Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume M, 82-94, 13 p.
Lehnert, Edward.
Engineer; German immigrant.

Direct examination by Mr. Zeisler. Cross-examination by Mr. Grinnell. Testified through an interpreter. Testified on behalf of the Defense, Spies, August et al.

Attended the Haymarket meeting. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): socialists and/or socialism (vol.M 91), the Arbeiter-Zeitung (vol.M 91), learned about the Haymarket meeting in the Arbeiter-Zeitung (vol.M 93), trajectory of the bomb (vol.M 90), Lehr und Wehr Verein (vol.M 91), Schnaubelt, Rudolph (vol.M 82).

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2 o'clock P.M.

Court re-assembled.


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

(This witness testified through interpreter Gauss.)

Q What is your name?

A Edward Lehnert.

Q What is your business?

A I am at present an engineer.

Q Where?

A In Greiner's tannery.

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

A At the Haymarket.

Q How long were you at the Haymarket?

A I got there about after 9 o'clock, and was there until the shooting commenced.

Q Do you know a man by the name of Schnaubelt?

A Yes.

Q Did you see him at the Haymarket on that night?

A Yes.

Q About what time and where did you see him?

A About 10 o'clock.

Q Where were you standing at that time?

A On the west side of Desplaines Street about thirty paces

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from Randolph.

Q Do you remember whether later on in the evening it became a little cloudy and rainy there--do you remember that?

A Yes.

Q When with reference to that was it that you saw Schnaubelt, before or after that?

A It was about that time when it grew dark and cloudy.

Q Do you remember what is called Crane's alley?

A No.

Q Are you acquainted with the locality on Desplaines Street between Randolph and Lake?

A Yes.

Q Do you remember how many alleys there are on the east side of the street?

A No.

Q Do you remember where the wagon stood?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, explain to us your position with reference to that wagon on one side, and Randolph Street on the other side, where did you stand between those two?

The Court: The easiest way to find out is to ask him how near he stood to the wagon, and which way.

Mr. Zeisler: He said thirty paces from the wagon.

The Court: (Q) How near were you to the wagon and which way from it?

Mr. Zeisler: (Q) I will ask you how far south or north of

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the wagon you stood?

A I stood about twenty paces south of the wagon.

Q Now, state whether you had any conversation with Schnaubelt'st that time?

Mr. Grinnell: I don't want this witness in his German way in answer to that question to give any information, to say anything as to what was said between him and Schnaubelt.

Mr. Zeisler: Yes or no:

A Yes.

Q What was it?

Objected to.

Q Where was it?

A At the place where I stood.

Q Was it during the meeting, during the time that speaking was going on there from the wagon?

A Yes.

Q And before the bomb exploded?

A Yes.

Q Was anybody else present while you had that conversation with him?

A Yes, August Kreuger was present.

Q I will ask you what that conversation was?

Objected to.

Mr. Zeisler: This is part of the res gestae, whatever was said at the Haymarket before the bomb exploded is competent. Your Honor has held it so.

Mr. Grinnell: That would be a queer transaction that two or three parties should get together and state what occurred.

Mr. Zeisler: I understood that the ruling of the court

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was that everything that was said or done there by anybody was a part of the meeting and is res gestae, and is competent.

Mr. Grinnell: I don't think it is res gestae.

Mr. Zeisler: That is what the court decided several times.

The Court: How long before the bomb exploded did you have this conversation with Schnaubelt?

A About twenty minutes before that time.

Mr. Zeisler: Now, what is the ruling of the court on that objection?

The Court: Is that Rudolph Schnaubelt?

Mr. Zeisler: Is it Rudolph Schnaubelt?

A Yes sir, I mean Rudolph Schnaubelt.

The Court: Show him the photograph.

Mr. Grinnell: How does it make it any more competent if it is the same person?

Mr. Zeisler: Is that the man (shows witness photograph of Schnaubelt, People's Exhibit No.5)?

A Yes.

The Court: I think it would be admissible to show where Schnaubelt was, and what he was doing during the evening.

Mr. Grinnell: We don't object to it.

The Court: The conversation is part of what he was doing.

Mr. Ingham: The state has a right to call out any

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conversation with any defendant, with any one connected with the conspiracy before the bomb was thrown, anything that is in the nature of an admission, but the defendants themselves have not the right to put in evidence their conversation or what they said.

The Court: Not upon other occasions, No.

Mr. Zeisler: We understand that rule.

Mr. Ingham: This statement made twenty minutes before the bomb is thrown is no part of the res gestae.

Mr. Grinnell: He was not one of the public speaskers there, and there has been no testimony whatever of what he said.

Mr. Ingham: Suppose he did throw the bomb, for the sake of the argument, and just before he threw it he goes to a man who is in league with him and makes a declaration to him of an opposite tendency.

The Court: Suppose he went to a man who did not know anything at all about it and told him what he was going to do for the next half hour, and did not intend to do what he said he was going to do.

Mr. Ingham: Then it would not be admissible, certainly. There has been no evidence so far as the statements or conversations there except the statements of the speaker.

Mr. Foster: What did Mr. Schwab say in the alley?

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Mr. Ingham: Schwab is one of the defendants.

Mr. Foster: So is Schnaubelt.

The Court: Schnaubelt is not on trial. If he were, his own declarations would not be admissible in his own favor unless under some peculiar circumstances that would make them admissible. Now, here the only object, the only purpose--I don't mean that, object or purpose--I mean the only tendency of any evidence as to Schnaubelt is to rebut the inference as to his throwing the bomb. How could what he said twenty minutes before, or fifteen minutes or ten minutes before have any effect upon that?

Mr. Grinnell: In that connection they may ask this question--we had a witness on the stand through whom we expected to prove declarations made by Schnaubelt the morning after the throwing of the bomb. The court excluded that because Schnaubelt was not on trial.

Mr. Foster: That is not parallel.

The Court: As a declaration by itself of course it is not admissible. The question is whether there are any peculiar circumstances which take it out of the mere category of declarations and make it admissible.

Mr. Zeisler: We can show the circumstances and show what was done and what became of him, and this conversation was part of it.

Mr. Grinnell: (To the witness) What are you looking at me

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so for?

Mr. Black: Is there any occasion for him to speak that way to the witness?

The Court: It is not ordinarily the kind of treatment, that any man wants to have somebody stare fixedly in his face.

Mr. Grinnell: He has been doing it ever since he took the chair.

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

Mr. Zeisler: I will state what we expect to show by this proof. We expect to show that Mr. Schnaubelt came over to the west side of the street and addressed Mr. Lehnert and told him that he did not understand English, that he had expected a German speaker would be present, but he found that no one was there who spoke German, and that Mr. Spies had already made an address to the crowd in English, and that it was altogether too boresome for him to stay there any longer, whether he would not go with him. Mr. Lehnert thereupon said that he did not go in the same direction. After that Mr. Schnaubelt went away with another party.

The Court: The witness may tell where he saw Schnaubelt, and which direction he was making when he saw him last.

Mr. Zeisler: Very well then. This conversation I wanted to bring out for the purpose of explaining Mr. Schnaubelt's

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movement. He told Mr. Lehner that he was going away from the Haymarket meeting and was going home, and we have followed him for a short distance; we haven't had opportunity to trace him to his house, but for a little distance we have traced him. This conversation was to explain Mr. Schnaubelt's actions after meeting Mr. Lehnert. Your Honor overrules it and we take an exception.

Q Now, did Mr. Schnaubelt speak to anybody else on that occasion in your hearing, yes or no?

A No.

Q Did anybody speak to him in your hearing, yes or no?

A Yes.

Q Who was that?

A August Kreuger.

Q What did you see Schnaubelt do after that?

Mr. Grinnell: Don't tell what was said.

The Witness: He went away with August Kreuger.

Mr. Zeisler: (Q) In what direction did they go?

A They went south on Randolph Street or towards Randolph Street.

Q Did you see the bomb in the air?

A I saw a streak of fire in the air, a fine streak in the air. It looked like the stump of a cigar. Afterwards I heard it was the bomb.

Q In what direction or from what direction did that light come?

A From the southeast to the northwest.

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Q Was it south of the alley, or was it from the direction of the alley that you saw this light in the air come?

A It came from south of the alley.

Q About how far south of the alley, would you judge?

A According to my judgment it was about twenty paces from the alley.

Q Where with reference to the alley do you believe it struck the ground?

A It may have been five paces in a straight direction, in the middle of the street.

Mr. Grinnell: (Q) Straight direction from what?

A In a straight line drawn from the alley to the middle of the street.

Q Five paces south of the alley when it struck the street in the middle?

A Five paces south of the alley.

Mr. Zeisler: Did you hear the shooting too?

A Yes.

Q When with reference to the explosion of the bomb?

A I could not distinguish the explosion of the bomb and the shooting. There might have been two or three seconds between them.

Q What did you do after that?

A I went home directly.

Mr. Zeisler: (To the interpreter) What were the words in German?

The Witness: I run away.

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The Interpreter: I run away.

Q What direction did you take?

A South to Randolph Street, and on Randolph street west.

Q What did you notice while running on Randolph Street west?

A That the people all run away, the people and the civilians, and that the bullets were still whistling about their ears.

Q You used to be a member of the Lehr und Wehr Verein, didn't you?

A Yes sir.

Q How long ago did you cease to be a member of the Lehr und Wehr Verein?

A About an half a year.

Q You are a Socialist, are you not?

A Yes.

Cross Examination by

Q Are you an anarchist?

A No.

Q Never?

A I can't precisely tell the distinction between an anarchist and socialist. I would like some explanation.

Q That answer is absolutely satisfactory. It was not an answer to my question. Do you read the Arbeiter Zeitung?

A Yes.

Q How long have you been reading it?

A Three years.

Q Where were you Sunday? Sunday before the 4th of May?

A In the meeting of the Tanners.

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Q Is that the only meeting you attended on Sunday?

A Yes.

Q Where was that meeting?

A In 636 Milwaukee Avenue.

Q What time in the day was that?

A Afternoon.

Q What hour in the afternoon?

A From 2 to 5 o'clock.

Q Where do you live?

A 943 North Wood Street.

Q Do you know where Emma Street is?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you on that street on Sunday before the 4th of May?

A No.

Q Did you attend a meeting also on Emma Street that day, on Sunday?

A No.

Q What group did you use to belong to?

A To none.

Q Never belonged to any group?

A No.

Q How long have you known Spies?

A Three years.

Q How long have you known Neebe?

A About two years, only by sight.

Q How long?

A About two years.

Q How long have you known Schwab?

A Three years.

Q How long have you known Engel?

A Him I have known the last year only by sight.

Q How long have you known Lingg?

A I don't know him, at all.

Q Ever see him before?

A No.

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Q How long have you known Schnaubelt?

A Three years.

Q Do you know Parsons?

A For two years by sight.

Q Fielden, how long have you known him?

A For about a year and a half by sight.

Q How long have you known Fischer?

A Two years.

Q How did you come to go to that meeting the 4th of May?

A Through the paper, I read it.

Q What paper?

A The Arbeiter Zeitung.

Q What time did you get there at the meeting?

A It was after nine o'clock.

Q How near did you stand to that wagon at any time, what was the nearest spot to the wagon at which you stood?

A I stood constantly the west side of Desplaines Street about thirty paces from Randolph Street. I never left that spot.

Q How many paces from the wagon?

A That I can't say.

Q About how many?

A I don't know how wide the street is.

Q Do you know Bernhard Kreuger?

A No.

Q Ever see him?

A No.

Q You know August Kreuger, do you?

A Yes.

Q Don't you know that one of them is known as Little Kreuger and the other as Big Kreuger?

A Yes.

Q Then you do know Bernhard Kreuger?

A He says his name is not Bernhard. It is Reinholdt.

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Q You do know Reinholdt Kreuger?

A Yes.

Q Was he there that night?

A I didn't see him.

Q You saw August Kreuger?

A Yes.

Q Reinholdt Kreuger was killed the next day, was he not?

A That I don't know.

Mr. Zeisler: (Q) You say you know Mr. Parsons, Mr. Fielden, and Mr. Neebe only by sight--is that correct?

A Yes.

Q Is there any intimate acquaintanceship between you and any of the other gentlemen?

Objected to.

Mr. Grinnell: Let him ask what his relationship is.

The Court: That is not re-direct.

Mr. Black: His acquaintanceship with these gentlemen was called out on cross examination.

Mr. Grinnell: The question I objected to was-- "Was he intimate with them".

The Court: Go on.

(Question was here repeated to the witness.)

A No.

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