|Click on the image to see it in larger form.
In their twenty-second anniversary program, the Veterans of the Haymarket Riot praised Judge Gary in no uncertain terms as a "fearless jurist." About two-and-a-half years earlier, on December 3, 1905, they had presented him with these resolutions of gratitude, passed at one of their monthly meetings. The resolutions congratulate Gary on his recent re-election and his fiftieth wedding anniversary. This document also recalls "the dark days of May the 4th in 1886, when the clouds of discontent hovered over the land," and when Gary
"proclaimed to the world that in the face of a free and independent nation like this where the Ballot is mightier than the sword and the voice of the people is more powerful than the ruler there is place for anarchy, and by his just decision he raised the mantle of gloom from the shoulders of the nation and restored confidence in the minds of the people."
Shortly after the executions, Gary had attacked union leaders and the Haymarket defendants in a speech, and he had aggressively defended his own conduct of the case in print shortly before Altgeld's pardon in 1893 (see the entry "Judge Gary Files his Plea" in the "Absolute Pardon" section of Act V). While he refused to comment to the press on the pardon, Gary could have pointed to even stronger endorsements than these resolutions to prove that in most people's minds he had done the right thing. In spite of the fact that some other jurists criticized his conduct of the Haymarket trial, in the fall of 1888 he was elevated to the Appellate Court and became its chief justice. He died suddenly of heart failure on October 31, 1906, almost eleven months after he received the commendation from the Haymarket veterans. He had been feeling ill of late, but the day before he died he held court, walked home to his residence on Ontario Street, and played cards that evening with his wife. Gary's forty-three years of continuous service on the bench was without precedent in the state of Illinois.