Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 86.
Arbeiter-Zeitung (Newspaper) article, "Letter signed August Kiesling about the eight hour movement," 1886 Jan. 23

2 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of Eugene Seeger (Vol. K p. 701-720), 1886 July 31.
Transcript of translation of article.

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[Image, People's Exhibit 86, Page 1]

Peoples' Exhibit 86.

January 23, 1886. Fourth page.


about the eight hour movement.

The rottenness of our social instutitions cannot be covered any longer. Too open lies the wound with which the rotten system of to-day is afflicted, although this ulcer is very old; although they have constantly doctored it, and although it is getting worse from year to year they now intend to put new plaster on it. Brief is the space of time until the eventful day. The working people feel that something must be done. The conditions force them to wake up from slumber. Already an immense mass is without means of subsistance. They are more and more meager. Capital sucks the marrow out of the bones of the working men.

But why do we complain? Why do we murmer? We have no right to. Do we not know that all the misery, all the want, are the necessary consequence of the present state of society. As long as we admit that we are pariahs, that we are born to submit our neck as slaves under the whip of hunger of extortioners; as long as we admit that, we have no right to complain. Therefore, associates in misery, for this pressure has finally become unbearable, do not let us treat peaceably with our deathly enemies on the first of May

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We do not want to cheat ourselves for the hundredth time that we would get from them in a peaceable and harmonious way even the least for the betterment of our situation. We have so many examples and experiences, that even the large and indifferent mass does not believe any more that an agitation which tends to ameliorate the condition of the working man in a harmonious way would be of any purpose to those people, and I for one think they are right. On the first of May also we will have an example of how harmoniously the capitalists will have our sculls crushed by their hirelings, if out of sheer love of harmony, we will stand by with our fists in our pockets. He who employs the best means of battle, and uses them is the victor. Force is right (by Bismarck) and if once we have seen that on account of our unanimity and the modern means of warfare we have the power then we will also see we have the right, and that is a great stupidity to work for that rabble of pharasites instead of for ourselves.

Therefore, comrades, armed to the teeth we want to demand our right on the first of May; in the other case there are only blows of the club for you.

August Kiesling.

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