Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 2
Examination of Harry T. Sandford, 1886 July 15.

Volume H, 298-312, 15 p.
Sandford, Harry T.
Freight auditor for the Northwestern railroad.

Examination by Mr. Foster and Mr. Grinnell. Defense challenged the juror for cause which was overruled by the Court. As the Defense had exhausted all of its peremptory challenges, they were forced to accept the juror. Accepted as a juror along with three other unnamed jurors (Reed, Greiner, Adams) in the case of Illinois vs. August Spies et al.

Go to Witness Testimony | Return to Previous Examination | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents
[Image, Volume H, Page 298]


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

MR. FOSTER: What is your name?

A H. T. Sanford.

Q Where do you reside Mr. Sanford?

A Oak Park.

Q Where is Oak Park?

A About eight miles out on the Northwestern.

Q What is your business?

A I am a clerk in the Northwestern road.

Q In what capacity?

A I am in the freight auditor's office.

Q How long have you been engaged in that business?

A About fifteen months.

Q What is your age?

A Twenty four.

Q What other business have you had?

A I was a petroleum broker before I came to Chicago, in New York.

Q You have resided in Chicago only about eighteen months?

A That is all.

Q I don't know that I understand what you mean by petroleum broker? Do you mean you actually handled the material or that you speculated in stocks?

A Well, there is a difference between stocks and petroleum, you know. I did not actually handle the oil, but I was a member of the petroleum

[Image, Volume H, Page 299]

exchange of New York.

Q Isn't that a little like a grain exchange in which you buy and sell on commission?

A Yes, very much the same.

Q Only instead of being grain it is petroleum?

A I think so.

Q How long were you engaged in that business in New York?

A About fifteen months.

Q Have you any conscientious scruples against the infliction of the death penalty in proper cases?

A No.

Q Were you born in New York?

A Yes.

Q Your parents reside in Chicago now?

A No sir.

Q Are you a married man?

A I am.

Q Have you any church affiliations?

A None.

Q Not a member of any church?

A No sir.

Q You know what case is on trial now, I presume?

A Yes.

Q Have you an opinion as to the guilt or the innocence of the defendants or any of them of the murder of Matthias J. Degan?

A I have.

Q You have an opinion; you say you have formed an opinion somewhat upon the question of the guilt or innocence of these defendants, do you mean, or that there was an offence committed at the haymarket by the throwing of the bomb?

A Well, I would rather have you ask them one at a

[Image, Volume H, Page 300]


Q All right. Have you an opinion as to whether or not there was an offence committed at the haymarket meeting by the throwing of the bomb?

A Yes.

Q Now from all that you have read and all that you have heard have you an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of any of the eight defendants of the throwing of that bomb?

A Yes.

Q You have an opinion upon that question also?

A I have.

Q Did you ever sit on a jury?

A Never.

Q I suppose you know something about the duties of a juror?

A I presume so.

Q You understand of course that when a man is on trial, whether it be for his life or for any penal offence, that he can only be convicted upon testimony which is introduced in the presence and the hearing of the jury? You know that, don't you?

A Yes.

Q You know that any newspaper gossip or any street gossip has nothing to do with the matter whatever; and that the jury are to consider only the testimony which is admitted by the court actually, and then are to consider that testimony under the direction as contained in the charge of the

[Image, Volume H, Page 301]

court. You understand that?

A Yes.

Q Now, if you should be selected as a juror in this case to try and determine it, do you believe that you could exercise legally the duties of a juror, that you could listen to the testimony and all of the testimony and the charge of the court and after deliberation return a verdict which would be right and fair as between the defendants and the people of the State of Illinois?

A Yes sir.

Q You believe that you could do that?

A Yes sir.

Q You could fairly and impartially listen to the testimony that is introduced here?

A Yes.

Q And the charge of the court, and render an impartial verdict, you believe?

A Yes.

Q Have you any knowledge of the principles contended for by socialists, communists and anarchists?

A Nothing, except what I read in the papers.

Q Just general reading?

A Yes.

Q You are not a socialist, I presume, or a communist?

A No sir.

Q Have you a prejudice against them for what you have read in the papers?

A Decided.


A decided prejudice against them? Do you believe that that would influence your verdict in this case, or would you try the real issue which is here, as to whether

[Image, Volume H, Page 302]

these defendants were guilty of the murder of Mr. Degan or not, or would you try the question of socialism and anarchism, which reality has nothing to do with the case?

A Well, as I know so little about it in reality at present it is a pretty hard question to answer.

Q You would undertake, you would attempt of course to try the case upon the evidence introduced here upon the issue which is presented here?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, that issue and the only issue which will be presented to this jury, unless it is presented with some other motive that to arrive at the truth, I think, is, did these men throw the bomb which killed officer Degan?

If not, did they aid, abet, encourage, assist or advise somebody else to do it? Now, that is all there is in this case--no question of socialism or anarchism to be determined, or as to whether it is right or wrong. Now, do you believe that you can try it upon that theory and return a verdict upon that theory and upon that issue?

A Well, suppose I have an opinion in my own mind that they encouraged it?

Q Keep it--That they encouraged it?

A Yes.

Q Well, then, so far as that is concerned I do not care very much what your opinion may be now, for your opinion

[Image, Volume H, Page 303]

now is made up of randum conversations and from newspaper reading, as I understand?

A Yes.

Q That is nothing reliable. You do not regard that as being in the nature of sworn testimony at all, do you?

A No.

Q Now, when the testimony is introduced here and the witnesses are examined and cross examined, you see them and look into their countenances, judge who are worthy of belief and who are not worthy of belief. Don't you think then you would be able to determine the question?

A Yes.

Q Regardless of any impression that you might have, or any opinion?

A Yes.

Q Have you any opposition to the organization by laboring men of associations or societies or unions so far as they have reference to their own advancement and protection and are not in violation of law?

A No sir.

Q Mr. Sanford, do you know any of the members of the police force of the city of Chicago?

A Not one by name.

Q You are not acquainted with any one that was either injured or killed, I suppose, at the haymarket meeting?

A No.

Q You say your parents do not live in Illinois--never have lived here?

A No.

[Image, Volume H, Page 304]

Q Is your father still living?

A My father is dead.

Q In what business was he engaged in New York?

A He was a lawyer.

Q A lawyer by profession?

A You ought to be familiar with his name.

MR. ZEISLER: Sanford's reports?

A Yes.

MR. FOSTER: Did you ever study in your father's office?

A No sir.

Q Your business has been that of a petroleum broker and your present business, and that is the only business that you have ever been engaged in since you came out of school, I presume?

A Before that I was in a stock broker's and banker's office.

Q As a clerk?

A Yes sir.

Q Mr. Sanford, are you acquainted with any gentlemen representing the prosecution---these three gentlemen, Mr. Grinnell, Mr. Ingham, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Furthman, who is not here at the present time?

A No sir.

Q You are I presume not acquainted with any of the detective officers of the city of Chicago?

A Not to my knowledge.

Q Now, Mr. Sanford, if you should be selected as a juror in this case do you believe that regardless of all prejudice or opinion which you now have you could listen to the legitimate testimony introduced in court, and upon that and

[Image, Volume H, Page 305]

that alone render and return a fair and impartial, unprejudiced and unbiased verdict?

A Yes.

MR. FOSTER: Upon the question, on the record in this case, if your honor please, we desire to present a challenge for cause to this juror, but we do not argue it, but present it upon the ground that he has formed and expressed an opinion.

THE COURT: (To State's Attorney) Do you want to examine him?

MR. BLACK: We understand, Mr. Stephens (Addressing clerk of the court) that your tally shows that our peremptories are exhausted.

THE CLERK: (Mr. Stephens) Yes sir.

MR. GRINNELL: Does yours show that, too?

MR. BLACK: The same thing, yes.

MR. INGHAM: Mr. Sanford, upon what is your opinion founded---upon newspaper reports?

A Well, it is founded on the general theory and what I read in the newspapers.

Q And what you read in the papers?

A Yes sir.

Q Have you ever talked with any one who was present at the haymarket at the time the bomb was theown?

A No sir.

Q Have you ever talked with any one who professed of his

[Image, Volume H, Page 306]

own knowledge to know anything about the connection of the defendants with the throwing of that bomb?

A No.

Q Have you ever said to any one whether or not you believed the statement of facts in the newspapers to be true?

A I have never expressed it exactly in that way, but still I have no reason to think they were false.

Q Well, the question is not what your opinion of that was. The question simply is--it is a question made necessary by our statute, perhaps?

A Well, I don't recall whether I have or not.

Q So far as you know then, you never have?

A No sir.

Q Do you believe that if taken as a juror you can try this case fairly and impartially, and render a verdict upon the law and the evidence?

A Yes.

MR. INGHAM: We submit that the cause is not well taken, the challenge.

THE COURT: Well, it was not supposed to be well taken if my former rulings have been right.

MR. FOSTER: The challenge is overruled?


MR. FOSTER: Defendants except.

MR. GRINNELL (To witness) Sanford's Superior Court Reports?

A Yes sir.

[Image, Volume H, Page 307]

MR. BLACK: I would like to have the record, that there be no dispute about it, to show that we do not take this juror; we simply stop here.

MR. GRINNELL: We were waiting for you to do something.

MR. BLACK: The challenge is overruled and we simply stop.

MR. GRINNELL: What do you want to do with this gentleman?

MR. BLACK: We have nothing further to do with him. We have exhausted our peremptories, and our challenge for cause is not allowed; so we stop.

MR. GRINNELL: Well, shall we proceed to ask this gentleman some questions, if the court please?

THE COURT: The defendants having challenged for cause, which is overruled, can of course stand where they are without saying anything more; but the effect of that, in my judgment, is that they accept the juror, because they can't help themselves. They have got no peremptory challenge; the challenge for cause is overruled, and necessarily the question now is for the State to say whether they will accept this juror or not. The common law is that all jurors not challenged, or to whom the challenge is not sustained, are the jurors to try the case. If they are not challenged

[Image, Volume H, Page 308]

for a cause which is sustained, and if they are not challenged peremptorily, then they are necessarily the jury to try the case. Now, in this instance the defendants have no more peremptory challenges, and the challenge which they have made for cause is overruled. Therefore, so far as the defendants are concerned, he is a juror to try the case.

MR. BLACK: We understand it that way.

THE COURT: Whether it makes any difference that they formally decline to do anything more about it, is a question that I have not the last say about, what my own opinion will be.

MR. INGHAM: I suppose it is for them to say whether they have any more questions to ask or not.

THE COURT: Well, they say they have stopped nothing more to say I understand them. Of course they cannot stop the trial. Of course if they had any more questions to put to the juror that would be another thing, but they say that they have no more to say.

MR. INGHAM: What is your first name?

A Harry.

MR. GRINNELL: Have you got an initial--a middle name.

A Taylor.

MR. INGHAM: What did you say your age is?

A Twenty four.

[Image, Volume H, Page 309]

Q You were born in New York, were you?

A Yes sir.

Q New York City?

A New York City.

Q You live now at Oak Park?

A Yes sir.

Q How long have you lived there?

A About five months--four or five months.

Q And where did you live before going to Oak Park?

Q I lived at 251 Ohio Street.

Q Lived there any length of time?

A Yes. Lived there almost a year, about ten months.

Q Keeping house at Oak Park?

A No, boarded.

Q You boarded on Ohio Street?

A I lodged there.

Q You say you are a married man?

A Yes.

Q How long have you been in the employ of the Northwestern?

A About fifteen months.

Q In what department?

A Freight Auditor's office.

Q What do you do in that office?

A I am a voucher clerk.

Q What was your business before that?

A I was a petroleum broker.

Q The only thing you have done in Chicago, the only business you have been employed at is while being employed at the Northwestern?

A Yes.

Q Were you in business for yourself as a broker?

A Yes.

[Image, Volume H, Page 310]

Q. And had an office of your own?

A. Yes. Well, I had desk room in another office.

Q. Buying and selling on commission?

A. Yes.

Q Or dealing on your own account?

A On commission.

Q How long were you in that business?

A Well, about fifteen months; over a year anyway--between fifteen and eighteen months I think.

Q That was in New York?

A Yes.

Q Are you a member of any church?

A No.

Q Brought up in any church?

A Until the time I left home, yes.

Q What church did you attend before that?

A The Baptist church.

Q Are you now or have you ever been a member of any labor organization?

A Well, yes and no. I belong to the Railway Clerks' Mutual Benefit Association, but that is not strictly labor.

Q Is that sort of an insurance organization?

A Yes. It is for assistance in case of sickness, and in case of death and burial.

Q That is the only object of the association?

A That is all, and then to assist the members in getting employment should they be discharged.

Q Are you a member of that association now?

A Yes.

[Image, Volume H, Page 311]

Q Do you believe in the enforcement of the law?

A Yes.

Q Have you any sympathy with any association or class of men whose object is the overthrow of law by force, or violence?

A No sir.

Q Do you believe in capital punishment?

A Yes.

Q Do you know any one of the counsel for the defense?

A No, not to my knowledge. I don't know who they are.

Q Do you know any one of the defendants?

A No.

Q Do you know anyone who is interested in them personally, that you are aware of?

A No sir.

Q Where were you when you were summoned--at your place of business?

A No sir, I was down to the contracting agent's office.

Mr. ZEISLER: Where?

A Down to our contracting agent's office.

Mr. INGHAM: But you were about the business at the time?

A Well, I was seeing him about some outside business, trying to place some freight.

Q Have you ever made any study of the subject of communism?

A No.

Q Socialism or anarchism

A Never.

Q Never read anything in regard to any of those?

A Nothing except the newspaper reports.

[Image, Volume H, Page 312]

Q Have you any sympathy with the beliefs of any of those classes so far as you know?

A. No

Q Have you ever read law yourself any?

A No.

Q Where were you educated?

A Well, I had sort of a mixed education. I wandered around considerable in it. I have been to quite a number of schools. I never was at college.

Q What schools did you attend aside from the public school?

A I was at a school in Westville, New Jersey, and one at Norwalk.

Q I understood you to say, Mr. Sandford, that you did not know any of the defendants, never had seen any of them that you are aware of?

A Not to my knowledge.

Court then took recess until two P.M.; and at he coming in of the court at that hour, counsel for the State announced their acceptance of the last four jurors, and the same were sworn to try the case.

Return to Top of this Examination
Go to Witness Testimony | Return to Previous Examination | Return to Trial TOC | Return to the HADC Table of Contents