Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of E. T. Baker, 1886 July 20.

Volume I, 399-404, 6 p.
Baker, E. T.
Employed by S. B. Barker & Co. lumber dealers.

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

Present at the meeting of the Lumber Shovers' on the Black Road before the McCormick riot. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.I 400), Spies, August (vol.I 400).

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

Mr. FOSTER--Now, if the court please, a motion was made to exclude the testimony of the last witness. I do not presume that your Honor is committed to the ruling that Mr. Spies or any of these defendants are in any way responsible for what a man might have jumped up in the audience that they were addressing and said. I do not suppose that your Honor holds that they are liable for that. Now, there is no evidence which shows that it was by procurement or even by the consent of Mr. Spies. There is no evidence showing that he advised this utterance, or anything which can possibly, under any circumstances make it applicable to any of the defendants. I merely would like to know the views of the court in admitting the testimony or refusing to strike it out.

THE COURT.-I do not want to go on and give at large any views as to why the testimony is admissible. I think there is a very clear ground upon which it is admissible.

To which ruling of the court so refusing to strike out said testimony counsel for defendants duly excepted.

Mr. GRINNELL--What is your name? E. T. Baker.

Q Where do you live?

A. 470 Ashland avenue.

Q What is your business?

A. I am engaged with S. B. Baker and company, lumber dealers.

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Q Where is their office--oh, it is the same office that Mr. Fraser is in?

A. Yes sir.

Q Were you present at the MCCormick meeting on May 3rd in the afternoon?

A. I was.

Q Where were you when the bell rung?

A I was fifty feet probably in front of the car, at which the speakers were stationed.

Q Who were on the car?

A Oh, there were a dozen or more, probably; I don't know them.

Q Do you recognize any of the defendants--as having seen any of the defendants there on that car in that afternoon?

A This gentleman, over here, I think I saw. (Indicating defendant Spies.)

Q Was he one of the speakers?

A I think so.

Q In reference to the ringing of the bell, which speaker? In reference to the ringing of the bell, when McCormick's bell rung, who was speaking?

A This gentleman was speaking. (Indicating Spies.)

Q When the bell rung, what did the crowd do? How big a crowd was there there?

A Oh, it is mere guess work to say, but there must have been several thousand. The whole commons was covered with them. I was in the midst of the dense crowd myself.

Q Did you notice Spies? Were you near enough to

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Hear his words?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you understand German?

A Some; I have studied it.

Q Could you get the words? Could you catch any words that he said?

A Yes sir.

Q What did he say?

A Well, I got the general drift--of what I got was an appeal--

Objected to.

THE COURT--The substance of what you heard.

MR. BLACK--Of course we desire to object to this as immaterial, and especially in behalf of the seven defendants other than Mr. Spies.

A I heard him speak of the wives and children and homes in German and appealing to their protection. I could not get a very connected draft of course, of what he said, but I understood words now and then. I thought he spoke very good German--I noticed that much

Q What was his manner as to gestures?

A Well, it was rathed excited and was very earnest; seemed to be very much excited.

Q What did the crowd do?

A They patiently listened until we heard the bell ring at McCormick's factory, and all of a sudden a gentleman standing to the left of the speaker on the end of the car rushed forward, and shouted "Now boys, let us go for them damned scabs at McCormick's." Those are the exact words; I remember them very distinctly. At

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that moment the crowd commenced, a portion of it nearer McCormick'S factory commenced to move away, and I began to back in the opposite direction.

Q That man that made that utterance, had he made a speech from that car that day?

A I had never seen him before.

Q How long had he been there?

A I did not see him come on the car. I did not notice him until he stepped forward and shouted.

Q What became of Spies?

A I did not see him after that. I was backing away, and then stood quite a distance watching the proceedings, and I did not see him any more, although there were speakers for quite awhile on the car after that, people on the car.

Defendants move to exclude the testimony of this witness motion overruled; exception by defendants.

Cross Examination by Mr. Black.

Q You have given as nearly as you remember, the exact language of the party who suggested to go for the scabs?

A Yes sir. I am positive those are the words.

Q The speaking on the car went right on after that interruption did it?

A I don't know how long, but there were people on the car for sometime--that is sometime after that, ten or fifteen minutes before they got off the car.

Q And the speaking was going on in the meantime?

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A Well, I was too far away to be sure about it.

Q But apparently it was in progress, I think you said.

A Yes and I think they were speaking-- in progress.

MR. GRINNELL--I did not catch that--that he came there when the speaking had already begun?

MR. BLACK--Oh no, that the speaking was going right on, after the interruption for ten or fifteen minutes.

THE WITNESS-I said there were people on the car after that for that length of time. I do not know what they did.

MR. GRINNELL- Do not know whether they were speaking or not?

A No sir; I do not know whether they were making a regular speech, or whether they were conferring with each other?

MR. BLACK- Q- I thought I understood you to say in your direct examination that the speaking went on. Now, did it or did it not, according to your present recollection?

A I did not intend to give that idea.

Q A part of the crowd however, remained there about the car?

A Well, it is a good while before all the crowd dispersed on the commons. They were standing around there for probably half an hour after that.

Q About what proportion of the crowd, do you think, moved west toward the reaper works?

A I tried to estimate it at the time, and I guessed at it, that about two thousand, probably, of the crowd went away.

Q About one half of the crowd?

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A No sir; I do not think it could have been more than a quarter or a third.

Q Not more than a quarter or a third of the crowd left. The residue of the crowd remained.

A Or backed away--dispersed, went off.

Q Dispersed in different directions?

A Yes sir, just as I did.

Counsel for defendants renew their motion to exclude testimony of this witness; motion overruled; exception by defendants.

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