Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of John Holloway, 1886 Aug. 5.

Volume M, 55-73, 19 p.
Holloway, John.
Runs an express wagon; English immigrant.

Direct examination by Mr. Salomon. Cross-examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al.

Walked around the Desplaines Street Station on May 4 around 7:00 p.m. and saw the patrol wagons lining up. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): weapons and explosives (vol.M 67), socialists and/or socialism (vol.M 67), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.M 69), street lights and/or lights on the wagon (vol.M 73), actions of police during the Haymarket meeting (vol.M 58), Captain Ward's command to disperse (vol.M 59), Fielden's response to the police advance at Haymarket (vol.M 59), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.M 59), police knowledge of anarchist activities (vol.M 57), Parsons' speech at Haymarket (vol.M 69).

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

Q What is your name in full?

A John Holloway.

Q Where do you live?

A 50 North Halsted.

Q How long have you lived in the city of Chicago?

A Four years, December, next 18th of December.

Q How long in the place you now reside?

A Inside of about eight days of one year.

Q What is your business?

A I run an express wagon.

Q In the city of Chicago?

A In the city of Chicago.

Q Where is your stand?

A On So. Halsted and Lake.

Q How old are you?

A Well, if I live to the 14 th day of next March, I shall be 54---was born the 14th day of March 1832.

Q Are you a married man?

A Yes sir.

Q Family?

A Yes sir.

Q How many children?

A Got eight in England and one in Chicago here.

Q Where were you on the night of the 4th of May?

A On the night of the 4th of May about seven o'clock I was walking around the police station on Desplaines street.

Q State what you saw and what you heard there?

A Well, I walked all the way round and looked at the patrol wagons and I met another Englishman, and we went down the steps

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and looked around the place, and some gentleman came there and spoke rather roughly to us and wanted to know what we wanted.

Objected to.

The Witness: (Continuing) We went back and I went to the patrol wagon, and there was four or five citizens, at least dressed in citizens clothes, and I said, "what does this mean."

Objected to.

The Court: The question which you did not object to called upon him to state what he saw and heard at the police station. You must either have the question objected to and passed upon or else let the witness answer.

Mr. Ingham: We certainly object to the question in respect to what he heard, except what he heard at the haymarket.

The Court: The question was about his being at the police station and what he saw and heard there.

Mr. Ingham: Yes, we object to the question in that shape.

Mr. Salomon: We offer this as part of what was said and done there that evening.

The Court: It is not admissible.

Exception by defendants.

Mr. Salomon: We would like to make the offer, but do not like to make the statement, if it is objected to. I think what was said there at the station and what happened while he was there is admissible.

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The Court: Save the point.

Mr. Salomon: Am I at liberty to state what I wish to prove

The Court: Certainly you are at liberty.

Mr. Salomon: I wish to show by this witness that he was told there at the station that before twelve o'clock at night, and that by persons connected with the station, blood would flow pretty freely, or words to that effect.

The court rules the question out; to which ruling of the court defendants then and there excepted.

Q After leaving the station where did you go?

A I walked away back to Randolph and Desplaines.

Q Where did you go after leaving there?

A I walked back Desplaines, and across Randolph and stayed around there and inquired where this meeting was going to take place, and they said it was going to take place just here some where, and I stayed around there and found they were going to open the meeting against the alley way there, going down into Crane's alley.

Q You stood in the alleyway?

A I stood in the center of the alley way while the first speaker spoke and half way through the second.

Q I will ask you on which side of the street, the east or west side?

A The east side.

Q On which side of the alley, north or south?

A I stood in the center of the alley as near as possible.

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Q How far was that from where the wagon stood?

A Well, about six yards as near as I could judge.

Q How long did you remain there in that position?

A I remained there during the speaking of the first man, and half way through the second, and then stepped back and got on the corner, and had a better view, of the sidewalk against the lamp post on the alley.

Q On the sidewalk you then moved to the south side of the alley and stood on the sidealk right off the alley?

A I did.

Q How long did you stand there?

A I stood there until the meeting was over and the police came up and charged the meeting to disperse.

When did you first see the police?

A Well, there was an Englishman come and called to me that I went from there with him, and he come and called me first.

Q How near to you were the police when you first saw them?

A About as far as it is from here to the window, coming this way along the center of the street.

Q Was there more than one policeman?

A Yes, they were coming along in a row, in marching order.

Q In which direction were they standing?

A Walking north, they were coming from the south, walking north.

Q How near you did they stop, if at all?

A They never stopped until they come to the wagon--marched on until they

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come to the wagon.

Q What took place then?

A Some gentleman went up and spoke to the speaker, and says, "We command you to disperse" and first the speaker, whoever he was, leaned down in this way, and he says, "you cannot do it." He says, "we will do it through the laws of the State of Illinois."

Q Who says?

A The officer who had said "we will do it through the laws of the State of Illinois.

Q What did the speaker say?

A He said, "you can't do it. We are peaceable.

Q Did he say anything else that you remember?

A No, he did not.

Q Now, then, what next took place?

A The next that took place, before the words were out of his mouth, they were smothered in smoke from the explosion of what I suppose was the bomb. I didn't know it was the bomb until the next morning. I thought it was a volley of rifles from the smoke.

Q Where was the smoke in reference to where you stood, in front or behind you?

A The smoke come from out in the middle of the street and go up like a cloud up to the officers, come up from amongst the officers, come like a cloud.

Q Going north or south?

A Going north.

Q Were there any people standing about you in the aley?

A Yes, it was full.

Q According to your best juigment, about how far from the

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south was it this smoke came from?

A I can't ans er that question.

Mr. Grinnell: He has not said it came from the south, he said it came from the front of him, and the question is objected to as leading.

Mr. Salomon: Q Where did this come from?

A The smoke swam away from the south going north.

Q What were you facing, what direction?

A I was facing the skew on the north, looking a little skew on the north because I was standing on the south side of the alley looking directly toward the speaker.

Q What do you mean by skew?

A By skew, north and south---I had to look a small southwest, you may say, looking south, if you like.

Q Did you see the speaker up to the time he was spoken to by one of the policemen?

A I did.

Q Were you looking at him?

A I was.

Q Listening to him?

A Lstening to him attentively.

Q Did you hear everything that was said?

A I can't say I heard everything, I heard a great deal.

Q How is your sense of hearing?

A Pretty good.

Q How is your eye sight?

A Pretty good.

Q You say the police, if I understand you right, were about from where you now sit to the window, when you first observed them?

A Yes sir.

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Q Did anybody say anything, I don't ask what it was, that attracted your attention to them? yes or no?

A Yes sir.

Q You then turn d about and saw them?

A I did.

Q Did you follow them from the time your eyes were first attracted towards the police, did you follow them up?

A I kept my eyes right on them.

Q Did you hear anybody say, or hear there at any time that evening the words, "here come the blood hounds"?

A No sir, there was nothing of the sort taking place.

Q Did you hear anybody excepting the speaker say, "you do your duty and I'll do mine"?

A No sir.

Q Was there any such language as that?

A No sir.

Q As you say, your sense of hearing is good. If that was said, from where you stood, according to your best judgment, do you think you could have heard it, if it had been said?

Objected to.

A I should have been bound to have heard it.

The Court: That is a mere matter of opinion.

Mr. Salomon: Q Could you or did you look at both the speaker and policeman that was speaking, and the speaker on the wagon at the time they were holding this conversation?

A I did.

Q Did you see any shot coming from the wagon?

A No sir.

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Q Were there any shots from the direction of the wagon?

A No.

The Court: What shots did he see and where from?

Mr. Salomon: Q Where did the first shots come from, if you saw any shots?

A I never did see any shots. I only heard them---that was after the bomb exploded.

Q From what direction did they come?

A I can't tell you more than from the report, because you can't see every place.

Q Where do you think they came from?

A From the middle of the street or the street in behind us.

Q Was there a large number of people in about where you stood?

A There was, it was full.

Q Did you see anybody there have any weapons or revolvers?

A Not at all.

Q Did you hear anybody speak of using a revolver?

A No sir.

Q Did you hear anybody speak as if they expected the police would come?

A I did not.

Q How was the crowd around about where you stood as to being peaceable and quiet, or otherwise?

A Orderly and quiet, all but one man.

Q How near to you did that man stand?

A I could touch him with my hand like that.

Q What was there that made you think that he was not as

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orderly as the balance?

A Because when the second speaker touched on Jay Gould, he cried out and said, "hang him", From that I knew he was disorderly.

Q That is all he said?

A That is all he said.

Q Was he quiet after that?

A He was.

Q The same as everybody else?

A Yes sir.

Q He said those words, "hang him up"?

A Yes sir.

Q And then retired into quietness and seclusion?

A Yes.

Q How many men were there on that wagon?

A I should judge three---I would not swear to one, but I should say three.

Q Did you observe any movements on the wagon before the police came---was there anybody left or got on?

A No sir, they racked about from side to side, the same as people will at public meetings, shift from side to side to make room for each other---that is all.

Q Was there anything that came from the alley while you stood there?

A There was not.

Q Nothing at all came?

A Nothing at all.

Q You are sure of that?

A I am sure of it, I swear to it positively.

Q After the shooting commenced where did you go, which direction did you take?

A I took on the same sidewalk in the

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direction of Randolph street.

Q Then where did you go?

A Well, the shooting commenced then pretty strongly and came from the middle of the street somewhere---I don't know where, and the people fell down and I fell down, and one man exclaimed he was shot and I pulled him up against me, to keep the bullets off of me, and crawled along and got in behind the iron rails, and got down in the hall way, and got down in the basement out of the shooting---under the sidewalk, I would say.

Q Did you notice who it was that was shooting?

A No sir.

Q I will ask you if you were ever after that taken to the court house corner of Clark and Randolph street?

A I was.

Q How long after this occurred?

A One clear day on the 6th, I believe.

Q Were you there examined as to what would be here said?

A Yes.

Objected to.

Cross Examination by
Mr. Grinnell.

Q How long have you been in this country?

A I landed in New York on the 26th day of September, in 1880--I am not ashamed of it.

Q Will you state again when you came here?

A I landed

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in New York on the 26h of September, 1880-that would be six years.

Q How long have you been in Chicago?

A Four years coming the 18th of December next.

Q You were leaning up against that lamp post, were you?

A No sir.

Q Standing right up by it?

A Standing close by it---I am strong enough to stand upright.

Q How many men around that lamp post when you were there?

A It was full. They were all pushing. They stood up the same as you would in a public meeting, in a hall way, full.

Q All up against the lamp, post?

A No sir, not all against the lamp post--there wasn't room for all.

Q How many up against the lamp post?

A I won't tell you anything of the kind--I could not.

Q How many do you think were up against the lamp, post?

A I won't tell you---I won't swear how many were against the lamp post. I ain't going to perjure myself.

Q How many between you and the lamp post?

A Not very many.

Q How many were between you and the lamp post that night?

A I should say about one betwixt me and the lamp post---not more.

Q A good many people around that lamp post?

A Yes sir.

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there was.

Q Where is this area, this place in the basement you jumped into---was it the corner of Randolph and Desplanes street?

A The steps go down off the corner of Randolph.

Q Which corner?

A They come right off of Randolph along after you go the same way.

Q Which way?

A South corner.

Q South corner of what?

A That is the north corner of Randolph street.

Q Would it be east of Desplaines or west?

A East.

Q Over the railing?

A Yes sir.

Q How many men did you find in there when you got there?

A I don't think there was around the steps--they were tumbling down shot, and those that were not shot.

Q Did they get under in the basement?

A No sir.

Q Did you go in the basement of that building?

A Under the sidewalk, not under the basement.

Q I mean the basement itself--did you know any other?

A No sir, under the sidewalk.

Q Any one else?

A I didn't see any one.

Q How long did you stay in there?

A From twenty minutes to half an hour---about twenty minutes.

Q Do you know Spies?

A No sir.

Q Do you know Fielden?

A No sir.

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Q Do you know Gleason?

A No sir.

Q Don't you know a man by the name of Gleason? on the witness stand yesterday or day before?

A No sir.

Q Never saw him?

A Gleason?

Q Yes, William Gleason?

A No Sir, I do not.

Q A man with club feet that makes speeches around?

A No sir, I don't know him.

Q You make a good many speeches about the city now?

A No sir.

Q Didn't you make a speech three weeks ago last Sunday in the 6th ward?

A I never made a speech---I made a speech of a few words about the land question in England.

Q You are English?

A Yes.

Q Didn't you at that meeting advise every Irishman to use dynamite against Englishmen?

A No sir, I did not.

Q Didn't you ever say anything of the kind?

A No sir, I did not.

Q Didn't you at a meeting on 18th street also within a few days, to the disgust of all Irishmen, advise the use of dynamite by the Irishmen against the English?

A No sir.

Q Have you ever said anything of the kind?

A No sir.

Q Never in your life?

A Never.

Q Never to any one?

A No sir.

Q Have you delivered to any socialistic group?

A No sir.

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Q Didn't have anything to do with them?

A No sir.

Q Living at 50 North Halsted?

A Yes sir.

Q How did you come to go to that meeting that night?

A When there is any public meeting going on in the city anywhere, I attend public meetings, and I wanted to go.

Q When did you first learn there was to be a meeting?

A I seen the notice in the newspaper---there was a land league meeting, and I had never been to the land league meeting, a question of England and Ireland, and I went.

Q I an asking you about the haymarket meeting---you saw a notice in the paper there was to be a land league meeting at haymarket?

A No sir, I did not.

Q How did you come to go to the haymarket meeting?

A I was told so where I took my meals.

Q Who told you?

A A man by the name of Culling.

Q Did he go with you?

A Yes sir.

Q How do you spell his name?

A C-u-l-l-i-n-g.

Q George Schilling?

A No sir.

Q What time did you get out of that meeting?

A About seven o'clock, when we went down to the police station.

Q Who is the first speaker you heard speak?

A I don't know who he was, but I know what he said.

Q Was he the first, second or third speaker?

A There was one, two or three there.

Q Did you hear all?

A Yes, I did.

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Q Did you hear the first speaker?

A I did.

Q What was the first thing he said?

A He called the meeting together as working men, and told them it was a public meeting, a labor meeting, and not a socialistic meeting. He says, "I am a socialist, but I want you to understand that one fourth of the people here are not socialists."

Q Is that all he said?

A He called on another gentleman to speak then.

Q You remember he said, this is not a socialistic meeting?

A Yes.

Q He used that word?

A Yes.

Q Did he speak in English?

A Spoke in English.

Q And said he was a socialist?

A He did.

Q You remember his saying that?

A Yes.

Q And said this was a labor meeting and not a socialistic meeting?

A Yes.

Q He said that distinctly?

A Yes sir.

Q What else did he say?

A He went on---another speaker spoke then.

Q Is that all he said?

A That was what he said.

Q Then the other speaker stepped forward and took the stand?

A Yes.

Q What did he say?

A He got touching on this McCormick question, or what you are a mind to call it, and sort of denounced the police for what they had done there, and said

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the working men were going to make a failure in their efforts in getting what they were asking for, and said it was a good time for the working men to combine, or they would not obtain their ends that they were hunting for, the end of the present state of things.

Q Is that all he said?

A He went on and said a great deal in the same direction.

Q You don't know that man's name?

A No sir.

Q Never learned it?

A No sir.

Q Would you know him if you saw him?

A I would not swear to him.

Q Look the defendants over and see if you see him?

A If I was going to say It was any one that spoke, I would think it was that gentleman.

Q Which one?

A This one with the glasses on (indicating).

Q Which one, the first, second, third or fourth man?

A This gentleman here, but I can't say it was him.

Q The one with whiskers?

A The one with mustache, but still I would not swear positively.

Q Was he the first or second speaker?

A He was introduced after the one that opened the meeting.

Q Introduced bynname?

A No sir, not that I am aware of.

Q Did he get up to speak?

A He did.

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Q The fourth man in the row?

A I don't know which way you count, one, two, three, four---I should say the third man or the fourth man---I should think the four h man spoke last.

Q The fourth man spoke last?

A Yes, I should think that was the man. This gentleman, as I understand it, opened the meeting.

Q Was not there a speaker there with big heavy whiskers?

A Yes sir.

Q When did he speak?

A I should think that was the gentlemen there, although I don't know him, I think so by his face but don't swear positively.

Q You said your eye sight was good?

A It is.

Q That is the man that spoke second, you say?

A I believe it is.

Q You didn't know him before?

A No sir.

Q Havn't heard his name yet?

A No sir, but I know his name from the way he spoke. I read it in the newspaper about the way the spoke, and about the coming in of the second speaker---that is all I know.

Q From that you concluded his name was what?

A Parsons.

Mr. Foster: Q You say you didn't know any of those men before?

A No sir, neither by name, nor seeing of them.

Q You recollect by looking at them now, you think that gentleman spoke?

A I would not be positive to say that he

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did, but I should say that he was the second speaker---I believe that is the gentleman.

Q You remember that at least one of the speakers, was a man that had a heavy beard?

A Yes sir.

Q As distinguished from some of the others?

A Yes sir.

Q Your recollection now is that he is the man that spoke second?

A Yes, I should say it was, because I could only see the back part of his head when he turned around.

Q Are you certain about that, or could he be the second speaker or third speaker?

A I won't swear positively--I don't think-I have got any hesitation in swearing he was the second gentleman, but won't swear positively.

Q You are quite sure that a man like him, something like him was one of the three speakers?

A Yes.

Q And your recollection is he was the second speaker?

A Yes.

Q I understood you to say the first speaker said something about that he was a socialist?

A Yes sir.

Q But this was not a sodialistic meeting?

A Yes sir.

Q It was a meeting of all classes?

A Yes,, laboring men.

Q Do you remember anything said more than what you have stated---do you remember anything about flees and dogs?

A Yes sir, I do.

Q What was said about flees and dogs?

A I believe it

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was the second speaker, and he touched on Jay Gould, and referred to the people being starved into submission out in east St. Louis, and then it was when this old gentleman that I looked at my side, hollered out, said "hang him up" and two fellows on the south of us said "hang him", and the speaker said "no, what good is it. We don't want to hang any man. We don't want to take any life. We want to kill the system. What is the use of killing the flees on the dog?" He said "kill the dog."

Q You remember that part of it?

A Yes.

Q You think that come in in the second speech?

A I think it did.

Q Was it light or dark about the meeting?

A It was rather dark--that is the reason I won't swear to any man in the dark. I know myself better than to brand myself with perjury.

Q You are giving now, after the lapse of several months, your best impressions in regard to who spoke there, and the order as they spoke, in the dark?

A Yes sir.

Q You are not a socialist?

A Not at all, never intend to be.

Mr. Grinnell: You could not see the speakers very well---that is the reason you did not recognize them?

A Yes sir.

Q You saw the backs of their heads mostly?

A I think I saw their faces.

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