Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Louis Haas (first appearance), 1886 July 23.

Volume J, 267-271, 5 p.
Haas, Louis.
Police Officer, Chicago Police Department.

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

Police officer, among those who searched the Arbeiter-Zeitung office on May 5, 1886. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): 1886 May 5 search of the Arbeiter-Zeitung office (vol.J 267), the Arbeiter-Zeitung (vol.J 268), Neebe, Oscar (vol.J 268).

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a witness called on behalf of the People, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

By Mr. Grinnell.

Q You are a police officer?

A I am.

Q How long have you been on the force?

A Between six and seven years.

Q You are on the detective force?

A Yes.

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

A I was.

Q What time in the morning were you there?

A I should judge about long half past ten in the morning.

Q While you were there did you make inspection of the building?

A I did.

Q How long after Spies was arrested that you first went in the building and searched it over?

A Spies had been arrested before that some time. I don't recollect. I went with other officers from the Central Station under commend of Lieutenant Shea and Chief Ebersold to go though the Arbeiter Zeitung office -- to go up there and see what there was in the building; we went there from the station, went upstairs, and the first room we went

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to was the office on the floor above the saloon. I found Mr. Neebe there in charge of the office, and Mayor Harrison in conversation with him at that time. Mayor Harrison made this remark, "Who is in charge here?" And Neebe was standing at the railing at the time and says, "I am in charge or will take charge in the absence of Spies or Schwab." Then I left him and walked away and went upstairs on the next floor.

Q That would be the third floor of the building?

A Yes, the third floor of the building. The front part of the room was the compositor's room; there were some desk in the front part of the building; there is quite a long room there and after I went into the room I went upstairs; the other officers were scattered through the building at the time.

Q Describe the third floor.

A The third floor was the type-setting room.

Q That is the third floor of the Arbeiter Zeitung office --and the fourth floor of the building?

A Yes.

Q Describe it by the floors of the building -- begin with the first floor of the building?

A The first floor I should say was the man office of the Arbeiter Zeitung

Q That is not the first floor of the building?

A No, that is the first floor above the saloon.

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Q And above that is the second floor of the Arbeiter Zeitung office, or the third floor of the building?

A Yes.

Q Describe that floor?

A As you come up the first stairway from the street runs north, and then another one runs west, and right ahead of that you go into the room.

Q Describe the room?

A As you go in from the west there is one large room; there were some desks in that room. I found a desk on the west side of the room, also found some desks built up against the room, and in the back of the room there is one closet.

Q What did you find in the shelves of that closet?

A I made two or three visits.

Q Describe that second floor of the building (handing witness diagram)?

A You turn to the right and there is a stairway that runs up to the second floor.

Q Describe this first? Do you remember about a partition being across there with a door through it (indicating)?

A Yes.

Q What was in here (indicating)?

A In this room there was a desk standing up on the corner; there was a washstand in this room (indicating) and back of that there was a cigar factory, and then you go up to a stairway leading up to the next floor. Here in the room that I went into

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(indicating), and I went back to this room, and there was a desk here and there was a table right in this room (indicating), and there was a table right in the center of this room, and there was some desks right along the wall of that building; here (indicating) on the east to the back of the room was a closet.

Q What did you find in that closet, if anything attracted your attention about which you made a remark.

A I did not find anything in that closet; after going up in that building and going into this room I found Officer Marks coming out of this place, and there was a chair setting right in the center of that room; he placed on the chair a bag, I should say a gunny bag, and he picked it up; there was a package in brown paper.

Q Did it appear greasy or not?

A It appeared greasy.

Q He took out a package out of that room?

Q Tell us what you saw?

A It is a brown piece of paper; I cannot tell exactly how big it was; it was opened; I opened it myself and took some substance out of that package; it was a greasy substance, it looked as though it was sawdust and a mixture of some other substances.

Q Greasy in appearance?

A Yes.

Q What effect did that greasy substance have on the paper that surrounded it?

A It seemed to soak through the paper.

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Q Did you notice the shells themselves in that examination, or any future one -- what was the appearance of the shells? What did you see?

A I saw that package and examined this substance that was in this paper; afterwards I went into the back room and went into the closet, and on a shelf just so I could reach -- I had to get up on a chair -- I found on the shelves that it was all grease; the grease had soaked through into the shells at that time.

Q That same package you afterwards saw at the police station?

A Yes.

Q And is it the package that was delivered here yesterday?

A Yes.

Mr. GRINNELL: I desire the privilege of recalling Mr. Haas when we reach the Haymarket matter, of which he was a witness.


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