testimony of G. P. English on July 27 is included here (click on the image
to see the text, which is approximately 6,400 words) because he gave one
of the fuller summaries of what was said by Spies, Fielden, and Parsons
at the Haymarket rally. English was an experienced reporter who had worked
for the Chicago Tribune for almost twenty years, and he was paying
careful attention and taking notes as the Haymarket meeting unfolded.
Although English testified for the prosecution, Albert Parsons evidently trusted him enough to ask the reporter, in the handwritten note viewable here, for English's assistance in preparing his own upcoming testimony. Parsons writes,
Can you or will you oblige me by any notes you may have of my speech at Haymarket, May 4.
By doing so you will greatly oblige,
A. R. Parsons.
P.S. Please do this & I will some day return the favor.
It is not clear whether this appeal was ever delivered or, if so, whether English did oblige. Parsons and the defense were apparently impressed with English's candor, however. They quoted his testimony that his editor's instructions were "to write out the most incendiary part of the speeches." Under questioning by the defense, English agreed that Haymarket was "a peaceable and quiet meeting" for the most part, and that the speeches were "a little milder" than most of those the defendants had made over the last few years.
In this and other testimony, Julius Grinnell, George Ingham, Franklin Walker, and Edmund Furthmann conduct the interrogation for the prosecution; William Black, William Foster, Moses Salomon, and Sigmund Zeisler question for the defense. "The Court" refers to Judge Joseph Gary.
The anarchists strongly criticized, often with good reason, the editorial policies of most Chicago papers, citing them as the cause of their conviction. Several of the Haymarket defendants were nonetheless on good personal terms with some writers for the mainstream press. On their way to the American Group meeting at the Arbeiter-Zeitung offices on the evening of May 4, the Parsons family ran into Chicago Times reporter Edgar E. Owen. Owen testified at the trial that Parsons said he did not know anything about the Haymarket meeting. Parsons slapped Owen familiarly on the back and asked him if he was armed, to which Owen replied, as a joke, "No, have you any dynamite about you?" Parsons laughed, and his wife Lucy commented, with gentle sarcasm, referring to her husband, "He is a very dangerous looking man, isn't he?"
Whiting Allen, another Times reporter, was in the saloon of Zepf's Hall, as were Albert and Lucy Parsons, when the bomb exploded. Parsons testified that he saw Allen having a drink with the Russian-born Michael Malkoff, who wrote for the Arbeiter-Zeitung and lived with Balthasar Rau. Malkoff had testified for the defense that he and Owen had been talking when the bomb went off, and that afterward the two men left together.