Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Testimony of Sylvanus Edinburn, 1886 Aug. 10.

Volume N, 233-237, 5 p.
Edinburn, Sylvanus.

Direct examination by Mr. Grinnell. Cross-examination by Mr. Foster. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Testified as to Harry Gilmer's general reputation for truth and veracity. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): Gilmer, Harry (vol.N 233).

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a witness called and sworn on behalf of the people was examined in chief by Mr. Grinnell, and testified as follows

Q What is your name?

A Sylvanus Edinburn.

Q Where do you reside?

A DesMoines, Iowa.

Q How long have you lived in DesMines?

A About thirty-two years.

Q Did you know Harry L. Gilmer when he lived at DesMoines

A I did.

Q What is your business?

A I am plasterer.

Q Do you know Harry L. Gilmer's reputation for truth and veracity among his associates and acquaintances while he lived in DesMoines?

A I do.

Q Was it good or bad?

A Good.

Q Would you believe him under oath?

A I would.

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Mr. Foster.

Q Did he ever work for you?

A Never did.

Q Where did he live?

A He lived in DesMoines on Eight street and Tenth. He lived opposite where I lived.

Q Whose house did he live in?

A The last one was his own.

Q Whose was the first one?

A I don't know who did own it.

Q Was he in the habit of visiting at your family?

A No sir.

Q Did you ever visit him?

A Nothing more than on the sidewalk, talked to him on the sidewalk----never was in his house.

Q Then you didn't smoke a pipe a piece with him after the days work was done, did you?

A I have met him to talk with him in the last year, while he lived there opposite me on 10th street considerable.

Q You say you are a plasterer?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you ever make an investigation here?

A I never did. I never had no difficulty though.

Q You never made any investigation as to his character for truth and veracity?

A He was considered a good citizen in the neighborhood in which he lived.

Q You never heard of his stealing anything?

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Objected to.

Q He was arrested while he was at DesMoines?

A I never heard of it.

Q Did he ever tell you about being arrested at Cedar Rapids?

A No sir.

Q Was he a married man or a single man while he lived at DesMoines?

A He was a married man.

Q You say he lived near to where you lived?

A A little diagonally opposite.

Q For how long did he live near you?

A I think about a year.

Q Now wasn't he a good deal a man to spin yarns, and tell stories about great men he had known and all that kind of thing?

Objected to.

THE COURT: The inquiry is as to general reputation.

Q How long did you know him?

A I first got acquainted with him about 1872, and I think it was 1876 or `77 that he sold out and went away, I never saw him, I think until today.

Q For the last nine or ten years you have not seen him until to-day?

A No sir.

Q You say he never worked for you?

A No sir.

Q And you never worked for him?

A No sir.

Q Never had any business transactions together at all?

A No sir.

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Q Never visited him nor he your family, although you lived a little diagonally across the street?

A I think my wife went over to see his wife, she was an invalid, sickly.

Q She did not go over to see him, nor you didn't go over to see him?

A No.

Q Did you know him when he was on the police force, or was he on the police force to your knowledge?

A I think he was for awhile.

Q Did he wear a uniform or was he dressed as a detective.

A I think he wore a uniform---I would not be positive.

Q Was that the time he was working collecting the dog tax, or doing anything about the dog tax?

A No.

Q About all you know about him is in this way---you knew he was a painter?

A Yes sir, we met on a good many jobs together.

Q And that you would see him about his work as a painter occasionally and as a policemen, you lived diagonally across the street, you saw him once in a while----he had an invalid wife, and you never heard anything particularly good or bad of him?

A I never heard anything bad of him.

Q Did you ever hear anything good of him?

A I heard the neighbors speak of him as a good, quiet peaceable citizen.

Q Did they speak anything about in this connection that his reputation for truth and veracity and as to whether they would believe him under oath?

A I never heard that.

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Q You never investigated his character in that regard?

A No sir.

Q And what it has been for the last nine years you know absolutely nothing?

A I know nothing.

Q Then you don't pretend to say his reputation, you know now among his associates in Chicago?

A No sir, I do not.

Q You don't know where he ever lived in Chicago?

A No sir, only to-day----I saw him to-day.

Q You don't know any of his associates in Chicago, and for the last nine years you know nothing about his reputation?

A (No responce.)

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