Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume I, 410-414, 5 p.
Haraster, Frank.
President of the Lumber Shovers' Union; German immigrant.

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

Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): socialists and/or socialism (vol.I 413), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.I 410), eight-hour movement (vol.I 411), Degan, Mathias (vol.I 431), Lumber Shovers' Union (vol.I 410).

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Frank Haraster,

a witness for the people having been duly sworn, was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell, and testified through Mr. Gauss, as interpreter, as follows:

Q What is your name.

A Frank Haraster.

Q You are a Bohemian?

A Yes sir.

Q Where do you live?

A 35 Zion Place.

Q What is your business.

A I am a working man, in the lumber yard,--laboring man.

Q How long have you been working there?

A Eleven years.

Q How long have you lived in Chicago?

A Eleven years.

Q How long have you lived in America?

A Eleven years.

Q You are President of the Lumber Shovers Union?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you have a meeting--do you remember the meeting at McCormick's or in that vicinity on May 3rd last?

A Yes sir.

MR. SALOMON--We object to all testimony as to this occurrence at McCormick's.

Objection overruled; exception by defendants.

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MR. GRINNELL-Were you an officer, were you a member of any committee that had to report to that meeting?

A No.

Q Was there a committee to report?

A It was a committee that had been sent to the bosses of the lumber yerds, to request them to allow the eight hour---permit the eight hour work.

Q Was the object of that meeting to hear the report of that committee?

A Yes sir; that was the object of the meeting, to receive the report, the news of the committee from the bosses.

Q Were there any speakers there?

A When I got there, there were already a great many people gathered there. And one speech had already been made previous to the time at which the meeting was to be held.

Q What was the hour that the meeting was to be held?

A The meeting was to take place at 3 in the afternoon.

Q You got there and found that speaking was already going on?

A Yes; one speech had already been made.

Q Had you invited any speakers there?

Objected to as immaterial. Objection sustained.

Q Now, what took place there? When you found speakers there and found them going on with the speaking, what did you do?

A I got there and told the speaker that it was not his duty to make a speech, as the meeting had been appointed for 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

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Q Well, what did you say in regard to it?

A I kept him from speaking.

Q What did you tell the crowd that time or at any other time, what did you tell the crowd and tell the speaker? Give me the whole of it.

A I told the people to keep quiet and not to listen to the speakers, that it should not culminate in a thing as had happened in 1877. I tried to keep the people quiet and they attempted to throw me off the car.

Q Is that all that you remember of having said to the speakers?

A I always kept them from speaking, and he kept on speaking.

MR. ZEISLER--I move to exclude that answer. That is not responsive to the question at all.

Motion overruled.

MR. GRINNELL--How long did you stay there?

A Oh, I was there about fifteen minutes, twenty minutes.

Q What did you do then?

A When some people run towards McCormick's to drive out the scabs I tried to keep them back and get them to go home.

Q Are you a socialist?

A I am not a Socialist.

Q Did you at that time, at that meeting, state to the speakers or to the crowd, in the presence of the speakers that these speakers were Socialists and you did not want they should listen to them?

Objected to as leading. Objection sustained.

Q Did you say anything to the people on the car that were speaking,

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or to the crowd in the presence of those speakers? Did you say anything about Socialists?

A Yes. I told the people not to listen to those speakers, for the speeches were probably such as were poisonous--that they should not listen to them, such as they should not listen to; that they were poisonous.

MR. ZEISLER--He did not say anything of the kind.

THE INTERPRETER--He used "ungiftig" the opposite of poisonous, but he meant "giftig". (To witness:) Sagten Sie giftig?


MR. SALOMON-- We move to exclude the evidence of this witness.

Motion overruled; exception by defendants.


Q How many persons were represented by the Lumber Shovers' Union? He says he is President of the Lumber Shovers' Union?

A Over six thousand men.

Q Do you mean to say that your Union is composed of over six thousand men.

A Yes. There are nearly three thousand of Bohemians and over three thousand of Germans.

Q Belonging to the Society of which he is the President?

A Yes, I am President of the Bohemians.

Q Was this a meeting also of the Hand Laborers' Union? And the Central Laborers' Union at the same time and place?

A No; it was only ameeting of the Lumber Workingmen. Lumber laborers.

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Q Don't you know that the Hand Laborers' Union and the Central Labor Union had a meeting called to the same place at the same time only earlier in the day, and that they were meeting there?

A I do not know anything about that.

Q Now, isn't there six distinct sections of the Union? And that he is the President of only one of the six sections?

A I am the President of--I think he said the seven sections of the Bohemians and the six sections of the Germans represent themselves.

Q Represent themselves. So he is the President of the Bohemian Section?

A Yes.

Q Now, do you say that Mr. Spies, the defendant, was not invited by two different committees representing the two different sections to speak at that meeting on that occasion, the German sections?

A That I do not know.

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