Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Bartholomew Flynn, 1886 July 22.

Volume J, 118-126, 9 p.
Flynn, Bartholomew.
Officer, Chicago Police Department.

Direct and re-direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross and re-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 118), items confiscated from the Arbeiter-Zeitung office or the defendants' homes (vol.J 119), Spies, August (vol.J 118).

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

Q You are a police officer, are you?

A Yes, sir.

Q How long have you been at the Central Station?

A Going on a year.

Q How long have you been on the police force?

A About fourteen years.

Q Were you at the Arbeiter Zeitung office in company with Jones on the 5th day of May last?

A I was.

Q Well, what did you find? Did you search there?

A I did.

Q Tell me what you found, where you searched?

A I was in company with officer Jones at the time that he searched the desk of Mr. Spies, as we supposed. We found a lot of fuse, some caps, some letters, also some dynamite sticks

Q Open that box of letters there and see -- (handing witness a cigar box containing letters). I will ask you further where you found that (handing witness a box of caps and also some loose caps in a package)?

A They were found in Mr. Spies' drawer.

Q In what situation were they -- that is, were they all, or part only in the box?

A There was part in the box, also part in the paper, and as far as my judgment is concerned, they are about the same as they were then.

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Mr. BLACK: Never mind the judgment:

THE COURT: Oh, on that question he has a right to judge. He has testified to his recollection of the appearance of the things now and then.

Mr. GRINNELL: Now, what are these?

A These are caps to explode dynamite.

Q Fulminating caps they are called?

A Fulminating caps, yes.

Q Did you count them, Mr. Flynn, when you got them?

A I don't think I did, I won't be certain as to that.

Q Now, what about the letters?

A Those letters I also found in the drawer. I took the letters, put them into this box, carried them to the station and delivered them to Mr. Furthman.

Q Well, look at that and see if they are as you found them?

Mr. SALOMON: We object to this.

THE COURT: The question now is whether they are now as he found them.

Mr. GRINNELL: I can put Mr. Furthman on later, if there is any question about it.

Q You delivered them into the hands of Mr. Furthman?

A I did.

Q He delivered them into your hands again to-day?

A Yes, sir.

Q Are they in the same condition now as they were

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when Mr. Furthman delivered them to you this morning?

A Well, from the appearance they are.

By. Mr. Foster.

Q How long have you been a policeman?

A About fourteen years.

Q Are you a detective or a policeman?

A Well, I was first. I am a policeman, but I traveled beats some years ago.

Q You are a detective now?

A I am detailed. I was a special police officer.

Q Doing detective duty?

A Yes, sir.

Q For how many years?

A Well, about eight years -- eight or nine years.

Q Now this box of caps appears to be marked "Quintuple Caps. Manufactured by the Etna Powder Company". Now those caps are used for blasting purposes, and for all purposes for which giant powder or nitro-glycerine is used, are they not -- or dynamite?

A Yes, sir.

Q In a great many different ways?

A Yes, sir.

Q And the fuse is of the same general character or kind that is used in that business.

A Yes, sir.

Q Now you are acquainted, I suppose, Mr. Flynn with the building there? You have been in it often enough to know something about the arrangement of the building?

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A You mean the building 107 Fifth Avenue?

Q Yes, the Arbeiter Zeitung office, the only building you have spoken of?

A Yes, sir.

Q You know that on the first floor there is a saloon, don't you?

A Yes, sir.

Q On the second floor there is a room in which there is some desks and so forth in which you found these articles?

Q Yes, sir.

Q In the third story is Mr. Spies' room, or the editorial room -- that is the room that is used for actual writing?

A Well, of my own knowledge I don't know anything about that part.

Q Well, but from what you saw there, Mr. Flynn, it is?

Q Well, it could be used for that purpose, yes.

Q Well, wasn't it being used for that purpose and a gentlemen in there when you went there?

A No, sir, not when I went there in the afternoon. I didn't go there until along in the afternoon.

Q Well, I say it is what is known and called as Mr. Spies' editorial room -- you saw that on the third floor, did you not, when you were there?

A I could not say.

Q You saw the room there, didn't you?

A I did.

Q There were tables there?

A Yes, sir.

Q Desks there?

A Yes, sir.

Q Writing materials there, ink?

A Yes, sir.

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Q And everything which looked as though it might be used for an editorial room?

A Yes, I said so before.

Q Then the compositor's room is still upstairs over that?

A Yes, sir.

Q How, with reference to Mr. Spies' room, if this room which is called the editorial room was his room, and is his room -- was it there that you found these caps, or was it down below in some other place?

A It was down below in another place.

Q Down below in another story? So then it is not true then that in this room that I call the editorial room, is Mr. Spies' room -- it is not true that you found any of these articles in Mr. Spies' room? You did not find any of them in this room, that I denominate the editorial room in the third floor from the ground?

A I don't remember of a desk being in that room -- that is, situated the same as it was in the room that I found these things in.

Q I did not ask you anything about that. I asked you whether you found any of these things in the third floor of the building?

A I did not.

Q And assuming that that was Mr. Spies' room, editorial room on the third floor you found none in his room?

Mr. GRINNELL: Well, don't assume anything about it.

THE COURT: He says he has found nothing in that room, found nothing on that floor

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Mr. GRINNELL: It was the second floor that you got these things.

THE COURT: In the witness's direct examination he did not speak of any room; he spoke of a desk which he called Spies' desk.

Mr. FOSTER: Now, were you ever in there before?

A You mean in the room where I found these things?

Q Yes, and through the building?

A I was there early in the morning, yes.

Q Well, was you ever before that day?

A No, sir, I was not.

Q So then you do not know which was Mr. Spies' room?

A Only---

Q Do you know which was Mr. Spies' room?

A Not of my own certain knowledge.

Q Now, which is his desk, of your own certain knowledge?

A The only way that I have--

Q Don't argue the case now, Mr. Detective. Do you know which is Spies' desk, of your own knowledge?

THE COURT: That is, did you ever see him occupying any room or desk?

A I did not, no sir.

Mr. FOSTER: That is the Court's question, but mine is, did you know of your own knowledge, where Mr. Spies'desk was?

THE COURT: That leaves to the witness to judge what is competent means of knowledge, and then he will testify what

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he believes from circumstances within his knowledge.

Mr. FOSTER: The Court overrules the question?


Exception by defendant.

Mr. FOSTER (Q) Of your own knowledge, do you know which was Mr. Spies' desk?

A Of my own knowledge personelly I could not swear which was Spies' desk.

By Mr. Grineell.

Q Mr. Flynn, where was the room in which the desk was located from which you took these things?

A It was in the front on the second story.

Q That is the story above the saloon?

A Above the saloon, and if my recollection is correct, Mr. Grinnell, you were there yourself.

THE COURT: Well, that does not make any difference.

Mr. GRINNELL: You have the letters here that you took from that desk?

A Yes, sir.

Q Where were these letters in reference to that desk-- that you have got here?

A They were in the desk.

Q How did you get into the desk?

A The desk was pried open.

Q Was it locked? Did you have to unlock it, or get into it before you could get the letters?

A Yes, we had to pry it open by a locksmith that was there, taken

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there by somebody, I could not tell who.

By Mr. Foster.

Q Whereabouts in that room was this desk that you speak of prying open? Where is its location?

A It was on the south side of the building.

Q And with reference to the wall -- against the wall?

A Against the wall and towards the west building.

Q With reference to the middle of the room, was it further to the west than to the center, more to the west than east or the center?

A It was more to the west.

Q On the south side?

A And on the south side of the building.

Q The drawers fronting the center of the room?

A Yes, sir.

Q Do you remember seeing a safe there?

A Yes, sir.

Q This desk was about opposite the safe, was it, where the safe stands?

A Well, the exact location of the safe I could not say.

Q Well, what is your best impression about its being about opposite where the safe stood?

A Positively I could not say.

Q Well, the safe stood between the two windows on the west side of the room, didn't it, or about that locality?

A Yes, about that location.

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Q And then sat against the south wall of the same rather nearer to the west than the center, by the window, near the window?

A Yes, sir.

Q With the drawers towards the center of the room.

A Yes, sir, drawers facing towards the north.

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