Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of James Duffy (first appearance), 1886 July 22.

Volume J, 106-114, 9 p.
Duffy, James.
Detective, Chicago Police Department.

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

Police detective, among those who searched the Arbeiter-Zeitung offices on May 4. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): 1886 May 5 search of the Arbeiter-Zeitung office (vol.J 106), items confiscated from the Arbeiter-Zeitung office or the defendants' homes (vol.J 106), "Revenge" circular (vol.J 107), "Attention Workingmen" flier (vol.J 106), arrest of Spies (vol.J 110.5), arrest of Schwab (vol.J 110.5).

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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 James W. Duffy.

Q You are a police officer?

A Yes, sir.

Q How long have you been on the police force?

A Well, I have been connected with the force a little over two years.

Q Were you at the Arbeiter Zeiting office on the 5th day of May last?

A I was.

Q What hour of the day were you there?

A Well, somewheres about nine o'clock.

Q Were you there again, or did you make the search at that time?

A And made a search at that time.

Q What did you take? What did you find?

A Well, on the first search I took some circulars calling the men to arms.

Mr. FOSTER: Speak a little louder, Mr. Duffy, I cannot hear you.

THE WITNESS: I got some circulars, I guess about two thousand circulars, about that, and went upstairs where they set the type -- Officer Myers, myself and Slayton, and Officer Baird went up and looked through the upper part of the building. Officer Myers found some type there and he called my attention to it.

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Q Found some type there?

A Yes, sir.

Q What else?

A And found a manuscript of the Revenge Circular. Well, before we found that manuscript Officer Jones and I was down on the first floor, and we saw a package up on the shelf -- Officer Bonfield had gone out with the prisoners; so we went upstairs for fear they had put some stuff away up there -- we did not know what they might do, and so while we were upstairs Officer Marks came and---

Q Never mind what he said. What did you do?

A Him and I went down stairs and took a package of what we supposed was dynamite off a shelf.

Q Now, just describe that package as you found it? First tell me the shelf that you got it from and the room in which that shelf was?

A It was on the first floor in a closet off the office on the first floor in front.

Q Now, what do you mean by the first floor? The first floor of the building, or the first floor of the Arbeiter Zeitung office?

A The first floor of the Arbeiter Zeitung office.

Q That is the second floor of the building?

A The second floor of the building.

Q In the front part of that?

A In the front part of that.

Q The front part contains an office?

A Yes, sir,

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Q Well, from the closet?

A There is a shelf up on the left hand side as you go in the closet and up on there there was a large package composed of -- well it looked like a coffee sack saturated with oil and paper and stuff. We took it down off the shelf and opened it and examined it; didn't know exactly what it was.

Q What did it look like?

A It looked something like sawdust, and brown stuff, kind of oily substance.

Q How much of it was there?

A Well, I should judge there was probably four or five pounds of it.

Q What did you do with it?

A We took it to the Central Station.

Q What was done with it there?

A It was put in a vault there, and I afterwards learned that it was tested.

Q Never mind that part of it as long as you were not present.

THE COURT: Don't state anything except what you did. Strike that out.

Mr. GRINNELL: What do you know was done with this dynamite?

A It was given over to C. C. Vehmeyer to keep until called for in their magazine.

Q When was it delivered back? Where is it now?

A It is right here.

Q What was done with it?

A It was brought back yesterday morning.

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Q And delivered to you?

A Delivered to me yesterday morning by C. C. Vehmeyer.

Q Is the package the same as it was when it was delivered to Vehmeyer?

A It is the same package. I put my mark on it so I would know it; private mark.

Q Were you up on the top floor of the building that day?

A Yes, sir.

Q What was that floor used for at that time?

A Well, that was type-setting.

Q Now with reference to that floor, where was the room that you got this stuff out of?

A It was on the second floor below.

Q What do you mean by second? Do you mean the floor immediately under it?

A No, sir.

Q Or two floors below that?

A Two floors below.

Mr. GRINNELL: If there is any question about the contents of this bundle, gentlemen; we will have it opened. Otherwise leave it as it is. I do not care to have it opened.

Mr. FOSTER: It is your own property. You can do what you want to with it.

Mr. GRINNELL: It can be opened with perfect safety.

THE WITNESS: It is perfectly harmless, I believe.

Mr. GRINNELL: (To witness) Well, you may open it. Open it carefully in the middle of the floor. (The witness here

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opens the package in question which appears to contain a quantity of oily brown paper and a bag of sandy looking substance.)

Q These packages, these papers, greasy and oily as you have them here, were found there then?

A Yes, sir.

Q And this done up in this bag?

A Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Well, now, I think that might as well be carried away and not have it here any more. Nobody that don't know already about the stuff can tell anything about that. It don't add at all to our knowledge to have that presented. Unless one knows beforehand what it is a look at it gives them no sort of information.

Mr. GRINNELL: If the Court please, as I said before and said yesterday I desire no sensation in this case; nothing but a plain straightforward trial of the issues. I have heard many things, many declarations that were being made about this very package, as it stands now by eyesight before this jury.

THE COURT: Well, it has been shown and served its purpose. I suppose having been shown here on the examination in chief, if the defendants require it to be kept here until this witness is cross-examined, why, it must remain.

Mr. GRINNELL: I do not wish it here unless they want it.

THE COURT: But unless you want it kept here I wish it

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carried away.

Mr. BLACK: We do not want it kept here. If we have any occasion to use it at any time we can ask the State to produce it, I suppose.

Mr. GRINNELL: Yes, sir.

Q Did you see the arrest of Spies?

A Yes, sir.

Q Who arrested him?

A Officer Bonfield placed him under arrest.

Q Where? What room was that in?

A That was on the next floor above. It was on the third floor.

Q The third floor of the building?

A The third floor of the building, yes, sir.

Q Now where was the closet, in reference to whether the closet that you got this from was on the floor below or the floor above, or from the room in which Spies was arrested

A It was on the floor below.

By Mr. Foster.

Q Mr. Duffy, this small circular you say you received quite a number of?

A Yes, sir.

Q You did not find the form, did you, of the type from which that was printed at the Arbeiter Zeiting office?

A No, sir, I did not.

Mr. FOSTER: You do not claim, I suppose, Mr. Grinnell, that it was ever printed there at all?

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Mr. GRINNELL: No, sir.

Mr. FOSTER: Will you let me see that circular, please -- small one.

Mr. GRINNELL: Yes, sir (handing counsel paper).

Mr. FOSTER: Now, Mr. Duffy, this is the circular, as I understand?

A Yes, sir.

Q And it says -- the last line of English: "Workingmen, arm yourselves and appear in full force".

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you ever see the circulars that were distributed for that meeting, in which this entire line was omitted?

A No, sir.

Q Then you do not know that when this meeting was gotten up and these circulars printed at another office and carried to Mr. Spies and he was invited to address that meeting, that he refused to address the meeting unless this line was taken out and other notices printed and distributed without that? you don't know that?

A No, sir.

Mr. GRINNELL: That is objectionable, anyway, Mr.Foster because I have asked no questions about a conversation.

Mr. FOSTER: I was not asking about a conversation. I was asking about facts. We will tell you right now that we will prove that to be a fact, and we will prove it by your witnesses if we can.

Q Now, as a matter of fact, as the circulars that you found at the Arbeiter Zeiting office contained this line,

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did they not, just the same as this, "Workingmen, arm yourselves and appear in full force."

A I suppose they did, I did not look at them all.

Q Well, you did not notice but what they all did?

A I did not notice but what they all did.

Q And there was a large pile, three or four inches high, of these circulars, several hundred of them?

A Yes, sir.

Q How many were there, do you suppose, or can you estimate, of these small ones?

A I suppose a couple of thousand.

Q A couple of thousand of these small circulars that were there?

A O, I don't know, I could not say.

Q I know, but then that would be your rough guess.

A Yes, sir.

Q There was quite a pile of them?

A Yes, sir.

Q You would estimate it -- I don't expect you to know, but your estimate would be that there was a couple of thousand?

A Yes, sir.

Q You know, according to the arrangement of that building, the composing room is up on top, isn't it, the top floor of the building?

A I suppose so.

Q Under that, one story below, is the editorial room, Mr. Spies' room, his desk and so forth, on the floor below the compositor's room?

A That is where Mr. Spies was on that morning.

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Q Yes. That is where he was. Well, there was a room there?

A Yes, sir.

Q Which you would infer was an editorial room, wouldn't you?

A I don't know what you would call it.

Q Well, it looked as though it was the place where the editor wrote his editorials and so forth?

A Yes.

Q Then you had to go down the stairs one story more before you came to the room where this package was found that you have identified here?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you ever see Mr. Spies in that room where that package was?

A No, sir.

Q You have no knowledge of how the package came there or when?

A No, sir.

Q Never had any conversation with Mr. Spies in regard to it, did you?

A Well, not myself alone. I was with parties when they did have conversation.

Q Did you ever hear Mr. Spies say that he knew that package was there?

A No, sir.

Q You have heard him say that he did not know it, haven't you?

A Yes, sir.

Q Now, then, instead of the package being in Mr. Spies' room, or in the story where you found him and where you saw him, and where you believe was his working room, it was downstairs below in another story and in a story in which you never have seen him?

A Yes, sir.

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Q But when he was asked in regard to this he said he did not know where it came from, or who brought it here, or that in substance?

A He didn't say nothing of the kind.

Q He said he did not know where it came from?

Q He said he thought he knew where it came from.

Q Yes. He insinuated that the police officers had taken it in there, didn't he?

A Yes, sir.

Q And this was what time in the day that you found this interesting bundle?

A Just at the time that he was arrested.

Q At what time in the day?

A About nine o'clock in the morning.

Q Were you the first policeman that went in there on that occasion?

A Officer Bonfield, myself, Jones and Wiley.

Q At the same time?

A Yes, sir.

Q How many had been there before you went?

A Nobody that I know of.

Q Nobody that you know of?

A No, sir.

Q You don't know whether there was anybody or not?

Q I do not.

Q No, sir, but that is all you know about the dynamite that was in the sack?

A That was all.

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