Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of Edward Preusser, 1886 Aug. 6.

Volume M, 196-207, 12 p.
Preusser, Edward.
Carrier for the Arbeiter-Zeitung; German immigrant.

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

Telephoned the Arbeiter-Zeitung office three times on May 4 to obtain a speaker to go to Lake View and speak at the Deering Factory. Accompanied Schwab to this meeting. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): the Arbeiter-Zeitung (vol.M 196), Spies, August (vol.M 197), Schwab, Michael (vol.M 197).

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

Q What is your name?

A Edward Preusser.

Q Where do you reside?

A 1209 Paulina street, Lake View.

Q How long have you lived there?

A Well, I have lived there now for about a week.

Q Where have you lived for some time--where did you live on the 4th of May?

A 1218 Fullerton ave.

Q Is that in Lake View?

A That is in Lake View, right on the north side.

Q Are you a socialist?

A No sir.

Q Or an anarchist or communist?

A No, sir.

Q I will ask you whether you were at Lake View on the 4th of May?

A Yes sir.

Q You may state, without stating any conversation, whether you had anything to do on the night of the 4th of May with a view to obtaining a speaker for the meeting at Lake View?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you telephone?

A Yes sir.

Q How many times?

A Three times.

Q Where did you telephone to?

A To the Arbeiter Zeitung office.

Q Now, in the first telephone message, which you sent, who did you telephone for?

A I telephoned for a speaker.

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Q For a speaker?

A Yes sir.

Q Any particular speaker?

A Well, the order was for Mr. Spies.

Q Who did you receive this order from?

A From the committee from Deering's factory.

Q What time was it when you telephoned the first time for Mr. Spies?

A It was before eight.

Q When was it you telephoned the second time?

A When I went home, I had supper, and then went over there, and can't tell the exact time.

Q About what time do you think?

A It only took me ten minutes to eat supper.

Q How much after eight o'clock was it, according to your best judgment, you telephoned the second time?

A Well, it was about 10 or 15 minutes after eight.

Q After eight?

A Yes sir.

Q Now, at that time did you learn what speaker you could get?

A No sir.

Q Was there anything said in this second telephone communication in regard to Mr. Schwab?

A No sir.

Objected to unless Schwab was at the telephone himself.

Mr. FOSTER: We will prove that he was at the telephone himself; first the boy and then Schwab. That was their testimony, yesterday.

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Mr. INGHAM: I think not.

Mr. ZEISLER: Yes, it was.

Mr. FOSTER: Q What conversation did you have about the speaker the second time?

A They says Mr. Spies can't come, but they will send another speaker.

Q Did they say who?

A No, they asked me who they should send. I says, "I don't suppose it makes any difference which one.

Q They said a speaker should be sent?

A Yes, will be sent

Q That was about from ten to fifteen minutes after eight according to your best judgment?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you telephone again after that?

A Yes.

Q How long after?

A Not very long after.

Q How many minutes after?

A It was somewhere about a quarter of an hour or so.

Q What reply did you get in the last telephone?

A That Mr. Schwab on the way.

Q Now, do you know who it was you were talking to any of these times?

A No sir.

Q What call did you make to the telephone?

A How call?

Q What place did you call, for what number did you call?

A The number of the Arbeiter Zeitung, I forget the number.

Q But you looked in the list, did you?

A Yes sir.

Mr. INGHAM: There is no disputing that it was the Arbeiter Zeitung.

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Mr. FOSTER: Very well, then.

Q You say the first message was in regard to Mr. Spies, the second was in regard to a speaker, anybody, if Spies could not come, and the third was that Schwab was on the road.

A Was on the road.

Q In pursuance of that information that Schwab was on the road, did you go to the street car?

A Yes, I went over and told the committee.

Q Did you go and see the committee?

A I told him that the speaker would be up here.

Q What you told you must not tell; did you go to see the committee after the telephone?

A No, not the committee. I told the man.

Q You had a conversation with the man?

A Yes sir.

Q After you had had a conversation with the man--you mean men?

A The friends I know--I know a good many of them there.

Q How long have you lived in Lake View?

A I lived over a year.

Q Now then, after you had this conversation with the men, did you go to the car?

A Yes sir.

Q What car was that?

A The Clybourne avenue car.

Q State whether or not any one got off of the car after you went down there, did you meet anybody?

A Well, I was waiting for Mr. Schwab.

Q Did you meet Mr. Schwab?

A Yes, I met him.

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Q Where was Mr. Schwab when you first saw him?

A He was standing back on the car, the back of the car where the conductor stands.

Q That is, he was on the rear platform?

A Yes.

Q Did he get off where you were?

A Yes, I asked him if it was Mr. Schwab, because I didn't see him myself before.

Q You had never seen him before?

A No sir.

Q About what time was that Schwab got off of the Clybourne avenue car?

A That was somewhere along half past nine or twenty minutes to ten.

Q Where did you and Schwab go, if you went anywhere, after you got off the car?

A We went over to Radtke's saloon, 888 Clybourne avenue.

Q How long did you stay there?

A We stayed there about ten minutes.

Q Then where did you go?

A Then we had to see about the committee.

Q Did you find the committee?

A Yes, the other man went over there and he says, "He is over by the wagon--the wagon was standing over by the prairie.

Q Did you go over to the prairie?

A Me and Mr. Schwab and some other man--I can't recollect any where who it was--we went over, went away.

Q I will ask you without telling what was said, did Mr. Schwab then have a conversation with the committee before

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he began to speak?

A Yes.

Q How long did that last?

A Well, I can't tell everything so exactly.

Q According to your best judgment, from the time Schwab got off the Clybourne avenue car until he commenced to speak--did he speak that night?

A Yes.

Q From the time he got off the Clybourne avenue car, until he began to speak, how many minutes according to your best judgment--about how long was it?

A About ten or fifteen minutes--that is all I can say.

Q Did you hear Mr. Schwab speak that night?

A Yes sir, I was standing right the side of a wagon.

Q How long did Mr. Schwab speak?

A He spoke about twenty minutes to half an hour.

Q You heard him during the entire speech, did you?

A Yes sir.

Q Did he speak English or German?

A German.

Q Do you understand German?

A Yes, I am German.

Q You are a German?

A Yes sir.

Q After Mr. Schwab concluded his speech, do you know where he went?

A Yes sir.

Q How do you know where he want?

A I got hold on his hand and was so much crowded, and told him.

Q You took hold of his hand to help him through the crowd?

A Yes, so he did not get lost.

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Q Where did you go with Mr. Schwab?

A Went over to Shilling's saloon for a newspaper.

Q Did Mr. Schwab have some supper there, lunch?

A Lunch. Yes sir.

Q After he concluded his speech, he went over to this place to have a lunch and beer?

A Yes sir, that was after his speech

Q You had lunch and beer with him?

A Yes.

Q How long did he stay there?

A Was there about ten or fifteen minutes--cannot say exactly--did not watch the time.

Q In your best judgment about how many minutes did he stay?

A Ten or fifteen minutes,--sometimes time passes quick.

Q Especially if you are eating lunch and drinking beer?

A I suppose so.

Q Where did Schwab go after that?

A He was standing outside after and I told him--

Q Never mind what you told him. You stayed outside a while?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you talk while you were outside?

A Yes sir.

Q Don't tell what you said; after you talked outside a while where did Mr. Schwab go, if you know?

A Then he took the next car coming down and went off.

Q That is, coming to Chicago?

A Coming down to Chicago, yes.

Q Did you see him take the car?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you walk down to the car with him?

A I was standing

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right by the patrol box, corner of Ashland and Clybourne ave.

Q If I understand you, you were with Schwab from the time he got off the car?

A Yes, sir.

Q According to your best recollection, it was ten or fiften minutes from the time he got off the car until he commenced to speak, and he spoke twenty minutes to half an hour, and was ten or fifteen minutes in the saloon after that, and then was talking outside a while, and then started down town?

A Yes sir, just about.

Q Are you in the habit of riding from that point, the street where Schwab got off, down to Chicago, from the end of Clybourne avenue?

A How is that?

Q Are you in the habit of riding on the street car from the point where Mr. Schwab got off the car down here to Chicago, the city?

A Yes sir, from forty to forty-five minutes, if there is no bridge open.

Q Where does the Clybourne avenue car stop here in the city?

A It stops at Washington street.

Q And what other street?

A Washington and Clark.

Q And the time that it takes to go from this point where Schwab got off down to Washington and Clark street is from forty-two to forty-five minutes?

A Yes sir.

Q That is if there is no interruption, you say?

A Yes sir, no interruption.

Q No bridges or anything of that kind?

A Yes sir.

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Q How does the time in the night, going in the night compare with the time in the day time? Do you know?

A No sir, I don't know. I know they go slower.

Q Slower when?

A Slower towards the evenings--more time.

Q Do you know how long it takes them at night to make that trip?

A No sir.

Q Do you know how far it is from Clark and Washington streets to the Haymarket?

A Yes sir.

Q How far is it?

A It is about ten minutes ride.

Q On the car?

A On the car.

Q If there is no interruption from bridges?

A If there is no interruption, and you catch a car right away.

Mr. GRINNELL: Q Where is that it takes ten minutes?

A That is from Clark and Washington to the Haymarket.

Cross Examination
By Mr. Ingham.

Q You were a carrier for the Arbeiter Zeitung at that time, were you not?

A Yes sir, I am yet.

Q How long have you been their carrier?

A About eight or nine months.

Q Where were you living at that time?

A 118 Fullerton avenue.

Q Where was it you met Schwab that night.

A On the car.

Q Where was the car?

A On Clybourne avenue.

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Q Whereabouts on Clybourne avenue?

A Right opposite the car barns, where they change horses.

Q It is where they stop?

A No, it is where they change horses.

Q You met him there at what time?

A Half past nine or twenty minutes to ten.

Q From half past nine to twenty minutes to ten?

A To twenty minutes to ten.

Q Then you went with him over to the meeting?

A No, I went over to Radtke's beer saloon, 888 Clybourne avenue.

Q Did you have a drink there?

A No sir.

Q What did you go to the beer saloon for?

A We went there to find the committee.

Q Did you find the committee there?

A No sir.

Q Where did you find the committee?

A Sent a man to find the committee over on the wagon.

Q How far was the wagon from that beer saloon?

A It was three of four hundred yards.

Q Then you went over to the meeting?

A Yes.

Q And he spoke--how long did he speak?

A He spoke to the committee first.

Q How long did he speak to the crowd?

A About twenty minutes or so.

Q You think about twenty minutes?

A Twenty minutes or half an hour.

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Q Any other speaker there that night?

A There was some of the foremen from the Reaper Works.

Q Some of the people directly interested in that strike?

A Yes sir.

Q No speaker outside of the strikers except Schwab?

A Except Schwab.

Q Then where did he go after he got through speaking?

A Went over on Clybourne avenue saloon.

Q Whereabouts on Clybourne avenue?

A At Schilling's, corner Ashland and Clybourne avenue.

Q Is that where he took the car on Clybourne?

A We had a glass of beer, yes sir.

Q Is that where he took the car?

A Yes, right there at the patrol box.

Q What number is Schilling's on Clybourne avenue?

A I don't know the number. It is right on the corner of Clybourne and Ashland avenues. It is a point.

Q Then he came down towards the city?

A Yes sir, he got on the car.

Q You say the second time you telephoned to the Arbeiter Zeitung office, they said Spies could not go?

A That Spies could not come.

Q Do you know whether Schwab was at the telephone or not?

A No sir, I couldn't tell who was there.

Q How long a time was there between your first telephone

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and your second?

A The first was before eight.

Q The second was at what time?

A A little after eight.

Q That is the time you were told Spies could not go to your meeting?

A Yes sir.

Mr. FOSTER: Q Was there anybody else besides Schwab that made some remarks at that meeting?

A What remarks?

Q That made a talk from the wagon?

A There was some more there. They had a speech.

Q Did they speak before or after Schwab?

A They were speaking around all the evening when I came home, when I came back.

Q After Mr. Schwab got there?

A No, they all went home then.

Q After he got there, they all went home?

A Yes sir.

Q After Schwab got on the ground, was anybody making a speech?

A No sir, before.

Q You don't remember any one making a speech after Schwab got there?

A No sir.

Q Do you remember somebody making a statement from the wagon after Schwab got through announcing another meeting the next day or morning?

A Yes sir.

Q Was there a large audience there to hear Mr. Schwab?

A Yes sir, about 1800 to 2,000.

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