Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of John Bonfield (third appearance), 1886 Aug. 10.

Volume N, 167-170, 4 p.
Bonfield, John. 1836-1898
Inspector of Police, Chicago Police Department.

Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Questioned regarding conversation with witness Simonson (vol.L 53-125). Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): McCormick Reaper Works strike, meeting or riot (vol.N 168), attendance of women and children at labor meetings and rallies (vol.N 169).

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re-called by the People, was examined in chief by Mr. Ingham and testified as follows:

Q. Did you see on the stand here a witness named Simonson, while he was testifying?

A. I did.

Q. Did you see that man at the police station the night of the Haymarket trouble?

A. I did.

Q. Was he introduced to you by Captain Ward?

A. He was.

Q. What was said at the time?

Objected to.

THE COURT: You introduced a conversation by Simonson.

MR. FOSTER: Let them put the proper question, whether he did not say so and so.

THE COURT: Put it categorically.

MR. GRINNELL: The witness Simonson on the direct examination specifically swore to a conversation with this witness. We have a right to get from this witness that conversation regardless of the categorical question.

THE COURT: Yes, that was not put in as impeaching testimony it was put in as the occurrence of a fact. You gave Simonson's version of the occurrence of that fact. They have a right to their version of the same occurrence.

MR. GRINNELL: Q. Now what was the conversation there?

A. I would not swear to the exact language, but when

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Captain Ward introduced Mr. Simonson to me as a member of the firm of J. V. Farwell & Co

Q. Was that in the hearing of Simonson?

A. Yes sir. We three stood together outside of the railing. He first opened the conversation by remarking to me that he understood that our horses, the horses belonging to the police department were getting used up with the constant work that they had, and that either Mr. Farwell or the firm told him -- I understood him to say Mr. Farwell -- that their horses were at our service in case we needed any horses. I told him that our teams had stood the work so far very well, but that if the troubles continued for any length of time, likely we would need assistance, thanking him for it, and said that we would call upon him if occasion demanded it, or words to that effect. He then spoke about the troubles at McCormick's and on Centre Avenue and 18th Street that afternoon, and appeared to find fault that the police did not do more execution.

MR. FOSTER: What did he say?

THE COURT: Q. Give the substance of what he said.

A. The substance of it was that the police had ought to disperse those crowds, or to drive them off, not allow them to collect. I remarked that I was on my way to McCormick's on that afternoon, and that when I got up within a block or

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two of the place, in passing 22nd and Ashland Avenue, that there was a large crowd of people there, with a large sprinkling of women and children among them; that we were stoned there, the wagon on which I was riding, several stones thrown on our police on our way to McCormick's; that if we had attacked that crowd at that time it would be almost impossible to do it without injuring women and children; that the provocation would have to be very great that would justify the police in doing so, for that if we injured women and children the public would not uphold us, and that that was a matter we had to use a great deal of caution about. I also said that coming down Centre Avenue we were stoned there, that the streets were crowded with people from building line to building line, almost; that stones were thrown and a large portion of the crowd were women and children, and it would be impossible for the police to charge on those crowds without injuring them.

Q. Did you in the course of that conversation tell him that you would like to get a crowd of three thousand without the women and children, and in that case you would make short work of them?

A. No sir.

THE COURT: Mr. Simonson did not say that.

MR. INGHAM: (Reads) After that he said he would like to get a crowd of three thousand without their women or children, then to the best of my recollection he said "I will make

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short work of them"-- you say you heard no much remark?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you make any remark to that effect?

A. No sir.

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