Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Henry E. O. Heinemann (first appearance), 1886 July 20.

Volume I, 381-387, 7 p.
Heinemann, Henry E. O.
Newspaper reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

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

Tribune newspaper reporter, attended October 11, 1885 meeting at W. 12th Street Turner Hall where Spies introduced resolutions to use force against the police and capitalists. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.I 383), 1885 Oct. 11 meeting at Turner Hall (vol.I 381), eight-hour movement (vol.I 383), Spies, August (vol.I 382), Fielden, Samuel (vol.I 382).

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The people
August Spies, et al.

Tuesday, 10 A.M., July 20th, 1886.


a witness for the people, being duly sworn, was examined in chief by Mr.Grinnell, and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A. Henry E.O.Heineman.

Q You are a newspaper reporter?

A. Yes sir.

Q And are now employed upon the Tribune?

A. Yes sir.

Q How long have you been employed upon the Tribune?

A About ten months.

Q Were you employed upon the Tribune in October last?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you at the meeting at the West Twelfth Street Turner Hall on the 11th day of October last?

A. Yes sir.

Q Did you take a report of that meeting for your paper?

A Yes sir.

Q In shorthand?

A. No.

Q You took a report?

A. I took a report, yes.

Q Do you remember of any resolutions having been presented there offered and adopted by that meeting?

A. Yes sir.

Q Did you take a copy of the resolutions?

A I took a copy along, yes.

Q Were they printed in your paper, the Tribune?

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A. No sir; they only printed a summary of them.

Q Have you a copy of the resolutions with you?

A No sir.

Q Do you know the purport of the contents of them?

A Only from the summary in the paper.

Q Well, you have refreshed your memory by it?

A I have, yes.

Q Repeat to the Jury so far as your memory is concerned, what it was.

Mr. BLACK.--Before that is done I should like to know what has become of the original copy which he made?

Mr. GRINNELL. I will ask him another preliminary question.

Q Do you remember who offered or introduced the resolutions?

A Yes sir; Mr. Spies.

Q August Spies, the defendant in this case?

A. Yes sir.

Q Do you remember who presided at that meeting?

A A man by the name of Beltz,

A. Beltz.

Q Is that he sitting there (indicating)?

A. Yes sir.

Q Do you remember whether Fielden was present?

A Yes sir.

Q Did he address that meeting?

A He made an address, yes.

Q You may state now if you kept that original copy of that?

What became of your original report of that meeting?

A The original report?

Q Yes, you came back to your office?

A Well, It was handed into the city editor; the greater part of it was published. The resolutions were cut down and only the

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substance was given in the report.

Q Do you know where your original memoranda is?

A No; I do not. That was thrown away, I suppose.

Q That is always thrown away after the use of it--after it is placed in type?

A. Yes sir.

Q Now, will you give me your best recollection as to the purport of the contents of those resolutions?

Objected to as immaterial and irrelevant, and especially objected to in behalf of the six defendants other than Spies and Fielden, who were not present nor have in any way been connected with that meeting. Objection overruled and exception by defendants.

A The subject, I think, was the impending eight hour movement that was to be inaugurated on May 1st, this year. And the resolutions stated I think, that the workingmen could not hope for success unless they were prepared to enforce their demands, and it concluded with the sentence that was published the next morning in our paper, which says: "Death to the Enemies of the Human Race, our Despoilers;" something of that sort.

Q Was anything said in that resolution about the militia, or the police or capitalists?

A That I could not say---I do not remember.

Q State whether or not you remember the resolutions containing any instructions to the laboring men to Arm themselves, and to use force, as the time of argument and discussion had gone by?

Objected to as leading.

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THE COURT--Well, anything said upon that subject, the witness must state what he remembers. Let the question be answered.

Exception by defendants.

Mr. GRINNELL.--I am asking a question he can answer Yes or No.

Q Do you remember whether anything of that kind was said on that subject? What is your remembrance about that? Mr. Heineman?

(Last question above read)

A I think that was the sense of it.

Answer objected to, and on motion of defendants' counsel stricken out by the court.

THE COURT--Let the witness state if he can, what language was used if you remember?

A. I don't remember any of the language that was used, except that concluding sentence that I repeated.

Mr. GRINNELL- -Well, what is your remembrance, Mr. Heineman?--I do not mean remembrance of the words used, but substantially what was said? I do not expect you to give the precise words, or the exact words that was used in that resolution.

THE COURT--Whatever recollection you have about the substance of the resolutions, state it.

Mr. GRINNELL--I will ask you to look at those resolutions in that paper. (Handing witness newspaper.) Refresh your memory. (Witness looks at paper.) Mr. Heineman, have you read the resolutions that I have presented to you?

A I have.

Q Now, I will ask you to state, if you can, so far as your memory is concerned, what those resolutions were, introduced there at

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that time--give them in detail, as near as you can.

A They began by referring to the eight hour movement that had been inaugurated by the confederated trades, and went on to say that the probabilities were that the property owning class would resist an attempt of the laborers to enforce eight hours by calling to their aid the police and the militia, and if the workingmen were determined on carrying their point they would have to arm themselves and be ready to enforce their demands by the same means that the property owning class would use. I think that is the substance.

Q In the resolutions, was anything said--now, answer this Yes or No, if you can--in the resolutions was anything said as to the time when this should culminate, do you remember? The question is, do you remember as to that? And your answer will be yes or No.

A Well, I think Yes; I could not be certain.

Q What time, if you remember was designated?

A The 1st of May was designated, in so far as the commencement of the eight hour movement was fixed at that date.

Q The 1st of May 1886?

A -Yes sir.

Q By the way, was that resolution adopted by that meeting?

A Yes sir.

Q How in reference to votes? unanimously or otherwise.

A Unanimously, as far as I remember.

Defendants' counsel moved to exclude the testimony of this witness on behalf of all the defendants, and particularly in behalf of the six defendants who were not present at the meeting in question,

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as immaterial and irrelevant. Which motion was overruled, and exception taken.


Q You say, Mr. Heineman, that in substance, the resolutions said that they should be prepared to use the same means and the same force that capitalists would use against them?

A I think so.

Q Now, after reading the resolutions which were handed to you, I will ask you if in your recollection, there was anything said in those resolutions that the time for argument had passed, that the time for force had begun? Now, is there any such expression as that in words or in purport? And if you desire, I will hand you the resolutions to look at again. (Handing witness same paper.)

A. No sir. I do not find anything.

Q Do not find anything of that kind.---You say that Fielden spoke at that meeting?

A. Yes.

Q Was it before or after the resolutions were presented and adopted?

A. That was before the resolutions.

Q Before the resolutions were read?

A (No answer audible).

Mr. GRINNELL--I will ask Mr. Heineman another question.

If you heard of any discussion on the adoption of the resolutions--you remember any discussion on the adoption of these resolutions?

A Yes sir.

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MR. FOSTER-- You recall him, do you, for that purpose?

Mr. GRINNELL--Yes. To re-examine him on account of your cross-examination, because I may have been wrong about the particular part of the resolutions.

Q Now, I will ask you if after the discussion Spies spoke to the resolutions?

A. Yes sir.

Q I will ask you now if spies said, or substantially said in answer to Mr. Magie, whether or not the time for argument had gone by, or words to that effect, and that the only remedy now left them was the gun and dynamite?

Objected to as leading and not cross-examination;

Objection sustained.

Counsel for People offer to read in evidence the resolutions referred to, as appearing in a newspaper a copy of which has been handed to defendants' counsel. Objected to as immaterial and not the best evidence. Objection sustained.

(Counsel for the People reserve the right to recall this witness on another branch of the case.)

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