Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Edward Cosgrove, 1886 July 27.

Volume K, 179-187, 9 p.
Cosgrove, Edward.
Detective, Chicago Police Department.

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 182), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.K 181), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.K 180), the explosion (vol.K 183), time and place origination of the gunfire (vol.K 183), Degan, Mathias (vol.K 184), Spies, August (vol.K 180), Spies' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 180), Parsons, Albert (vol.K 180), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 181), Schwab, Michael (vol.K 186), Fielden, Samuel (vol.K 185).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the people; was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell and testifies as follows:

Q What is yourname?

A. Edward Cosgrove

Q You ar a police man?

A. Yes sir.

Q And belong to the detective force?

A. Yes sir.

Q Were you detailed to the hay-market square May 4th last?

A Yes.

Q What time did you get there?

A. About ten minutes to eight.

Q Was there any speaking going on when you got there?

A No sir.

Q Much of a crowd there?

A. Yes sir.

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Q Where?

A. They were then about half way between Randolph St. and Desplaines station, and running across Randolph St. on Desplaines.

Q The crowd was situated across there?

A. Yes sir.

Q Who were defendants that you saw there?

A. I saw Schwab, Spies and Parsons.

Q Did you see Fielden?

A. I was not near enough to Fielden to identify him. I saw him in the distance.

Q You were then when the meeting was open?

A. I was

Q How near to the wagon?

A. About 40 feet, about 30 to 40 feet.

Q Who opened the meeting?

A. Spies.

Q How many people were there at that hour?

A. Well the street was pretty well filled for about 160 or 150 feet, the full width of the street and sidewalk.

Q In which direction from the wagon?

A. Right round the wagon.

Q Was there 500 or thousand or 1500 people?

A. I should judge there was over 2000 any way---there might be three or four thousand. I should judge there was over 2000.

Q What did Spies say?

A. When he got on the wagon first he asked if Parsons was there, he called out twice, and he said that Fielden would be there later. He called to some body in the crowd to go and find Parsons, then he said he would get down from the wagon and go and find him himself.

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He got down and went in a south westerly direction. He came back in a short time and commenced speaking.

Q Do you remember what he said?

A. He talked about being out on the black road and talking from a freight car to a large crowd of people; and they did not want to hear him because he was a socialist, but he spoke to them anyhow; and he said the crowd then went towards McCormicks, and they amused theyselves harmlessly throwing stones at McCormicks building, the most harmless amusement he thought they could have; then he talked about the police, the blood hounds of the law shooting down six of their brothers and he said "When you get ready to do something do it, and don't tell any body you are going to".

Q What was the effect of this speach of Spies on the crowd, how was their temper, how did they take it?

A. There was a great number of the crowd that cheered him very luodly.

Q Where was the enthusiastic part of the crowd, near to the out skirts?

A. Close to the wagon. Sometimes there would be some on the out skirts.

Q Did you stay there during the time Spies was speaking?

A No sir.

Q Were you there when Parsons spoke?

A. Part of the time

Q Tell what you hear Parsons say?

A. He talked of statistics of the United States statistician, about the price laboring men receive. He said they got fifteen cents out of

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a dollar, and they were on the still hunt for the other 85 cents. He talked of the police and capitalists and militia and Pinkertons. He said he was down in the Hocking Valley region, and said they were only getting 24 cents a day, and that was less than Chinamen, and he said "My friends, you will be worse than Chinamen if you don't arm yourselves, and he said they would be held responsible for the blood that would flow in the near future.

Q Did you hear any expression from him such as "To arms" cry out, "to arms"?

A. No sir, I did not.

Q Did you hear all he said?

A. No sir.

Q What was the temper of the crowd, during Parsons speech, how did they act?

A. There was a great deal of cheering close to the wagon 20 or 30 feet from the wagon, and a few upon the outside.

Q Do you know when the police were called out?

A. Yes sir.

Q Where were you then?

A. I was in Captian Ward's office.

Q You come down the street at the time the police did?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you hear Bonfield or Ward address the speaker on the wagon?

A. I did not.

Q Where were you when the police came to a hault?

A. I was on the north west corner of Randolph & Desplaines St., about the north side of the sidewalk, probably a little

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closer to the police.

Q Did you see the bomb in the air or hear it explode

A I heard it explode. I did not see it in the air.

Q In reference the alley, about where did that bomb explode?

Objected to as leading.

THE COURT: He asked where it exploded.

THE WITNESS: From the sound it exploded about the center of the street, and close to the alley.

Q North of you?

A. North of me.

Q Before the explosion of that bomb, had there been any firing that you heard?

A. No sir.

Q No pistol shots fired?

A. No sir.

Q With reference to the firing of that bomb, how soon did the shots begin, t e pistol shots?

A. Immediately.

Q From what Source did they come first, if you know?

A I can't tell. I don't know.

Q You don't know whether the police fired first, or whether the other side fired first?

A. No sir, I do not.

Q What did you do when the firing began?

A. I stood there a little while and then got in behind a telegraph pole.

Q You stood on the side of the street behind that telegraph pole?

A. Yes sir, I stood there until the firing ceased, and then I came out and met officer Reed, the first person and he told me that he was shot. I went across the street to the south west corner of Randolph Street with him,

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and I seen Officer Degan laying on the sidewalk dead. Then I left Officer Reed go to the station alone, and stayed to do what I could for Degan.

Q That is Matthias J. Degan, police officer?

A. Yes sir.

Q You say you were there part of the time---where were you the balance of the time? Did you go from the meeting down to the station?

A. From the meeting down to the station.

Q You reported there from time to time what was going on at the meeting?

A. Yes sir.


Q How many times were you up there?

A. Twice.

Q Were you there while Fielden was speaking?

A. Yes sir.

Q You did not narrate I believe any of Fielden's speech?

A I was not there during Fielden's speech. I did not go there during Fielden's speech.

Q When was it you made your report?

A. I made my report when Mr. Parsons said that they would be held responsible for the blood that would be made to flow in the streets of America in the near future.

Q After you made that report the police remained at the station?

A. Yes sir.

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Q When did you make the second report?

A. That was my second report.

Q When Mr. Parsons made that statement?

A. Yes sir.

Q When did you make the first one?

A. When Mr. Spies was speaking.

Q And the police still remained at their station?

A Yes sir.

Q You did not hear, and was not up there while Fielden was making his speech?

A. No sir.

Q You don't know how much of the crowd had gone when the black cloud came up?

A. Yes sir, when I come out there before the police come out, there was quite a crowd, quite a number gone away.

Q Quite a number gone away?

A. Yes sir.

Q Just give us the words Mr. Spies used again, the words that he used with reference to what they should do. What was it Mr. Spies said?

A. Mr. Spies said that he went up to the black road to speak the day before, and that he got on a freight car, and spoke to a large crowd there, and that they went towards McCormick's, and that they amused themselves by harmlessly throwing stones at the building, which was the most innocent amusement he thought they could have, and he said, "When you get ready to do something, go and do it, but don't tell anybody you are going to".

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Q There were a good many other people heard that in that crowd?

A. I can't tell. I suppose they could, the whole crowd heard it.

Q Everybody ought to have heard that remark?

A. Yes sir.

Q Whereabouts were you standing at the time?

A. I was standing about twenty-five or thirty feet north of the north side of Randolph Street, on Desplaines.

Q There were a great many people nearer to Mr. Spies tham you were in that crowd?

A. Yes sir, a great many.

Q You saw Mr. Schwab there before the meeting began?

A Yes sir.

Q You did not see him afterwards?

A. After the meeting began?

Q After Mr. Spies returned?

A. I seen him there just after the time Mr. Spies returned.

Q Did you see him after that?

A. I am not really sure of that.

Q You don't say that you did?

A. I don't say that I did.

Q Whereabouts was he?

A. When I saw him first?

Q Yes sir.

A. He was about forty feet south of the north side of the sidewlk, of the south sidewalk, on Randolph Street, about forty feet south on Desplaines.

Q Whereabouts was it when you saw him the last time.

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A At the wagon.

MR. SALOMON: Q. This is Randolph Street, and this is Desplaines (pointing on diagram) between the police station and Randolph Street?

A. Yes sir, on that side.

MR. INGHAM: Q. It is on the west side?

A. Yes sir.

MR. FOSTER: Q. What time was it you saw Mr. Schwab the last time?

A. I guess it was about half past eight or mayby a little later.

Q. During the time Mr. Spies was speaking, and during the time that Mr. Parsons was speaking, or at any time after that, did you see Mr. Schwab at that meeting?

A. My impression is that I seen Mr. Schwab near the close of Mr. Parsons' speech, but I am not sure of it.

Q You are not sure about that?

A. No sir.

Q When is the last time you are sure of it?

A. The last time I am sure of it is at the wagon.

Q And with reference to the speaking, about the opening of the meeting?

A. About the time Mr. Spies came back the second time to speak.

Q That was about half past eight?

A. About half past eight, just about that time I guess.

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