Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of George W. Shook, 1886 July 19.

Volume I, 283-288, 6 p.
Shook, George W.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross-examination by Captain Black. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Lived with witness Luther Moulton (vol.I 275-283) in Grand Rapids. Overheard the conversation between Luther Moulton and August Spies. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): socialists and/or socialism (vol.I 284), advocating revolution (vol.I 285), witnesses who were given money by the prosecution or the police (vol.I 287), Spies, August (vol.I 284).

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called as a witness on behalf of the people, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct Examination by

Q Where do you live?

A. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Q What is your business?

A. I am a laboring man; I am a machine hand employed in a furniture factory.

Q At Grand Rapids?

A. Yes.

Q How long have you lived there?

A. Six years, very near, in August.

Q Do you know Mr. Moulton, the last witness?

A Yes sir.

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Q Do you now or did you in February a year ago live at his house?

A. I lived in the same house with him.

Q Do you know the defendant August Spies--have you ever seen him before?

A. I had an introduced to him on the 22nd of February, 1885.

Q Where?

A. At Mr. Moulton's residence.

Q In the City of Grand Rapids?

A. Yes.

Q Did you hear a conversation between Mr. Moulton and Mr. Spies?

A. I did.

Q State what you heard as near as you can?

Objected to on behalf of all of the defendants, and particularly on behalf of the seven other defendants other than Mr. Spies.

Objection overruled; to which ruling of the court defendants by their counsel then and there duly excepted.

A The conversation was more of a discussion. Mr. Moulton commenced to question Mr Spies regarding his socialistic organization, as he termed it, and I remember very distinctly of his stating that they had a secret organization in the city of Chicago numbering very nearly 3000; I remember he stated, as the question was asked him, what they proposed to do with this organization; he said they proposed to revolutionize the country or society in general; he argued that it was

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entirely useless to undertake to better the laboring element by legislation because it was hardly possible to get men into office that would legislate for their benefit, and he thought that it could be brought about by revolution, and the question was asked him how by revolution, and I remember him using the word "explosive"; he was asked again whether there was any other method; he said by a secret organization which nobody knew until they became a member of the organization-- that is, what they intended to do in this organization, how they intended to drill their men in their mode of warfare. That was substantially the argument as I remember it.

Q Do you remember anything about the use of the name Washington on that Washington anniversary?

A I remember when he was asked the question if he didn't think there would be bloodshed; he said he didn't know but what there might; he said that all revolutions had to undergo a certain amount of risk, and that they were liable of course, somebody, to get hurt.

Q What was said in that connection about George Washington, if anything?

A. Nothing more in particular, although they said if he had failed he would probably have been hung for treason.

Q That was the chance they took?

A. Yes.

Q In that conversation was anything said about the culmination of this revolution--when it was to take place, or with

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reference to what was it to take place?

A. I don't remember that there was any date stated.

Q How was it expressed?

A. At the time when there would be the most men idle--- the most confusion.

Q Do you remember of there being anything said at that time about the eight hour discussion?

A. I do not

Q In that connection or in that conversation was anything said about Chicago or the commercial centres?

A Yes.

Q What?

A. He said that they proposed to organize all the large commercial centres as they had Chicago organized.

Q Now was anything said about the country outside the commercial centres?

A. I do not remember of anything distinct regarding that matter.

Cross Examination by

Defendants' counsel moves to exclude the testimony of this witness for the same reasons set out in the testimony of the witness Moulton; which motion was overruled; to which ruling of the court defendants by their counsel, then and there duly excepted.

Q What is your business?

A. I am a laboring man--- a machine hand; employed in a furniture factory.

Q For whom do you work?

A. I work for the Whittigan

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Brothers Furniture Company.

Q What is your position with them?

A. I am running a machine called a sticker. I have charge of three machines.

Q Are you practically the foreman of that department?

A I am really, yes.

Q You have been with this Company how long?

A Two years:

Q Who paid your expenses for coming over here---the police department of Grand Rapids?

A. Yes.

MR. GRINNELL: The State of Illinois will pay them.

THE COURT: Who did get transportation from and money for the expenses?

THE WITNESS: From the police department of Grand Rapids.

MR. BLACK: (Q) Did you come over with Moulton?

A. Yes

Q You and he talked this matter over as you came?

A I don't know as we did in particular.

Q Before you came?

A. We talked about it after the arrest of Mr. Spies, and often made a remark of what he said at that time.

Q You talked about it the other day to Mr. Bonfield?

A Yes.

Q Didn't you at that time or about that time, in talking the matter over with Bonfield, also talk it over with Moulton

A Not in particular.

Q Did you generally?

A. We spoke of the matter, yes.

Q Didn't you also speak of the matter as you were coming

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over from Grand Rapids here?

A. No sir.

Q When did you get here?

A. We got here Saturday morning.

Q You have been here since Saturday morning, have you?

A Yes.

Q When did you first come in the court room?

A Saturday forenoon.

Q Were you in court all day Saturday?

A. No sir.

Q Or pretty much?

A. No sir.

Q You were in here during Mr. Moulton's testimony?

A Yes.

Q You heard him testify?

A. Yes.

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