Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of Daniel Cochran, 1886 July 30.

Volume K, 650-653, 4 p.
Cochran, Daniel.
Officer, Chicago Police Department.

Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Police officer at the Chicago Avenue Station. Experimented with found nitroglycerin cans. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): experiments with explosives (vol.K 650).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the people, was examined in chief by Mr. Ingham, and testified as follows:

Q What is your name?

A Daniel Cochran

Q What is your business?

A Police officer.

Q Have you seen these cans before?

A Yes sir.

Q Where did you see them?

A East Chicago Avenue police station.

Q How many did you see there?

A Four of them.

Q Did you do anything with any one of them?

Objected to as immaterial and on the ground that the

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cans have in no manner been connected with the defendants or any of them.

THE COURT: The testimony is not very direct, but if there is evidence from which the state is permitted to argue to the jury that instructions for preparing things of this sort were disseminated by anybody, and then these were found shortly after, I think it is admissible.

MR. BLACK: We note an exception.

MR. INGHaM: Q You say you experimented with one of them?

A Yes.

Q Describe this experiment and its result?

A I took one of those cans and took off the top. I took it off, and I told Captain Schaack it looked like nitroglycerine. I took a fulminating cap, and fuse about eight inches long and I exploded the cap, and the cap knocked a hole through the can. Then I thought it was some kind of vitriol. I put a vial in again, and screwed it on and touched the fuse with a lighted cigar, and it knocked the can around and throwed the vitriol four or five feet around.

Q You say vitriol?

A Some kind of vitriol. It ignited the grass for four or five feet, and made a blaze three or four feet high.

Q How far did it throw that substance that burned?

A Four or five feet.

Q How long did it burn?

A From three to five minutes.

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Q Are these the remnants of the can, what is left of it? (showing fragment of can)

A Yes sir.

MR. INGHAM: We offer the cans in evidence.

Defendants' counsel objected to them as immaterial, incompetent, and irrelevant.

THE COURT: I think they are admissible. There is another aspect-- whether or not these instructions, if followed, would produce a dangerous explosive is a thing which the reading of the instructions themselves does not tell. whether an apparatus prepared according to these instructions would, in fact, be a dangerous agent, is a thing which it is admissible to prove, and this is one way of proving it.

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

MR. BLACK: We do not think there is anything to cross examine about.

MR. ZEISLER: It has not been proven that these machines were found. Your Honor excluded the testimony yesterday.

THE COURT: The man who said he found them on the sidewalk was on the stand, and they have been traced from his hand to this table.

MR. INGHAM: The man who found them under his sidewalk identified them here.

MR. BLACK: He found them a month afterwards. I have heard that declarations may be admitted after the fact; but I never

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heard yet that a tin can could be brought in that was found three miles away from the scene of action.

MR. GRINELL: There are a great many things new to you.

MR. BLACK: I admit there are a great many things in this trial that I never heard of.

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