Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Examination of Frank S. Osborne (first appearance), 1886 June 29.

Volume C, 272-278, 7 p.
Osborne, Frank S.
Salesman for Marshall Field & Co.

Examination by Mr. Zeisler. Accepted as a juror in the case of Illinois vs. August Spies et al.

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having been duly sworn to answer questions touching his qualifications as a juror, deposed and testified as follows:

MR. ZEISLER: Where do you live Mr. Osbom?

A 124 Dearborn Avenue.

Q Where is your place of business?

A Marshall Field & Co., corner of State and Washington

Q Are you a salesman there?

A Yes sir, in the carpet department.

Q That is the wholesale house?

A The retail house, State and Washington.

Q Did you read and hear about the Haymarket trouble?

A yes sir.

Q From what you read and heard did you form an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of some one or more of these defendants?

A No sir.

Q When did you first read about the Haymarket and what occurred there?

A On the morning I think of the 5th of March, wasn't it? The morning after it occurred.

Q The morning of the 5th?

A The 5th, I believe.

Q In the newspapers?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you read, or did you find in those reports the name that any one or more of these defendants mentioned.

A I believe so, yes.

Q Were there opinions stated as to the connections

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of these defendants, or some of them, with the affair, and with the result of the Haymarket meeting?

A Were they stated?

Q Yes sir.

A Why, I believe so, yes; I think so.

Q Did you believe what the papers stated in regard to that connection?

A Well, I read it as a newspaper report, and of course, as good many reports are, they are colored some.

Q Did you afterwards read of the corner's jury proceeding?

A No sir. I saw a notice of it. I did not read the particulars.

Q Did you read what the verdict of the corner's jury was?

A Well, I think I must have done so, yes.

THE COURT: Do you remember now whether you did or not?

A No sir; I do not remember positively-----no sir, I could not say.

MR. ZEISLER: It is your conclusion that you may have?

A Yes sir; I must have. I read the papers every day.

Q Now, do you remember to have seen the names of several of these defendants mentioned in the verdict, and did you see it recommended that these men should be held over to the Grand Jury?

A I don't remember it, no sir.

Q You don't remember?

A No sir. It may have

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been, but I don't remember it.

Q Did you read the Grand Jury proceedings?

A No sir.

Q I mean the reports?

A No sir.

Q Where do you receive your paper----at your house?

A Yes sir.

Q How early in the morning do you go down to the store?

A Generally at the store at eight o'clock.

Q Do you read your paper on the car?

A Generally on the cars, yes, and at breakfast.

Q Don't get time to read much?

A No sir.

Q But you read of course what the result of the Grand Jury deliberations was, and indictments---you read that?

A I suppose so, yes.

THE COURT: Do you remember whether you did or not?

A Well, I could not say positive that I did read the accounts. I knew from hearsay or from reading---I knew that they were indicted.

MR. ZEISLER: Now, from all that you read and heard you formed an opinion about the case in general, in the first place? That you stated.

A As regards what?

Q I mean in general did you form an opinion in the first place. I would like to inquire.

A Oh, naturally, yes; sort of an opinion, naturally.

Q Now, did you also form an opinion as to whether

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some one or more of these defendants were guilty or innocent, morally responsible, perhaps, or not responsible for the result of the Haymarket meeting?

A No sir; I don't think I ever did. I have no opinion of that.

Q You have not?

A No sir.

Q You are conscious that you have no opinion now?

A I am perfectly conscious. You mean as to their guilt or innocence?

Q Yes sir.

A Yes sir; I am; I am conscious that I have no opinion.

Q Of the guilt or innocence of the crime with which they are charged, connection with the Haymarket affair.?

A Yes; I have no opinion.

Q Did you discuss the question as to whether what you read and heard was correct or incorrect?

A No sir; I don't think I ever have.

Q Mr. Osborn, where were you on the night of May 4th?

A I was at my room.

Q Are you married?

A I am a widower.

Q Have you children?

A I have, sir.

Q How many?

A Three boys, three sons.

Q How old are they?

A How old am I? Thirty-nine.

THE COURT: No, the children?

MR. ZEISLER: No, I mean Mr. Osborn.

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Q How long have you been in the State of Illinois?

Q Well, I have been here permanently for Marshall Field & Co., since the 14th, of May, 1885, thirteen months--fourteen months; a little over a year.

Q Previous to that you were not in Chicago?

A Not as a resident; in here very frequently.

Q Where did you live?

A Columbus, Ohio.

Q How long did you live at Columbus?

A I was born there and lived there all my life up to the time of coming to Chicago.

Q Born and lived there all your life until you came to Chicago?

A Yes sir.

Q Mr. Osborn, did you read about the doctrines of socialism, communism or anarchism?

A Well, I have never made it a study. I have read occasionally about it, certainly; seen in the papers about it.

Q You have never investigated the subject?

A Not very much; I have somewhat.

Q From what you have read from the papers?

A I have investigated it some, but not very much. Know very little about it.

Q From what you read and heard about the subject did you form a prejudice against the class of people who are called, who call themselves socialists, anarchists or communists?

A Well, according to what you would define,

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as a definition. Define the word communist. I am not prejudiced against men forming societies or having minds of their own, or having theories; I am not prejudiced against that class of men.

Q Have you any prejudice against the formation of labor organizations or trades unions?

A Not at all, sir.

Q As we have them?

A No sir.

Q Have you any acquaintance among the police force of Chicago?

A None at all.

Q Or the detective force?

A No sir; no acquaintance whatever.

Q Are you acquainted with any of the gentleman who represent the prosecution in this case---Mr. Grinnell.?

A Not at all. I never saw him until yesterday.

Q Mr. Ingham, Mr. Walker?

A I never saw any of the gentlemen until yesterday.

Q And you do not know any of the defendants?

A Not any. I never have seen them to my knowledge.

Q You do not know Captain Bonfield, do you?

A No sir. I never have seen him to my knowledge.

Q Not Captain Ward?

A No sir.

Q Nor Captain Snaack?

A No sir.

Q Did you have conversation with any person who pretended to have been present at the Haymarket meeting?

A No sir.

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Q Did you have any conversation with any person who undertook to detail to you the facts as they occurred?

A I never have, sir.

Q From your answers I infer that you are entirely unbiased now?

A I am sir, yes.

Q You believe that you could determine the guilt or innocence of every one and each one of these defendants solely upon the proof presented here in court?

A I most certainly do.

Q You would entirely disregard anything you have read or heard heretofore on the subject, or any opinion that you may have formed.

A Yes sir.

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