Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Archibald Leckie, 1886 July 20.

Volume I, 405-409, 5 p.
Leckie, Archibald.
Chicao Daily News reporter.

Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. 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 405), Spies, August (vol.I 405).

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Archibald Leckie,

a witness for the people, having been duly sworn and examined in chief by Mr. Ingham, testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A Archibald Leckie.

Q What is your business?

A I am a reporter.

Q On what paper are you employed?

A The Daily News.

Q Where you a reporter on the 3rd of May last?

A I was.

Q What paper were you on at that time?

A Daily News.

Q Did you report the meeting near McCormick's?

A I did, partly.

Q Just before the riot. What time did you get there?

A It was, I should think, about 1 o'clock; perhaps a little before.

Q Was there speaking going on at the time?

A Well, preparations for speaking were going on at that time. The crowd was just assembling.

Q Now, tell what you saw there.

A Well, I saw a crowd of perhaps four thousand people, a gradually increasing crowd, from three thousand to four thousand, and a number of speakers on a box car, among whom I recogniz Mr. Spies, and Mr. Fielding, I think.

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Q You do not mean the defendant Fielden, here?

A No.

MR. GRINNELL--He was a German.

A He was a short man, a short slight man, with a black mustache. And there was some discussion about who was to speak. Everybody seemed anxious to speak.

MR. BLACK- Of course, this is subject to the same objection.

THE WITNESS--Everyone was anxious to speak, and there seemed to be some discussion on the subject! They pushed one man back and he jumped forward again and made a desperate effort to get a word in, and they would not allow him to, and by the time I arrived there a man was speaking.

MR. INGHAM--Who was that man speaking?

A Well, I don't know; I never saw him before or since, and I think he was speaking in German, either German or Bohemian. I did not really get close enough to him, until after he got through; he only made a short speech; and speeches followed in English, German and Bohemian, and I paid very little attention to them, until I heard this Mr. Fielding speak and he made a very incendiary speech, I think from my knowledge of German.

MR. BLACK-Don't give us your views upon it.

THE COURT--Tell what he said, if you can remember.

A Well, the words "Bomben" and "revolvers" and "Messer" are the words caught my ear. I am not conversant with German but those are the words that I particularly understood, and the word "Freiheit", if I pronounce it right. That I know means freedom; and from his gestures he seemed to be telling men to use the knife.

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MR. BLACK- Tell us what he did.

MR. INGHAM-- Did you hear the words, "dynamite" and "bombs"?

A Those are the words I heard, yes.

Q And so forth--knives?

MR. BLACK--He did not say knives.

MR. INGHAM--He said Messer.

THE COURT--Let the witness repeat again the words that he said he heard.

THE WITNESS- The words that I recognized were Messer, and bomben, and revolver--well, that is to the best of my recollection at this time. I have not studied the subject or looked up any words.

Q What does the word "Messer" mean?

MR. ZEISLER-- Messer means knife.

THE COURT--Let the witness tell.

THE WITNESS-- That is what it means.

MR. INGHAM--What did you do then?

A Well, I got a gentleman, a Tribune Reporter, who was standing by, to translate the speech a little more fully to me, and took note of it; telephoned it into the office from Mr. Baker's lumber office, and returned to the meeting, and the wind had changed, or something or other, and I could not hear so plain from my previous stand, and I climbed upon the car where the speakers were; I stood there perhaps a minute, and one man on top of the car approached me and told me to get off of there. I paid no attention and he grappled me and tried to throw me off. Well, of course, I did not care to tumble off the car, and I hung on to him, and this

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man who led the procession Saturday, a tall, red-bearded man, come up to us and told me to get out of there. So I got down off the car and got in the crowd underneath, and this fellow kept on speaking, and as soon as I saw the crowd looking at me I looked up above, and I saw this fellow looking down at me and making a gesture as though I was one--some of the objectionable people, against whom he was speaking. Then the crowd assaulted me and I got out.

Q Now, who was the man who pointed at you.

A Well, it was this little speaker---this little Fielding.

Q Who was the man that shoved you off?

A He did not shove me off.

Q Well, or tried to shove you off?

A Well, I don't know; I never saw him before that. Yes, I have seen him before; his face was familiar; I had seen him around there some place, but I am not in position to know who he was. I knew him.

Q What did you say about the tall, red-bearded man?

A He is the man who separated us, and he was the man who led the procession on the previous Saturday, a man with whom I had some discussionl I asked him what was the meaning of carrying the American flag with the stars below, reversed.

MR. BLACK-Never mind your discussion with that man.

THE COURT--Yes, that is immaterial.

MR. INGHAM--He is the man you saw carrying the flag in a procession?

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A Yes sir.

Q Carrying it in what way?

Objected to; objection sustained.

Q Did you see Spies there?

A Yes sir; he was on the car with the speaker.

Q What did you do after you saw this?

A After I saw Spies?

Q After you saw that you were obnoxious to the speakers?

A Well, I waited until they assaulted me; I was struck two or three times, and then I got out, and got a few rocks throwed at me.

A And skipped?

A And I skipped.

Cross Examination waived.

MR. BLACK--We move the exclusion of this testimony as incompetent, immaterial, and irrelevant, not touching any of these defendants; they are not responsible for the supposed acts testified to by this witness. We do not see how it tends to show that they killed Degan.

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