Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of William J. Reynolds, 1886 July 30.

Volume K, 657-661, 5 p.
Reynolds, William J.
Gun store owner.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross-examination by Captain Black.

Testified that Parsons approached him about buying 40-50 revolvers. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.K 6580, Parsons, Albert (vol.K 657).

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

Q What is your name?

A William J. Reynolds.

Q What is your business?

A In the gun business.

Q With whom?

A D.H. Lambertson & Company.

Q Where is their place?

A 73 State street.

Q How long have you been there?

A Nine years.

Q Do you know any of the defendants, ever seen them before?

A I have seen Mr. Parsons.

Q Whom else of the defendants?

A I think I have seen Mr. Engle, but I can't exactly place him.

Q When did you see Parsons or have any conversation with him about business matters, connected with your business?

A I can't exactly trace it, but I think It was a long about February or March.

Q Of this year?

A Yes sir.

Q What was it, tell what was said?

Defendants' counsel objected to the question as

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immaterial and incompetent. The Court overruled the objection; to which ruling of the Court counsel for defendants then and there excepted.

A He came and said that he wanted to buy a quantity of revolvers. He mentioned, I think forty or fifty. I showed him the samples we had, but he wanted what is called an old remodeled Remington revolver, 44 or 45 caliber. I agreed to write and get a quotation on the revolver, and if he would come in in a few days I would give him the price. I did so, and he came in in my absence. Then he came in again, and I quoted him a price on it. He did not purchase any revolvers, and was in once or twice after that. He seemed undecided about it.

Q What was the number that he spoke of?

A Forty or fifty I think.

Q You wrote to St. Louis about it?

A Yes.

Q Do you know Mrs. Engle and the daughter?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you have any conversations with them or with Mr. Engle in regard to the purchase of fire arms?

Objected to on the ground that witness has stated he never met Engle.

Q State whether or not you ever had any conversation with Mrs Engle or her daughter in the presence of Engle?

Objected to.

A Not that I remember of.

Q Did you at or before the 4th day of May sell in any quantity--

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state whether or not your concern sold any cartridges rifle or pistol cartridges, in any quantity which were to be delivered and were delivered to 636 Milwaukee Avenue, at Thalia Hall?

Objected to.

MR. INGHAM: That is the place where the Northwestern group met.

THE COURT: I rather infer from the course of business that this witness did not himself personally deliver the goods.

MR. GRINELL: That is all. Yesterday and day before I heard of this for the first time.

Counsel for defendants moved to exclude the testimony given by this witness. The Court denied the motion; to which ruling of the Court counsel for defendants then and there excepted.

Cross Examination by
Mr. Black.

Q When was it you had this conversation with Parsons?

A I say it was about February or March.

Q Yes, but when?

A I can't tell the date exactly.

Q I understood you had some correspondence in reference to it?

A Yes sir.

Q Can you refer to that correspondence?

A I have endeavored to find that, but could not.

Q You don't keep any copy of your letters of inquiry?

A As a rule we do, but it often happens a letter that a person

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sends he can't find. It was either not copied or was not indexed in the book. I endeavored to find it.

Q You are not able to state whether it was February or March

A I can't state the date.

Q Are you certain it was either in February or March?

A It was somewheres along about that, the best I can remember.

Q Are you certain it was sometime between the first day of February and the 31st day of March?

A That is my remembrance. It was certainly along about there. It may have been earlier or later.

Q How long had you know Parsons at that time?

A He came in no time before. I didn't know the man's name then.

Q When did you first learn that the man that made that inquiry was Parsons?

A Yesterday.

Q You came into this Court and had Parsons pointed out?

A Yes sir.

Q You hadn't seen him from the time he made those inquiries until you saw him in the Court room yesterday?

A No sir.

Q He didn't buy any revolvers of you?

A NO sir.

Q At any time?

A No sir.

MR. GRINELL: Q You came into Court yesterday and were seated back there?

A Yes.

Q And were asked to pick out the man with whom you had conversation about the purchase of revolvers.

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I wish to get out and to know whether some one pointed out the man to you, or whether you picked out the man you seen before?

A I picked out the man that I had seen before.

Q And then wanted to know what his name was?

A Yes sir.

MR. SALOMON: Q Didn't you look at him for two hours?

A I was on the other side of the room there, and didn't recognize him until I was over there and seen him full in the face.

Q Didn't Mr. Grinell point his finger to him?

A No sir.

Q Didn't Mr. Bonfield designate him to you?

A Somebody did, but I can't tell who it was.

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