Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Address by Judge Joseph E. Gary, 1886 Oct. 9.
Cook County (Ill.). Criminal Court.
Gary, Joseph E. (Joseph Easton), 1821-1906.
1 item (13 p.); 11 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.
(CHS ICHi 31356)

Holograph draft of speech, in pencil, with revisions. Address given by the judge in the Haymarket Anarchists Trial when sentencing to death the 7 men found guilty of murder and sentencing the 8th defendant to the penitentiary.

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I am quite well aware that what you have said, although addressed to me, has been said to the world,

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yet nothing has been said which weakens the force of the proof or the conclusions therefrom upon which the verdict is based.

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You are all men of intelligence, and know that if the verdict against you stands, it must be executed.

The reasons why it shall stand, I have already stated sufficiently in deciding the motion for a new trial.

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I am sorry, beyond any power of expression, for your unhappy condition, and for the terrible events that brought you to it.

I shall address to you neither reproaches nor exhortations.

What I shall say will be said in the faint hope, that a few words from a place where the People of the State of Illinois have delegated the authority to declare the penalty for a violation of their laws,

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and spoken upon an occasion so solemn and awful as this, may come to the knowledge of, and be heeded by, the ignorant, deluded and misguided men, who have listened to your counsels, and followed your advice.

I say in the faint hope, for if men are persuaded that because of business differences, whether about labor or anything else, they may destroy

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property, and assault and beat other men, and kill the Police if they, in the discharge of their duty, interfere to preserve the peace, there is little ground to hope that they will listen to any warning.

Not the least among the hardships of the peaceable, frugal and laborious poor, it is, to endure the tyranny of mobs, who with lawless force, dictate to them, under penalty

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of peril to limb and life, where, when, and upon what terms, they may earn a livelihood for themselves and their families.

Any government that is worthy of the name, will strenuously endeavor to secure to all within its jurisdiction freedom to follow their lawful avocations, and safety for their property and persons while obeying the law.

And the law is common sense. It

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holds each man responsible for the natural and probable consequences of his own acts.

It holds that whoever advises murder, is himself guilty of the murder that is committed in pursuance of his advice, and that if men band together for a forcible resistance to the execution of the law, and advise murder, as a means to make such resistance effectual, whether such advice is to one man to murder

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another, or to a numerous class to murder men of another class, all who are so banded together, are guilty of any murder that may be committed in pursuance of such advice.

The People of this country love their institutions, love their homes, love their property.

They will never consent that by violence and murder, those institutions shall be broken down, their houses despoiled,

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and their property destroyed.

And the People are strong enough to protect and sustain their institutions, and to punish all offenders against their laws. And those who threaten danger to civil society, if the law is enforced, are leading to destruction whoever shall attempt to execute such threats.

The existing order of society can be changed only by the will of the majority.

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Each man has a full right to entertain and advocate, by speech and print, such opinions as suit himself, and the great body of the People will usually care little what he says, but if he proposes murder as a means of enforcing his opinions, he puts his own life at stake. And no clamor about free speech, or evils to be cured, or wrongs to be redressed, will shield him from the consequences of his crime.

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His liberty is not a license to destroy. The toleration that he enjoys, he must extend to others, and not arrogantly assume that the great majority are wrong, and may rightfully be coerced by terror, or removed by dynamite.

It only remains that for the crime you have committed, and of which you have been convicted, after a trial, unexampled for the patience with

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which an outraged People have extended to you every protection and privilege of the law which you derided and defied, that the sentence of that law be now pronounced.

In form and detail that sentence will appear upon the records of the Court, but in substance it is

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