Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Examination of Andrew Hamilton (first appearance), 1886 July 2.

Volume D, 251-255, 5 p.
Hamilton, Andrew.
Hardware store owner.

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

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Mr. FOSTER: (Q) What is your name?

A Andrew Hamilton.

Q Where do you reside?

A 1521, 43rd Street.

Q What is your business.

A Hardware.

Q At what place?

A 3913 Cottage Grove Avenue.

Q Are you conducting business for yourself?

A Yes sir:

Q How long have you resided in Chicago?

A About twenty years.

Q You have read and heard of the Haymarket meeting?

A Yes.

Q Have you formed an opinion upon the question of the innocence or guilt of the defendants now on trial of the charge made in this case--the murder of Matthias J. Degan?

A I have against somebody. I don't know whether these are the parties or not.

Q That is, you formed an opinion that somebody is responsible for the death of Mr. Degan?

A Yes.

Q You have formed no opinion as to whether or not these defendants, or any of them, are responsible for that?

A No sir.

Q Are you acquainted with any of the defendants?

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A None of them. I don't know them now.

Q Do you know any of these gentlemen representing the prosecution?

A No sir.

Q Do you remember what papers you read the accounts in?

A I have read them in the News and the Tribune.

Q You have read these papers since then, I suppose, in regard to the different steps in this case?

A Some of it. I did not follow it all through.

Q You just casually glanced at it?

A Yes.

Q You read of their being arrested and of their being indicted and something in regard to what the coroner's jury had said about it perhaps?

A I don't think I did see that part of it.

Q Have you conversed with anyone that was present or claimed to have been present at the Haymarket that night?

A No sir.

Q Are you acquainted with any of the members of the police force of this city?

A Not in the city; in Hyde Park I am.

Q You are not acquainted with Capt. Bonfield or Capt.Ward?

A No sir.

Q Do you know anything about socialism, anarchism or communism?

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A I don't know that I do.

Q You have no prejudice then against persons that advocate the principles of these institutions?

A I don't know that I understand their principles. I never read their by-laws, or anything about it.

Q I guess they have no by-laws, except that each one organization might have its own. Do you feel perfectly free to listen to the testimony in this case as it shall be given by witnesses sworn and the charge of the Court and render an absolutely impartial verdict in the case if you are selected as a juryman?

A I think I could.

Q The feeling that you have that somebody ought to suffer would not have a tendency or weigh against these defendants unless the testimony clearly showed beyond all reasonable doubt that they are the ones that are to be responsible?

A No sir; it would not make any difference unless it was proven to me that these were the men.

Q And as the Court would instruct you---beyond all reasonable doubt. You would be governed by the rule of the application of the evidence as given you by the Court, would you?

A Yes.

Q How long have you conducted the hardware business?

A About ten years.

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Q And what other business have you been engaged in since you have been a man of years?

A Well, I have been engaged in that business all of my life since I was sixteen years old, only for other parties.

Q You were clerking in a hardware store when you were a boy and gradually grew into the proprietorship of it?

A Yes.

Q Where did you reside before coming to Chicago?

A I resided a while in Boston and before that in Nova Scotia.

Q Were you born in Nova Scotia?

A Yes.

Q You were naturalized years ago?

A Yes.

Q Have you any church affiliation?

A I am not a member of any church. I believe in churches though.

Q Have you been raised and brought up in a church?

A I am not a member of any church. I have always gone to church and believe in churches.

Q What church did your parents usually attend?

A The Baptist church.

Q And that is the church you usually attend here?

A Yes.

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Q You never were a member of any church?

A No.

Q You are a married man?

A Yes.

Q Is your wife a member of that church?

A No.

Q But attends that church, I presume?

A Yes.

Q How many employes have you about your store?

A All the way from four to seven or eight, as times require.

Q I presume you have never been effected by any labor strike, or anything of that kind?

A None at all; they were always willing to work ten hours.

Q Have you any feeling or prejudice against the organisation of laboring men for their own protection and advancement and assistance so far as it is confined within the limits of the law?

A No sir; I have no objection to them whatever as long as they mind their own affairs.

Q And do not make themselves liable--to the provisions of the penal code---you have no objections to them whatever?

A No sir.

Q You have children, I presume?

A Four.

WALTERS excused peremptorily by defendants.

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