|This engraving (originally in the Graphic News of May 15, 1886) depicts the conflict at McCormick's from the point of view of the police and their sympathizers. In this view, the officers were protecting the nonunion workers from unjustified attack, during which they were assaulted with curses, stones, and bullets from a mob.
The illustration, which at the top includes scenes of the McCormick works and rioters pelting a police wagon, features the gallantry of an officer named Casey. According to John J. Flinn, in his History of the Chicago Police (1887), Casey took the trouble to bring a wounded Bohemian worker named John Vogtik home in the patrol wagon. Friends of Vogtik mistakenly thought Casey was responsible for Vogtik's injuries and tried to lynch the officer.
"Casey, although a Hercules in strength," Flinn writes in hyperbolic prose, "was powerless in the hands of this mob, which hemmed him in on all sides. But he made a desperate struggle, and in his efforts to escape his uniform was torn in shreds." In Flinn's narrative, someone even flung a rope over a nearby lamppost in preparation to hang the officer. According to Flinn, as Casey "realized the dreadful and humiliating end which this barbarous crowd had prepared for him, he made an almost superhuman effort, threw off his captors, freed himself of their clutches, and ran for his life, followed by the disappointed, howling, murderous canaille." Firing at his would-be executioners, Casey made his escape to the patrol wagon that had brought him.
August Spies's version, published in the Arbeiter-Zeitung the next day, offered different details (starting with the precise name of the worker) and a very different interpretation of the motives and actions of the police and the crowd:
"A dying boy, Joseph Doedick [evidently Spies's version of 'Vogtik'], was brought home on an express wagon by two policemen. The people did not see the dying boy; they saw only the two murderers. "Lynch the rascals," clamored the crowd. The fellows wanted to break away and hide themselves; but in vain. They [the crowd] had already thrown a rope around the neck of one of them, when a patrol wagon rattled into the midst of the crowd and prevented the praiseworthy deed. Joseph Hess, who had put the rope around his neck, was arrested."
The full text of the article is in the Blut entry in the "From the Archive" section of this Act.
These competing narratives are an important indicator of the level of tension and antagonistic feeling in the city at the time, which made it very hard (then as now) to determine what actually happened. The two stories together demonstrate that the language in which events were reported is part of the drama of Haymarket. They also indicate how closely intertwined were class conflict and the idea of lynching.