|All of these objects are artifacts worn or carried by the Chicago police in the 1880s. Several of them have direct connections to the Haymarket riot. Click on each of the objects in the row of images to see it in larger form.
The first image is a brown police helmet, the second a blue wool police cap. The several depictions of the Haymarket scene are divided on the matter of which of the styles the police wore that evening. The numbers inside the metal insignias indicate the wearer's precinct, though the hats of senior officers displayed their rank rather than their precinct number. The helmet probably dates from slightly after Haymarket, since there were only five precincts in 1886.
At the time of Haymarket, police headquarters was in city hall, located in the same place as the current city hall building, in the block bounded by Clark, Randolph, LaSalle, and Washington Streets. Stationed at the headquarters were the central detail of uniformed men and the plainclothes detective squad. The Fourth Precinct encompassed the West Chicago Avenue, West North Avenue, and Rawson Street districts on the Northwest Side, and it was directed from the West Chicago Avenue station.
The baton is one of two in the Chicago Historical Society's collections. According to CHS's records, the baton was carried in the Haymarket by Captain William Ward, who, just before the bomb was thrown, ordered that the rally disperse. Captain Ward is listed as the donor. Ward was the commander of the Third Precinct, based in the Desplaines Street station on the east side of the street just south of Randolph. As noted, it was here that the police who were called in from other station houses assembled under Inspector Bonfield's command, and, led by Bonfield and Ward, marched on the rally. In his testimony at the trial (see the "From the Archive" section of this Act), Ward said that he was so close to the speaker's wagon that he could have reached out and touched it with this baton.
The handcuffs were donated to the Chicago Historical Society by Mrs. Walter McDonough, who stated that they belonged to her granduncle, Captain Michael Schaack, commander of the Fifth Precinct at the time of Haymarket. According to CHS documentation, the handcuffs were supposedly carried by Schaack during the riot. Although Schaack had conducted investigations of the anarchists before the Haymarket meeting, was their most tireless pursuer after the bombing, and authored a major book on Haymarket, he did not in fact participate in the riot on the evening of May 4, 1886.
The badge and pocket watch were worn by Officer Timothy Flavin, one of the two officers in Lieutenant Martin Quinn's division who died from wounds received in the Haymarket. These officers are pictured in their civilian clothes in the composite photograph of their division in the previous entry. The watch's handsome case is engraved with Flavin's initials. The Chicago Historical Society's records state that it was donated in 1968, eighty-two years after the riot, by Flavin's son, who was four months old at the time of his father's death.
In a letter to Police Superintendent Frederick Ebersold dated June 7, 1886, Lieutenant Chris Johnson, Flavin's commanding officer at the Rawson Street station, wrote that bomb fragments penetrated both of Flavin's lungs and broke his left leg and his right hip. A portion of one bomb fragment also penetrated Flavin's bowel. Flavin was carried to the Desplaines Street station and shortly thereafter moved to the County Hospital. Not knowing the extent of his internal injuries, the doctors focused on an infection in his leg, amputating it on May 7. Flavin grew weaker and died at 5:30 the following afternoon. Officer Flavin, Lieutenant Johnson wrote,
"was a native of the County Kerry, Ireland, 27 years of age. He left a young wife and 3 small children, 5 and 3 years and 4 months respectively, without any visible means of support. He was about 16 months on the department, and after his appointment was assigned to this station on the 16th of December 1884. He was a faithful and efficient Officer and respected by all who knew him."