Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of George B. Miller, 1886 July 24.

Volume J, 297-301, 5 p.
Miller, George B.
Lieutenant, Chicago Fire Department.

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

Lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Department, found bombs under the sidewalk in front of his house at 437 N. Wells. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): discovery of bombs or explosives out of doors (vol.J 297).

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August Spies, et al.

Saturday, 10 A.M., July 24th, 1886.


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 George B. Miller.

Q You occupy some official place or position?

A Yes, sir, lieutenant.

Q You are a fireman, I believe?

A Lieutenant in the fire department.

Q How long have you been in the fire department?

A A little over nine years.

Q The fire department of the City of Chicago?

A Yes, sir.

Q Where is your station now, where is your engine house?

A On North Wells Street, 437.

Q Did you at any time after the 4th day of May last find any dynamite bombs at any place or locality?

A Yes, sir.

Q Describe where and what you found?

A I found two pipes, bombs, and around bomb.

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Q Two gas pipe bombs?

A Yes, sir.

Q And a round bomb?

A Yes, sir.

Q Describe them as near as you can, so that these gentlemen may understand what they were?

A One was about a two inch pipe, about six inches long and the other was about an inch and a half pipe, and it was about eight inches long; and the other one was a round bomb with a bolt through it.

Mr. BLACK: We object to this, as it is not shown that the defendants, or any of them, were connected with the bomb.

Objection overruled; exception by defendants.

Mr. GRINNELL (Q) Describe the round bomb?

A It was a leaden bomb; it was made in two pieces with a bolt through it.

Q What did you do with it?

A I took them to Chicago Avenue Station.

Q Gave them to Captain Schaack?

A Yes, sir. There were two fuses there too.

Q Besides these bombs what else did you find?

A Two fuses.

Q Now what was the shape and length of that fuse, and what did it look like? Describe it?

A Well, one fuse had a cap on the end, and it was about five inches long. But the other one did not have no cap on.

A About the same length?

A About the same length.

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Q What did you do with that fuse and those three bombs?

A. I took them to the Chicago Avenue Station.

Q Gave them to Captain Schaack?

A Yes, sir.

Q Now give me correctly the description of the place from which you took them -- where you found them?

A Well, the two gas pipes I did not pick them up myself; my wife picked them up and brought them into me as I was at breakfast, and she said--

THE COURT: Don't tell what she said.

Mr. GRINNELL: After she did speak to you what did you do?

A Well, I took them down to the station. In about an hour the children were playing around outside there. And there was something in under the sidewalk, and they called me; I was asleep at home, and I got up and I went out there, and I got down on my knees and I saw this round bomb under the sidewalk and I got down and got it out.

Q Where is your house? This in front of your house, was it?

A There are steps leads up to our sidewalk. Our sidewalk is elevated higher than the rest, about three and a half feet, and it was underneath the sidewalk, underneath the stairs.

Q Between the curb and the lot line, between the curb and the house?

A Well, it was not in front of our place; it was on the next lot, -- that would bring it, because our sidewalk is on the line, and it is elevated higher.

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Q The sidewalk immediately in front of your house is elevated, is it?

A Yes, sir.

Q What street is that that you lived on?

A On Sigel Street.

Q What number of the street?

A I live at No.39.

Q Now in reference to No. 39 Sigel Street, this would be what -- 37 or 41?

A 37.

Q Is that sidewalk under which you found these bombs higher or lower than your own sidewalk?

A Lower.

Q Where did you find this bomb in reference to the edge of the curb -- that is, the edge of the sidewalk towards the street?

A Well, it is about the middle of the sidewalk underneath.

Q How are the boards there -- loose?

A No, sir. There is an opening on the outside.

Q Opening on the outside towards the street?

A Yes, sir. But there is no curb wall.

Q There is no curb wall there?

A No, sir.

Q Then there is an opening underneath the sidewalk?

A Yes, sir.

Q So that if you are at the street you can look under the sidewalk?

A Yes, sir. If you got down.

Defendants move to exclude the testimony of this witness; motion overruled, exception by defendants.

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By Mr. Foster.

Q Mr. Miller, how far is Sigel Street from the Haymarket -- 39 Sigel Street, the place at which you found these bombs. As near as you can approximate?

A Very near a mile and a half.

Q It is much nearer Clybourn Avenue.

A About a block and a half.

Q A block and a half from Clybourn Avenue?

A Yes, sir.

Q And a mile or over a mile and a half from the Haymarket?

A About a mile and a half.

Q From the examination of these bombs would you take it that they were bombs that required a fuse to ignite?

A Well, I should judge so

A They had the appearance of being bombs which required the lighting of a fuse?

A Yes, sir.

Q There was no indication that the fuse had been lighted or any lighting had been attempted?

A No, sir.

Q You would rather judge, I presume, that it was simply a hiding place for these bombs? They had been thrown over there for the purpose of concealment?

A It appeared so to me.

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