[May 20, 1886]
THE TAKING OF TESTIMONY BEGUN IN THE DYNAMITE CASE.
The Story of That Awful Night Retold—A Witness Who Saw a Man with a Mysterious Something in His Coat Pocket—Lingg, the Bombmaker—Spies et Al. Getting Nervous—Officer Redden’s Funeral—The Police Fund.
The grand jury met at 10 o’clock yesterday morning, all the members present, and began the hearing of the evidence against the Anarchists. State’s Attorney Grinnell was present, and conducted the examination of the witnesses. He began by stating to the jurors that the two Spieses, Fielden, Fischer, Parsons, Schwab, and Hirschberger were held jointly as accessories before the fact for the murder of Policemen Redden, Barrett, Deegan, Flavin, Mueller, and Sheahan, who were killed by the explosion of the bomb May 4. Then he read the law, pointing out the degree of guilt of the parties mentioned, and added a few other words of necessary instruction. Only one or two witnesses were on hand at 10 o’clock, but half an hour later, when the jury were ready to hear testimony, many others arrived and took seats in the ante-room or on benches in the corridor. About every newspaper in the city had a representative among them, and there was also quite a delegation from the Police Department. The jurymen are evidently deeply interested in the case. They listened carefully to the testimony, and often asked questions about matters they did not at first understand. It is very evident from the manner in which they began their work that they are going to get at the bottom of the Anarchistic conspiracy if it is possible.
The first witness was G.P. English, a reporter, who testified that he took shorthand notes of the speeches made by Spies, Parsons, and Fielden at the meeting on Desplaines street, near Randolph. Spies called the gathering to order, and said the object was to discuss the general situation, though the authorities must have been of the opinion that it was for the purpose of raising a little row and disturbance. The thought of liberty which inspired their sires ought to animate them. Would they place their lives, their happiness, everything out of the arbitrary power of a few rascals who had been raised in idleness and luxury upon the fruits of labor? The most significant sentence in Parsons’ talk was this: “It behooves you, as you love your wife and children, if you would not see them perish with hunger, killed, or cut down like dogs in the street, American men, in the interest of liberty and your independence, to arm, to ARM yourselves.” Some one in the crowd said: “We are ready now,” to which Parsons replied they were not. Fielden, in his speech, said: “You have nothing more to do with the law except to lay hands upon it and throttle it until it makes its last kick. . . Keep your eye upon it. Throttle it. Kill it. Stab it. Do everything you can to wound it—to impede its progress. . . I have some resistance in me. I know that you have too.”
W.H. Twitchell, a dealer in patent medicines living at No. 485 North Western Avenue, followed Mr. English. His testimony brought out no new features, but was simply corroborative of the general statement of those who witnessed the riot the fatal Tuesday night. He was present upon the occasion referred to, and testified mainly to certain scraps of conversation he overheard while near Spies and his colleagues. He stated that some of the remarks which came to his ears were suggestive of plotting on the part of the leading participants in the demonstration. He heard some of the speeches and was apprehensive of the result of such inflammatory utterances, at one time being so impressed that he thought of notifying the police.
Mr. St. Maur, the editor of Truth, was called for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, the authorship of certain inflammatory articles which appeared in recent issues of that journal. It is understood that Mr. St. Maur denied all knowledge of the authorship of the articles.
Whiting Allen and W.H. Freeman, reporters, repeated in substance their testimony given at the Coroner’s inquest on the death of Officer Degan, and in the afternoon Paul Huli and T.M. Brazelton, reporters, gave similar testimony, Mr. Huli describing in detail the scene of the tragedy, the approach of the police, and the throwing of the bomb. Like his fellow-reporters, however, he was unable to enlighten the jury as to the identity of the perpetrator of the initial act of violence.
Capt. Bonfield, who was in command of the policemen who were made the objects of the Anarchists’ venomous spite, followed Mr. Freeman as a witness before the jury and narrated the sickening details of the conflict between the police and the mob. He testified that no shots were fired on either side until the bomb was exploded among the officers, but that immediately after the explosion a heavy volley was poured in by the mob, which had surged from in front of the police to the pavement on either side and around to the rear of the force. The police returned the fire as soon as they had recovered from their confusion. Capt. Bonfield said the officers made no threatening demonstrations when they first appeared upon the scene.
The jury adjourned for forty-five minutes for dinner, and resumed their investigation at 1:30 p.m.
The first witness called at the afternoon session was one Kerndle, who is in the service of the City Water Department. This witness, it is said, testified that he saw a machinist, whose name is withheld, talking with Spies and Schwab at the haymarket the evening of the tragedy. Witness watched the trio closely and saw them go toward Halsted Street and then return to the wagon so frequently referred to in connection with the massacre. Upon their return witness noticed that the machinist had something in his right coat pocket which filled it up as an apple or a baseball might. Witness’ attention was directed to this fact because of the persistent manner in which the machinist kept guard over the mouth of the pocket with his hand.
The jury regard Mr. Kerndle’s testimony as important, especially in connection with that of M.M. Thompson, which followed, in which Mr. Thompson described a certain person – not Fischer—who was with Schwab and Spies during the early part of the evening. It is stated that Kerndle was able to give the machinist’s name from having once been a Socialist and becoming acquainted with the more violent of the Anarchist agitators and their aids.
Mr. Thompson’s testimony has already been published in THE TRIBUNE. He gave no new information. He left the scene of the riot before the bomb was thrown.
Capt. Ward of the Desplaines Street Station corroborated the descriptive testimony of Capt. Bonfield. Lieut. Steele offered testimony of similar purport. Detectives Louis Hans, Edward Cosgrove, and James Duffy of the Central Station testified mainly in the way of opinions formed from close observation of the Anarchists on and before the evening of the riot. Detective Reuben Slayton’s testimony was confined principally to the details of his arrest of Fischer while the latter was attempting to escape from the Arbeiter-Zeitung office. He introduced in evidence before the jury a file sharpened at the point and hilted like a dagger, and a revolver of good-sized pattern. These were the accoutrements of Fischer at the time of his arrest.
Detective Tim McKeough overheard a conversation between two conspirators in the haymarket. The witness was in the crowd in disguise that night expecting to hear something in the nature of a plot. He was one of the men who overheard this conversation between Fielden and August Spies: “Will one be enough?”
“Yes, one will be plenty; one will do the work.”
Spies and Fielden were called into the detectives’ office separately after the riot and asked about the above question and answer. Both said that the talk was about the sending of an orator to make a speech at Deering the next day.
Detective Jones assisted Officer Slayton in arresting Fischer. Fischer was ugly and the officers had to act promptly to prevent him from injuring them.
Barney Flynn was one of the detectives stationed outside the Arbeiter-Zeitung office when Fischer was arrested.
The testimony of the reporters was not quite as satisfactory as the prosecution would wish. With the exception of Mr. English they did not take notes of the speeches. They wrote a few hours afterwards from memory. The general impression left by the speeches the night of the bomb-throwing was that the speeches were more violent than at any other time. Mr. Allen was questioned at considerable length on this point. He had reported several Anarchist speeches. The speeches of the night of the 4th of May were more violent. In his opinion they were incitements to riot. There was an appearance that they tended to promote violence that night. The impression made on him was that the speakers anticipated that trouble would follow. The other reporters were questioned principally as to what was said and not as to the tendency. On the question as to who first used their revolvers—the policemen or the rioters—the reporters were agreed except as to Mr. Brazelton, who seemed to think that the police were the first to open fire after the bomb had been thrown. The other reporters agreed that the rioters fired almost simultaneously with the bursting of the bomb while it was about three-quarters of a minute before the police could draw their weapons. They wore their belts, and that prevented their readily handling their weapons. They were somewhat stunned by the explosion into the bargain. The testimony of the reporters on this point with the exception above quoted was clear and full. Nothing new was adduced by the police officers. They simply repeated the testimony given before the Coroner’s jury.
At 4:30 the jury took an adjournment until 10 o’clock this morning.
Lingg, the Bombmaker.
Ling is a small, slight man, with a rather repulsive cast of countenance. He wears a light mustache and a thick head of light hair brushed squarely back à la Pompadour. There is a queer curve to his upper lip which gives his month an expression very similar to that of Spies, and heightens the disagreeable impression he is apt to create in the beholder. His eyes are cold and lusterless, reflecting nothing that is attractive. His clothes are lamentably ragged, one sleeve being torn completely asunder from wrist to elbow, the result, probably, of scuffling with his captors. His cell is about eight feet square, with the usual stone flooring, whitewashed walls, and scanty furniture. He spends the greater part of his time in drawing on the alls with charcoal. His artistic tastes, as will be readily believed, run in a martial channel. His works consist chiefly of figures of men armed to the teeth putting to flight other men who may or may not be meant for policemen. He has also written several mottoes above and below his pictures in German, which, being translated, read: “Long Live the Revolution,” “If the law catches (or has caught) me I shall have to suffer,” etc., etc.
Officer Redden’s Funeral.
Officer Thomas Redden of Desplaines Street Station, the sixth victim of the Anarchist deviltry at Haymarket square, was buried yesterday at Calvary Cemetery. He died at the County Hospital early Monday morning, from where the remains were taken to his late home, No. 109 Walnut Street. The final ceremonies were performed at St. Columbill’s Church, corner of Paulina and Indiana streets, where a large congregation of friends and sympathizers had assembled. High mass was said by Father Burke and an appropriate sermon preached by Father Butler. Shortly after 11 o’clock the funeral procession, headed by Nevans’ military band, left the church and proceeded to the Milwaukee & St. Paul depot, where cars were taken to the cemetery. A detail of twenty-six policemen, commanded by Acting Lieut. Roach, and a large escort from Oriental Lodge, A.O.U.W., of which the deceased was a member, accompanied the body to the depot.
William Marvin, charged with riot, had his case continued in $500 bonds until Saturday next by Justice C.J. White. It is said that a number of officers and others will testify that he was one of the most active and dangerous of those creating the recent troubles around McCormick’s factory. Ever since the assault on the factory he has been looked for, but managed to escape arrest until the night before last.
The imprisoned Anarchists, who are charged with the wholesale butchery on Desplaines street the night of May 4, grabbed anxiously at all the newspapers they could get yesterday and read whatever referred to their cases. They are thoroughly frightened now, and exhibit more and more cowardice daily. Spies is hollow-eyed and wild-looking, and Schwab’s haggard appearance does not hide deeper lines of shame and low disgrace written in his face. The prisoners were visited yesterday by their lawyer and Miss Spies, Mrs. Fielden, and Mrs. Schwab. Sheriff Hanchett called and asked the prisoners how they were treated, and Fielden said, “First-rate, boss.”
More Yarns About the Bomb-Throwers.
From time to time since the night of the haymarket tragedy different newspapers throughout the country have contained dispatches of a more or less blood-curdling description purporting to come from Chicago. The New York Herald, it will be remembered, published a story under date of May 11 o fan alleged secret meeting the night before the tragedy, in which the conspirators drew lots for who should cast a number of fatal bombs that should annihilate the police force, and a full account of the causes and reasons for the failure of the dreadful enterprise. Possibly in emulation of the Herald a Chicago paper came smiling to the front yesterday with a somewhat similar story. This time it is a Chicago man, William Weber, who is in Cleveland collecting funds for the relief of the wounded Chicago rioters, and he pours his bloody tale into the ears of the correspondent. In the main details it is the same story, embellished with a few artistic touches in order to rise to the Chicago standard. There is the secret meeting, the resolve to use bombs, the ballots, etc. The fatal tickets were marked a much more appropriate symbol. The twenty men received their bombs as well as their skulls and bones. “To arms!” was the signal for the throwing of the bombs. The other nineteen men had either started for home or were injured by the revolvers of the police before they had time to throw their bombs, which is supposed to account for the fact that but one was thrown. Next!