Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Edward Olson, 1886 July 23.

Volume J, 187-189, 3 p.
Olson, Edward.
Professor, University of Chicago; Norwegian immigrant.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois. People's Exhibits 15 (vol.J 189) and 16 (vol.J 189) introduced into evidence.

Checked witness Eugene Seeger's translations. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Most, Johann (vol.J 187), the Arbeiter-Zeitung (vol.J 189), discussion of legal procedure (vol.J 189), International Workingmen's Association (vol.J 189), People's Exhibit 15 (vol.J 189), People's Exhibit 16 (vol.J 189).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the State, was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A Edward Olson.

Q You are a professor in the Chicago University?

A Yes, sir.

Q And have been such for how many years?

A For eleven years.

Q You are acquainted with the German language?

A Yes, sir.

Q You are a Swede by birth?

A Norwegian.

Q And have been in this country how many years?

A 27 years.

Q What is your chair in the University?

A Professor of Greek.

Q Acquainted with the German language?

A Yes, sir.

Mr. FOSTER: We consent that the translations that have been made already referred to by the other gentlemen are correct.

Mr. GRINNELL: I am not going to modify this at all. This is the translation of Herr Most's book.

Mr. FOSTER: We will admit those translations are correct.

Mr. GRINNELL: You may look at those two books, German and English, and state whether or not the English is a proper

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and a correct and full translation of the German book I present you.

THE COURT: Has not the witness compared them before he came into court?

Mr. GRINNELL: Yes, only I wanted to see if those were the books he had compared. The translation was originally made by Mr. Seeger, not Mr. Olsen.

Q You have looked at them?

A Yes.

Q That is a correct translation?

A It is a correct translation from German into English.

Q With the title page and all?

A Yes.

Mr. ZEISLER: When was that printed?

Mr. GRINNELL: Recently -- I had it printed.

Mr. FOSTER: We would prefer that we had an opportunity of examining it and recalling him if we desire.

Mr. GRINNELL: He desires to leave on the twelve O'clock train today.

THE COURT: Either party can put in evidence their own translation of anything that is admissible, and then if the other side thinks the translation is not correct, they can present their evidence as to the supposed inaccuracy.

Mr. FOSTER: I see that there are some corrections here some interlineations made by you?

A Some made by me, and some by the author himself -- some typographical errors.

Q I see the word gunpowder in one instance was changed to

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gun cotton -- was that your change?

A I believe so, yes, sir.

Q You have both examined it after the last changes were made by you?

A I couldn't say as to that.

Mr. GRINNELL: It was at Seeger's suggestion.

Q You may look at that, Mr. Olsen. I show him the paper which has been introduced in evidence dated Feb.26, 1886 the Arbeiter Zeitung, article referred to as -- you may read the title of it -- translate the title of the article which you refer to as the translation?

A The International Association of Workingmen.

Q You have translated that?

A Yes.

Q The translation you hold in your hand?

A Yes.

Q Is that a full and correct translation of that article?

A Yes, sir.

Mr. GRINNELL: I offer the translation in evidence and also the translation of the book called Herr Most's Science of Warfare.

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