and said, "Spies has seen me."
A Do you mean as to time or as to what he was saying?
Q As to time?
A It was in the first half of his speech at least.
Q In other words, before the middle of it?
A Before the middle of his speech.
Q After this occurrence what was the general tenor of his speech?
A Such that I remarked to Capt. Bonfield that it was tame. Prior to that it was not.
Q When was this interview you had with Capt. Bonfield of which you have spoken when you remarked that Spies' speech was tame?
A That was when I left the speaking. I went over to Mr. Bonfield to the station.
MR. GRINNELL: I don't think it is proper to state what occurred over there between him and Mr. Bonfield.
MR. BLACK: I asked when it was?
A That was the time I left.
Q While Parsons was speaking?
A While Parsons was speaking, thinking that I might go home, and then had the interview with Mr. Bonfield, but afterwards as I say, concluded that I would return and listen to something more to satisfy myself I could go home.
MR. GRINNELL: What did he say as near as you can remember?
THE WITNESS: Oh well, it was what I would call----
MR. GRINNELL: State his words as near as you can, because what the tenor of it was is for the jury to determine.
A The part that was somewhat directed to the crowd, and that attracted the most attention was the statistics as to the amounts of returns given to labor from capital, and showing, if I remember rightly now, that capital got eighty-five per cent and labor fifteen per cent. It was what I would call a violent political harrangue against capital but nothing while I was there that would----
MR. GRINNELL: (Interrupting) State what he said. Don't draw inferences.
A I couldn't repeat what he said---that is, in words. I can repeat the substance.
MR. BLACK: Q Did anything transpire in the address of either Mr. Spies or Mr. Parsons after the incident of the lighting of your cigar to which you have referred in the course of Spies' remarks, that led you to conclude to take any action with reference to the dispersing of the meeting?
Objected to; objection sustained; exception by defendants.
Q Was any action taken by you at any time looking to the dispersion of that meeting?
THE COURT: How is that material?
MR. BLACK: As part of the res gestae. He was there as the representative of the police. He was there as the chief officer of the city---the mayor.
THE COURT: He may tell what he did.
MR. BLACK: Q Was any action taken by you at any time while you were at that meeting?
THE COURT: At the meeting---whether the mayor said or did anything at the meeting about dispersing it--that is competent.
MR. GRINNELL: The question calls for yes or no. It should be answered that way if possible.
THE WITNESS: No.
MR. BLACK: Q Did you observe any violence or misconduct in the meeting on the part either of the speakers or the audience. I refer now to acts, and if so, what?
MR. GRINNELL: Let him state what was said and done. I object.
THE COURT: It calls for the witness to form a conclusion in his own mind as to what constitutes violence or misconduct.
The defendants' counsel then and there excepted to the ruling of the court.
THE COURT: If you want him to repeat what he heard said, that is competent.
MR. BLACK: I am not asking what he heard said. I am asking as to what he saw done.
MR. GRINNELL: Then leave out the words "violent nature" and let him state what was said and done.
The court sustained the objection; to which ruling of the court defendants' counsel then and there excepted.
MR. BLACK: Q Will you state what if anything occurred there at the meeting that attracted your attention with reference to the behavior either of the speaker or of the audience?
THE COURT: I think that calls for a description of whatever attracted his attention. Of course a man can describe that.
THE WITNESS: I should be compelled to answer what was said, because that was what I was watching.
THE COURT: That calls for conduct and words.
THE WITNESS: The words of Mr. Spies were, as near as I can remember, that attracted my particular attention, were these: "Why this gathering together of the policemen, or blue-coats?" (I have forgotten which, I think "policemen.") Why this array of patrol wagons? Why the militia armed and collected at the armories, and the Gatling gun in readiness? Why were our brethren shot down at McCormick's hall or McCormick's factory yesterday afternoon?" Then he went on to show---the words I don't remember, that it was for the oppression of the laborer. That was what attracted my attention by reason of a rumor I had heard that night. That I did not give, because you have not asked for it.
MR. GRINNELL: I wish you would state that rumor, because Capt. Black did in fact ask you what caused you to go over there.
THE COURT: Wait for the cross examination for that.
THE WITNESS: When each of these questions were put, some one in the audience would holler out "Shoot them," "Hang them." When it reached McCormick's name they said "Hang him" "damn him," or something of that sort. Frequently during both of the speeches some one in the crowd would cry out "hang him" or "shoot him" --something of that sort. But I concluded that these expressions did not eminate--
MR. GRINNELL: Your conclusions we ought not to take.
THE WITNESS: I am trying to measure the numbers. These replies that were made from the crowd, I don't think from the manner where they occurred, here and there and around, that there were more than two or three hundred absolute sympathizers with the speakers. Once or twice, or two or three times, cries out of "hang him" would come from a boy, somewhere in the out skirts, and the crowd would laugh. I felt that the majority of that crowd were idle spectators and the replies nearly as much as what might be called "guying" to use a slang expression, as much so as absolute applause. Some of the replies were evidently bitter, I should say, judging from where they came from. They came from immediately around the stand.
MR. GRINNELL: Q That is these bitter cries?
A Yes sir. And did not come from more than two or three hundred men, not over that I judge.
MR. BLACK: Q With reference to the total number in the audience was this proportion of men that were apparently as you say, and answering bitterly, large or small?
A The audience numbered somewhere from eight hundred to a thousand, I should judge, walking round them. I didn't get immediately around the speakers. They were packed. I didn't get into that crowd.
Q That packed and dense mass immediately around the speaker, did not extend more than to the center of the street?
A Not to the center. It was more up and down the street, and apparently behind. When I speak of the center of the street, I speak with reference to the curb, the road way. I measured them from two to four hundred that these various replies that showed a sympathy would spring from. Outside of that there were probably six hundred, from four to six hundred that looked to me from the replies and the laughter more as idle spectators, judging from the remarks made immediately around more than anything else.
Q You have had more or less experience with reference to street crowds in estimating their numbers etc?
A I have; but here I couldn't measure them well, because I was nowhere high enough to look down upon them. I could only measure by being on the same plane with them, and measure the distance that they covered.
Q Apart from the portion of the audience that stood immediately about the speakers, referring now to this larger portion as I understand you which was out on the outskirts, what was the character of the audience now of this larger outside portion, judging from their appearance?
A You mean the character of the men, their occupations?
Q Yes, their appearance, and what you judge in reference to them from that appearance?
MR. GRINNELL: Do you mean as to whether they were merchants or laboring men?
MR. BLACK: Yes, who they were?
THE COURT: I think that is admissible. It is impossible to describe each individual; but what class of people they were composed of, what nationalities and what their occupations were, I think that is admissible.
THE WITNESS: Up to the time that the speaking began when I walked among the people on the haymarket, during nearly half an hour---not all that time walking, for I went back and forth to the station---they were apparently laborers, generally or mechanics, and the majority of them Germans or non-English speaking people. The Poles and Bohemians I could not recognize one from the other. The Germans I could hear them talking and could understand what they said, but indistinctly. I thought the majority of them were Germans, Poles and Bohemians; mostly Germans that I heard talking.
MR. BLACK: Q What was your observations to the character of the audience after the speaking began?
A It was too dark, and the faces being toward the speaker, and therefore their backs to me, I could not judge of that, and did not attempt to analyze it.
Q In what language was the speaking that night?
Q All of it that you heard?
Q You have spoken of cries coming from the audience or some portion of the audience in response to the speakers--- allusions of "Hang him", or some such similar expression. Do you remember any response to any such cries made by either of the speakers whom you listened to?
A I can't recall any words. I remember that some of the expressions in the audience were replied to by the speakers, but I couldn't remember them: I could not recall them now, They were the general replies and very rarely, only a few of them.
Q Let me ask you specially---do you remember while Parsons was speaking as to whether there was any use by him of the name Gould which elicited any response from the audience of the nature you have suggested?
A I think it was with regard to Gould that a boy hollered out "Hang him" and another "Hang him, damn him".
Q Do you recall whether or not that elicited any response or observation from Mr. Parsons, and if so, what?
A That is very vague and having read something that was said, I might possibly have made up, been refreshed by others, but it seems to me that either Parsons or Spies to some such expression used the expression "Not yet" or something of that sort.
Q Was there any proposal or suggestion on the part of either of the speakers during your audience there that in terms called for immediate violence of any character, of force toward any persons?
MR. GRINNELL: Mr. Harrison has given what he says he can remember.
MR. BLACK: I am now suggesting as I understand the rule is, to the witness the special subject matter on which I want his recollection.
THE COURT: It calls for a general conclusion.
MR. BLACK: I will change the form of the question then to meet the suggestion of the court.
Q State whether or not you recall any suggestion made by either of the speakers looking toward caling for the immediate use of force or violence towards any person? If so, what was the remark?
A You mean by immediate, that night?
Q Yes sir.
A There was not. If there had been I should have dispersed them at once.
Q How long were you at the meeting after your return from the station, and before you started home?
A Probably five minutes.
Q Parsons then was still speaking, but approaching the close?
A Evidently approaching a close. It looked a little like rain. It was becoming cloudy and looked like and it was threatening rain, and I thought the thing was about over.
A There was not a fourth there listening to the speaking of the crowd that had been there during the evening.
Q In other words it had fallen off a great deal?
A Yes sir. In the crowd when they were walking around I heard a great many Germans use expressions that showed that they were dissatisfied with bringing them there and having this peaking. There was evidently a belief on the part of the bulk of the people that there was going to be no speaking. I had reached that conclusion myself and thought the thing was over; and when the speaking did commence I thought it was a spontaneous one, because some persons cried out "Mayor Harrison is going to speak," and I thought it was rather a spontaneous one.
Q What do you judge as to the number in attendance around the wagon at the time you left finally for the evening?
A It was still less. Mark you, it is very difficult to measure a crowd in the dark that way unless one is on top. Coming directly out of the light to where the lamp post was, and out of the station, going up to it, it would look very large. It would take a minute or two to accustom the eye to it to measure them. There was even then quite a large number there. I don't suppose there was over five hundred that were there when I left last, but of course I didn't measure them accurately.
Q How long was the interview you had with Inspector Bonfield, you have called him Capt. Bonfield-- -I suppose that is the same person?
A That is the expression we use, Captain.
Q How long was that interview?
A Probably five minutes.
Q Please state what it was?
MR. BLACK: It is admissible upon our theory of the defense. We propose to show by this witness that in the course of that interview, he had a talk with Capt. Bonfield, submitted to him his views as to the nature of the audience, and communicated to him the fact that he did not think there would be any trouble; that the meeting was a quiet and orderly meeting as such meetings went; and that he was about to go home and also directed that the police patrolmen which had been held under his direction at the other stations should be directed to go home; and having given these directions to Capt. Bonfield, he himself went home.
MR. GRINNELL: Was Capt. Bonfield asked any questions of that character?
Q Of what character?
THE COURT: They don't offer it as any impeaching testimony but offer it as independent original testimony. I don't think it is admissible.
MR. BLACK: We propose to follow that up by other testimony which will show that the attack made by the police that night upon the meeting was a deliberate attack planned and carried out after Mr. Harrison's departure.
THE COURT: Save the point on it. If there is anything in the nature of self defense, it depends upon what occurred at the time and place, and not previous conversation.
MR. BLACK: That is not the theory upon which we present it, as bearing upon the question of self defense. We present it as part of the res gestae, showing that the entire trouble of that night arose out of a deliberate action on the part of the policemen, in disregard of the suggestions made by Mr. Harrison.
THE COURT: That is not admissible. What anybody thought about the matter beforehand is not part of the case.
MR. GRINNELL: I will withdraw the objection and let him answer the question. If the question can be confined to what if any orders Mr. Harrison gave Bonfield.
MR. BLACK: My question calls for what conversation occurred between Capt. Bonfield and yourself upon that occasion?
MR. GRINNELL: The conversation may be irrelevant to this issue but if any orders were given by Harrison to Bonfield that night with refernece to that meeting, let it come in.
MR. FOSTER: That leaves for the witness to judge what is an order. The jury are to determine that.
MR. BLACK: That is what I want.
THE WITNESS: I went back to the station and stated to Bonfield that I thought the speeches were about to be over; that nothing had occurred yet, or looked likely to occur to require interference, and I thought he had better issue orders to his reserves at that other stations to go home. He replied to me that he had learned the same and reached that conclusion from persons coming and going---he had men out all the time---and had already issued the order; that he thought it would be best to retain the men that were in the station until the meeting broke up, and then referred to a rumor that he had heard that night that would make it necessary for him, he thought, to keep his men there, which I concurred in. Do you want that rumor?
MR. ZEISLER: That was not in reference to the haymarket?
THE WITNESS: The rumor had reached us---
MR. GRINNELL: Yes, it is a part of that conversation and it should all go in.
MR. BLACK: The question is whether we want it in. Probably we had better leave it to you as you seem to know all about it.
MR. GRINNELL: I know all about it.
THE WITNESS: It referred to what would occur as the following up of the haymarket meeting.
A No, the rumor which reached us was that something would occur.
MR. BLACK: I think I will leave the state to call that out, if they desire, as I don't know anything about it.
MR. GRINNELL: That was in that conversation.
THE COURT: It can come in on cross examination.
MR. BLACK: Q When you were there attending the meeting, did you at any time see any weapons in the hands of any of the audience pointed upwards or brandished?
A I saw no weapons at all upon any person.
Cross Examination by
Q The haymarket riot was on the night of the 4th of May. On that day, or at noon, or about that time you had heard a rumor about a projected attempt to burn the freight house of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry. Company, had you not, which caused you to go over there and watch that meeting; that night?
Objected to; objection sustained.
Q You may state what conversation you and Capt. Bonfield had with reference to rumors which caused you to go over there that night?
MR. BLACK: Any part of the same conversation, but not other conversation.
MR. BLACK: If you ask for conversation with Bonfield before Harrison went there I object.
THE WITNESS: I would answer that Bonfield and I made arrangements to go over there---is that objected to?
MR. BLACK: The reason of those arrangements the court sustains an objection to.
MR. GRINNELL: Capt. Black asked what caused Harrison to go over to the haymarket square that night?
MR. BLACK: In the course of this conversation he said he heard a rumor which in fluenced him. I did not ask for the rumor. It would be proper for the State to ask simply what was that rumor.
MR. GRINNELL: Q What was that rumor?
A The rumor that I adverted to but did not give, was immediately after my reaching the station. Capt. Bonfield told me that he had just received information that this meeting would, or a part of it adjourn or go over to the Milwaukee & St. Paul freight houses that were then filled up with what they call scabs, and blow it up; and then there was also an intimation that this meeting might be merely a ruse to attract the attention of the police to the haymarket while the real attack if any should be made that night would be on McCormick's. Now, it was with regard to those two possible, if not probable contingencies that I was listening to those speeches.
Q In listening to those speeches did you ascertain from them that there was no organization and no invitation to the Milwaukee & St. Pal depot?
A Yes sir.
Q And therefore you concluded that it was not an organization to destroy property that night, and therefore went home?
A That was the fact.
Q Just before you went home you left it with Capt. Bonfield to watch the speeches and if they became inflammatory or incendiary to disperse the meeting?
THE COURT: Let him repeat what conversation he had with Inspector Bonfield in reference to that.
THE WITNESS: The order was that the reserves held at the other stations might be sent home, because I learned that all was quiet down in the second district in which McCormick's was; and that I thought there was no design for anything that night. Bonfield replied that he had reached the same conclusion from reports brought in to him, and he had already ordered the reserves elsewhere sent home, or, at least, given them a rest, let them go in their regular order, but that if something might occur yet before this meeting was over or after it, that he would hold the men that were in the station until everything was over. I acquiesced in his suggestion. I didn't give an order, because I merely consented to his view.
Q His official position allowed him to execute his own orders?
A Of course he was there in control. Bonfield was there, detailed by the chief, in control of that meeting together with Capt. Ward.
Q Did you hear any response by the crowd to any of the speakers, and was anything said by the speakers to whom you listened, either Spies or Parsons, anything suggested by them as to threats. For instance, you have given something in regard to that matter, that they said "Don't make any idle threats. If you have anything to do go and do it." Did you hear words of that character?
A I don't remember any such expression, because, mark you, I was thinking only of what might occur that night. I was determined that there should be no re-occurrence of the violence at McCormick's hall; that if there was an overt act, it would be caught in its incipiency and not wait until it took absolute form.
Q You heard none of Fielden's speech?
A None at all, nor the last of Parsons.
Q Did you hear Parsons call "To arms, to arms, to arms" while you were there?
A I don't remember it. I don't think I did, for if I had I think I should have noticed it. Mark you, I lit my cigar four or five times, and I thought I was known.
Objected to; objection sustained.
THE COURT: Q These reserves you speak of were at other police stations than Desplaines street?
A We had the reserves at every station in the City. The reserves however, for the second district were to be directly under Capt. O'Donnell, so as to proceed if anything occurred in the second district at McCormick's factory.
Q The reserves to whom you were to give the rest and permit them to go home, were at other stations than Desplaines street?
A Other station, than Desplaines---about fifty men at each station.
MR. BLACK: Q Do you know how many men were at the Desplaines street station that evening, or about how many at the time of this interview with Capt. Bonfield?
A I don't remember. I don't know the numbers. I suppose from 125 to 175, men, but I am not certain.
Q Did you get this rumor of the possibility of an attack upon McCormick's and also upon the Milwaukee freight house from any other source than from Capt. Bonfield?
A The fact is, when I speak of a rumor, it was not a rumor from others. It was rather a fear on my own part and was suggested first by myself that this might be the aim of this meeting.
A Not other sources.
Q But an apprehension of yours?
A An apprehension rather than a rumor. There was a direct statement from Mr. Bonfield to me that he had heard----
Q (Interrupting) About the McCormick matter?
A No sir, about the freight houses.
Q So far as McCormick was concerned there was no rumor, except an apprehension on your part, and as to the freight house it was a rumor which you had from Bonfield alone?
A Yes sir, that was his report to me as my second in command there.