Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Fred L. Buck, 1886 July 22.

Volume J, 74-77, 4 p.
Buck, Fred L.
Worked at Cheltenham Beach.

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

Experimented with dynamite provided by the Chicago Police Department's detective's office. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): experiments with explosives (vol.J 74).

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Fred L. Buck,

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

Q What is your name?

A Fred L. Buck.

Q What is your business?

A At present I am working at Cheltenham Beach.

Q On the 4th of May last or after the 4th of May last, did you experiment with some dynamite?

A I did.

Q From where did you get the dynamite with which you experimented?

A From the detective's office in the city building.

Q Where did you go to experiment with it?

A Lake Front.

Q Describe the dynamite with which you experimented.

A Well, it looks more like sawdust than anything else, mixed with sand.

Q How big a piece, or how much of it, did you take?

A Altogether, maybe as large as a man's fist.

Q Was it loose, or was it compact in a piece?

A loose.

Q Like sawdust or like sand?

A Well, like sawdust mixed with oil, or something, that you could whack it together in a ball, hold together.

Q You went down to the Lake Front?

A Yes sir.

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Q With whom?

A Officer McKeough, and I don't know--there was another officer along, and a newspaper reporter.

Q And Duffy?

A I don't know the names.

Q Now, you may say what you did down there?

A I went into the detective's office, well, it was about maybe ll, half past 11 or 12, May 5th, and picked up off from the floor a piece of paper and asked one of the officers where it came from.

THE COURT--Don't tell that conversation.


A Well, he asked what I did with the stuff.

Q Well, you picked up a paper and took the dynamite and went down?

A I took the dynamite and went to the Lake Front and in the first place, I took a piece of oak tie, I should judge three feet long-placed some of it on the tie; put a brick on each side of it to hold it in place; placed a fulminating cap with a small piece of fuse in it and fired it off.

Q Well, what was the effect?

A A hole about the sixe of a man's two fists in the piece of the tie, and these bricks disappeared.

Q Did you try it again?

A I tried it again by placing it inside of a car link.

Q Now, look at that car link. (Exhibiting the fragment

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of a car link.) Describe the car link.

A The car link was about so much longer than that.

Q Well, it was a link?

A It was a link.

Q About how many inches long?

A Oh, I should judge they were eight and a half inches. They are used only by the Baltimore & Ohio road, and they are about so wide (indicating)

Q Well, that is about three inches.

A Two inches wide, about.

Q It is iron, of iron?

A Yes sir. I placed a pressed brick--I placed down a board and this pressed brick on top of that and this car link, and a pressed brick on top of that, left maybe an inch open at each end. Inside I placed not quite as large as an egg in there bundled up together--

Q Of this dynamite that you had taken from the detective's office?

A Of this dynamite, and I put a fulminating cap and a small piece of fuse and fired it off. There is a part of the brick--(indicating a package of powdered brick.) And here is the car link. (Indicating fragment of car link.)

Q Where is the balance of the car link?

A Went out in the lake.

Q How far were you located from the lake?

A Oh, we were maybe twenty-five or thirty feet.

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--That piece was picked up about, I should judge, thirty-five or forty feet from where it was in the first place.

Cross examination waived.

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