Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume M, 236-239, 4 p.
Pfeiffer, Gotlieb.
Machinist; German immigrant.

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

Attended the Lumber Shovers' meeting 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 236), McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.M 237), Metal Workers Union (vol.M 238), Lumber Shovers' Union (vol.M 236), Spies, August (vol.M 236).

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


Q What is your name?

A Gotlieb Pfeiffer.

Q Where do you live?

A 1018 Hinman Street.

Q How long have you lived in Cook County?

A In Chicago?

Q In this country?

A 2 years and a quarter.

Q What is your business?

A I am a machinist.

Q Were you present at the black road at a meeting of the Lumber Shover's Union on the 3rd of May last?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you see Mr. Spies there, this gentleman here? (Indica)ting.)

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you know him before that?

A Yes, sir, I did.

Q Did you hear any objection on the part of the audience, or anything said, about his being a socialist, when he began his speech?

A Yes, sir.

Q Whom was that objection made by?

A That I can't say any more, there was so many there, there was a number that raised an objection, and some of the lumber workingmen.

Q Now, did you hear Mr. Breest make any statement from the

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top of the car in regard to Mr. Spies?

A There was some making the remark below the car that Spies was a socialist but others said that he had been invited and he should speak---but the members of the committee said that he was invited.

Q Now, did he speak then, after that?

A Yes, sir, Mr. Spies spoke after that.

Q Did you hear him?

A Yes, indeed.

Q He spoke in German?

A Yes, sir, he spoke in German.

Q What did he say in that speech?

A Spies said that the lumber men should stick together and should remain faithful to their union, and they could only achieve something by their sticking together.

Q Did he advise the use of force or of pistols, guns or dynamite in that speech?

A Nothing like it, not a particle of that Mr Spies said

Q Are you a socialist?

A No, sir

Q A communist or anarchist?

A No, sir

Q Have you any personal acquaintance with Mr Spies?

A I know Mr Spies from meetings, but I have not personally spoken with him.

Q Did you hear McCormick's bell ring that afternoon?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you see any portion of the crowd start that way when the bell rang?

A When the bell rang a large number of

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those present cut loose from the meeting and went towards the factory.

Q Were they in the center of the meeting or on the outside of the meeting, if you know?

A They were on the out-skirts.

Q What did Spies say, if anything, when they started towards McCormick's factory?

A He said that they should remain there and he beckoned to them to remain, he said that the scabs in McCormick's factory we had nothing to do with, that they should remain.

Q Did you formerly work with McCormick?

A Yes, sir.

Q You are not a member of the Lumber Shover's Union?

A No, sir.

Q Is there any connection between the Metal Workers' Union and the Lumber Shover's Union?

A Both unions are represented in the Central Labor Union.

Q And that is the only connection they have, is it?

A Yes, sir.

Q Does the Lumber Shover's Union have any connection with Mc.Cormick's or McCormick's factory?

A No, sir.


Q How long have you known Spies?

A May be for a year and a half.

Q How many times have you heard him speak?

A Perhaps five or six times.

Q Where?

A Several times on the Lake Front, and several

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times in the working men's hall on Twelfth Street.


Q Are you a married man, have you a family?

A Yes, sir.

Q Are you a member of any church?

A No, sir.

Q Do you attend church?

A No.

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