Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Henry E. O. Heinemann (second appearance), 1886 July 27.

Volume K, 243-258, 16 p.
Heinemann, Henry E. O.
Reporter for the Chicago Tribune; German immigrant.

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): socialists and/or socialism (vol.K 256), plans for warfare against the police and/or capitalists (vol.K 249), call for workingmen to arm themselves (vol.K 249), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.K 247), eight-hour movement (vol.K 254), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.K 246), trajectory of the bomb (vol.K 245), time and place origination of the gunfire (vol.K 246), medical care and wounds (vol.K 558), International Workingmen's Association (vol.K 244), Spies' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 247), Parsons, Albert (vol.K 243), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.K 248), Schwab, Michael (vol.K 243), Fielden's speech at Haymarket (vol.K 249), Neebe, Oscar (vol.K 250), Schnaubelt, Rudolph (vol.K 251).

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HENRY E. O. HEINEMANN, recalled by the People, was examined by Mr. Grinnell and testified as follows:

Q You have been on the stand before?

A Yes sir.

Q You are a newspaper reporter?

A Yes sir.

Q On the Chicago Tribune?

A Yes sir.

Q Some years ago you were a reporter on the Arbeiter Zeitung?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you at the Haymarket square on May 4th?

A Yes, sir.

Q What time did you get there?

A I got there a little after half past seven.

Q Whom of the defendants, if any of them, did you see there?

A I met Mr. Parsons and Mr. Schwab before the meeting began.

Q What time in the day or afternoon was it you saw Schwab?

A It was in the evening, about eight o'clock.

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maybe a few minutes before.

Q Where did you see Parsons?

A I met Parsons at the corner of Halsted and Randolph.

Q How came you to be there at Halsted and Randolph?

A I was going around the Haymarket proper. There was a large crowd on all the sidewalks, and I went around through the crowd to see what was going on, trying to find where the meeting was going to be.

Q Did you make inquiries as to where the meeting was to be?

A I don't remember that I did.

Q Did you make inquiries of anybody as to who were the speakers conducting the meeting?

A. I did not.

Q Did you see Balthazar Rau?

A I met Rau there, yes, sir.

Q What time did you see him?

A That must have been between eight and half past, I think.

Q What did he say about where the meeting was to be held, under whose auspices?

Objected to.

The Court: I don't see how that is material.

Mr. Grinnell: There has been some testimony tending to show this was an internationalish meeting, that it was a meeting of the anarchists so-called, perhaps the Central Labor Union specially of the International Workingmen's Association of America here in Chicago; and it is in testimony

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that Rau is one of the internationalists, and the other defendants and perhaps all of them are members of that association. Rau was there, and I want to prove the declarations of Rau as to whether or not it was the Internationalists holding that meeting that night, whether it was under their auspices.

The Court: I don't think that will do.

Mr. Grinnell: (Q) Did you attend the meeting during the entire evening?

A Yes sir.

Q Where were you standing?

A I stood west of the speakers' wagon, a little more than half way across the street.

Q Where were you when that bomb exploded?

A At that time I was on the east sidewalk of Desplaines Street, between Crane's alley and Randolph, about half way.

Q Did you look back?

A I was going south, and I kept looking back at what was going on.

Q Did you see the bomb in the air or at the time it exploded?

A I saw the bomb rise out of the crowd and fall among the police; that is, I didn't distinguish the bomb, but I saw the burning fuse.

Q From what locality on the sidewalk, with reference to that alley that runs into Crane's was it that you saw this bomb rising out of the crowd?

A It was very nearly the southeast corner of the alley.

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Q Did you hear the speeches there that night?

A Yes, sir.

Q Beginning with Spies?

A Yes sir, heard all of them.

Q Parsons and Fielden?

A And Fielden.

Q You left in reference to the coming up of the police, or in reference to the explosion of that bomb, how long before, that is, I understand you were in the street, and went over on that sidewalk and went south.

A I was west of the speakers' wagon, and I saw the police form in front of the station, because I could see them distinctly because of the electric light on the Lyceum Theater was behind them; and when they came up, the crowd divided in front of them, and a great many went to the east sidewalk, and I went along to the east sidewalk so as not to be caught between the police and the crowd, and I walked slowly south, and kept turning back to see what was going on.

Q Was there any firing so far as you heard before the bomb exploded?

A I didn't hear any shots before the bomb exploded.

Q How soon after the explosion of the bomb was it before shots were heard?

A I could not measure the time at all.

Q Almost instantly.

A Almost instantly.

Q Can you say from whom the shots came first, from the police or the crowd?

A That I could not say. It seems

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to me as if I heard some bullets in pretty close proximity to myself, that is, coming from the north.

Q Whizzing from the north?

A Yes sir.

Q You were going south?

A I was going south, yes sir.

Q Were you there in fact to report speeches, or was that left to Mr.English?

A It was not left to him entirely. In these meetings we always expected some German speeches, and I was expected to take the German speeches, and he took the English.

Q You are German?

A Yes sir.

Q State as nearly as you can, what you heard Spies say. If you cannot give his language, give in your own language the sentiments that he uttered?

A He started out by saying that the meeting was intended to be a peaceable one, was not called to raise a disturbance, and then gave his version of the affair at McCormiek's the day before. He said he had been down there, and had addressed a meeting, and that some people had tried to prevent him from speaking because he was a socialist, but that he finished his speech; and when he got through, and was going down town again, somebody told him that there was a riot in progress at McCormick's, that the police were shooting and killing the men down there. I don't know whether he said that he made any reply. At all events he came down town, and the next morning saw the statement of the affair in the morning papers

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which he declared to be strongly colored, and he referred particularky to a statement made by Mr.McCormick in which he was charged with the responsibility for the blood shed.

Mr. Zeisler: (Q) Spies was?

A Spies was charged with it, yes sir, and Mr.Spies said that he was not to blame, but that Mr.McCormick was to blame for the riot and the blood shed; and if he said that Spies was to blame for it, that he lied, or was a liar, or something of that sort.

Q What was the temper of that crowd?

A The crowd where I stood---that is pretty near the speakers' wagon---was in sympathy with the speakers, and it seemed to me that the speakers knew that the men in the crowd near the wagon knew just what the speakers would say; had heard them very often, and were entirely in sympathy with them.

Q Any cheering?

A Occasional applause, yes.

Q Talking among the crowd, was there Germans talking in the crowd?

A Yes sir, I heard a few Germans talk. I heard one of those standing close to me explaining and translating some of the remarks that the speakers made--I don't know whether it was Spies or Parsons.

Q What did Parsons say at that meeting?

A Parsons I heard repeat some statistic that I had heard him speak about before; that out of every dollar that was produced by the laborers, they only got fifteen cents, whereas the remaining eighty-five cents went to the wholesale and retail

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dealers and the manufacturers; and the eight hour movement he says: "is a still hunt for the remaining eighty-five cents". That seemed to be a standing phrase with him, as I had heard him use it before.

Q What did he say about arming or force?

A About arming;towards the close of his speech I heard him call, "To arms, to arms, to arms".

Q What was the effect on the crowd?

A There were some responses to his speech occasionally.

Q How much of Fielden's speech did you hear?

A I heard all of it I think, except a few sentences immediately preceding the arrival of the police.

Q Did you hear the police say anything about the dispersing of the meeting?

A No sir, when the police came up I heard a general uproar and I could not distinguish any voices at all, except later on, after the bomb exploded. I heard the command to "Fall in". It was given in a very loud voice. I could not distinguish anything else at that time.

Q What did you hear Fielden say that night?

A I dont remember very much of his speech.

Q Did you hear him say anything about the law?

A Yes, sir, towards the end of his speech, he advised the crowd present to kill the law, to stab it, to throttle it, or else it would throttle them. That was nothing--

Q (Interrupting) You were formerly an Internationalist?

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A Yes sir.

Q When did you cease your connection with it?

Mr. Salomon: This is a different matter you are going into now. It is irrelevant what Mr.Heinemann has been and where he has been or what organization he belonged to and when he ceased his connection with it.

The Court: Yes, that is material to this case. That is admissible.

Defendants then and there excepted to the ruling of the court.

Q When did you cease your connection with the Internationalists?

A About two years ago.

Q Who of the defendants do you know belonging to that association or society, before you left it?

A Of my own personal knowledge of course, I don't know any one but only upon common reputation.

Q Among the society?

A Among the society.

Q Whom?

Objected to.

A Yes, I know one of them.

The Court: If he has met them at any meetings or any of them had told him, that would be admissible, but what the common understanding is, would not be.

The Witness: I know one of them by my own personal knowledge, that is Neebe. At that time he used to belong

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to the same group I belonged to. It is not in existence now.

Mr. Grinnell: Did you ever meet in any of the groups of the Internationalists, any of the other defendants?

A I met Spies and Schwab occasionally. I don't know whether I met Parsons until afterward, when I went to a meeting of the American group occasionally for the Tribune. I heard Parsons and saw him there I think, once or twice.

Q You ceased your connection with them two years ago?

A Yes sir.

Q Was that about the time or immediately after the time that Herr Most delivered lectures in this city?

A It was immediately after it.

Q And on account of it?

A Yes sir, on account of it.

Q Whom did you see on that wagon that night?

A I saw the speakers, that is, Spies, Parsons and Fielden, and at one time I saw Rudolph Schnaubelt whom I knew from my former connections with the Internationalists. I think that is all I can remember.

Recess until two o'clock.

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Court met at 2 P.M., July 27, 1886.

Cross Examination of


Mr. Foster: (Q) Mr. Heinemann, these bullets that you heard whizz, could you tell which direction they came from?

A They came from the north.

Q So that this (snapping fingers), the whizz, is all that you know?

A Well, they came past me from the north, that is all that I can say.

Q Well, how do you know that they came from the north; could you tell from the whizz?

A I could tell that from the sound.

Q You could tell it from the sound. Now, you at that time were further south than the police?

A Yes sir.

Q So that if any of the front ranks of police had been shooting up and down--well, you were further south than the police?

A I was further south, yes.

Q At this meeting you say Spies introduced his speech by stating that this wasn't a meeting for the purpose of raising a disturbance?

A That is my recollection, yes.

Q And you further said that shortly after Parsons was introduced?

A Yes; he made a shorter speech than Spies did.

Q Yes. Then Mr.Parsons stepped on the stand and went over

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the same speech that you heard him go over and over, going into a thousand facts and figures in regard to laboring men, and how much the laboring men got, etc?

A That is Parsons, yes.

Q Now, how was his speech as to being tumultuous or mild, considering the fact that it was an out--door meeting and that there was a large audience there, compared with his other speeches?

A Compared with his other speeches?

Q Yes.

Mr. Grinnell: We object to the last part of your question.

Mr. Foster; Strike out about his other speeches.

The Court: As to his manner, that is susceptible only of description; as to his language, why, that has to be repeated, or the substance.

Mr. Foster: (Q) How was his manner as to being loud or quiet, taking into consideration the fact that it was an out-door meeting, and also the character of the audience and the size, that he was addressing?

A Well, apart from the contents of his speech, I didn't notice anything remarkable--anything unusual, excited or so.

Q No sir. Then you say there was occasional responses-- applause?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, what he did say there was this, was it not, after hearing his figures and the presentation of his facts, which you say you had heard before, he stated that the laboring men

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got only fifteen per cent of what they earned, didn't he?

A I may be mistaken in the figures but I think that is what he said.

Q And he said that the eight hour movement was a still hunt after the other eighty-five per cent?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, Mr. Fielden, spoke after Mr. Parsons did?

A Yes, sir.

Q Were you there until after the conclusion of Mr. Fielden's speech?

A I missed about two or three sentences just before the police came up.

Q I understand that you were listening to all these speeches?

A Yes sir.

Q Also, you didn't intend to report them but you heard them just the same as if you had intended to report them, and with the same care as you would if you intended to report them?

A Well, I don't know as I heard them with the same care.

Q Well, you listened?

A Yes, I listened.

Q You say that Schnaubelt was part of the time on the wagon; do you remember of a cloud coming from the west about that time of night?

A From the north?

Q From the north?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, as a matter of fact, a large quantity of the crowd had dispersed before the conclusion of the meeting on account of that cloud?

A I think they did; I think the

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crowd began to thin out before the cloud came up.

Q How long was that before the police came up and Mr. Parsons--or Mr. Fielden spoke--ceased speaking?

A It might have been five minutes; it might have been ten; I don't know.

Q It was from five to ten minutes, you say?

A Yes sir.

Q Well, from the time that the cloud came up and the people began to move away, some of them, I will ask you if you saw Schnaubelt on that wagon at that time?

A I couldn't say about that. I think I saw him off and on. I think he got on the wagon and off again once or twice, but I couldn't say as to what particular time.

Q You say you wouldn't say that he was on the wagon after the cloud came up, and for the last ten minutes that Mr. Fielden was speaking?

A No sir; I couldn't swear to that.

Q Now, you say that Mr. Neebe was a member of the Internationals?

A Well, he was--

Q At that time?

A Up to 2 years ago, yes sir.

Q International what?

A It was called the International Working-people's Association; I think that was their translation of the German title of it.

Q Yes, and you were also a member of that?

A Yes sir.

Q Was it a secret organization?

A No sir.

Q Was it an armed body?

A No sir.

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Q Did you meet- have arms; revolvers, bowie knives or muskets or rifles, when you went to the meetings?

A No sir.

Q Nothing of that kind. It was simply an open door organization--open doors so far as the meetings were concerned, in the interest of the laboring classes in the city here.

A Yes--it was--it was an avowed socialistic organization.

Q It was an avowed socialistic organization but you had no secret chamber or secret meetings?

A No sir; not that I remember of.

Q No pass words?

A No sir.

Q Or signs of recognition upon the street between strangers?

A No sir.

Q Nothing of that kind? Now, what was the object of the organization?

Question objected to; objection overruled.

A So far as I found out at the meetings it was principally for the purpose of discussing socialism and instructing the masses in regard to it, and seeing about making converts.

Q Now, you left that organization two years ago?

A About that.

Q And since then you have no knowledge as to whether Mr. Neebe continued as a member?

A No sir.

Q Since then you haven't attended the meetings?

A No sir

Q At the time of the Haymarket meeting that evening you say there was responses. Now, after the cloud came up there five or ten minutes before there was an adjournment of the

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meeting, I will ask you whether the noise and confusion was greater or less than it had been before, if you know?

A There was a little confusion at the time for a minute or so, immediately succeeding the suggestion that the meeting adjourn to Zepf's Hall, I think.

Q Now, after that suggestion --that came from one of the platform speakers, did it not? It either came from Mr. Parsons or Mr. Spies?

A yes sir.

Q After the proposition to adjourn to Zeph's Hall did Mr. Fielden reply, "Just wait a moment and I will be through". That is correct, is it?

A Something to that effect, yes.

Q Then there was a little confusion and bustle when they were talking about an adjournment of the audience?

A That is my recollection, yes.

Q And part of them leaving at that time? They commenced to leave right there, did they not.

A I think they commenced leaving then.

Q At that time?

A Because it was getting pretty late.

Q But after that time, as compared to prior to that time wasn't there the most responses and the most confusion--was it before or after?

A Oh, I don't know; it seemed to me that the most of the responses were made to Parsons; he seemed to catch on better.

Q Parsons was the man that caught on in those speeches

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that night?

A It seemed so to me.

Q And when Fielden was speaking it was more quiet than it was when Parsons was speaking; they didn't appreciate his points so well, did they?

A No, I don't think his speech took so well; it wasn't as good anyway.

Q Did you hear Mr. Fielden while he started to go, or at any time, use the words, "now, in conclusion".

A Yes, I think I did. I remarked upon it, that after using the words, "Now, in conclusion", he started off on another speech.

Q After saying "in conclusion" he continued to make quite a conclusion?

A Yes sir.

Q That is probably what you gentlemen called a peroration? I think that is all.

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