Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume M, 233-236, 4 p.
Schlavin, Albert.
Lumber worker.

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

Attended the meeting of the Lumber Shovers' Union on May 3, 1886 where August Spies was a speaker. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): socialists and/or socialism (vol.M 235), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.M 234), eight-hour movement (vol.M 234), Lumber Shovers' Union (vol.M 233), Spies, August (vol.M 233).

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


Q What is your name?

A Albert Schlavin.

Q Where do you live?

A 703 14th Street.

Q How long have you lived in Cook County?

A Five years.

Q What is your business?

A Lumber worker.

Q Are you a member of the Lumber Shover's Union?

A Yes, sir.

Q Were you at the meeting in the afternoon of May 3rd last at the Black Road?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you hear Mr. Spies speak there that day?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you know that he was going to speak that day?

A No.

Q Did you see him before?

A No.

Q Are you a socialist?

A No, sir.

Q A communist or anarchist?

A No, sir.

Q Have you any acquaintance with Mr. Spies?

A No, sir, I don't know him.

Q Who interduced Mr. Spies?

A The other colleagues said that was Mr. Spies who was speaking on the car.

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Q Did you hear Mr Breest introduce him--was he chairman of the meeting?

A I heard it from about the car, that it was Mr. Spies that was speaking, whether Mr. Breest said so or no I can't say.

Q Did Mr. Spies speak in German or English?

A German.

Q Did you hear what he said?

A Oh, yes, sir.

Q What did he say?

A He spoke of the eight hour system and the wages, the rate of wages, that was his theme.

Q Did he say anything about force or guns or dynamite in his speech?

A No, sir.

Q Did you hear the bell, ring at McCormick's factory?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you see any part of the crowd start in that direction?

A Yes, sir, sidewise where the cars were standing, they went over towards the factory.

Q Now, were the people that started towards the factory in the body of the meeting or on the outside of the meeting?

A From the outskirts of the meeting.

Q Before the bell rang had Spies said anything about McCormick?

A No, sir.

Q What did Spies say, if anything, when the bell rung and the outside of the crowd started in that direction?

A When the bell was ringing and the people were going towards

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the factory he said that they should remain there, and he continued to speak.

Q How long after the bell rung. A 10 or 15 minutes, might have been something like that.


Q How far were you standing from the car?

A Below the car, about 10 paces from it.

Q How many people were there there--

Mr. Foster: One minute, please.

Q Did you hear any objection to Spies speaking on the ground that he was a socialist, if so, what did you hear, and what was said and done?

A I didn't hear anything of that.

Q You didn't hear anyone in the crowd object to his speaking?

A No sir.

Mr. Grinnell: Q How many people were there in that crowd that day?

A About 5000 to 6000 men.

Q What were you there for?

A I belong to the labor union.

Q Well, were you not there to hear a report of the committee from the bosses, to see what the bosses would do about the eight hour movement?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you see Spies when he got through speaking?

A No, as we went away I went home and I didn't see him any more.

Q The last you saw of him then he was on the car?

A Yes, sir,

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as we went down.

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