Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Paul Hull, 1886 July 26.

Volume K, 132-154, 23 p.
Hull, Paul.
Reporter, Chicago Daily News.

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

Attended the Haymarket meeting. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.K 140), "Revenge" circular (vol.K 151), "Attention Workingmen" flier (vol.K 151, McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.K 139), eight-hour movement (vol.K 140), position of the defendants and others on the speakers' wagon (vol.K 135), Captain Ward's command to disperse (vol.K 135), Fielden's response to the police advance at Haymarket (vol.K 146), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.K 137), trajectory of the bomb (vol.K 136), the explosion (vol.K 137), time and place origination of the gunfire (vol.K 135), Spies, August (vol.K 132), Spies' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 139), Parsons, Albert (vol.K 132), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 140), Fielden, Samuel (vol.K 133), Fielden's speech at Haymarket (vol.K 140).

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PAUL C? HULL, a witness called and sworn on behalf of the people, was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell, and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A Paul C% Hull.

Q You are a newspaper reporter?

A Yes sir.

Q On what paper?

A The Daily News.

Q Were you employed on that paper on May last?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you at the Haymarket at that riot?

A I was.

Q What time did you get there?

A I got there shortly before eight o'clock in the evening.

Q Do you know who opened the meeting?

A Yes sir.

Q Who?

A Mr. Spies.

Q Did he speak?

A He did.

Q Who followed him?

A Mr Parsons.

Q How ling did Spies speak?

A Well, I should judge

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fifteen minutes perhaps.

Q How lkng did Parsons speak?

A In the neighborhood of an hour.

Q Did you hear Fielden?

A I heard most of Fielden's speech, yes sir, or part of it.

Q How long did he speak?

A Probably half an hour--- that is only approximately.

Q How much of Spies' speech did you hear?

A I heard the latter part of it.

Q How much of Parsons?

A All of it.

Q How much of Fielden's?

A The first part of it.

Q Were you present when the police marched down the stret?

A I was.

Q Where were you?

A At the time the police left the Station, I was at the Station, having left the crowd a moment before.

Q Where had you been before?

A Before I had been in the crowd, around the outskirts of the crowd up an iron stairway that run up on the outside of the building on the Northwest corner of Randolph and Despliaines Street.

Q Who was there with you?

A Another reporter, I forget his name, and a couple of men that I don't know.

Q Did you go to the Station occasionally?

A. Once only after the meeting began.

Q Whom did you see at the Station, whom did you talk with?

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A I talked with several people, Mayor Harris on amongst the rrst.

Q Did you march out with the Police when they came out?

A I ran ahead of the police% I got down to the Station as the Police filed into Dessplaines St, marching North% I ran ahead of them, and took my former position on the iron stairway.

Q Here is Desplaines Street Station (pointing on Diagram)

A Yes sir.

Q Here is Zepf's Hall?

A I don't know.

q The corner of Lake, you did not get down as far as that?

A I did not.

Q Where is the Stairway, right at the north-west corner of Randolph and Desplaines?

A Yes sir.

Q You were standing there? Yes sir.

Q Where was the wagon from which the speakers stood and addrsssed the meeting?

A It was east and north.

Q North of the Alley, in the vicinity of the alley?

A Yes.

Q How far would you say that wagon was from the Alley?, from which they spoke?

A About ten or fifteen feet.

Q How high up is that staurway?

A About ten or fifteen feet.

Q How high up is that stairway?

A. Oh, well, perhaps it goes up to the second Story, perhaps fifteen feet.

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Q Did you see the po ice marching down?

A I did, yes sir.

Q How were they armed?

A I could not judge from looking at them how they were armed. I know they were armed with revolvers and clubs.

Q Did they have their hands full of Clubs?

A. No sir, they marched in the regular military fashion of the police with their hands, I belive, free, both of them, both hands free hanging by their sides.

Q Were you close enough to hear Capt% Ward addrsss the speakers on the wagon?

A Yes.

Q What did you hear him say?

A I heard him say in substance "I command you in the name of the People of the State of Illinois to disperse."

Q Did you hear any response from anybody?

A I did not.

Q Did you, prior to hearing Ward address the speakers, see any of the speakers in the wagon?

A I did.

Q Whom?

A Fielden was the only man that I could be sure of. I had left the meeting and gone to meet the Police, When I came back I know Fielden was in that Wagon, because I heard his voice.

Q When the Bomb was exploded, where were you%

A I was on this iron stairway, about four steps from the landing.

Q. That is the top landing?

A Yes.

Q At the time the bomb exploded had there been any firing?

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A yes sir.

Q After the bomb exploded, did the firing begin?

A Yes sir it did.

Q From whom?

A From the crowd.

Q Before the police fired?

A Before the police fired.

Q Did you see the bomb in the air?

A I did.

q Did you see from what place it came?

A I could only form an opin on from when ce it came by the manner in which it flew.

Q Where, in your opinion, from seeing it fall, seeing it in the air, about where did it come from in reference to Crane's Alley?

Objected to.

THE COURT. Where was it when he first saw it, and in what direction was it then moving?

A I stood upon this Northwest corner of the stairway. My head was probably within twelve or fifteen feet above the crowd. It was quite dark. I faced this way (Indicating) In that direction was the speakers wagon. A little to this direction w s the corner of Randolph and Desplaines---- this corner being further North than that corner. Directly opposite me was a pile of boxes on the sidewalk, and an area way surrounded by a iron railing. My eyes were directed towards the speakers wagon in this direction, where Capt% Ward was speaking. As the words were in his mouth, I saw arching through the air, and it attracted my attention, because it come on a line of my vision--- the sparks of the burning fuse.

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It then seemed to fly in this direction, which would make it come, according to my recollection of it, from about fifteen or twenty feet south of the Alley, it apparently falling in this direction (illustrating) flying over the third division of the po ice and falling between the second and third

Q What was the effect upon the police of the explosion of that bomb?

A It seemed to level to the ground the second and third divisions of police. My eye followed the spark of the bomb as it fell to the ground. I did not see the great body of the police, except the two columns which bounded either side of the bomb. It seem d to throw them all to the ground. At almost the same instant there was a ratt ling of shot which came from both sides of the street, and which did not cme from the police.

Q Were you in and out of that crowd during that evening, from the time Spies began his remarks until the time the bomb was thrown?

A Yes sir.

Q What was the nature and condition of that crowd as to whether it was a feverish one or one that was cool and collected?

Objected to on the ground that it is asking for a conclusion, and that it is essentially leading%

THE COURT: Whether particular individuals are angry or excited or calm is always admissible%

MR% SALOMON: The State's Attorney can ask him what

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was the condition of the crowd.

THE COURT: That would be just as well, to ask what was the apparent temper or dispoition of the crowd% There are so many things about what a condition can be predicated, as to whether they were drunk or sober, whether they were excited or calm--- you ought to specify the particular quality upon which you want him to state the condition of the crowd.

THE WITNESS: I would call it a noisy, turbule meeting.

Defendants Counsel moved the exclusion of the answer. Overruled and exception taken.

MR% GRINNELL: Q How large a crowd was that when the speaking began, in your opinion?

A I should judge between eight hundred and a thousand people.

Q How many were there when the police came up?

A Not so may, perhaps it had dwindled away a third from what it was at its largest number.

Q How about the condition and temperament of that crowd as to those that were near the wagon, and those on the outskirts of the crowd?

A There seemed to me to be a quarter of the crowd, that part that clustered about the wagon, who were the enthusiasts of the occasion, who loudly applauded the speakers, and cheered them on by remarks. The outskirts of the crowd appeared to regard the speakers with indifference, and often guyed the speakers, laughed at them and hooted them%

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Q What was said, give me as near as you can in your own way Spies' words that you heard him utter--- the substance of it.

A Mr. Spies told his version of the Mc.Cormick riots, which, as I remember was, that he had been charged, he said, with being responsible for the riot and for the death of these men% He said, I believe he said Mr. Mc.Cormick charged him with it, or else somebody had said that Mc.Cormick had charged him with it. He said Mr. Mc.Cormick was a liar; that he (Mc.Cormick) was responsible for the death of our brothers, the six men which he claimed were killed at that riot; that he had addrssed a meetimg on the prairie, a meeting of his countrymen, I believe he characterized them, and when the bell of the Factory rung, or at some point in the afternoon, a body of the meeting which he was addrs sing detached themselves and went towards the Factory, and that there the riot occurred.

That was in explanation of his connection with it. He then touched upon the dominating question of labor and Capital and their relations very briefly, and asked what meant this array of Gatling Guns, Infantry ready to arm, Patrol Wagons and Policemen. And my recollection is that he drew the deduction from that, that it was the government or the capitalists preparing to crush them, should they try to right their wrongs. That was the substance of his address.

Q Did he say anything in his speech about the means to be

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employed against the capitalistic force?

A I don't remember that he did on that occasion. No sir.

Q. How much of Parsons speech did you hear?

A. I heard all of it.

Q Tell us as near as you can what Parsons said.

A He dealt considerably in Labor Statistics in the first part of his speech. He followed the making of a Dollar---- not the minting of it but the earing of it. I believe he drew the conclusion that the capitalists got 85 cents out of the Dollar, and the laboring man fifteen cents. He said that this uprising of the working men, this eight hour agitation, and the agitation of the social question, was a still hunt of the working man after this other 85 cents. He also dealt with the social question, the question of socialism, of capital and labor, and he advised the using of violent means by the working men to right their wrongs; that the law and the government was the the tool of the wealthy to oppress the poor that the ballot was no way to right their wrongs, that by physocal force was the only way in which they could right their wrongs. That was the tenor of his speech.

Q You say y u only heard a part of what Fielden said?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you remember the part that you heard?

A I belive what I heard of Mr. Fielden's speech was sort of a criticism on

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the course of Martin Foran in Congress. He said he had been sent there to represent the Labor party, and that he did not do it satisfactory to Mr. Fielden's opinion.

Q That is the substance of all that you heard of Fielden's speech?

A. Yes sir.

Q Now what was the efect of these speeches severally upon that crowd surroubding them?

Objected as to what the ef ect was.

THE COURT: What was the manner of the crowd on the reception or receiving of the speeches?

A That portion of the crowd around the speakers wagon was turbulent and noisy, as regards breaking in on the sp akers with exclamations of "Hang him" when Mc.Cormick, for instance, his name was mentioned, or "Throw him into the Lake", "Hang him to a lamp post" --- some such remark would be made when any prominent Chicago capitalists name would be used.

Q Do you remember any expression by the crowd when any of these speakers, Fielden, Parsons or Spies asked them "Are you ready new?"

Objected to as leading.

THE COURT: If there was anything said upon that subject of the readiness of anybody for anything, let him tell what the speaker said.

THE WITNes: There was one of the speakers, which one I don't remeber, nor exactly what man's name was mentioned which brought it up. This part of the scene however, I re-

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remember. Some one in the crowd cried "Let's hang him now" when some man's name was mentioned, and one of the speakers, Mr. Spies I believe or Mr. Parsons, one of the two, said, "No, we are not ready yet."


Q Did you write the account that was published in the News the next morning?

A. Part of it, yes.

Q Did you write that part of it which described the throwing of the bomb, and what followed immediately?

A. Yes sir.

Q It was correct as you wrote it?

A. It was according to my impression of it at that time.

Q Your impression is not any better now than it was then?

A A good deal.

Q It has improved?

A. Decidedly so.

Q What has improved it, conversation with others?

A. No sir, simply recollection of facts.

Q Second sight?

A. Not at all, sir--- I did not say second sight.

Q It was not second sight?

A. No sir.

Q At the time you wrote the article in the News you were not as well advised of what occurred there as you are now?

A I was as well advised, yes sir.

Q But you did not state it as correctly as you state it now?

A. No sir my recollection was not clear at that time.

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Q Were you affected by the explosion of the bomb somewhat?

A. A little, yes sir.

Q As a matter of fact when the bomb exploded, it exploded pretty near that stairway?

A. About thirty or forty feet from where I was.

Q Were you stunned by it?

A. No sir.

Q You didn't fall down or anything of that kind?

A Not at that instant.

Q Did you soon after?

A. I did, yes sir.

Q As the result of the explosion or from carelessness?

A No sir, as the result of a man being shot in front of me, and I fell over him.

Q The explosion of the bomb for the moment startled you and shocked you to some extent?

A No sir; I understood what it was---it was the firing of the revolvers that started me. I considered my position dangerous and tried to get around the corner.

Q I understood you to say, when I asked you whether you were affected by the explosion of the bomb, you said you were some.

A. The results of it affected me somewhat.

Q Not the bomb itself immediately?

A No dir.

Q How long has it been since you had been talking with Mayor Harrison?

A When the bomb exploded?

Q Yes sir.

A I believe I talked with the Mayor before the meeting convened.

Q Did you talk with him afterwards there?

A No sir.

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Q Do you know how long he stayed there?

A No, I do not.

Q How did the meeting compare as to turbulence, as you express it, after the portion of them went away, as to what it had been before the time they went away?

A I can't make any distinction hardly.

Q You don't know that it was less turbulent after they went away, or what is your judgment about that?

A I think it was about the same--if there was any difference either way, it was very slight.

Q But you noticed no perceptible difference then from the beginning of the meeting until after they got enthused?

A Yes sir, they grew warmer and more turbulent as the meeting proceeded.

Q Now, you say they did?

A Yes sir.

Q You said a moment before that you did not notice any perceptible difference in the turbulence after a portion of the audience withdrew, from what it had been before?

A I know a portion of the audience withdrew a very few moments before the explosion of the bomb.

Q How many moments before?

A I don't know.

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Q At that time there was a threatening cloud come up?

A A threatening cloud came up, yes sir, and Mr Spies said the meeting would adjourn to 54 West Lake Street, I believe. About that time or shortly after that time the police appeared--I believe it was a very short time from the time Mr. Spies said the meeting would adjourn to 54 West Lake Street until the police came up and the meeting was dispersed.

Q Did Mr. Spies say that or Mr. Parsons say it?

A I think Mr. Spies said it.

Q Were you here this forenoon?

A No sir.

Q Do you know Mr. Freeman the Inter Ocean reporter?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you see him there that night?

A I don't believe I did.

Q Were you at any time during the meeting as near as eight or ten feet from the speaker?

A No sir.

Q Close up to that part which you denominate as the turbulent portion of the meeting?

A No sir.

Q You were not that near?

A No sir.

Q You were on the outskirts, or over about the stairs, or down to the station?

A No sir, I was on the outskirts, or on the stairs.

Q Or down to the station--you went down to the station?

A Once, yes, perhaps two minutes or three minutes I was

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Q You say the police marched up, and you rushed back and got on your stairs again?

A Yes sir.

Q After you got on the stairs, did you see anything, did you hear anything, any comments on the speaker?

Q I paid no attention to them--the sound of his voice probably struck me.

Q Did you notice anything that he said?

A No sir.

Q So then when the police were coming up closer, you did not hear him turn around and say in a loud voice: "There come the bloodhounds, now you do your duty and I will do mine". You did not hear that, did you?

A I don't believe I did.

Q Now, didn't you hear this after you got your position on the stairs, and the police were forming and marching below, didn't you hear him say: "Now, in conclusion I will say"?

A I heard him say "in conclusion". I remember that now, yes sir.

Q Then he was just about to close his speech as you judge at least that was his language?

A That strikes me as familiar. Whether I heard that then, or whether that is in my mind from later reading it or hearing it, I can't be positive.

Q You were a witness before the coroner's inquest?

A I was.

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Q Don't you remember you testified to that before the coroner?

A I may have.

Q If you did, your memory was correct as to that?

A Whatever I testified then was to the best of my recollection.

Q That was the second day after?

A Yes sir.

Q Don't you remember that you did use the language that after you got back on the stairs, the only word you heard from the speaker was the words, "Now in conclusion", or words to that effect?

A No sir.

Q You did say that?

A If it is in my testimony before the coroner, I certainly said it.

The Court: (Q) Do you new remember to have said it?

A I do not.

Mr. Foster: (Q) Look at your testimony before the coroner---that is your name, Paul C. Hull?

A That is it.

Q "I heard Mr. Fielden say in conclusion". Yes sir.

Q Is that your belief now, your recollection that you did use the words "in conclusion"?

A That is past my memory now.

Q At the time you wrote the report in regard to what occurred at the time of the throwing of the bomb, what particular language is there that you are now reminded of or that you remember that you did not state in your report?

A I cannot say, as I do not remember all that I stated in

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the report.

Q It was fresh on your mind at the time you wrote that report?

A Confused.

Q You were not shot?

A No sir.

Q You were not excited by the explosion of the bomb?

A I was very much. I had been tramped on until I was so lame I could hardly walk.

Q So then your ideas of what occurred about that time is not very clear even now?

A They are now, the salient points, the prominent features of that occasion are very clear in my mind.

Q Now, then, the prominent features I will call your attention to% Don't you remember at the time you wrote that article you said, describing what Captain Ward had said, you described the bomb, the throwing of the bomb and the explosion of the bomb, you remember describing that?

A I probably did.

Q Don't you remember?

A I don't.

Q You don't remember of even describing that the bomb was thrown and exploded?

A I may have, yes.

Q You don't remember whether you did or not?

A I do not. I don't remember in this way. I don't call to mind exactly what I wrote on that occasion.

Q I don't ask you for the words, but whether you expressed the idea that the bomb was thrown and exploded?

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A I did express that idea.

Q Now, then did you express the further idea, that no order to fire was necessary to the police, that they immediately drew their weapons and commenced to fire?

A I believe I did, yes sir.

Q Did you say that anybody else fired except the police?

A I don't know.

Q Look at the report and see whether you said that anybody besides the police fired? (Shows witness copy of Daily News of May 5th, 1886.)

A You want then what I wrote on this subject.

Q Now, I want you to see whether or not you stated any where in this article that the crowd fired on the police at all from beginning to end---did you state that the crowd fired upon the police at the time, and if you did not state that the bomb was exploded, and the police required no orders to fire, but proceeded to fire immediately?

A I have said nowhere in this report that the crowd fired.

Q You say now that you have said nowhere in this report that the crowd fired upon the police?

A That is what I say.

Q You did say that the police required no orders before firing upon the crowd?

A Yes sir.

Mr. Grinnell: (Q) After the explosion of the bomb?

A After the explosion of the bomb. That was probably more an editorial

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opinion than a statement of fact.

Mr. Foster: (Q) Now, I will ask you how long after this occurrence was it that you wrote it up?

A About an hour I should judge.

Q After describing the explosion of the bomb, did you use this language in your report: "For an instant after the explosion the crowd seemed paralyzed, but with the revolver shots cracking like a tattoo on a mighty drum, and the bullets flying in the air, the mob plunged away into the darkness with a yell of rage and fear".

A That sounds like me, yes sir.

Q You think you wrote that?

A I guess I must have.

Q Gould was the man wasn't he that they said, "Let us hang him"?

A I don't remember.

Q Speaking about Jay Gould, did not Mr. Parsons and the crowd propose to hang how now?

A I don't know.

Q But Gould was not at the Haymarket that you know of?

Mr. Grinnell: He says he don't know that his name was called.

Mr. Foster: (Q) Wasn't it Gould?

A I don't know.

Q You didn't see Mr. Gould at the Haymarket, did you?

A No sir, You mean Jay Gould of New York?

Q Yes sir.

A No, he was not there.

Q Don't you remember that his name was the name you say you don't remember?

A I don't remember Mr. Gould's name

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being mentioned.

Q You saw a notice of that meeting, the reason you come to go there?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you keep a copy of that notice, take a copy of it?

A I had a copy--I believe my city editor gave me a copy of the Revenge Circular.

Q I will call your attention to it. Where did that come from there. Did you publish that? (Calls witness & attention to certain part of paper.)?

A I did not write that.

Q You don't know how it come in with the article that you wrote?

A No sir, I can't say positively, because I did not write it. That was written, however, and that is a copy of the workingmen's circular which was distributed, I have no doubt.

Q I will ask you if in the copy of the workingmen's circular which called for that meeting, if the words are contained there, "Arm yourselves and appear in full force"?

Objected to.

A I don't know.

Q Did you see the original bill?

A I believe I did.

Q Where is that?

A I don't know; I suppose that was destroyed the instant that was written, or thrown on the floor.

Q Now, then, did that originally contain the words, or

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contain any words aside from what are here? Did it contain the words, "Arm yourselves, and appear in force"?

Objected to.

A I don't know.

The Court: The witness has no knowledge which enables him to testify in regard to that.

Mr. Foster: Our point is this, as indicated from our cross examination already, that when these circulars were brought into the Arbeiter Zeitung office, Mr. Spies was asked to speak at that meeting. He read the circular and says, "No, I wont speak if that clause is contained in the circular. Here is a copy of the circular which the newspaper sets out, calling the meeting, and that clause is not in it at all.

The Court: The newspaper is not by itself evidence, and this witness had no personal connection with that part of the newspaper.

Mr. Black: This witness has said that he saw the original circular calling the meeting, and that this is a copy of it, that the original was destroyed--that he saw.

The Witness: No sir.

The Court: He says that it was destroyed, not from any personal observation of his own, but that he supposes from the nature of things, that it would be destroyed.

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Mr. Black: Our question was whether or not the originals that he saw had in it the words, "Workingmen arm yourselves and appear in force.

The Court: I have no doubt that if the original which he saw two months and a half ago could be now produced, and if he remembers, not from that newspaper, but if he remembers from his reading that circular what the terms of it were, I think it would be admissible for him to state it.

Mr. Grinnell: It seems to me it is not proper cross examination.

The Court: It is not cross examination.

Mr. Grinnell: It has been admitted from the beginning there were two classes of circulars.

The Court: If the witness remembers whether that line was in the circular which he saw or not let him tell, if he has any recollection upon the subject, let him tell what his recollection is.

The Witness: I have no recollection on that subject.

Mr. Foster: (Q) You don't know, you don't remember whether it said, "Arm yourselves and appear in force?

A No sir.

Q From your position you saw where the bomb struck?

A Yes sir.

Q You saw it come through the air?

A Yes sir.

Q It struck how far from a line drawn from the wagon?

A My recollection of it was that it struck about on a

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line with the south line of the alley.

Q Then the bomb came from behind you should think the boxes, or about the boxes which were south of the alley?

A I don't know that it came from behind the boxes. I saw the spark when it was in the air on a level with my eye. It might have been thrown that way, or might have been thrown this way, and then reaching that point, but it apparently fell this way. It apparently fell north from the point, where I first saw it in the air. I judge it came from the south.

Q Your idea is that instead of being thrown southwest it was thrown west and a little north?

A Yes sir.

Q West, nor'west as Captain, what is his name would say?

A Yes, I guess so.

Q Lieut. Stanton?

A Captain Kidd.

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