Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

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

Volume M, 239-249, 11 p.
Murphy, William.

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

Was on the speakers' wagon at the Haymarket meeting when the bomb exploded. Was shot and injured. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Most, Johann (vol.M 343), learned about the Haymarket meeting by verbal notice (vol.M 247), position of the defendants and others on the speakers' wagon (vol.M 240), Captain Ward's command to disperse (vol.M 240), movement, position or tenor of the crowd (vol.M 243), weapons in the crowd (vol.M 242), time and place origination of the gunfire (vol.M 242), medical care and wounds (vol.M 242).

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


Q What is your name?

A William Murphy.

Q Where do you live?

A On Sangamon Street, 78.

Q How old are you?

A I am 54.

Q How long have you lived in the City of Chicago?

I have been here about four years.

Q What is your business?

A Cooper.

Q Do you work at your business, your trade?

A Yes, sir.

Q I will ask you if you were on the Haymarket on the night of the fourth of May?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you hear any speaking that was done on Des Plaines Street near Randolph?

A Yes, sir.

Q When did you arrive at that place?

A I was there before night on Randolph Street, and I was there before dark at the place called the Haymarket.

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Q Did you hear anybody speak?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you know who those speakers were?

A No, sir.

Q Until what time did you remain at that meeting?

A I remained until I heard the bomb go off, I don't know what time it was.

Q Where did you stand when the bomb went off?

A I was on the wagon.

Q On what wagon were you?

A Well, I can't tell you, it was a wagon not very far from the corner of Des Plaines and Randolph.

Q Was it the wagon from which the speaking was done?

A Yes, sir.

Q Were there persons besides yourself upon that wagon?

A Yes, sir.

Q When did you first observe or notice the approach of the police, where were they---

A I didn't see them.

Q When did you first see the policemen?

A When he said disperse.

Q Was anything said in reply by anybody on the wagon?

A I didn't hear anything.

Q Up to the time and just before you saw the policemen in front of the wagon, was anything said by anybody on the wagon as to whether or not the police were coming?

A No, sir, I didn't hear it.

Q Didn't hear anything of that kind?

A No, sir.

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Q From anyone?

A No, sir.

Q Were you notified or told by anybody before you saw the policemen that they were coming?

A No, sir,

Q When the police got there what did you do?

A I got down off the wagon as soon as he said disperse as quick as I could.

Q Did anyone else get off of the wagon besides yourself?

A There was a man got down about the same time that I did, at my right hand side.

Q About how many others were there, if any others, on the wagon at the time?

A I could not say if there was any others, I didn't look, they were behind me.

Q Can you say whether there was any others on the wagon at that time or not?

The Court: He has just answered that question.

Mr. Soloman: Q Were there others on the wagon when you got there?

A Yes, sir.

Q Did you see any of the others get off the wagon?

A No, sir, only one man that got off when I did, about the same time.

Q How many were on the wagon when you got on?

A Yes, sir.

Q My question was how many were on the wagon?

A Five or six, or may be more.

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Q Up to the time you got off you saw nobody else get off?

A None but the one man.

Q And he got off when you got off?

A Yes sir.

Q And that was when you first saw the police?

A Yes sir.

Q And when you heard the command to disperse?

A Yes sir.

Q What did you do after you got off the wagon?

A I went towards the sidewalk and I struck the sidewalk and I got on the sidewalk and started to the corner to go east.

Q Yes.

A To get out of the way of the shots, and I was shot about on the corner.

Q You were shot at the corner?

A At the corner.

Q At what corner were you when you were shot?

A Corner of Desplaines and Randolph.

Q Where were you shot?

A I was shot in the back.

Q More than once?

A Only once.

Q Now, before you got on the wagon I will ask you where did you stand with reference to the wagon, on the sidewalk or on the street?

A I stood leaning against the wheel next to the sidewalk.

Q Did you see any body about or around that wagon have, show or display a revolver or any weapon?

A I did not.

Q Did you hear any body speak of revolvers or say anything about weapons?

A I did not.

Q Did you hear anybody about or around the wagon say anything

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about attacking anybody or attacking the police?

A No sir I did not.

Q How were the people around about the wagon with re erehce to being quiet and peacable or otherwise?

A Well, it was quiet, so far as I noticed.

Q Quiet so far as you noticed?

A Yes sir.

Q Any disturbances or threats?

A No sir.

Q Or anything of the kind?

A No sir, I did not hear anything.

Q Nothing of that kind you heard?

A No sir.

Q How came it that you got up on the wagon, did any one invite you on?

A No, sir, I got up to look for the man I went there with, I was thinking about going home and I got up, to look over the heads of them, I would know him by the cap that he wore better than any other way. I looked for him on the ground but I could not see him.

Q Was he in your company before you got on the wagon?

A Yes sir.

Q How long before?

A He was in my company from the time I left the house.

Q Where does this man live?

A He lives at 78.

Q He got lost in the crowd?

A I don't know whether he was lost or not, I got lost from him.

Q You got on the wagon to see whether you could see him, is that the idea?

A Yes sir.

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Q Are you a socialist?

A No sir.

Q Are you an anarchist or communist?

A No sir.

Q Neither?

A No sir.

Q Do you know any of these defendants here, these gentlemen sitting in a line, any of these (Indicating prisoners)?

A No sir, I don't.

Q Do you recognize any of the gentlemen sitting here as being present that night, on the night of May the 4th, when you were on the wagon, do you recognize any of them?

A No sir, I don't know any of them, I don't think I seen any of them, that is, to know them. I don't recognize them, sir.

Q Did you hear any body say, or did you hear anything like this, "Here comes the bloodhounds".

A I did not.

Q Did you hear anything like this said: "Do your duty and I will do mine".

A I did not.

Q Did you see anybody fire--did you see the flash of a revolver at any time?

A I did not see the flash of a revolver while I was there.

Q From no one?

A No sir.

Q You mean to say that you heard the noise of shooting?

A I heard it.

Q And you were shot in the back?

A Yes sir, I heard the noise, I heard the shooting.

Q What time did the shooting commence, if you know?

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Q Well, I could not tell what time it was, I have heard it said that it lasted until 10 o'clock or sometime afterwards, I don't know myself what time it was.

Q Well, you heard a loud report---or did you hear any report there?

MR. GRINNELL: Don't lead the witness any more.

THE COURT: Q What was the first noise that you heard?

MR. SOLAMON: (Q) By what did you know that there were shots fired?

A By what?

Q Yes.

A By the sound, one and then another and then another. and so on and then I was shot myself.

Q What sounds did you hear first?

A Well, I heard what they call the bomb.

Q Then what other sounds?

A I heard the report of revolvers.

Q Was it before you heard the sound of the bomb?

A It was aftereards.

Q How soon afterwards?

A It was right away.

Q Immediately?

A Yes sir.

Q From what direction did these sounds come, which you heard?

A They seemed to be behind me in the street, then I got off of the wagon and come to the sidewalk.

Q They seemed to come behind you and from the street, is that your idea?

A Yes sir.

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Q From what part of the wagon did you get off, Mr. Murphy?

A I got off at the left hand corner of the end next to the corner of DesPlaines and Randolph.

Q And can you say from which way the man that you say you saw get off, from what end of the wagon he got off?

MR. GRINNELL: He got off right by him, he says.

THE WITNESS: Ye, he got off the same end that I did.

MR. SOLOMON: To your right.

A (No answer)

Q In getting off the wagon, Mr. Murphy, did you face away from the wagon or towards the wagon?

A I went away from the wagon.

THE COURT: Q Did you get off forwards or backwards.

MR. SOLOMON: Q. Which way did you face in getting off?

A My face was towards the corner of DesPlaines and Randolph

Q Towards the corner of DesPlaines and Randolph?

A Yes sir.


Q Where do you live, Mr. Murphy?

A I live on Curtis and Kinzie, 301.

Q I thought you said 78 Sangamon?

A I did at that time.

Q Your business is cooper?

A Yes sir.

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Q You went to that meeting when first?

A I went to the meeting before dark.

Q How did you come to go there?

A I had a little business up on the way and I heard there was some speeches.

Q When did you first hear there was some speaking?

A I heard it that evening.

Q Before dark?

A Yes sir.

Q Who told you there was some speaking?

A I couldn't tell you now who did tell me that.

Q Did they tell you what the speaking was to be about or what the meeting was to be about?

A No sir.

Q What was the business you had?

A Well, I didn't have no other after I looked for what I wanted, I got part of what I wanted, some things that I wanted I didn't get, and I got something I didn't want.

Q Then you came back in the evening,, night?

A I looked what I was looking for on Randolph and I didn't go very far away after I got up to the haymarket, I did cross the street.

Q And then you came back again?

A Then I came back again.

Q Who was the man you were looking for?

A A man by the name of Heck, the man I was boarding with.

Q Did he live at 78 Sangamon Street?

A Yes sir.

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Q Did he go to the meeting with you?

A Yes sir.

Q You got up on the wagon?

A Yes sir.

Q What time was it when you got up on the wagon?

A It was a little before the bomb went off.

Q How long before?

A It might have been five or ten minutes, I could not say.

Q You went there looking over the crowd for your friend?

A Yes sir.

Q For what reason you didn't pay attention to what the speakers were saying?

A It was that, of course.

Q Did you hear any of the speeches?

A I did hear some of it.

Q Did you hear anything that you could remember?

A No, sir, I could not tell you any words.

Q When you saw the police were coming you jumped off of the wagon and started away?

A When I heard the policemen say disperse I moved immediately.

Q Do you know who the man was that got down off the wagon with you?

A No sir, I don't know him.

Q You ran South on DesPlaines Street until you came to the corner of Ramdolph, did you?

A Yes sir.

Q And there you were shot?

A Yes sir.

Q As you were turning the corner?

A I was just turning the corner.

Q Which way were you turning?

A The corner of Randolph, I had my left hand----

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Q And you were turning in what direction, East or West?

A I was turning East.

Q You were there shot on the corner, shot in the back?

A Yes sir.

Q Were you taken to the hospital?

A Yes sir, the next day.

Recess to 2 o'clock P. M.

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