Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Whiting Allen (first appearance), 1886 July 27.

Volume K, 159-170, 12 p.
Allen, Whiting.
Reporter, Chicago Times.

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): advocating revolution (vol.K 161), call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.K 161), Zepf's Hall (vol.K 159), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.K 161), police knowledge of anarchist activities (vol.K 166), Parsons, Albert (vol.K 159), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 160), Fielden, Samuel (vol.K 159).

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10 o'clock A.M. July 27th, 1886.

Court met pursuant to adjournment.

WHITING ALLEN, 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 Whiting Allen.

Q You are a newspaper reporter?

A Yes sir.

Q Employed by the Times?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you so employed, so engaged on May 4th last?

A I was.

Q Were you at the Haymarket square on the evening of May 4th, 1886?

A Yes sir.

Q You were down there when the speaking was going on?

A I was there during a portion of the time while Mr. Parsons was speaking, and also a moment or so while Mr. Fielden was speaking.

Q Were you down there with Mr. Tuttle of the Times?

A Mr. Tuttle of the Times, yes sir-I went there from Zepf's Hall I was looking after the meeting of Zepf's Hall, and went over to the Haymarket.

Q What time did you get down there?

A I arrived at Zepf's Hall, I suppose quarter past nine.

Q That is corner of Lake and Desplaines?

A Yes sir.

Q What time did you get down to the meeting?

A About

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ten minutes later.

Q Who was speaking when you got there?

A Parsons.

Q Did you listen to his speech?

A Well yes sir, I did.

Q What did he say?

A He said a great many things.

Q Give me as near as you can, in your own way, using your own language, the substance of what he said that night.

A His speech was of a highly incendiary character.

The Court: That is not telling what he said. It is telling your opinion. Tell what he said.

Mr. Grinnell: Let that be stricken out.

The Witness: About the only thing that I could quote exact was that at one time he said, "What good are these strikes going to do? Do you think that anything will be accomplished by them? Do you think the working men are going to gain their point? No, no, they will not. The result of them will be that you will have to go back to work for less money than you are getting". That is his language in effect. I don't pretend to say it is exact.

Q Give me some words of his language, if you can, in effect or in substance?

A At one time he mentioned the name of Jay Gould, there were cries from the crowd: "Hang Jay Gould; throw him into the Lake", and so on.

Q What was the temper of the crowd?

A He said, "No, no, that would not do any good. If you would hang Kay Gould now, there would be another and perhaps a hundred up tomorrow.

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It don't do any good to hang one man. You have to kill them all or get rid of them all". Then he went on to say that it was not the individual always, but the system, that the government should be destroyed. It was the wrong government, and these people who supported it had to be destroyed en masse.

Q Did you hear Parsons in his speech say anything about, "To arms"?

A I heard that cry, and I cannot tell just in what connection.

Q You heard that cry from whom?

A From Parsons.

Q What was the temper of that crowd?

A It was extremely turbulent, and especially after that speech he made about the working men not gaining anything by the strike, I remarked to Mr. Tuttle---

Mr. Black: Never mind your remarks.

Mr. Grinnell: Q State whether or not that crowd was responsive to the speakers, what they did in regard to that, were they excited or not? Give me the appearance and the conduct of the crowd as you saw it, and as they listened to Parsons speech?

A The crowd seemed to me to be thoroughly in sympathy with the speaker, and applauded almost every utterance.

Q Was it exceited or not?

A Extremely so.

Q How long did you stay there?

A I stayed there the first time, I presume for some ten or fifteen minutes, I

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then left and went to Zepf's Hall.

Q Did you come back again?

A. Yes, I came back again.

Q Who was speaking then?

A. Fielden.

Q What did he say?

A. I did not listen to him.

Q Where were you when the bomb was thrown?

A. I was in Zepf's Hall, that is in the saloon, near the corner, standing about the middle of the room at the time.

Q Did you see any of the defendants there?

A. I did not.

Q To your knowledge were they there?

A. No sir.

Q When you went down with Mr. Tuttle, did you point out any of the individuals, the defendants, any of the individuals interested in those meetings, to Mr. Tuttle?

A I pointed out Mr. Parsons and Mr. Fielden and Mr. Spies, and a man that I presume was Mr. Schwab, but was not certain, as I could not get a full view of his face. The general outline was that of Mr. Schwab. I was not positive of that.

Q How early in the evening was that?

A. That must have been I should think, half past nine. I am not positive as to the exact time.

By Mr. Forest.

Q Was ten minutes of the speeches all you heard, ten or fifteen minutes?

A. No, I cannot say as to the time, I should judge fifteen minutes.

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Q You stayed ten or fifteen minutes of Mr. Parsons speech. You did not hear Mr. Spies at all?

A. No sir, I did not hear Spies.

Q Do you know what portion of Parsons Speech you heard, whether it was the first or about the first, or towards the last or in the middle---have you any means of knowing?

A I could only judge of that by the time.

Q What time was it?

A. I should imagine that I was there during the latter part of the speech. I think he was on the edge of his peroration when I left.

Q He had a peroration did he?

A. I presume so---he usually did.

Q He was on the ragged edge of it during that time?

A He is never very ragged in his speeches. He is good talker.

Q You say they responded to his utterances---in what way do you mean, by clapping of hands or saying "That is good" etc.?

A. In the usual manner of a crowd in sympathy with the speaker, only more violent than usual.

Q By more violent you mean more applause?

A. Yes sir, more applause, more noise, more shouts.

Q You have attended political meetings?

A. Yes sir.

Q There they are apt to respond and cry out?

A. Yes sir.

Q It was of that character?

A. Yes sir.

Q At the time it was suggested to hang Jay Gould and

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throw him into the lake, he said that would not do any good, that individual violence would not do any good, that the whole system must be undermined.

A. No, no, I did not say he said individual violence would not do any good. I said he said it would not do any good to hang Jay Gould.

Q Because there would be another Jay Gould spring up in his place?

A. Yes sir.

Q But the whole system had to be undermined?

A. They all had to be killed.

Q Did he say they all had to be killed, or the system radically changed, undermined?

A. It was to that effect, yes sir.

Q Now, at the time you went away his peroration was still going on I presume?

A. I presume, yes sir.

Q You went to Zepf's Hall?

A. I went to Zepf's Hall.

Q How long did you stay there?

A. I was there perhaps that time, fifteen or twenty minutes.

Q You were there again after that time while the meeting was going on?

A. I returned from Zepf's Hall up to the meeting, but did not remain.

Q Did you go back to Zepf's Hall?

A. I did.

Q Before the bomb exploded?

A. Yes sir.

Q You were at Zepf's Hall at the time the bomb did explode?

A. Yes sir.

Q Was Parsons there?

A. I did not see him.

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Q You don't remember seeing him there at all that night?

A He was not there, I am almost certain. I should of noticed him if he had been there.

Q Do you remember any gentleman asking you if you wanted to be introduced to Mrs. Parsons?

A. A gentleman asked me at Zepf's Hall if I wanted to be introduced to Mrs. Parsons, which honor I declined.

Q You saw Mrs. Parsons there?

A. I did not say so.

Q There was threatning storm there that night?

A. It was cloudy.

Q Was not there quite a section of that meeting sloughed off to Zepf's Hall, and created quite a crowd there?

A I could not notice much difference. There was a constant passing to and fro from the furniture workers meeting up stairs to the meeting over in what is called hay-market. They were passing back and forth all the time.

Q Quite a crowd there?

A. Very much of a crowd, and very excited.

Q Do you speak German?

A. I understand very slightly, not much.

Q Germans are generally very much excited when they talk-- they have that appearance to an American.

Objected to.

Q Were they not there on that occasion speaking German?

A Some were and some were not.

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I had a conversation with several of them in English.

Q You don't pretend to say that Mr. Parsons was not there at the time the bomb was thrown.

A No sir, I pretend to say I did not see him, was looking for him but did not see him.

Q In pointing out the defendants you pointed out Mr. Spies, Fielden, Mr. Parsons and saw the profile of a man that you thought was Schwab.

A Yes sir.

Q But you were not certain about it then, and are not now certain about it?

A No sir.

Q You saw none other of the defendants there at that time?

A. Not that I can re-call.

Q Now did you have any conversation with any members of the police force that evening before the explosion of the bomb?

A. None what ever.

Q Were you advised by anybody to keep out of the way there, that there was liable to be trouble, by any of the police force?

A. O no. Mr. Tuttle advised me to get out he thought it was a little dangerous.

Q Who was Tuttle?

A. The gentleman I was with a reporter on the Times.

Q Do you know where he got his information?

A. I can't say where he got it. I don't think he had any.

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Q Had he been down to the police station that you know of?

A No sir, He was a stranger in the city, and for that reason went to the meeting with me.

Q You say you don't know whether he was down there or not?

A. At the police station?

Q Yes sir.

A. I think he told me that he was not.

Q That he was not down there.

A. Yes sir.

Q At the time you came back, how near to Mr. Fielden were you?

A. I came up about as far as the second wagon, the wagon upon which Mrs. Parsons was sitting, behind the speakers' wagon.

Q How far was that, fifteen or 20 feet, probably from Fielden?

A. Yes I presume so.

Q There was not anything going on that attracted your attention so you could not tell anything that Fielden said?

A I went up there in rather an abstracted mood. I had no object in going. I had no object to listen to anything, but merely went to kill time, waiting for the meeting at Zepf's Hall.

Q You say you were staying at Zepf's Hall until you became abstracted in mind.

A. I was waiting there for a meeting of the furniture workers to come to a conclusion, and Mr. Malkoff reporter of the Arbeiter Zeitung was to furnish the information, as he had been in the custom of doing.

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we were working together.

Q You were not there in the capacity of reporter at all?

A Not at the hay-market meeting.

Q You did not listen with any reference to reporting?

A No sir, I had instruction from the Times never to report Mr. Parsons.

Q You know Mr. Parsons?

A. Yes sir.

Q You were with him at Zepf's Hall?

A. Yes sir.

Q Don't you remember the defendant Mr. Fischer was there with Mr. Malkoff?

A. No sir, he was not there while I was there with Mr. Malkoff.

Q Did you say he was not at the Hall?

A. I don's say he was not at the hall, but not with Mr. Malkoff while I was with Mr. Malkoff.

Q. All you know now is you don't now remember seeing him?

A I did not see him.

Q Your judgment is you did not see him?

A. My judgment is I did not see him.

Q Whether he was there or not you don't know?

A. That I know nothing about. I was not acquainted with him then.

MR. GRINNELL: Q. About Mr. Malkoff, the conversation between you and Mr. Malkoff, did you at any time in the central station in the presence of Fischer or Brown, recite the story that you have now told, about your presence at Zepf's Hall or Saloon.

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Objected to.

A I did sir.

THE COURT: The only ground that it would be admissable would be that it was in the presence of Fischer.

MR. BLACK: That is not admissable when Fischer was under arrest.

MR. GRINNELL: Fischer was at the office at the Central station. I want to prove that this witness told another reporter all that occurred.

Objected to.

MR. GRINNELL: Q. I will ask it in another way to dispose of it. You heard the explosion of the bomb?

A. Yes sir.

Q Was Malkoff with you?

A. Yes sir.

Q Was Fischer there?

A. I did not see him.

Objected to.

MR. SALOMON: Q. Were there any other persons there that you did not see?

A. I think that question answers itself. There certainly were hundreds of them.

Q Were there other persons there in that hall that you don't remember now, that you sould not identify now?

A. There were many.

Q A hundred?

A. I should presume so, not in the saloon, but perhaps in the building.

Q In the saloon were there a hundred?

A. No, there were not a hundred.

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Q Fifty?

A. Perhaps.

Q You could not identify those persons now, nor any of them?

A No sir, probably not.

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