|This primitive yet complex illustration was published shortly after the executions and was reprinted in at least one of the book-length histories that appeared subsequently. Here we see the hangings imagined and presented very much as a multiscene play.
Along the top are three insets that show the exterior of the county jail. In the first inset the view is from the east side of the courtyard looking west to the gateway. To the left is the back of the courthouse, to the right the jailer's office. The second inset faces the façade bordering the southwest corner of Dearborn and Illinois Streets. The third offers a view along Illinois Street of the main section of the jail, where the anarchists were imprisoned.
The "play" itself proceeds in five scenes just below. In the upper left the sheriff is "Reading the Death Warrant." "The March to the Scaffold" then begins on the right. On the bottom left, the viewpoint of "On the Scaffold" is dramatically located behind the doomed men, so that one also sees the audience of witnesses. In the central image, the four lifeless bodies are suspended before the witnesses (who here are depicted with their heads covered), and the anonymous hangman is hidden in the box behind.
On the lower right a newsboy hawks the "Latest News" in a hotel lobby to the second-hand spectators of this performance of justice. The newspapers were aware of their importance in the performance of the larger cultural drama surrounding the hangings. On November 13, the Chicago Tribune congratulated itself on its coverage of the hangings in the previous day's paper, which it called "one of the most complete and remarkable accomplishments in American journalism," advising its readers: "It was an edition of the Tribune that should be secured and laid away by every person, not only for his own reference, but for the perusal of his grandchildren." The announced circulation was 103,802, of which 40,000 went out in "lightning mail" at 2 a.m. The Tribune called this "the largest morning edition of any newspaper ever issued in Chicago."