Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume M, 209-212, 4 p.
Becker, Hermann.

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

Lived at Randolph and Desplaines, saw Michael Schwab in his neighborhood on May 4 around 8:00 p.m. taking a street car east. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): socialists and/or socialism (vol.M 212), Schwab, Michael (vol.M 209).

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a witness called on behalf of the defendants, was duly sworn and testified as follows:

Direct Examination
By Mr. Zeisler.

Q What is your name?

A Hermann Becker.

Q Where do you reside?

A I live on Randolph street.

Q Where on Randolph street?

A 115.

Q How far is that from the corner of Desplaines?

A It is the fifth house.

Q East or west of Desplaines?

A It is on the north side.

Q I mean the fifth house east--

A No, it is east.

Q On what side of the street is it?

A It is on the north side.

Q On the north side of the street, south front?

A Yes, sir.

Q Do you remember whether you saw Mr. Schwab, the third gentleman with the eye glasses (indicating) at any time on the night of May 4th last, in that neighborhood?

A Yes sir, I seen him.

Q Where were you when you saw him?

A I was in the front room, looking out of the window.

Q Looking out from your window?

A Yes, sir.

Q On what floor of the building was that room?

A On the second floor.

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Q About what time was it?

A I think it was a little after 8 o'clock.

Q Can't tell how many minutes after eight, can you?

A No sir.

Mr. INGHAM:Now, Mr. Zeisler, he didn't state until you told him to.

Mr. ZEISLER: I asked him: "Can you tell how many minutes after eight o'clock?"

A No, sir.

Q Can you say how many minutes after eight?

A No sir, I can't tell exactly.

Q What did you see Mr. Schwab do?

A I seen him coming up from Desplaines street.

Q And?

A He stopped in front of my house and he stopped there about one minute, I guess.

Q And?

A And went in the middle of the street and took a car and went down east.

Q What car, the car going east or coming west?

A The car going east.

Q Did you see what kind of a car it was, what was the sign?

A No sir, I didn't take notice.

Cross Examination
By Mr. Ingham.

Q How long have you known Schwab?

A Well, I have seen him about four or five times, I guess.

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Q Where have you seen him?

A I seen him in the west side Turner Hall, and I seen him on Market Square a couple of times.

Q Where else?

A That is all I seen him I guess.

Q When he was making speeches?

A Yes, sir.

Q Where were you standing at the time you saw him?

A I was in the window.

Q In the window of what?

A Front in my room.

Q Were you living there at the time?

A Yes sir.

Q You were on the north side of the street?

A Yes, sir.

Q Which side of the street was he on?

A On the same side, on the sidewalk.

Q You were standing in the window--did you see him when he was on the sidewalk?

A Yes sir, I saw him coming up.

Q How far was he away when you saw him coming up?

A Oh, about three houses, I guess.

Q Were you standing out in the window or standing in the room?

A I was standing in the room, looking out of the window

Q With your head clear out?

A Yes, sir.

Q Looking west?

A Looking west, yes sir.

Q And you saw him coming down?

A Yes sir.

Q And you saw him get on the car?

A Yes sir.

Q Then what did he do?

A I seen him on the hind platform, going on the car.

Q What did you do when you saw him doing that?

A I was

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looking out and I see the crowd up there.

Q You kept your position, did you?

A Yes, sir.

Q For how long a time?

A I guess about half an hour I was looking out of the window.

Mr. ZEISLER: Q Are you a socialist or anarchist?

A I belonged to some, last summer, two months.

Q To what did you belong?

A To the Groupe Freiheit, last year.

Q What is your business?

A Butcher.

Mr. INGHAM: Q When was it you belonged to the Groupe Freijeit?

A Last summer.

Q Is that one that is named after Herr Most's paper?

A I don't know.

Q But you did belong to the Groupe Freiheit?

A Yes, sir.

Q How long did you belong to it?

A Two months.

Q Was there any light in your room?

A No sir, not that time.

Q There was none?

A No sir.

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