The supporters of amnesty included many friends of Altgeld, who grew impatient when the governor did not act right away. One of them was Henry Demarest Lloyd, pictured here on the left, and Clarence Darrow, on the right.

Darrow had come to Chicago shortly after the Haymarket executions and had been befriended by Altgeld, with whom he shared a boyhood in Ohio, training in the law, and many beliefs about criminal justice. Altgeld had helped Darrow, who was ten years younger, launch his career in Chicago.

Lloyd, like Altgeld, was born in 1847. He had written for the Chicago Tribune in several capacities from the early 1870s to the mid-1880s, but he became more famous for his muckraking attack on the Standard Oil monopoly which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1881. Lloyd published his critique in much expanded form in 1894 as Wealth Against Commonwealth. Lloyd had met the anarchists during the clemency campaign and had become deeply involved in their case on a personal level. When Governor Oglesby had commuted the sentences of Fielden and Schwab to life in prison, Lloyd delivered the reprieve to the two men.

Shortly after he took office early in 1893, Altgeld seemed to indicate his intention to take action by requesting the records on the case. Partly because of illness, he did not do anything right away. When Darrow visited him in Springfield to express his and others' impatience and disappointment, Altgeld responded, "Go tell your friends that when I am ready I will act. I don't know how I will act, but I will do what I think is right."

The governor soon received similar prodding from Samuel McConnell, son-in-law of Judge John Rogers. Rogers had presided over the Haymarket grand jury, but now he and McConnell, who also had become a Superior Court judge, were for clemency. Altgeld also conferred about the case frequently with George Schilling, the socialist and long-time acquaintance of several of the convicted anarchists, whom Altgeld had appointed secretary of the State Board of Labor Statistics.

The man in the middle of the photograph is John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers, whom Darrow represented in arbitration hearings during a strike in 1902. It is likely that this photograph was taken closer to that event than to the pardon.