Primary tabs


Pictures and Illustrations.

Albert R. Parsons.

Lucy E. Parsons.

The Boat. Whittled from a solid piece of wood with a pen-knife by Albert R. Parsons while in Prison.

Albert R. Parsons in Disguise in Waukesha, Wis.

A. R. Parsons in his cell on morning of Nov. 11, 1887.Taken from Sketch in Daily Paper of November 12, 1887.

Letter from Parsons to his children.

Letter from Parsons to his children.

August Vincenz Theodor Spies.

Adolph Fischer.

George Engel.

Louis Lingg.

Governor John P. Altgeld.

Samuel Fielden.

Michael Schwab.

Oscar Neebe.

Front View of Monument Erected in Waldheim Cemetery to Our Martyred Comrades. Albert Richard Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, and Louis Lingg.

Back View of Monument.


Compiler's Note.

The early Christians took the cross
Upon which their Savior bled,
And withered nations now attest
The terror of its red.

Let labor where they hang her sons
Take up the gallows tree,
And bravely bear the double cross
To make the whole world free.

W. C. Marshall.

In preparing the Life of Albert R. Parsons for publication I have been actuated by one desire alone, viz: That I might demonstrate to every one, the most prejudiced as well as the most liberal minds: First, that my husband was no aider, nor abettor, nor counsellor of crime in any sense. Second, that he knew nothing of nor had anything to do with the preparation for the Haymarket meeting, and that the Haymarket meeting was intended to be peaceable, and was peaceable until interfered with by the police. Third, that Mr. Parsons' connection with the labor movement was purely and simply for the purpose of bettering the condition of his fellowmen; that he gave his time, talents, and at last his life, to this cause.

In order to make these facts undeniable, I obtained articles from persons holding avowedly adverse views with his, but who were nevertheless willing to testify to his innocence of the crime for which he suffered death, and his sterling integrity as a man.

It has been the endeavor of the author to make the present work not only biographical, but historical — a work which might be relied upon as an authority by all future writers upon the matters contained in it. Hence nothing has been admitted to its pages that


is not absolutely correct, so far as it was possible for me to verify it by close scrutiny of all matter treated. And for this reason I ask the public to read its pages carefully, for in this way they will become acquainted with the inmost thoughts of one of the noblest characters of which history bears record.

There is one man whose name and life was so intimately interwoven with one of the stirring periods of this country's history that that history could not be written if his name were omitted. That man is Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. His biographers record no act of his life with more praise than the magnanimous manner in which he treated the Rebel General, Lee, when the latter surrendered his sword to him. Suppose Grant had taken the proffered sword and stabbed his antagonist with it? There would have been no word too detestable to have attached to his name. Albert R. Parsons surrendered his sword to the wild mob of millionaires when he walked into Court and asked for a fair trial by a jury of his peers. Yet the proud State of Illinois murdered him under the guise of "Law and Order;" foully murdered this innocent man. And upon the heart of her then Governor (Oglesby), who completed the atrocity by ratifying the vile conspiracy conducted by the wild howls of the millionaire rabble, by signing the death warrants of men whom he, as a lawyer, knew were innocent, there is not "one damned spot," but five, to "out."

Thus it is that history repeats itself. In this case it was the old, old cry: "Away with them; they preach a strange doctrine! Crucify them!" But the grand cause for which they perished still lives.

CHICAGO, February 22, 1889.

"The working classes are ignorant because they are poor, and poor because they are robbed."

"The more you work the less you have, and the less you will have to do."


History of Labor Movement in America.



As long as you (Americans) have a boundless extent of fertile and unoccupied land, your laboring population will be far more at ease than the laboring population of the old world, and while that is the case the Jeffersonian politics may continue to exist without causing any fatal calamity. But the time will come when New England will be as thickly peopled as old England. Wages will be low, and will fluctuate with you as well as with us. You will have your Manchesters and Birminghams, and in those Manchesters and Birminghams hundreds of thousands of artisans will assuredly be sometimes out of work. Then your institutions will be fairly brought to the test. Distress everywhere makes the laborer mutinous and discontented.

The day will come when in the state of New York there will be a multitude of people, none of whom has had more than half a breakfast, or expects to have more than half a dinner. On one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for vested rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalists and usurers, and asking why anybody be permitted to drink champagne and ride in a carriage, while thousands of honest folks are in want of necessaries. What is the workingman likely to do when he hears his children cry for bread? — LORD MACAULEY.

Capitalism — Its Development in the United States.

Among all nations, the United States of America has alone posessed the opportunity for developing representative or Republican government to its utmost. Separated by two oceans, isolated and comparatively secure from sudden invasion or the diplomatic embroglios of imperialistic Europe and Asia, the united capacity of Republican government to minister to the peace and welfare of


its citizens and the experience — history — of one hundred years has formed the record from which the living present learns its lesson of the past.

Free government, a free people, was the talismanic charm which caused the emigrant to abandon the old world and hasten to the new.

The population of the colonies in 1776 was 3,500,000. Today (1886) the population of the United States is estimated at 65,000,000. The controlling influence which impelled the emigrant to the United States was the belief in the inducement held out that a home for his loved ones could be acquired. It is, therefore, a fact, that the United States has been developed and populated because of economic rather than political influences. It has been and is still the belief of many that the comparative economic freedom which the poor have enjoyed in this country was owing to its political institutions, its republican form of government. Lord Macauley, whose prognostication is quoted at the opening of this chapter, foresaw what experience has since demonstrated, to-wit: That the Republic itself was the result, not the cause of the comparative economic liberty which prevailed in America.

The revolution of 1776 was precipitated when the British government sought to impose "taxation without representation" upon the colonies, but there was a long antecedent train of offenses which the colonists had endured. The British nobility, aristocrats and landlords had been for years past engaged in seizing upon the wild lands of America and subjecting its inhabitants to the servitude prevailing in the old world. A few noblemen held "patents" from George III, which covered vast regions of territory and embraced millions of acres. The revolution of 1776 was inspired by determination to escape the tyranny of British rule, from the oppressions of which most of the American colonists had fled. The authors of the Declaration of Independence gave the key-note of that struggle when they proclaimed the inalienable Rights of Man as the issue involved. During the seven years' war which followed, and for five years afterward (1787) the inhabitants of the colonies were practically without government or law. Thomas Paine, of whom it has been said he did as much with his pen as Washington had


done with his sword for American liberty, describes in his writings the motives and purposes of the men engaged in that conflict. Paine's work, entitled "Rights of Man," embodied the "American Idea" of liberty as then contended for. He says:

It is therefore a perversion of terms to say that a charter (government) gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect, — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants, but charters, by annulling those rights in the majority, leave the right by exclusion in the hands of a few. If charters were constructed so as to express in direct terms "that every inhabitant who is not a member of a corporation shall not exercise the right of voting," such charters would, in the face, be charters, not of rights, but of exclusion. The effect is the same under the form, in which they now stand; the only persons on whom they now operate are the persons whom they exclude.

The period following the war, when the colonies or states were engaged in framing the national constitution, is most instructive, as it was now that the fruits of that struggle were to be garnered. Some of the states were slow to enter the compact and some for a time refused to do so, such was the fear of the people for centralized government. Finally, a reconciliation was brought about mainly by those whose property rights gave them influence and power, and delegates from all the states were chosen to the national convention to form the Federal Constitution.

Here were assembled men of varying ideas, instincts and interests. But the predominating influence was the property interest, property in land, etc., but especially in slaves. The people having struggled and suffered for seven long and bloody years, were alive to the importance of the work of the convention and its possible effects upon their welfare. But there were those who reverenced human rights only so far as these did not intrude upon their property rights. Thus began the game of Politics. The convention found it necessary to conduct their proceedings with closed doors, excluding from its sessions all who were not members. Here, for four months the "Star Chamber" (secret) sessions were held in an endeavor to bring about a compromise of divergent interests and ideas upon the property question. The debates were long and heated. At times the convention was threatened with disruption. There were those who believed in a landed aristocracy and restricted suffrage, led by Alexander


Hamilton; others wanted free land and manhood suffrage; and still others contended the liberation of the chattel slave was included in the meaning of the Declaration of Independence, — and vice versa. A compromise was finally reached which left the rights of property in slaves, land and money intact. The assertion of the Declaration of Independence that "all men were created free and equal, and possessed with certain inalienable rights, among which were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," was defended by those who favored a constitution framed in accordance with the intent and spirit of that document. The slave holding interest objected and held that the blacks — the chattel slaves — were not included in the meaning or intent of the Declaration. John Adams, the aristocrat, who also favored a limited monarchy as against Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Henry, Washington and others, in the memorable debate upon this question said: "What matters it whether you give the food and clothes to the slaves direct, or whether you just give him enough in wages to purchase the same?" This view of the question finally prevailed and was accepted as the basis of compromise. The rights of property triumphed. The wage-worker was categorical with the chattel slave. Indeed the difference was recognized among the wealthy class as existing not only in form but identical in effect. The Constitution as agreed upon by the convention was submitted to the states — the people for ratification or rejection. Though dissatisfied, the people were induced to accept it, on the ground that universal suffrage, vesting all law-making power in the people; guaranteeing free speech, free press, and unmolested; assemblage, the right to keep and bear arms; speedy trial by an impartial jury, and protection against unreasonable and unlawful search or seizure of persons or property — were constitutional safeguards deemed ample protection for their rights.

The United States formed a vast, unsettled, inexhaustible region. A comparatively small strip of country from Maine to Florida was sparsely inhabited. All who desired could acquire a competency. The wage-class felt no apprehension on that score. The doors of the nation were thrown open and the poor and miserable and despoiled of every clime were invited to come to the "land of the free and home of the brave" as the "harbor and refuge of the oppressed."


That invitation was eagerly heard and quickly accepted, and to this fact alone is due the rapid development and growth of the Republic. For years after the adoption of the Constitution the slave trade flourished and thousands upon thousands of ignorant helpless Africans were kidnapped and brought in chains to the United States. The treatment of the great populous tribes of Indians was of a similar character. Those who could not be subdued and enslaved were killed, and as America was the native heath of the Indian they chose death rather than slavery, until there remains scarcely a remnant of this once powerful race upon the continent. About 1830, when population had greatly increased, in common with land values and other property, the special advantages of chattel-slave labor which was so apparent in a new, unsettled country began to diminish. With a growth of population came an augmentation of wage-laborers, and the modes of industry, such as manufacture, etc., where not very well adapted to chattel labor. It began to appear that wage labor was cheaper and therefore more remunerative to capital than was chattel-slave labor. There arose in consequence conflicting interests upon this subject, which by degrees — as population increased — developed into sectional conflicts, which were geographically designated "north" and "south."

For certain forms of labor — agricultural for instance — chattel-slave labor was considered to be more profitable than wage labor. But in manufacture and all departments of skilled industry the labor of wage-workers was preferred because more remunerative. The supply of chattel-slaves was cut off by a law enacted prohibiting the slave trade, and this fact was alone sufficient to cause the death-blow to that form of labor. But the simple, primitive forms of production for which the labor of chattel-slaves was adopted caused the owners of that form of capital to invest it where it would bring the greatest returns. Therefore the slave-holding interests gravitated to the southern portion of the United States, where a mild climate, lengthened seasons and consequently cheaper clothes, fuel and shelter e obtained. The propertied class — capitalists — were intent only on profits and losses. Out of these two forms of labor — chattel and wage — arose the "irrepressible conflict" and the political shiboleth, "America must be all slave or all free." The slave-holding


interests became alarmed at the increasing power of the wage-labor system. They perceived their "vested right" to lawfully, constitutionally hold property in slaves to be threatened. Their power had until now been supreme in national affairs and they were blinded with arrogance. They refused all overtures to peaceably manumit their slaves by means of gradual emancipation, to be recompensed out of the public treasury, but, on the contrary, indignantly rejected all such proposals and insisted upon their constitutional right to extend slavery into the Territories. Their attitude sharpened the contest between the wage-labor capitalists and the chattel slave-owners. Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States in 1860 "the South" seceded from "the North" and set up a Confederacy which recognized the chattel-slave labor as its cornerstone. Mr. Lincoln, though in sentiment an "Abolitionist," an ardent defender of man's abstract right to life and liberty, was also, for the time being, the representative of the wage-labor system. The exigencies of the war of the rebellion afforded the sought-for opportunity, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued as "a military necessity." Chattel-slave labor was abolished and the system of wage-labor established in its stead. While upon its surface this struggle between the "North" and the "South" was waged ostensibly in behalf of "free" against "slave" labor, and was apparently a political question waged for the preservation of the Union, it was, in fact, an economic question growing out of the two diverse and conflicting systems of labor, viz.: chattel and wage. The owners of capital in the form of chattel-slaves were compelled by armed revolution to relinquish that form of property. They threw themselves as a barrier across the pathway of societary evolution, of historic development and were swept aside by its irresistible force.

The Rebellion of 1861 was a failure. The Rebellion of 1776 was a success. The former was a struggle against evolutionary development of modern capitalism; the latter was fought on the line with and for progress. Both contests are generally regarded as political; but the underlying, moving cause in each was economic. The apparently political character of these two revolutionary struggles arises from the fact the contest in both instances was waged by one portion of the propertied class against the other upon questions of property.


Ever since the organization of the Government of the United States there has existed among the people a small, but earnest minority, known as "Abolitionists," because they advanced the abstract right of "all men" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But the Abolitionists were an insignificant minority. Their demands were never heeded until the requirements of modern capitalism began to require an extension of the system of wage labor in preference to the system of chattel-slave labor. Capital invested in wage labor and capital invested in chattel-slave labor were hostile in their interests. The slave-holding interests were more sensitive and apprehensive of injury and were in consequence easily mobilized on the political battle-field. From the organization of the Government up to the slave-holders' rebellion in 1861 the propertied interests in chattel-slaves had practical control and direction of the affairs of Government.

With the termination of the war of 1861 began the second epoch of capitalism in the United States. The ex-chattel slave was enfranchised, — made a political sovereign. He was now a "freeman" without an inch of soil, a cent of money, a stitch of clothes or a morsel of food. He was free to compete with his fellow wage-worker for an opportunity to serve capital. The conditions of his freedom consisted in the right to work on the terms dictated by his employer, or — starve. There no longer existed any sectional conflicts or other conflicts of a disturbing political nature. All men were now "free and equal before the law." A period of unprecedented activity in capitalistic circles set in. Steam and electricity applied to machinery was employed in almost every department of industry, and compared with former times fabulous wealth was created.

Political parties, no longer divided in interest upon property questions, all legislation was centered upon a development of the resources of the country. To this end vast tracts of government land, amounting to many million acres, equalling in extent seven states the size of Illinois, were donated as subsidies to the projectors of railways. The national debt, incurred to prosecute the rebellion, and amounting to three billion dollars, was capitalized, by creating interest upon the bonds. Hundreds of millions were given as bonuses to proposed railways, steamship lines, etc. A protective tariff law


was enacted which for the past twenty years has imposed a tax upon the people amounting to one billion dollars annually. A National Banking system was established which gave control of finance to a banking monopoly. By means of these and other laws capitalist combinations, monopolies, syndicates, and trusts were created and fostered, until they obtained absolute control of the principal avenues of industry, commerce and trade. Arbitrary prices are fixed by these combinations and the consumers — mainly the poor — are compelled by their necessities to pay whatever price is exacted. Thus during the past twenty-five years, — since the abolition of the chattel-slave labor system — twenty-five thousand millionaires have been created, who by their combinations control and virtually own the fifty billion dollars estimate wealth of the United States, while on the other hand twenty million wage-workers have been created whose poverty forces them into a ceaseless competition with each, other for opportunity to earn the bare necessities of existences What had, therefore, required generations to accomplish in Great Britain and the continent, was achieved during the past twenty-five years in the United States, to-wit: The practical destruction of the middle-class (small dealers, farmers, manufacturers, etc.), and the division of society into two classes — the wage-worker and capitalist. While the fabulous fortunes resulting from legislation enacted in the name of the people were being acquired, the people were not conscious of the evil effects which would flow from those laws. Not until the evil effects were felt were they aware of the slavery to which they had been lawfully reduced. The first great pinch of the laws was felt throughout the whole country in the financial panic of 1873-77, resulting in the latter year in widespread strikes of the unemployed and poorly-paid wage class. In response to the demand for information upon economic matters, Bureaus of Labor were established in many States, as also for the general government at Washington. These statistics related to operations and effects of capitalism in the chief departments of industry and trade. The absorption of the smaller industries, etc., etc., into the great corporations, syndicates, etc., was very rapid. The National commercial agency (Bradstreet's) furnished statistics showing unprecedented bankruptcies. The Agricultural Bureaus of the various States gave accounts of similar


depressions in agriculture. Illinois, the richest agricultural State in the United States and for that reason a criterion for the others, is shown by the statistics of the State Board of Agriculture for 1886 to have over three-fourths of its farms mortgaged, and that the crops for the last five years have not paid the cost of production! Illinois is the greatest corn producing State in the Union and the statistics given by the State Board of Agriculture on that crop is as follows:

For the year 1882 at a loss of $1,273,571.00
For the year 1883 at a loss of 8,621,440.00
For the year 1884 at a loss of 11,780,544.00
For the year 1885 at a loss of 10,831,701.00
For the year 1886 at a loss of 19,070,209.00
Total loss in five years $51,577,475.00

The Bureau also states that more than two-thirds of the farms which have suffered these losses are mortgaged. Investigation shows the same condition exists in every State. Statistics show that the condition of the farming class, as a class, is far worse than it was twenty or thirty years ago. The American farmer as a class is enslaved by mortgages, and rapidly drifting into peasantry and serfdom agriculture. Meanwhile the stupendously increasing aggregation of wealth into the hands of a few is going on.

In manufacture statistics it is shown that while the number of manufacturers are diminishing from 10 to 30 per cent every year the remainder are increasing their wealth enormously, and that while the wages of labor have been diminishing yearly the number of workers wanting work and unable to procure it have rapidly increased. The United States census for 1880, gives in Census Bulletin 302 elaborate details of capital invested, number of persons employed, the amount of wages paid, value of materials used, the value of all the establishments of manufacturing industry, gas excepted, in each of the States and Territories as follows:

The number of industrial establishments is 253,840, having a capital of $2,790,223,506. Of this number New York has 42,739, with a capital of $514,246,575, employing 364,551 males above sixteen years of age, and 137,393 females above the age of fifteen years. The total amount paid in wages


during that year aggregated $198,634,029, and the value of the products was $1,080,638,696.

Pennsylvania follows the Empire state with 31,225 workshops, 387,112 employes, and a capital of $447,499,993. The value of its products is $744,748,045, or $335,890,651 less than that of New York. In the northern states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, there are 153,453 places of industry, or 8,982 more than in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and Texas.

Rhode Island, the smallest state in the Union, has 2,205 workshops, which is 1,459 more than Delaware, the next smallest, and only 791 less than Texas, the largest state in the Union. In amount of capital involved, however, Rhode Island is $66,330,382 ahead of Texas, and the value of her products is $104,163,621, while that of Texas is only $20,719,128.

The District of Columbia, with 971 establishments and $5,552,526 capital, is ahead of Florida and Colorado in the value of its products and in the, number of workshops. The District employs 5,495 males above sixteen years of age, and 1,389 females above fifteen years of age, and 1,389 children and youths. The establishments pay to these hands $3,924,612 in wages yearly, and the products manufactured aggregate $11,882,316, the value of materials used being $5,365,400.

Colorado, the youngest state, which was admitted into the Union in 1876, can show but very little increase in the value of its products over that of the District of Columbia. This state has 599 establishments and a capital of $4,311,714. It employs 4,625 males, 266 females, 156 children, and pays in wages $2,314,427, or $1,610,185 less than is paid for wages in this District.

Forming the rear of this long line of states and territories comes Arizona with 66 workshops and an invested capital of $272,600. There are 216 men employed in the Territory, which added to the two females and the two children, make a total of 220 persons, actively engaged in industrial occupations. The total amount of wages is $111,180, while the value of the products from these establishments is $615,655.

In the 253,840 workshops throughout the country, the average number of hands employed is 2,738,950. Of this number 2,025,279 are males, 531,753 females, and 181,918 children. The total amount of wages paid out during the year is $947,919,674, and the value of the products is $5,369,667,706.

The list quotes the value of the materials used in manufacturing as aggregating $3,394,340,029, which leaves a profit on products of $1,975,327,677. When the amount paid for wages is deducted from this, there remains a clear margin on the figures quoted of $1,027,408,003.

From the statistics given above we learn that the average wages


of each wage-worker amounts to $304 per annum, and the average annual net profit on the labor product of each wage-worker is $374. The United States census for the year 1880 contains tables which show that the daily average product of each wage-worker in manufacturing industry is valued at $10, and the daily average wages at $1.15. The increase in the quantity of wealth which a wage laborer can now produce as compared to 1870 is ascribed to the increased application of machinery and the increased sub-division and consequent simplification of the process of production. To this fact is also due the diminution of the share (wages) of their product, which the workers now receive, as well as the increase of the number of enforced idle since 1880.

The United States Census for 1880 gives the annual average wages of each laborer engaged in manufacture at $304, and the annual average net profit on capital invested at $374. In other words, each laborer produced values amounting to $678, for which they received $304 in wages, the remaining $374 being the amount which the owners of capital charged them for its use.

The wage system is the foundation upon which the United States Government, in common with all other governments, rests. This foundation was laid in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, as described by John Adams when he said: "What matters it whether you give the food and clothes to the slave direct, or whether you just give him enough in wages to purchase the same?" Nearly one hundred years later the citizens of the United States appealed to armed revolution; the Constitution was set aside and millions of property and nearly a million human lives were sacrificed in order to place the chattel slave upon the same industrial plane as the wage-worker. Before the inauguration of the war of the rebellion offers were made to the slaveholders to pay them $1,000 apiece for their slaves, as being far cheaper and more humane than to embroil the nation in civil war. That price was indignantly rejected, as being too small; besides the slaveholders held that chattel slavery was a "divine institution," and it would, therefore, be sacrilege to attempt its abolition. In 1880, sixteen years after the close of the rebellion, the United States Census states there was invested in the woolen industries of the country capital amounting to $159,000,000, and the number of


wage-workers employed 100,000. The capital represented an average investment of $995 to each wage laborer. The cost of raw material was $164,000,000; the value of manufactured material was placed at $267,000,000. The increased value of the manufactured material over the raw is placed at $107,000,000. That upon $995 invested, an annual profit of $343 was obtained, while the average annual wages of each operative was $293, or fifty dollars less than the income derived from the $995.

Chattel slaves before the war were valued at $1,000 apiece. Sixteen years after the abolition of chattel slaves, wage-workers employed in manufactures in John Adams's State (Massachusetts) were worth, commercially, $850, or $150 less than the former chattel slave.

These statistics prove the claim made by the supporters of the wage system of labor that wage labor is cheaper than chattel labor. They demonstrate the economic law of competition, which is the rule of the cheapest. The propertyless class — the wage-workers — are by competition forced to sell their labor — themselves — to the lowest bidder, or starve.

With the close of the rebellion of 1861, what is now known as the labor movement, began to assume large proportions. Not until now was there a very numerous and stationary wage class. In consequence, that state of affairs predicted by Lord Macauley, and quoted in our opening chapter, began to appear. Trades unions, labor unions, etc., composed of wage laborers had heretofore existed in small numbers, but were now rapidly formed as production in mass was increasingly developed. Strikes began to be frequently resorted to in order to prevent a reduction or to cause an increase of wages. The first national movement of organized labor was the effort made to inaugurate the eight-hour system throughout the United States in 1868. That attempt was defeated.

The effort to introduce the eight-hour system, has been made repeatedly since, sometimes by isolated trades unions, at other times by national or international unions, and lastly by the Federated Trades Unions of the United States and Canada. This latter body, representing 400,000 organized workmen, met in Chicago, in 1884, in what they styled an "International Congress of Organized Labor," and fixed upon a date, May 1, 1886, to inaugurate the eight-hour


system. The organization of the Knights of Labor in 1869 had increased its membership to 400,000 in 1884. One of the principal objects of this organization was the establishment of the eight-hour system of labor. At this date, 1884, a million organized wage-workers in the United States considered the establishment of the eight-hour system one of the main objects of their organization. The agitation for a reduction of the hours of labor culminated in the strike of 360,000 men on May 1, 1886. In Chicago, the center of the eight-hour movement, over 40,000 workmen went on a strike for the eight-hour work day. On May 3 some of the strikers were fired on by the police, killing one and wounding several. On May 4 workingmen held an indignation meeting which was broken up by the police, when a dynamite bomb was thrown, which killed seven policemen and wounded many persons.


History of the Labor Movement in Chicago.


It was in March of 1876, when P. J. McGuire and Comrade Loebkert, as the organizers and agitators of the Social-Democratic party of America, visited Chicago and other Western points for the purpose of sowing the seed of Socialism, that I first met Albert R. Parsons. There was a mass-meeting on Saturday evening at Vorwćrts Turner Hall, where McGuire spoke, and at the end of his eloquent address announced his intention of organizing an English Section of Socialists, and invited all those satisfied with the doctrine as expounded that evening to hand in their names and addresses as they passed out. It was on this occasion that A. R. Parsons, John Swertfeger, O. A. Bishop, T. J. Morgan, Adolph Glecker, and myself embraced the opportunity of connecting ourselves with the Socialistic movement. The next day (Sunday) McGuire addressed another meeting at the old Globe hall on Desplaines street. After his address he invited all persons to ask questions on any point that was not yet clear to them. It was at this juncture that a well-dressed man with a clear accent rose and asked whether, in this co-operative state as outlined by the speaker, all persons were to share alike, regardless of the amount they would produce. The interrogator was A. R. Parsons. The question created the liveliest interest, as we were all anxious to know whether we had struck a Communistic, whack-up-all-around institution, in which the parasite was to find a loafers' paradise at the expense of the industrious worker, or whether the law of merit was still to obtain. McGuire answered that the Social-Democratic party only contemplated to nationalize land, the instruments of production, exchange, and transportation, rewarding each worker, however, in proportion to


his effort. This seemed to give general satisfaction, and the English Section from that time on was a permanent factor in the labor movement of Chicago. Before this John McAuliffe and John Eckford were the only English-speaking Socialists in this city. Subsequently Philip Van Patten, John Paulson, and others joined, and the agitation began in earnest. At this time A. R. Parsons and John McAuliffe were the only ones capable of expounding in public the principles of the party in the English language; but McAuliffe was an extremist, unwilling to advocate ameliorative measures. The Section "shelved" him, except on great special occasions, and A. R. Parsons for a long time was practically the only public English speaker we had.

At this time the English Socialists struggled against many odds. There was the prejudice of the public against Socialism — a feeling the English trades unions fully shared — besides, the German Socialists were suspicious of the English Section and oft-times gave them to understand that the damned Yankees needed watching. But the worst of all was, we had no English literature on social-economic subjects. The Socialist, a weekly published by the party in New York, was the only food we had. This paper contained a series of very able articles from the pen of Victor Drury, of New York, who, while not the editor, was the major part of the brains. These articles have since been revised and republished in pamphlet form, and are entitled: "The Polity of the Labor Movement." In the fall of 1876 the Social-Democratic party and the Internationals met in joint convention in Philadelphia and formed the "Workingmen's Party of the United States." The Socialist was subsequently called the Labor Standard, and J. P. McDonnell succeeded Comrade McGregor in the editorial chair. The English Section of Chicago met every Monday evening to map out a program for public agitation and to discuss such economic subjects and party methods among themselves as the mental friction and antagonisms prevailing within its ranks at that time naturally produced. It must be remembered that the amalgamation of the International and Social-Democrats brought together two opposite elements of Socialists. The former opposed political action as a means of economic emancipation, and predicted the wreck of the party if persisted in, while


the latter insisted that the ballot was the surest means by which the enlightenment of the masses could be secured and the final overthrow of the present capitalistic system accomplished. The former advised the members of the party to join trades unions, and through the force of economic organization secure concessions by degrees, while the latter denounced all attempts at amelioration under the present system, declaring that less hours of labor and higher wages would only cause the worker to be more contented with the wage system. "They are getting too much now," they would explain.

The Social-Democratic element in the party evidently desired a speedy change — a reorganization of society — and believed that wholesale hunger and destitution of the masses would furnish the surplus steam — discontent — that would blow the capitalistic system "to kingdom come." Hungry stomachs and naked backs were to impel the army of workers to assault the citadel of capital, destroy its ramparts, and erect upon its ruins the Eldorado of universal peace and plenty. To this Ira Stewart and others would reply that society was a gradual growth; that you could not by any magician's "hocus pocus" cry of "presto change" immediately transfer our society into an Eden; that starving men were not brave, but cowardly — willing slaves, not "heroes." Ira Stewart evidently was of opinion that the Englishman who would only fight on a full stomach manifested a great deal of human nature.

"In Heaven's name, let's get some supper now, And then I'm with you if you're for a row."

The daily press paid little or no attention to us in those days. We called public meetings in all parts of the city, but the masses were slow to move. Oft-times, after posting bills and paying for advertising, we were also compelled to contribute our last nickel for hall rent, and walk home instead of ride. At all these meetings A. R. Parsons was the only English speaker. In the spring of 1877 the party in Chicago resolved to enter the political arena as an experiment, limiting its action to the Fifteenth Ward, and nominated A. R. Parsons as its Aldermanic candidate.

On this point we concentrated the party strength, brought volunteer ticket peddlers from all parts of the city, and worked like


beavers. For this we were called carpet-baggers and imported foreigners, because some of us interfered in the politics of a ward in which we did not live. We polled over 400 votes — not enough to elect our candidate, but the good impression we made on the more thoughtful citizens was regarded as a great moral victory. Our influence as a party, however, both in Chicago and elsewhere, was very limited until the great railroad strike of 1877. Before this the labor question was of little or no importance to the average citizen. The large mass of our people contented themselves with the belief that in this great and free Republic there was no room for real complaint. The idea that all Americans were on an equal footing seemed to be recognized as an incontrovertible fact in the halls of legislation, in the press, and the pulpit.

But when the mutterings and demonstrations of discontent at Martinsburg, West Virginia, caused by a 10 per cent, reduction in wages on the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, belched forth a few days later in the City of Pittsburgh in fire, bloodshed, and destruction, with its frenzied populace on one side and its frightened, retreating militia on the other, and from there swept across the entire continent, with such rapidity that within a few days the whole country was enveloped and presented a condition of social and industrial mutiny that overwhelmed and surprised in its spontaneity and extent the closest observers of economic development, it no longer permitted us, as Americans, to thank God — with our former vanity — that we were not like other nations. Pittsburgh, with its sea of fire, caused by its burning freight cars, round-houses, and depots, was the calcium light that illumined the skies of our social and industrial life, and revealed the pinched faces of the workers and the opulence, arrogance, and unscrupulousness of the rich.

The labor question, which up to this time was considered insignificant, rose to a grave and important problem. The strike reached Chicago in all its fury July 23.

The members of the Workingmen's Party of the United States everywhere took advantage of this tidal wave of popular discontent, called meetings for the purpose of presenting to an astonished Populace the cause and the remedy of this general upheaval. On


July 25 we called a mass-meeting on Market square, at which A. R. Parsons and John McAuliffe made the principal speeches. The city had been under the greatest excitement for several days, and the announcement of this meeting brought together at least 40,000 people. On occasions of great public excitement Albert R. Parsons was a host as a public speaker. His capacity at times like these to address himself to the feelings of the workers was something marvelous. The Inter-Ocean declared that the subsequent mischief during that strike in Chicago was all due to Parsons' speech. The next evening another meeting was called at the same place, but was dispersed by the police, who demolished the speaker's stand into kindling wood and clubbed the unarmed workers right and left, Fred Courth, a cigar-maker, was knocked senseless. We carried him up in the old Vorbote office, dressed his wound, which consisted of a deep gash in his head, the marks of which are visible to this day. The same day (July 26) the Furniture-Workers' Union called a meeting at Vorwćrts Turner hall at the request of their bosses, who desired a mutual conference for the settlement of whatever grievances were between them. The police, hearing of this meeting, immediately proceeded to break it up. Mr. Wasserman, the then proprietor of the hall, attempted to prevent them from entering, but they knocked him down, over his prostrate form broke through the door, and, without any notice to the assemblage, commenced shooting and clubbing. One of the members of the union (Tessman) was shot dead, while many others were badly wounded. The matter was subsequently made a test case in the Courts, and Judge McAllister rendered one of his famous decisions on the right of public assemblage. I have often thought of this case in connection with the Anarchist trial. It was claimed by the friends of the defendants, and never successfully refuted, that Bonfield, in ordering the attack on the Haymarket meeting, assaulted the right of public assemblage, and that whatever means were employed by the citizens there assembled to repel this invasion, were both justifiable and lawful. To, this the friends of the police replied that if the attack was unlawful they could find redress in the Courts. But what redress did the Furniture-Workers' Union secure for the murder of its member Tessman? Poverty, as a rule, is at a


discount in our Courts, and the long delays which can be secured by money usually result in defeat for those who have no means. The great railroad strike of 1877 secured us the public ear. True, the press and pulpit, with but few exceptions, declared that it was the work of Communistic agitators. But there were others who viewed it as an alarming evidence of the concentration of wealth and the rapid changes of our economic life. That fall the party nominated a full county ticket, with Frank A. Stauber as County Treasurer and Albert R. Parsons as County Clerk, and polled 8,000 votes. In the spring of '78 we elected Frank A. Stauber as the Alderman of the Fourteenth Ward, being the first public officer elected by the Socialistic party. (A. R. Parsons was defeated in this election as Aldermanic candidate of the Fifteenth Ward by a small majority, and it was the general belief that he was counted out.) This gave us a prestige, and everything was on the upward boom. In the fall of 1878 we elected four members to the State Legislature. Our members were everywhere active in trades unions, and it seemed for awhile as if the steady progress and final triumph of the Socialistic party was soon to be realized. This same fall we established the Socialist, an English weekly edited by Frank Hirth and A. R. Parsons.

In the spring of 1879 we nominated a full city ticket, with Dr. Schmidt for Mayor, and succeeded in polling 12,000 votes, electing three additional Aldermen, which gave the party four respesentatives in the Common Council of Chicago.

One of the most notable incidents showing the rapid growth of the party was the celebration of the Paris Commune during this same spring. The committee of arrangements secured the Exposition building, with a capacity of 40,000, but so great was the jam that it was impossible to carry out the program of singing, dancing, and drilling. It was estimated that at least 60,000 people visited the Exposition building that night, while thousands, after waiting on the outside for hours, unable to gain admission, returned home.

The community was startled at the boldness of our propositions demanding collective (Governmental) control of land, means of transportation, communication, and production, and the dash which


characterized our effort in making converts to this scheme of social and industrial emancipation. But the party had reached the zenith of its power as a political factor. A few months later we participated — unofficially — in the judicial election which returned Judge McAllister by an overwhelming majority, with Barnum, Tuley, and Moran. After this election charges of improper conduct were made against some of our members, creating internal strife, and our party influence began to decline. In the spring of '80 we re-elected Frank A. Stauber to the Council by a majority of thirty-one votes, but his opponent, who belonged to the element of "fine workers," was not willing to accept this popular verdict. At the Seventh precinct Stauber had received 109 votes to his opponent's 100.

The results were declared at the precinct in the presence of the three Election Judges, two Clerks, party challengers, and a police officer. Two of the Judges, Walsh and Gibbs, took the ballot-box and tally sheet home, and on learning that the election had resulted in the defeat of their candidate (J. J. McGrath) they stuffed the box and changed the result on the tally sheet so as to give Stauber only 59 votes and J. J. McGrath 150.

This change gave McGrath a majority and he was seated by the Council. A long litigation ensued, costing the workingmen about $2,000 and keeping Mr. Stauber out of his seat for nearly a year. Stauber was finally recognized by the Courts as the duly elected Alderman from the Fourteenth Ward. Walsh and Gibbs, the two Election Judges who had stuffed the ballot-box and forged the tally sheet, were tried for the offense and acquitted, Judge Gardner declaring that, while they had violated the law, there had been no evidence showing that that had been their intent.

This circumstance did more, perhaps, than all the other things combined to destroy the faith of the Socialists in Chicago in the efficiency of the ballot.

From that time on the advocates of physical force as the only means of industrial emancipation found a wide field of action for the dissemination and acceptance of their ideas. The Presidential election of 1880 also tended to disintegrate the party as a political factor. As a party, we had participated in the National convention that nominated Gen. Weaver, and it was the opinion of


a large majority of the English-speaking Socialists that a fusion with the Greenback party would give us a wider, and for that reason a more useful, field for the propagation of our ideas — that we would establish a feeling of fellowship among people with whom there was already much in common. But many of the Germans, under the leadership of Paul Grottkau and some of the English, among them A. R. Parsons, bolted, and from that time on dated the actual schism in the Socialist party. The bolters to the candidacy of Gen. Weaver did not yet oppose politics as a principle, but nominated a local ticket of their own. They still believed in the State.

The philosophy of Anarchy in its modern sense was scarcely known. "Phillip" had discussed its principles with Mr. Smart in the columns of the Irish World, and it was this controversy which created the first doubt in my mind as to the feasibility of State Socialism. But it was not until Benjamin R. Tucker, of Boston, issued his Liberty — which I have always regarded as an epoch in the intellectual progress of the movement — that the principle of voluntary association, in contradistinction to State control, began to make systematic converts. The advent of Johann Most in America also produced a change of thought or feeling among many of the German Socialists "agin the Government." But the Communistic ideas of most are so exceedingly authoritarian that I have never regarded him as a consistent opponent of the State. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

In the spring of 1881 each of the two factions of Socialists in Chicago nominated a city ticket. I was nominated for Mayor by the element that had supported Gen. Weaver for President, and Timothy O'Meara was nominated by the other side. The campaign was one of hostility to each other, rather than to the common enemy, and was the most unpleasant experience I ever had in the movement. From this time on everything seemed to be in a condition of unrest, uncertainty, and inertia. The English Section had dwindled down to a corporal's guard; some of its most active members had left it, for one cause or another, until its very existence seemed to be extinct, its leaders having retired from active participation


in the movement. However, during this period of disintegration a new thought was developing and new lines of action projected. State Socialism, which heretofore had only been opposed by the friends of usury and plunder, was now being assailed through the columns of Liberty by Benjamin R. Tucker and his able corps of writers so vigorously that those readers who had formerly defended Government control were fairly stunned.

In 1883 I delivered a lecture before the Liberal League of Chicago on "Individualism as Contrasted with State Socialism in the Solution of Social and Industrial Problems." I repudiated my former belief — State Socialism — and defended competition and the institution of private property. The only reply worthy of notice, from one of the State Socialists, was that I was a renegade. Joe Labadie, of Detroit, renounced State Socialism soon after, while Lizzie M. Swank and T. F. Hagerty, who tried to save the ship on State through the columns of the Radical Review, found their craft sinking from the fatal attacks of the pen of A. H. Simpson. Johann Most and Paul Grottkau met in public debate on the same subject, Most making the claim that in all the revolutions of the past the people were again enslaved through subsequent Parliamentary chicanery: therefore Parliament must be abolished. The Pittsburgh convention, the resignation of Paul Grottkau, and the succession of August Spies as the editor of the Arbeiter-Zeitung and the founding of the Alarm were events, following each other in rapid succession, manifesting the wonderful activity of the Revolutionary Anarchists. Parsons, Spies, and Fielden availed themselves of every opportunity and before every society to disseminate their doctrines, whether before the Liberal League or the Methodist ministry. C. C. Post informed me, one day in the winter of '85, that the West Side Philosophic Society, founded by the Rev. Dr. Thomas and composed almost exclusively of the members of the People's Church, had on their program Modern Socialism, and they desired the presence of some of the representatives of the various Socialistic schools. Post left the matter with me, and I invited Parsons, Spies, and A. H. Simpson. Parsons was engaged that night and could not go. Judge Boyles, a member of the society,


opened the discussion, but he knew no more about Socialism than a Hottentot. Our participation in the debate, however, created such intense interest that the society concluded to continue the subject at its next meeting. Parsons accompanied us on this occasion, and I shall never forget the dramatic and tantalizing speech he made. The society was the "elite" of the West Side. Mr. Dean, its President, is a millionaire lumber merchant; Col. Waterman — since elected Judge — Judge Boyles, Dr. Thomas, and other Colonels, Generals, Judges, professors, etc., with their wives and daughters, bedecked with fair jewels and fine raiment, composed our audience. Parsons spoke last, and as he stepped forward, reviewing for a moment in silence the splendid audience before him, his eye gleamed with triumph and his face wore a smile of supreme satisfaction at the opportunity afforded him of indicting the "upper-tendom" in their own presence. After cracking a few jokes at the expense of Judge Boyles, he began by saying: "I am not in the habit of speaking to men and women dressed in such fine raiment. The men I speak to nightly are the hard-fisted, greasy mechanics and laborers of our city, with the smell of shavings about their clothes. They wear no broadcloth — their constant struggle is to keep the wolf from the door. The women I speak to are those who work from ten to twelve hours daily for a pittance, and must be satisfied with an ordinary dress. But it is these greasy mechanics and these poor women that weave your broadcloth, your silk and satin; that shape into form your costly bonnets and feathers, and grind into exquisite beauty and shape the jewels I see about me, but which they cannot wear." With these preliminary remarks he secured the closest attention to one of the most eloquent, cutting, and defiant speeches I ever heard. Parsons was an extraordinary speaker under extraordinary circumstances. During the telegraphers' strike of 1883 representatives of the various trades unions were in the habit of visiting them at their hall to encourage them with speeches and otherwise. Parsons and I, with a number of other friends, called them one night. The hall was packed. Some one informed the Chairman that Mr. Parsons, from Typographical Union No. 16, was the room. The Chairman called on him to address the meeting,


and as he stepped forward I saw by the flash of his eye that an eloquent address was in store for the audience. He began by referring to the close affinity between the men and women who manipulate the keys and send the messages across the wire and the compositors who receive them as "copy" and put them into print. As he proceeded his whole soul became enveloped with the fire of his subject, and like a torrent sweeping down from the mountain side, carrying everything before it, so he swept down on that American audience of 1,200 men and women, carrying them with him through every impulse of his ardent nature. It would be impossible to attempt an extended reproduction of this speech. It was one of those extraordinary outbursts of eloquence that consumed itself in its own fire, leaving the hearer spell-bound and dazed from the flash of its light. When the eight-hour movement of 1886 began to be interesting the Revolutionary Anarchists did, not take to it. In fact, the large majority of its leaders considered it as a sort of soothing syrup for babies, but of no consequence to grown men. With Parsons it was a different thing. He had been the student of the philosophy of Ira Stewart for years, and was one of a few men who understood the full import of reduced hours. He believed that the success of the eight-hour movement would, if conceded by employers, constitute the bridge over which humanity could march toward a peaceful solution of the problem. The charge made that the Revolutionary Anarchists only used the eight-hour movement to precipitate a violent revolution may be true as to some; if so, they must have been insane; but it was not true as to Parsons. From an interview of March 13, 1886, in the Chicago Daily News, I make the following extract:

"The movement," he said, "to reduce the work-hours is intended by its projectors to give a peaceful solution to the difficulties between capitalists and laborers. I have always held that there were two ways to settle this trouble — either by peaceable or violent methods. Reduced hours — or eight hours — is a peace-offering. * * * Fewer hours means more pay. Reduced hours is the only measure of economic reform which consults the interest of laborers as consumers. Now, this means a higher standard of living for the producers, which can only be acquired by possessing and consuming


a larger share of their own product. This would diminish the profits of the labor exploiters."

It has often been said that had the bomb not exploded on the Haymarket the eight-hour movement would have been a success. This is a serious mistake. There were two weak points connected with the movement, either one of which was fatal: First, the delegates to the Federation of Trades, which convened in Chicago in October, 1885, and designated May 1, 1886, for the inauguration of the eight-hour day, returned home, after passing this resolution and went to sleep. Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee were the only cities outside of Chicago in which there was any serious attempt to demand it. Second, the March circular of T. V. Powderly, informing the Order that the demand to establish an eight-hour work-day did not emanate from the Knights of Labor, but from another organization, intimating that he looked on the movement with disfavor, prevented thousands of Knights from participating. But, not satisfied with impeding its progress before the 1st of May, he declared at the Richmond General Assembly in October that "the very discussion of the immediate introduction of the eight-hour day had UNSETTLED BUSINESS." Armed with this excerpt from his annual address the Chicago packers determined to wrench from their employees the eight-hour system they had gained, and by the aid of Powderly's subsequent dispatch ordering a surrender under penalty of expulsion, the packers succeeded in forcing them back to ten hours, victimizing their leaders and disrupting their organization.

Oh, shades of William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips! Oh, spirits of the mighty dead of all ages and times, who have laid your lives on the altar of human liberty, and lived for the larger freedom of the world, where would have been its progress had you faltered m your work because it might have "unsettled business!"

As the Haymarket meeting, the explosion of the bomb, the escape of Parsons, his indictment with his comrades for the murder Mathias J. Degan, his voluntary return, trial, conviction, and execution, with all its extraordinary incidents, will be treated quite


fully by his wife and others, I will leave that untouched except in one or two minor incidents.

A. R. Parsons joined the Knights of Labor in 1877, while visiting Indianapolis, Indiana, and was initiated by Calvin A. Light, since deceased. For many years he was a member of "old 400," the first local in Chicago. When it lapsed, in 1885, he transferred to Local Assembly 1307, of which he was a member, until November 11, 1887.

The General Assembly of the Knights of Labor at Richmond passed a resolution asking mercy for the condemned Anarchists. The prisoners, particularly Parsons, who was the only member of the Order, did not want mercy, but justice. A year later, at the General Assembly at Minneapolis, Minnesota, the time having arrived for decisive action, James E. Quinn, of District Assembly 49, introduced a resolution against capital punishment, and asked that the General Assembly take steps to prevent, if possible, the execution of the Chicago Anarchists. Powderly ruled it out of order. On an appeal from the decision of the chair, by representative Evans of District Assembly 3, of Pittsburgh, the entire subject became a matter for discussion. Powderly, as usual, spoke last, and made a bitter attack on the condemned men. He called them cowards; said that Parsons had abused him; that he had documentary evidence from Gen. W. H. Parsons establishing their guilt. He introduced newspaper articles, notably one containing a purported circular of Burnette Haskell. He closed his lengthy tirade of abuse with great flourish and emphasis, declaring that if the General Assembly did not stand by him he would not abide by its decision; he would not permit his tongue to be tied, but would tell all he knew. By this he gave the delegates to understand that he had important information and would turn informer if he was not sustained. When he was through one of his automatic dummies moved "the previous question" thereby preventing any explanation of the Haskell circular, which had no connection whatever with the Anarchist case. Its introduction was a gross impropriety and was merely used by this tricky parliamentary mountebank as a means of arousing the passion and prejudice of the General Assembly. On roll call 52 members voted against the decision of the Chair, he being sustained by a large majority. Why did not


Powdery rule the subject out of order at Richmond? Was it because he was looking for an increase of salary to $5,000 per annum and could not afford to oppose District Assembly 49, with its sixty-two delegates who championed the resolution for clemency, and whose votes he needed? Such a ruling at that time might have "unsettled business."

Hugh Pentecost and the Rev. Mr. Kimball had the courage to protest against the wholesale execution of social agitators, though it compelled them to resign their pastorates from wealthy and influential congregations. Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, the infidel, who expects no future reward for magnanimous conduct, raised his voice against the execution of this terrible sentence, regardless of the wishes of his wealthy clients.

But T. V. Powderly, the Christian, worshiper at the shrine of the lowly Jesus, said Parsons had abused him, and in this supreme hour, when he might have manifested a small share of his Master's love and forgiveness, used his power to gratify his revenge.

This11th of November, 1887, has passed into history, and marks the chief tragedy, of the closing years of the nineteenth century. The trial of Spies, Parsons, et al. is over and the verdict of the jury executed, but the trial of the judgment is still going on. Communities and nations, like individuals, are sometimes intoxicated and commit deeds they are ashamed of when they return to their sober senses. It was in such a frenzy of revenge that this nation executed Mrs. Suratt at the close of the War. We look with pride at our record of magnanimity towards Jefferson Davis and his associates, but remember only in shame and humiliation the execution of this woman. I was only a boy then, but it seemed as if I could see the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, with his face full of sorrow and pain, drop a tear of sympathy and regret upon her bier. The sons and daughters of Virginia do not commemorate, with poetry and oratory, the greatness of their State in hanging John Brown. In the history her worthy achievements and triumphs this event has no page.

Is history to repeat itself in the Anarchist case? Will humanity in the future, when looking backward, regard their execution as an evidence of the barbarism of our time? But aside from this, what


will be its influence in shaping the social and industrial destiny of mankind? Will it hasten or delay the solution of those vexed problems of capital and labor which confront us? Will it increase the bitterness already existing between the classes until each approaches the other with malice and revenge, or will it hasten the time of a awakened conscience everywhere to deal fairly and earnestly with the problems of the hour? Luther and the Reformation gave us liberty of conscience, breaking the chains of our spiritual slaver and establishing the right of private judgment; Jefferson, Paini Franklin, and their associates gave us political freedom; but a neither the mind nor the soul can be truly free so long as the body is chained to a condition of industrial dependence or slavery — which is our present condition — it therefore devolves upon us of the nineneenth century to solve the problem of industrial freedom, giving to all persons free opportunities to apply all their faculties and powers to the natural resources about them for their own well being and happiness. Whether this can be accomplished through the gradual and peaceful process of evolution, or whether it will be borne through the storm and stress of revolution, will depend largely upon our ability of awakening the public mind from its apathy.

We are living in an age of universal unrest. The spirit of doubt and inquiry is sowing the seed of discontent with things that be. Institutions hallowed with age are placed on trial. The justice of grinding little children's bones and blood and life into gold in our modern bastiles of labor, so that a few might riot in midnight orgies is being questioned by some. Landlords and users are being denounced as parasites whose palaces are built with the plunder, broken hopes, and tears of the common people; Government itself is charged as being the source of iniquity, a machine through which human vultures are enabled to levy tribute, confer privileges, restrict the freedom of trade, and through diverse ways maintain and enforce a system of legalized plunder and fraud against their fellowmen. Society everywhere is in a state of perturbation, each revolution of the printing press but intensifies the momentum of its discontent.


Nothing is accepted as sacred by this young giant of modern iconoclasm that does not consult MAN'S happiness here and now.

"Goodness is alone immortal,
Evil was not made to last."

CHICAGO, February 26, 1889.


Part I.

Chapter I.— Albert R. Parsons' Ancestors. Heroes of Two Centuries for Religious and Political Freedom Himself the Martyr of the Nineteenth Century for Industrial Liberty — Letter From a Native of Newburyport, Mass. — New England Forefathers Honorable and Heroic Men of Their Time.

A descendant of New England parentage, A. R. Parsons' ancestors figured conspicuously in the seventeenth century in the contests of religious liberty in England, and on the second voyage of the Mayflower landed on the stern and rock-bound coast of New England, laving found what they sought here — freedom to "worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience."

In the eighteenth century they were conspicuous in the struggle for political liberty. The Rev. Jonathan Parsons, of Newburyport, Mass., the Whitfield of the time, preached a war sermon against British tyranny from his pulpit, and raised a company in the aisles of his church, which marched to the trenches of Bunker Hill; there a grand-uncle of Albert lost an arm in the first battle of the Revolution. Maj. Gen. Samuel Parsons, after whom Albert's father was named, served in the New England division of the Revolutionary army.

On his maternal side, his great-grandfather Tompkins was a trooper in Washington's bodyguard — served under him at Trenton, Brandywine, and Monmouth, shared the winter horrors at Valley


Forge, and assisted in the repulse of the Hessians from the New Jersey towns.

His ancestors having proved their devotion to religious and political freedom in the two preceding centuries, Albert R. Parsons may be characterized as a devotee to the cause of industrial freedom in the nineteenth century.
Written by Gen. W. H. Parsons, his brother.


NORFOLK, VA., Sept. 16. — Gen. W. H. Parsons, the eldest brother of A. R. Parsons, the condemned anarchist, was interviewed today by your correspondent at Newport News, where he holds the position of inspector of customs and is much respected for his scholarly attainments and his high-toned deportment. The general has been much averse to being interviewed and until the present has declined to converse with reporters on the subject of his brother's sentence. On being asked to give a brief outline of the life of A. R. Parsons be said:

"A. R. Parsons was born in Montgomery, Ala., June 20, 1848,and is, therefore, just 39 years of age. He is of pilgrim-father parentage, his ancestors — five brothers — landing together in 1632 on Narragansett Bay, and their descendants of that name, according to John Mason of Virginia, who cites the authority of Berknap's ‘History of New England,’ were proverbial for good scholarship and honorable character. Gen. Samuel Parsons, from whom Albert's father was named, was a major-general of the revolutionary war, and his grand-uncle of the same name lost an arm in the battle of Bunker Hill. Theophilus Parsons, the judicial author, was the pivot of the law, not only of New England but of American jurisprudence in his day. It has been the boast of all of that name in all lands and states that no one who bore it was ever convicted or justly charged with a felonious offense.

"Albert R. Parsons, the accused anarchist, is not an exception. He is a political offender, and not a criminal. We assert this, because the incidents of his biography, upon which you interrogate me, will demonstrate this. His father moved to Alabama in 1830. A. R. Parsons


was left an orphan at 4 years of age and joined my family in Tyler, Tex., where I was at that time conducting the Tyler Telegraph as owner and editor. At 12 years of age he entered the Galveston News office and became a member of the family of its founder and proprietor, the venerable Willard Richardson, to learn the art preservative of all arts, of which profession and the Typographical Union he is now a member of high standing as well as a journalist of ripe experience, and was at the period of his arrest as accessory to the tragedy of May 4, 1886."

"Will you give his career during and since the war?"

"When the war broke out he was only 13 years old, but he joined a confederate infantry company called the Lone Star Grays. He was with them over a year and assisted in the capture of Gen. Twiggs. He joined an artillery company at Sabine Pass under his brother, Capt. Richard Parsons, who died at his post, of yellow fever. A. R. Parsons then attached himself to his elder brother's brigade — my own — on the west bank of the Mississippi, in Arkansas, and became a cavalry scout, graduating after four years service at 17 years of age. He edited the Waco Spectator in 1868. His marriage to a Mexican lady of youth, beauty and genius occurred in Austin, Texas, in 1871, and is a matter of record in that city, where miscegenation is a crime. Her Spanish and Aztec blood were then never questioned. She speaks the former language fluently, and was raised an orphan by her uncle, a Mexican ranchero, and lived with him in Johnson county, Texas, until the date of her marriage. By her A. R. Parsons has two children, a boy and girl, aged 8 and 7 respectively, the latter a rare beauty and inheriting the vivacity of her mother. In 1870 he was elected secretary of the Texas senate, and the following year was appointed a deputy United States internal revenue collector. He held this office until he went to Chicago in 1873, when he resumed his trade as a compositor on the Times.

In 1876 he joined the socialists. During the labor troubles of the following year he was held by the chief of police for a speech he had made to 20,000 laboring men at the Market Square, but was released the same night. He has been a compositor on the Inter-Ocean and the Daily News. For three years he filled the position of president of the trade and labor association. He has been nominated for


alderman three times, for congress twice, and once each for sheriff and county clerk. At the national convention of the socialistic labor party, held at Allegheny, Pa., in 1879, he was nominated as the candidate for president of the United States. At the time of his voluntary surrender to the court he was editor of the Alarm."

"Will you give his disposition and any proof of his aversion to violence or any words cautioning others against inflicting injury to persons or property?"

"A. R. Parsons is a philosophical anarchist and claims the gift of prophecy. He has never counseled revolution, but has prophesied revolution. In the prophetic words addressed to Mr. T. V. Powderly from the Chicago bastile, July 4, 1886, he said:

"‘Whether we live or whether we die the social revolution is inevitable. The boundaries of human freedom must be enlarged and widened. The seventeenth century was a struggle for religious liberty; the eighteenth for political equality, and in the nineteenth century mankind is demanding economic or industrial freedom. The fruition of this struggle means the social revolution. We see it coming; we predict it; we hail it with joy. Are we criminals for that?’"

"As I am myself an old time, original Jeffersonian democrat, believing that all power where not expressly delegated to the state, is inherently in the people and not in corporations, and that the ballot is the sole and final arbiter of any existing grievances, I frequently expostulated with him on the idea involved in the word anarchy. His invariable reply to me, with the bars between us and the shadow of the scaffold impending above him, was:

"‘I am not a revolutionist, for all revolutions are not made by agitators and prophets. They are the creatures of wrongs inflicted by the privileged few and their tools and agencies, the law-maker, the courts, and the executive force whether a pliant proletarian guard called police, or the new organized reserves of the police, known as our militia. I do not seek to make revolution. We simply see it coming; we predict it. Am I a criminal for that? Who dreamed among the masses of events of 1861-5? I now prophesy the downfall of wage slavery or the wage-slavery system and its replacement by the principle of co-operation and association between labor and capital. As I witnessed the overthrow of chattel slavery and now


recognize the divinity which shaped that stupendous result, so I see that hand in the events, by no means circumscribed, now impending over my native land as well as over Europe — the emancipation of my own class. Every government, including our own as now organized, is a conspiracy to enslave labor whether of the hand or brain. Coercion is the basis of this conspiracy, and hence we would overthrow all existing law which fosters and maintains it. Labor will fight, but will only fight in self-defense. The universal depression and suffering and pauperism in Europe, as well as America, is the source of discontent and unrest and is fomenting a political cyclone.’"

"To these views frequently expressed when pressed for his purpose, I would interpose the plea that the people would yet administer the corrective for existing evils through the machinery of the ballot, as this was a free representative government, and we could not improve upon its form as a medium for the expression of the popular will. To this he would invariably reply, ‘the people will attempt to apply the corrective through the ballot and will measurably succeed so far as form is concerned; but,’ he would add, ‘the vested wrongs of the privileged class, although in the hands of a very meager minority, will never be relinquished without coercion, as witness our late civil war. This meager minority will rebel against the voice and vote of the majority of the people constitutionally expressed. They have the example of a wealthy few in Rome who organized a mercenary praetorian guard of 10,000 policemen to overawe the unarmed populace of the capital and held in their pay the rival legions recruited from the plebeian classes. Here is where and when the future revolution will be inaugurated. This plutocracy will rebel against the democratic and republican masses and recruit their mercenary police and praetorian guards from the very ranks of the men who will spoliate on both classes.’"

"That is anarchy as taught and understood by A. R. Parsons. I often pressed him for an exposition of the term anarchism as meant believed by him. He invariably replied in substance that the meaning of philosophical anarchism was the very antipodes of any as defined and understood by capitalism; that Webster's dictionary gave two meanings — one, without rulers or governors; and


the other, disorder and confusion. The latter he defined as capitalistic anarchy, such as was now witnessed, he said, in all parts of the world, in all conditions of society below the privileged classes which had already absorbed and monopolized all the opportunities of life and the means of existence, except merely to exist.

"To be without rulers and governors invested with authority to dictate to others against their will and interests, he would say, is philosophical anarchism, and the state of society which the church constantly prognosticating will usher in the millennial period when all governments will be abolished and the principles of Christ, as taught by him of the brotherhood of man and the supreme fatherhood of the Creator, will be established. Man is the agency through whom this result will be achieved, as God works alone by such agencies; and as without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, I believe that the anarchism of the millennium, when there will be but invisible ruler and all human governments overthrown, will bu ushered in by the most stupendous and bloody revolution in the annals of time. Is it criminal to report the prophecy of the seers and inspired men of the sacred oracles? Am I to be executed for predicting that the period when no ruler or law save the spirit of the Nazarene teacher of good-will on earth and peace to all men as the fruit of the golden rule of the then common brotherhood of man is soon to be inaugurated? Then incarcerate the incumbents of our pulpits, and again, as of yore, stone the prophets; for so stone they the prophets even among his chosen people, when sent to warn them of judgment to come."

"What was his action at the meeting at which the bomb was thrown?"

"There is no pretense that A. R. Parsons or that any one of the defendants threw or even knew of the throwing of the fatal bomb. They are all condemned as supposed, although not proven, accessories, for there can be no accessories without a principal, and there was not even an attempt to prove who the principal was. He yet remains unknown, the circumstantial evidence much more strongly pointing to an agent of the stock exchanges through Pinkerton's mercenaries to break up the eight-hour movement by charging the offense on the leaders of that movement in Chicago than to these defendants.


The New York Times advised that very course to involve the leaders and thus break down the eight-hour movement which was then sustained by 335,000 men. A. R. Parsons rehearsed on the trial his Haymarket speech, and it is of record. It was a strong, statistical, philosophical argument. At its conclusion Capt. Black, counsel for the defense, asked: ‘When you were referring in your speech to Jay Gould or to the southwestern system do you remember any interruption from the crowd or any response?’ to which A. R. replied: ‘Yes, I omitted that in rehearsing my speech before the court just concluded.’ Some one said: ‘Hang him! hang Gould!’ My response to that was that it was not a conflict between individuals, but for a change of system, and that socialism designed to remove the cause which produced the pauper and the millionaire, but did not aim at the life of individuals."

"Reporter English of the Chicago Tribune and several other reporters present corroborated this statement. In fact it was originally drawn out of the reporters present before A. R. Parsons took the stand. It was proven by ten witnesses that A. R. Parsons was in Zepf's hall, at the corner of Randolph and Desplaines streets, when the shell exploded, and yet he is condemned to death for having incited some one to throw the fatal bomb. It was proven that Lingg was two and a half miles away on Clybourn avenue at that hour; that Schwab was speaking elsewhere, seven miles distant; that Engel was with his family at home; that Neebe was not even present, and knew nothing of the meeting; that Parsons had finished and left the ground with his family, and that the only two of the eight present were Fielden and Spies, and they were on the speakers' stand when attacked and ordered to disperse by 200 armed policemen."

"Is it true he voluntarily surrendered?"

"It is true that conscious of his innocence, A. R. Parsons voluntarily came into open court on the first day of the trial and took his seat with the accused defendants at a time when the inflamed prejudices of the police rendered it doubtful if justice could be rendered with the entire machinery of the law in their hands. This act tended largely to disarm the hostility of disinterested men who loved in fair play, and that justice should be done though the heavens fall."


"Will the case, in your judgment, be called to the United Stall supreme court, and on what grounds?"

"It will; first, because under the sixth amendment of the federal constitution it is provided that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a trial by an impartial jury of the state and district where the crime shall have been committed. The fifteenth amendment provides that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. If these men are executed the state of Illinois, through its courts, will have executed seven men without the due process provided and guaranteed by the constitution, which is the supreme law and which accords to the accused a trial by an impartial jury. It was proved on the trial that the special bailiff, Henry L. Ryce, who was appointed to serve the special venire, said to Otis S. Favor, a reputable merchant Chicago, that he was managing the case against the accused and knew what he was about, and that the accused would hang as certain as death. ‘I am calling such men as the defendants will have! challenge and so waste their challenges,’ he said. This was made a special ground for a new trial, although Judge Gary had refused the defendants the privilege to introduce Mr. Otis Favor to prove that the bailiff acknowledged with a chuckle that he was packing the jury so that it would not be impartial. Juryman Adams admitted before the trial that if he was on the jury he would hang all of them. This was proved. Juror Denker stated to two credible witnesses before the trial that the whole d—d crowd ought to be hanged. Several of the jurors, who can be named, as they are all of record, admitted that they were prejudiced so that it would take strong evidence to overcome their already predetermined judgment of their guilt. On this statement of record the fourteenth amendment can be invoked and a writ of error must issue overruling the action of a state court, which has doomed seven men to death, having denied them an impartial trial, as required by the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. Their death would be judicial murder. Such would be the sentence of mankind and the verdict of history.

"2. There is a precedent from Missouri where a writ of error was for review by the United States supreme court on the ground that the evidence was obtained by unlawful search and seizure, and a


violation of the sanctity of letters unlawfully seized. A letter to Mr. Spies, written a year before the trial, was seized, after breaking open his private editorial desk, and was permitted to be read on the trial by Judge Gary, the purpose of which was to show he had received — not answered — a letter from Herr Most about medicine that was good for the relief of the Hocking valley strikers of 1885. Evidence obtained by a violation of such safeguards to the citizen is a violation of all rights guaranteed by the constitution. Of course, where courts are now constituted to protect vested wrongs in many cases, as witness Justice Field's decisions in California in favor of the Chinese and in protection of Senator Stanford against the Pacific commission, there is no way to estimate the result of even an application for a writ of error in this case. It may be that blood is what is wanted and blood they must have, and thus verify the saying that ‘whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.’"

"What is your own history and political status?"

"I have held positions of honor under three governors and two presidents. I was on the supreme court bench, a member of the United States centennial commission, was state senator, was in the Charleston convention of 1860, and commanded an active cavalry brigade in the confederate service throughout the war. I am a Jeffersonian democrat and believe the ballot will yet redeem the nation." — Correspondence Daily News.


10 POLAND STREET, W. LONDON, October 8, 1887.

Fellow Craftsman:
* * * We had a packed meeting at the Club in Tottenham streets last evening — not packed with police spies and disturbers, as attempted, but with your devoted friends and admirers from every country of the so-called civilized world; that is, from that portion of our insignificant little globe where Adam Smith is Brahma, Vishnu, Mahomet, Christ and King. On last evening we had the honor of lining Cleveland street near at hand from end to end with police and constables, while as many as could conveniently stand about the place


were assembled at the Club door. This is all excellent advertisement for the meeting on Friday next at Finsbury Chapel. Mr. Moncure Conway's favorite forum is just a few yards inside the boundary of the city, so we have the myrmidons of the Lord Mayor to deal with. They treat us more gingerly, I assure you, than the metropolitan force, not wishing any bobbery in such perilous proximity to the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and the sacred seclusion of Chapel Court. As I have not the least doubt that your treatment all along has depended on direct orders from the latter almighty stronghold, I have high hopes of the effect of next Friday's meeting. I have never from the first believed that at the last moment they will dare murder you.

Seymour has given me a copy of a paper containing your brother's statement. In this I was peculiarly interested, with good reason. You can understand this when I tell you that I am a New Englander, from the old town of Newburyport, where we are pretty stiffnecked hypercritical; but we have some names we hold in reverence. Although Hale, Ling, Lowell, Longfellow, Lund, Perkins Sewall, Webster, Wheelright, Whittier are but a few of the families made illustrious by our noble sons — although more than half of the great Yankee race, north and south, east and west, has our immediate blood in its veins — although our town is the parent Puritan settlement of northern Massachusetts and the three northern New England states — I can safely say that all our revered names pale beside that which you yourself bear. We can never forget that in the glorious old church still standing, in the shadow of which William Lloyd Garrison was born, in which Cable Cushing made his spiritual home, beneath the pulpit of which still lies as in life, his countenance embalmed in tranquil majesty, the greatest preacher in the tide of time — it was in this church that old Jonathan Parsons, its pastor preacher only second to Whitfield himself in fiery eloquence and far beyond him in every other attainment, where old liberty-loving Jonathan delivered that soul-stirring harangue against British tyranny so often told in song and story, which caused electrified parishioners to spring from their seats, and then and there in the broad aisles to muster a company which shed some of its best blood on the hill


tops of Charleston and beneath the snow-clad citadels of Canada. More than this, no true-born son of Newburyport ever forgets that the greatest, most learned, the most upright and fearless judge whom history notes was our townsman; to his shrine came the young legal aspirants, who afterward molded the American Union, and all that is best and most lasting in its laws and precedents. Among such disciples at the inexhaustible fount of Theophilus Parsons was one of the most accomplished of the Presidents of the United States.

Ah, my dear friend! Your life is under the obligation of sustaining the unsmirched record of a noble name. The famous men who have borne it, whether preachers, teachers, jurists, statesmen, or soldiers, have, according to their age and knowledge, been ever on the side of truth and justice. I make no doubt you will do nothing to detract from this record. Though I cannot flatter, I will have the honest justice to say now to you, perhaps on the brink of death, that should the infamous crime of your assassination be accomplished, I will bear testimony to our fellowmen that you were not the least of those who have borne your name.

We are all the creatures of circumstances. No man can make himself a hero; events may make him one, provided he is made of the stuff to bear the strain. Events have placed you on the apex of eternal fame; so far you have never faltered from the trying test. I know you will continue to honor us who have had the happy fortune to honor you.

Whether you live or die, be assured of the highest esteem of
Yours fraternally,


Chapter II. — The Story of His Life. — Parsons' Ancestors in America — Early Life in Texas — In the Southern Army — "The Spectator" — He Falls in Love Leaves Texas and Settles in Chicago — Becomes Interested in the Labor Movement — The Great Srike of 1877 — Discharged, Blacklisted, and Threatened — Forcibly Ejected From the "Tribune" Composing Room — Joins the Knights of Labor — The Trades Assembly — "The Socialist" — The Workingmen's Military Organizations — The Disarmament — Workingmen Abjure Political Methods to Right Economic Wrongs — The Pittsburgh Manifesto — "The Alarm" — The International Supports the Eight-Hour Movement — The Unequal Struggle of Persons vs. Property.

Albert R. Parsons was born in the city of Montgomery, Ala., June 20, 1848. My father, Samuel Parsons, was from the State of Maine, and he married into the Tompkins-Broadwell family, of New Jersey, and settled in Alabama at an early day, where he afterward established a shoe and leather factory in the city of Montgomery. My father was noted as a public-spirited, philanthropic man. He was a Universalist in religion and held the highest office in the temperance movement of Louisiana and Alabama. My mother was a devout Methodist, of great spirituality of character, and known far and near as an intelligent and truly good woman. I had nine brothers and sisters. My ancestry goes back to the earliest settlers of this country, the first Parsons family landing on the shores of Narragansett Bay from England, in 1632. The Parsons family and their descendants have taken an active and useful part in all the social, religious, political and revolutionary movements in America. One of the


Tompkinses, on my mother's side, was with Gen. George Washington at the battles of Brandywine, Monmouth, and Valley Forge, Maj. Gen. Samuel Parsons, of Massachusetts, my direct ancestor, was an officer in the Revolution of 1776, and Capt. Parsons was wounded at the battle of Bunker Hill. There are over 90,000 descendants from the original Parsons family in the United States.

My mother died when I was not yet 2 years old, and my father died when I was 5 years of age. Shortly after this my eldest brother, William Henry Parsons, who had married and was then living at Tyler, Tex., became my guardian. He was proprietor and editor of the Tyler Telegraph; that was in 1851-'52-'53. Two years later our family moved west to Johnson county, on the Texas frontier, while the buffalo, antelope, and Indian were in that region. Here we lived, on a range, for about three years, when we moved to Hill county and took up a farm in the valley of the Brazos river. My frontier life had accustomed me to the use of the rifle and the pistol, to hunting and riding, and in these matters I was considered quite an expert. At that time our neighbors did not live near enough to hear each other's dog bark or the cocks crow. It was often five to ten or fifteen miles to the next house. In 1859 I went to Waco, Tex., where, after living with my sister (the wife of Maj. Bird), and going to school, meantime, for about a year, I was indentured an apprentice to the Galveston Daily News for seven years to learn the printer's trade. Entering upon my duties as a "printer's devil," I also became a paper carrier for the Daily News, and in a year and a half was transformed from a frontier boy into a city civilian. When the slave-holder's Rebellion broke out, in 1861, though quite small and but 13 years old, I joined a local volunteer military company called the "Lone Star Grays." My first military exploit was on the passenger steamer Morgan, where we made a trip out into the gulf of Mexico and intercepted and assisted in the capture of United States Gen. Twiggs' army, which had evacuated the Texas frontier forts and came to the sea coast at Indianola to embark for Washington, D. C.

My next military exploit was a "run-away" trip on my part, for which I received an ear-pulling from my guardian when I returned.


These were stirring "war times," and, as a matter of course, my young blood caught the infection. I wanted to enlist in the Rebel army and join Gen. Lee in Virginia, but my guardian, Mr. Richardson, proprietor of the News, a man of 60 years and the leader of the Secession movement in Texas, ridiculed the idea, on account of my age and size, and ended by telling me that "it's all bluster anyway. It will be ended in the next sixty days, and I will hold in my hat all the blood that's shed in this war." This statement from one whom I thought knew, all about it only served to fix all the firmer my resolve to go, and go at once, before too late. So I took "French leave," and joined an artillery company at an improvised fort at Sabine Pass, Tex., where Capt. Richard Parsons, an elder brother, was in command of an infantry company. Here I exercised in infantry drill and served as "powder monkey" for the cannoneers. My military enlistment expired in twelve months, when I left Fort Sabine and joined Parsons' Texas cavalry brigade, then on the Mississippi river. My brother, Maj.-Gen. W. H. Parsons (who during the war was by his soldiers invested with the sobriquet "Wild Bill"), was at that time in command of the entire cavalry outposts on the west bank of the Mississippi river from Helena to the mouth of the Red river. His cavalrymen held the advance in every movement of the trans-Mississippi army, from the defeat of the Federal General Curtis on White river to the defeat of Gen. Banks' army on Red river, which closed the fighting on the west side of the Mississippi. I was a mere boy of 15 when I joined my brother's command at the front on White river, and was afterward a member of the renowned McInoly Scouts, under Gen. Parsons' order, which participated in all the battles of the Curtis, Canby, and Banks campaigns.

On my return home to Waco, Tex., at the close of the war, I traded a good mule, all the property I possessed, for forty acres of corn in the field standing ready for harvest, to a refugee who desired to flee the country. I hired and paid wages (the first they had ever received) to a number of ex-slaves, and together we reaped the harvest. From the proceeds of its sale I obtained a sum sufficient to pay for six months' tuition at the Waco University, under control of the Rev. Dr. R. B. Burleson. Soon afterward I took up


the trade of type-setting and went to work in a printing office in the town. In 1868 I founded and edited a weekly newspaper in Waco, named the Spectator. In it I advocated, with Gen. Longstreet, the acceptance, in good faith, of the terms of surrender, and supported the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth constitutional amendments and the reconstruction measures securing the political rights of the colored people. (I was strongly influenced in taking this step out of respect and love for the memory of dear old "Aunt Easter," then dead, and formerly a slave and house-servant of my brother's family, she having been my constant associate and practically raised me, with great kindness and a mother's love.) I became a Republican, and, of course, had to go into politics. I incurred thereby the hate and contumely of many of my former army comrades, neighbors, and the Ku Klux Klan. My political career was full of excitement and danger. I took the stump to vindicate my convictions. The lately enfranchised slaves over a large section of country came to know and idolize me as their friend and defender, while on the other hand I was regarded as a political heretic and traitor by many of my former associates. The Spectator could not long survive such an atmosphere. In 1869 I was appointed traveling correspondent and agent for the Houston Daily Telegraph, and started out on horseback (our principal mode of travel at that time) for a long tour through northwestern Texas. It was during this trip through Johnson county that I first met the charming young Spanish-Indian maiden who, three years later, became my wife. She lived in a most beautiful region of country, on her uncle's ranch near Buffalo Creek. I lingered in this neighborhood as long as I could, and then pursued my journey with fair success. In 1870, at 21 years of age, I was appointed Assistant Assessor of United States Internal Revenue, under Gen. Grant's administration. About a year later I was elected one of the Secretaries of the Texas State Senate, and was soon after appointed Chief Deputy Collector of United States Internal Revenue at Austin, Tex., which position I held, accounting satisfactorily for large sums of money, until 1873, when I resigned the position. In August, 1873, I accompanied an editorial excursion, as the representative of the Texas Agriculturalist, at Austin, Tex., and in company


with a large delegation of Texas editors made an extended tour through Texas, Indian Nation, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, as guests of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway. I decided to settle in Chicago. I had married in Austin, Tex., in the fall of 1871, and my wife joining me at Philadelphia we came to Chicago together, where we have lived till the present time. I at once became a member of Typographical Union No. 16, and "subbed" for a time on the Inter-Ocean, when I went to work under "permit" on the Times. Here I worked over four years, holding a situation at "the case." In 1874 I became interested in the "labor question," growing out of the effort made by Chicago working people at that time to compel the "Relief and Aid Society" to render to the suffering poor of the city an account of the vast sums of money (several millions of dollars) held by that society and contributed by the whole world to relieve the distress occasioned by the great Chicago fire of 1871. It was claimed by the working people that the money was being used for purposes foreign to the intention of its donors; that rings of speculators were corruptly using the money, while the distressed and impoverished people for whom it was contributed were denied its use. This raised a great sensation and scandal among all the city newspapers, which defended the "Relief and Aid Society," and denounced the dissatisfied workingmen as "Communists, robbers, loafers," etc. I began to examine into this subject, and I found that the complaints of the working people against the society were just and proper. I also discovered a great similarity between the abuse heaped upon these poor people by the organs of the rich and the actions of the late southern slave-holders in Texas toward the newly enfranchised slaves, whom they accused of wanting to make their former masters "divide" by giving them "forty acres and a mule," and it satisfied me there was a great fundamental wrong at work in society and in existing social and industrial arrangements.

From this time dated my interest and activity in the labor movement. The desire to know more about this subject led me in contact with Socialists and their writings, they being the only people who at that time had made any protest against or offered any remedy for the enforced poverty of the wealth-producers and its collateral evil


of ignorance, intemperance, crime, and misery. There were very few Socialists or "Communists," as the daily papers were fond of calling them, in Chicago at that time. The result was, the more I investigated and studied the relations of poverty to wealth, its causes and cure, the more interested I became in the subject. In 1876 a workingmen's congress of organized labor met in Pittsburgh, Pa. I watched its proceedings. A split occurred between the conservatives and radicals, the latter of whom withdrew and organized the "Workingmen's Party of the United States." The year previous I had become a member of the "Social-Democratic Party of America." This latter was now merged into the former. The organization was at once pounced upon by the monopolist class, who, through the capitalist press everywhere, denounced us as "Socialists, Communists, robbers, loafers," etc.

This was very surprising to me, and also had an exasperating effect upon me, and a powerful impulse possessed me to place myself right before the people by defining and explaining the objects and principles of the Workingmen's party, which I was thoroughly convinced were founded both in justice and on necessity. I therefore entered heartily into the work of enlightening my fellow-men: first, the ignorant and blinded wage-workers who misunderstood us, and secondly, the educated labor exploiters who misrepresented us. I soon unconsciously became a "labor agitator," and this brought down upon me a large amount of capitalist odium. But this capitalist abuse and slander only served to renew my zeal all the more in the great work of social redemption. In 1877 the great railway strike occurred; it was July 21, 1877, and it is said 30,000 workingmen assembled on Market street, near Madison, in mass meeting. I was called upon to address them. In doing so, I advocated the programme of the Workingmen's party, which was the exercise of the sovereign ballot for the purpose of obtaining State control of all means of production, transportation, communication, and exchange, thus taking these instruments of labor and wealth out of the hands or control of private individuals, corporations, monopolists, and syndicates. To do this, I argued that the wage-workers would first have to join the Workingmen's party. There was great enthusiasm, but


no disorder during the meeting. The next day I went to the Times office to go to work as usual, when I found my name stricken from the roll of employes. I was discharged and blacklisted by this paper for addressing the meeting that night. The printers in the office admired secretly what they termed "my pluck," but they were afraid to have much to say to me. About noon of that day, as I was at the office of the German labor paper, 94 Market street (organ of the Workingmen's party, the Arbeiter-Zeitung, printed tri-weekly), two men came in and accosting me said Mayor Heath wanted to speak with me. Supposing the gentleman was down-stairs, I accompanied them, when they told me he was at the Mayor's office. I expressed my surprise, and wondered what he wanted with me. There was great newspaper excitement in the city, and the papers were calling the strikers all sorts of hard names; but, while many thousands were on the strike, there had been no disorder. As we walked hurriedly on, one on each side of me, the wind blew strong, and their coat-tails flying aside, I noticed that my companions were armed. Reaching the City Hall building, I was ushered into the Chief of Police's (Hickey) presence in a room filled with police officers. I knew none of them, but I seemed to be known by them all. They scowled at me and conducted me to what they called the Mayor's room. Here I waited a short while, when the door opened and about thirty persons, mostly in citizen's dress, came in. The Chief of Police took a seat opposite to and near me. I was very hoarse from the out-door speaking of the previous night, had caught cold, had had but little sleep or rest, and had been discharged from employment. The Chief began to catechise me in a brow-beating, officious, and insulting manner. He wanted to know who I was, where born, raised, if married and a family, etc. I quietly answered all his questions. He then lectured me on the great trouble I had brought upon the city of Chicago, and wound up by asking me if I didn't "know better than to come up here from Texas and incite the working people to insurrection," etc. old him that I had done nothing of the sort, or at least I had not intended to do so; that I was simply a speaker at the meeting; that was all. I told him that the strike arose from causes over which I, as an individual, had no control; that I had merely addressed the mass


meeting, advising to not strike, but go to the polls, elect good men to make good laws, and thus bring about good times. Those present the room were much excited, and when I was through explaining some spoke up and said "Hang him," "Lynch him," "Lock him up," etc.; to my great surprise holding me responsible for the strikes in the city. Others said it would never do to hang or lock me up; that the workingmen were excited and that act might cause them to do violence. It was agreed to let me, go. I had been there about two hours. The Chief of Police as I rose to depart took me by the arm, accompanied me to the door, where he stopped. He said: "Parsons, your life is in danger. I advise you to leave the city at once. Beware. Everything you say or do is made known to me. I have men on your track who shadow you. Do you know you are liable to be assassinated any moment on the street?" I ventured to ask him who by, and what for? He answered: "Why, those Board of Trade men would as leave hang you to a lamp-post as not." This surprised me, and I answered: "If I was alone they might, but not otherwise." He turned the spring latch, shoved me through the door into the hall, saying in a hoarse tone of voice, "Take warning," and slammed the door to. I was never in the old rookery before. It was a labyrinth of halls and doors. I saw no one about. All was still. The sudden change from the tumultuous inmates of the room to the dark and silent hall affected me. I didn't know where to go or what to do. I felt alone, absolutely without a friend in the wide world.

This was my first experience with the "powers that be," and I became conscious that they were powerful to give or take one's life. I was sad, not excited. The afternoon papers announced in great head lines that Parsons, the leader of the strikers, was arrested. This was surprising and annoying to me, for I had made no such attempt and was not under arrest. But the papers said so. That night I called at the composing-room of the Tribune office, on the fifth floor, partly to get a night's work and partly to be near the men of my own craft, whom I instinctively felt sympathized with me. The men went to work at 7 p. m. It was near 8 o'clock, as I was talking about the great strike, and wondering what it would all come to, with Mr. Manion, Chairman of the Executive Board of our union, when from


behind some one took hold of my arms and, jerking me around to face them, asked me if my name was Parsons. One man on each side of me took hold of one arm, another man put his hand against my back, and began dragging and shoving me toward the door. They were strangers. I expostulated. I wanted to know what was the matter. I said to them: "I came in here as a gentleman, and I don't want to be dragged out like a dog." They cursed me between their teeth, and, opening the door, began to lead me down-stairs. As we started down one of them put a pistol to my head and said: "I've a mind to blow your brains out." Another said: "Shut up or we'll dash you out the window upon the pavements below." Reaching the bottom of the five flights of stairs they paused and said: "Now go If you ever put your face in this building again you'll be arrested and locked up." A few steps in the hallway and I opened the door and stepped out upon the sidewalk. (I learned afterward from the Tribune printers that there was great excitement in the composing room, the men threatening to strike then and there on account of the way I had been treated; when Joe Medill, the proprietor, came up into the composing-room and made an excitable talk to the men explaining that he knew nothing about it and that my treatment was done without his knowledge or consent, rebuking those who had acted in the way they had done. It was the opinion of the men however, that this was only a subterfuge to allay the threatened trouble which my treatment had excited.) The streets were almost deserted at that early hour, and there was a hushed and expectant feeling pervading everything. I felt that I was likely to fall a pitiless, unknown sacrifice at any moment. I strolled down Dearborn street to Lake, west on Lake to Fifth avenue. It was a calm, pleasant summer night. Lying stretched upon the curb, and loitering in and about the closed doors of the mammoth buildings on these streets were armed men. Some held their muskets in hand, but most of them were rested against the buildings. In going by way of an unfrequented street I found that I had got among those whom I sought to evade — they were the First regiment, Illinois National Guards. They seemed to be waiting for orders; for had not the newspapers declared that the strikers were becoming violent, and "the Commune was


about to rise!" and that I was their leader! No one spoke to or molested me. I was unknown. The next day and the next the strikers gathered in thousands in different parts of the city without leaders or any organized purpose. They were in each instance clubbed and fired upon, and dispersed by the police and militia. That night a peaceable meeting of 3,000 workingmen was dispersed on Market street, near Madison. I witnessed it. Over 100 policemen charged upon this peaceable mass-meeting, firing their pistols and clubbing right and left. The printers, the iron-molders, and other trades unions which had held regular monthly or weekly meetings of their unions for years past, when they came to their hall-doors now for that purpose, found policemen standing there, the doors barred, and the members told that all meetings had been prohibited by the Chief of Police. All mass meetings, union meetings of any character were broken up by the police, and at one place (Twelfth Street Turner hall), where the Furniture-Workers' Union had met to confer with their employers about the eight-hour system and wages, the police broke down the doors, forcibly entered, and clubbed and fired upon the men as they struggled pell-mell to escape from the building, killing one workman and wounding many others.

The following day the First regiment, Illinois National Guards, fired upon a crowd of sight-seers, consisting of several thousand men, women, and children, killing several persons, none of whom were ever on a strike, at Sixteenth street viaduct.

For about two years after the railroad strike and my discharge from the Times office I was blacklisted and unable to find employment in the city, and my family suffered for the necessaries of life.

The events of 1877 gave great impulse and activity to the labor movement all over the United States, and, in fact, the whole world. The unions rapidly increased both in number and membership. So, too, with the Knights of Labor. In visiting Indianapolis, Ind., to address a mass-meeting of workingmen on the Fourth of July, 1876, I met the State Organizer, Calvin A. Light, and was initiated by him as a member of the Knights of Labor, and I have been a member of that order ever since. That organization had no foothold, was in fact unknown, in Illinois, at that time. What a change! Today


the Knights of Labor has nearly a million members, and numbers tens of thousands in the State of Illinois. The political labor movement boomed also. The following spring of 1877 the Workingmen's Party of the United States nominated a full county ticket in Chicago. It elected three members of the Legislature and one Senator. I received as candidate for County Clerk 7,963 votes, running over 400 ahead of the ticket. About that time I became a member of local assembly 400 of the Knights of Labor, the first Knights of Labor assembly organized in Chicago, and, I believe, in the State of Illinois. I also served as a delegate to district assembly 24 for two terms, and was, I think, made its Master Workman for one term.

I have been nominated by the workingmen in Chicago three times for Alderman, twice for County Clerk, and once for Congress. The Labor party was kept up for four years, polling at each election from 6,000 to 12,000 votes. I was in 1878 a delegate to the national convention of the Workingmen's Party of the United States, held at Newark, N. J. At this labor congress the name of the party was changed to "Socialistic Labor party." In 1878, at my instance and largely through my efforts, the present Trades Assembly of Chicago and vicinity was organized. I was its first President and was re-elected to that position three times. I remained a delegate to the Trades Assembly from Typographical Union No. 16 for several years. I was a strenuous advocate of the eight-hour system among trades unions. In 1879 I was a delegate to the national convention held in Allegheny City, Pa., of the Socialistic Labor party, and was there nominated as the Labor candidate for President of the United States. I declined the honor, not being of the constitutional age — 35 years. (This was the first nomination of a workingman by workingmen for that office in the United States.)

During these years of political action every endeavor was made to corrupt, to intimidate, and mislead the Labor party. But it remained pure and undefiled; it refused to be cowed, bought, or misled. Beset on the one side by the insinuating politician and on the other by the almighty money-bags, what between the two the Labor party — the honest, poor party — had a hard road to travel. And, worst of all the workingmen refused to rally en masse to their own party, but


doggedly, the most of them, hugged their idols of Democracy or Republicanism, and fired their ballots against each other on election days. It was discouraging. But the Labor party moved forward undaunted, and each election came up smiling at defeat. In 1876 the Socialist, an English weekly paper, was published by the party, and I was elected its assistant editor. About this time the Socialist organization held some monster meetings. The Exposition building on one occasion contained over 40,000 attendants, and many could not get inside. Ogden's grove on one occasion held 30,000 persons. During these years the labor movement was undergoing its formative period, as it is even now. The un-American utterances of the capitalist press — the representatives of monopoly — excited the gravest apprehension among thoughtful working people. These representatives of the moneyed aristocracy advised the use of police clubs, and militia bayonets, and gatling guns to suppress strikers and put down discontented laborers struggling for better pay — shorter work-hours. The millionaires and their representatives on the pulpit and rostrum avowed their intention to use force to quell their dissatisfied laborers. The execution of these threats; the breaking up of meetings, arrest and imprisonment of labor "leaders;" the use of club, pistol, and bayonet upon strikers; even to the advice to throw hand-grenades (dynamite) among them — these acts of violence and brutality led many workingmen to consider the necessity for self-defense of their person and their rights. Accordingly, workingmen's military organizations sprang up all over the country. So formidable did this plan of organization promise to become that the capitalistic Legislature of Illinois in 1878, acting under orders from millionaire manufacturers and railway corporations, passed a law disarming the wage-workers. This law the workingmen at once tested in the Courts of Illinois, and afterward carried it to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it was decided by the highest tribunal that the State Legislatures of the United States had a constitutional right to disarm workigmen. Dissensions began to rise in the Socialist organization over the question of methods. In the fall and spring elections of 1878-'79-'80 the politicians began to practice ballot-box stuffing and other outrages upon the Workingmen's party. It was then I began to


realize the hopeless task of political reformation. Many workingmen began to lose faith in the potency of the ballot or the protection of the law for the poor. Some of them said that "political liberty without economic (industrial) freedom was an empty phrase." Others claimed that poverty had no votes as against wealth; because if a man's bread was controlled by another, that other could and, when necessary, would control his vote also. A consideration and discussion of these subjects gradually brought a change of sentiment in the minds of many; the conviction began to spread that the State, the Government and its laws, was merely the agent of the owners of capital to reconcile, adjust, and protect their — the capitalists' — conflicting interests; that the chief function of all Government was to maintain economic subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor — of life — to capital. These ideas began to develop in the minds of workingmen everywhere (in Europe as well as America), and the conviction grew that law — statute law — and all forms of Government (governors, rulers, dictators, whether Emperor, King, President, or capitalist, were each and all of the despots and usurpers), was nothing else than an organized conspiracy of the propertied class to deprive the working class of their natural rights. The conviction obtained that money or wealth controlled politics; that money controlled, by hook or crook, labor at the polls as well as in the workshop. The idea began to prevail that the element of coercion, of force, which enabled one person to dominate and exploit the labor of another, was centered or concentrated in the State, the Government, and the statute law, that every law and every Government in the last analysis was force, and that force was despotism, an invasion of man's natural right to liberty.

In 1880 I withdrew from all active participation in the political Labor party, having been convinced that the number of hours per day that the wage-workers are compelled to work, together with the low wages they received, amounted to their practical disfranchisement as voters. I saw that long hours and low wages deprived the wage-workers, as a class, of the necessary time and means, and consequently left them but little inclination to organize for political action to abolish class legislation. My experience in the Labor party


had also taught me that bribery, intimidation, duplicity, corruption, and bulldozing grew out of the conditions which made the working-people poor and the idlers rich, and that consequently the ballot-box could not be made an index to record the popular will until the existing debasing, impoverishing, and enslaving industrial conditions were first altered. For these reasons I turned my activities mainly toward an effort to reduce the hours of labor to at least a normal working day, so that the wage-workers might thereby secure more leisure from mere drudge work, and obtain better pay to minister to their higher aspirations. Several trades unions united in sending me throughout the different States to lay the eight-hour question before the labor organizations of the country. In January, 1880, the "Eight-Hour League of Chicago" sent me as a delegate to the national conference of labor reformers, held in Washington, D. C. This convention adopted a resolution which I offered, calling public attention of the United States Congress to the fact, that, while the eight-hour law passed years ago had never been enforced in Government departments, there was no trouble at all in getting through Congress all the capitalistic legislation called for. By this national convention Richard Trevellick, Charles H. Litchman, Dyer D. Lum, John G. Mills, and myself were appointed a committee of the National. Eight-Hour Association, whose duty it was to remain in Washington, D. C., and urge upon the labor organizations of the United States to unite for the enforcement of the eight-hour law.

About this time there followed a period of discussion of property rights, of the rights of majorities and minorities. The agitation of the subject led to the formation of a new organization, called the International Revolutionary Socialists, and later the International Working People's Association. I was a delegate in 1881 to the labor congress which founded the former, and afterward also delegate to the Pittsburgh (Pa.) congress in October, 1883, which revived the latter as a part of the International Working People's Association, which already ramified Europe, and which was originally organized the world's labor congress held at London, England, in 1864.

In all these matters here enumerated I took an active, personal interest. October 1, 1884, the International founded in Chicago the


Alarm, a weekly newspaper, of which I was elected to the position of editor, and I have held that position until its seizure and suppression by the authorities on the 5th day of May, 1886, following the Haymarket tragedy.

The examination of the class struggle demonstrates that the eight-hour movement was doomed by the very nature of things to defeat. But the International gave its support to it for two reasons, viz.: First, because it was a class movement against class domination, therefore historical, and evolutionary, and necessary; and secondly, because we did not choose to stand aloof and be misunderstood by our fellow-workers. We, therefore, gave to it all the aid and comfort in our power. I was regularly accredited under the official seal of the trade and labor unions of the Central Labor Union, representing 20,000 organized workingmen in Chicago, to assist in the organization of trade and labor unions, and do all in my power for the eight-hour movement. The Central Labor Union, in conjunction with the International, publishes six newspapers in Chicago, to-wit: One English weekly, two German weeklies, one Bohemian weekly, one Scandinavian weekly, and one German daily newspaper.

The trade and labor unions of the United States and Canada having set apart the 1st day of May, 1886, to inaugurate the eight-hour system, I did all in my power to assist the movement, I feared conflict and trouble would arise between the authorities representing the employers of labor and the wage-workers, who only represented themselves. I knew that defenseless men, women, and children must finally succumb to the power of the discharge, blacklist, and lock-out, and its consequent misery and hunger, enforced by the militiaman's bayonet and the policeman's club. I did not advocate the use of force. But I denounced the capitalists for employing it to hold the laborers in subjection to them, and, declared that such treatment would of necessity drive the workingmen to employ the same means in self-defense.



Part II.

Chapter I. — Mr. Parsons' Western Trip Correspondence. — Speech Delivered July 4, 1885, in Ottawa, Kan., Before an Audience of Three Thousand People — Reasons for His Ideas — Social Science, the Explanation of Facts — Production and Distribution the Basis of all Progress — Process of Crashing Out of the Middle Classes — Bourgeoisie Followed the Feudal System and in its Turn Must Give Way — Valuable Statistics — Increase of Crime and Insanity.

Ottawa, Kan., located 60 miles west of Kansas City, on the Mise de Sine river, in one of the loveliest valleys, and amid the richest agricultural regions of the west, is a town of some 7,000 inhabitants, where the round-house and machine shops of the Southern Kansas railroad are located, as well as a few embryonic manufacturing establishments.

The place is popular as a general resort for gatherings of a public and social character throughout the state, and among the most active and intelligent of its population are the workingmen, the foremost of whom are organized into Franklin Assembly 2557, Knights of Labor.

Under the auspices of these men, it was decided prior to July 4 that the day should be consecrated anew to the cause of human liberty and the freedom of labor. Accordingly preparations were made on an extensive scale, and invitations to labor organizations were issued and sent all over the states of Kansas and Missouri.

The following was the heading of their programme:

The days we celebrate, 1776-1885. Grand anniversary labor day! Forest Park, Ottawa, Kan., on July 4, under the auspices of Franklin Assembly 2557. Admission free.


Morning Salute — Sunrise gun.

9 a. m. — Grand rally in the park. Band. "Rally 'Round the Flag." 10 a. m., reading the Declaration of Independence by W. L. Parkingston. Band. "America."

7:30 p. m. — Address by the celebrated labor agitator, A. R. Parsons, of Chicago. Band. "Home, Sweet Home."

On the morning of the 4th the sun rose bright and clear, and the day bid fair to be most auspicious, and by noon of that day fully 10,000 persons were assembled in the park.

On approaching the gate which gave entrance to the grove, your reporter observed above it the following motto, painted in large letters on twenty feet of canvas by three feet wide, viz.:

"No system of religion, government or society, which builds up one person by despoiling another, is worthy of the support of true Christians, patriots or philanthropists."

Small red flags were suspended in clusters on either side of the entrance, on which were printed in golden letters, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."

Entering the grove, a most inviting scene presented itself. The broad and beautiful shade trees, the soft and inviting green grass, the beautiful river meandering through the booths, tents, and the large tabernacle, where 3,000 persons could be comfortably seated, make up the attractions of Forest Park.

On reaching the platform of the speakers' stand we found it draped with the American flag, bordered on either side with clusters of the red flag.

Suspended above the center of the platform was a large canvas, on which was the motto: "Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and never could have existed had not labor first existed. Labor is much the superior and deserves much the higher consideration." — Abraham Lincoln.

On the left was this motto in large letters: "The corruption the best and most divine forms of government must be the worst." — Aristotle.

On the right of the platform was this motto: "An injury to one is the concern of all."

The following mottoes were painted on canvas in large letters


and suspended in conspicuous places throughout the park: "Wise men form judgment of the present from the past." — Sophocles.

"I confirm it as my conviction that class laws, placing capital above labor, are more dangerous to the republic at this hour than the chattel slavery system in the days of its haughtiest supremacy." — Abraham Lincoln.

A. R. Parsons, on being introduced, said that as the committee of arrangements had left it to him to select his own subject, he had chosen the Social Revolution as the topic for discussion.

It was well known he was an Anarchist, said the speaker. He asked their attention to a few of the many reasons why not only himself but others should sooner or later become revolutional. Social science, or Socialism, said the speaker, teaches us how to understand or explain facts; how to point out analogies, and thus discover the operations of natural law. To understand the science of life we must learn the history of the human race, and by its past understand the present. The history of man, in all its evolutions and revolutions, was simply the manifestation of their economic or material condition. Production, and next to production the distribution of wealth, forms the basis of all moral, intellectual, and social progress and order. In all historical epochs we find that the distribution of the products of labor and the social grading into castes and classes were in strict accordance with the mode of production and that of exchange. Hence the primary cause of all social changes and political revolutions must not be sought in the heads of man, or in the growing enlightenment and conception of eternal truth and justice, but in the changes that took place in the modes of production and exchange. They must not be sought in Philosophy, but rather in the economy, of their respective epoch; therefore, the growing conviction that the existing social institutions are unreasonable and unjust, are simply the explanation of the fact that the methods of production and exchange have undergone changes until they can no longer be made to apply to a social order which grew up under entirely different economic conditions, The existing social order has outgrown its usefulness, if it ever had any, and for proof we point to the poverty of the great mass of the people, which has now become unendurable. What is this social


order of which we speak? It is our modern industrial system, with its world-wide markets, based upon the institution of private property. It is the private ownership by a few members of society of the means of production and resources of life; such private ownership creating two classes — one the bourgeoisie, or propertied class, the other the proletariat, or propertyless class. The propertied are thus made a privileged class who grow enormously wealthy by absorbing or confiscating the labor products of the propertyless, who become the dependent hirelings of the propertied.

Under the operations of the private property system modern Governments, whether an Empire, a Constitutional Monarchy, or a Democratic Republic, such as we have now in the United States, are merely the managing committees, organized for the purpose of conducting the affairs of industry in the interests of the property-holding class.

The social, moral, political, and religious institutions of society are but the reflex of the economic.

The American Republic was proclaimed 109 years ago to-day, and its existence made possible because the men of that time were, comparatively speaking, economically free and equal. Their material and physical condition was such as to make the Republic possible.

The declaration of independence that "all men are by nature created free and equal" is as much a truth, but less an actuality to the people of the United States to-day, as when our forefathers proclaimed it. The men of that day possessed political freedom because they enjoyed economic liberty, and we, their descendants are disfranchised, because we are disinherited — deprived of the means of life.

The industrial or economic enslavement of the workers — the wealth producers — has destroyed their political power and rendered them the play-things of that modern social devil-fish, the politician. The poor have no liberties, political or otherwise, which the rich may choose to deny them. The right to sell their labor is contingent upon whether the rich choose to buy it. The chance to be a slave, a wage-slave, is even denied to millions of the propertyless class, who annually perish of hunger, disease, and misery because


thereof. Political liberty without economic freedom is an empty phrase. The possessors of property also possess all political power in all modern so-called representative States.

The ballot, strikes, arbitration, isolated co-operation, economy, prayers, or petitions can no longer ameliorate the condition of the wage-slave. So, far from improving their condition, the system of industry, based upon private property with wages and competition, not only renders this impossible, but must continue to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, inevitably.

This system centralizes the means of production; it gathers the people into vast commercial and manufacturing centers, where the enormous wealth they create flows continually into the coffers of the few. Here the strike is met with the lock-out, and the ballot falls powerless from the hand which holds no bread.

Under this system periodic panics occur, world-wide in their character, growing more frequent and intense as the system develops. At such times society is suddenly thrown back into barbarism, and thousands perish of want while surrounded with, the greatest abundance. We are in the midst of such a crisis now. Every country is searching for a foreign market to absorb its so-called overproduction, and the captains of our modern industry, like Alexander of Macedon, bewail the fact that there are no more commercial worlds for them to conquer.

Look at the process of production and exchange and see what it is. The increase of the technical sciences, the division and subdivision of labor, the application of machinery, steam, and electricity is ever changing and ever increasing the productive power on one hand and decreasing the demand for wage-laborers on the other. As the power to produce rapidly increases, so does the opportunity to work, and consequently to live, rapidly diminish on the other. The commercial middle-class system of production can not longer withstand the pressure of overproduction, and the forces of production at the disposal of society has become too powerful for middle-class control. It has created the conditions which will cause its destruction. It has transformed the small workshop into the large factory, and the individual capitalist is superseded by the corporation and syndicate. The small dealer, merchant, or farmer


is forced by competition and the superior facilities which large capital employs to quit the field of business, and are driven into the ranks of the wage-workers. The small capitalist cannot cope with the millionaire, and the individual millionaire must succumb to the syndicate. Thus the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. Thus the social revolution is ever gathering strength for the new birth, when all men will indeed be free and equal. The movements of the past were the conflicts of minorities in the interests of minorities. Not so with the world-wide international labor movement of to-day, which is a movement of the vast majority on behalf of the immense majority.

The existing social order, as everyone now admits, is the work of the bourgeoisie. Their peculiar mode of production, which we call "capitalistic production," was incompatible with the local and class privileges and the mutual personal relations of the feudal order. The bourgeoisie destroyed the feudal order, and established in its stead the present civil society, with its constitution of free competition, equal rights, and other glorious things, among those who were in possession of the products and means of production. Under these conditions the development of production was given full sway. Soon the small manufacturer disappeared. Steam and machinery took the place of human labor and production on a large scale grew with unprecedented rapidity. And as in former times the developed small trade came in conflict with the fetters of feudalism, so now modern industry is revolting against the barriers into which the capitalistic system of production has forced it. In other words, the present forms of production have outgrown the forms of bourgeoisie utilization. This revolt and this struggle is going on outside of us and entirely independent of our will. Socialism is, therefore, nothing else but the reflex of this conflict and struggle in our sphere of thought and comprehension, and this reflex is most potent in the minds of those who under the present system are suffering most — i. e., in the minds of the working people.

The speaker proceeded at further length to show the operations of capitalism in different countries. He quoted the United States census for 1880, which in manufacturing industries gives 2,738,000


wage-workers an average of $304 each, while 250,000 "bosses" received in profit $4,000 each on the average; that 2,738,000 wageworkers get three-eighths of their product in wages, while the non-producing class — being less than one-tenth of the population — nevertheless appropriated over five-eighths of all that these laborers produced; that there were 11,500 business failures last year, 90 per cent. of whom possessed less than $5,000; that over 2,000,000 persons are now in enforced idleness; that as production increases wages decrease. The speaker gave facts to show that the same condition of affairs existed throughout Europe as in America. He showed by facts that poverty, crime, insanity, and suicide had increased 400 per cent. in proportion to population in the last thirty years.

He showed the origin of private property was in fraud, force, and murder, and that Governments were instituted, and constitutions adopted, and laws manufactured to uphold and perpetuate the outrage; that Government exists for the sole purpose of depriving men of their natural rights; that authority and force was the weapon of tyrants held over their slaves. The speaker said that, after evolving for 109 years under the Republic, the people were about to rise in revolt and throw off their economic bondage. He told them that "to be forewarned was to be forearmed," and that they must be prepared to meet force with force.


Chapter II. — Letter From Topeka, Kansas. — Large and Enthusiastic Mettings in Topeka, Kan., In July, 1885 — Capitalistic Papers Threaten — Large Audiences in St. Joseph, Mo. — Organizations at First Hostile Turn to be Heart and Soul with His Work — Other Meetings in Omaha, Neb.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Scammonville, Weir City, and Pittsburg, Kan. — Condition of Wage-Slaves in These Mining and Smelting Towns — The Owners' Absolute Dominion — Large Numbers of Unemployed.


After my visit to Ottawa, Kan., on the Fourth of July last, where I delivered an address to the working people of that section on the "Social Revolution," which was received by them with unbounded enthusiasm, I on Monday, by way of Kansas City, made my way to Topeka, a city of 25,000 people and Capital of the State of Kansas. I visited the local assembly of the Knights of Labor, which has a very large membership here, and made a short talk to them, when they resolved to hold an open-air meeting on the Thursday following and invited me to address it. In Topeka I found such stalwart champions of revolutionary Socialism as Comrades Henry, Blakesley, Whiteley, Vrooman, Bradley, and others — intelligent and fearless young men who cry out against and spare not the infamies of the capitalistic system.

On Tuesday I returned to Kansas City and spoke at a mass-meeting of the working people at that place held on Thursday, July 7, which had been arranged by Comrades Bestman, Schwab, and others. The meeting was held in Armory hall, where at the hour named, though the weather was oppressively hot, fully 400 persons were assembled. They remained for over two hours while I discussed the


principles of Socialism, at the close of which circulars, pamphlets, and copies of the Alarm were freely distributed, and much satisfaction was expressed by those present with what they had heard. On the night following an open-air meeting was held on Market square, situated in the center of the city upon one of the main thoroughfares, where an audience of fully 1,500 persons gathered around the speaker. The sentiments expressed were received with applause and unanimous approbation, and much progress was made.

On Thursday I returned to Topeka. I found the columns of the capitalistic papers filled with notices of our proposed meeting. At 8 o'clock p. m. a crowd of over 1,500 people, mostly workingmen and women, gathered on the street corner of Kansas avenue and Sixth street, where an express wagon was placed in the middle of the street for the speaker's stand. The crowd listened for three hours with every sign of approbation, and a large American Group and several subscribers for the Alarm was the result. The capitalistic papers denounced us the next day, and threatened your humble speaker with lynching, but it is far more probable that the workingmen of Topeka would lynch the capitalists of Topeka than to allow themselves to be mobbed by them.

The next day I departed for St. Joseph, Mo., a beautiful and very wealthy city of 50,000 inhabitants, where Comrades Christ, Mostler, Nusser, and others had prepared a mass-meeting, in Turner hall on Saturday. There had been considerable talk of my advent in the columns of the capitalistic press of that city, and many were the remarks, favorable and otherwise, made about the appearance in their city of Parsons from Chicago. As was to be expected, the conservative workingmen, who profess to have faith in the curative powers of the ballot-box, strikes, arbitration, etc., were loud in their denunciations of the revolutionary Socialists, and they were at great pains to have the public understand that the Knights of Labor was an organization which had nothing whatever to do with these "Communists," etc. Well, at the hour named the largest audience ever brought together in St. Joseph on such an occasion were gathered in the Turner hall, where those who could not get seats stood in the sweltering weather of a hot July day for over three hours, attentively listening


to and applauding the utterances of the speaker. The meeting created a profound impression, and was the talk of the city next day. On the evening following I spoke to a large audience in the same city, in Knights of Labor hall, and spoke again on Monday evening before an assembly of Knights of Labor, when a resolution was unanimously adopted inviting me to address, at my earliest convenience, an open-air meeting under the auspices of the Knights of Labor, they paying the expenses, etc. When it is considered that the capitalistic press (there are three morning dailies in St. Joseph) were out in editorials every day showing up the fallacies of Socialism, and stating that such doctrines have no followers in that city, and that the Knights of Labor were especially hostile to all revolutionary teachings, and the attitude of the Knights of Labor before the meetings were held, some idea can be formed of the tremendous effect the agitation produced, when the men and organizations which were loudly denouncing us are now heart and hand with us, and have arranged a mass-meeting for me to address. It is satisfaction enough to know that three meetings held in St. Joseph created a deep impression, and I have been the talk of the place since.

Monday night, at 1 o'clock, I took the train for Omaha, Neb. Comrades Ruhe, Kretschmer, Kopp, and others had arranged a mass-meeting in Kessinger's large hall for Tuesday evening. It was sweltering weather, and yet the hall was crowded with an attentive audience, filled with about 500 persons who remained and with approval and satisfaction listened to a two hours' speech. Several names were taken for the formation of an American Group of the International, and many copies of the Alarm sold. It was announced that an open-air meeting would be held the following evening in Jefferson park. Owing to the lack of time to advertise, not over 500 persons were present. I spoke to them for two hours, and took several names for the formation of an American Group.

On Friday I returned to Kansas City, where I found letters inviting me to speak in Scammonville, Weir City, and Pittsburg, in the southern part of the State of Kansas. Large and enthusiastic mass-meetings were held in these places. I spoke in Scammonville Sunday afternoon, in Weir City the following evening, and Pittsburg on


Monday night. Large American Groups were formed in the two former places.

Let me describe to you the condition of the wage-slaves in Pittsburg. It is a place of about 4,000 inhabitants, and has several coal mines and smelting works. The mine-owners will not employ any person who belongs to a labor organization or who takes and reads a labor paper. The coal syndicate owns a truck store, in which its employes are compelled to trade under penalty of losing their bread. It owns nearly all of the houses, and in all matters of work and social conduct its commands must be strictly obeyed. The capitalistic Czars of that section hold absolute dominion over their wage-slaves. It was thought to be rather risky business to beard the lion in his den by holding a labor meeting within the domain of these capitalistic autocrats, but, nothing daunted, our fearless comrades, John Schrumm and John McLaughlin, of Scammonville, accompanied me and we got out hand-bills announcing the meeting on the principal and only business street, just opposite the truck store of the coal company. A table was procured and served as a platform. Comrade John McLaughlin, editor of the Labor Journal, mounted it and spoke for about half an hour, when I was introduced to the vast audience which had assembled and was standing in the street. Of course, as you may suppose, we showed up in the strongest terms we could employ the fearful ravages the "Beast of Property" was making upon the lives and liberties of the propertyless class. The crowd of men and women remained for three hours and cheered our utterances to the echo. The affair created a profound sensation and was the talk next day of every one in the town. Passing by the door of the general offices of the coal, syndicate next morning, in company with Comrades McLaughlin and Alfred Wilson, on accosting a man standing in the door, he replied: "Go to h—l! I don't speak to such as you," and when he had passed a few steps, he added: "You are nothing but a lot of sons of b—s anyway!" He was invited to step outside and take out any satisfaction he might desire by Comrade McLaughlin, but he said nothing further and we moved on. The truck store of this town is devouring the other business men, and


they all feel bitterly hostile toward it. Great good was done by our meeting in this place.

The capitalistic press state that there are over 12,000 unemployed people in Kansas City, which is a place of about 130,000 inhabitants; that there are 5,000 in Omaha and about the same number in St. Joseph out of work. The same holds good in Topeka and Council Bluffs, and in all the smaller towns large numbers are out of work. I saw tramps on the wayside everywhere, and at Nebraska City junction, on the Kansas City, St. Joe & Council Bluffs railroad, on the Missouri river, in Iowa, I read the following printed on cloth in large letters and tacked up securely on the walls of the railroad station:

Tramps Are Hereby Notified to Move on!

On my return to Kansas City from my trip to the mining regions I found an invitation to return and address an open-air meeting in St. Joseph on Thursday evening, July 23. I spoke in Kansas City to a large mass-meeting of workingmen, mostly "tramps," on Market square. I will speak at the same place and go to St. Joseph, and thence back to Chicago.

This trip has been productive of much good. Eight American Groups of the International Working Peoples' Association have been formed, and fully 20,000 wage-slaves have for the first time heard the gospel of "Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality." In every place there were large and earnest meetings, with the most satisfactory results. The working people thirst for the truths of Socialism and welcome their utterance with shouts of delight. It only lacks organization and preparation, and the time for the social revolt is at hand. Their miseries have become unendurable, and their necessities will soon compel them to act, whether they are prepared or not. Let us then redouble our efforts and make ready for the inevitable. Let us strain every nerve to awaken the people to the dangers of the coming storm between the propertied and the propertyless classes of America. To this work let our lives be devoted. Vive la Revolution Sociale!


Part III.

Chapter I.— Meeting in South Bend, Ind. — Mr. Parsons' Eventful Speech to the Wage Slaves of the Studebaker, Olliver, and Singer Manufactories — Distributing Victor Hugo's "Address to the Rich and Poor" — The Slavery of Labor — Power of the Propertied Class Over the Propertyless — Strike of the South Bend Workers and the Calling Out of the Police and Militia — Sensational Interruption — Mr. Parsons' Life in Danger — His Defenders — His Coolness — Instances of Military Power Over Wealth-Producers — False Overproduction — Enforced Idleness — Inevitable Results — Government the Creation of the Privileged Classes — Eloquent Appeal to Organize, Agitate, Revolt.

Taken from "The Alarm" of October 15, 1884.

South Bend, Ind., contains the three largest wagon, plow, and sewing-machine factories in America, besides several smaller establishements, giving employment and subsistence to a population of 20,000 persons. The Studebakers, Ollivers, Singers, and other capitalistic czars who own this town have so completely subjugated their wage-slaves to the despotism of private capital that no person dares belong to a labor organization, and if suspected of being connected with such is at once discharged.

On going to this town last week it was surprising to find that no one would identify themselves or be known as having anything to do with arousing and organizing the laborers. Two thousand


copies of the following hand-bill were distributed on Wednesday:

Workingmen's mass-meeting, Thursday, September 24, at 7:30 p. m., in front of Court House. Subject: "Low Wages, Hard Times and No Work. What Shall We Do?" Every workingman and woman in South Bend should attend.
The Committee.

At the time appointed over 1,000 men and women had gathered in response to the call. Mr. Frank Avery, of Mishawauka, acted as Chairman and introduced A. R. Parsons, of Chicago. Mr. Parsons stepped forward and began distributing among the audience copies of Victor Hugo's "Message to the Rich and Poor."

The speaker then said that no doubt his hearers had often read about the Anarchists, Communists, and Socialists. To-night they could see and hear one and judge for themselves of the merits of Socialism. The speaker said that Socialism declared the rich to be "devils bred in hell, and dogs with hearts of stone," because their "paradise is made out of the hells of the poor;" and Socialism; proclaimed that "not to be a slave was to dare and do." The slavery of labor to capital was as complete in South Bend as anywhere else. Men of families were working for 80 cents per day, and hundreds were walking the streets unable to find any employment at all. The slavery of labor was seen in the fact that wageworkers were compelled to do ten hours' work for three hours' pay, and their only choice was between such a condition of labor or compulsory idleness, which meant no bread at all. Low wages and no work created hard times, and "hard times" was created by the private-property system, which deprived the people of their inalienable right to the free use of all the means of life.

Shakespeare had Shylock say: "You do take my life when you take the means whereby I live," and this is precisely what every capitalist has done; they have made capital private property, and thus deprived the workers of the means of life and the right to live. The Czar of Russia possessed no more despotic power than that which the propertied class exercised over the propertyless. Every capitalist could and did discharge from employment the worker or workers who complained of the unfair, and unjust, and


cruel, and oppressive conditions under which they were forced to labor. The power to withhold bread and doom the workers to a life of misery, hunger, and death was possessed and exercised by the capitalistic czars of South Bend, as everywhere else. The right to live carried with it the right to the free use of all the means of life, and those who were denied that right were the bondsmen and slaves of those who do. The capitalistic system of labor had divided the people into classes, and had rendered the natural law, the solidarity of interests among the people, an impossibility. This system had created masters and slaves, rulers and ruled, robbers and robbed. In South Bend Olliver, of the plow works, who performed no labor at all, received an income of $1,500 clear profit each day, while his 1,000 wage-slaves did ten hours' work each and received for each day's work in wages a sum that was equivalent to three hours' work. What became of the other seven hours? Olliver got it, and this was what made his $1,500 per day. If the men struck against these terms they were discharged and made to suffer the pangs of hunger and want. Such was the power which the private-property system conferred upon the owners of capital. Studebaker, and Singer, and all the other property beasts could and did exercise the same despotic power. Where, then, is the boasted liberty of the American wage-worker? In what does their freedom consist? They enjoyed the right to be wage-slaves; or, striking and refusing to be such, they were free to starve!

Last January in South Bend the workers struck against starvation wages, and, driven to desperation and madness, they sought to destroy those who were enslaving and destroying them. What did the property class do? They had the military and police called out to arrest and shoot their rebellious wage-slaves. The Grand Army of the Republic, which, twenty-five years ago, drew its sword to liberate black chattel slave from bondage, came to South Bend, and with gleaming bayonets and flashing swords riveted the chains of slavery upon wage-laborers and compelled them to submit to the dictation of the property beasts.

[Great sensation. The crowd pressed nearer the speaker, and on the outskirts the cry went up: "That's a lie, and the Grand Army


will make you answer for it." On every hand the workmen shouted: "It is the truth, and if you harm the speaker it will be you, and not him, that will dangle on a rope from a tree limb."]

After order was restored the speaker continued, and showed that the United States army was now employed in Wyoming Territory against strikers; that the military was employed in East Saginaw, Mich.; in Cleveland, O.; in Lemont, Ill. — in fact, it was employed wherever the capitalists called for, it to subjugate their wage-slaves, who were in revolt against oppression and slavery. The speaker said that economy, industry, and sobriety were three virtues which capitalists never practiced; that there could be no overproduction of food when people perished from hunger, or overproduction of houses and clothing when the great mass of the people were without homes and clothed in rags. Crime, disease, ignorance, insanity, suicide, and all the ills which afflict the people result from enforced artificial poverty; and this poverty was created by the private ownership of the means of life — capital. It was such a condition of affairs that was, absolutely certain to finally create the social revolution. The workers would be driven by necessity to revolt and overthrow the power of those who were growing rich and thriving upon their misery. Voting, strikes, arbitration, etc., were of no use. Those who deprived the workers of the wealth they created, and held them by laws and the bayonet in subjection, would never heed the logic of anything but force — physical force — the only argument that tyrants ever could or would listen to. The law — the statute law — the Government, was the creation of the privileged class — a class that lived without working and became rich by depriving the workers. It was the law which had made the land private property; had done the same thing with machinery, the means of transportation and communication. The law — the statute law — had made private property of all the means of life, dooming the wage-workers to a life of hereditary servitude to the privileged class. Could we, who suffer from it, be expected to uphold "law and order," the instrumentality by which we were deprived of our right to life, to liberty, and happiness? Workingmen and women of South Bend, prepare for the inevitable. Join your comrades of Chicago and elsewhere. All over the world a similar condition


of affairs exists, and a storm is brewing which will break forth ere long and destroy forever the right of man to govern, exploit, and enslave his fellow-man. Agitate, organize, revolt!

The above was, in substance, the speech of Mr. Parsons. Throughout he was cheered enthusiastically by the workingmen, but from the labor robbers present he was frequently interrupted with threats and sneers. After the meeting an attempt was made upon the sidewalk, while going to his lodging-house, to assault the speaker, but it was prevented by the workingmen who accompanied him home.

The meeting created a profound sensation in the town. The speaker was urged by a few workmen who were clandestinely talking to him to remain over and deliver another address on the next evening (Friday) at the same place.

The following day the meeting of the previous evening was discussed by the business, professional, manufacturers and other labor parasites in a most excitable manner. The speaker was warned not to speak again as was contemplated. The printing offices refused to print hand-bills, or publish notices in the papers (there are three dailies published in the town) to notify the working people of the meeting. At 8 o'clock, however, at the same place Mr. Parsons began to speak to an audience of about 300 persons, made up almost exclusively of those who live by fleecing the workers. There had been no way to notify the wage workers of the meeting. The speaker showed the origin of Socialism to be an outgrowth of the necessities of the people. That the United States census for 1880 gave the statistics showing that of the 16,200,000 men, women and children who lived by working for wages, and whose labor creates all the wealth of the entire country, they had received in wages a sum which represented less than three-eighths of their labor product, while the capitalist class, who were less than one-tenth of the people, appropriated — confiscated — the remainder — the five-eighths. That the middle class were being devoured by the larger capitalists and were driven out of business, they, the middle class, being forced into the ranks of the wage-workers.

The speaker showed the operations of the private property system in making the rich richer and the poor poorer. He continued in this


strain for about an hour without interruption. He called attention to the fact that seventeen tramps had only two months before been driven through the streets and out of South Bend by whips and lashes in the hands of armed men. That last winter there were cases of starvation and freezing. That in the Olliver Plow Works, where the steel points to the plows were ground, men were killed by a malady called the "Olliver consumption." This disease was caused by the fine steel dust and sand dust that was thrown off in fine powder while the men were grinding the plow points. Physicians said that one year at such employment destroyed a man's life, and the dust could never be got from the lungs and death was inevitable. The speaker called attention to the fact that sixty-seven able-bodied men in the prime of life had been murdered at this occupation and Olliver was the recipient of their blood money, and their wives and children were paupers and outcasts. He then, to substantiate what he stated, said that he had a man named Valentine Ruter whom he would exhibit. He asked his audience to look upon this man not yet thirty-five years of age. He was a worker in the grinding mill. This man had worked in the plow works for four years. He was discharged, because he was broken down and could no longer work, over a year and a half ago. Since that time he has had to feed his wife, himself and three children, aged five, three and two years respectively, on one dollar and fifty cents per week, given them by the town trustee!

This man had four brothers, young and able-bodied, each of whom had been killed in the grinding mill in the past four years. His own disease is incurable and death will speedily put an end to his miseries. [The man then took his seat. There was a sensation among the crowd. Men shook their heads and muttered in low tones to each other.]

The speaker said: "This victim is still alive. He is here to haunt his destroyer. He, too, will soon rest in his grave; but his brothers, the four whose bones lie rotting in the paupers' field, or have been hewn up in the dissecting room, they, alas! are not here. But they are here in my presence as avenging Nemesis. The property beast has devoured them, coined their life blood into flashing jewels, and has made of their sweat and tears vast wealth, power and palaces in


which the despoiler dwells. Oh, friends, this is horrible, and ye who profit by it, ye wear the brand of Cain upon your hearts."

[The crowd swayed to and fro and it could be seen that they were deeply moved, nearly all present being Bourgeoisie.]

The speaker called the name of Martin Pauliski, who stepped up beside him. "This man," said the speaker, "has worked for the Studebakers' wagon and carriage factory for eight years. Exposure, bad food, and overwork has brought on rheumatism. He was unable to work and was discharged over a year ago. His wife, when the family was freezing last winter, went to the Studebakers and obtained a cord of wood. Not long after the sick man was told to come and work. He did so, and when his labor had paid for the wood he was turned adrift again to starve and freeze. These men are but samples of capitalistic lepers. There are hundreds of such victims in this town. His exploiter, Studebaker, is worth ten million dollars. Olliver is a millionaire. He has over a hundred little shanties that cost him about $200 each. He rents these to his workmen for $5 per month, and this makes each house and lot pay for itself every three years. He, with Studebaker, each gave $500 toward the erection of a church, where these, their victims, were taught that they must be content with that station in life to which it had pleased God to call them."

[The bourgeoisie audience were becoming impatient. Small knots of men went now and then to one side and held a subdued consultation. The time for the emuete had arrived.]

At this juncture a man in police uniform stepped up behind the speaker, laid his hand on his shoulder and said: "Sir, if you continue to incite the people, I will arrest you." At this signal the profit-mongers, rent-takers, and usury-gatherers around sent up a shout of exultation, and cries were made: "Knock him off!" "Hit him!" "Pull him down!" "String him up!" "Rotten egg him!" etc., etc., making a perfect pandemonium of threats and insults. The speaker asked the officer who he was and what was his name, and was answered: "It is none of your business, sir." The speaker turned to the turbulent crowd and told them that they, not the workingmen, were the breeders of riots and revolution. They drove the workers to desperation and despair. He asked the authorities why they didn't arrest those men who were disturbing the meeting and threatening the speaker


with lynching. He called the working people present to witness that in South Bend, as everywhere, the authorities and the "law and order" people were the enemies of the poor, and that it was the sole mission of government and its authority to keep and hold the wage slaves in their slavery. There was continued interruption and threats, but for a half hour longer the speaker urged as the only hope of labor for deliverance from bondage to capital was to organize, arm and prepare for the final struggle between the master and his slave, between the enemies of progress and liberty and the defenders of Liberty, Fraternity, Equality; a victory that would secure to every human being an equal voice in all the affairs of human existence.

The meeting then closed with cheers for the social revolution.

The papers of the town were filled with abuse and ridicule of the meeting. The people were stirred, however, to a depth never known before, and some day there will be a terrible harvest for those South Bend czars who fatten and thrive upon the miseries, degradation and slavery of the workers.


Chapter II. — The Lemont Massacre. — The Strike of the Quarrymen in Lemont, Lockport and Joliet — The Sherrif Invokes the Aid of the Militia — Boss Singer Throws a Man Through the Postoffice Window — The Sheriff Reads the Riot Act — Indignation of the People — The Militia Enters Lemont — Terrorizing the Inhabitants — The Massacre — "Termagants" — One Law for the Rich, Another for the Poor — Militiamen March Around in Platoons to Prevent Being Mobbed — Conditions of the Quarrymen — Lessons of the Strike.

Taken from "The Alarm" of May 16, 1885.

A strike of considerable proportions began among the stonequarrymen of Lemont, Lockport, and Joliet about four weeks ago. The demand was made for a uniform scale of wages and the restoration last year's rates. There were about 3,000 men engaged in the movement, including the quarries at the towns mentioned above. The usual tactics of the propertied class were resorted to to defeat the strikers. They endeavored to fill the quarries with men who have for a long time been kept in compulsory idleness, and whose necessities were consequently very great and pressing. As is the usual custom with unionists and strikers generally, the men sought to prevent the employment of these substitutes by any means at their disposal. The capitalists, as usual in such conflicts with their employes, fell back upon the law and called upon the Sheriff to protect them heir legal right to employ or discharge whomsoever they please. The Sheriff replied that, owing to the large body of men and their emanation to fix the price of their own labor; it would be necessary for him to obtain the assistance of the military to protect the legal rights of the employers. This latter statement suited the quarry-owners


exactly, and the Sheriff accordingly made a statement to the Governor of the State, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the militia, that he was unable to maintain order and enforce the law, and therefore required the presence of the military to assist him. The Governor, acting in accordance with the constitution and the statute law, sent four companies, numbering about 230 men, armed with breech-loading rifles, revolvers, and a gatling gun to maintain "law and order" around the stone quarries. It will be seen that in this whole procedure the "authorities" and the quarry-owners acted in strict accordance with the statute law and the constitution throughout, and the account of their action which follows will go far toward aiding working people to understand what the preservation of so-called "law and order" means.

Monday, May 4, was the day set for the entrance of the military into the heretofore hum-drum village of Lemont. All was excitement over the event, and the 1,500 quarrymen who constituted the inhabitants of that quiet little town were loud in their expressions of indignation over the contemplated invasion.

The people were strolling around the streets on Monday morning about 7:30 o'clock, when H. M. Singer, who has signalized himself by his brutality and tyranny over the people, rode up in his buggy, got out, and entered the postoffice. At the same time another person went into the office to get or inquire for his mail, when the despot Singer turned around, grasped the man, and dashed him through the window onto the sidewalk. This occurrence naturally brought together a large crowd of people, who were indignant at the outrage. Thereupon the Sheriff of Cook county sprang up on a dry-goods box and read the riot act to the people, commanding them to disperse to their homes, and at the conclusion of which he said: "Now, men, I warn you, that if you do not go to work at once for $1.50 a day the military will be sent here to compel you to do it."

The people were made all the more excited and indignant at this exhibition of "authority," and many were the expressions to be heard on every hand of condemnation against the Sheriff and Singer. The people said to one another: "Are we in this manner to be driven to our work like galley-slaves at the point of the bayonet?" The Sheriff


was under the constant direction of H. M. Singer, who acted as the representative of the Quarry-Owners' Association.

It was intended that the above act should be the inauguration of hostilities, for H. M. Singer, accompanied by the Sheriff, telegraphed the order for the militia to advance toward the town. The Chicago & Alton railroad, with that alacrity becoming in a fellow-monopolist and labor exploiter, quickly placed a train at the disposal of the labor robbers, and the troops were brought up and landed at a point one and one-half miles south of the town of Lemont, just outside of the county line of Cook county. By 10 o'clock a. m. their bristling bayonets were seen flashing in the sunlight as they advanced upon the town by the main thoroughfare leading in that direction.

The Town Marshal and Supervisor, whose sympathies were outspoken with the strikers, acting on the part of their constituencies, advanced down the road, intercepted the militia, and ordered them not to enter the town. Col. Bennett, the commanding officer, ordered them to get out of the way or he would place them under arrest.

The troops continued to advance until they reached the center of the town, which is located mainly upon a long street running parallel with the canal, the river, and the quarries at that point. Here the people — men, women and children — of the whole village were assembled upon the sidewalks. The excitement ran high, and some used some very uncomplimentary words toward the quarry-owners and authorities who had brought these bandits of "law and order" among them. It is said that a few stones were thrown at the soldiers and that a pistol-shot was fired by some citizen; but the soldiery opened fire upon the people and killed two men upon the spot, and bayoneted and sabered two others, who have died from their wounds since. Several other men and a number of women were prodded with bayonets and clubbed with the butts of muskets.

The people were terrified. They were wholly unarmed and absolutely defenseless. Confronted by these armed hirelings of capital, they fled for their lives to shelter. The shrieks of wounded and dying men and women filled the air; the warm blood of the people bathed the flagstones of the sidewalks. The loss was entirely on the side of labor which was, after having been robbed, now being murdered.


The army of capitalism moved forward through the village, and, halting at a commanding hill which overlooked the town and quarries, these capitalistic marauders of the people struck camp, where they have remained since and kept the villagers under the shadows of their guns.

Andrew Stulata, the top of, whose head was blown off by a shot from the troops, was standing just on the inward edge of the sidewalk on a vacant lot with both hands stretched out in the act of holding the little group of children back from the street, twenty-five or thirty of whom had assembled there to witness the sight of the troops. His blood and brains were scattered over the little ones; he fell and was afterward carried to his home by weeping friends. Several houses along the street were fired into. One house, occupied by a quarry laborer's family, received two rifle-balls. The lady, a 9-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old child were at the windows viewing the troops when a ball came crashing through the wall within a few inches of their heads, and, striking the wall opposite inside, fell battered upon the floor.

The legal bandits chased the people into their houses, and with the butt of bayonets drove the women up-stairs. One woman was being clubbed and chased up the street, when she turned and with the fury of desperation sought to wrest the gun from her assailant. Jac Kujawa ran to her rescue, and, separating them, he was taking the woman home, when about thirty paces away he was shot through the head and fell dead in his tracks, where he was left to welter in his gore for two hours afterward. Father James Hogan, the Irish Catholic priest at Lemont, who was standing near by and witnessed the dastardly deed, raised his clenched hands and shaking them at the bandits, said: "You cold-blooded murderers, lay down your arms. You have murdered the man." The militiamen replied: "If you don't get inside the house we'll drop you, too." The priest paid no attention, but went to the dying man and on bended knees administered the death sacrament.

Little Mary, the bright 9-year-old sister of the young man Andrew Stulata, who was murdered by the bandits of "law and order," upon seeing our reporter, who visited the remains in the house of


his parents, ran up to him and said, while the tears rolled down her face: "Oh, sir, they killed my poor, poor brother. He did no harm to any one. He was so kind and good; and oh, sir, those bad men came to his corpse and laughed at him and us; oh, sir, what shall we do?"

Both of these men were highly respected and beloved by the entire village of Lemont.

The bandits of "law and order" have rested on their laurels, varying the pastimes of their camp life with catching and milking the cows of the dairymen who have pastured their cattle thereabouts and an occasional sally into the town with a platoon of soldiers to the depot when trains arrive and depart.

The women of Lemont, having committed the crime of living in poor tenements and wearing the common garments which the industry of their labor provides them with, are spoken of in the capitalistic press reports as "termagants," "viragos," etc. These women, the wives and daughters of workingmen, were bayoneted by the soldiers of capitalism, their only crime being they do not wear sealskin dolmans and belong to the "better classes."

In a conversation with Coroner Hertz about the refusal of Col. Bennett, commanding the State bandits at Lemont, to appear and testify before the Coroner's inquest, he said: "Yes, sir, it has come to this pass, and it is true that there is now no law for the poor. If you have money, if you are rich, it is all right with you then." The Coroner declared that according to the constitution the "military was held in subjection to the civil authorities;" "but," said he, "there is no defense for the poor; the law protects the rich only."

The day following the slaughter at Lemont our reporter was again upon the scene and gathered the following items:

On arriving from Chicago at the depot in Lemont, a platoon of twelve militiamen were present and drawn up in line as an escort to one of their number who desired to take the train and return home. Upon inquiry it was ascertained that these bandits of law and order are compelled to come in platoons to the train on every such occasion in order to prevent the people from mobbing them.


Leaving the depot and stopping at the restaurant on the corner, we met several reporters of the Chicago capitalistic press, who were being roundly abused by some of the Lemont citizens, both workers and business men, for the false and slanderous reports sent out daily from Lemont. The reporters answered that they were not to blame, as they took the statements of the "authorities" each day. It was made perfectly plain, however, that the reporters of the capitalistic papers are more than anxious to accept the statements of the "authorities" and reject or misrepresent those of the people who are being murdered, insulted, and lied about by the so-called authorities now dominating the people of Lemont.

A reporter told me that the following note had been handed to the wife of a man who wanted to go to work at Singer & Talcott's quarry:

Keep Pat at home to-morrow, or your house will be burned at night.

Of course, this note is a forgery. Everybody in Lemont says it is a trick of the quarry-owners to make out some reason for keeping the military in the town. The people of Lemont know that it was written or instigated by some one of the many detectives which Despot Singer and his gang of robbers have employed to oppress and spy among their slaves.

At the meeting of the business men held the day before it was proposed to appoint a committee of the strikers to wait upon the bosses and try to bring about a settlement of the difficulty. Mr. Murphy, who is one of the largest dry-goods and grocery merchants in the town, said it would not do to appoint such a committee, as the men who acted on it would be discharged and lose their bread for acting in such a manner, and gave instances where men had been discharged before by Singer and other bosses for serving on similar committees.

Polus, the man who received a bayonet-thrust which entered the breast to the backbone, and a saber-wound in his side, died of his wounds yesterday. He was 48 years old and leaves a wife and six children. His family are utterly destitute, and the neighbors have to supply them with food to keep them from starving. A subscription


list was circulated yesterday among the people to bury the murdered man.

A stone-quarry man is paid $1.50 per day. He gets work about six months in the year. This makes an average of about 62 ˝ cents per day. This is the sum upon which the quarry bosses are compelling a man to live and support a family of eight persons, and when the worker refuses to submit to it they are put to death by sword, bayonet, and bullet in the hands of the "authorities."

About the time of the arrival of the noon train from: Chicago a crowd of 200 or 300 persons assembled at the depot, as they have been doing since the trouble with the authorities began. A squad of fourteen soldiers also come to the depot with fixed bayonets, loaded rifles, and belts containing forty rounds of cartridges, and a Colt's navy six-shooter suspended to a belt around their waists. When the train left the depot the officer gave the command to "about face and forward," and they marched back to their camp. Not a word was spoken by any one in the sullen crowd, but many men gritted their teeth and looked daggers at the ruthless murderers who are making this display of "authority" in their midst. The camp is about a mile from the depot on a hill overlooking the principal quarries. No approach is allowed to the camp, which has a line of guards around it. There is one gatling gun and about 230 soldiers in the encampment. Their marches to and from the depot and around the town are a source of great irritation to the people, who are unarmed and powerless to protect themselves. As the train pulled out and the military marched away from the depot the station agent, Tom Huston, stood before the crowds and began to drive them off the platform of the depot, saying: "Get away from here. Stand aside. I have had to take unnecessary trouble. It is an imposition on me and the company for you to stand around here. I am dependent on my wages for my living the same as you are, and the company me responsible for not ordering you away. I have always tried to treat you all well. You are here at every train. You are in the way. Move on; move on. You block up the sidewalk. You are here at every train arrival and you ought to have sense enough to stay away from here," and the crowd, with the fear of the military before its eyes mutteringly dispersed.


At 3 o'clock in the afternoon a meeting of the strikers was assembled in the hall and called to order by the Town Supervisor, Mr. McCarthy. Before the meeting opened two Deputy Sheriffs who had sneaked in were requested to get out. All capitalistic reporters were excluded, the only reporter who was permitted to be present being the reporter for the Alarm and Arbeiter-Zeitung. The men seemed afraid to speak, and after the Chairman had called on the audience several times without any response, the audience in turn called upon Mr. A. R. Parsons to speak. Mr. Parsons declined, but they insisted, when he made a few remarks upon the necessity of organization, at the conclusion of which several of the men objected to taking such action. One of the men spoke up and said: "We are assembled here to consider what to do. We have got the military in our town; we are under intimidation. We want the military to leave our town and let us alone. If we organize now it will be the means of losing our bread forever, and probably our lives besides."

Another speaker said: "We can't organize. The bosses would break it up; they did it before. It would not be allowed. They would starve us out and break it up."

Mr. Parsons answered and said: "Then you are slaves."

The men hung their heads, and with tears in their eyes several of them replied: "Alas, sir, it is too true."

Another speaker then said: "As we have started and have lived so far without bread, we must keep on with our struggle against the bosses. We don't want those blue-jackets on the hill to kill the people for nothing." (Great cheering.)

There were such expressions as "We will stick for our rights," "We will not go to work," "We will stand out," "Let us keep out until we get our wages," etc. The meeting was unanimous in staying out until the wages demanded were paid.

A committee of eight, composed of two persons each from the Polish, Swedish, German, and Irish nationalities, was appointed to wait upon the quarry-owners and tell them what they want, and report back to a meeting to be held for that purpose. The meeting resolved to stand by the committee and help them to the last if the


bosses should victimize them for acting in such a capacity. The Town Supervisor advised them to appoint the committee and stated that he thought they would not suffer, when an Irishman spoke out and said: "If it do, sir, thank God, sir, you can support them" (great laughter), when Mr. McCarthy said: "That knocks me out."

After appointing the committee the meeting adjourned.

The meeting was conducted mainly by Irishmen, the Chairman, Secretary, etc., being Irish, and is proof that there is no word of truth in the capitalistic newspaper reports that this strike is being conducted by Poles and Bohemians alone.

The lesson of this strike will be worth to workingmen all that it has cost if it is carefully considered and taken to heart that they must organize for the purpose of offering opposition to the oppressing class; that without organization they are weak and helpless slaves.

The strike ended last Wednesday, the men being compelled to go to work at the quarry-owners' terms. The quarry-owners now intend to open "truck" stores in retaliation for the friendly feeling expressed by the business men of Lemont toward the strikers.


Chapter III. — Observing Thanksgiving Day. — Chicago Workingmen Hold a Large Indignation Meeting in Market Square — Vigorous Resolutions of Protest Unanimously Adopted — Mr. Parsons' Address — Why Should the Wage Slaves Give Thanks? And to Whom: God or Master? — Palaces and Hovels — Government Protects the Right of the "Boss" to Buy Cheap Labor — The Flag of Authority vs. the Flag of Liberty — Thankful for the Approaching Dawn.

Taken from the "Alarm" of November 28, 1885.

The day set apart by the well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, and well-to-do classes to return thanks for the success that crowned their efforts to exploit the working class during the past year was Thursday, November 26. It was a dreary, cold, wet, and uncomfortable day for the half-fed, scantily-clothed, poorly-housed, and poverty-stricken working class, who had been the victims of the God-and-morality "better classes" the past year.

The working people of Chicago felt the sting of the insult and the hollow mockery conveyed in the chief ruler's proclamation commanding the people to "return thanks" for the miserable existence they were compelled to endure. The Internationalists therefore arranged for an indignation meeting of the working people, to whom was addressed the following announcement:

Grand Thanksgiving services of the Chicago workingmen, tramps, and all others who are despoiled and disfranchised, on Market square (Randolph and Market streets), Thanksgiving day, Thursday, November 26, 1885, at 2:30 o'clock p. m. Good "preachers" of the gospel of humanity will officiate. Everyone is invited. Learn how turkeys and other nice things may be procured. The Committee of the Grateful.


At the hour named several hundred men and women had assembled at the corner of Washington and Market streets, where a large red flag wavered from the top of a pile of salt-barrels which covered the sidewalk. By the time the meeting was called to order some 2,000 persons stood in the mud and slush, and cold, piercing wind which was the ideal of a raw, chilly November day.

William Holmes read the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, The President of the United States has issued his annual proclamation, calling upon the people as a whole to give thanks for prosperity, of which but few of them have a share, and reiterating the lies so often repeated about the well-being of the nation; and

Whereas, The existence of a vast army of homeless wanderers, scarcity of employment, business depression, and the poverty and wretchedness of a large majority of the people give the lie to the statement that abundant prosperity prevails. No nation can be prosperous and contented where, in the banquet of life, a small number monopolize the general product, while the many are denied a place at nature's table; therefore

Resolved, By this mass-meeting of all classes of citizens, that we vote our vigorous protest against the above-named proclamation at this time; that it is a lie — a stupid, hollowy mockery — a sop thrown out by the ruling classes to tickle the palates of their ignorant dupes and slaves that they may with better security continue to rob them. We reiterate the statement that only men the people shall have come to their own — when land and the natural resources of the earth shall have become free; when liberty shall have become a Practical reality, and when the beast of private property in the means of life shall have ceased to sap the energies of the people; when poverty and the fear of want shall have been abolished from the face of the earth — then, and not until then, shall we have cause, as a people, to give thanks for our abundant prosperity.

A. R. Parsons mounted a pile of the salt-barrels, and, using them a stand, was introduced as the first speaker. Referring to the proclamation of the President calling upon the people to return thanks, Mr. Parsons asked to whom should the wage-workers offer thanks, and for what? Were they to be thankful for the hard times which makes the life of the wage-worker an intense struggle for bread, and often times unable to procure even that; were they to be thankful for pauper wages and the miseries which follow a life of drudgery and poverty, and resign themselves and contentedly accept


the station of a menial as an act of divine providence? No, perish the thought. Shall the plundered workers return thanks to their despoilers, who give charity to hide their blushes when they look into the faces of their victims? Shall the disinherited, who have by legal enactments been debarred their natural right to an equal and free use of all natural and social forces, return thanks for the soup-houses, poor-houses, wood-yards, and other charitable institutions? Shall the workers give thanks because they receive two hours' pay for ten hours' work? Are they to be thankful for the compulsory idleness of over 2,000,000 of their fellow-workmen? Thankful for an employer, a "boss" whose "business" it is to take something for nothing, and force them to accept the terms or starve? Thankful for a Republican form of Government which guarantees free speech, free ballot, free press, and free action to the propertied class; a Government with its declaration of independence, constitution, and stars-and-stripes to defend and protect the robbers of labor, while it imprisons, shoots, and hangs the disloyal, rebellious wage-slave? The First regiment, Illinois State Guards, is at this moment practicing the evolutions of the "street riot drill" in another part of the city for the purpose of murdering in an expeditious and scientific manner the men and women whom the present system has turned adrift to starve. Shall the workers be thankful for that? Shall they be thankful that capitalists the past year have employed the Pinkerton thugs, the police, and military to subjugate the workers in revolt against starvation wages? Shall thanks be returned that the Almighty God blesses the wrong-doer with riches, making paradise for them out of the hells of the poor? Shall we be thankful for privation, for slavery, for poverty? No. Curses bitter and deep are hereby and now returned to the author of our woes, be that God or man!

Referring to Chicago, the speaker drew attention to the fact that last winter over 30,000 persons were kept from starvation by the hand of charity. With elevators bursting with food, warehouses groaning with clothing, and houses vacant everywhere, they who produced by their labor these things were made to feel the pangs of hunger and the biting frosts of winter. Beneath the shadow of


palaces which they had reared the workers of Chicago, as elsewhere, were huddled together in hovels and huts unfit for human habitation. The wealth produced by the wage-workers of Chicago the past year was sufficient to furnish them with every comfort — yea, even luxury.

The capitalists and their mouthpieces, the press, pulpit, and politicians, declare that the wage class receive in wages all that they earn. By this they mean that we earn only so much as they compel us to accept. The statistics as given in the capitalistic press showing the productive capacity of labor in Chicago the past year, are the answer to the question why the workers are poor. Let the wage-workers ponder them well and ascertain where the ten and twelve hours' work for which they receive no pay goes to.

The statistics, showing the profit on labor in Chicago the past year, are as follows:

Number of manufacturing establishments 2,282
Capital invested $87,392,709
Value of raw material $152,628,378
Value of manufactured product $292,246,912
Number of employes 105,725
Total wages paid $48,382,912
Now deduct the cost of raw material and earned it shows that labor $139,287,465
Total wages paid $48,382,912
  $ 90,904,553

Or over $857 profit on each laborer. While each wage-worker earned over $1,314, they received on an average $457 each, or less than one-third of what they produced. Each manufacturing establishment averaged a profit of about $40,000. Some bankrupted, it is true; but others, like Phil Armour, made over $3,500,000.

Manufacturers divide this plunder with landlords, usurers, insurance, the Government, lawyers, and other leeches and parasites. Phil Armour reduced his 10,000 laborers 25 cents per day, which on 10,000 amounts to $2,500 per day, $15,000 per week, $45,000 per month, and $540,000 per year. Result, a twelve-story palace worth $1,000,000 in two years.

Potter Palmer builds a $600,000 palace. There are ten millionaire


club-houses in this city which are used for conspiracy against the liberties of the people. There are miles and miles of fashionable avenues lined from end to end with palaces wherein the enslavers and robbers of labor licentiously and riotously carouse upon the wealth filched from the workers.

Shall we be thankful for this infamy, crime, and murder of the innocents? But the "stars-and-stripes" overshadows and smiles upon and protects it all. Behold the American army, with gleaming bayonets, in long serried line, the American flag at its head leading the column, marching under orders of the President of the United States to protect — what? To protect the rights and liberties and welfare of the people? No. To protect the propertied class in their constitutional right to buy cheap labor — the Chinese coolie slave — and thus reduce the American laborer to the coolie standard of living. The flag of America has thus become the ensign of privilege and the guardian of property, the defender of monopoly. Wage-slaves of Chicago, turn your eyes from that ensign of property and fix them upon the emblem of liberty, fraternity, equality — the red flag — that flag which now and ever has waved, and ever will remain the oriflamme of liberty, denoting emancipated labor, the redemption of humanity, and the equality of rights of all.

Let us be thankful, then, that there is a large and increasing number of workingmen and women who have acquired a knowledge of their rights and dare to defend them. Let us be thankful for the dawn which is even now breaking, which is to usher in the new era; thankful for the near approach of that period in human affairs when man will no longer govern or exploit his fellow-man: the time when the earth and all it contains will be held for the free use of all nature's children.

Let us prepare for the recovery of our stolen right to our inheritance of this fair earth, and let us express the devout and earnest hope that ere many Thanksgiving days come round the workers of the world may, by their devotion to liberty and the best interests of


man, abolish and exterminate the whole brood of profit-mongers rent-takers, and usury-gatherers, and on the ruins of the old erect the new order, wherein all will associate and co-operate for the purpose of producing and consuming freely, without let or hindrance.


Chapter IV. — Under the Red Flag. — The Central Labor Union of Chicago Celebrates Labor Day — Presentation of the Distinctively Labor Banner to the Metal Workers' Union — Address of Albert R. Parsons — The Emblem of Liberty — The Hope of the Oppressed — Exploitation Not Confined to Any Particular Country — Governments Maintained By Force — Anarchy Will Supersede Force-Propped Institutions — "Agitate, Organize, Revolt!"

The Central Labor Union of New York in 1884 advised the unions and organizations of the country to set aside the first Monday in September as a general holiday for all classes of laborers; since which time it has been very widely observed.

The address given below was delivered on the 7th of September, 1885 (Labor Day), at a demonstration held by the Central Labor Union of Chicago, on which occasion a beautiful banner was presented to the Metal-Workers' Union. Albert Parsons was invited to make the presentation speech. His address on this occasion was eloquent and of some length, but only a portion of it has been preserved. The following is quoted from a daily paper of the 8th 1 September:

"We meet to-day beneath the red flag — that flag which symbolizes an equality of rights and duties, the solidarity of all human interests; that flag which has for more than a century past been the emblem of ‘Liberty, Fraternity, Equality.’ Since the bloody struggle with oppression which began in France in 1788, and through the varying fortunes which have attended its followers in their conflicts with the despots of continental Europe, England, and


America, it has been the oriflamme of liberty, the sign of labor's emancipation from its slavery.

Here the new flag was unfurled and grandly waved from the improvised rostrum of salt-barrels. Then the speaker continued: "Again and again has this symbol been baptized in the blood of the people, struggling with their rulers, until its crimson folds, dripping with the tears and blood of freedom's martyrs, appeal in mute but overwhelming power to the lovers of liberty everywhere, to pledge again undying devotion to liberty, fraternity, equality. Here, as everywhere, labor is degraded by poverty and held in hereditary servitude to that wealth which it creates. Our American rulers differ not one whit from the despots of all other lands. They all fatten upon the miseries of the people; they all live by despoiling the laborer. The boundary lines, flags, customs, and languages of the nations of the earth may differ, but the poverty, misery, and degradation of the useful class — the producers of the world's wealth — proceed from one and the same cause — the subjection, the enslavement of the producers. Through force and fraud the cunning, cruel, and unprincipled few became possessed of what by natural right is the common heritage of all. Government, with its constitution and man-made laws, and all the machinery to sustain and enforce it, became a necessity for the protection of the usurpers. Anarchy, the natural law, was overthrown and this fair earth was converted into a slave-pen — all for the frivolities, pastime, and licentiousness of the Privileged class."

"In a similar vein ‘the better classes,’ ingeniously invented for popular discussion by the Union League Club, were attended to, and then the speaker wound up by saying:

"But the powerful, the privileged, are not in the least disturbed by argument, protest, or petition. They have but one answer to appeals — force. By force and fraud they gained their power; by force and fraud they maintain it. Morality, pity, reason are all alike lost upon those who rob and enslave their fellow-beings. They answer argument with misrepresentation; they practice charity but deny justice, and answer demands for liberty with starvation, prisons, and steel. What shall be done with those social monsters, these


property beasts? We must destroy them or be destroyed. By what? Anarchy, self-government, the right to work and live, the right voluntarily to associate and co-operate, the equal right of all to the use of all. The usurpation of man by man must cease; to this we are pledged. We are revolutionists. We fight for the destruction of the system of wage-slavery. To the despised, disinherited, and destitute of the earth Anarchy offers love, peace, and plenty. Statute laws, constitutions, and Governments are at war with nature and the inalienable rights of man. The claim of capital to profit, interest, or rent is a robber claim, enforced by piratical methods. Let robbers and pirates meet the fate they deserve. Against them there is but one resource — force. Agitate, organize, revolt! Proletarians of the world, unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains — we have a world to win. Lead on the red flag to liberty or death!"

"After the highly dramatic peroration of Mr. Parsons a speech in German was delivered by August Spies, of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and then the Socialists' male chorus sang ‘The Red Banner.’ The procession formed in three divisions under Oscar Neebe as Chief Marshal, and A. R. Parsons and Gus Belz as aids. The line of march was by way of Madison, Clark, and Division streets to Ogdens grove, where the day was spent in the usual picnic recreations and impromptu remarks by the speakers of the forenoon, supplement by Mrs. Parsons in the afternoon."


Chapter V. — An Interesting Interview. — The Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy, Declares Himself a Communist — A. R. Parsons Meets the Georgia Statesman While in Washington as a Delegate of the Eight-Hour League — The Relations of the Labor Problem to the Future of America — Contrasting the Condition of the South Before and After the war — Wage-Labor Cheaper Than Slave Labor — Half of the Wages Taken by the Government for Taxes.

Taken from the "Chicago Daily Telegraph" of January 20, 1880.

Mr. Albert R. Parsons, a delegate from the Eight-Hour League, this city, to the conference in regard to land reform and we labor movement held at Washington, D. C. last week, returned a day or two since and was this morning interviewed by a Telegraph Porter relative to an interview held by that gentleman with the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, Vice-President of the dead Confederacy.

Mr. Parsons was introduced to Mr. Stephens as a "Communist," and was not a little surprised to hear that gentleman announce that he himself was not only a Communist but an agrarian. "No two words," said the ex-President, "express so much, in my opinion, as these two words, for as Communism has developed in France, Spain, and other countries during the past few years, and as it relates to the sovereignty of local Government, and the nature and functions of state rule, it develops a marvelous bearing on the future of America. I can conceive of no characters in history more interesting than the Gracchi brothers, of Rome. The problems of labor and Communism will, yet be dominant themes in Congress, and, although


I should like to speak upon these subjects during the present year, I fear political trickery is occupying the time of the wire-pullers, and they will exclude all such discussion from Congress during the Presidential year."

In regard to the condition of the South, comparing the chattel slave and wage systems, the results do not favor the former so far as the employer is concerned. Mr. Stephens dealt in extension on this theme, and stated that the wage system makes labor cheaper and more serviceable for the former masters of the South. He based his decision on the power and ability of the worker to consume animal food. In France the average consumption of meat per person is 75 pounds annually, in Germany 25 pounds, in Ireland 10 pounds, and among the former slaves of the South under the new wage system 50 pounds a year. In ante-War times the master allowed his slave 200 pounds of meat annually, and clothing and the like is decreased in a like ratio, making a difference of 300 per cent, unfavorable to the colored people. Mr. Stephens said he understood that thousands of workingmen in the North were out of employment, and were not able to earn sufficient at any time to provide what they should for their families. These same views were made by Jefferson Davis about a year since, who claimed that the colored people were more profit to their employers than before the War, when the care of the sick, dead, and indigent involved considerable expense, now avoided by then masters.

Mr. Stephens is in thorough harmony with many reforms now in progress, and states that the taxation of the United States is more onerous than that of any other country in the world. "The tax the liquor and tobacco," he said, "consumed by an average poor family in the South amounts to $7.50, and as these people make about $10 a month, over $5 of that amount is consumed in paying taxes to the Government."

Mr. Parsons called the statesman's attention to the fact that, viewed in its philosophical sense, the subject of labor plainly indicated that the system of buying and selling labor was destructive to the fundamental principles of liberty, and this profit-making was what kept the masses down and what made the operations of the colored


people in the South look so unfavorable. The capitalist and employer made too much; the laborer received too little. It was plunder, not hard times, which made the poor man complain.

Mr. Stephens concluded by stating that he sympathized keenly with the grievances of the people, but hoped the riots of 1877 would never be repeated as a means of enforcing the rights of workingmen. "I believe in the eight-hour system of labor," he said, "but I fear the present splurge of the Communists is like an epidemic, and it may fail. A man generally has the small-pox only once."

"You are right," replied Mr. Parsons, "and then it either kills or cures."


Part IV.

Chapter I. — Letter From Salineville, Ohio. — The Mining Town of Salineville, O. — The Truck Stores — The Inability of Legistlation to Relieve the Oppressed Again Demonstrated — The Mortality of Modern Commercialism — Wages of the Miners — Hazardous Work — And Old Man's Suit — Two Meetings Held — The Salvation Army — Unendurable Conditions Making Revolutionists.

Taken from "The Alarm" of January 25, 1886.

Comrades: On Thursday morning, with fraternal good-byes to friends in Cleveland, I took the Cleveland & Pittsburg train for Salineville, O., a mining town of about 2,500 inhabitants. Here is established a flourishing Group of earnest workers in the propaganda of the social revolution. Salineville is a strictly mining town, and when for any reason the mines close up work all other business is practically suspended. The town lies in a hollow along the banks of a creek, for three miles almost as straight as a shoe-string, the whole population living upon or contiguous to one single street. There had been a big thaw, and I had ample occasion to become acquainted with the proverbial mud and slush of a rough, unpaved mining town. The homes of the miners in this place are a little better than I have found them elsewhere, some of them owning their houses, but the great majority are tenants at will of the corporation which owns the earth and all it contains hereabouts. Of the 500 or 600 miners employed here they are divided into nationalities, as near could ascertain, about as follows: About one-half of them are


Irish, the remainder is made up of Welsh, Scotch, English, and German in about equal proportions, with a few Americans thrown in.

The "truck," or "pluck-me," stores are in full, blast here. There are four of them, each belonging to a different mining company. Miners deal at these stores under compulsion, where open books keep the running account, which nearly always runs ahead of the wages paid to them. These "truck-stores" are also the pay-offices of the company, where on a certain day, once a month, the miners go to settle the "store account" and receive the balance, if any is left, in wages. This arrangement makes it quite handy for the mine-owners, who keep the store account and wages due all under one head, and manage by good business qualifications and shrewd management to make one generally offset the other. The Knights of Labor and Miners' Union, which are strong in Ohio, have, as usual, sought relief from the "truck store system" by legislation. Last year, at their behest and by the aid of labor politicians, a law was enacted prohibiting the collection of money due on accounts at these stores from being taken out of wages. The miners were happy. They were told that under this law the truck store could no longer fleece them by extravagant prices and adulterated goods. But alas! how soon was this "labor legislation" brought to naught. The coal companies speedily demonstrated their power to control the law. Formerly the miners dealt at these stores as a condition precedent to employment, but now, under the "labor law," the company presents the miner who seeks employment from them a "contract" which they must sign before they are employed. This "contract" binds the miner to the company's service in many ways, the chief of which is that he waives all claim to protection of the law with regard to the companies paying themselves out of his wages for accounts run up at the truck stores. Alas for labor legislation! Alas for "freedom of contract;" the "labor law," as proclaimed in the Pittsburg manifesto of the International, only serves to deceive, and is when necessary simply evaded by those who control the bread and consequently the life of the worker. And the "free contract" is free in so far as the worker must sign it or starve! Those who have "saved" some money can, it is true, trade at other stores, but such action is regarded


as a base ingratitude by the employers, who show their displeasure by refusing employment, and consequently destroying the ability of the miner to trade at all! But such ingratitude is rarely shown by the men, since the employers keep them so poor that they have no cash, nor credit, save at the "pluck-me" stores. The miners tell me that they are swindled right and left in their accounts by overcharges, short-weights, and adulteration. But these are our honorable, upright, Christian, enterprising business men, who run their concerns on "strictly business principles." Such is the morality of commercialism. The men tell me that many of them, do not handle a cent in cash during a whole year! When the great "battle for bread" was raging in the Hocking valley last winter and the members of the Miners' Union of Ohio were each assessed to pay a certain sum per month to aid the strikers, the miners of Salineville and elsewhere among them had no money, and they paid their assessment in coal at the rate of one ton per month.

As an illustration of the poverty of these workers where labor furnishes the fuel for the needs of the people, it was related to me that a miner, father of a family, when passing from his daily toil on the "coal bank" the store of a merchant to whom he owed an unpaid bill for groceries, etc., the business man accosted him and said: "That account is due a long time, why don't you pay me?" The miner answered: "You know how much I make and you know is not enough to support my family on the commonest necessities of life. If you can show me any way I will be glad to do so." As the miner spoke he held his little 10-year old boy by the hand, and the merchant, eyeing the child closely, said: "Can't you take your son into the mine with you? He can earn something, and in that way you can pay me." The miner shook his head, and as he walked away, sadly holding his little boy's hand and pondering on what the Business man had said, the tears coursed down his rugged cheek. He afterward took the child into the mine and paid the merchant's bill! Such is the morality practiced by commercialism and taught from the paid pulpit of the church. Capitalism demands its pound of flesh, even though it be taken from the heart of innocent childhood.


The miners work eleven hours on an average, and average two tons per day, at 60 cents per ton. They are not allowed to work more than six months in the year on an average. This makes an income of 60 cents per day the year round, or not quite $200 for a year's work, upon which they must live and support a family. These miners tell me that when they dig two tons of coal, one ton is counted as worthless by the company, and they pay them nothing for it. The nut, pea, and slack coal averages one-half the out-put; the miner receives 60 cents for the "lump coal." This lump coal brings $3 per ton at wholesale in the market, for the mining of which the miner receives 60 cents, but the nut, pea, and slack, for which the miner receives nothing, is also sold by the company to the working class of our cities, who buy this nut coal by the scuttle at 10 cents a scuttle, paying $12 a ton for it, as the writer knows from personal experience last winter. In fact, the so-called unmarketable coal, for the digging of which the miners are not paid a cent, is sold by the company at a sum which pays the miners' wages, Government taxes, insurance, freight, etc., leaving the "lump" or marketable coal a clear wholesale steal in the hands of the labor exploiters! And yet the Pinkerton thugs, the militia, and armed murderers are employed by these labor robbers on any pretext to prevent the miners from obtaining a 10 or 15 per cent, increase on the ton. One corporation, the Salineville Coal Company, owes its miners two months' wages for work done over a year ago, and when the men struck for the pay, over a year ago, the company pleaded poverty, and agreed to pay it as soon as they made any profit, upon which assurance the men returned to work and have been working ever since. The company still owes the two months' wages, and from all indications will owe it forever. The generosity of the coal cormorants is shown in the fact that the heads of families can have free what coal they can use, but if the sons, even though they are grown up men, work in the mine and the father does not, why, the family is compelled to buy its coal.

The life of these miners is beset on every hand with danger. Three persons on the average are murdered each year in the mines, and many are crippled for life, and still more contract painful rheumatism


from exposure. The mine-owners are only interested in bringing coal to the surface; but if this routine is changed by the bringing of a crushed, mangled, bleeding, and dead miner to the surface occasionally, it is no loss or concern to the company. These so-called "accidents" which destroy life are pure parsimony and indifference of the bosses, who will not provide the necessary props to the roof, which would easily insure safety to the miners. In blasting the coal, the hazardous work is shown by frequent and permanent injuries to life and limb. The mine air is foul and never pure, and the place where the miner stands, kneels, or lays to dig all day is often covered with mud and water, the water often covering the "room" from six to twelve inches deep. To dip out this water requires half a day; the company only pays for coal. The following night the room fills with water again, and the miner must again lose half a day to dip it out. The miners tell me that twice a day, on going to work and returning through the mine entrance, they run the risk of being crushed to death by the falling roof, which the company will not go to the expense of propping and thus making safe. A miner who was murdered in this way two years ago was the only son and support of an aged father, who has since sued the company for $10,000 damages. It took a year to get to the trial, when the jury disagreed, and another year must roll around before it is tried again, when the jury will again "disagree," or, better still, the old, infirm man may be dead of starvation and exposure. This old man owed the truck store, at the time of the suit, $50, and the company's agent tried to persuade the old man to withdraw the suit if they would cancel the debt. The father indignantly rejected the offer, and in his anguish cried: "You miserable scoundrels, you want to pay for my murdered son the price of an old mule." But Winers are cheaper than mules, nevertheless, as the company knows to its great profit.

As might be expected, your correspondent found quite a dissatisfied lot of men in Salineville, and when the mass-meeting which our comrades had arranged there took place, it was to be expected that a large attendance would be present. The meeting was announced in Masonic hall, for which the proprietor charged the outrageous


price of $13. This, however, was the only hall in town, and as a monopolist he was master of the situation, viz.: pay his price or go without. The Miners' Brass Band, composed of fifteen musicians, a fine-looking body of men, discoursed several pieces of well-executed music in the calm, clear atmosphere of New Year's day in front of the hall. At the time named quite a crowd had assembled. At the opening of the meeting I announced for discussion the Socialistic declaration that by natural right and human necessities the mine belonged to the miner, the tools to the toilers, and the product to the producers. Any other arrangement of affairs left the producers a dependent, hireling class, at the mercy of the non-producers. The poverty of the miners was the same as all other workers — enforced and artificial. The parasites, the drones in the industrial hive, absorbed all the honey and made the industrious workers drudge and slave for them.

Their attention was called to the fact that strikes, boycotts, arbitration, and voting could not adjust the trouble between capitalists and laborers. What was necessary was not to soften and palliate their wage-slavery (which would not be done), but its abolition. To abolish the capitalist and destroy his power to rob and enslave would be to place all capital and means of subsistence into the hands of the people for their free use. All could then voluntarily co-operate in the production and distribution of the wealth, and poverty and want would be unknown and impossible.

This and much else was said in proof of the statement that the existing social system not only made but kept the producers poor, and there was no help for it until that infamous system was destroyed utterly.

The first meeting was held in the afternoon at 2 o'clock, the second the same evening at 7:30 o'clock. The greatest interest was shown at both.

As seen from the above facts, the bodies of these miners are already lost and damned, and yet for three months this town has been afflicted with the marching and countermarching of the Salvation Army. The Salvationists are trying to save for the next world the souls of these poor people, whose bodies have already been ruined in


this, and they gain some adherents, too. Religion in this form comes cheap; you can take it on the sidewalk or elsewhere, as necessity or convenience dictates. Between the actual hell and the fear of a future one they keep the ignorant and superstitious in a great ferment. The Captain of the company is a young woman of 17 summers, which is quite an attractive feature. A Lieutenant, another voting woman, has already become a Mary Magdalene, but unlike Christ, their master, they have not only cast the first but the last stone at her, and she is now an outcast. Here, as elsewhere, the churches are the partners of mammon. The Catholic priest tells his congregation to beware of the godless Socialists and Anarchists, and warns them against the evils of social revolution. In his speech here recently he said to them that when they become hungry they must go to the authorities first, and if they refuse to give, then take food, and if arrested they must not resist, but obey the authorities and go quietly to prison. "All things work together for good to them who love God," says he, quoting the scripture.

Nevertheless, there is a most decided revolutionary spirit among the men generally; they all feel that something must be done and quite a number have the courage to say so, and a few are prepared to act.

They all declare that the existing system is infamous, but their respect for law, for authority, both on earth and in heaven, as taught them by the press, politician, and priest, restrains them from taking decided action. The burden meanwhile grows heavier and more heavy, and it will ere long become unendurable, when, God or no God, law or no law, they will cast it off.


Chapter II. — Letter From the Smoky City. — Ten Days Among the Wage-Slaves of Pennsylvania — Large Meetings at Coal Center and Elizabeth — Magnificent Resources of the Country — Poverty and Misery of the People — Strongly Defined Class Distinctions — Inevitable Conflict Between the Priviliged Classes and the Disinherited — Tramps and Starving men in a Region of Wealth — Robbery and Evictions by the Coal Czars of Connellsville — Armed Sheriffs Suppress the Poverty-stricken People — Large Mass-Meetings in Pittsburg — Mr. Gessner's Address — Strong Resolutions Adopted — Need of Good Leadership — Socialism a Necessity.

Taken from "The Alarm" of February 4, 1886.

Comrades: Since writing my last report in the Alarm I have spent ten days among the wage-slaves of Pennsylvania. One mass-meeting was held at Coal Center and another at Elizabeth, on the Monongahela river. Coal Center is located fifty miles above Pittsburg, in the Monongahela valley. From Coal Center to Pittsburg is one continuous coal mine of almost inexhaustible quantity. The country is beautiful with its valleys, mountains, and river, and is said by those who claim to know to be almost as picturesque as Switzerland. The soil is of the richest character; the great hills abound with coal, iron, stone, oil, natural gas. The river is navigable, and bounded on either side of its bank by a railroad. The climate is delightful and healthy, the water pure. With all these natural conditions of abounding wealth which only requires the magic touch of labor's hand it would be reasonable to expect that its inhabitants were prosperous and happy. But, alas for our boasted, so


called modern civilization! Amid this unlimited natural wealth there is the most extreme poverty and intense misery, and what is true of this region I find to be the same deplorable condition wherever I go.

In Allegheny City, a place of great wealth, and in Pittsburg and elsewhere the gaunt faces of misery, hunger, and woe meet one on every hand. Pennsylvania is the richest State in the American Union, and Pittsburg and the region around about it is its center. The invested capital of this State is mainly engaged in employing labor at productive work. Here are the mines, mills, and factories of America, and, of course, the class distinctions of wage-slaves and capitalistic masters, of proletariat and bourgeoisie, the most clearly visible and well-defined. Here the operations of the modern commercial system, which produces for profit only, holds supreme sway, and its effects upon the people are visible on every hand, viz.: the colossal wealth of the idle few, the agonizing poverty of the industrious many. The system of private ownership and control of capital, which makes of the propertyless a dependent, hireling class, subjecting them to the selfish whims and greed of the privileged few who possess the legal right to own and control the labor product of the laborers, has full play in the "common(?)wealth of Pennsylvania." Shoeless children, who dare not leave their miserable shanties sometimes called "homes," to go to school or to work over the ice or through the snow, are to be seen everywhere. Thinly clad, emaciated, care-worn women, bowed down with drudgery and anxiety, meet you on all sides. Miserable, wretched, poverty-stricken men, young in years, stalwart in frame, yet old in gait and shrunken with misery, greet your eyes at every turn. Crammed and filled are the work-houses, prisons, poor-houses, police stations, charity societies, penitentiaries, and the "Potter's Field."

"Rattle their bones over the stones,
They're only poor workmen whom nobody owns."

Look on that picture, then on this, viz.: Palatial mansions, everything that wealth can supply, licentious luxury, profligacy, idleness, and corruption among the "successful enterprisers" who have exploited, degraded, and enslaved their fellow-men.


There is a fierce conflict, internal warfare on every side, raging, between the privileged and disinherited. Strikes are met with lock-outs; bread riots are met with police clubs, bayonets, and gatling guns; the "pious fraud" plies his vocation and threatens the rebellious slaves with eternal damnation and the wrath of God when oppression compels them to disregard the "law and order" of their earthly masters; the poor-houses and prisons are filled with the unfortunates whose inability to find employment makes them objects of Governmental care, and dungeons and prison cells are crammed with wage-slaves who have "conspired" against starvation wages, and thus violated the "organic law" of capitalistic system. Everything is done by contract. The labor exploiters prepare a "free contract" for their wage-slaves to sign as a condition precedent to employment, which they are at perfect liberty to sign or starve! And this "freedom of contract" is held inviolate by the courts and Judges of capitalism.

The report of the superintendent of the Bethel home in Pittsburg, a semi-charitable institution where a bed or a meal can be had for 5 cents, made his annual report a few days ago to the public that 25,276 tramps were provided for in this institution the past year. And only one institution heard from!

Ten thousand miners and coke-makers are on a strike for a 10 per cent. advance of their starvation wages in the Connellsville region, contiguous to this city, and the mine and coke czars have issued their ukases, ordering them to vacate their tenements, and the police and militia are under arms, awaiting the word of command from the Government to evict the rebels, dispossess them of their miserable shanties at the point of a bayonet, and cast the helpless women and innocent children out into the snow. Shades of Irish landlordism! your blighting shadow has fallen upon America as well. First robbed and then evicted because they are dissatisfied with the robbers. And it is said that Americans are to be employed in the place of these ungrateful "foreigners." If the foreigner is no longer satisfied with the blessings of this "free country," why, the "American sovereign is to be employed in his place," say the capitalists. But will the experiment prove a success? May not American sovereigns


and freemen also discover that patriotism is a very poor substitute for bread? We shall see.

The men at the Edgar Thomson steel works at Braddock, a pittsburg suburb, had to strike against twelve hours' exhausting labor. What then? Over 100 men, armed with 14-repeating Winchester rifles, and about forty deputy Sheriffs, armed to the teeth, were employed by the company to preserve "law and order." These, with the aid of the Very Rev. Father Hickey, of that place, induced the "ungrateful" wage-slaves to return to their slavery. Ungrateful, I say, because do not capitalists claim that they furnish the working class with bread, and that if it were not for them and their business enterprises the workers would starve? "The ungrateful wretches must be kept orderly and quiet," say the bosses.

The flood-gates of poverty have been turned loose. Hard times; no work; hard work and poor pay, describes the situation, and to maintain their legal right to control the natural rights of others the property-holding class are strengthening the police, increasing the army, recruiting the militia, building new jails, work-houses, poor-houses, and enlarging the penitentiaries. Entrenched behind "organic law," church and State, sustained by bayonets, maintain the supremacy of our capitalistic "law and order" regime.

Of course, the wage-slaves, the proletarians, are not indifferent to the conditions that surround them. They have massed their forces in labor organizations, principally the Knights of Labor and trades unions. But these labor organizations have built their house upon a foundation of sand, which the wind, rain, and storm of poverty now descending upon it will wash away. In fact, the foundation seems to be gone already, and the impending wreck of the whole structure is at hand. They do not and cannot regulate the work-hours; they do not and cannot keep up wages or provide employment to the enforced idle. Any labor organization which cannot do this for its Members is of no value to them whatever. These organizations are at cross-purposes with themselves. They fight the effects of a system, but defend and protect the system itself. Result: failure.

Socialism is soon to become the trustee of these bankrupted capitalistic labor organizations, which are now being weighed in the


balance and found wanting. Out of their ashes, Phoenix-like, will arise the new social regime. On their ruins Socialism will erect the mansions of "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality," which shall endure forever, for Socialism gives homes to the homeless, land to the landless, liberty to the slave, wealth, happiness, and prosperity to all! Necessity, the mother of invention, will compel the wage-slaves of all nations to turn to Socialism as their only savior.

At Coal Center, on the Monongahela river, we held successful and important mass-meetings of citizens and miners. Before my arrival I was threatened with being rotten-egged and mobbed, so thoroughly and skillfully had the capitalistic politicians and priests worked up a sentiment of hatred toward the detested Anarchists. But it proved a boomerang to recoil upon themselves, for after the people heard me present the claims of Socialism they showed me every possible courtesy, taking me to the best tavern and paying for my board bill, and assuring me that they intended to send for me to return among them soon, when they would get the whole country around there to turn out and hear Socialism.

In Monongahela City no hall could be had for love or money, and hence no meeting, as the weather was too cold for an open-air address.

At Mansfield, Pa., myself and a few Pittsburg comrades held a very well-attended mass-meeting among the citizens of that suburb. After my address an English miner rose and said that he was a God-fearing man and a Christian; that Socialism was Christianity. He had a family of six children, and his wages for the past two weeks' work was $4! I interrupted him to inquire if he had not made a mistake, when several other miners present corroborated what he said, and he stated that some of them got even less than that sum. The English miner continued, and said that they were robbed unmercifully by false weight of coal and at the infamous truck stores. Said he: "I would rather die on the battle-field than to continue to live as I am." He said he would join the International but it was opposed to God. Man suffered because of sin. God commanded us to work six days, but the bosses made us work seven in


the week. All we had to do was to obey God and "love thy neighbor as thyself."

This miner was told in reply that the command to work six days was absurd and impossible, because on certain portions of the earth the days were six months long. That to obey God was certain slavery, for he had not said: "Servants, obey your masters and be obedient to those placed in authority over you"? And as for loving one's neighbor as one's self, how could there be peace on earth and good will to those who were engaged in robbing and killing us? The English Government held its sway over Ireland because the Catholic church commanded obedience to the scriptures. The Irishman has the choice of obeying God and slavery, or disobedience and liberty. Which? To abandon the world to the robbers and seek a paradise beyond this life, among the unknown and unknowable, was to let go the bird in the hand and chase the one in the bush. No doubt ministers of the gospel would be opposed to this earthly paradise, which an observance of nature's, law would give to all, because it would abolish sin and his occupation as a soul-saver would be gone.

The meeting was well received, but here, as elsewhere, the men are too poor, having been on long strikes and out of work and money, to subscribe for the Alarm.

Last Saturday evening in the Jane Street Turner Hall, on the South Side of Pittsburg, a large mass-meeting greeted us in response to the following announcement made in hand-bills:

Workingmen's mass-meeting at Turner Hall, Jane street, S. S., to-night. The workingmen and citizens of the South Side will hold an indignation meeting on Saturday evening, January 30, at 7:30 o'clock, to denounce the use of police and military to overawe strikers, and also to take action in regard to the introduction of labor-saving machinery in our iron, steel and glass industries. Every workingman and woman should be present. Free discussion. Everybody invited.
The Committee.

The hall was filled, and, on motion, F. M. Gessner, editor of the American Glass-Worker, a weekly trade journal published in Pittsburg, was made Chairman. He said, substantially:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: No one seems disposed to introduce the gentlemen who speaks to us to-night, but my courtesy to strangers


bids me do it. The workingmen of Pittsburg should be in thousands, but possibly because the victims of oppression in the coke regions now being driven into slavery at the bayonet point are Hungarians, there is prejudice against them. Well, be it so. So much the worse for us and our organizations that the cause of these people is ignored by us, and it is left for the hated and despised Anarchists and Socialists to step boldly to the front in their behalf. The unwelcome truth calls for heroes. The poor Hun is being crushed and only the hated Anarchist comes to his rescue. Are we doing our duty? Let the hated Anarchist roll his drum to-day, but in the long roll I believe our organization will stand in line and every man answer ‘Aye.’ I am not here as an Anarchist, for I do not clearly yet understand their position. But the time has come for the utterance and acceptance of the truth, however unwelcome it may be to some. I ask your courteous attention to what Mr. Parsons, of Chicago, has to say."

I discoursed to the audience for about two hours, and was cheered throughout to the echo, and at the conclusion of my speech the following resolutions were adopted unanimously by the large audience present, which was composed mainly of Americans:

Resolved, By this mass-meeting of workingmen of Pittsburg, that the employment of police and militia to suppress strikes and compel working people to submit to starvation wages paid by monopolists and capitalists, as witnessed in the recent struggle of the miners on the Monongahela river, the rolling-mill men at Braddock, and the coke-workers of the Connellsville region and elsewhere, demonstrates that the employers of labor rely upon force to compel obedience to their dictation; it therefore becomes the bounden duty of all workingmen who value their life, liberty and happiness to arm and prepare themselves to successfully resist the oppressions of their capitalistic masters.

Resolved, That the monopolistic or private control of recent inventions in labor-saving machinery, together with the use of natural gas in the manufacture of iron, steel and glassware, has destroyed the means of subsistence tens of thousands of wage-workers by rendering their labor superfluous; therefore it is our bounden duty, in order to live and enjoy liberty, to take the means of human subsistence out of the control and ownership of private individuals and place them where they by natural right belong, viz.: into the hands of society for the free use of all, thus destroying forever the


monopolistic system of private capital in the means of life, which breeds the curse of poverty, ignorance, intemperance, disease, crime and vice.

Resolved, That it is the conviction of this mass-meeting that the time has arrived when the workingmen of America must arise and proclaim, and maintain by any and all means, their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I cannot close this brief report without calling attention to Pennsylvania, and Pittsburg, its industrial center, as the natural cradle of the social revolution. Here, as nowhere else in America, the growth and development of the capitalistic system of mass-production has prepared the way by precept and example for the transition from the old to the new civilization. All the conditions exist for the rapid and stalwart growth of the revolutionary proletariat. There is but one thing lacking, viz: leaders. The trades unions and Knights of Labor have organized the wage-workers for amelioration, which can never come. The leaders of these bodies are still chasing the ignis fatuus of politics, and the further they go the deeper they sink into the quagmire of the political swamp, until the cry already comes out of the gloom: "Help, help!" It is my deliberate judgment that one-half the talent, energy, and means expended in Pittsburg that has been in Chicago would give the revolutionary movement ten members where it now has one. But unfortunately the Socialistic propaganda here has neither an American, German, or other organizer and agitator; no press, and consequently but little vitality. The harvest is great, but the harvesters are few. There is great probability of another trades union riot here like that of 1877. These are the inevitable social eruptions which make Socialism a necessity.

I leave here to-day for Canton, O., thence to Massillon, Mansfield, Columbus, Hocking Valley, Springfield, O., and back to Chicago. Salut.


Chapter III. — In the Ohio Coal Regions — Large Meetings in Canton — Wealth of the Country and Poverty of the Masses Compared — Exhaustive and Responsible Labor Paid 12 ˝ Cents Per Hour — Children Hunting for Nuggets of Coal — Meetings in Massillon — One-Half the Working Population in Compulsory Idleness — One-Third of the Whole Living on Charity — Uselessness of the Ballot in the Hands of Wage-Slaves — Interesting Meeting at Navarre — Deplorable Condition of the Workers — From Navarre to Mansfield — Three Successful Meetings in Columbus.

Taken from "The Alarm" of February 20, 1886.

Comrades: Since my last report in the Alarm I have addressed several large mass-meetings of working people in the State of Ohio. Two mass-meetings were held in Canton on Friday and Saturday, February 5 and 6.

Canton is a railroad center and manufacturing town of about 20,000 inhabitants, in Stark county, which rates third in the list of the wealthiest counties in the State of Ohio. Nevertheless, right here in the midse of this superabundance of wealth, strong men, their wives and children, are homeless, starving, and freezing. Bear in mind, Canton is located in the third wealthiest county of this State; its soil is unsurpassed; its coal, stone, water, natural gas exists in unlimited quantities and unsurpassed qualities; the climate the most healthy — yet, in the presence of this natural wealth, we find in this little city 200 families of able-bodied men to whom, being compelled to be idle, the authorities have to give charity to prevent them from begging, stealing, or starving! Five hundred other families


of strong, healthy men are kept in enforced idleness and receive aid in one form or another from churches, clubs, friends, neighbors, etc.

Allowing five persons to a family, we find that Canton, with its 20,000 inhabitants, has 3,500 human beings who have been made mendicants and paupers and are being driven into vagabondage and crime, prostitution and suicide by means of our industrial system. Let me give one or two detailed facts with which the writer is personally acquainted. At the iron and steel works in Canton the man who fires six boilers and regulates the steam in them tells me that he is kept spinning like a top for ten to twelve hours each day, doing this work in person, and that the least oversight on his part would cause an explosion of the boilers that would kill at least forty or fifty of the 200 men employed in the mill. For the performance of this exhaustive labor and grave responsibility he receives the sum of 12 ˝ cents per hour!

In the midst of the terrible blizzards and snows I saw little 4 and 5-year-old girls, clad in thin and tattered garments, scraping the snow with their fingers among the railroad tracks where engines are constantly switching to and fro, hunting for nuggets of coal which may have dropped from passing trains! While here I read in the capitalistic press of the town that an unemployed workman, driven to desperation, dashed a stone through a plate-glass window in a store on a principal business street, and, waiting till an officer of the law arrested him, he gave as a reason that he was out of work, money, and friends, and adopted this plan to keep from freezing and starving to death! But enough. I might add much more, but space forbids.

Two very large mass-meetings were held here. The first one was addressed by myself; the second by Comrades Louis Kirchner, of Canton, and Christ. Saam, of Cleveland, in German, and myself in English. The utterances of the speakers were loudly applauded. Several new members of the American and German Groups were obtained, besides many subscribers to the Alarm, Vorbote, Freiheit, and Parole.

From Canton I went to Massillon, a manufacturing and mining town of about 12,000 population. Here I found one-half of the working people in compulsory idleness, and one-third of the whole


number of medicants living on charity, credit, etc. A large meeting greeted me at this place. For over two hours the most undivided attention was given to the presentation of the causes which make paupers of those whose industry creates all wealth.

Owing to the long-continued enforced idleness the "strike" trouble has been solved, viz.: the workers no longer have a chance to "strike."

Here is located the celebrated Russell & Co. harvester and reaper factory and machine foundry, employing several hundred men. Conspicuous on one of the folding doors at the entrance of this capitalistic pen of wage-slaves is posted a large bill, printed in very large letters, to wit:

Vote for Garfield and Arthur, and our protective tariff and good wages.

Hancock and English are pledged to support a low-revenue tariff, which means little work and low wages, and for the benefit of the cotton aristocrats of the Solid South and British manufacturers.

This electioneering bill is eight years old. But it tells its own story. The 1,000 American sovereigns, freemen, and voters at work in this capitalistic slave-pen "took the hint" and acted accordingly. Never was there better practical demonstration of the truth that patriotism is the greatest of all humbugs, a sentiment believed in only by fools and nurtured only by knaves. This factory is "the pride" of this little capitalistic town; it does a large business in steam engines and other machinery. This week two lately invented molding machines have been introduced into the foundry, each of which does the work of twenty molders, rendering their labor superfluous and reducing their wages to zero! Alas for the American sovereign, freeman, and voter, about whom our trades union and other conservative labor organizations prate so much! Right in this establishment I found "American freemen" who said they were afraid to attend a public meeting of working men for fear of discharge. Freemen indeed! Let me say that my readers must not imagine that Russell & Co.'s is the only "slave-pen." No, no. All capitalistic institutions are precisely alike in their operations. They all exploit and degrade the wealth-producers.


At Navarre, a mining town of 3,000 people, the "skating rink" had been secured for the "Anarchist" speaker to address the people in. This town is located on the Tuscarawa river, in a beautiful valley, through which passes a railroad. The soil of the surrounding country is of unsurpassed fertility; the hills abound in coal, iron, stone, and gas. But to what a sad plight has the capitalistic system of wage-slavery brought the American laborer! A miner tells me that the 500 or 600 miners living here were permitted to work about one-third time the past year. The miner said his family consisted of a wife and three children. His wages the past year amounted to $89.76. Rent was $5 per month; powder for 120 tons of coal which he dug was $15.75; three gallons of oil was $3; sharpening tools was 50 cents; total expense for rent, powder, oil, and tools, $79.25; balance left for food and clothes, $10.51! This allows less than one-fourth of a cent per day for food and clothes. "Incredible!" you say. Talk of the Chinese, the pauper labor of Europe, but these American sovereigns can discount them. "How did he live?" you ask. Well, in this way. The country round about is the richest farming land in the world. The rich farmers who own it find in these poverty-stricken miners an unfailing supply of cheap labor, paying for odd jobs and a few days' work in the harvest season the sum of 50 cents per day! Sometimes they only give what a hungry man can eat in return for a day's hard work. A miner told me that he had to buy on credit in the year 1884 $5 worth of potatoes from a rich farmer. Last year (1885) he had no money to pay the debt, and told the farmer he would work it out. He worked four days, over twelve hours per day, and finished the job. He asked the farmer to let him have a few bushels of potatoes again on credit, as he had no money, when he was informed that not until he paid what was owing last year could he get any more. The miner replied that he thought his work had paid the debt. The farmer said: "No, sir; you owe me $2.80 yet," and the miner could get no more potatoes.

The wage-slaves of America have to pay such high prices for coal that many of them are forced to stint themselves in the use of it, while the miner is freezing and starving also. This is the legislative


district from which John McB., labor politician, member of the Ohio Legislature, and President of the Ohio State Miners' Association, hails. As well might the herd of sheep appeal to the wolves for protection, as for the despoiled workers look to the statute books for redress.

I found hearty greeting in Navarre. The "rink" was crowded, and the brass band, consisting of fourteen instruments performed by miners, regaled the people with some choice selections of music. The meeting was attended by the priest, banker, and lawyer, and none could or would deny the truths of Socialism. A large American Group was formed and many subscribers obtained for the Alarm.

From Navarre I went to Mansfield, the home of John Sherman, Ohio's member of the American House of Lords, sometimes called the Senate. Ohio's John has, by strict economy, industry, and sobriety during his term of office the past twenty years, on a salary of $5,000 per annum, amassed a handsome little sum for a "rainy day" during his old age, which amounts to several million dollars, Thrifty, industrious, sober John, you have reaped the reward of the good, the virtuous, and the true! Successful statesman, you have amassed millions out of the stolen product of the American wage-slave, while at the same time making your victim believe that you were his benefactor. But Democrats and Republicans vie with each other in playing the role of statesman; that is, the manufacture of the coward's weapon, the tool of the thief — statute law! In spite of the air of American "patriotism," now descended to jingoism, which pervades the atmosphere of Mansfield, the streets were lined with American sovereigns in compulsory, as elsewhere, idleness, who have not where to lay their weary heads.

In Columbus, the Capital of Ohio, we have held three very successful mass-meetings in the city hall, a large and costly structure.

The first mass-meeting was held Friday evening, February is, one on Saturday evening, the third held on Sunday afternoon in the city hall at 2:30 o'clock. The audiences were quite large and intelligent. They expressed hearty approbation of what


heard, and a large, intelligent, and resolute American Group of the International was organized.

Columbus is the place where Ohio's law factory is located, and in which the politicians of the State are hunting for jobs. Here are to be found many institutions, the offspring of statute law, the most noteworthy of which is the State's prison, or penitentiary. The Legislature, or law-factory, produces and renders penitentiaries necessary, for there must be some place to provide for those outcasts the statute law manufactures.

It is estimated by those who ought to know that fully one-half of the wage-workers of this city are out of employment. There was never before such destitution among the people. Able-bodied men seek in vain for an opportunity to work and provide their families with the necessaries of life. On every hand there is unoccupied land, empty houses, and idle machinery, while on every side there is the landless, homeless, starving multitude. What but statute law has disinherited these people? Does not the State Trades Assembly of Ohio deserve the title of capitalistic labor organization when at its recent convention, held in this city, it refused to take eight hours, but instead referred the matter to the legislature and petitioned the labor robbers to give it to them, "if they please"?

Meanwhile the capitalistic system extorts its pound of flesh from the quivering heart of the disinherited. The wealth of the wealthy grows constantly; the poverty of the poor increases all the while.

The statistics of Ohio, taken from the United States census for 1880, show that in manufactures the invested capital was $47,000,000 larger in 1880 than in 1870, while the number of manufacturing establishments was 2,070 less in 1880 than in the year 1870. On the other hand, the number of wage-workers employed in manufacture in Ohio was 46,407 larger than in 1870. Wages were $20 less on the average in 1880 than in 1870.

Thus we see the workings of the monopolistic system of interest, profit, and rent in the fact that under the workings of the economic law of capitalism in the State of Ohio in ten years the number of manufactories diminished 10 per cent., invested capital increased


25 per cent., and the number of wage-workers employed was increased 25 per cent., thus reducing the number of the rich but increasing the number of the poor; and while wages decrease profits increased, thus increasing the wealth of the wealthy and the poverty of the poor. This is the working, the unavoidable result of the capitalistic system. What will it lead to?


Chapter IV. — Speech in Springfield, O. — A Cold Hall but a Good Audience — Futility of Attempting to Remedy an Effect Without Understanding its Cause — Existing Institutions Based on Force — Origin of Private Property Traced to Conquest in the Middle Ages — Machinery — Development of Capitalism in the Past Decade — The Middle Class Forced into the Ranks of the Slave-Wages.

Taken from a Springfield Capitalistic Paper of February 26, 1886.

A crowd of several hundred people gathered at the Mikado skating rink last night to hear the Socialist, Parsons, of Chicago, deliver an address on the subject of labor and capital. He was introduced at half-past 7 o'clock by the Chairman, A. E. Poling, and spoke for three hours, although the hall was as cold as a dead man's feet. He opened his remarks with a gentle reminder that the hall was cold, but said he hoped to warm his hearers up before he got through.

He spoke in substance as follows:

"I am not here to win the applause or the approval of the audience so much as to perform my duty at a serious time in the history of this country and civilization, and to lay before them for calm and deliberate consideration matters that affect their prosperity, happiness, and very existence. This meeting is composed mainly, if not entirely, of workingmen and women. There must be something of interest that will bring out a crowd like this on such a night as this. Your interest in this is only an indication of the great spirit of unrest and discontent that is spreading throughout the four corners of the world. We are to consider to-night the difference between the capitalists of this country and the working


people. What I have to say is from the standpoint of a Socialist. I wish to speak to you upon Socialism, upon co-operation, labor upon Anarchy. There is something that is producing the condition of affairs which we witness all around us to-day. There must be a cause for every effect. A tree is known by its fruit. Why is there such an unrest and discontent among the people? This is the thing to be sought for. We must ascertain the cause before we can remedy it or before we can treat properly the effect resulting from that cause. Upon every hand we witness the indications which point unmistakably to a Socialistic revolution. This revolution may be peaceful; it may be violent; but that there is a revolution pending no intelligent man can doubt. The Socialists ascribe this to the existing system of industry known as capitalism. What is this? It is the monopolization by a few of the means of human exitence, the appropriation by a few of the means whereby other people live. What is this institution, and whence does it come? It had its origin in the Middle Ages, but its more recent development has been of a very modern character. The private ownership of land, its monopolization by a few, the private ownership of capital, the means of production and common exchange; the system of private property; the ownership by a few of machinery, of lands, of houses, of all the implements of production and exchange. The private ownership of capital is the cause of the difficulties under which we are suffering. It had its origin in the Middle Ages in violence, in bloodshed, and in war. The existing system of industry and the existing civilization of the world had its origin in force, in physical violence, and it came about by one set of men in the center of Europe seeing the peaceful valleys below, the waving harvests, the lowing herds, and the industry of the peaceful vale, and looking with jealousy upon these peaceful habitations. They swept down upon them, seized their property, put the men to death, captured their women and children, bound them in chains and held them as personal slaves, appropriating the land, houses, and property of these people. This is the origin, and it is producing the results which we see to-day."

The speaker went on to show the difference between now and


twenty-five years ago, claiming that the invention of labor-saving machinery, the discovery of steam and electricity, were detrimental to our country's interest, when monopolized. He illustrated his point by citing the trade of a shoe-maker. Twenty-five years ago one man made the whole shoe and was in business for himself, but now, with the invention of labor-saving machinery, it took fifty-two men to make one shoe, so that a man in that trade now is only the fifty-second part of a shoe-maker. This is what the Socialists mean, he said, when they speak of the development of the capitalistic system and the effect which it produced.

The speaker then took the census of 1880 in Ohio and deducted the following conclusions: In the State of Ohio in 1880 there were $47,000,000 more employed as capital than in 1870. In other words, in ten years the capital engaged in the manufacturing industries in Ohio increased $47,000,000. While the capital increased nearly $50,000,000 the number of the capitalists engaged in manufacturing decreased 2,070. There were 46,407 more wage-workers employed in 1880 in these industries than in 1870. The wages in 1870 on the average were $357.62; in 1880, $334.18. Wages were reduced during these ten years 15 per cent.; the profits were 20 per cent. greater. The number of manufacturers had decreased, the amount of capital invested had increased, and the wage-workers had increased nearly 50,000, thus proving that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. The number of those who are rich is decreasing, but the riches of the rich are constantly increasing. That is, he who five years ago was a millionaire is to-day worth ten millions, but where there were five millionaires five years ago, to-day there are only three. That is, the number of those who are driven to the necessity of working for daily wages is increasing, while the number of those who cannot find employment at any price is also increasing. These result, the speaker continued, from three different causes. The army of the unemployed, those who are kept in compulsory and enforced idleness, is being swelled. How? First, by labor saving machinery; and second, by the crowding out of the middle class, and destroying them, and dividing them into the class of wage-workers. Thus this army is being increased all the


time; the necessities of the people constantly increase, and the opportunities to satisfy their wants constantly diminish. These are the forces that are generating the social revolution. There is increased profit for the capitalist; reduced wages for the unemployed class; the number of those who are seeking employment increases, and the number of those who find employment decreases; capital is increased and piled up until we have some men in this country whose wealth can be estimated at over $200,000,000.

The speaker then strayed from the argument and gave some interesting figures in regard to Vanderbilt's fortune of over $300,000,000. He said if this amount of money was laid along in $1 bills it would reach 25,000 miles, or clear around the earth. If it was coined into silver it would take fourteen freight trains, each consisting of seventeen cars, pulled by two locomotives each.

He next quoted Bradstreet, of commercial agency fame, as follows: Last year there were 11,500 business men who went to their financial death, and of these 90 per cent, had a capital of less than $5,000 each. This shows that the capitalistic system is like the whale in the ocean — the big fish eat the minnows, and the big capitalists swallow the small business men. The property of these 12,000 men represented over $200,000,000. Their bankruptcy did not mean that this money was destroyed; it meant that it was transferred to the richer fellows' pockets, and that there were 12,000 more men in the United States, who had been in business for themselves, now compelled to work for wages. Rich people make their money in two ways: when they get property from the smaller business men they make it indirectly, and when they make it from the working classes they make it in a direct way, or straight. There were forclosures of mortgages alone in the United States of nearly $500,000,000.


Chapter V. — Letter to His Wife. — Interesting Account of Some of the Difficulties that Beset the Path of a Reformer — Editor Winehart, of the Coal Center "Messenger," Advises the Workingmen to Receive Agitator Parsons in a Hostile Manner, But Afterward Changes His Opinion — Efffect of the Mass-Meeting on the Audience — No Leaders — The Propaganda Suffers From Want of Means.

My Dear Wife:
My trip would fill a volume with the realistic side of life under wage-slavery and an occasional gleam of grim humor. Everywhere I have met with the most gratifying success — under the circumstances. The lack of means to properly advertise, and the haste resulting from the same cause, has alone prevented complete and lasting results. Under such circumstances one cannot do what they would, but only what they can. As I said, my trip is overflowing with interest, especially to one like you, whose whole being is wrapped up in the progress of the social revolution. I will give you a sample incident, reserving others, owing to their length, until I return home. It was at Coal Center, some fifty miles from Pittsburg, on the Monongahela river. There was no one with whom I could communicate except the editor of the weekly paper published there. I was twenty miles from Monongahela, and at the instance of Comrade Robert F. Hill, sent a note announcing a mass-meeting to be held on the following day.

Well, on that day I reached the place about 2 o'clock p. m., and found myself a total stranger in a country town, which is a quaint, angular-looking place, located in the narrow valley along the banks of the Monongahela and overshadowed by the towering hills of this


region. The streets are dotted with groups of three and four men, coarsely-clad, grim-visaged, sturdy, and stolid; the weather cold and shivering; the prospect all but inviting. Not knowing which way to turn, I naturally inquired for the office of the Messenger. Once there I inquired for the proprietor, Mr. Winehart, and at once introduced myself to him. I found him to be a young man of 35, a genuine type of the modern American — lank, thin-visaged, keen-eyed, quick-witted, and resolute. After a few words I inquired if he had received my note. He replied that he had, and had published it; upon request I was handed a copy of the paper.

The day was cold and depressing, the town uninviting, and the man who stood before me as chilly as an iceberg. Imagine, then, my situation when I read the comment on the announcement, which advised the workingmen of Coal Center to receive Agitator Parsons with — rotten eggs, and throw him into the river! I said to myself: "Steady, steady — there is hard work ahead!"

"Well," said I, looking up and addressing the editor who stood near by, "how is this?"

"That's our opinion of agitators in this region," he replied.

"I should expect such treatment from the coal syndicate," said I, "but not from those whom it oppresses."

I remembered that the Messenger was the only paper in the valley which stood by the miners in their long strike, and while wondering at its hostility toward me the editor said:

"Well, sir, those are our sentiments. These infernal agitators are a curse to us. They have ruined this valley. They have kept the miners idle and they ought to be drowned."

While he spoke his jaws were firmly set and his countenance determined and pale.

"Well, sir," said I, keeping perfectly cool, "I have seen the papers of this valley abusing you because you stood for the struggling miners, and I judged from it you were something of an agitator yourself," and I eyed him closely and I perceived I had fired a shot that struck him. "And," said I, "you certainly must concede that Thomas Buckle, the author of the ‘History of Civilization,’ was right when he said, that the barrier to all progress and civilization


is the indifference and inertness of the people. That agitators are public benefactors, whether they be right or wrong, as they do for the people what is done for a person who is freezing in a snowstorm — they shake up the dying man and prevent him from freezing. You have read that work?"

"No," said he, "I haven't; but our valley is ruined and these agitators have done the work."

I paid no attention to this latter remark and began to read his paper. After five or ten minutes I said to him:

"I am a stranger here and, of course, don't know whether I can get a hall or not. Do you know of any hall?"

"Yes," said he, "there are two (giving the names), but I think Guiske's the best."

A smile of satisfaction ran over my face as I reflected and said to myself: "I have melted this man; he need not have given me this information," and on the principle that "he who hesitates is lost," I said: "Do you know Mr. Guiske and would you spare the time to walk down that way?"

"I don't care if I do," said he, and putting on his coat we strolled leisurely down-town together. Meantime I was engaged in conquering my antagonist. I said nothing about Socialism, but asked questions about truck stores, coal bosses, miners, etc., etc. Walking three blocks, we did not find the proprietor of the hall in, and upon the invitation of the editor we strolled around the town to find him. This took another half hour.

Well, then we returned to Guiske's store; he had left word with his wife to have him call at his office.

An hour or more passed in casual conversation when the hallman appeared. Winehart engaged the hall, which is run as a skating rink, and is up stairs over two brick stores owned by the same man. He accompanied us to the hotel. Winehart said: "This is Mr. Parsons, from Chicago; give him the best you have in the house and send the bill to me." He remained with me until 1 o'clock that night, and on bidding me good-night said: "Parsons, I made a mistake," and, holding my hand, he continued: "Count me your friend; put down my name for the Alarm. We must have you here


again right away, and we will endeavor to raise the money send for you from Pittsburg before you go back to Chicago, when we will have over a thousand men to hear you."

Everything considered, this whole affair was remarkable. In this instance it can be said of Socialism what Caesar said: "Veni, vidi, vici."

The impression created upon the audience that night, as well as all others I have addressed, was tremendous. It seemed to stun them. They acted as a man who has been traveling a whole day and felicitating himself that he is near his journey's end when it suddenly dawns upon him he has traveled the wrong direction, and must retrace his steps. He stops, sits down to rest, and ponders.

Things are in a bad way in this region. There are no leaders among the wage-slaves here.

Oh, that I had the means ! I would batter down the ramparts of wrong and oppression and plant the flag of humanity on the ruins. Truly the harvest is great, but it takes time and means, and no great means either, but more than we have. But patience, patience!

Your loving husband,
PITTSBURG, PA., January 26, 1886.


Part V.

Chapter I. — Selected Editorials. — Articles from the Pen of Albert R. Parsons — "Chattel and Wage-slavery" — An Inquiry to Determine Wherein They Differ — "The Object of the Social Revolution" — Capital the Product of Past and Present Generations — "A Fable" — The Farmer and His Sheep — Its Moral — "The Cutdown" — The Markets Sustained in Proportion to the Ability of the Consumer to Purchase — The Board of Trade Dedication — What Anarchy Means.


Editorial taken from "The Alarm."

The owner of a chattel slave compelled obedience by the use of the lash, deprivation of food, etc. The system of chattel slavery was justified on the ground that the slave had been bought and paid for, and was therefore the private property of the master. This institution of property in the persons of men, women and children, who were bought and sold separately or in lots to suit the buyers and sellers, was perpetuated by the constitution, legal enactments, Govermental authority of the United States of America for nearly a hundred years as a perfectly legitimate, moral, and money-making system of labor. The chattel-slave system has been abolished, and the services of labor heretofore rendered under it are now performed under the wage system. The old system is spoken of by many as the slave labor of the past, and the present system is referred to as the free labor of the present. Under the old system


the worker was provided with food, clothing, and shelter by his master; under the new system the worker is paid wages with which, he is made to provide himself with food, clothing, and shelter Under the old system the necessaries of life were always furnished the slave; under the new, the wage-worker is often on strike, or locked out, or in a state of enforced idleness, consequently suffering and sometimes perishing for want of the necessaries of life.

The amount of wages over and above what will provide the worker with the necessaries of life is what constitutes the sum total of liberty gained by the change from chattel to wage slavery. The amount of wages paid for a day's or an hour's work is on an average no more than a bare subsistence, and bears no relation whatever to the amount of wealth produced or the real value of the laborer's products. Wage-workers perform twelve hours' work for three hours' pay, because the extra nine hours' work is the price charged by the owners of capital for the use for three hours of the implements of labor; or, according to the United States census for 1880, each wage-worker (and there are 17,000,000 of them in this country) is permitted to make on an average of $346 annually for himself, provided he will produce at the same time $700 for his employer, who charges this sum for the use of his capital. These are hard terms, but they are the best than can be had from the owners of capital, since the private ownership of the means of existence, capital, confers upon its owners the right to deny its use altogether.

The question arises: What then, is the difference between the old and the new system of labor? If the wage-laborer can be locked out, discharged, and thrown into a state of enforced idleness at the will of the owners of capital, in what does the wage-laborer's rights or liberties consist? The wage system guarantees to the laborer but one right, viz.: the right to starve! The private ownership of capital clothes its possessor with the authority of compulsion, the wages laborers being driven by the necessities of human existence to accept with alacrity the offer of their capitalistic benefactors, who permit them to earn their daily bread!

The laborer can never be a free man till he owns, in common with all other laborers, capital — i. e., the means of his own existence


— for as shown above, the organization of society on any other basis is the practical enslavement of the laborer, the difference between chattel-slavery and wage-slavery being one of form. The substance mains the same: the capitalist in the former system owned the laborer, and hence his product, while under the latter he owns his labor product, and hence the person of the wage-laborer.


Editorial taken from "The Alarm."

Our branch of Socialism holds that all existing statutory and constitutional powers of the Government confer on capitalists and the property-holding classes the power to compel the wage-workers to yield implicit obedience to their commands under the penalty of starvation or death by physical violence. This is what we call wage-slavery. We insist that no such thing as freedom of contract can exist between the dependent and independent. There can be no equality between those who hold the means of subsistence as their private property, and who can and do dictate the terms of existence to the propertyless. Arbitration, on this account, must prove a failure.

The march of events is toward a social revolution. By this expression we mean the time when the wage-laborers of this and other countries will assert their rights — natural rights — and maintain them by force of arms. The social revolution means the expropriation of the means of production and the resources of life, or, in other words, the opportunity to work and live with the unrestricted use of all the means of subsistence. This revolution will, place capital at the disposition of society, and, being a social product, the result of the joint efforts of the present and past generations, belongs by natural right to society alone. This outcome is a necessity which cannot be avoided. We would prefer a peaceful solution rather than war, but we do not bring about the revolution. On the contrary, the social condition creates the revolutionists. It will not come because we wish it, but because it must come. We simply foretell its approach and prepare for it.


When that time shall come the means of human subsistence will be changed into social wealth. Capital will cease to be private property under private control, and will be held in common for the benefit of all. Boycotting, strikes, and riots are simply indications of the social uneasiness, the outcome of which must be revolution.


Editorial taken from "The Alarm."

A farmer had gathered his herd of sheep into a pen preparatory to shearing them of their wool. Finally, one sheep, becoming more bold than his timid comrades, seeing the farmer standing at the gate with his long shears in his hand, addressed him thus:

"Pray, sir, why do you huddle us together in this style? Will you not let us out to play and gambol on the hillside? It is hot, dusty, and dry, and very uncomfortable to be cooped up in this pen."

Farmer: "Certainly, certainly. But before I turn you out I must shear you of your wool."

Sheep: "Pray, sir, what harm have we ever done you that you should now take the covering from our backs, and leave us unprotected from the storms of winter and the heats of summer?"

Farmer: "You ungrateful wretches. Have you no sense of gratitude for the many favors I have always shown you? If it were not for me how could you exist at all? Don't I furnish you the green pasture upon which you browse and play? Besides that, when I shear off your present coating of wool, are you not permitted by my generosity to graze upon my fields and soon supply yourselves with another coating?"

The rest of the timid and thoughtless herd, overhearing the conversation, immediately set up a great "hurrah" for their supposed benefactor, and one and all calmly and patiently and with apparent satisfaction submitted themselves to the process of being "fleeced of their wool."

Moral: When capitalists and their lying preachers, teachers and politicians set themselves up as the benefactors of their


slaves, and begin their long-winded discourses upon the "harmony" of capital and labor, you may be sure that they are merely preparing their wage-slaves for a quiet submission while they "fleece" them of their labor product.


Editorial taken from "The Alarm."

The markets of the country come from the amount of wages the working people receive. Cut down wages 10 per cent. all over the country and you have lost about 10 per cent. of the purchasing power of the country. When this falling-off of demand in the market has taken place, then another cut-down is more necessary than the first. A third-cut-down makes the pressure still greater for another cut-down, and so on, until no power on earth can sustain the market or demand for any production beyond that necessary to keep life in the body. A strike has the same effect to cripple the market, while the striker is earning nothing, that the cut-down of wages has. As a cut-down takes from the purchasing power of the country, and a strike does the same thing, the whole fight is only a choice of evils, and are the natural fruits of the wage-system.

Add to this the competing force of the unemployed laborer, caused by a weak market of demand that threw him out, and then we get the full meaning of a cut-down or long strike, and see how one cut-down or strike aids and forces another cut-down. A strike forces another cut-down as much as a cut-down does.

So much was said at the trial about the demonstration of the Anarchists on the night the Board of Trade was dedicated that we decided to print an editorial, taken from The Alarm, of May 2, without changing a single word, and let the readers judge for themselves Mr. Parsons' position upon the matter.



The Chicago Board of Trade building, costing $2,000,000, was dedicated this week in a blaze of magnificence, eclipsing the Oriental splendor. Delegates were present from all the great commercial centers of America and England to participate in the event.

The occasion was one which marks an epoch in the historical development of the private property system, based on wages and competition. It was the crowning triumph of the Fourth Estate.

Whatever may have been the historical needs of a system, by which a class of men who were originally merely peddlers, despised by the nobility and the king and the church, they have now reached the summit of power by means of commerce and trade, until king, nobility, church and state are to-day the creatures of their will. This is the day of the reign of Mammon — money rules the roost. It rules the camp, the court, the grove; heaven above and men below.

In the day of its fruitage and maturity, the fruit is touched with the blighting fingers of decay and death. Whatever may have been the uses and benefits of commerce, based upon profit-mongery, in the past, we will not now mention. But the Board of Trade and the civilization which it represents is doomed to a certain and speedy decay. Now is the hey-day of its power and glory; now also is the day of its decline and destruction. Our Chicago Board of Trade was opened with regal splendor, within its walls was wealth, ease, luxury, and power. But beneath the shadow of its stately dome there at the same time lurked the destroying angels of misery and want. The working people of Chicago in thousands turned out upon this occasion and within sight of this dazzling pageantry they muttered curses loud and deep. And why? Because they know that the Board of Trade is a conspiracy of the rich to rob and enslave the people under legal forms, by enhancing the cost of living, and robbing both producers and consumers for the benefit of those social parasites known as "business men." These are the merchants, the commercial pirates, who erect their fortresses, known as boards trade, upon the highways of communication and transportation and levy tribute upon all that passes either way. Under the pretense


of "buying and selling" they have inaugurated a system of plunder and extortion by which they have amassed untold wealth, without having rendered an equivalent or performed any useful labor whatever. They use the power of combined wealth in private hands to create an artificial scarcity or famine among the people and by the same process force down the selling price when they themselves want to buy until the producer is fleeced of his entire harvest. They lay with loaded dice, and pile up gains upon gains until the working class, who pay for it, are crushed by the weight of poverty. They are the high priests in the temple of capitalism where, under the forms of profit, interest and rent, the producers of the world are made and kept poor.

The commercial and trading and manufacturing classes are directly antagonistic to the welfare of both consumers and producers. They overwork and underpay the toilers, and overcharge the consumers. Individually and collectively they live by chicane and fraud, and sap the life's blood of the industrial classes. They denominate their victims as "hoodlums" and the "scum," and arrogate to themselves the title of "the better classes."

With their stolen wealth they corrupt and debauch the people and use the Church and State as the instruments to perpetuate their privileges. They amass hundreds of millions of dollars by manipulating railroad, mine, telegraph, oil, and other stocks. They manipulate the currency by Shylock methods and fleece the people of hundreds of millions annually. They create panics, bring about business and commercial stagnations for the purpose of enriching themselves. In matters of speculation, a process by which wealth is derived without any service or equivalent, we have a sample of what they do when we recollect that Philip Armour, of the Chicago Board of Trade, realized a million and a half dollars in twenty-four hours by manipulating the pork market last summer. They make bread dear and labor cheap. They use the law and the Government to maintain their infamous practices. They import hundreds of wage-slaves from other lands to lower the life standard of the native born. They keep 2,000,000 workers of America in enforced iddleness. They work little children and defenseless women in the


treadmills of labor. They create paupers, manufacture vice and crime. They breed revolution and revolutionists, and it is latter fact which sounds the death knell of the Board of Trade robbers and the civilization which they represent.


Editorial taken from "The Alarm."

The manifesto of the Pittsburg Congress of the International Working People's Association, issued October 16, 1883, concludes as follows:

What we would achieve is therefore plainly and simply:

First — Destruction of the existing class rule by all means; i. e., by energetic, relentless, revolutionary and international action.

Second — Establishment of a free society based upon co-operative organization of production.

Third — Free exchange of equivalent products by and between the productive organizations without commerce and profit-mongery.

Fourth — Organization of education on a secular, scientific and equal Basis for both sexes.

Fifth — Equal rights for all without distinction to sex or race.

Sixth — Regulation of all public affairs by free contracts between the autonomous (independent) communes and associations, resting on a federalistic basis.

Whoever agrees with this ideal let him grasp our outstretched brothers hands!

Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Fellow-workmen, all we need for the achievement of this great end is organization and unity.

The above declaration sets forth the aims and methods of the Anarchists. It is, therefore, a matter of surprise to hear some persons say that Anarchists are without design or purpose.

We often hear it asked, "What does Anarchy mean?" It means first, the destruction of the existing class domination. Until this is accomplished reform or improvement in any direction in the interest of the proletariat is an impossibility. All the ills that inflict mankind are summed up in one word — poverty — resulting from


unnatural causes. Remove this barrier from the pathway and the march of progress will be steady and rapid toward the highest forms of civilization. Poverty, therefore, is the great curse of man.

The domination of classes arises from privileges acquired first, by free and chicane, and then enacted into statute law, and made legal by a constitution. Through this process the means of existence, without the use of which life cannot be maintained: land, machinery transportation, communication, etc., have been made private property — monopolized — until only a few privileged persons in society possess the right to live in liberty. The propertyless, the wage class, are compelled to seek for bread and shelter of those who possess property. Out of this compulsion arises the slavery and poverty of the wealth-producers. The private property system is a despotism under which the propertyless are forced, under penalty of starvation, to accept whatever terms or conditions the propertied may dictate. To remove this system is the first and paramount aim of Anarchy, and for its accomplishment a resort to any and all means becomes not only a duty but a necessity. The ballot-box has ceased long since to record the popular will, for he who must sell his vote or starve, will sell his vote also, when the same alternative is presented. The class who control the industries and the wealth of the country can and do control its votes. Education becomes impossible under the drudgery and poverty of wage-slavery, and of itself can make no change. The International recognizes that the man of labor is held by force in economic subjection to the monopolizers of the means of labor, the resources of life, and that from this source arises the mental degradation, the political dependence and social misery of the working class.

The proletariat being no longer able to live except in slavery, and a large portion of them denied even that choice, the revolutionary movement becomes an absolute necessity. This revolutionary movement, consisting of the discontented and starving proletariat, is organized into an irresistible power by those men of the wage class who have a historical insight into the labor movement and the outcome of the social revolution.

There are educated men of the middle class, who, seeing the approaching


conflict, or having been themselves crushed out by the weight of competition and forced into the ranks of the proletariat, become active and useful members in organizing the elements of discontent.

The State and its laws serve only to perpetuate the existing class rule, and once overthrown, upon its ruins Anarchy would place a "free society, based upon the co-operative organization of production." This free society would be purely economic in its character, dealing only with the production and distribution of wealth. The various occupations and individuals would voluntarily associate to conduct the process of distribution and production. The shoe-makers, carpenters, farmers, printers, moulders, and others would form autonomous or independent groups or communities, regulating all affairs to suit their pleasure. The trades unions, assemblies and other labor organizations are but the initial groups of the free society.

Freedom of exchange between the productive organizations without commerce or profit-mongery would then take the place of the existing speculative system with its artificial scarcity and plundering "corners."

Education would be placed within the reach of all.

Equal rights would exist for all. No rights without duties; no duties without rights.

All public affairs would be regulated by free contracts between the autonomous (independent) communes or groups, resting on a federalistic basis.

The free society is the abrogation of all forms of polite government. The useless classes, lawyers, judges armies, police, and the innumerable hordes engaged in buying selling and advertising their wares, would disappear. Reason and common sense, based upon natural law, takes the place of statute law, with its compulsion and arbitrary rules.

Capital, being a thing, can have no rights. Persons, alone have rights. The exiting system bestows all capital upon one class and for upon the other; hence the conflict is irrepressible. The time has now arrived when the laborers must possess the right to the free


use of capital with which they work, or the capitalists will own the laborers, body and soul. No compromise is possible. We must choose between freedom and slavery. The International defiantly unfurls the banner of liberty, fraternity, equality, and beneath its scarlet folds beckons the disinherited of earth to assemble and strike down the property beast which feasts upon the life-blood of the people.


Taken from "The Alarm" of March 21, 1885.

Four weeks ago we reported a meeting of the "Social Culture Club" of the People's Church, at which a number of "Judges," "Generals," "Colonels," and two of our comrades held a "joint debate." We stated then that the debate in consequence of the great interest taken by all those present did not come to a final conclusion and had to be adjourned to the next meeting. This adjourned meeting took place Thursday, March 5, at Princeton Hall, on West Madison street. The Socialists, George Schilling and August Spies, had been invited and were allowed to bring some of their comrades along with them. Therefore, A. R. Parsons, Sam Fielden, J. Simpson, Wm. Holmes and Mrs. Ames were present among other of our comrades. The hall was crowded to its full capacity, half the audience being ladies. Comrade Parsons spoke as follows:

"Ladies and Gentlemen: It very seldom happens that I have a chance to speak before a meeting composed of so many gentlemen with nice white shirts and ladies wearing elegant and costly toilets. I am the notorious Parsons, the fellow with the long horns, as you know him from the daily press. I am in the habit of speaking before meetings composed of people who by their labor supply you with all these nice things while they themselves are forced to dress in coarse and common garments; of such people who build your fine palaces, with all those comfortable fixtures, while they themselves are forced to dwell in miserable hovels or to take shelter in a police station. Are not these charitable people . these sans culotte . very generous to you? [Hisses.] Our friend, Judge Boyle, appears


to me as a schoolboy whistling while running through a graveyard trying to make himself believe he is not afraid of ghosts. This honorable judge tells us that in this country fifty-five million of people live in ease and plenty, but Bradstreet's states in his last issue that 2,000,000 heads of families are in enforced idleness and without the means of support, and Bradstreet's is certainly not a lying Communistic sheet. To be without work means for these men hunger and misery, while no work with you and your class means a pleasant state of idleness. [Hisses.] The same paper gives us the information that in one of the cotton factory towns of the State of Connecticut 700 young girls, nearly all of whom were under sixteen years of age, were thrown out of employment last fall by the stop page or lock-out of the mills. When they were at work their pay was so meagre, owing to the fact that what they had produced was appropriated by their employers, that enforced idleness meant starvation to them. They were forced to wander from town to town on foot through the chilling snow storms of this winter, sleeping in outhouses, barns and hay-stacks, vainly searching for work and bread, and all the while defenceless and exposed to the lust of brutish men. These female tramps are native American girls, the daughters of fathers who gave their lives to perpetuate the institutions of the Republic. In the city of Boston we are told that 30,000 heads of families are living upon charity, and that whole streets are tenanted by families with whom the possession of a cook-stove is regarded as a badge of aristocracy, the hole upon the top of which is rented to the less fortunate for a few pennies an hour.

"This is the city of which Charles Dickens tells us in his work entitled ‘Recollections Abroad,’ after his visit to America, that a ‘beggar on its streets would create as much consternation as an angel with a flaming sword.’ These are the mill, iron, cotton, and coal czars who, having pauperized their wage-slaves, now turn them out as beggars and tramps to freeze and starve to death.

"In this city of Chicago there are 35,000 men, women and children in a starving condition, driven by enforced idleness to live upon charity or seek the suicide's grave. In the Desplaines Street Station alone, through the terribly cold winter nights, as many as 400 homeless,


destitute men sought shelter and slept upon the cold, bare flagstones of the prison cell, receiving in the morning at 5 o'clock a bowl of hot soup, containing a slice of bread, for their breakfast, and then turned out upon the street to continue their vain search for employment. Others, who after midnight were turned out of the warm saloons where they had sought shelter, were driven to the cold damp tunnels, where they trotted up and down all night to keep from freezing to death. And yet Judge Boyle tells us that we have a happy and prosperous nation of 55,000,000 people. Listen now to the voice of hunger when I tell you that unless you heed the cry of the people, unless you hearken to the voice of reason, you will be awakened by the thunders of dynamite!" [At this there was a great uproar among the audience; hissing, ejaculating, many rising and stamping their feet, the ladies wiping their faces with handkerchiefs, etc.]

The speaker was proceeding to state what the demands of Socialism and Anarchy consisted of; that it meant a free society, where all would produce and consume freely without restraint.

The chairman nervously rapped and called the speaker to order, calling upon two young ladies to give them some music and restore harmony to the disturbed audience.

Lest the reader should think Mr. Parsons was exaggerating we add the following from the Hartford Examiner, published in Hartford, Conn.:


"The various villages along the Willimantic river are Tuckerville, Staffordville, Hdyeville, Furnace Hollow, Granville, Stafford Springs, Foxville, Orcutville and West Stafford. Employment to the people of these places has been furnished chiefly by the woolen mills, stove factories, etc. There are some 3,000 people of both sexes who depend entirely upon the work they do at these factories and mills. About 600 young girls are included in this number, the majority of them being weavers.


"Since last July fifteen of these concerns have locked out their employes, and their inability to find work has brought starvation nearly unto death. The cases of squalor and misery are too numerous to recite. In the severity of the winter young girls have tramped from place to place in search of work, have begged shelter and food, slept in outhouses and barns, and are to-day the victims of hunger and exposure. Wholly defenseless they are thrown into temptation and the lowest forms of vagrancy. The males tramp out further in the State and become desperate and vicious, while the old people and infants remain in the villages, starving by inches. The farmers are besieged by these vagrants and plundered. Common necessities of life are unknown to hundreds of fathers, mothers and children. There is scarcely any beef to be found at the stores because of the almost total abstinence from its use among these destitute people. To add to these miseries it has been announced that the mills will not start up until next June."


Chattel slavery and wage slavery are but two forms of the same thing — the robbery of labor.

Through competition among wealth producers, and combination on the part of non-producers, all wealth and power is passing into the hands of the latter.

To work is not slavery — to work and be stripped of the proceeds of labor is slavery. A man is a slave to the extent the wealth created by his labor is appropriated by another.

Under the competitive system the struggle for existence between manufacturers on the one hand, and workingmen on the other, brings, in the long run, ruin and virtual slavery to all save a few, who may become enormously rich.


Part VI.

Chapter I. — The Haymarket Meeting. — A Graphic Description of the Attack on that Peaceable Assembly — The Command to Disperse and the Tragic Reply — Terrible Effectiveness of One Bomb — The Police Would Have Been an Easy Prey for an Organized Conspiracy — A Reign of Terror — Papers Suspended, Homes Invaded and Suspects Subjected to Cruel Indignities.

Taken from the Denver "Labor Enquirer" of May 17, 1886.

The readers of the Enquirer have read with bated breath the startling news flashed from this city on Tuesday last of the ushering in and demonstration of the new method of scientific warfare.

What was it, and what the occasion of the bringing forth of the fell destroyer from his lurking-place in the realms of science with such direful results? The cause may be given in a future letter, the results may be given here.

The minions of the oppressing class were marched up to one of the most peaceably assembled meetings ever held in this country by any class of people to discuss questions concerning their own interests, and commanded them to "disperse." The individual giving this order was backed by about 300 armed and bludgeoned police, whom the capitalistic press describe as having "grasped their clubs tighter as they came in sight of the Anarchists assembled."

Well, as the minions moved from the station, which was half a block away from the meeting, they came like a lowering cloud to blot out the sunlight of free speech on American soil. Sweeping from curbstone to curbstone (a new military tactic which they had


been practicing for some time especially for the Anarchists), and stepping with military precision and unbroken ranks, each one "grasping tightly his club," compelled the people peaceably assembled there to fall back upon the sidewalk. When the three first columns had moved past the speakers' stand a halt was called. Then the individual referred to commanded these peaceable people to "disperse." The reply was given in thunder tones, which shook the great massive buildings for blocks around. A great swath had been cut in the ranks of the police. But before their groans, mingled with the succeeding echoes of the great explosion, could rise, as it were, from the place where they originated, there came a fusilade of pistol-shots. The bomb had been flung with such sudden and deadly effect that it had thoroughly disorganized and demoralized the police, and they became an easy prey for an enemy to attach and completely annihilate if there had been any conspiracy or concocted understanding, as has been howled and shouted by the capitalistic press.

It was the shortest, sharpest, and most decisive battle, I believe, on record. In less than three minutes the most horrible explosion ever known of its kind had taken place, over 200 shots had been fired, and over fifty police lay writhing in their blood upon the ground. The 3,000 or more persons who had been assembled on the spot less than an hour previous — where were they? For nothing now was to be heard or seen but the writhing, groaning police, and citizens whose names were never known, and the coming and going of the patrol, each loaded with victims and conveying them to the hospitals.

Since that date a reign of terror has been inaugurated which would put to shame the most zealous Russian blood-hound. The organized banditti and conscienceless brigands of capital have suspended the only papers which would give the side of those whom they had crammed into prison cells. They have invaded the homes of every one who has ever been known to have raised a voice or sympathized with those who have had aught to say against the present system of robbery and oppression. I say they have invaded their homes and subjected them and their families to indignities that must be seen to be believed, This organized banditti have arrested me four times; they have subjected me to indignities that


should bring the tinge of shame to the calloused cheek of a hardened barbarian.

But evidently becoming convinced that I had nothing to "give away," they have ceased to drag me to the station, for the time at least. But my comrades need have no concern lest these ruffians should, by their brutal treatment of me, drive me to distraction. They simply challenge my contempt.

All we in Chicago ask of our comrades abroad is to withhold their opinion until they hear our side, and to furnish us such moral and financial aid as they can.


CHICAGO, May 10, 1886.


Chapter II. — Parsons' Haymarket Speech. His Speech of May 4, as Redelivered in the Court-room, Before the Judge, Jury, and Spectators, August 9, 1886, and Which the Chicago "Times" Declared to be the Finest Speech of His Life, Going "From Eloquence to Oratory, From Oratory to Logic, and From Logic to Argument."

On July 9, 1886, Mr. Parsons took the witness-stand in his own defense and this is the occasion of his having given the speech which follows. The Times said of this speech:

The climax in the Anarchist trial was reached yesterday. Schwab, Spies and Parsons told their respective stories to the jury from the witness-chair, to a spell-bound audience of spectators, an amazed jury, and a surprised Judge. * * * Parsons was composed and eloquent. * * * His brother, Gen. W. H. Parsons, sat with eyes fixed upon him during the time he was upon the stand. As soon as Mr. August Spies retired Mr. Parsons took the stand, and in a quiet, deferential tone answered the questions put to him in a firm voice, not appearing to be in the least unnerved by his peculiar position. At length he was asked to give the substance of his Haymarket speech, and he did so, and if the jury, the Court and the audience have been entertained since the trial began they were entertained by the chief agitator of the Chicago Anarchists. He pulled out of his pocket a bundle of notes, and began at the jury in tones which betokened that the speaker was primed for the finest speech of his life. He held his notes in his left hand, and, together with the swaying of his body, gesticulating with his right arm. From low, measured tones he went on from eloquence to oratory, from oratory to logic, and from logic to argument."

CAPT. BLACK: "Now, Mr. Parsons, going back to the meeting, retracing our steps for a moment — will you tell us, please, what was the substance of your speech that night, as fully as you can remember?"

"I have taken some notes of reference since then to refresh my


memory. I recollect distinctly of mentioning all of these points, but I could not recall them seriatim unless I put them on paper, and that is the reason I have done so.

"When I was introduced I looked at the crowd and observed that it was quite a large crowd. I am familiar with public speaking and with crowds, and I should estimate there were 3,000 men present, and I consider myself a judge of such matters. The street was packed from sidewalk to sidewalk, north and south of the wagon, but especially south of the wagon, for a considerable distance. I faced the south. I first called the attention of those present to the evidences of discontent among the working classes, not alone of Chicago, not alone of the United States, but of the civilized world, and I asked the question, if these evidences of discontent, as could be seen in strikes and lock-outs and boycotts, were not indications that there was something radically wrong in the existing order of things in our social affairs. I then alluded to the eight-hour movement, and spoke of it as a movement designed to give employment to the unemployed, work to the idle, and thereby bring comfort and cheer to the homes of the destitute, and relieving the unrelieved and wearisome toil of those who worked not alone ten hours, but twelve, fourteen, and sixteen hours a day. I said that the eight-hour movement was in the interests of civilization, of prosperity, of the public welfare, and that it was demanded by every interest in the community, and that I was glad to see them assembled on that occasion to give their voice in favor of the adoption of the eight-hour work-day. I then referred again to the general condition of labor throughout the country. I spoke of some of my travels through the States of Pennsylvania and Ohio, where I had met and addressed thousands and thousands of workingmen. I told of the Tuscarora valley, and of the Hocking valley, and of the Monongahela valley — among the miners of this country, where wages averaged 24 ˝ cents a day. I showed, of course, these were not wages they received while at work, but that the difficulty was they did not get the days' work, and consequently they had to sum up the total and divide it. Throughout the year it amounted to 24 ˝ cents a day. I asked if this was not a condition of affairs calculated to arouse the discontent of the people, and to make them


clamor for redress and relief. I pointed to the fact that in the city of Pittsburg a report was made by, I think, the Superintendent of Police of that city, stating that at the Bethel home, a charitable institution in that city, from January 1, 1884, to January 1, 1885, there were 26,374 destitute men — tramps, American sovereigns — who applied for a night's lodging and a morsel of food at one establishment alone in the city of Pittsburg. I referred, of course, to many other places and similar things, showing the general condition of labor in the country. I then spoke of the eight-hour movement — that it was designed to bring relief to these men and to the country. I thought surely there was nothing in it to excite such hostility on the part of employers and on the part of monopoly and corporations against it as was witnessed in different parts of the country. I referred to the refusal of the corporations and monopolists to grant and concede this modest request of the working class, and their attempts to defeat it. I then referred to the fact that, in the face of all these causes producing these effects, the monopolistic newspapers, in the interests of corporations, blamed such men as I — blamed the so-called agitators, blamed the workingmen — for these evidences of discontent, this turmoil and confusion and so-called disorder. I called the attention of the crowd specifically to that fact — that we were being blamed for this thing, when, on the contrary, it was evident to any fair-minded man that we were simply calling the attention of the people to this condition of things and seeking a redress for it. I impressed that upon the crowd specifically, and I remember that in response to that several gentlemen spoke up loudly and said: ‘Well, we need a good many just such men as you to right these wrongs and to arouse the people.’

"I spoke of the compulsory idleness and starvation wages, and how these things drove the workingmen to desperation — drove them to commit acts for which they ought not to be held responsible; that they were the creatures of circumstances, and that this condition of things was the fault, not of the workingmen, but of those who claimed the right to control and regulate the rights of the workingmen. I pointed out the fact that monopoly, in its course in grinding down labor in this country and in refusing to concede anything to it — refusing to make any concessions whatever — that


in persisting in such course it was creating revolutionists, and if there was a single revolutionist in America monopoly and corporations were directly responsible for his existence. I specifically called attention to this fact, in order to defend myself from the charges constantly being made through the mouthpiece of monopoly — the capitalistic press. I called attention in this connection to the Chicago Times and other newspapers. I called the attention of the working people that night to the strike of 1877, when the Chicago Times declared that hand-grenades ought to be thrown among the striking sailors, who were then on a strike on the river wharves in this city, in order to teach them a lesson and that other strikers might be warned by their fate. I said that the Chicago Times was the first dynamiter in America, and as the mouth-piece of monopoly and corporations it was the first to advocate the killing of people when they protested against wrong and oppression. I spoke of another Chicago paper which at that day advocated that when bread was given to the poor strychnine should be placed on it. I also called attention to Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper, which declared in an editorial that the American toiler must be driven to his task either by the slave-driver's lash or the immediate prospect of want. I spoke of the New York Herald, and its saying that lead should be given to any tramp who should come around. Whenever a workingman, thrown out of employment and forced to wander from place to place in search of work, away from family and home, asked for a crust of bread, the New York Herald advised those to whom he applied to fill him with lead instead of bread. I called attention to what Tom Scott, the railway monopolist, said during the strike of 1877: ‘Give them the rifle diet, and see how they like that kind of diet.’ I referred to Jay Gould, when he said we would shortly have a monarchy in this country, and to a similar statement in the Indianapolis Journal. Then I referred to how monopoly was putting these threats into practice. They not only used these threats, but they put them into practice, and I cited East St. Louis, where Jay Gould called for men and paid them $5 a day for firing upon harmless, innocent, unarmed workingmen, killing nine of them and one woman in cold-blooded murder. I referred to the Saginaw valley, where the militia was used to put down strikes. I


referred to Lemont, Ill., where defenceless and innocent citizens and their town were invaded by the militia of the State of Illinois, and without any pretext, men, women, and children were fired upon and slaughtered in cold blood. I referred to the McCormick strike on the previous day, and denounced the action of the police on that occasion as an outrage. I asked the workingmen if these were not facts, and if monopolies and corporations were not responsible for them, and if they were not driving the people into this condition of things. And then I used some words or some phrase in connection with the use of the military and the police and the Pinkerton thugs to shoot down workingmen, to drive them back into submission and starvation wages. I then referred to a Chicago paper of the day before, to which my attention had been called on Tuesday afternoon. In an editorial it asserted that Parsons and Spies incited trouble at McCormick's, and ought to be lynched and driven out of the city. I was away at Cincinnati at the time. I called attention to the fact that the newspapers were wickedly exciting the people against the workingmen. I denied the newspaper charge that we were sneaks and cowards, and defied them to run us out of the city. I pointed to the fact that the capitalistic papers were subsidized agents and organs of monopoly, and that they held stocks and bonds in corporations and railroads, and that no man could be elected an Alderman of this city unless he had the sanction of some of the corporations and monopolists of this city. Then I said: ‘I am not here, fellow-workmen, for the purpose of inciting anybody, but to tell the truth, and to state the facts as they actually exist, though it should cost me my life in doing it.’ I then referred to the Cincinnati demonstration, at which I was present the Sunday previous. I said that the organization of workingmen in that city — the trades unions and other organizations — had a grand street parade and picnic. They sent for me to go down there and address them. It was an eight-hour demonstration. I attended on that occasion and spoke to them. I referred to the fact that they turned out in thousands and that they marched with Winchester rifles, two or three companies of them. I supposed there were about two hundred men at the head of the column, the Cincinnati Rifle Union. I saw that at the head of the procession they bore the red flag — the red


flag of liberty, fraternity, equality, and labor all over the world — the red flag, the emancipator of labor. I pointed out that every other flag repudiated the workingman, outlawed the workingman, and that he had no shield and no flag but the red one. I then referred to our country, and to men saying this was a movement of foreigners, and so on. I pointed out the fact that the desire for right and the thirst for liberty and for justice was not a foreign affair at all; it was one which concerned Americans as well as foreigners, and that patriotism was a humbug in this connection; that it was useless to separate the people, to divide them, and to antagonize them against each other; that the Irish were separated and their national feeling was kept alive as against an Englishman in order that the exploiters and depredators upon them might more easily make them victims and use them as their tools. I referred in that connection to land monopoly and showed how the farms of this country were being driven into land tenures like those of Europe. I called attention to an article which appeared in the North American Review last December, which I think was by an American statistician of this country, in which it was stated that over $350,000,000 in mortgages were held upon farms west of the Alleghanies. I stated that over 50 per cent., perhaps two-thirds, of the farms in the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan were under mortgage, and that monopoly was making it impossible for the toilers to pay for these farms, and that they were breaking them up, forcing them to become tenants, and instituting the European system in this country. I said I did not regard that as a question of patriotism, nor a foreign question, but an American question concerning Americans. I referred to the banking monopoly of the country, by which a few men are empowered to make money scarce in order that they may control the markets, run corners on the different mediums of exchange, and produce a panic in the country by making money scarce. They made the price of articles dear, threw labor out of employment, and brought on bankruptcy. I said that monopoly owned labor and employed its armed hirelings to subjugate the people. ‘In the light of these facts and of your inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ I said, ‘it behooves you, as you love your wives and children, if you would


not see them perish with want and hunger, yourselves killed or cut down like dogs in the streets — Americans, as you love liberty and independence, arm! arm yourselves!’ A voice then said to me ‘We are ready now.’ I did not understand exactly what the gentleman said, but I made that reply, as has been testified to by many here. I called attention to the fact that the constitution of the United States gave to every man the right to keep and bear arms, but monopoly was seeking to deprive the citizen of that right. I called attention to the fact that the constitution guaranteed us the right of free speech, of free press, and of unmolested assembly, but that corporations and monopoly, by paid-for decisions of Courts, had trampled these rights under foot, or were attempting to do so. I called attention to the fact that the Government of the United States was in the hands of the money power, and that from this fact — the sway of this money power — it was almost impossible for a poor man to get justice in a court of law a that law was for sale, just like bread; if you had no money you could get no bread, and without money you could get no justice; that justice was almost beyond the reach of the poor, and that the poor were made poor and kept poor by the grinding processes of the corporations and monopolies. I then called attention to Socialism, and explained what it was. I gave them Webster's definition of it — that it meant a more equitable arrangement of society, a more just and equitable arrangement of social affairs; that there was nothing in the word or in the purposes of Socialism for anybody to become alarmed at. On the contrary, it should be hailed with delight by all, as it was designed to make all happy and prosperous. I then spoke in this connection of the wage system of industry, and showed that the wage system of industry was a despotism, inherently and necessarily so, because under it the wage-worker is forced and compelled to work on such conditions and at such terms as the employers of labor may see fit to dictate to him. This I defined to be slavery, hence I said they were wage-slaves, and that the wage system was what Socialism proposed to displace. I then showed the power that the wage system gave to the employing class by the lock-out, the black-list, and the discharge; that I myself had been black-listed because I exercised my right of free speech as an American


because I saw fit to be a member of a labor organization; that I had been deprived repeatedly of my bread for that reason by my employer. I then called attention to the United States census for the year 1880, and I showed that the returns made there — statistically gotten up by a Republican administration — these returns showed that 85 cents from, every dollar produced went to the profit-taking classes, and that 15 cents was the average sum received by the producing class for having produced the whole dollar. I said that this was wrong, and that in the fact of such a condition of things we could expect noting but poverty, destitution, want, and misery. I showed how, under this system, the workingmen of the United States were really doing ten hours' work for two hours' pay; that the employers say to the men: ‘You want to work only eight hours. Do you mean to say that we must give you ten hours' pay for eight hours' work?’ I said: ‘Gentlemen, fellow-workmen, let us answer these men and say, and prove to them by the official statistics of the United States census, that we are receiving now but two hours' pay for ten hours' work; that that is what the wages of the country on the average represent.’ I spoke of corporations crowding the workingmen to the wall, and summed it up in some such words as these: ‘Now, for years past the Associated Press, manipulated by Jay Gould and other traitors to the Republic, and their infamous minions, have been sowing the seeds of revolution.’ These seeds, I thought, could be summarized about as follows:

To deprive labor of the ballot.

To substitute a Monarchy for the Republic.

To rob labor and then make poverty a crime.

To deprive small farmers of their land, and then convert them into serfs to serve a huge landlordism.

To teach labor that bread and water are all that it needs.

To throw bombs into crowds of workingmen who were opposed to laboring for starvation wages.

To take the ballot by force of arms from the majority when is used against the interests of corporations and capital.

To put strychnine upon the bread of the poor.


To hang workingmen by mobs in the absence of testimony to legally convict them.

To drive the poor working classes into open mutiny against the laws, in order to secure their conviction and punishment afterward.

"These threats and diabolical teachings, I said, had been openly and boldly uttered by the great conspiracy — the solid Associated Press and monopolies of this country — for years, against the liberties of the poor, and the workingman of America was as sensitive to the wrongs imposed upon him as would be the possessor of millions. I said that this was the seed from which had sprung the labor movement, and it was as natural as cause and effect. The workingmen present appeared to be very much interested. I never saw a more quiet, orderly, interested gathering of men — and I have spoken to a great many in my life — than was present on that occasion.

"I called their attention to the fact that labor paid for everything — paid all the expenses of Government, of the police, of the armies, of legislators, of Congressmen, of Judges — paid everything. Labor paid it all. That I, as a tenant — I used my own case as an illustration — says I: ‘Now, the landlord claims that he pays the taxes. What are the facts? When I pay him my rent I in fact pay the taxes. He claims that he makes all the repairs on the house, and paints it up, and does such things. He does not do anything of the kind. He is simply my agent to look after these things, and I, as his tenant, pay for it all. So it is with all tenants.’ I said that labor bears all the burdens but derives few of the benefits of our present civilization. I referred to the fact that it was through these methods that the working people, who produced all the wealth, were kept poor, and being poor they were ignorant; that our school teachers had yet to learn the fact that the great need of the people was more material force before it would be possible for them to become amenable to the influences of educational forces; that ignorance was the result of poverty; that intemperance was the result of poverty, and for every man who was poor because he drank I could show twenty men who drank because they were poor. I said that this poverty, this discord, this commotion in the civilized


world was because of the disease, the cramming of people away into hovels and dens unfit for animals to live in; it was the cause of the death of the young, of old age coming upon middle age; that it was the cause of crime; that poverty was at the root and bottom of war, of discord, and of strife, and that this poverty was an artificial, unnatural poverty which Socialism proposed to remedy.

"I was at this time, as you understand, gentlemen, making a speech for Socialism. I had been talking especially for Socialism. I then spoke as a Trades-Unionist. I am a member of the Printers' Union and of the Knights of Labor. I said that these organizations differed somewhat with Socialism in that they hoped to receive and obtain redress within the present system, but that was not possible, in my belief; that a study of social affairs and of historical development had taught me that the system itself was at fault, and that as long as the cause remained the effects would be felt; that every trades union, every assembly of the Knights of Labor, every organization of workingmen had for its ultimate end — let its course be what it might — the emancipation of labor from economic dependence, and, whether they sought it or not, events and the developments of this existing wage system would of necessity force or drive these men into Socialism as the only saver, and the only means by which they could live — that they could exist in the end in no other way. If I remember rightly I then said that strikes were attempts to right these wrongs on the part of the unions and the Knights of Labor; that I did not believe in strikes; I did not believe that redress could be had by that method; that the power was in the hands of the employer to refuse; that if the men went on a strike the employer could meet the strike with a lock-out, and could keep them out until they were so hungry that they would through their destitution be compelled to return and accept the terms of the employer; therefore, strikes must of necessity fail — as a general thing. I called attention to the ‘scabs,’ and said that the Unionist made war on the scabs. ‘Now,’ says I, ‘here is the distinction between a Socialist and a Trade-Unionist. The Unionist fights the scab. What is a scab? As a general thing, a man who, being out of employment and destitute, is driven by necessity to go to work in some other man's place at less wages than has previously been paid. He


is at once denounced as a scab by the Unionist, and war is made upon him. Now, Socialists don't do this; they regard these men as the victims of a false system and to be pitied. The scabs might be compared to fleas on a dog. The Unionist wants to kill the fleas I but the Socialists would kill the dog; that dog is the wage-system of slavery.’

"I then pointed to the ballot — how we were swindled at the ballot-box and defrauded and cheated, how we were bulldozed and intimidated and bribed and corrupted — yes, corrupted by the very money that had been stolen from us. Men would come to us when we were poor and give us bread money if we would vote their ticket, and we often did it through necessity; and for these and other reasons, through this intimidation, bribery, and corruption, the workingmen had but little to expect from the ballot. I said we had petitioned and passed resolutions, and had done everything in our power for redress, but there had been no relief and no redress; in fact, there was a rebuff on every occasion. I then said to them: ‘Gentlemen, Socialism means the free association of the people for the purposes of production and consumption — in other words, universal co-operation. This is the sum total of Socialism, and the only solution of the present difficulties between capital and labor.’ I said that monopoly and corporation had formed a gigantic conspiracy against the working classes.

"I then called upon them to unite, to organize, to make every endeavor to obtain eight hours; that the eight-hour movement meant a peaceful solution of the labor trouble; that if the employers in this and all other countries would concede this demand it meant peace, if they refused it meant war, not by the working classes, not by laborers, but by monopolists and corporations upon the lives, liberty and happiness of the working classes. I said that the Government, in the hands of corporations and monopoly, deprived the laborers of their labor product, of their right to live, and was driving labor into open revolt and forcing people to defend themselves and to protect and maintain their right to self-preservation. I said the monopoly conspiracy originated in the great railroad strike of 1877; that this conspiracy since that time had proposed to use force, and that they had used force. Vanderbilt said: ‘The public be


damned.’ The New York World and other papers had said that the American must be contented with the wages he received, and not expect any more wages than his European brother, and be contented with that station in life to which it had pleased God to call him. I then appealed to them to defend themselves, their rights, and their liberties — to combine, to unite, for in union there was strength. That, gentlemen, was the substance of my hour's speech at the Haymarket."


Chapter III. — Albert R. Parson's Speech in Court. — The Verdict Was a Verdict of Passion — The Chicago Citizin's Association Demanded Our Extinction By an Ignominious Death — The Wage System, its Fruition or Birth — Held in Loathseome Contempt Without a Chance to Contradict a Word — "The Alarm" A Free Press and Free Speech Paper — A Street Riot Drill on Thanksgiving Day — The Stars and Stripes in Former Days Floated on Every Water as the Emblem of the Free — Can a Man Vote Himself Bread, or Cloth or Shelter? — Gunpowder the Inauguration of a New Era — Dynamite Comes as the Emancipator of Man — For my Surrender I Have No Regrets to Offer.


Toil and pray! Thy world cries cold;
Speed thy prayer, for time is gold;
At thy door Need's subtle tread
Pray in haste! for time is bread.

And thou plow'st and thou hew'st,
And thou rivet'st and sewest,
And thou harvestest in vain;
Speak! O, man; what is thy gain?

Fly'st the shuttle day and night,
Heav'st the ores of earth to light,
Fill'st with treasures plenty's horn —
Brim'st it o'er with wine and corn.

But who hath thy meal prepared,
Festive garments with thee shared;
And where is thy cheerful hearth,
Thy good shield in battle dearth?

Thy creations round thee see —
All thy work, but naught for thee!
Yea, of all the chains alone
Thy hand forged, these are thine own.

Chains that round the body cling,
Chains that lame the spirit's wing,
Chains that infants' feet, indeed,
Clog! O, workman! Lo! Thy meed.

What ye rear and bring to light,
Profits by the idle wight,
What ye weave of diverse hue,
'Tis a curse — your only due.

What ye build, no room insures,
Not a sheltering roof to yours,
And by haughty ones are trod —
Ye, who toil their feet hath shod.

Human bees! Has nature's thrift
Given thee naught but honey's gift?
See! the drones are on the wing.
Have you lost the will to sting?

Man of labor, up, arise!
Know the might that in thee lies,
Wheel and shaft are set at rest
At thy powerful arm's behest.

Thine oppressor's hand recoils
When thou, weary of thy toils,
Shun'st thy plough; thy task begun
When thou speak'st: Enough is done!

Break this two-fold yoke in twain;
Break thy want's enslaving chain;
Break thy slavery's want and dread;
Bread is freedom, freedom bread.

That poem epitomizes the aspirations, the hope, the need of the working classes, not alone of America, but of the civilized world.



If there is one distinguishing characteristic which has made itself prominent in the conduct of this trial it has been the passion the heat, and the anger, the violence both to sentiment and I person, of everything connected with this case. You ask me why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon me, or, what is tantamount to the same thing, you ask me why you should give me a new trial in order that I might establish my innocence and the ends of justice be subserved. I answer you and say that this, verdict is the verdict of passion, born in passion, nurtured in passion, and is the sum total of the organized passion of the city of Chicago. For this reason I ask your suspension of the sentence, and a new trial. This is one among the many reasons which I hope to present before I conclude. Now, what is passion? Passion is the suspension of reason; in a mob upon the streets, in the broils of the saloon, in the quarrels on the sidewalk, where men throw aside their reason and resort to feelings of exasperation, we have passion. There is a suspension of the elements of judgment, of calmness, of discrimination requisite to arrive at the truth and the establishment of justice. I hold that you cannot dispute the charge which I make, that this trial has been submerged, immersed in passion from its inception to its close, and even to this hour, standing here upon the scaffold as I do, with the hangman awaiting me with his halter, there are those who claim to represent public sentiment in this city — and I now speak of the capitalistic press, that vile and infamous organ of monopoly, of hired liars, the people's oppressor — even to this day these papers, standing where I do, with my seven condemned colleagues, are clamoring for our blood in the heat and violence of passion. Who can deny this? Certainly not this Court. The Court is fully aware of these facts.

In order that I may place myself properly before you, it is necessary, in vindication of whatever I may have said or done in the history of my past life, that I should enter somewhat into detail, and I claim, even at the expense of being lengthy, the ends of justice require that this shall be done.

For the past twenty years my life has been closely identified with, and I have actively participated in, what is known as the


labor movement in America. I have some knowledge of that movement in consequence of this experience and of the careful study which opportunity has afforded me from time to time to give to the matter, and in what I have to say upon this subject relating to the labor movement, or to myself as connected with it in this trial and before this bar, I will speak the truth, the whole truth, be the consequences what they may.

The United States census for 1880 reports that there are in the United States 16,200,000 wage-workers. These are the persons who, by their industry, create all the wealth of this country. And now before I say anything further it may be necessary, in order to clearly understand what I am going to state further on, for me to define what I mean and what is meant in the labor movement by these words, wage-worker. A wage-worker is one who works for wages and who has no other means of subsistence than by the selling of his daily toil from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year, as the case may be. Their whole property consists entirely of their labor, strength, and skill — or rather, they possess nothing but their empty hands. They live only when afforded an opportunity to work, and this opportunity must be procured from the possessors of the means of subsistence — capital — before their right to live at all or the opportunity to do so is possessed. Now, there are 16,200,000 of these people in the United States, according to the census of 1880. Among this number are 9,000,000 men, and reckoning five persons to each family, they represent 45,000,000 of our population. It is claimed that there are between eleven and twelve millions of voters in the United States. Now, out of these 12,000,000, 9,000,000 of these voters are wage-workers. The remainder of the 16,200,000 is composed of the women, boys and girls — the children — employed in the factories, the mines, farms, and the various avocations of this country. The class of people — the producing class — who alone do all the productive labor of this country, are the hirelings and dependents of the propertied class.

Your honor, I have, as a workingman, espoused what I conceive to be the just claims of the working class; I have defended their right to liberty and insisted upon their right to control their


own labor and the fruits thereof, and in the statement that I am to make here before this Court upon the question why I should not be sentenced, or why I should be permitted to have a new trial, you will also be made to understand why there is a class of men in this country who come to your honor and appeal to you not to grant us a new trial. I believe, sir, that the representatives of that millionaire organization of Chicago, known as the Chicago Citizens' Association, stands to a man demanding of your honor our immediate extinction and suppression by an ignominious death.

Now, I stand here as one of the people, a common man, a workingman, one of the masses, and I ask you to give ear to what I have to say. You stand as a bulwark; you are as a brake between them and us. You are here as the representative of justice, holding the poised scales in your hands. You are expected to look neither to the right nor to the left, but to that by which justice, and justice alone, shall be subserved. The conviction of a man, your honor, does not necessarily prove that he is guilty. Your law books are filled with instances where men have been carried to the scaffold and after their death it has been proven that their execution was a judicial murder. Now, what end can be subserved in hurrying this matter through in the manner in which it has been done? Where are the ends of justice subserved, and where is truth found in hurrying seven human beings at the rate of express speed upon a fast train to the scaffold and an ignominious death? Why, if your honor please, the very methods of our extermination, the deep damnation of its taking off, appeals to your honor's sense of justice, of rectitude, and of honor. A judge may also be an unjust man. Such things have been known. We have, in our histories, heard of Lord Jeffreys. It need not follow that because a man is a judge he is also just. As everyone knows, it has long since become the practice in American politics for the candidates for judgeships throughout the United States to be named by corporation and monopoly influences, and it is a well-known secret that more than one of our Chief Justices have been appointed to their seats upon the bench of the United States Supreme Court at the instance of the leading railway magnates of America — the Huntingtons and Jay Goulds. Therefore


the people are beginning to lose confidence in some of our courts of law.

Now, I have not been able to gather together and put in a consecutive shape these thoughts which I wish to present here for your consideration. They have been put together hurriedly in the last few days, since we began to come in here — first, because I did not know what you would do, nor what the position of your honor would be in the case; and secondly, because I did not know upon what around the deduction of the prosecution would be made denying us the right of a rehearing, and, therefore, if the method of the presentation of this matter be somewhat disconnected and disjointed, it may be ascribed to that fact, over which I have had no control.

I maintain that our execution, as the matter stands just now, would be a judicial murder, rank and foul, and judicial murder is far more infamous than lynch law — far worse. Bear in mind, please, this trial was conducted by a mob, prosecuted by a mob, by the shrieks and the howls of a mob — an organized, powerful mob. But that trial is now over. You sit here judicially, calmly, quietly, and it is now for you to look at this thing from the standpoint of reason and common sense. There is one peculiarity about the case that I want to call your attention to. It is the manner and the method of its prosecution! On the one side, the attorneys for the prosecution conducted this case from the standpoint of capitalists as against laborers. On the other side, the attorneys for the defense conducted this case as a defense against murder — not for laborers and not against capitalists.

The prosecution in this case throughout has been a capitalistic prosecution, inspired by the instinct of capitalism, and I mean by that by class feelings, by a dictatorial right to rule, and a denial to common people the right to say anything or have anything to say to these men, by that class of persons who think that working people have but one right and one duty to perform, viz.: Obedience. They conducted this trial from that standpoint throughout, and, as was very truthfully stated by my comrade Fielden, we were prosecuted ostensibly for murder until near the end of the trial, when all at the jury is commanded — yea, commanded — to render a verdict against us as Anarchists.


Your honor, you are aware of this; you know this to be the truth; you sat and heard it all. I will not make a statement but what will be in accord with facts, and what I do say is said for the purpose of refreshing your memory and asking you to look at both sides of this matter and view it from the standpoint of reason and common sense.

Now, the money-makers, the business men, those people who deal in stocks and bonds, the speculators and employers, all that class of men known as the money-making class, have no conception of this labor question; they don't understand what it means. To use the street parlance, with many of them it is a difficult matter to "catch onto" it, and they are perverse also; they will have no knowledge of it. They don't want to know anything about it, and they won't hear anything about it, and they propose to club, lock up, and, if necessary, strangle those who insist on their hearing this question. Can it be any longer denied that there is such a thing as the labor question in this country?

I am an Anarchist. Now strike! But hear me before you strike. What is Socialism, or Anarchism? Briefly stated, it is the right of the toilers to the free and equal use of the tools of production, and the right of the producers to their product. That is Socialism. The history of mankind is one of growth. It has been evolutionary and revolutionary. The dividing line between evolution and revolution, or that imperceptible boundary line where one begins and the other ends, can never be denned. Who believed at the time that our forefathers tossed the tea into the Boston harbor that it meant the first revolt of the revolution separating this continent from the dominion of George III. and founding this Republic here in which we, their descendants, live to-day? Evolution and revolution are synonymous. Evolution is the incubatory state of revolution. The birth is the revolution — its process the evolution. What is the history of man with regard to the laboring classes?

Originally the earth and its contents were held in common by all men. Then came a change brought about by violence, robbery and wholesale murder, called war. Later, but still way back in history, find that there were but two classes in the world — slaves and masters. Time rolled on and we find a labor system of serfdom. This serf-labor


system existed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and throughout the world the serf had a right to the soil on which he lived. The lord of the land could not exclude him from its use. But with the discovery of America and the developments which followed that discovery and its settlement, a century or two afterwards, the gold found in Mexico and Peru by the invading hosts of Cortez and Pizarro who carried back to Europe this precious metal, infused new vitality into the stagnant commercial blood of Europe and set in motion those wheels which have rolled on and on, until to-day commerce covers the face of the earth — time is annihilated and distance is known no more. Following the abolition of the serfdom system was the establishment of the wage-labor system. This found its fruition, or birth, rather, in the French revolution of 1789 and 1793. It was then for the first time that civil and political liberty was established in Europe.

We see, by a mere glance back into history, that the sixteenth century was engaged in a struggle for religious freedom and the right of conscience — mental liberty. Following that, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was the struggle throughout France which resulted in the establishment of the Republic and the founding of the right of political liberty. The struggle to-day, which follows on in the line of progress, and in the logic of events, the industrial problem, which is here in this court-room, of which we are the representatives, and of which the State's Attorney has said we were, by the grand jury selected because we were the leaders of it, and are to be punished and consigned to an ignominious death for that reason, that the wage slaves of Chicago and of America may be horrified, terror-stricken, and driven like "rats back to their holes," to hunger, slavery, misery and death. The industrial question, owing on in the natural order of events, the wage system, of industry, is now up for consideration; it presses for a hearing; it demands a solution; it cannot be throttled by this District Attorney, nor the District Attorneys upon the soil of America.

Now, what is this labor question which these gentlemen treat such profound contempt, which these distinguished, "honorable" gentlemen would throttle and put to ignominious death, and hurry us like "rats to our holes"? What is it? You will pardon me if I


exhibit some feeling? I have sat here for two months, and these men have poured their vituperations out upon my head and I have not been permitted to utter a single word in my own defense. For two months they have poured their poison upon me and my colleagues For two months they have sat here and spit like adders the vile poison of their tongues, and if men could have been placed in a mental inquisition and tortured to death, these men would have succeeded here now — vilified, misrepresented, held in loathsome contempt without a chance to speak or contradict a word. Therefore, if I show emotion, it is because of this, and if my comrades and colleagues with me here have spoken in such strains as these, it is because of this. Pardon us. Look at it from the right standpoint.

What is this labor question? It is not a question of emotion; the labor question is not a question of sentiment; it is not a religious matter; it is not a political problem; no, sir, it is a stern economic fact, a stubborn and immovable fact. It has, it is true, its emotional phase; it has its sentimental, religious, political aspects, but the sum total of this question is the bread and butter question, the how and the why we will live and earn our daily bread. This is the labor movement. It has a scientific basis. It is founded upon fact, and I have been to considerable pains in my researches of well-known and distinguished authors on this question to collect and present to you briefly what this question is and what it springs from. I will first explain to you briefly what capital is.

Capital — artificial capital — is the stored-up, accumulated surplus of past labor; capital is the product of labor. Its function is — that is the function of capital is — to appropriate or confiscate for its own use and benefit the "surplus" labor product of the wealth-producer. The capitalistic system originated in the forcible seizure, of natural opportunities and rights by a few and then converting those things into special privileges which have since become "vested rights," formally intrenched behind the bulwarks of statute law and Government. Capital could not exist unless there also existed a majority class who were propertyless, that is, without capital, a class whose only mode of existence is by selling their labor to capitalists. Capitalism is maintained, fostered, and perpetuated by law; in fact, capital is law — statute law — and law is capital.


Now, briefly stated, for I will not take your time but a moment, what is labor? Labor is a commodity and wages is the price paid for it. The owner of this commodity — of labor — sells it, that is, himself to the owner of capital in order to live. Labor is the expression of energy, the power of the laborer's life. This energy or Power he must sell to another person in order to live. It is his only means of existence. He works to live, but his work is not simply a part of his life; it is the sacrifice of it. His labor is a commodity which under the guise of free labor, he is forced by necessity to hand over to another party. The whole of the wage laborer's activity is not the product of his labor — far from it. The silk he weaves, the palace he builds, the ores he digs from out the mines are not for him — oh, no. The only thing he produces for himself is his wage, and the silk, the ores and the palace which he has built are simply transformed for him into a certain kind of means of existence, namely, a cotton shirt, a few pennies, and the mere tenantcy of a lodging-house. In other words, his wages represent the bare necessities of his existence and the unpaid-for or "surplus" portion of his labor product constitutes the vast superabundant wealth of the non-producing or capitalistic class. That is the capitalistic system denned in a few words. It is this system that creates these classes, and it is these classes that produce this conflict. This conflict intensifies as the power of the privileged classes over the non-possessing or propertyless classes increases and intensifies, and this power increases as the idle few become richer and the producing many become poorer, and this produces what is called the labor movement. This is the labor question. Wealth is power; poverty is weakness.

If I had time I might stop here to answer some suggestions that Probably arise in the minds of some persons, or perhaps of your honor, not being familiar with this question. I imagine I hear your honor say, "Why, labor is free. This is a free country." Now, we had in the Southern States for nearly a century a form of labor known as chattel slave labor. That has been abolished, and I hear you say that labor is free; that the war has resulted in establishing free labor all over America. Is this true? Look at it. The chattel slave of the past — the wage slave of to-day; what is the difference?


The master selected under chattel slavery his own slaves. Under the wage slavery system the wage slave selects his master. For merly the master selected the slave; to-day the slave selects his master, and he has got to find one or else he is carried down here to my friend, the gaoler and occupies a cell alongside of myself. He is compelled to find one. So the change of the industrial system in the language of Jefferson Davis, ex-President of the Southern Confederacy, in an interview with the New York Herald upon the question of the chattel slave system of the South and that of the so-called "free-laborer," and their wages — Jefferson Davis has stated positively that the change was a decided benefit to the former chattel slave owners, who would not exchange the new system of wage labor at all for chattel labor, because now the dead had to bury themselves and the sick take care of themselves, and now they don't have to employ overseers to look after them. They give them a task to do — a certain amount to do. They say: "Now, here, perform this piece of work in a certain length of time," and if you don't (under the wage-system, says Mr. Davis), why, when you come around for your pay next Saturday you simply find in the envelope which gives you your money a note which informs you of the fact that you have been discharged. Now, Jefferson Davis admitted in his statement that the leather thong dipped in salt brine, for the chattel slave, had been exchanged under the wage system for the lash of hunger, an empty stomach, and the ragged back of the wage-earner of free-born American sovereign citizens, who, according to the census of the United States for 1880, constitute more than nine-tenths of our entire population. But, you say, the wage slave had advantages over the chattel slave. The chattel slave couldn't get away from it. Well, if we had the statistics, I believe it could be shown that as many chattel slaves escaped from bondage with the bloodhounds of their masters after them as they tracked their way over the snow-beaten rocks of Canada, and via the underground grape-vine road — I believe the statistics would show to-day that as many chattel slaves escaped from their bondage under that system as can, and as many as do, to-day from the wage bondage into capitalistic liberty.

I am a Socialist. I am one of those, although myself a wage slave, who holds that it was wrong — wrong to myself, wrong to my neighbor,


and unjust to my fellowmen — for me to undertake to make my escape from wage slavery by becoming a master and an owner of others' labor. I refuse to do it. Had I chosen another path in life, I might be living upon an avenue of the city of Chicago to-day, surrounded in my beautiful home with luxury and ease, and servants to do my bidding. But I chose the other road, and instead I stand here to-day upon the scaffold, as it were. This is my crime. Before high heaven this and this alone is my crime. I have been false, I have been untrue, and I am a traitor to the infamies that exist to-day in capitalistic society. If this is a crime in your opinion I plead guilty to it. Now, be patient with me; I have been with you — or, rather, I have been patient with this trial. Follow me, if you please, and look at the oppressions of this capitalistic system of industry. As was depicted by my comrade Fielden this morning, every new machine that comes into existence comes there as a competitor with the man of labor. Every machine under the capitalistic system that is introduced into industrial affairs comes as a competitor, as a drag and menace and a prey to the very existence of those who have to sell their labor in order to earn their bread. The man is turned out to starve and whole occupations and pursuits are evolutionized and completely destroyed by the introduction of machinery in a day, in an hour, as it were. I have known it to be the case in the history of my own life — and I am yet a young man — that whole pursuits and occupations have been wiped out by the invention of machinery.

What becomes of these people? Where are they? They become competitors of other laborers, and are made to reduce wages and increase the work hours. Many of them are candidates for the gibbet, they are candidates for your prison cells. Build more penitentiaries; erect more scaffolds, for these men are upon the highway of crime, of misery, of death.

Your honor, there never was an effect without a cause. The tree is known by its fruit. Socialists are not those who blindly close their eyes and refuse to hear, but having eyes to see, they see, and having ears to hear, they hear. Look at this capitalistic system; look at its operation upon the small business men, the small dealers, the middle class. Bradstreet's tells us in last year's report that there were 11,000 small business men financially destroyed in the past twelve months.


What became of those people? Where are they, and why have they been wiped out? Has there been any less wealth? No; that which they possessed has simply transferred itself into the hands of some other person. Who is that other? It is he who has greater capitalistic facilities. It is the monopolist, the man who can run corners who can create rings and squeeze these men to death and wipe them out like dead flies from the table into his monopolistic basket. The middle classes destroyed in this manner join the ranks of the proletariat. They become what? They seek out the factory gate, they seek in the various occupations of wage labor for employment. What is the result? Then there are more men upon the market. This increases the number of those who are applying for employment. What then? This intensifies the competition, which in turn creates greater monopolists, and with it wages go down until the starvation point is reached, and then what?

Your honor, Socalism comes to the people and asks them to look into this thing, to discuss it, to reason, to examine it, to investigate it, to know the facts, because it is by this, and this alone, that violence will be prevented and bloodshed will be avoided, because, as my friend here has said, men in their blind rage, in their ignorance, not knowing what ails them, strike blindly, and do as they did with Maxwell in this city, and fight the labor-saving machinery. Imagine such an absurd thing, and yet the capitalistic press has taken great pains to say the Socialists do these things; that we fight machinery; that we fight property. Why, sir, it is an absurdity; it is ridiculous; it is preposterous. No man ever heard an utterance from the mouth of a Socialist to advise anything of the kind. They know to the contrary. We don't fight machinery; we don't oppose these things. It is only the manner and methods of employing it that we object to That is all. It is the manipulations of these things in the interest of a few; it is the monopolization of them that we object to. We desire that all the forces of nature, all the forces of society, of the gigantic strength which has resulted from the combined intellect and labor of the ages of the past shall be turned over to man and made his servant, his obedient slave forever. This is the object of Socialism. It asks no one to give up anything. It seeks no harm to anybody, when we witness this condition of things — when we see little children


huddling around the factory gates, the poor little things whose bones are not yet hard; when we see them clutched from the hearthstone, taken from the family altar, and carried to the bastiles of labor and their little bones ground up into gold-dust to bedeck the form of some aristocratic Jezebel — then it stirs me and I speak out. We plead for the little ones; we plead for the helpless; we plead for the oppressed; we seek redress for those who are wronged; we seek knowledge and intelligence for the ignorant; we seek liberty for the slave; Socialism secures the welfare of every human being.

Your honor, if you will permit it, I would like to stop now and resume to-morrow morning.

The Court here adjourned until 10 o'clock the following day.


Your honor, I concluded last evening at that portion of my statement before you which had for its purpose a showing of the operations and effects of our existing social system, the evils which naturally flow from the established social relations, which are founded upon the economic subjection and dependence of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor and the resources of life. I sought in this connection to show that the ills that afflict society — social miseries, mental degradations, political dependence — all resulted from the economic subjection and dependence of the man of labor upon the monopolizer of the means of existence; and as long as the cause remains the effect must certainly follow.

I pointed out what Bradstreet's had to say in regard to the destruction of the middle class last year. As it affects the small dealers, the middle class men of our shop streets, the same influences are likewise at work among the farming classes. According to statistics 90 per cent. of the farms of America are to-day under mortgage. The man who a few years ago owned the soil that he worked is to-day a tenant at will, and a mortgage is placed upon his soil, and when he — the farmer whose hand tickles the earth and causes it to blossom as the rose and bring forth its rich fruits for human sustenance — even while this man is asleep the interest upon the mortgage continues. It grows and it increases, rendering it more and more difficult for him


to get along or make his living. In the meantime the railway corporations place upon the traffic all that the market will bear. The Board of Trade sharks run their corners until — what? Until it occurs, as stated in the Chicago Tribune about three months ago, that a freight train of corn from Iowa, consigned to a commission merchant in Chicago, had to be sold for — well, for less than the cost of freight, and there was a balance due the commission man on the freight of $3 after he had sold the corn. The freight upon that corn was $3 more than the corn brought in the market. So it is with the tenant farmers of America.

Your honor, we do not have to go to Ireland to find the evils of landlordism. We do not have to cross the Atlantic, ocean to find Lord Lietriem's rack-renters, landlords who evict their tenants. We have them all around us. There is Ireland right here in Chicago and everywhere else in this country. Look at Bridgeport, where the Irish live! Look! Tenants at will, huddled together as State's Attorney Grinnell calls them, like rats; living as they do in Dublin, living precisely as they do in Limerick — taxed to death, unable to meet the extortions of the landlord.

We were told by the prosecution that law is on trial; that Government is on trial. That is what the gentlemen on the other side stated to the jury. The law is on trial, and Government is on trial. Well, up to near the conclusion of this trial we, the defendants, supposed that we were indicted and being tried for murder. Now, if the law is on trial and if the Government is on trial, who has placed it upon trial? And I leave it to the people of America whether the prosecution in this case have made out a case; and I charge it here now frankly that in order to bring about this conviction the prosecution, the representatives of the State, the sworn officers of the law, those whose obligation it is to the people to obey the law and preserve order — I charge upon them a willful, a malicious, a purposed violation of every law which guarantees every right to every American citizen. They have violated free speech. In the prosecution of this case they have violated a free press. They have violated the right of public assembly. Yea, they have even violated and denounced the right of self-defense. I charge the crime home to them. These; great blood-bought rights, for which our forefathers spent centuries


of struggle, it is attempted to run them like rats into a hole by the prosecution in this case. Why, gentlemen, "law is upon trial," "Government is upon trial," indeed. Yea, they are themselves guilty of the precise thing of which they accuse me. They say that I am an Anarchist and refuse to respect the law. "By their works ye shall know them," and out of their own mouths they stand condemned. They are the real Anarchists in this case, as that word is commonly understood, while we stand upon the constitution of the United States.

I have violated no law of this country. Neither I nor my colleagues here have violated any legal right of American citizens. We stand upon the right of free speech, of free press, of public assemblage, unmolested and undisturbed. We stand upon the constitutional right of self-defence, and we defy the prosecution to rob the people of America of these dearly bought rights. But the prosecution imagines that they have triumphed because they propose to put to death seven men. Seven men to be exterminated in violation of law, because they insist upon the inalienable rights. Seven men are to be exterminated because they demand the right of free speech and exercise it. Seven men by this court of law are to be put to death because they claim their right of self-defence. Do you think, gentlemen of the prosecution, that you will have settled the case when you are carrying my lifeless bones to the potter's field? Do you think that this trial will be settled by my strangulation and that of my colleagues? I tell you that there is a greater verdict yet to be heard from. The American people will have something to say about this attempt to destroy their rights, which they hold sacred. The American people will have something to say when they understand this case, as to whether or not the Constitution of this country can be trampled under foot at the dictation of monopoly and corporations and their hired tools.

Your honor read yesterday your reasons for refusing us a new trial, and I want to call your attention to it, if you please, on some points on which I think your honor is laboring under misapprehension. Your honor says that there can be no question in the mind of any one who has read these articles (referring to the Alarm and Arbeiter-Zeitung), or heard these speeches, which were written and en long before the eight-hour movement was talked of, that this


movement which they advocated was but a means in their estimation toward the ends which they sought, and the movement itself was not primarily of any consideration at all. Now, your honor, I submit that you are sitting now in judgment, not alone upon my acts, but also upon my motives. Now, that is a dangerous thing for any man to do; any man is so liable to make a mistake in a matter of that kind I claim that it would not be fair for you to assume to state what my motives were in the eight-hour movement, that I was simply using it for another purpose. How do you know that? Can you read my heart and order my actions? If you go by the record, the record will disprove your conjecture, because it is a conjecture! The State's Attorney has throughout this trial done precisely what Mr. English, the reporter of the Tribune, said he was instructed to do by the proprietor of the Tribune, when he attended labor meetings. It was the custom of the head editors of the large dailies to instruct those who went to these labor meetings to report only the inflammatory and inciting passages of the speaker's remarks at the meetings. That is precisely the scheme laid out by the prosecution. They have presented you here copies of the Alarm running back for three years and my speeches covering three years back. They have selected such portions of those articles, and such articles, mark you, as subserve their purpose, such as they supposed would be calculated to inflame your mind and prejudice you and the jury against us. You ought to be careful of this thing.

It is not fair, and it is not right for you to conclude that, from the showing made by these gentlemen, we were not what we pretended to be in this labor movement. Take the record. Why, I am well known throughout the United States for years and years past — my name is — and I have come in personal contact with hundreds of thousands of workingmen from Nebraska in the West to New York in the East, and from Maryland to Wisconsin and Minnesota, have traversed the States for the past ten years, and I am known by hundreds of thousands who have seen and heard me. Possibly I had better stop a little, just a moment, here, and explain how this was. These labor organizations sent for me. Sometimes it was the Knights of Labor, sometimes it was the trades unions, sometimes the


Socialistic organizations; but always as an organizer of workingmen, always as a labor speaker at labor meetings.

Now, if there is anything for which I am well known it is my advocacy of the eight-hour system of labor. But because I have in this connection that I did not believe it would be possible to bring about a reform of this present wage system, because of the fact that the power of the employing class is so great that they can refuse to make any concessions, you say that I had no interest in the eight-hour movement.

Is it not a fact that the present social system places all power in the hands of the capitalistic class? They can and do refuse to make any concessions, and where they grant anything they retract it when they choose to do so. They can do it. The wage system gives them, the power. The tyranny and the despotism of the wage system of labor consists in the fact that the laborer is compelled under penalty of hunger and death by starvation to obey and accept terms laid down to him by his employer. Hence I have pointed out that it might be difficult, for this reason, to establish an eight-hour rule.

What have I said in this connection? I have said to the employers, to the manufacturers, and to the corporations — the monopolists of America: "Gentlemen, the eight-hour system of labor is the olive branch of peace held out to you. Take it. Concede this moderate demand of the working people. Give them better opportunities. Let them possess the leisure which eight hours will bring. Let it operate on the wants and the daily habits of the people." I have talked this way to the rich of this country in every place I have gone, and I have told them — not in the language of a threat, not in the language of intimidation — I have said: "If you do not concede this demand, if on the other hand you increase the hours of labor and employ more and more machinery, you thereby increase the number of enforced idle; you thereby swell the army of the compulsory idle and unemployed; you create new elements of discontent; you increase the army of idleness and misery." I said to them: "This is a dangerous condition of things to have in a country. It is liable to lead to violence. It will drive the workers into revolution. The eight-hour demand is a measure which is in the


interest of humanity, in the interest of peace, in the interest of prosperity and public order."

Now, your honor, can you take your comments there and say that we had other motives and ulterior motives? Your impression is derived from the inflammatory sections and articles selected by the prosecution for your honor to read. I think I know what my motives were, and I am stating them deliberately, and fairly and honestly leaving you to judge whether or not I am telling the truth. You say that "the different papers and speeches furnish direct contradiction to the arguments of the counsel for the defense that we proposed to resort to arms only in case of unlawful attacks of the police." Why, the very article that you quote in the Alarm — a copy of which I have not, but which I would like to see — calling the American Group to assemble for the purpose of considering military matters and military organization, states specifically that the purpose and object is to take into consideration measures of defense against unlawful and unconstitutional attacks of the police. That identical article shows it. You forgot, surely, that fact when you made this observation; and I defy any one to show, in a speech that is susceptible of proof, by proof, that I have ever said aught by word of mouth or by written article except in self-defense. Does not the constitution of the country, under whose flag myself and my forefathers were born for the last 260 years, provide that protection, and give me, their descendant, that right? Does not the Constitution say that I, as an American, have a right to keep and bear arms? I stand upon that right. Let me see if this Court will deprive me of it.

Let me call your attention to another point here. These articles that appear in the Alarm, for some of them I am not responsible any more than the editor of any other paper. I did not write everything in the Alarm, and it might be possible that there were some things in that paper which I am not ready to endorse. I am frank to admit that such is the case. I suppose you could scarcely find an editor of a paper in the world but could conscientiously say the same thing. Now, am I to be dragged here and executed for the utterances and the writings of other men, even though they were published in the columns of a paper of which I was the editor?

Your honor, you must remember that the Alarm was a labor


paper, published by the International Working People's Association. Belonging to that body, I was elected its editor by the organization, and, as labor editors generally are, I was handsomely paid. I had saw-dust pudding as a general thing for dinner. My salary was $8 a week, and I have received that salary as editor of the Alarm for over two years and a half — $8 a week! I was paid by the association. It stands upon the books. Go down to the office and consult the business manager. Look over the record in the book and it will show you that Albert R. Parsons received $8 a week as editor of the Alarm for over two years and a half. This paper belonged to the organization. It was theirs. They sent in their articles — Tom, Dick, and Harry; everybody wanted to have something to say, and I had no right to shut off anybody's complaint. The Alarm was a labor paper, and it was specifically published for the purpose of allowing every human being who wore the chains of monopoly an opportunity to clank those chains in the columns of the Alarm. It was a free press organ. It was a free speech newspaper. But your honor says: "Oh, well, Parsons, your own language, your own words, your own statements at this meeting — what you said." Well, possibly, I have said some foolish things. Who has not? As a public speaker, probably I have uttered some wild and possibly incoherent assertions. Who, as a public speaker, has not done so?

Now, consider for a moment. Suppose, as is now the case with me here, I see little children suffering, men and women starving. I see others rolling in luxury and wealth and opulence, out of the unpaid for labor of the laborers. I am conscious of this fact. I see the streets of Chicago, as was the case last winter, filled with 30,000 men in compulsory idleness; destitution, misery, and want upon every hand. I see this thing. Then, on the other hand, I see the First Regiment out in a street-riot drill, and reading the papers the next morning describing the affair, I am told by the editor of this capitalistic newspaper that the First Regiment is out practicing a street-riot drill for the purpose of mowing down these wretches when they come out of their holes that the prosecution talks about here in this case; that the working people are to be slaughtered in cold blood, and that men are drilling upon the streets of the cities of America to butcher their fellow-men when they demand the right


to work and partake of the fruits of their labor! Seeing these things, overwhelmed as it were with indignation and pity, my heart speaks. May I not say some things then that I would not in cooler moments? Are not such outrageous things calculated to arouse the bitterest denunciations?

In this connection I want to call your attention to the way armed men — militiamen and Pinkerton's private army — are used against workingmen, strikers; the way they are used to shoot, to arrest, to put up jobs on them, and carry them out. In the Alarm of October 17, 1885, there is printed the following:



The secretary of the Minneapolis, Minn., Trades and Labor Assembly sends us the following note:

"MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., October 6, 1885.
"Editor of the ‘Alarm’. — Dear Sir: Please pay your respects to the Pinkerton pups for their extreme kindness to labor. Try to have the Government of your city do away with its metropolitan police and employ the Pinkerton protectors. [Of course this is sarcastic.] The inclosed circular fell into the hands of the Minneapolis Trades Assembly, which thought it not out of place to pass it around. Please insert it in your paper. Yours fraternally,

This letter is under the seal of the Trades and Labor Assembly of the city of Minneapolis, Minn. Then, after referring to the services rendered to the capitalists, corporations and monopolists during the strikes in all parts of the country during the past year the circular closes with the following paragraphs, which we give in full as illustrative of the designs of these secret enemies upon organized labor. Let every workingman ponder over the avowed purposes of these armies of thugs. It says:

"The Pinkerton Protective Patrol is connected with Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, and is under the same management. Corporations or individuals desirous of ascertaining the feelings of their employes, whether they are likely to engage in strikes or join any secret labor organization, such as the Knights of Labor, with a view of compelling terms from corporations or employers, can obtain upon application to the superintendent of either of the offices a detective suitable to associate with their employes and obtain this information."

This circular continues:

"At this time, when there is so much dissatisfaction among the labor


classes, and secret labor societies are organizing throughout the United States, we suggest whether it would not be well for railroad companies and other corporations, as well as individuals who are extensive employers, to keep a close watch for designing men among their own employes, who, in the interest of secret labor societies, are influencing their employes to join these organizations and eventually cause a strike. It is frequently the case that, by taking a matter of this kind in time, and discovering the ring-leaders, and dealing promptly with them [discovering the ring-leaders, mark you, and dealing promptly with them] serious trouble may be avoided in the future.

Yours respectfully,
General Superintendent Western Agency, Chicago.
General Superintendent Eastern Division, New York."

Now here is a concern, an institution which organizes a private army. This private army at the command and under the control of those who grind the faces of the poor, who keep wages down to the starvation point. This private army can be shipped to the place where it is wanted. Now it goes to the Hocking Valley to subjugate the starving miners; then it is carried across the plains to Nebraska to shoot the striking miners in that region; then it is carried to the East to stop the strike of the factory operatives and put them down. The army moves about to and fro over the country, sneaks into the labor organizations, worms itself into these labor societies, finds out, as it says, who the ring-leaders are and deals promptly with them. "Promptly," your honor, "with them." Now, what does that mean? It means this: that some workingman who has got the spirit of a man in his organization, who gets up and speaks out his sentiments, protests, you know, objects, won't have it, don't like these indignities, and says so; he is set down as a ring-leader, and these spies go to work and put up a job on him. If they can not aggravate him and make him, as the New York Tribune says, violate the law so they can get hold of him, they go to work and put up a scheme on him, and concoct a conspiracy that will bring him into Court. When he is brought into Court he is a wage-slave; he has got no money — who is he? Why, he stands here at the bar like a culprit. He has neither position, wealth, honor, nor friends to defend him. What is the result? Why, sixty days at the Bridewell or a year in the County jail, in State's prison, or hanged, as the Monopolists may determine him to be more or less dangerous to


their interests. The matter is dismissed with a wave of the hand. The bailiff carries the "ring leader" out. The strike is suppressed. Monopoly triumphs and the Pinkertons have performed the work for which they receive their pay.

Now, it was these things that caused the American Group to take an exceeding interest in this manner of treatment on the part of the corporations and monopolies of the country, and we became indignant about it. We expostulated, we denounced it. Could we do otherwise? We are a part and parcel of the miseries brought about by this condition of things. Could we do otherwise than expostulate and object to it and resent it? Now, to illustrate what we did, I read to you from the Alarm of December 12, 1885, the proceedings of the American Group, of which I was a member, as a sample. I being present at that meeting, and that meeting being reported in this paper, I hold that this report of the meeting, being put into the Alarm at that time, is worthy of your credence and respect, as showing what our attitude was upon the question of force and of arms and of dynamite. The article is headed: "Street Riot Drill. Mass Meeting of Working People held at 106 East Randolph Street." This was the regular hall and place of meeting. The article reads:

A large mass-meeting of working men and women was held by the American Group of the International last Wednesday evening at their hall, 106 East Randolph street. The subject under discussion was the street-riot drill of the First Regiment on Thanksgiving day. William Holmes presided. The principal speaker was Mrs. Lucy E. Parsons. She began by saying that the founders of this Republic, whose motto was that every human being was by nature entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, would turn in their graves if they could read and know that a great street-riot drill was now being practiced in times of peace. "Let us," said she, "examine into this matter and ascertain, if we can, what this street-riot drill of the military is for. Certainly not for the purpose of fighting enemies from without; not for a foreign foe, for if this was the case we would be massing our armies on the sea-coast. Then it must be for our enemies within. Now, then, do a contented, prosperous and happy people leave their avocations and go out upon the streets to riot? Do young men and maidens who are marrying and given in marriage forsake the peaceful paths of life to become a riotous mob? Then who is the street-riot drill for? For whom is it intended? Who is to be


shot? When the tramp of the military is heard, and grape and canister are sweeping four streets at a time, as is contemplated by this new-fangled drill which was so graphically described in the capitalistic press which gave an account of it, it is certainly not for the purpose of shooting down the bourgeoise, the wealthy, because this same press makes a stirring appeal to them to contribute liberally to a military fund to put them on a good footing and make the militia twice as strong as it is at present, because their services would soon be needed to shoot down the mob." The speaker then read an extract from a capitalistic account of the street-riot drill on Thanksgiving day.

Your honor, this meeting was held the week following Thanksgiving day, and the drill took place on Thanksgiving day. This article which is a description of the drill copied from a capitalistic paper, reads as follows:

As a conclusion the divisions were drawn up in line of battle and there was more firing by companies, by file, and by battalion. The drill was creditable to the regiment, and the First will do excellent service in the streets in case of necessity. Opportunities, however, are needed for rifle practice, and Col. Knox is anxious to have a range established as soon as possible. Instead of 400 members, the regiment should have 800 members on its rolls. Business men should take more interest in the organization and help put it in the best possible condition to cope with a mob, for there may be need for its services at no distant day.

That article appeared either in the Times or Tribune of the next day. I don't know which. The speaker says:

What must be the thought of the oppressed in foreign lands when they hear the tramp of the militia beneath the folds of the stars and stripes? They who first flung this flag to the breeze proclaimed that beneath its folds the oppressed of all lands would find a refuge and a haven and protection against the despotism of all lands. Is this the case to-day, when the counter-tramp 2,000,000 homeless wanderers is heard throughout the land of America — men strong and able and anxious and willing to work, that they may purchase for themselves and their families food; when the cry of discontent is heard from the working classes everywhere, and they refuse longer to starve and peaceably accept a rifle diet and die in misery according to law, and order is enforced by the military drill — is this military drill for the purpose of sweeping them down as a mob with grape and canister upon the street?

This is the language of the speaker at the meeting:

"We working people hear these ominous rumblings, which create inquiry as to their origin. A few years ago we heard nothing of this kind; but great


changes have taken place during the past generation. Charles Dickens, who visited America forty years ago, said that what surprised him most was the general prosperity and equality of all people, and that a beggar upon the streets of Boston would create as much consternation as an angel with a flaming sword. What of Boston to-day? Last winter, said a correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, writing from that city, 30,000 persons were destitute, and there were whole streets of tenement-houses where the possession of a cooking-stove was regarded as a badge of aristocracy, the holes of which were rented to other less wealthy neighbors for a few pennies per hour. So, too, with New York, Chicago, and every other industrial center in this broad land. Why is this? Have we had a famine? Has nature refused to yield her harvest? These are grave and serious questions for us, the producers and sufferers, to consider, at least. Take a glance at the wealth of this country. In the past twenty years it has increased over $20,000,000,000. Into whose hands has the wealth found its way? Certainly not into the hands of the producers, for if it had there would be no need for street-riot drills. This country has a population of 55,000,000, and a statistical compilation shows that there are in the cities of New York, Philadelphia and Boston twenty men who own as their private property over $750,000,000, or about one-twenty-sixth of the entire increase which was produced by the labor of the working class, these twenty individuals being as one in 3,000,000. In twenty years these profit-mongers have fleeced the people of the enormous sum of $750,000,000 — and only three cities and twenty robbers heard from! A Government that protects this plundering of the people — a Government which permits the people to be degraded and brought to misery in this manner — is a fraud upon the face of it, no matter under what name it is called, or what flag floats over it; whether it be a Republic, a Monarchy, or an Empire," said the speaker. "The American flag protects as much economic despotism as any other flag on the face of the earth to-day to the ratio of population. This being the case, of what does the boasted freedom of the American workingman consist? Our fathers used to sing:

Come along, come along; make no delay;
Come from every nation, come from every way;
Come along, come along ; don't be alarmed —
Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm.

"The ‘stars and stripes’ in those days floated upon every water as the emblem of the free, but to-day it obeys only the command and has become the ensign of monopoly and corporations, of those who grind the face of the poor and rob and enslave the laborer. Could Russia do more than drill in its streets to kill the people? But alas! Americans creep and crawl at the foot of wealth and adore the golden calf. Can a man amass millions without despoiling the labor of others? We all know he can not. American workingmen seem to be degenerating. They do not seem to understand what liberty and freedom


really consist of. They shout themselves hoarse on election day — for what? For the miserable privilege of choosing their master; which man shall be their boss and rule over them; for the privilege of choosing just who are the bosses and who shall govern them. Great privilege! These Americans — sovereigns — millions of them do not know where they could get a bed or a supper. Your ballot — what is it good for? Can a man vote himself bread, or clothes, or shelter, or work? In what does the American wage-slave's freedom consist? The poor are the slaves of the rich everywhere. The ballot is neither a protection against hunger nor against the bullets of the military. Bread is freedom, freedom bread. The ballot is no protection against the bullets of those who are practicing the street-riot drills in Chicago. The ballot is worthless to the industrial slaves under these conditions. The palaces of the rich overshadow the homes or huts of the poor, and we say, with Victor Hugo, that the paradise of the rich is made out of the hells of the poor. The whole force of the organized power of the Government is thrown against the workers, whom the so-called better class denominate a mob. Now, when the workers of America refuse to starve according to ‘law and order,’ and when they begin to think and act, why, the street-riot drill begins. The enslavers of labor see the coming storm. They are determined, cost what it may, to drill these people and make them their slaves by holding in their possession the means of life as their property, and thus enslave the producers. Workingmen — we mean the women, too — arise! Prepare to make and determine successfully to establish the right to live and partake of the bounties to which all are equally entitled. Agitate, organize, prepare to defend your life, your liberty, your happiness against the murderers who are practicing the street-riot drill on Thanksgiving day."

'Tis the shame of the land that the earnings of toil
Should gorge the god Mammon, the tyrant, the spoiler.
Every foot has a logical right to the soil,
And the product of toil is the meed of the toiler.
The hands that disdain
Honest industry's stain
Have no share in its honor, no right to its gain,
And the falsehood of wealth or worth shall not be
In "the home of the brave and the land of the free."

Short addresses were made by Comrades Fielden, Dr. Taylor, William Snyder, William Holmes, and others. This concluded the meeting after criticisms.

Now, I challenge your honor to find a sentence or an utterance in that meeting — and that is one of the fullest reported of the many meetings held by the American Group for public discussion of such matters as the Thanksgiving drill of the First Regiment — I challenge you to find a single word or utterance there that is unlawful,


that is contrary to the constitution, or that is in violation of free speech, or that is in violation of free press, or that is in violation of public assembly or of the right of self-defense. And that is our position, and has been all the while. Imagine for the moment the First Regiment practicing the street-riot drill as it was described — learning how to sweep four streets from the four corners at once. Who? The Tribune and Times say "the mob." Who are the mob? Why, dissatisfied people, dissatisfied workingmen and women; people who are working for starvation wages, people who are on a strike for better pay — these are the mob. They are always the mob. That is what the riot-drill is for.

Suppose a case that occurs. The First Regiment is out with 1,000 men, armed with the latest improved Winchester rifles. Here are the mobs; here are the Knights of Labor and the trades unions, and all the organizations, without arms. They have no treasury, and a Winchester rifle costs $18. They cannot purchase those things. We cannot organize an army. It takes capital to organize an army. It takes as much money to organize an army as to organize industry, as to build railroads; therefore it is impossible for the working class to organize and buy Winchester rifles. What can they do? What must they do?

Your honor, the dynamite bomb, I am told, costs 6 cents. It can be made by anybody. The Winchester rifle costs $18. That is the difference. Am I to be blamed for that? Am I to be hanged for saying this? Am I to be destroyed for this? What have I done? Go dig up the ashes of the man who invented this thing. Find his ashes and scatter them to the winds because he gave this power to the world. It was not me. Gen. Sheridan — he is the commander-in-chief of the United States army, and in his report to the President and Congress two years ago he had occasion to speak of the possible labor troubles that may occur in the country, and what did he say? In his report he said that dynamite was a lately discovered article of tremendous power, and such was its nature that people could carry it around in the pockets of their clothing with perfect safety to themselves, and by means of it they could destroy whole cities and whole armies. This was Gen. Sheridan. That is


what he said. We quoted that language and referred to it. I want to say another word about dynamite before I pass on to something else.

I am called a dynamiter. Why? Did I ever use dynamite? No. Did I ever have any? No. Why, then, am I called a dynamiter? Listen, and I will tell you. Gunpowder in the fifteenth century marked an era in the world's history. It was the downfall of the mail armor of the knight, the freebooter, and the robber of that period. It enabled the victims of the highway robbers to stand off at a distance in a safe place and defend themselves by the use of gunpowder and make a ball enter and pierce into the flesh of their robbers and destroyer. Gunpowder came as a democratic instrument. It came as a republican institution, and the effect was that it immediately began to equalize and bring about an equilibrium of power. There was less power in the hands of the nobility after that; less power in the hands of the king; less power in the hands of those who would plunder and degrade and destroy the people after that.

So today dynamite comes as the emancipator of man from the domination and enslavement of his fellow man. [The Judge showed symptoms of impatience.] Bear with me now. Dynamite is the diffusion of power. It is democratic; it makes everybody equal. Gen. Sheridan says: "Arms are worthless." They are worthless in the presence of this instrument. Nothing can meet it. The Pinkertons, the police, the militia are absolutely worthless in the presence of dynamite. They can do nothing with the people at ill. It is the equilibrium. It is the annihilator. It is the disseminator of authority; it is the dawn of peace; it is the end of war, because war cannot exist unless there is somebody to make war upon, and dynamite makes that unsafe, is undesirable, and absolutely impossible. It is a peace-maker; it is man's best and last friend; it emancipates the world from the domineering and the few over the many, because all government, in the last resort, is violence; all law, in the last resort, is force. Force is the law of the universe; force is the law of nature, and this newly discovered force makes all men equal, and therefore free. It is idle to talk of rights when one does


not possess the power to enforce them. Science has now given every human being that power. It is proposed by the prosecution here to take me by force and strangle me on the gallows for these things I have said, for these expressions. Now, force is the last resort of tyrants; it is the last resort of despots and of oppressors, and he who would strangle another because that other does not believe as he would have him, he who will destroy another because that other will not do as he says, that man is a despot and a tyrant.

Now, I speak plainly. Does it follow, because I hold these views, that I committed or had anything to do with the commission of that act at the Haymarket? Does that follow? Why, you might just as consistently charge Gen. Phil Sheridan with the act, and for the same reason, for while he did not go into the matter perhaps as extensively in his encomium upon dynamite as I have done, yet he furnished me the text from which I have drawn my knowledge of this thing. But, you say, my speeches were sometimes extravagant, unlawful. During the discussion of the question of the extension of chattel slavery into the new Territories, into Kansas and the West, while Charles Sumner was yet a member of the United States Senate, and that gallant man stood as the champion of freedom upon that floor, he was expostulated with on one occasion and reprimanded by a friend, who said to him: "Sumner, you are not expedient; you must have more policy about what you say; you should not express yourself in this manner; you should not be so denunciatory and fanatical against slavery, this enslavement. I know it is wrong; I know it should be denounced, but keep inside of the law; keep inside of the constitution."

Your honor, I quote from the speech of Charles Sumner, that great American, in answer and in reply to that remark. Said he:

Anything for human rights is constitutional. No learning in books, no skill acquired in Courts, no sharpness of forensic dealings, no cunning in splitting hairs can impair the vigor thereof. This is the supreme law of the land, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

I have never said anything that could equal that in lawlessness. I never was as lawless in my expression as that. Go, gentlemen of


the prosecution, dig up the ashes of Sumner and scatter them in disgrace to the wind, tear down the monument that the American people have erected to his honor, and erect thereon some emblem of your contempt.

What are the facts about the Haymarket meeting? The meeting at 107 Fifth avenue had already been called, and at half-past 7 o'clock I left home with my wife, Mrs. Holmes, and the children. We got to Halsted street. Two reporters seeing me thought there was a chance to get an item and came over to me — the Times man and the Tribune man, I forget their names.

"Hello, Parsons, what is the news?" says one.

"I don't know anything."

"Going to be a meeting here to-night?"

"Yes, I guess so."

"Going to speak?"


"Where are you going?"

"I have got another meeting on hand tonight."

And some playful remark was made. I slapped one of them on the back. I was quite well acquainted with the men and we made one or two brief remarks, and — as they testified on the stand — I got on the car right then and there with my wife and two children, in company with Mrs. Holmes. I took the car, and they saw that. I went down to Fifth avenue. When I got down there I found four or five other ladies there, and about — well, probably, twelve or fifteen men. It was about 8:30 o'clock when we opened — I guess it was. We staid there about half an hour. We settled the business. About the time we were through with it a committee came from the Haymarket saying: "Nobody is over there but Spies. There is an awful big crowd, 3,000 or 4,000 people. For God's sake send somebody over. Come over, Parsons; come over, Fielden." Well, we went there. The meeting was adjourned and we all went over there together — all of us; my wife, Mrs. Holmes, two her ladies, and my two little children, went over to the Haymarket


market meeting. And these ladies sat ten feet behind the wagon from which I spoke.

Your honor, is it possible that a man would go into the dynamite-bomb business under those conditions and those circumstances? It is incredible. It is beyond human nature to believe such a thing possible, absolutely.

The verdict was against Socialism, as said by the Chicago Times the day after the verdict.

"In the opinion of many thoughtful men, the labor question has reached a point where blood-letting has become necessary," says the Chicago Iron-Monger.

"The execution of the death penalty upon the Socialist male-factors in Chicago will be in its effect the execution of the death penalty upon the Socialistic propaganda in this country. The verdict of death pronounced by a Chicago jury and court against these Socialist malefactors in Chicago is the verdict of the American people against the crime called Socialism," says the Chicago Times. By the American people the Times means the monopolists.

In more familiar words, as used heretofore by the Times, "other workingmen will take warning from their fate, and learn a valuable lesson." The Times in 1878 advised that "handgrenades (bombs) should be thrown among the striking sailors," who were striving to obtain higher wages, "as by such treatment they would be taught a valuable lesson, and other strikers would take warning from their fate." So it seems, "handgrenades for strikers," and "the gallows for Socialists," are recommended by the organ of monopoly as a terror to both.

The jury was a packed one; the jury was composed of men who arrogate to themselves the right to dictate to and rob the wage-workers, whom they regard as their hired men; they regard working-men as their inferiors and not "gentlemen." Thus a jury was obtained, whose business it was to convict us of Anarchy whether they


found any proof of murder or not. The whole trial was conducted to condemn Anarchy. "Anarchy is on trial," said Mr. Ingham. "Hang these eight men and save our institutions," shouted Grinnell. "These are the leaders; make an example of them," yelled the prosecution in addressing the Court and jury. Yes, we are Anarchists, and for this, your honor, we stand condemned. Can it be that men are to suffer death for their opinions? "These eight defendants," said the State's Attorney to the jury, "were picked out and indicted by the grand jury. They are no more guilty than are the thousands who follow them. They were picked out because they were leaders. Convict them and our society is safe," shouted the prosecution. And this is in America, the land for which our fathers fought and freely shed their blood that we, their posterity, might enjoy the right of free speech, free opinion, free press, and unmolested assemblage.

When I saw the day fixed for the opening of this trial, knowing I was an innocent man, and also feeling that it was my duty to come forward and share whatever fate had in store for my comrades, and also stand, if need be, on the scaffold, and vindicate the rights of labor, the cause of liberty, and the relief of the oppressed, I returned. How did I return? It is interesting, but it will take time to relate it, and I will not state it. I ran the gauntlet. I went from Waukesha to Milwaukee. I took the St. Paul train in the morning at the Milwaukee depot and came to Chicago; arrived here at 8:30, I suppose, in the morning. Went to the house of my friend, Mrs. Ames, on Morgan street. Sent for my wife and had a talk with her. I sent word to Capt. Black that I was here and prepared to surrender. He sent word back to me that he was ready to receive me. I met him at the threshold of this building and we came up here together. I stood in the presence of this Court. I have nothing, even now, to regret.

[NOTE. — Mr. Parsons' speech was eight hours in delivery, to-wit: two hours on Friday and six hours on Saturday. There are only given here extracts from Mr. Parsons' able speech before Judge Gary as to why sentence of death should not be pronounced against him. The speech is in print and can be had.]



Taken from the Official Record.

Mr. Parsons had just been in Cincinnati and returned to Chicago on May 4. [A. 313, Vol. N., 109.] He caused a notice calling a meeting at 107 Fifth avenue on the South Side, on Monday evening, May 4, to be inserted in the Daily News. He left home in company with his wife, Mrs. Holmes, a lady friend, and his two little children. On his way to that meeting he met Mr. Owen, a witness for the State, who says [A. 124, Vol. K., 200, 201]: "I saw Parsons at the corner of Randolph and Halsted streets shortly before 8 o'clock. I asked him where the meeting was to be held; he said he did not know anything about the meeting. I asked him whether he was going to speak and he said no, he was going to the South Side. Mrs. Parsons and some children came up just then and Mr. Parsons stopped an Indiana street car, slapped me familiarly on the back, and asked me if I was armed. I said: ‘No; have you any dynamite about you?’ He laughed, and Mrs. Parsons said: ‘He is a very dangerous looking man, isn't he?’ and they got on a car and went east. I believe Mr. Heineman was with me." [A. 126, Vol. K., 233.] A request for speakers at the Haymarket meeting was sent over to the meeting on the South Side. That request found Parsons. He went from there to the Haymarket, on the West Side, to speak.

Mr. Parsons spoke three-quarters of an hour. Mr. English, the Tribune reporter, was instructed by his employers to take only the most inflammatory utterances and consequently was on the watch for such. His account of Mr. Parsons' speech occupies but a single page of the record.

Mayor Harrison, who heard Parsons' speech and attended the meeting for the purpose of dispersing it if anything should occur to require interference, left the meeting at the end of that speech and told Capt. Bonfield, at the station, that "nothing had occurred yet,


or looked likely to occur, to require interference, and that he had better issue orders to his reserves at the other stations to go home," hereupon Harrison himself went home. [A. 174 and 175, Vol. L., 29, 31, and 47.]

After Mr. Parsons, Mr. Fielden spoke twenty minutes. After Mr. Fielden had been speaking some ten minutes it is admitted by all the witnesses that a cloud, accompanied by a cold wind, swept over the northern sky, and thereupon Parsons interrupted Fielden, suggesting an adjournment of the meeting to Zepf's hall, a building situated at the northeast corner of Lake and Desplaines streets and a block north from the Haymarket meeting. To this somebody in the audience replied that the hall was occupied by a meeting of the Furniture Workers' Union, and thereupon Fielden suggested that he would be through in a few minutes and then they would all go home. [A. 314, Vol. N., 113.]

This evidence is established by witnesses for the State and the defence.

About one-half of the audience dispersed upon Mr. Parsons' motion and Mr. Fielden's suggestion. Mr. Parsons got down from the wagon and went a few feet north, where his family and Mrs. Holmes were seated, assisted them down, and they went together to Zepf's hall, and were there when the bomb exploded. [A. 224, 238, Vol. M., 125.]

This is all the testimony connecting Mr. Parsons in any way with the Haymarket meeting.


Part VII.

Chapter I. — What is an Accessory? — Leonard Sweet Quotes From "Wharton's Criminal Law and Clearly Points Out What Must be Proven to Secure A Conviction as Accessory Before the Fact — "What Human Judge Can Determine that there is Such a Necessary Connection Between One Man's Advice and Another Man's Action as to Make the Former the Cause of the Latter?"

From Brief of Leonard Swett before the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois.

The conviction of these defendants was had without any proof of a corpus delicti. What is a corpus delicti? Simply the body or essence of the wrong. What is the corpus delicti or body of the wrong in the case of a principal charged with homicide? It is that the defendant did the criminal act. What is the corpus delicti in reference to an accessory? It is that he aided and abetted in the killing. Wharton's Crim. Ev., 3,325, and note as follows:

The corpus delicti, the proof which is essential to sustain a conviction, consists of a criminal act, and to sustain a conviction there must be proof of the defendant's guilty agency in the production of such act.

The latter feature, namely, criminal agency, is often lost sight of, but is as essential as the object itself of the crime.

Acts in some shape are essential to the corpus delicti, so far as concerns the guilt of the party accused. A. may have designed the death of the deceased, yet if that death has been caused by another A., no matter how morally guilty, is not amenable to the penalties of the law, if he has done and advised nothing in respect to the death.


In this case there is not the slightest evidence of corpus delicti as to any of the defendants, except in the testimony of Gilmer, which is completely overthrown.

Wharton, in his Criminal Law, ninth edition, Vol. I., section 226, note entitled "Modes of Instigation," says:

Counseling, to come up to the definition, must be special. Mere general counsel, for instance, that all property should be regarded and held as common, will not constitute the party offering it accessory before the fact to a larceny; free-love publications will not constitute their authors technically parties to sexual offenses which these publications may have stimulated. Several youthful highway robbers have said they were led into crime by reading "Jack Sheppard," but the author of Jack Sheppard was not an accessory before the fact to the robberies to which he thus added impulse. What human Judge can determine that there is such a necessary connection between one man's advice and another man's action as to make the former the cause of the latter?

I know of no more appropriate illustration of the legal status and liability of the defendants in relation to their intemperate utterances, or in relation to their liability under all the evidence, than to recall the history of the formation of the Republican party. It was a party which had for its object the reformation of the civil society and the civil institutions in this country. The most radical of its leaders characterized the constitution of the United States as "a league with hell." Underground railroads were everywhere established leading from Mason's and Dixon's line to Canada, and people conspired to do the act, contrary to the constitution and the laws of the United States, of aiding and abetting the slave in his escape. If he were arrested by the officers of the law, whose duty it was to arrest him, people were guilty of a conspiracy to rescue him, and they often committed the overt act of such unlawful conspiracy by actually rescuing him and aiding him in his escape. The storm finally culminated, and by and by old John Brown, caught by the inspiration of the occasion, committed an offense against the laws of Virginia at Harper's Ferry.

The question arising is: Was everybody who made speeches for this party guilty of the offense of which John Brown was convicted? The distinction exists in that case as in this. Everybody who knew


John Brown's purposes, and, knowing them, aided, assisted, and abetted him were equally guilty with him. But those who did not know his purposes, and who did not aid and abet him in his unlawful act, were not guilty, however intemperate may have been their speeches, and whatever may have been their general advice.

The other side of this question, and the side taken by the prosecution and the Court, is to say that John Brown's raid was a natural outgrowth of the Republican party. If there had been no Republican party there would have been no John Brown's raid, and, therefore, that all Republicans who made speeches and believed in the Utopian idea of a change in society for the benefit of a class were like the Anarchists and were particeps criminis with old John Brown and ought to be hung.

The days come and go and this brief must be filed to-morrow, but it is not done. "The little foxes that spoil the vines" have got their work in every day and have rendered greater progress impossible. Therefore, I must refer your honors to the able brief prepared by Mr. William P. Black and Messrs. Salomon & Zeisler upon the two questions of the empanelment of the jury and the instructions of the Court.

The considerate portions of the country want the plowshare of justice held with firm but intelligent hand, and that it plow straight through — that the defendants should be hanged if guilty of murder, but not hanged if not guilty of murder. The man at his business, over-anxious and over-worked, sees in the movement of these people simply an interruption, and he wants them all hanged to get rid of the question; the timid lady shivers with fear, and says: "Why, they will, if released, throw bombs through our windows and blow up our houses." The hard-hearted and exacting want to continue their oppressions and exactions, and they want them all hanged. All these want them hanged — not for the reason that it is known they have been guilty of murder, but because the fixed order of things by these agitators is disturbed.

Don't Carnegie's men at Pittsburg get more a day than Krupp's men in Europe? Yes, and Krupp's men in Europe get more than men in Central Africa. All mankind are moving to a higher plane,


and it is harder and more difficult to grind the face of the poor than it was formerly.

The labor that moves the world may not, as a class, be the most intelligent. It may not know how. Like a man fastened face downward and stretched out to stakes on the grass of the western plains by Indians, he bears it until his nervous system gives way, when he will shriek and struggle, knowing there is a sore place somewhere.

Virginia wanted John Brown hanged that she might fold her arms and sleep in peace. She did hang him and his companions. But she did not sleep in peace.

I have never before seen the hard hand of toil respond with its quarters of a dollar and little gifts here, there, and everywhere, and with such wide-spread sympathy, until the poverty-stricken defendants have larger and readier means of defense than any persons I have ever defended or known. Criminals, under such circumstances, would have shared the fate of the neglected and the poor. What does this mean?

We all remember the celebrated controversy between the wind and the sun, told by old Aesop, in which they two entered into a debate as to which was the stronger, and it was to be decided by an attack upon a traveler upon whom they were looking down, and the victor should be he who could make him take off a great coat he was wearing first. The wind tried it, and blew about him and made him shiver and his coat-tails flutter, but he only hugged it the closer. The sun finally took its turn. It came out with its warm and peaceful rays. It warmed the globe and the man, and very soon he began to wipe the sweat from his brow and pulled off his coat. May be we can learn something from this simple story, which has come down the ages from a period in the world's history in which labor was at complete rest.

The truth is, a man wants more than he used, to want. He may labor, he may live in a hut, but whenever he sees other people


have comforts he wants them for himself. We never want and long for what we do not know to exist. The wealthy cannot have luxuries without letting the poor know it. A workman cannot walk at night by the house well warmed and full of brightness and good cheer without wishing it were his own home. The wife of the workman will see the wife of his employer and envy her. His daughter cannot, as she works at the market price of labor, but sigh "for something better than she has known," and think, as she drudges to her sewing machine, how much better it would be to go to a piano. Humanity lies in a pyramid, and every man and woman envies the man or woman next higher. Even the apex man is not content. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." And yet the greatest hopes of humanity rest in the fact that all classes and individuals are always and everywhere bearing

"A banner with the strange device — Excelsior."

The truth is, the peoples of the world are inseparably linked together. Mankind are brothers, and they are held together as the world itself is held; you cannot, without breaking things, produce the elevation of the mountain without lifting up the country adjoining. The rich hold in exclusiveness, by a doubtful tenure, all the delights and honors and excitements of life so long as the millions enjoy only a heritage of unenlightened labor and unrewarded toil. We must either all go back to barbarism, where equality and contentment reign, or the rich must lift up the poor in proportion as they themselves are lifted up. Let, therefore, the man of wealth, instead of barricading the doors of his home, and seeking shelter in bars and bolts and iron gates, take his basket of overflowing plenty upon his arm and seek out the homes of squalor and want and find his safety and the safety of his home in the universal brotherhood of man.

LEONARD SWETT, Counsel for the Defendants.
CHICAGO, March 1, 1887.


Chapter II. — Mr. Parsons in Court.

Arch-Conspirator A. R. Parsons amazed the crowd, and even dazed the placid Presiding Judge Gary, by marching into the courtroom beside Lawyer Black, chief counsel for the Anarchists. The much-sought-after dynamiter walked quietly into Court and took a chair. He made no more ado than if he had come in as an interested spectator. The idea of being a hunted fugitive did not seem to possess him in the least.

Capt. Black introduced him to the Court as one of the defendants in the case at bar, and asked that he be arraigned. Not a word of explanation was vouchsafed, nor was there any attempt by the police officers present to interfere. Where he came from, or where he had spent the time he has been so sadly missed, was not known. No one ventured to inquire while the prisoner was being-arraigned.

Parsons looked as he always has since Chicagoans have known him — thin. He was dressed in a quiet suit of blue. He was led to where the other prisoners were sitting, and where the defendants' counsel had retained a seat for him. It was a carefully arranged surprise, dramatically carried out.

"Parsons," said Lawyer Black, "has not at any time been over 100 miles from the city, yet all the 200 officers looking for him would never have unearthed him. He was not brought forward before simply because the methods of the Chicago police are brutal and utterly above and regardless of the law. I proposed to have my client treated legally and not bullyragged and tortured as prisoners are not even in Russia."

A police officer said that there was but one theory that he had as to the hiding-place of the prisoner, and that was that he was secreted in Capt. Black's own household.


After the flutter following his entrance was over, Parsons was formally arraigned. This took but a few minutes, the prisoner pleading not guilty. He then took his seat, and the examination of the jurors was proceeded with, just as if the police had had no such terrible humiliation put upon them, and just as if the Judge and audience had had no great surprise given them.

On being seen by the reporter after he was locked up, in reply to a question as to where he had been, he laughingly remarked:

"Oh, only rusticating at a fashionable western summer resort."

"Well, what was your object in surrendering to the authorities, at this time of such public excitement?"

"I have simply returned to bear my share with my comrades here whatever fate may have in store for them and me."

Another capitalistic paper says, in commenting upon his surrender: "The voluntary surrender of A. R. Parsons in Court makes him the central figure in the greatest criminal trial of modern times."


Chapter III. — The Immolation to Authority. — Albert R. Parsons as Capt. W. P. Black Knew Him — Parsons Surrenders Himself to Stand Trial with His Comrades — His Connection with the Haymarket Meeting — Some Points of the Defense — The Verdict Calmly Received By the Prisoners — Parsons Refuses to Sign a Petition For Clemency — Heroic Effort to Save His Companions — Martyrs to Their Convictions.

In the period elapsing between the 4th of May, 1886, and the 21st of June, when the trial of the indictment against Spies, et al., was begun in the Criminal Court of Cook county, and while the attorneys engaged for the defendants were busy with their preparations for the struggle, the question was several times presented as to whether or not Albert R. Parsons could safely come to the bar and submit to a trial under the indictment along with those who were then in prison. This question was first brought to our attention by Mrs. Parsons, who told us that her husband had written to her desiring to know our views upon the subject. She stated to us that her husband was perfectly willing to act in the matter as we should advise; that knowing that he had neither participation in nor responsibility for the throwing of the bomb at the Haymarket meeting, and that in fact he had no knowledge of the meeting itself until about the time he was called to speak at it, he was himself confident that a trial of the indictment as against him could only result in his acquittal, if there was any hope of securing an impartial jury; and that if it was judged that his presence during the trial would be likely to be in any measure helpful to those who were accused with him, he was ready to come to the bar.

When this question was first presented it was met with the suggestion that there would be time enough to consider the matter later on, as it would be sufficient if he appeared in court at any time


before the impanneling of the jury was commenced. During the week immediately preceding the 21st of June Mrs. Parsons came again to the attorneys for the defense, saying that she was directed by her husband once more to bring this question before us for our advice and determination. At that time we felt reasonably sure as to what would be developed upon the trial by the evidence in reference to Parsons' movements, and that upon the evidence we could demonstrate to any dispassionate mind that Mr. Parsons had never counseled, aided, abetted, or advised the throwing of the bomb at the Haymarket meeting. But it was felt by us all, in the then condition of public opinion — the full rancor of which, however, was not appreciated by any of us — that there was a certain element of danger in the coming even of a demonstrably innocent man into this community to submit to trial, when, confessedly, that man had been a leader for years in the labor agitation which was prevalent, and was an apostle of the doctrine of agitation for organization, and organization for the purpose of bringing about a changed condition of society, which change it was proposed to accomplish in order to secure as of right to the wage-earners a larger and more nearly just share in the results of their own production. In other words, we all knew that Mr. Parsons was a professed Anarchist, and that he was a believer in the prediction that the injustice and inequalities existing under the present system of social order pointed inevitably to revolution, because of the known and fixed indisposition of those possessed of wealth and holding power to make a voluntary change in the adjustment of affairs such as would bring to realization the dream and hope of the social reformer.

We knew enough of Mr. Parsons to believe that if he came to the bar of the Court voluntarily, submitted himself to its jurisdiction, and braved its judgment upon the accusation preferred against him, he would be a party to no deception, he would yield to no paltering, he would consent to no lowering of his standard of opinion merely in the hope of personal advantage or of placating the bitter feeling that had been aroused against these labor leaders. It was a serious matter, therefore, when we were asked to advise Mr. Parsons upon the question submitted to us; but our advice was asked, and under such circumstances that we felt it a duty to speak. We


knew that Mr. Parsons was in a place of absolute safety, and that every effort of the police to discover him had proved utterly unavailing. We knew that around him was a cordon of friends keeping ceaseless watch, and that he could, from a distance, if so advised, observe the progress of the impending trial in personal safety. Could he with reasonable safety come to the bar of the Court? Was the possible advantage of such a step sufficient to justify the hazard?

In obedience to the request of his wife I wrote a letter to Mr. Parsons upon the subject of his inquiry, in which I tried to set before him fully the danger which confronted him in the event of his return, and the possibilities of awful consequences, but in which I expressed the personal belief that we could satisfactorily establish his innocence, and therefore could secure his acquittal; that I believed the effect of his return and presence in the trial could not but be advantageous to his co-defendants. But I told him in effect that the responsibility of advising his return was one that I could not and would not take — I could only lay the case fully before him, and leave it to him to determine what action he would take.

Albert R. Parsons came of his own volition, and prompted by his own sense of right and of loyalty to his comrades in labor, from a place of absolute security, walked, unrecognized, to the very bar of the Court, and there submitted himself to the imprisonment from which he was liberated on the scaffold.

Did he ever regret that step? I can only say that never, in all the weeks and months that followed, did he express to me, nor for a single instant manifest, the slightest regret. He constantly protested that he would do the same again; and when he stood up before the Court in answer to its question to show cause why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him, the closing words of his memorable speech were, that, despite all that had followed his return, he had nothing to regret; while as he said it, as if to give deeper significance to his statement, he came to where I sat at placed his arm upon my shoulder, as if speaking the words to me. He knew that I had carried a certain burden, in connection with the untoward ending of his trial, because of the part I had taken in connection with his return. It was of me that he thought in that moment, and for my comfort that the spoke the words.


Until that 21st of June, 1886, my personal acquaintance with Albert R. Parsons had been of the very slightest; we had not met more than three or four times, and that only at long intervals, and under circumstances which made the acquaintance formal and of a business character. I knew nothing of the inner nature of the man. I knew in a general way that he had been a labor agitator, and that he was accounted by the people of means with whom I ordinarily associated "a pestilent fellow," somewhat dangerous to the community, and certainly uncomfortable to the lovers of ease and those having the disposition to maintain the established order which prevails generally among people whose good fortune it has been to get ahead in the world and to cradle themselves in the lap of luxury. I can say in all truthfulness that certainly I did not at that time specially admire him: but I can also say that even then I regarded his conduct in coming of his own volition to the bar of the Court, to make common cause with those who were joined in the indictment and to take part in the chance of the trial with them, as admirable, having in it certainly a touch of the heroic.

For Albert R. Parsons was comparatively a young man; and notwithstanding the arduous service he had been called upon to render in his espousal and advocacy of the cause of the wage classes of society, and despite his scanty means, and oftentimes actual privation resulting therefrom, he had yet much to make life bright to him, much to make him happy in life. He had a wife whose devotion to him has since become proverbial, and two beautiful children to whom he was as tenderly attached as any father to his young I have ever known. He knew, too, far better than I knew, the intensity of the hostile feeling existing between the property-owners ordinarily dominating the opinion of society and the agitators, who, as it seemed to them, were constantly threatening their possessions and repose. He appreciated, far more than I did at the time, the actual hazard of the step he took. That he should, in the retirement and seclusion of his retreat, and after weeks of consideration, during which his own personal safety was demonstrated, have ached and acted upon the fixed resolve to offer his own life in what he believed to be the cause of the wage class, and for the possible advantage of his fellow-agitators, was heroic. I believe that the day


will yet come when intelligent and dispassionate people will regard with a sort of incredulous horror the action of the community that consigned such a man to death, refused him reprieve, and exacted the final and supreme penalty of the law. For what was the case made by the State against Albert R. Parsons?

It was shown without contradiction that on Sunday, May 2, 1886, Albert R. Parsons was in the city of Cincinnati, O., returning to Chicago on the morning of Tuesday, May 4; that immediately upon his return he caused a notice, calling for a meeting of the American Group of the International at 107 Fifth avenue for the evening of May 4, to be inserted in the Daily News of that afternoon; that in the evening he left his house in company with his wife, Mrs. Holmes, a lady friend, and his two little children, aged 5 and 7 years, respectively; that they walked from their home on the West Side as far as to the corner of Randolph and Halsted streets, where they met two reporters — namely: Mr. Heineman and Mr. Owen. There Mr. Parsons and his party took a car and rode direct to 107 Fifth avenue, where they arrived about half past 8 o'clock, and remained about half an hour. Concerning this meeting at the corner of Halsted and Randolph streets, Mr. Owen, who was called as one of the witnesses for the prosecution, testified as follows:

"I saw Parsons at the corner of Randolph and Halsted streets shortly before 8 o'clock; I asked him where the meeting was going to be held; he said he did not know anything about the meeting, I asked him whether he was going to speak. He said: No, he was going over to the South Side. Mrs. Parsons and some children came up just then, and Mr. Parsons, before entering the street car, slapped me familiarly upon the back and asked me if I was armed, and I said no. I asked him: ‘Have you any dynamite about you?’ He laughed, and Mrs. Parsons said: ‘He is a very dangerous-looking man, isn't he?’ And they got on the car and went east. I believe Mr. Heineman was with me."

Mr. Heineman was also called as a witness for the prosecution, and while his testimony as to this meeting was not quite as full as that of Mr. Owen, it was in substantial harmony therewith.

At the meeting of the American Group, as was shown by an abundance of uncontradicted testimony, there were present, all told,


about fifteen members, including Mr. Parsons, his wife, and Mrs. Holmes; and the subject considered was the matter of the organization of the sewing women of Chicago, with reference to the eight-hour movement. Some steps were taken, and some slight expenditures were authorized, to accomplish the organization of these seamstresses; and when this work had been nearly concluded, and the meeting was about ready to adjourn, a messenger arrived, who had been sent over by Mr. Spies from the Haymarket meeting, then assembled, stating that there was great and immediate need for speakers, and urging that some of those attending at 107 Fifth avenue should come over at once to speak to the Haymarket meeting. Thereupon the American Group adjourned its meetings, and most of the members walked over to the Haymarket, a distance of about half a mile, Mr. Parsons and his entire family, Mr. Fielden, and others going direct to the meeting, as shown by the evidence.

Parsons reached the Haymarket some time shortly after 9 o'clock, while Spies was speaking, and directly afterward Spies stopped and introduced Parsons to the audience. Parsons spoke from three-quarters of an hour to an hour. It was concurred in by all of the witnesses who testified in reference to Parsons' speech that it was largely statistical in its nature, and devoted to a review of the disturbed condition of the labor world; and it was conceded by all the witnesses for the prosecution that when, in the course of his remarks, he mentioned the name of Jay Gould, in connection with the Southwestern railway troubles, and some one in the audience proposed the hanging of the railway magnate, Parsons immediately replied deprecating such utterance, saying in effect: "No! This is not a conflict between individuals, but for a change of system, and Socialism aims to remove the causes which produce the pauper and the millionaire, but does not aim at the life of the individual." He said further in substance: "Kill Jay Gould, and like a jack-in-a-box other or a hundred others like him will come up in his place under existing social conditions;" and he also used the figure that to the individual millionaire or capitalist would be like killing a flea upon a dog, whereas the purpose of Socialism was the destruction of the dog — the change of the existing system. That this was the substance and tenor of Parsons' response to the one suggestion


of violence that came from his audience during his entire address stands admitted upon the record in the case.

Some of the witnesses for the State testified that at some point in his discourse Parsons used the expression: "To arms! To arms! To arms!" This was the only incendiary utterance that was claimed to have been made use of by him. But in reference to this expression, and the connection in which it was used by Mr. Parsons, the most convincing testimony offered on the part of the prosecution was that of Mr. English, a stenographic reporter for the Chicago Tribune who attended the meeting under instructions from the management of the paper which he represented, as testified by himself, to report only the most inflammatory utterances. Such utterances, however he repotted verbatim; and his stenographic report, read to the jury, as to this remark, was in the following words, given as spoken by Mr. Parsons:

"It behooves you, as you love your wife and children, if you do not want to see them perish with hunger, killed, or shot down like dogs in the street, Americans, in the interest of your liberty and independence, to arm, to arm yourselves. [Applause and cries of "We will do it," "We are ready now."] You are not."

Mr. English further stated positively in this connection that when Parsons said: "To arm, to arm yourselves!" he said it in the ordinary tone of voice in which he was then speaking. He stated also, that this expression was shortly following an utterance of Parsons in the following language: "I am not here for the purpose of inciting anybody, but to speak out, to tell the facts as they exist, even though it should cost my life before morning."

Mayor Harrison, who heard Parsons' speech, and attended the meeting for the purpose of dispersing it if anything should occur to require interference, upon the witness-stand testified that he heard nothing spoken by Parsons that in his judgment required any action upon his part; that his speech was largely statistical, and while he would denominate it as a violent political harangue, it was in fact unusually moderate in its tone as compared with what was habitual to speakers occupying Mr. Parsons' position upon such occasions. Certain it is, that Mr. Harrison, the chief executive officer of the city, having its welfare at heart, and charged with the responsibility of


serving its peace and safety, left the meeting at the end of Parsons' speech, and told Inspector Bonfield at the station, only a block away from the meeting, where the police forces were massed, that nothing had up to that time occurred, or seemed likely to occur, to require interference, and that Bonfield had better issue orders to his reserves at the other stations to go home. To this suggestion of the Mayor Mr. Bonfield responded at once that his detectives, who were in attendance upon the meeting and were constantly bringing him reports as to its progress and tone, had made to him the same report as to the character of the meeting and the utterances thereat, and that he had already ordered the reserves at the other stations to disperse; but that he thought it was better for him to hold the forces at the Desplaines street station together to prevent possible violence after the adjournment of the meeting. Thus assured that there was no present or prospective danger in connection with the Haymarket meeting, Mr. Harrison went home.

After speaking about an hour Parsons brought his address to a close, and was succeeded by Mr. Fielden.

Fielden spoke about ten minutes, when a cloud, accompanied by a cold wind and with some threatenings of rain, swept up in the northern sky; whereupon Mr. Parsons interrupted him and suggested an adjournment of the meeting to Zepf's hall, which was in a building situated on the northeast corner of Lake and Desplaines streets, about half a block from the location of the Haymarket meeting. To this some one in the crowd responded that the hall was already occupied by a meeting of the Furniture-Workers' Union, and thereupon Fielden suggested that he would be through in a few minutes and then they could all go home; after which Fielden proceeded with his remarks. But the suggestion made by Mr. Parsons, coupled with the threatening aspect of the sky and the cold change, as well as the fact that the hour was late and the crowd wearied with standing several hours in the open air, furnished the occasion for the scattering of the larger part of the audience; so that the conclusion of Fielden's speech was addressed to an assemblage estimated by the various witnesses who spoke on the point, at from 200 to 500 people, not a single witness worthy of belief placing the number higher than we last-named figure. Stepping from the speakers' wagon Mr.


Parsons went to another wagon situated a few paces north of it, in which sat his wife and Mrs. Holmes with some friends, and proposed to them that they should all go together to Zepf's hall, which was accordingly done. Within about five minutes thereafter the bomb at the Haymarket exploded, and it was proved incontestibly, without any contradiction whatever, that at the time the bomb exploded, Parsons, together with his wife, Mrs. Holmes, and others, was in Zepf's saloons which occupied the ground floor in the building in which Zepf's hall was located.

No effort was made by the prosecution, because none could be successfully made, unless by rank perjury, to convict Parsons of any knowledge whatever of any of the preliminaries of the Haymarket meeting. That meeting had been arranged for at a meeting held at Greif's hall, No. 54 West Lake street, on Monday night, May 3, 1886. The professed purpose of the Haymarket meeting was to consider and protest against the conduct of the police at the McCormick riot, following a meeting at the Black road held near McCormick's reaper works on the afternoon of Monday, May 3. The Haymarket meeting was called by a circular issued by direction of the Monday night meeting, at which meeting, as shown by the evidence, only two of the eight men who were upon trial were present — to-wit: Fischer and Engel. On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 4, two others of the accused — to-wit: Schwab and Spies — were apprised of the Monday night meeting and of the proceeding threat, which they at once denounced as foolish in the extreme, and as to which they took immediate steps and every possible precaution to prevent any action thereunder or rash consequences. It was admitted by all the witnesses for the prosecution, however, that when the Haymarket meeting was determined upon, at the Monday night meeting, it was distinctly talked and understood that there was to be no preparation whatever for violence at the Haymarket meeting nor was it expected that any collision with the police would occur then, but that the same was to be simply an agitation meeting, and for the purpose suggested. Parsons never heard of the Monday night meeting, nor of the proceedings thereof, until after the Haymarket meeting had come to its tragic termination.

A dispassionate consideration of the testimony in the record


can not but convince any fair-minded person that when Parsons went to the Haymarket meeting, upon the request received at the American Group meeting about 9 o'clock; when he spoke there in the calm and temperate tone which characterized his remarks, announcing that he had no purpose of incitement, but only to speak the truth as he apprehended it concerning the wage conditions of modern society; and when he proposed an adjournment to Zepf's hall, and himself left the meeting with his family and friends and went to Zepf's saloon, he had no thought, no intimation from any source, no reason whatever to believe that any violence was contemplated by any person at the Haymarket meeting, or was likely to occur. It was because of this continuous innocence of participation in, complicity with, or responsibility for, the act of bomb-throwing that Mr. Parsons felt he could properly surrender himself for trial and be reasonably secure of a vindication, expecting that under the safeguards provided by the law an impartial jury could be secured.

Beyond the testimony above outlined, the State was permitted to introduce, in its effort to make out a case against Parsons, evidence of a number of speeches made by Parsons during a long period of time preceding the Haymarket meeting, and extracts from the files of the Alarm, of which Parsons was the editor; not upon the theory that any of these things bore directly upon or had immediate reference to, the Haymarket meeting, or the act at that meeting of the bomb-thrower, but upon the theory that they furnished evidence proper to be considered by the jury as tending to establish a general conspiracy for the overthrow of the existing order of society, which contemplated such meetings as that at the Haymarket, and such acts as there committed, as among the things which might be done in furtherance of this purpose.

It was contended in behalf of the defense upon the trial that such testimony was not legally competent; that in the absence of testimony showing a conspiracy or agreement to do the particular thing, criminal responsibility for which was sought to be charged against the defendants, it was necessary to show by credible evidence that the act complained of was indubitably committed by


one of the conspirators, not that it might possibly have been committed by such a co-conspirator, and that it was committed by such co-conspirator in furtherance of the general plan to which it was claimed the accused were committed. In other words, it was contended for the defense as follows:

1. That mere participation in an unlawful assembly or design does not make the accused responsible for the independent and unadvised crime of some other participant in that assembly or design.

2. That to hold the accused as accessories on the ground of conspiracy it must be shown by credible testimony, beyond reasonable doubt, that the man committing the crime was one of the conspirators.

3. That it must further be shown that the act of violence committed was within the purview of the conspiracy; in other words, that the conspiracy provided for the commission of the particular act, by some one of the conspirators, at the time and place when and where it was done.

4. That the mere fact that various persons have a common object in view, or set before themselves a common purpose for their activity, does not make one of such parties responsible for the unadvised act of another party committed upon the independent volition and uninfluenced resolve of that other party.

5. That mere general advice, by speech or print, to revolutionary or violent acts, without evidence connecting the advice with the man committing the offense and showing that he was influenced thereby to his act, is not sufficient to warrant a contraction of the speaker as an accessory to the crime. That the law on this point is, as stated in I Wharton Criminal Law, § 226, note: "Counseling, to come up to the definition [of inciting to crime], must be special." * * * And in same volume, §179: "What human Judge can determine that there is such a necessary connection between one man's advice and another man's action as to make the former the cause of the latter?"

And as a corollary of these positions it was contended: That before the lives of men could be legally adjudged forfeited as the


penalty of a crime, in which specific crime they confessedly had no participation, it was necessary, in justice and under the law, to identify the party committing the offense in such manner as to establish, by credible evidence and beyond any reasonable doubt, his consociation with the accused, and that in the doing of the act he was but carrying out his preconcert with the accused.

It is believed that prior to the trial of his case no intelligent lawyer could have been found anywhere who would have questioned the soundness of the above positions. It is substantially admitted now, the world over, that in order to bring about the conviction of Mr. Parsons and his associates the Court was asked to, and did, go much further, alike in the admission of evidence, upon the question of the qualification of jurors, in the matter of its instructions in laying down the law to the jury, and in the latitude generally allowed the prosecution in its effort to secure a conviction, that was ever before done in modern jurisprudence. In other words, it is now admitted generally that the law as established in this case was a modification of all prior adjudication to meet the exigencies of the prosecution! But it would be wholly foreign to the purpose of this sketch to go into any elaborate review of the legal aspects of the trial. I am the rather called upon to speak as to how Albert R. Parsons bore his part in these affairs.

The verdict of the jury was a profound and universal surprise. It was well known at the time that the prosecution had no expectation of securing the death penalty as to more than three or four of the accused — to-wit: Spies, Lingg, Fischer, and Engel. It was generally expected that Oscar Neebe would be acquitted, as it was conceded with substantial unanimity that the State had made out no case against him. And it was believed that Parsons, Fielden, and Schwab, if found guilty at all, would receive only a sentence of imprisonment. In fact, when Mr. Grinnell was closing for the prosecution, almost his last remarks to the jury were to the effect that he would not ask the death sentence as to Neebe, and lat as to the other defendants he believed that there were gradations in their responsibility and guilt; and that he would place the responsibility and guilt of the defendants in the following order:


Spies, Lingg, Fischer, Engel, Fielden, Parsons, Schwab, (I think I have the "roll-call" in the same order in which he gave it.) The suggestion was regarded by those who heard it as being significant of Mr. Grinnell's expectations in the case, and as to his views of what the verdict should be; for if there were in fact gradation the guilt of the parties named, and in the degree of their responsibility, then justice required that there should also be gradation in the measure of their punishment. But the fierceness of popular hate, which was carried by many of the jurors into the jury-room, and which seemed to fill all the air like a subtle ether, brooked no discrimination in its vengeful treatment of the accused. All, save only Neebe, who was protected by the distinct announcement of Mr. Grinnell that he did not wish a death sentence as to him, were involved without discrimination in a common verdict and judgment by the jury.

No one who was present in the Court-room on that August morning when this verdict was announced will ever forget the scene. The public was excluded from the room, only a very few persons being permitted to enter. The crowd outside were waiting for the news, thronging the street through the entire block. Not a man of the eight, who sat in the prisoner's chairs, blanched for an instant when the reading of the verdict took place. On the contrary, a smile that had in it something of the suggestion of pity for the overwrought violence of hatred that could make such a verdict possible, touched for a moment the calm and quiet faces of the men for whom this verdict had such dire import. Among them all none was calmer than Parsons, though no one was perhaps more surprised. Every man of them all rose to the emergency; and not even when the wild cheer of the crowd outside upon the announcement of the verdict, sounding like the snarling roar of a wild beast ravening as it clutched its prey, reached the ears of the accused, with all its horrid suggestions of implacable and blind fury and resentment, was there apparent in the face of any one of the eight anything betokening malice or a purpose of crime.

With the subsequent history of the case the readers of article are doubtless already familiar; but I feel that there is special


occasion for me to give prominence to some matters that were within my personal knowledge, occurring during the last days, and after the announcement by the Supreme Court of the United States of its refusal to interfere upon the appeal made to that tribunal.

It was then known that the only possible opportunity for a modification of the sentence of the accused was in an appeal for exercise of executive clemency. I knew personally that there were a great many people who, while upholding the general features of the judgment, yet felt that it was inexpressibly dreadful that this extreme penalty should be inflicted upon Parsons in view of his voluntarily coming to the bar of the Court. It was said by many that it had never been known that even by a drum-head Court Martial the death sentence was inflicted upon an enemy who voluntarily surrendered himself, coming from a retreat of safety to place his sword in the hand of the victor. I was personally advised that special effort would be made to secure the commutation of Parsons' sentence, owing to the peculiar circumstances of his case, and of course I was very anxious to save out of the wreck whatever of life was possible. But we found an unexpected obstacle in the matter of the attitude taken by Parsons himself as to any appeal in his behalf to the Governor. He positively refused to sign in any manner a petition for the exercise of executive clemency, which, under the constitution and the statutes of the State of Illinois, is prescribed as a condition of the exercise of the pardoning power. It became apparent very early, from the tone of the press and in various other ways, that unless Parsons would petition for himself nothing would be done in his case, but his attitude would be accepted as an excuse for charging to his own folly what else might be considered an act of inexcusable public brutality. Knowing the peril in which he was placing himself, I went personally to Parsons on the Tuesday before the 11th of November, and told him that I was going to Springfield with a deputation that night to have a public audience with the Governor the following day in support of our application for the exercise of clemency. I had a very long talk with him, the last of many preceding conversations of like purport,


urging him to sign a petition which I had prepared to be presented to the Governor in his behalf.

I told Parsons, in the course of our conversation, that his refusal to sign any petition was likely to be regarded, by those who held that his punishment was merited and was demanded for the welfare of society, but who might be disposed, because of his personal conduct, to favor interposition in his behalf, as an evidence of perverseness upon his part, and that thus the effort would be made to charge the result against himself. I urged him, for the sake of his wife and his babes, to sign the petition. I told him that I believed Gov. Oglesby was favorably disposed in his case; and that I thought in justice to the Governor he should at least sign the petition, so that Gov. Oglesby might have that technical compliance with the law which was so likely to be exacted by the public sentiment of the hour. I told Parsons plainly that I believed if he refused to sign any petition of any character the chances were that he would be executed; while, on the other hand, I felt assured that if I could lay a properly phrased petition before the executive, public opinion would justify Gov. Oglesby in commuting his sentence. I went still further and urged upon him, and this was the argument which seemed to impress him most, that from his own standpoint it was the one act that was certainly needed in order to complete his indictment against the system of law and order which was condemning him to death; that at least he should leave no legal excuse for the refusal to extend clemency to him. He listened patiently to all I said, and quietly replied in substance to me thus:

"Captain, I know that you are right. I know that if I should sign this application for pardon my sentence would be commuted. No longer ago than last Sunday night Melville E. Stone, the editor of the Daily News, spent nearly two hours in my cell, urging me to sign a petition, and assuring me that if I would do so I should have his influence and the influence of his paper in favor of the commutation of my sentence; and I know that that means that my sentence would be commuted. But I will not do it. My mind is firmly and irrevocably made up, and I beg you to urge me no


further upon the subject. I am an innocent man — innocent of his offense of which I have been found guilty by the jury, and the world knows my innocence. If I am to be executed at all it is because I am an Anarchist, not because I am a murderer; it is because of what I have taught and spoken and written in the past, and not because of the throwing of the Haymarket bomb. I can afford to be hung for the sake of the ideas I hold and the cause I have espoused if the people of the State of Illinois can afford to hang an innocent man who voluntarily placed himself in their power."

I paused for a while, at a loss what to say. I know that my face showed something of the pain that I felt, for suddenly, a softened expression coming over his face, Parsons added words like these:

"I will tell you, Captain, what is the real secret of my position, but in confidence. I do not want anything said about it until after the 11th. I have a hope — mark you, it is a very faint hope — but yet I do hope that my attitude in reference to this matter may result in the saving of these other boys — Lingg, Engel, and Fischer. Spies, Fielden, and Schwab have already signed a petition for clemency, and their lives are safe. But the public are determined to have victims. And if I should now separate myself from Lingg, Engel, and Fischer, and sign a petition upon which the Governor could commute my sentence, I know that it would mean absolute doom to the others — that Lingg, Engel, and Fischer would inevitably be hung. So I have determined to make their cause and their fate my own. I know the chances are 999 in 1,000 that I will swing with them; that there isn't one chance in a thousand of my saving them; but if they can be saved at all it is by my standing with them, so that whatever action is taken in my case may with equal propriety be taken in theirs. I will not, therefore, do anything that will separate me from them. I expect that the result will be that I shall hang with them, but I am ready."

I could make no reply to such an argument — I never tried to. I knew that what Parsons said was true. I knew that if anything in the world could save the three who, like himself, had refused to apply for executive clemency, it would be the fact that Parsons


would stand with them and share their fate. I knew, too, that the chances were that they would all perish together! but as against a man calmly facing death, and putting his determination upon such exalted grounds of self-sacrifice and of faithfulness to the obligation of comradeship, I had no reply to make. I took him by the hand, looked into his face, and said to him: "Your action is worthy of you!" and came away.

It fell out as I had anticipated. When Gov. Oglesby's attention was called to the particular circumstances of Parsons' self-surrender, and to the evidence showing that he had absolutely no knowledge whatever of any violence arranged for or contemplated at the Haymarket meeting, and consequently no participation in nor legal responsibility for that act, under the theretofore established rules of law, the Governor asked if Parsons had signed a petition as required by the law. I knew what that meant; and when, on Thursday morning I had my last interview with Parsons and his companions, occupying but a few minutes in each case (for I went again to Springfield Thursday night, and was with Gov. Oglesby Friday morning, urging a vain plea for a reprieve of thirty clays, upon trustworthy assurances from New York, communicated to the Governor, that if such reprieve were granted the bomb-thrower would be produced, and it would be shown that he was a stranger to the accused, and that they had no complicity in nor responsibility for that act), I mentioned to Parsons the question of Gov. Oglesby, accompanying it with the suggestion that even yet if he would sign a petition I believed we could save his life; but I had no heart to press upon him that he should do violence to the noble purpose which he had formed; and when he said to me, as quietly and simply as he would have spoken in reference to some matter of no consequence to him: "I can't do it, Captain; I am ready for whatever may come!" I only shook his hand again and turned away.

It may be that there are many who will read this simple account, and will see in the attitude and sentiments of this man nothing to admire, nothing heroic; but there are others who, reading this narrative, will better understand why I loved this man and his comrades, who were all kindred spirits with himself. He was


of such material as heroes are made of. I have no hesitation in saying that Parsons' action, under all the circumstances of his case, was as heroic as any chronicled in ancient or modern annals. And I believe that the day will yet come when it will be generally conceded that on the 11th of November, 1887, four men perished upon the scaffold in Cook county who were of exalted purpose and of noble natures, dying because of their steadfastness to their own convictions of right, their loyalty to the cause of the weak and of the oppressed which they had espoused, their zeal in behalf of the common people, their devotion to their fellow-men.

CHICAGO, January 24, 1889.


Chapter IV. — Letter From Attorney W. A. Foster. — Some of the Principal Errors Connected With Trial Pointed Out — If the Object of the Trial Was to Obtain Justice, then Surely to Try the Eight at One and the Same Time Was a Grievous Mistake — The Admission in Evidence of Herr Most's Book Not Only a Mistake, But an Excuse for Other Mistakes.

Mrs. Lucy E. Parsons — Dear Madam:

In compliance with your request that I specify some of the errors connected with the late trial of the so-called Anarchists' case, I would say that I think Judge Mulkey did not mis-state the facts when, upon the decision of the Supreme Court on appeal being filed, he stated from the bench: "I do not wish to be understood as holding that the record is free from error, for I do not think it is;" but I do disagree with the learned Judge in his further statement when on the same occasion he said: "I am nevertheless of opinion that none of the errors complained of are of so serious a character as to require a reversal of the judgment."

I have long been impressed with the idea that the prosecution of criminal cases should be conducted with absolute fairness on the part of the people, by an absolutely impartial jury, uninfluenced by popular demands or prejudice; that no effort should be made to bring about a conviction not warranted by a full consideration of all the facts; and that under no circumstances should the trial take place during an inflamed state of the public mind.

The public, after due consideration of any matter of great interest to the people, is usually just in its conclusions; but immediately following the commission of a heinous crime it is frequently only necessary to point out the supposed culprit to cause the public, at


other times law-abiding, to become willing to violate all law and commit cruel injustice.

It is further true that when a trial is had in the midst of a community excited by horror of the crime committed, and so soon after its commission that reason has not had time to resume its sway, the practical result is, not infrequently, to commit, under judicial sanction, the same wrong at other times perpetrated by mob violence.

I have always felt that the trial of the Anarchists' case was held far too soon after the Haymarket horror, and entirely too near the home of the families of its unfortunate victims.

Another mistake on the part of your husband was that he submitted himself to a trial in the midst of the greatest possible excitement, when he was at a safe place, and could as well have waited until public reason had reasserted itself. Had he done so he would to-day be a free man. No second trial could ever have been had. It was only those caught within the meshes of the net of the first trial that must suffer; but woe unto all those ensnared by that first terrible drag!

It has been urged that it was the duty of A. R. Parsons to stand by his friends in adversity, and that it was manly for him to return to the trial. I do not believe that manhood demands of any one that he submit himself to a decision warped by prejudice and wrought by passion. Rather should he bide his time, and, when the clouds of excitement and anger have rolled by, and then only, true bravery requires that an investigation of the charge against him be invited by the accused. Under the circumstances surrounding the trial, for a man to voluntarily place himself in the prisoners' dock was equivalent to saying, "I am willing to die for Anarchy," and, not being an Anarchist myself, I cannot but consider such an act an inexcusable mistake.

Where persons jointly accused of crime are in many respects disconnected with each other, and some of them almost entire strangers to others of their co-defendants, it very often occurs that much testimony is competent as against one or more with which the others have not the slightest connection. Such testimony is admitted as against one or more, but not as to the other, defendants; and so, during a long trial, there is evidence introduced as against each defendant,


not competent as against the others jointly tried; and the violent presumption of the law is that the jury — rarely, as all are aware, representing the highest type of intelligence — will apply the evidence where it belongs according to the cold principles of law; the result being usually, as every observant person knows, that the whole burden of the evidence is charged to all of the defendants, and if, as a whole, it warrants conviction, all must suffer punishment. In all such cases there can be no justice except by granting separate trials, which, in this State, is a matter of discretion with the trial judge. If the object of the trial in the Anarchists' case was to obtain justice, then surely to try all the eight defendants at one and the same time was a grievous mistake.

I have so far only referred to the mistakes committed previous to the trial. Were I to attempt to go through the record of the case and point out what I consider errors, I would go far beyond what you desire in this communication, which must necessarily be brief. One of the most flagrant errors connected with the trial was the introduction of Herr Host's book on Modern Warfare against each and all of the defendants. I regard Most's book as one of the most infamous publications I ever saw. To introduce this book and read it to the jury, as was done in this case, could not fail to create the strongest prejudice, not only against Most, who was not on trial (and he may thank Heaven he was not!), but against all who to any extent whatever shared his beliefs.

It will be remembered that Most's book was printed only in the German language, and no evidence was or could be produced to prove that it had ever been read by any of the defendants. It was advertised in the Arbeiter-Zeitung, and sold at picnics. It was not sold by any of the defendants; it was not bought by them, so far as the evidence showed. If it had ever been read by them, no one seemed to have found it out; but it did appear that it had never been published in the English language, and as two, at least, of the defendants, Fielden and Parsons, could not read German, it is safe to conclude that they, at least, had never read the book, but they must suffer with the rest the effect of its introduction.


Not only was the admission in evidence of Most's book a mistake, but it was an excuse for other mistakes. The book described a can or jar for spreading conflagrations, and it happened that some weeks after the defendants were arrested and safely lodged in jail, some boys found tin cans under a sidewalk about three miles from the Haymarket. The cans were brought into Court and offered in evidence as against all of the defendants — for what legitimate end could never understand. The Court, however, looked into Herr Most's book, and there found that something similar was described, and the cans were admitted and the jury required to handle and smell of them, to the great satisfaction of the prosecution. This seemed to me to be introducing immaterial evidence, and relying as a basis for so doing upon immaterial testimony already introduced.

I might go on, almost ad infinitum, pointing out what I regard mistakes of the trial, but to do so would take up by far too much ace in your proposed publication. As I have stated, I am not an Anarchist, nor in any degree in sympathy with the doctrines advocated by Anarchists. My denunciation of these doctrines, in my argument to the jury on the trial, cost me my connection with the case; yet I cannot help believing that the wholesale conviction and extreme punishment meted out to the eight accused men, who, for two months, were subjected to what should have been a "fair and partial trial," was, in truth, the result of an exaggerated and excited condition of public sentiment.

Very Respectfully Yours,
CHICAGO, ILL., October 16, 1888.


Chapter V. — The Trial of the Judgement. — The Trial of the Chicago Anarchists is Ended, But the Trial of the Judgement Under Which they Suffered is Only Just Begun — Odds Against the Prisoners — The Scales of Justice Poised Unevenly Between the Accused and the State — The Decision Open to Severe Criticism — Startling Affidavit of Otis Favor — The Chicago "Tribune's" Blood-fund — $100,000 Raised for the Jury — Judge Gary's Contributions — The Supreme Court's Arbitrary and Inconsistent Rulings — An Artful Plea of an Advocate — The Unfair Strategy and Tactics Employed by the State's Attorney — He Imitates Mark Anthony — Packed Jury — Thomas Jefferson and Albert R. Parsons.

These extracts are taken from the pamphlet entitled the "Trial of the Judgment," by Gen. M. M. Trumbull, attorney-at-law, Chicago, in his review of the Anarchists' case.


On the 11th of November, 1887, four men were hanged in Chicago under the forms of law. They were tried by a jury, and judgment of death was pronounced against them. The judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Illinois and ratified by Governor. The public conscience is becoming uneasy under suspicion that this was a political trial and a class execution, some historic attainders which have left the imprint of bloody fingers upon the jurisprudence of England. It is averred by friends and believed by many enemies of the condemned men that their trial was unfair, the rulings of the Courts illegal, and the sentence unjust. The trial of the Chicago Anarchists is ended, but the trial


of the judgment under which they suffered is only just begun. When reason and courage return to the people of Illinois that judgment will be reversed, and the terrified magistrates who pronounced it and sustained it will be sentenced to an immortality of derision. It will be reversed as emphatically as the Dred Scott judgment was reserved: as thousands of other barbarous judgments have been reversed; as righteousness in due time shall reverse a thousand more. The march of civilization is over the judgments of Supreme Courts, and on the ruins of those judgments humanity lays the foundation for better laws.

There are state trials famous in history, not because of their dramatic character and surroundings, nor because of the magnitude of the crimes involved, but because in those trials the law itself was twisted out of moral symmetry to gratify public revenge; justice was violated in her own temple and the fountain of liberty polluted. This case will be memorable also, not for the enormity of the crime charged, but for the enormity of the trial. The methods of procedure practiced and allowed by the Judges of King James' time — Methods now obsolete in England — have been revived in Illinois. Trial by jury has been perverted, even to the shedding of innocent blood, and all the securities of liberty have been put in jeopardy.

Conspicuous among the accused in this indictment stands the Governor of Illinois. Appalled by the clamor of an angry populace, he executed vengeance with merciless decision. Panic-stricken by the noise outside, he shut his ears to the heart-broken prayers of children, mothers, and wives pleading at his knees for father, husband, son. He did this, although he knew that the frightened Courts, even when speaking the death sentence, had confessed that errors prevailed in the trial. He did this, when as a lawyer he knew that there were other errors in the trial which the Courts did not confess. He had an opportunity to show the highest quality of magnanimous power, and at the same time save the jurisprudence of Illinois from the stigma which must disfigure it for centuries to come. He lacked greatness of spirit, and his opportunity passed


away. Had he been morally tall enough to reach the knees of Abraham Lincoln, he would have saved the State of Illinois from "the deep damnation of this taking off."

In the trial of the Anarchists the law itself was bent and strained to the breaking point. On the floor of the court-house they stood at a perilous disadvantage. The scales of justice were not poised evenly between the accused and the State. They were poor; the prosecution rich. The whole machinery of the city and county government was at the service of the prosecution. The treasury was reckless of cost. The police force, the detective force, and every official influence were active against the prisoners. They were beaten from the start. In the arena of life or death they fought against odds unfair and invincible. They played for a jury with dice loaded against them. The indictment was a bewildering contradiction of sixty-nine discordant counts, and every count was the horn of a dilemma.

The course pursued by the counsel for the State was unfair throughout the trial. A few examples of the strategy and tactics they employed will prove this accusation. They were permitted to imitate Mark Antony when he inflamed the passions of the populace by pointing them to "Cćsar's vesture wounded." They were permitted to show the jury not only the wounded vesture of Matthias Began, but also that of several other men whose names were not in the indictment at all. They were permitted to call the attention of the jury to the blood upon the vesture, after the style of Antony when he said:

See what a rent the envious Casca made —
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed;
And as he plucked his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cćsar followed it.

The artful stump speech of Antony was perfectly legitimate. It was not made in a judicial proceeding, but in a political contest. He was of the opposite party to that of Brutus. The struggle between them was for the possession of the offices and the control of


the Government. But had Antony been State's Attorney, prosecuting Brutus and Cassius under an indictment for the murder of Cćsar, the Roman Judges would not have allowed him to practice before a jury in the court-house the methods he employed in the streets before a mob. The object of Antony in Cćsar's case and of the counsel for the people in Degan's case were alike to excite feelings of anger and revenge in the men they were talking to — the jury in the one case, the mob in the other. There was no dispute whatever about the matter of Degan's death, and therefore the exposure of his wounded vesture to the jury was useless and superfluous, except as an appeal to vengeance. The Supreme Court, unwilling to sanction such a method, finds a weak excuse for it, and mildly rebukes it thus:

The articles in question were presented in the condition in which they were left after being exposed to the force of an exploding bomb, for the purpose of showing the power of dynamite as an explosive substance. While this kind of testimony may not have been very material, we cannot see that it was to such an extent incompetent as to justify a reversal.

No, it is not pretended that every error is enough of itself to justify a reversal, but when the errors are multitudinous, as they are in this case, a new trial ought to have been allowed. The power of dynamite as an explosive substance was not in issue. It was conceded that dynamite was an explosive substance, and that a dynamite bomb killed Degan. The jury knew that dynamite was an explosive substance. They knew it as well before the torn and Woody clothing was exhibited as they did afterward. Mark Antony could as pertinently say that he showed the rent vesture of Cćsar to convince the people that daggers had the power to cut. The excuse fails; the purpose of the exhibition is too plain.

The speeches to the jury were appeals for vengeance on the prisoners. They were Anarchy in legal robes, vindictive and crimson as the speeches for which the defendants themselves were tried. The moral discipline of the bar was broken, and the ethics of the Profession lowered when the State's Attorney condescended to pour


angry invective and personal reproaches upon men powerless to reply. The dignity of the legal profession shriveled up when the counsel for the people offered fact-statements to the jury free from the guards and sanctions of an oath, and free from the test of cross-examination. Worse than all, the very genius of advocacy looked mendicant and ragged when the State's Attorney begged for verdict on the niggling plea that the State had no appeal from acquittal while from a judgment of guilty the defendants could appeal for a reversal to the Supreme Court, or to the Governor for a mitigation of the sentence. This was almost a promise that a death sentence having served as an example and a warning the death penalty would not be inflicted. "Gentlemen of the jury, their blood be upon us and upon our children, not upon you." It was illegal for the State's Attorney to absolve the jury from any portion of responsibility for the sentence of death.

"The evil that men do lives after them," and whenever a criminal trial becomes historic the wrongs done in its prosecution by either bench or bar, brand themselves in marks of shame upon the perpetrators. No subsequent greatness, not even the glory of judicial integrity nor the splendor of intellectual achievement, can erase the livid lines that tell of deep disgrace. They cling like a bar sinister to character, and remain visible so long as the names of the wrong-doers remain visible in history.

When Mr. Grinnell told the jury in the Anarchist case that the defendants were on trial for treason, he said what was not true. There was no such charge against them in the indictment. The jury, however, acted on the statement of Mr. Grinnell, believing that the State's Attorney would not mislead them as to the issues they were sworn to try. It is very likely that some of the jurymen still believe that the Anarchists were hanged for treason. This parallel may be continued farther. The fate of Raleigh and the Anarchists was the same. Commenting on the case Lord Campbell says:

Of course, there was a verdict of guilty, and the atrocity was perpetrated of ordering him to be executed on this illegal judgment.


In training public opinion to the hanging point, the delusion has been spread among the people of Illinois that a judgment obtained on the verdict of a jury and affirmed by the Courts becomes ipso facto and de jure legal. But law is only a branch of moral science, and the Courts of righteousness have jurisdiction over all its judgments to reverse them or sustain them. Nay, tested by a lower standard, the merely human rules established for the protection of the citizen on trial for his life, the judgment against Raleigh was not only unjust, but illegal. This is the decision of Lord Campbell, himself a lawyer and Lord Chief Justice of England. By the unanimous consent of the bar of England, the judgment against Raleigh is reversed. Already hundreds of Illinois lawyers admit that the judgment against the Anarchists was illegal. Before long it will be reversed as illegal by the unanimous opinion of the bar. Before the tribunal of enlightened conscience the trial of the Anarchists must itself be tried, and in that higher Court it will surely be condemned.

Never before, except in burlesque, was the meaning of words reversed as in the Anarchists' trial. Logic stood on its head and reasoned with its heels. Facts absent from the theory of the prosecution were solemnly claimed as evidence to establish it. It was averred that if certain events had happened which did not happen they would have shown that the conspiracy and the tragedy were cause and consequence, therefore the connection is proved. This is not meant for ridicule, and its grotesque appearance is merely the shadow of the Supreme Court tracing the crime back to the conspiracy. It is the language of the opinion itself that throws sarcasm upon the decision. Here is the claim of the Supreme Court:

The mode of attack as made corresponded with the mode of attack as planned.

And here is the inconsequent reasoning by which that claim is supported:


The Desplaines Street station was in sight of the speakers' wagon, and only a short distance south of it. If a bomb had been thrown into the station itself, and if the policemen had been shot down while coming out, a part of the conspiracy would have been literally executed just as it was agreed upon.

By reasoning upside down in that fashion the tragedy in the Haymarket is connected with a conspiracy that was not carried out, and seven men vaguely and remotely identified with said "conspiracy" are connected with a bomb thrown by "a person unknown," and who is not shown to have had any association whatever with the seven men, nor any connection at all with the so-called conspiracy. The Supreme Court itself virtually rejects the theory that Schnaubelt threw the bomb, for the more comprehensive drag-net theory that it was thrown by "some person to the jurors unknown."

The conspiracy which the prosecution attempted to show on the trial, and which it is pretended they did show, was not carried into execution in any of its essential details. As illustrated and explained by the Supreme Court itself, it was a conspiracy that aimed at a social and political revolution. Hundreds, aye, thousands of men were engaged in it. It was to begin by the throwing of bombs into the North Avenue station and into other stations in the city. Well-drilled men, armed with rifles, were to be stationed outside to shoot the police as they came out; then the conspirators were to march inward, toward the heart of the city, destroying whatever should oppose them; the telegraph wires and the hose of the firemen would be cut, and the reign of Anarchy begin. Nothing of the kind occurred; nothing of it was attempted; nothing of it prepared for, except the making of bombs by Lingg.

According to the conspiracy relied on by the prosecution, many men should have been engaged in it, and many bombs thrown. In fact only one bomb was thrown, and that by an unknown man. This disproves that conspiracy, and tends to show that the bomb-throwing was the revengeful act of one man alone. There were no armed men with rifles anywhere, and the claim that pistols were fired by the mob is disputed by strong evidence. Every essential


detail of the alleged conspiracy was absent from the tragedy, and for want of the necessary facts a scaffold was built of "if" and "would have been."

If a bomb had been thrown into the station, and if the policemen had been shot down while coming out, a part of the conspiracy would have been literally executed.

And therefore men must die for a conspiracy which was not executed, but which would have been executed if something which never happened had been done; a conspiracy of which, if it even existed, some of the condemned men could not possibly have had any knowledge. And thus the evidence in the case overwhelmingly proves that the mode of attack as made corresponded not with the mode of attack as planned.

Had the indictment been simply, for a conspiracy punishable by fine and imprisonment, the prosecution would have been held down to clear and definite allegations with which the evidence would have been compelled to correspond. As it was, the heavier crime of murder was permitted to rest upon an undefined and shadowy charge, composed of opposite and contradictory ingredients. The so-called conspiracy, instead of being a substantial accusation based on fact-averments on which issue might be taken, was nothing but a claim growing out of a mass of incoherent running testimony, and shifting day by day. The conspiracy was a remote cloud, changing its form continuously in obedience to the changing winds of evidence. One day it was like a weasel, the next it was backed like a camel, and at last it was "very like a whale."

Allowing the so-called conspiracy the exaggerated form given to it by the State's Attorney, the parts of it were so remote from each other, and from the defendants respectively, that no criminal relationship could ever be established between them. The details of it could never have been set forth by specific averments in an indictment. It was a huge pretense, composed of incoherent stories and contradictory evidence. It was a constructive conspiracy, which could not have stood alone in any civilized Court, and yet it was held good enough to sustain a charge of murder and the conviction


of eight men. The suspicion already weighs like a nightmare on the people of Illinois that men were hanged in Chicago for metaphorical treason under an indictment for inferential murder. It must ever be a reproach to the memory of Gov. Oglesby that in his administration the illegal doctrine of constructive murder and collateral guilt was affirmed by death warrants carrying on their faces the sanction of the great seal of Illinois.


The swift and eager verdict of the jury in the Anarchist case justified all the censure which has been cast upon the trial. They


were out only three hours altogether, and most of that time was occupified in fixing the punishment of Neebe. The trial had lasted eight weeks, the indictment contained sixty-nine counts; there were eight men on trial; the evidence amounted to volumes of all sorts of testimony, some of it applying to one of the prisoners, some of it to another, some of it to two or three of them, and scarcely any of it to all of them. The instructions of the Court were numerous and intricate, requiring careful discrimination in the reading of them, and the offense charged was murder, committed by the explosion of a bomb which it was conceded none of the defendants threw. It is hardly possible that the jury could have read the instructions at all; certainly they could not have compared them with the testimony. They could hardly have read the indictment in three hours, and they could not have reconciled its contradictory counts in three years. They certainly never attempted to separate the evidence against one from the evidence against the others. They simply applied the whole of it to each of the defendants and found them all guilty of murder in the first degree. It was the easiest thing to do, for their brains were all rumpled and disordered by the mysteries of collateral guilt and clairvoyant combination to kill.

That the bailiff had the power to pack the jury is not denied by anybody; that he did pack the jury is disputed, but the evidence against him is very strong; that he said he would pack the jury is charged by affidavit of Otis Favor, a citizen of Chicago, personally acquainted with the bailiff. This affidavit has not yet been answered


by a counter-affidavit, and the presumption arises that it is true. That the trial Court denied an application for leave to examine Otis Favor as a witness to the misconduct of the bailiff is confessed and admitted in the record. In justice to all the parties concerned it is only fair that the whole matter of the bailiff's alleged misconduct should be impartially set forth.

Otis Favor is a man of high character and standing, doing business in Chicago, and he was personally well acquainted with Ryce, the bailiff. After the trial was over Favor told Mr. E. A. Stevens that when Ryce was selecting the jury he said to Favor, in substance this: "I am managing this case, and I know what I am about. Those fellows will hang as certain as death. I am summoning as jurors such men as they will be compelled to challenge, and when they have exhausted their challenges they will have to take such a jury as is satisfactory to the State." Stevens made affidavit that Favor told him this in private conversation. Thereupon defendants, in their application for a new trial, asked that Favor be summoned and examined as to the alleged boast of Ryce. This application was refused, the judge deciding that the Court had no power to order the attendance at that time of Otis Favor. It should be stated here that Mr. Favor refused to appear and testify or to make any affidavit unless required to do so by an order of the Court. The order was refused. He made the affidavit afterward.

The plea of the Supreme Court that it does not appear that the defendants were harmed by the remark of Ryce to Favor, and that there is nothing to show that Ryce said anything to the jurors whom he summoned, is an ancient manoeuvre in sophistry. It is useful to divert the argument and send it in a wrong direction. In fox hunting times it was figuratively called "throwing the hounds off the scent." A fellow with a red herring in his pocket could trail the dogs away off to the north while the fox was running to the south It is the affectation of ignorance to pretend that the defendants claimed that harm was done to them by the remark of Ryce to Favor. The Supreme Court knew better. The complaint of the defendants was that they were harmed by the packing of the jury, of which the remark of Ryce to Favor was merely evidence, an


acknowledgment, and a boast. Neither did they claim to be injured by anything said by Ryce to the jurors whom he summoned. The complaint was that the jurors themselves were picked and the jury packed. They objected to what Ryce did, not what he said. They complained that Ryce summoned a jury not to try them, but to hang them. The acts of Ryce are not to be obscured by a cloud of controversy as to what he said.

The Supreme Court intimates that it was necessary to show that the defendants were actually harmed by the illegalities and errors they complained of in relation to the jury. The Court may make that ruling a precedent, but never can make it law. It is not anywhere in Christendom that man condemned to die shall show in his appeal that he was harmed by the selection of a partial, prejudiced, or illegal jury. The sentence of death runs through all the record, and is of itself an omnipresent showing of harm. The law presumes harm to every man sentenced to death by a vitiated or illegal jury. Suppose that Ryce had selected persons disqualified and incompetent by law, and that one of those persons had actually served upon the jury, will the Supreme Court pretend that a man condemned to death by a jury thus imperfect must show that he has been harmed by the wrongful selection before he can take advantage of the error? The error being shown, the law raises a conclusive presumption of harm to the defendant. There may be error without prejudice even in capital cases, but in the Anarchist case there was too much of it. It was grim sport to mock men on the steps of the gallows by telling them that they were not harmed by the errors and illegalities perpetrated at their trial. What greater harm can befall a man than to die upon the scaffold?

The Supreme Court pieced out the case for the prosecution by the following amendment:

In addition to this, it is not shown that the defendants served Favor with a subpoena, so as to lay a foundation for compelling his attendance.

This curious reason never presented itself either to the District Attorney or the Court below. Naturally it would not, because the defendants had no power to serve Favor with a subpoena. The trial was over; they had no case before the Court except a motion for a


new trial, supported as to matters outside the record by affidavit. They could not introduce unwilling testimony to sustain the motion except by order of the Court, and this order they were seeking to obtain. Their showing was that Favor would not voluntarily give evidence, nor make affidavit, and they prayed the Court to order a subp[oe]na to be served upon him that he might be compelled to appear and testify.

When, on the 9th of November, intercession was made to the Governor for a commutation of the sentence, this accusing affidavit was read to him by Capt. Black. He was evidently unprepared for it, and it startled him like a sting of electricity. He had steeled himself against everything but the clamor of the irrational crowd, and his heart was closed. With strong self-discipline he had nerved himself to show no sign of human feeling, but this affidavit stirred him beyond control, and in a moment of emotion he exclaimed, "Was that statement offered in Court?" Being assured that it was, he saw that he had betrayed himself into the hands of amnesty. He escaped again in a moment and showed no further symptoms of palpitation of the heart. He retired into his gloomy fortifications, and there he shut himself up until the end, deaf to reason, justice, law, mercy, and religion. That morning he offered a very good resemblance to King George IV. as he is described in the satire of Thomas Moore:

His table strewed with tea and toast,
Death warrants and the Morning Post.

He dismissed the pleading delegations, and the next day he sent the death warrants to Chicago.

It is in the record and not to be denied that the State's Attorney, in his eager zeal for death, broke through the lines of professional etiquette, which the humane spirit of the law has thrown around his office. It is laid down in the books that the prosecuting attorney, like the Judge, shall stand absolutely impartial between the prisoner and the State. He must not revile the prisoner, nor insult him. He must not make fact-statements in his argument, nor offer to the jury his own opinion on the question of guilt or innocence,


because, if he is a popular man, in whom the Jury have great confidence his mere opinion may have greater weight than the sworn testimony of other men. All these rules were violated in this case against the protest of the defendants' counsel, and the Supreme Court decides that the "improprieties" were not serious enough to affect the judgment. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts once decided that "a man had a right to quibble for his life." This is true, but it is a ghastly sight to see a lawyer quibble for the death of his fellow-men.

In selecting a jury to try the Anarchists the principle of impartiality was violated. The form of the statute may have been observed, but the spirit of the law was not. Whole classes of qualified persons were stricken from the jury lists, or at least they were not summoned in the case, which amounts to the same thing. Unfortunately these were what are known as the "working classes," the classes to which the defendants belonged, and of which, in part, they were supposed to be representative in Socialistic and political opinions. These were disqualified for jurymen as effectually as if they had been disfranchised altogether. The whole machinery of legal administration was in the hands of the prosecution; and a common bailiff, a subordinate part of the machinery, was made absolute dictator and autocrat of a jury. The honest safeguard known as "drawing" for a jury was not observed. The equal chance which the "drawing" of jurors from a list of disqualified voters gives to both sides was not given to the defendants. The jurors were not "drawn," but "summoned." They were summoned by a mere bailiff, man by man, at his own arbitrary will and pleasure. After he had strained and filtered the jury population of every man belonging to the same classes as the defendants, the prosecution was allowed to filter even his unfair selection by 120 peremptory challenges. Even of the twelve who tried the case, nine confessed themselves prejudiced against Socialists, Anarchists, and Communists, while some of them even admitted that they were prejudiced against the defendants. Yet this is the jury "whose province it was"


to pass upon all the evidence, and who were "warranted in believing" anything against the defendants. To hang men on the verdict of a jury thus chosen and impaneled will be a stain upon the jurisprudence of Illinois long after all the actors in the drama shall have passed away.

Wherever the evidence is weak, false, contradictory, improbable, or impossible, redress is denied on the ground that it was "the province of the jury" to act upon it in their own way. The testimony is important if true, reasons the Supreme Court, unimportant if false; there is enough without it.

In that very dangerous way a jury manifestly unfriendly to the defendants is made sole critic of the evidence. It is in the appeal of the defendants that the jury itself was not "impartial," that it was a class jury, not fairly chosen from "the body of the county;" that care was taken, to select persons hostile to the accused even, from the classes drawn upon, and that the State was allowed a greater number of challenges than the law intended; a number which, whether legal or not, gave the prosecution an unfair advantage. Yet this jury is given absolute ownership of the evidence in the case, to use it at their own discretion for one side and against the other, even to the hanging of seven men. The Supreme Court abdicates its power to pass upon the character, quality, and sufficiency of evidence in the most important case ever tried in the State of Illinois. This in tiresome phraseology, repeated over and over again.

"The jury were warranted in believing that the bomb was made by Lingg;" "the jury were warranted in believing that the Haymarket meeting was not intended to be peaceable;" "the jury were warranted m believing that the bomb was thrown and the shots fired as a part of the execution of the conspiracy;" "it was for the jury to say whether the evidence for the defense was more worthy of belief;" "the jury had the right to look at it in the light of the principles advocated by the International organization;" "it was for the jury to say how far that fatal result may have been brought about through


the influence of the utterances put forth by the organs here designated;" "the jury were warranted m believing that Parsons was associated with the man who threw the bomb;" "it was for the jury to say whether any others than the members of that conspiracy had undertaken to make such weapons;" and so on, in monotonous formulary, page after page. A jury which the defendants allege was not impartial is made infallible judge of the legal and moral quality of all the evidence.

The State's Attorney, knowing that the Judge had made a mistake in ruling that the Court had no power to compel Otis Favor to appear and testify, deserted his friend and abandoned in the Supreme Court the erroneous ruling which he had taken advantage of in the Court below. He left it outside on the door-step, like an illegitimate waif, and substituted another reason for it. He said that it was a matter in the discretion of the Court and that—

The Court exercised the proper discretion in refusing to have anything to do with it, because no injury and no prejudice had resulted from the alleged conduct of said bailiff against any defendant.

He knew when he wrote that in his brief that the jury thus unfairly chosen by the bailiff had actually condemned seven men to death. A mere trifle, your honors, a mere trifle, from which no injury and no prejudice has resulted.

Still feeling insecure, the State's Attorney, with daring hardihood, confessed the accusation he was unable to deny. With a brazen effrontery that reminds us of the crown prosecutors of the olden time, he asserted that the bailiff acted well. Quoting the charge against Ryce, he said:

There is nothing objectionable in all this, if true, and it means simply that Ryce was endeavoring to summon intelligent and competent jurors, against whom no ground of objection and no cause of challenge could be laid. The statute says that he shall summon persons having the "qualifications of jurors," etc. Did counsel expect him to summon disqualified and incompetent jurors?

The boast of Ryce was that he was summoning such jurors as


the defendants would be "compelled to challenge;" the State's Attorney says that this "simply means that he was endeavoring to secure jurors against whom no cause of challenge could be laid." Such wrenching of words and distortion of their meaning could only be ventured on by an attorney confident that the Court was with him, and that his case was safe.

An opinion is prevalent in Illinois that Parsons was hanged for obstinacy; that he defied the commonwealth, and scorned to beg for his life, therefore the proud State strangled him in its rage. It is claimed that under the law the Governor could not reprieve him until he begged for mercy and a commutation of the sentence. This mistake has been petted by the newspapers in order to lighten the guilt of the November tragedy and transfer the sin of this man's death from the Governor to the victim. The excuse is false and ignominious. When the attorneys and friends of Parsons asked for his life, the law was complied with in the letter and the spirit.

A man may not lawfully commit suicide, neither can he make a present of his life to the State; and should he tender the gift, the commonwealth must not accept it. This is religion; and there is law for it also.


To hang Parsons and spare Fielden was illogical, and the reasons given for the anomaly change the execution of November 11 into a sacrifice, a punishment into a martyrdom. Judge Gary and Mr. Grinnell begged clemency for Fielden on the ground that the evidence did not justify the verdict and the sentence. The evidence that convicted Fielden convicted the others, and the argument for him applies to all.


If Fielden is innocent of murder, why is he imprisoned in the penitentiary; and why was Parsons hanged? Truly, there must be guilt somewhere. The Supreme Court makes Parsons guilty on the ground that he was present at the Haymarket meeting and spoke. The Court acknowledged that he was in Cincinnati on Monday, and knew nothing at all about the pretended conspiracy claimed to have been formed that night. It was conceded that the speech of Parsons was moderate in tone; that he had his wife and children with him; that he left before the arrival of the police, did no pistol shooting, gave no signal, and was not present when the bomb was thrown.

But he was present at the meeting in company and association with Fielden, and thus adopted the "conspiracy" of Monday night, although he never knew a word about it. He was Fielden's accomplice, and for that he was hanged. After the acknowledgment made by Judge Gary and Mr. Grinnell, there is literally nothing left against either Fielden or Parsons. * * * Seditious writing and inflammatory speech are not murder, but capital punishment inflicted upon men for either offense is murder.

Had the Illinois rulings been good law in Jefferson's time he might have been hanged at any period in his active political career. He was an Anarchist. Not an amateur, speculative Anarchist, but a physical-force Anarchist, and an avowed enemy of Government. His biographers have tried to explain away the "no Government" theory of Jefferson, but that he cherished and advocated the theory cannot be denied. The following quotation is not from the Arbeiter-Zeitung nor the Alarm; it is from Jefferson's letter excusing the Massachusetts rebellion; not the rebellion against Great Britain, but the rebellion against the United States:

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. ***What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Did Fielden, Parsons, or Spies utter anything more sanguinary than that, or anything more Anarchical than this:


I am convinced that those societies which live without Government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European Governments. Among the former public opinion is in the place of law, restraining morals as powerfully as law ever did anywhere. Societes exist in three forms:
1. Without Governments.
2. Under Governments wherein every one has a just influence.
3. Under Governments of force.
It is a problem not clear in my mind that the first condition is not the best.

The question is not whether those opinions were wise or foolish, wicked or charitable, but had Mr. Jefferson the right to express them? And having expressed them, could he have been hanged because riots followed them in which the "tree of liberty" was "refreshed with the blood" of some policeman or other agent of the Government?


Part VIII.

Chapter I. — Reminiscences of Albert R. Parsons. — How as a Youth, he was Regarded in His Boyhood Home — An Expression From a Gentleman Who Knew Him in the Early Days — "When Death Comes He Will Face it Like a Thoroughbred" — A Picture of His Character Drawn By a Friend and Co-laborer of Later Years — A Brief Summary of His Part in the Haymarket Affair — His Easy Success in Eluding the Vigilant Detective Officials — His Sojourn at Waukesha — His Triumphant Return and Surrender in Open Court After Running the Gauntlet of Scores of Searching Detectives — "I Present Myself For Trial."


Taken from a Correspondence to the Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., September 21, 1886.

In speaking of the career of Anarchist Parsons in Waco, a Memphis gentleman who was intimate with him there, says: "I knew him intimately when I lived in Waco in 1866. In fact, we have slept together more than once. He was a devilish good fellow, too, and I am sorry to know that he is in such a scrape."

"How was he regarded in Waco?"

"As a well-disposed, well-mannered young man, a little wild, as lots of us were in those days — in fact, as wild as a buck; but I never heard of his doing anything desperate. He moved in the best society the place afforded, and his pleasant ways made him welcome wherever he went. He was not at all reckless or quarrelsome, but


was as clean grit as any man that ever drew breath in Texas. He showed what he was made of on one occasion, when there was a collision between, the citizens and the Federal soldiers stationed at Waco. I never saw a braver man than Albert Parsons, and, mark my words, when death comes he will face it like a thoroughbred."


By an Old Friend and Comrade.

I first met Albert R. Parsons in 1880, but for two or three years had few opportunities of becoming better acquainted. I first realized the natural power and vigor of his character at a mass-meeting of the Telegraphers' Union during their great strike in 1883. On the evening of August 3 he delivered a speech that stirred the large audience to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. His eloquent words put new strength and courage in the hearts of those who were struggling against a great monopoly for a chance to live, and started many a young thinker in the study of social and industrial science. It is to be regretted that this speech was not preserved; it was a most able arraignment of the present system, containing nothing which could be termed "incendiary," being full of logic and fair reasoning.

In the winter of 1883-4 I joined the American Group of the International, and for over two years missed no regular meetings held by that organization; most of these were attended by Mr. Parsons, and nearly always addressed by him. During this time he made frequent agitation trips, speaking wherever an opportunity occurred, and accepting every invitation his time and strength would permit of. He was at one time invited to present his views of Socialism to a society connected with Dr. Thomas' church; he there made a most remarkable speech, impressing his hearers in spite of themselves and astonishing the learned listeners that a "workingman" and a much-abused Socialist should speak to them so ably and so well. One who was not kindly disposed toward the speaker's theories, after hearing him on this occasion proposed in answer to John Swinton's published request for the coming orator,


the name of Albert R. Parsons. No audience or circle of people ever in any way disconcerted him. Dignified and eloquent before society of cultured students, he was also genial, witty, and sociable a crowd of merry-makers; he was equal in debate with the most learned and could at the same time make himself clearly understood by the most unlettered. He could dive deep into metaphysics of philosophy with the student, and exchange light repartee and brilliant nothings with the gay and light-hearted. My home at that time was near that of the Parsons', and those weekly walks with Mr. and Mrs. Parsons and sometimes one or two other friends are memorable incidents in my life. He was an excellent mimic, and would sometimes, where he thought no one would be hurt, "take off" the eccentricities of people in a very laughable manner. Whatever the subject talked of he was ever interesting. I used to believe nothing in life could be more pleasant than together with Mr. Parsons, his wife, Mr. Spies, Mr. Fielden, and others around a table, or in a social circle, and listen to the conversation that flowed and sparkled on so smoothly.

I was appointed by the Alarm Publishing Association as an assistant editor of the Alarm in January, 1885. I was associated with its able founder from that time until the appearance of the last number under his supervision, April 24, 1886.

Next to the last speech I heard from Mr. Parsons while free was in March, 1886, at 106 East Randolph street, on his return from his trip through the eastern coal mines. It was a clear, orderly, truthful array of facts, with conclusions most ably drawn and eloquently presented.

I saw him next on the 4th of May in the afternoon, at the Alarm office.

He had that morning returned from Cincinnati, and was inquiring about the meetings that were being arranged in the city. I went home with his wife and himself and took supper, and from there we, with their children, went to the Group meeting held in the alarm office. He was pleasant and talkative, giving us incidents of his journey, and speaking hopefully of the future of our cause. The story of that evening has often been told; how he, with Fielden


and others, were sent for to come and speak at the Haymarket; how we all followed; how they addressed the large meeting as they had often done before; how Bonfield's men were hurried on to break up a meeting already dispersing; how the fatal bomb was thrown by some unknown hand; how the crowd was scattered and shot into.

But the little details and incidents of that eventful night are not so well known; some never will be. There were citizens lying dead with police bullets in their breasts, whose fate is still a mystery. There were men in the stations who were never heard of again, and much was endured that will probably never come to light. When the noise of the explosion broke on the air Mr. Parsons was standing near the window of Zepf's saloon looking out; Mrs. Parsons and I sat not far away. Fischer, with other comrades, was in the room. Parsons came up to us and said: "Don't be frightened! don't be frightened!"

"What is it?" I asked, as a perfect hailstorm of bullets rattled about our ears.

"I do not know; may be the Illinois regiments have brought up their Gatling gun."

Bullets whistled past us through the open door. Fugitives came running in, and every one started for a room in the back end of the building. Some one shut the door and for some time a number of us were shut up in total darkness, ignorant of what had happened or what our danger was. Presently the door was opened, and one after another we came out and stepped into the street. Everything seemed quiet; from where we stood no excitement could be noticed, no policemen were in sight. Mr. and Mrs. Parsons, and myself started up the Desplaines street viaduct to go home, and shortly afterward Thomas Brown joined us. I said to Mr. Parsons:

"I do not know what has happened, or whether there is any further danger, but we may be sure some kind of a conflict has occurred. Everybody knows you and they all know your influence. If any of our boys are in danger you are. Whatever has happened, leave the city for a few days at least. We can't spare you yet, and in the excited condition the people must be in we do not know what might happen to you."


"I do not think I ought to go — do you?"

"Yes — go; there is no harm in going away for a few days until we see what is the matter and have time to collect our thoughts and determine what is best to do; you do not want to be taken unawares; be at a safe distance, and when you see you are needed come, as I know you always will."

Many other arguments I used to induce the brave, home-loving man to depart before he at last consented. He had not money enough with him to go far and Mr. Brown quickly tendered him $5. It was decided best for his wife not to accompany him, so there on the viaduct we separated, Brown going one way, Mrs. Parsons another, and we two toward the Northwestern depot.

Just before he turned away he said: "Kiss me, Lucy. We do not know when we will meet again," and there seemed a sad, almost prophetic, tone in his voice; so, hurriedly and with what unexpressed feelings none can ever know, their parting, the end of a long period of uninterrupted and happy companionship, took place. We walked to the depot, and I there purchased a ticket for Turner Junction, the nearest point to our home that he could reach that night. Mr. Parsons seemed very quiet, almost passive and indifferent, as though for the time being he was in other hands than his own. He said little, but asked me twice if I really thought it was best for him to go away. At the last he said: "You will be a good friend to my wife, will you not? I hope they will not suffer while I am gone — but I may be back soon." He made me take part of the money he had with him to his wife, and warmly shook my hand, standing on the platform as the train began to move.

Another hand will write of his experiences for the next few days; I will take up his story where he arrives in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

He arrived at the home of Daniel Hoan on the 10th of May. Mr. Hoan was a reader of the Alarm, had written to its editor, but had never met him. He is an earnest, whole-souled man, with some peculiar views of his own, which he very ably explains and defends; but without understanding precisely "what the Anarchists of Chicago Wanted, anyhow," his heart went out to them, and he was certain


they had a great part to play in the redemption of the world. He says of Mr. Parsons' arrival:

"When I heard his knock at the door I felt that some one out of the common was there. I went and opened it myself. ‘The dear little man’ stood there, looking at me with a smile, half sad, half merry. ‘Come in, and God bless you,’ I said. ‘The Lord sent you here — you've come to the right place.’ I knew who it was, and I knew it was all right. I took him to the shop, and we talked it over. I told him he would be as safe as a child of my own, and that the Lord would preserve him to do his work yet. We got out some old clothes, a big gray coat, and a wide-brimmed hat. Then I brought him in and introduced him to the family as ‘Mr. Jackson,’ and said he would stay and work for me awhile."

His hair and beard soon grew long, and, as Mr. Parsons was one of the neatest of dressers, arrayed thus he was well disguised. Some of the ladies of the village, on becoming somewhat acquainted, and noting his intelligent mind and interesting conversation (qualities that it was difficult to disguise), said, "What a nice man Mr. Jackson seems to be. What a pity he cannot dress better!" Another exclaimed: "But how neatly his shoes are always kept. He must have dressed well at some time in his life. Suppose we club together and buy him a nice coat, that old one is so shabby and big for him."

Little thinking how more than useless a well-fitting coat would have been to him, they actually talked up the project, which, but for subsequent events, might have been carried out.

"Mr. Jackson" assisted in Mr. Hoan's pump factory and did the carpenter work in the alteration of his dwelling house. The turret, porch, and lattice-work around them ornament the house today, and probably will remain until they fall away from decay, as a memento of the martyr's taste and handiwork. Whatever work Mr. Parsons undertook was well done, though he had previously known nothing of the technical details. He brought his keen, analytical mind to bear upon the processes of the work in hand and quickly solved them, were it a social problem or the forming of a complete steamer from a block of wood.


They said he took great interest in his work. In trying different effects in the ornamental carpenter work he would climb down, step into the road in front of the house, and, with arms akimbo, exclaim, if satisfied: "Well, that's immense!"

Sometimes, when at work near the eaves, he would talk to the girls and children sitting on the porch beneath, telling stories of his boyhood days, scenes of slavery days, and sometimes giving vivid pictures of the lives of poverty and toil the people in the great cities endured, inculcating even there quiet lessons in the new economic philosophy. The girl who lived with them at the time said she always remembered one remark of "Mr. Jackson's"; it was new to her then, and impressed her deeply. It was that "men and women were always as good as their conditions allowed them to be."

Beautiful Waukesha, with its green hills and clear fountains, must forever be endeared to those who cherish the memory of our martyrs, for here the last free days of one, whose story we are, telling, were passed. One will always look on the winding paths, o'er-shadowed with trees, the rolling, velvety hills, the cozy nooks, the sheltered, sparkling springs with deepened interest, knowing that here and there his free feet pressed the earth and all around his eyes rested for the last time on the free, fair world. His favorite resort was a seat on Spence's hill, just above the Acme spring. From this point the whole village, nestled in softest foliage, with the low, misty hills beyond, is spread like a beautiful panorama before the eye. Above, the leafy branches wave in a slow, steady murmur, and the fresh, invigorating air sweeps through, breathing of health and strength and freedom as though slavery had no existence in the universe. Farther up the slope the trees grow thickly, like the depths of a forest, and beneath them spring up various species of ferns, grasses, and wild flowers.

Mr. Parsons every morning would hasten with that quick, springy tread of his, to the Acme spring, quaff its crystal waters, and on up through the trees for an hour's ramble. At breakfast he would come in, bright and animated, with his hands full of the ferns and flowers he loved so well. Toward evening he would go and recline on the rustic seat above mentioned, and, gazing dreamily on the lovely view


before him, become lost in deep reveries. Sad and anxious must have been those thoughts, brightened, perhaps, by the lofty consciousness that always belongs with a strong, noble character. Such a one can never, under any circumstances, be absolutely miserable and despondent. Those reflections would be dearly prized; but he has left us in letters and speeches much that had part in them, no doubt. He made friends with all whom he met, as he ever did, even in the humble guise he had taken. The children, the young boys in the shop, the neighbors, the brothers and sisters of Mr. Needham's little church, all learned to love "Mr. Jackson" and be eager to converse with him. Upon one or two occasions he entertained the congregation of the little church with a talk or lecture, which pleased them very much. He had a pleasant way of advancing his own ideas without antagonizing those who held different opinions; and this gentle way of his sometimes led people to believe he "fell in" with them or was not well grounded in his own views, but when occasion required, and the full force of the man's intellect and character came out, they found how much they were mistaken.

One day, while at the desk writing, Annie, the girl before mentioned, came in quite suddenly and said:

"Say — they say you are Mr. Parsons — don't you think — "

Mr. Parsons never moved, but he said afterward he could feel his face grow cold and white.

"Is that so? Who says so?"

"Oh, a Mr. —, and Mr. —, and they say Mr. — told them."

In a few minutes Mr. Hoan came in. Parsons took him into the next room and said quickly: "I'll have to get out of this — right away too. They have it about town that I am Parsons. I am no longer safe here."

Hoan would sometimes use some religious swear-words who excited, and began to make vehement inquiries as to what had been said. When all was told that was known, he said:

"Just you keep quiet. I believe I can fix this all right yet. They know nothing yet — they are only surmising."

And so Mr. Parsons remained "quiet," while his honor and


safety were in jeopardy, and Mr. Hoan went out, traced up the story, called them "a pack of fools," and asked if Jackson looked anything like the picture of Parsons, and much more to that effect. The surmise was quieted, and if anyone in Waukesha suspected Jackson's identity, nothing further was said.

Some correspondence, after the first two weeks' absence, was accomplished between himself and his wife and the principal attorney, Capt. Black. Up to this time, I believe, but two persons in the world knew where Albert R. Parsons was, and they were Mr. Hoan and Mr. Holmes, of Geneva, Illinois. In his first letter he asked if they thought best he should return, and expressed his willingness to do so. A consultation of the attorneys and most interested comrades was called, in which opinions were about equally divided. Black, having faith in abstract justice, was for his return; Foster, from a professional standpoint, was against it. His wife could only say that he should do what he thought was wise and right. The result of the consultation was conveyed to him.

On the 19th of June, 1886, Mr. Parsons wrote a letter saying he would return; this letter Mr. Hoan himself conveyed to the city, and in a very adroit manner managed to make himself known to the right parties, consult with them, obtain their instructions, and depart for home without attracting the notice of a single one of the many detectives who were on the alert — "looking for Parsons."

Sunday morning it was decided that Mr. Parsons should start for Chicago that night. Through the day he was rather quiet, but pleasant and cheerful; and in the afternoon he proposed they should all make a last visit to Spence's hill. He sat on his favorite seat a long time in serious meditation, but finally began to talk cheerily with the others, and in a boyish mood lay at full length on the ground and rolled down the long hill. He climbed up, flushed and laughing, and lapsed no more into quiet reverie. The worst had been lived through. Afterward he said that when he wrote his name to the letter saying he would return, he felt that he was signing his death warrant. He had no hope in Courts; he was almost certain what his fate would be; he knew that he could be safe and free for years if he chose it. But his comrades were in peril; the cause he loved needed


him; the whole world waited expectantly to hear more of this new philosopher, hitherto but a word of terror; the events to come, which were to change the course of the century, needed but his presence to complete their majestic significance; and with his character it was impossible to remain away in safety and hiding. That evening, at a late hour, the team hitched to a light wagon stood ready to convey Mr. Parsons to Milwaukee. A train left that city at 3 o'clock in the morning, which he intended to take. A young son of Mr. Hoan's drove; and the long ride of twenty miles through the still summer night along the smooth roads was easily accomplished; they arrived at Milwaukee with two hours to spare. As they were entering the city, a policeman laid his hand on the horse's bridle, and wanted to know what they were doing at that time of night. The boy answered:

"I am going to take this gentleman to the train."

The officer peered curiously into the wagon.

"You seem to have come a good distance," and putting his hand on the horse's neck said:

"She's pretty warm!"

Mr. Parsons, to divert his attention, said laughingly: "It is not a ‘she,’ it is a ‘he.’"

The man laughed, and turned away; he had looked quite sharply at a basket in the wagon at their feet, which, contained Mr. Parsons' own clothes, as though he would like to explore its contents, but walked away, saying he "was looking for a man that had stolen something in the city."

The boy, wholly ignorant of whom he was carrying, said: "What was the officer looking for, I wonder. Did he think we had bombs in our basket?"

Another incident occurred when near home, which showed how near and yet how far the great Chicago police were to gaining their greatest desire. As the train neared Kinzie street, slowing up as usual at that point, Mr. Parsons thought best to alight there, rather than to go on to the depot. Morning was mistily dawning, and the great city lay in shrouded silence. He leaped from the train, which was gliding along at a swifter rate than he had calculated upon, and


fell, rolling over once or twice before he caught himself. A policeman who stood near came and assisted him to his feet.

"Are yez hurt, now?" queried the servant of the law, feeling over him for broken bones.

"No, I thank ye," he answered awkwardly, as became the poor old farmer he looked to be, "only shaken up a bit, I'll be all right in a minit or two."

The policeman looked at the queer little man, with his half-grown iron-gray beard and long hair, his poorly fitting old clothes, big slouch-hat, and the market basket on his arm, and said: "What d'ye do thet fer, anyhow? Don't jump off any more trains when they're going loike that now. And d'ye know where yez be going?"

"Oh, yes; I've been there before, and only jumped off because 'twas nearer. I'll bid you good day, sir."

And the policeman allowed the little old farmer to walk away, never dreaming that he had put his hands on the much-wanted Parsons. Had he lost his presence of mind for a moment he might have been discovered. From this adventure he went on his way undisturbed until he reached the house of Mrs. Ames on Morgan street. The lady knew him at once, quickly drew him in, shut the door, and in the fullness of her heart and her joy that he was thus far safe from the hands of the detectives, she embraced, kissed, and cried over him, so she says, and as any good sister comrade would have done.

A brief and indirect note was sent to his wife. Though burning with impatience and anxiety, she sauntered carelessly along the streets until near the house, knowing that detectives were likely to be dogging every step; they missed it for once, as in a few minutes she was once more for a brief time united with her husband.

Swiftly and carefully the comrades worked that afternoon to complete the arrangements for his entrance into Court. At 2 o'clock Capt. Black was pacing impatiently up and down the front steps of the court-house; in a few minutes a hack drove swiftly up. A lady and two men alighted. Capt. Black shook hands silently but intensely with one of them, gave him his arm, and proceeded up the stairway. As they passed the first landing James Bonfield turned, looked after him, and said: "Who was that fellow with Black?"


A reporter said:

"I believe it is Parsons."

"Not much," a detective near by exclaimed: "Say, we're looking for Parsons, and don't you forget it."

But Bonfield said: "I'll be d—d, if it ain't," and started after them.

Meanwhile Capt. Black and his strange companion, now neatly dressed, shaved, and barbered, were advancing slowly toward the Court. All eyes were fixed upon them in strained expectancy. Suddenly Grinnell, whose mean soul is incapable of appreciating a sublime act, sprang to his feet and cried out: "I see Albert Parsons in the room and demand his instant arrest."

But no officer made the arrest. Capt. Black in a dignified manner said: "This man is under my care and such a demand is an insult to me."

They stood before the Judge, whose ideas of justice were yet untried.

"I present myself for trial with my comrades, your Honor."

"You will take a seat with the prisoners, Mr. Parsons," and in a few minutes more the cry had gone down, had flown over the city, up into the press rooms, and away through the country, flashing over a thousand wires, that "Parsons had given himself up in Court!"

The sharp detectives — where were they?

He took his seat with his noble comrades, never to depart a free man. Voluntarily he gave up liberty for a cause he loved better than his life. That night the prison doors closed upon him never to open for him alive; the stone walls shut out the fair, free earth forever — and man repaid an act of unprecedented devotion with — death.


Chapter II. — Mr. Parsons at Geneva. — He is at the Residence of Mr. Holmes From Early Morning, on May 5, l886, Until the Afternoon of the Next Day — The Story of Those Two Days of Intense Excitement and Agonizing Uncertainty Graphically Told By Holmes — Believing That a General Massacre of All Socialists had Taken Place, Mr. Parsons Would Return to Chicago and Die with His Comrades — The Startling Rumors Which Gained Currency and Credence — His Unwavering Faith in the People and Confidence in the Ultimate Triumph of the Right.

Mrs. Lucy E. Parsons — Dear Comrade:
You ask me to write an account of the few memorable days during which I had the proud honor of offering the shelter of my home in Geneva, Illinois, to our dear comrade, your beloved husband. I am only too glad to enter upon this labor of love, and to pay my tribute of esteem to the worthy wife of such a grand man by narrating in detail the incidents of that exciting period.

The 5th of May, l886! Deep into my brain is burned the remembrance of that day. As I write every detail of every incident stands out prominently before me, and I seem to feel again the excitement, uncertainty, and apprehension of the time.

On the morning of the 4th of May we had received your urgent telegram requesting my wife's immediate presence in Chicago. We rightly conjectured that she was needed in the city to assist in organizing the working girls, particularly the cloak-makers. The excitement in Chicago, which had been increasing for several days, was then intense, and it was believed that advantage could be taken of the clubbing and shooting of workingmen at McCormick's reaper factory


the day before to effect a powerful organization of a large majority of the working people in the city for the purpose of securing important concessions from the employers of labor.

I arose late on the morning of the 5th, and, as was my usual custom, strolled leisurely down to the village to procure the morning paper, little dreaming of the startling sensation it would contain. Half an hour later I was sitting alone in my room, unconscious of aught save the exciting news I was devouring. My back was turned to the door, and I did not hear it open.

"Good morning! How do you do?" said a well-known voice in my ear.

Springing to my feet I caught the hand extended to me. For several moments we stood with our feet, our knees, almost our breasts, touching, and hands clasped in that strong embrace. For a long time we stood thus, our eyes riveted each upon the other's face. His look searched the recesses of my inmost soul; my gaze met his unflinchingly. At last I broke the silence.

"You are from Chicago?" I said.

He replied: "l am."

And then, our hands still tightly interlocked, he gave me a brief description of the fearful scenes and incidents of the previous night. Then he told me of his wonderful departure; how, accompanied by my wife, he walked to the depot of the Chicago & Northwestern railway, he taking the midnight train for Geneva; how he had left the train at Turner Junction and stayed at a hotel till morning, reaching Geneva about 9:30 o'clock on Wednesday morning.

We spent most of the forenoon in discussing the situation, and he gave me an account of the principal events which had transpired since the eight-hour agitation had reached its highest limit. Shortly after noon I went out to learn what I could of the situation in Chicago. All sorts of wild rumors were floating about. Some said the city had been set on fire and was already half consumed; others that the Anarchists had destroyed the City Hall, and in consequence a general massacre of all Socialists and their known sympathizers was in progress. I was met everywhere with scowling faces and looks of suspicion. Even those who had been the day before my warmest


friends shunned me, or muttered maledictions against the Anarchists, for it was generally known that I was a radical.

I hastened back and told Comrade Parsons what I had seen and heard. Meantime he had not been idle; but, as previously agreed between us, he had written a scorching editorial for the next number of the Alarm, denouncing in strong language the unprovoked and unlawful attack upon the Haymarket meeting by Bonfield and his uniformed ruffians. Neither of us at that time dreamed that the assistant editor of the Alarm (Mrs. Holmes), as well as the editors and compositors of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, had already been arrested, or that the Alarm had been entirely suppressed.

When I told him of the rumors in circulation in the village he became, for the first time, greatly excited. Never doubting, in the first moment, the authenticity of the rumors, his first impulse, very naturally, was to return to the city and die with his friends and his family. He did not doubt but that every Socialist in Chicago would be massacred, yet he hesitated not in making his choice — he would die with them. He soon, however, became calm again, and wisely determined to wait for the news of the next day. It was mutually agreed that if the morrow's tidings confirmed the current rumors, we would both immediately return to the city.

About 4 o'clock I again went to the telegraph office, and to other places where I could hear tidings from Chicago. The first man I met gravely informed me that he had just received a dispatch that a terrible conflict had taken place between the police and the workingmen; that over a score of dynamite bombs had been thrown, destroying much property and many lives. In the excitement of the moment I fully believed the report to be true, but by a great effort I succeeded in calming myself before reaching home, and told Comrade Parsons that there was no reliable news, carefully suppressing any mention of my informant's story. This I did because it seemed more reasonable to wait for reliable information, which would surely come by the newspapers and mails early the next morning. If the very worst should prove to be true, nothing would be lost by a few hours' delay, while the time spent in waiting could be profitably made use of in deciding upon a definite plan of action.


Many half-formed plans were made that night, to be complete and carried out on the following days. Up to this time Comrade Parsons had not, for a single moment, thought of flight. All our talk was of our probable return to Chicago, and the result of the breaking up of the Haymarket meeting. I confess I was ever disposed to take a more gloomy view of the future than your husband. His belief in the righteousness of our cause impelled him to the opinion that in the struggle then probably going on the people would be found on the side of truth and right, and that we should eventually triumph. For once my pessimistic disposition saved me from terrible disappointment.

I had a better opportunity that night to know our comrade than ever before. Like the true Revolutionist he was, he longed for the final conflict, and was ready to face any danger, to do any deed of daring, in order to strengthen the side of the right. He fully expected soon to fight and die for the cause he loved so dearly. He chafed and grew impatient at what seemed to him unnecessary delay. I fully believe, had I not used arguments and entreaties to dissuade him, that he would have hastened to Chicago that night. He already thought himself alone in the world. He never doubted for a moment that, if the occasion required it, his heroic wife would sacrifice her life in the struggle for economic liberty. He wanted to be on the field of action, and in the thickest of the fray.

As early as possible the next morning I procured copies of the city papers. There we learned the actual state of affairs; that Fielden, Spies, Fischer, Mrs. Holmes, and the entire working force of the Albeiter-Zeitung had been arrested, and that he (Parsons) was a hunted outlaw, against whom all the forces of Government and society were to be invoked. All our plans were, therefore, made for his immediate security. It was absolutely necessary that a safer retreat should be found, as it was only a matter of a short time — possibly of a few hours — when my house would be searched. He had already been seen, though not recognized, by one of the neighbors. Early in the morning, while working in my little garden patch, he had surprised me by boldly walking out of the house, and insisted upon helping me in my work. While thus engaged the occupant of the


next house came to his back door and accosted me, making some remark about the weather.

The evening papers gave us the information that detectives were already scouring the country in every direction in their search for Parsons. To delay longer was dangerous. Knowing that he had many friends in Kansas, I suggested his going there, disguised in the best manner possible. He had already shaved off his mustache, which altered his appearance amazingly. At length he declared his intention of going to Waukesha, and at once. He took off his collar and neck-scarf, tucked his pantaloons in his boots, and in other ways changed his appearance. At first he determined, if stopped, to sell his life dearly, but, after talking the matter over, decided it was better to go entirely unarmed. He entered my house trim, neat — a city gentleman; he left it looking like a respectable tramp.

I directed him how to proceed to Elgin, by way of St. Charles. At the former place he was to take train for his Wisconsin retreat. With hearts heavy with apprehension we watched him, as he walked carelessly along the dusty road, until he was out of sight. The next time I saw him he was behind prison bars, a martyr to his convictions of duty —a victim of those who knew neither mercy nor justice.

Yours fraternally,


Chapter III. — A Chapter of History. — An Analytical Student of Human Motives Tells Some Hitherto Unpublished Facts — Mr. Albert R. Parsons' Firmness in the Hour of Awful Temptation — He Scorned Life as the Price of Apostasy — The Influences Brought to Bear Upon Him to Secure His Recantation — The Appeal of the Citizins' Association Through Melville E. Stone — "That is Their Answer, They Shall Now Have Mine" — Dr. Aveling Listens to a Story With a Moral and an Application.

"If the State of Illinois can afford to hang an innocent man, I can afford to hang." — ALBERT R. PARSONS.

To have known Parsons was to love him. Some reminiscences of his later days may serve to bring out more clearly his sterling integrity and manly character. However much others may doubt the correctness of his views, none who knew him ever doubted his sincere earnestness and truthfulness. Short in stature, of slight physique and nervous temperament, even his friends did not realize the heroism which lay dormant in his breast. But when the occasion came to test his courage, to prove what manner of man he was, he rose to the height of manhood and coolly laughed death in the face rather than submit to a cowardly alternative.

After the verdict of the Supreme Court of Illinois, sustaining the sentence of death, I immediately returned from the East to Chicago. At my first interview with the prisoners Parsons asked me to try and ascertain the exact status, of affairs. He said friends were daily bringing in words of hope; that he realized the situation, and, knowing human nature, believed that, under similar circumstances, he might do the same thing. "But I want the cold facts; can you get them?"

I went to a friend who was in a position to know, and he got a gentleman who had business with Grinnell to incidentally ask what


the chances were. Grinnell answered that Fielden and Schwab would probably be saved, if they signed what would be required of them. He further said that he had talked with Judge Gary upon Parsons' case, but that nothing could be done, as Parsons was regarded as too dangerous a man to let slip with a chance of final release. In fact the impression given was that Parsons' boldness and eloquence had made so deep an impression upon the Court that his death was decided upon. It was an open secret that, in presenting the case to the jury, Grinnell meant to have excepted Parsons from the extreme penalty, but forgot it. Parsons' eight-hour speech of defiance, when called up for sentence, banished the last ray of hope.

We knew that no matter how many petitions were presented, how many friends might intercede, the decision, as in all such cases, finally depended upon the signatures of the Judge and Prosecuting Attorney.

When I conveyed this information to Parsons his eyes glistened with that strange light so well known to his associates, and he replied:

"Ah! that is their answer. They shall now have mine."

Two days after appeared his letter to Gov. Oglesby, contemptuously refusing "mercy," and demanding liberty.

As the day of execution drew near the case of Parsons began to assume a more favorable appearance. His voluntary return, to court trial with his associates, and his fearless bearing, even aroused a feeling of sympathy. The Defence Committee and men of influence beseeched him to sign the paper which some of the others had consented to do. In my last interview with him he told me of the pressure brought to bear upon him to recant. He was a loving husband and a fond father. Probably no married life had ever been less clouded than his, for perfect felicity always reigned. He told me of promises made, and which seemed to be based upon good reasons. I


assured him that I believed that he alone of the five stood a fair chance for commutation. He replied earnestly, with that nervous gesture of the index finger so habitual to him:

"But Fischer and Engel say they will sign if I do; they leave the decision to me. Will they then die?"

I replied that for Lingg, Fischer, Engel, and Spies there was absolutely no hope; nothing could save them. He drew up his slight form, and, with a firmness which never after forsook him, replied:

"Then every night in Joliet upon retiring, and every morning on arising, I should be haunted with the thought that I had made cowards of them in vain. No; I shall die with them."

Two nights before his murder, when friends had been denied access, and even his beloved wife could not see him, one of the bailiffs came to his cell and said that Melville E. Stone, editor of the Daily News, desired to see him in the library. Mr. Parsons refused, saying that if Mr. Stone wished to see him he must come to his cell. Consequently, the great man of the press was ushered in behind the bars and took a seat before the cell door. Mr. Parsons still, refused conversation unless his visitor should come inside and sit with him. Stone complied. Then for three hours Stone, one of the principal members of the Citizens' Association, plead with Comrade Parsons to sign the retraction of his principles and live. With kindness, with sarcasm, with appeals to love for his wife and children — with all the arts he knew so well how to employ — he beseeched him to sign, guaranteeing life as reward. But Albert R. Parsons had already made the sign of obliteration over life and refused to sacrifice honor. At last, wearied with Stone's importunities, he arose, and, pointing his accusing finger at the great editor, said to him: "You, Mr. Stone, are responsible for my fate. No one has done more than you to compass the iniquity under which I stand here awaiting Friday's deliverance. I courted trial, knowing my innocence; your venomous attacks condemned us in advance. I shall die with less fear and less regret than you will feel in living, for my blood is upon your head. I am through! Go!" And the interview ended.

When Herr Liebknecht and Dr. Aveling were in Chicago they called at the County Jail to offer their distinguished sympathy to


the condemned men. When Aveling was introduced to Parsons he said: "Mr. Parsons, I am sorry to see you in there." Mr. Parsons smiled and said: "That reminds me of a story. William Lloyd Garisson was once arrested in Boston, for, as you know, he was a social heretic in his day. While in jail his friend, Wendell Phillips, called upon him and said, as you did, ‘I am sorry to see you in there.’ Mr. Garrison instantly retorted: ‘Mr. Phillips, I am sorry to see you out there.’" Aveling laughed and answered: "Very good story," but he moved on to proffer sympathy to another. The anecdote seemed too pointed to permit of discussion, but Parsons' hearty laugh followed him as he passed on.

And this was the man the infamous conspiracy strangled and cowardly sprang the trap to choke off his dying words. Calm, unmoved, and fearless, the men whom so many had tried to humiliate, to dishonor, to apostatize, rose superior to their accusers and stepped upon the scaffold with a smile of pity for the hirelings who were selected to perform their brutal task. And among all names now so dear to working men, as having been borne by men who died in their cause, none will live and shine with greater lustre than that of Albert R. Parsons.



Part IX.

Chapter I. — Echoes From His Prison Cell. — Letters Written From His Dungeon — The Verdict the Handwriting on the Wall — The Position of the Anarchists Defined — The Shadow of the Scaffold — Cheering Letters and Telegrams — Parsons' Religious Views — An Account of the Final Scenes Copied From the City Press — "Brave While Being Shrouded."

With this part is contained many of the letters and correspondence with friends, which gives the reader a clear insight into the thoughts and aspirations occupying the mind of a man sentenced to death, with the sun so far past the meridian of the nineteenth century, for opinion's sake, in what had hitherto been supposed to be the freest country in the world — a country the founders of which freely spilled their blood on battle-fields to secure to their descendants the right to freely think, speak, and act. And this in America! beneath the folds of the "stars and stripes" — that flag beneath whose protecting folds, when it floated on foreign seas, by foreign shores, every slave fleeing from despotism was supposed to find shelter! It was for this reason — and for this reason alone — that the star-spangled banner was first flung to the breeze. Yet, with this atrocious five-fold murder, America stands to-day in the vanguard as the most bloodthirsty of all the despotisms of so-called civilized Governments. She attempted to do the same thing that despots have done in the past and have failed — she erected a scaffold and attempted to murder thought.

That in this attempt she out-stripped even Russia is shown in a


communication to a Chicago morning paper by J. V. Farwell, President of the Young Men's Christian Association of North America and ten-millionaire, which reads as follows:

I am proud of our Government. Its beauty and power over all other Governments is demonstrated by the conviction of these Anarchist fiends. * * * Why, even Russia is left behind, for while she sends them to Siberian mines, or to the execution block, it is only as individuals. It was left for our glorious America to teach them all a lesson in how to exterminate this social vermin by chopping off its head, and thus kill the body of the movement.

Will our children be proud of "our" Government for this atrocity? Let us rather hope that the spirit of liberty and the detestation of privilege shall, have once more asserted itself on American soil, and that our children, instead of being "proud," will avert their faces in shame when they come to this page in history, written by the blood of the first martyrs who fell for opinion's sake in the battle for economic freedom.

CHICAGO, August 20, 1886.
My Darling Wife:

Our verdict this morning cheers the hearts of tyrants throughout the world, and the result will be celebrated by King Capital in its drunken feast of flowing wine from Chicago to St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, our doom to death is the handwriting on the wall, foretelling the downfall of hate, malice, hypocrisy, judicial murder, oppression, and the domination of man over his fellow-man. The oppressed of earth are writhing in their legal chains. The giant Labor is awakening. The masses, aroused from their stupor, will snap their petty chains like reeds in the whirlwind.

We are all creatures of circumstance; we are what we have been made to be. This truth is becoming clearer day by day.

There was no evidence that any one of the eight doomed men knew of, or advised, or abetted the Haymarket tragedy. But what does that matter? The privileged class demands a victim, and we are offered a sacrifice to appease the hungry yells of an infuriated mob of millionaires, who will be contented with nothing less than our lives. Monopoly triumphs! Labor in chains ascends the scaffold for having dared to cry out for liberty and right!


Well, my poor, dear wife, I, personally, feel sorry for you and the helpless little babes of our loins.

You I bequeath to the people, a woman of the people. I have one request to make of you: Commit no rash act to yourself when I am gone, but take up the great cause of Socialism where I am compelled to lay it down.

My children — well, their father had better die in the endeavor to secure their liberty and happiness than live contented in a society which condemns nine-tenths of its children to a life of wage-slavery and poverty. Bless them; I love them unspeakably, my poor helpless little ones.

Ah, wife, living or dead, we are as one. For you my affection is everlasting. For the people — humanity. I cry out again and again in the doomed victim's cell: Liberty — Justice — Equality.

CHICAGO, August 12, 1886.
My Dear Friends at Waukesha:

Receiving no reply to my letter sent last Tuesday, I write again. I want to hear from you all. How are the children? Bless them. I know they are happy; how else could they be while surrounded by such generous, kind and honest people as you all are? Bless you. Ah, this Sabbath day my mind wanders back to the happy hours and pleasant scenes while with you in Waukesha. Do you remember that bright and sunny Sabbath morning of June last, when with songs and cheer we put out for a day at Pewaukee Lake? The trip, oh, that glorious ride over hill, through valley, amid winding dell, and across gurgling brooks and green fields; the singing birds, the shady groves, the air laden with nature's sweet breath, the perfume of wild roses, clover, cherry, apple, and many beautiful flowers in fragrant bloom lining the roadside all the way; and our hearts, yielding to the pure, the noble influences which nature inspires, gave response in merry laugh and joyous songs — oh, that blessed day! It is treasured in my memory as a bright oasis on life's dreary way. And I involuntarily ask, shall we ever see and feel them again? Perhaps not; very likely not.

Is my life at an end? Am I already buried and in my tomb? The law — man's law — has so decreed it. Nature — or God's law — revolts at the verdict. Which ought to —yea, which shall — prevail? I know not. But this I know: that millions of nature's noblest and best have their thoughts to-day with myself and loved comrades in prison and doomed to suffer unnatural death. Do not think that I am complaining, or that I am disheartened, or cast down. I am not; we are not. If we are called upon to die for Socialism, for liberty, fraternity, equality, for our oppressed and down-trodden fellow-men, we can


do it calmly, quietly — yea, cheerfully. If the sacrifice is needed, then we make the offer. Can man do more for his fellow-men?

We eat, sleep, read, write, think; we — all of us — are cheerful, and bid our comrades everywhere stand for the right and falter not.

Kiss the little ones for papa and mamma. Love to all; bless you all.

CHICAGO, October 12, 1886.

My Dear Friends at Waukesha:
At the command of those in authority I and my comrades are to be put to death. The power by which they are enabled to murder us is given them by law — man's law — and is exercised in violation of their own law. They believe it necessary, in order to perpetuate their power and law — statute law — to violate both the constitution and the statute law. Liberty condemns all man-made laws, all authority, all rulership, all coercion or force.

Our crime — our only crime, our only offense — is that we declare, we defend the right of every human being to life and liberty. We seek the millennium of peace, of joy, of fraternal brotherhood. The penalty, or their punishment, is to put us to an ignominious death. Do we die in vain? We pay the price, but those who come after us will receive the reward of our efforts, viz.:

Liberty. Already the people — not the rulers, but the people — are greatly stirred. The day dawns!

The Court was filled with rich Christians, Board of Trade, railroad, real estate, and other millionaires.

In my defense to the Court and before the world, when explaining the working people's demonstration against the Board of Trade in Chicago last year, I read from the Bible which you sent me these words: When Christ "cast out all them that bought and sold"; also from Matthew xxi, 10-14, and St. Luke xi, 15-19. I quoted to the pulpits of Mammon where the pretended followers of Jesus cried: "Execute, execute!" I called these hypocrites' attention to the fact that we (the Anarchists) desired to neither buy nor sell anything whatsoever, while they (the capitalists) bought and sold everything — life, liberty, honor, everything. The hypocrites! If we MUST die, then we CAN.

Tell Miss Annie that the beautiful flowers she sent me, which had bloomed from the seed we planted around the porch last spring, are like the seeds of liberty which we now plant; they will blossom and fill with joy the hearts of our fellow-men. I kissed the precious flowers again and again, and watered them with my tears. Yours for Truth,


Chapter II. — Extracts From Mr. Parsons' "Appeal to the People of America."

Let the accused answer:

"Fellow Citizens: As all the world knows, I have been convicted and sentenced to die for the crime of murder; the most heinous offense that can be committed. Under the forms of law, two Courts, viz.: the Criminal and Supreme Courts of the State of Illinois, have sentenced me to death as an accessory before the fact, to the murder of Officer Degan on May 4, 1886. Nevertheless, I am innocent of the crime charged, and to a candid and unprejudiced world I submit the proof.

"The Supreme Court quotes articles from the Alarm, the paper edited by me, and from my speeches, running back three years before the Haymarket tragedy of May 4, 1886. Upon said articles and speeches the Court affirms the sentence of death as an accessory. The Court says: ‘The articles in the Alarm were most of them written by the defendant Parsons,’ and then proceeds to quote these articles.

"I refer to the record to prove that of all the articles quoted only one was shown to have been written by me. I, of course, wrote a great many articles for the Alarm, but the record will show that only one of the many quoted was written by me. And this article appeared in the Alarm December 6, 1884, one year and a half before the Haymarket meeting.

"Extracts from three speeches alleged to have been delivered by me more than one year prior to May 4, 1886, are given; two of these


speeches were repeated from the memory of the Pinkerton detective Johnson. These are the speeches quoted by the Court as proof of my guilt as accessory to the murder of Degan. I am bold to declare that such a connection is imperceptible to the eye of a fair and unprejudiced mind.

"But the honorable body, the Supreme Court of Illinois, has condemned me to death for speeches I never made and articles I never wrote. In the affirmation of the death sentence the Court has ‘guessed,’ ‘surmised,’ and ‘presumed’ that I said and did ‘so-and-so’ This the record fully proves. * * * Now I defy any one to show from the record that I wrote more than one of the many articles alleged to have been written by me. Yet the Supreme Court says I wrote and am responsible for all of them. Again, concerning the alleged speeches, they were reported by the Pinkerton detective, Johnson, who, as the record shows, was employed by Lyman J. Gage, Vice-President of the First National Bank, as agent of the Citizens' Association, composed of the millionaire employers of Chicago. I submit to a candid world if this hired spy would not make false reports to earn his blood money. Thus it is for speeches I did not make and articles I did not write I am sentenced to die, because the Court ‘assumes’ that these articles influenced some unknown and still unidentified person to throw the bomb that killed Degan. Is this law? Is this justice?"

"But," will inquire the reader, "didn't he belong to an armed organization which had for its objects the destruction of life and property?"

Hear Mr. Parsons again on this point:

The Court says:

"‘Among them (meaning the people at the Haymarket) were men who belonged to the International Rifles, an armed organization, in which he himself was an officer, and in which he had been drilling in preparation for the events then transpiring.’

"Now, I challenge the Supreme Court, or any other gentleman, to


prove from the record in my trial that there ever existed such an organization as that armed section of the American Group, known as the International Rifles. Members of the American Group did organize the International Rifles, which never met but four or five times was never armed with rifles, or any other weapons, and disbanded nearly one year before May 4, 1886.

"I have been tried ostensibly for murder, but in reality for Anarchism. I have been proven guilty of being an Anarchist and condemned to die for that reason. The State's Attorney said in his statement before the Court and jury in the beginning of the trial: ‘THESE DEFENDANTS WERE PICKED OUT AND INDICTED BY THE GRAND JURY; THEY ARE NO MORE GUILTY THAN THE THOUSANDS WHO FOLLOW THEM. THEY ARE PICKED OUT BECAUSE THEY ARE LEADERS. CONVICT THEM AND OUR SOCIETY IS SAFE.’ And in their last appeal to the jury the prosecution said: ‘ANARCHY is ON TRIAL. HANG THESE EIGHT MEN AND SAVE OUR INSTITUTIONS. THESE ARE THE LEADERS; MAKE EXAMPLES OF THEM.’ This is a matter of record.

"My ancestors partook of all the hardships incident to the establishment of this Republic. They fought, bled, and some of them died that the declaration of independence might live and the American flag might wave in triumph over those who disclaim the divine right of kings to rule. Shall that flag now, after a century's triumph, trail in the mire of oppression, and protect the perpetration of outrages and oppressions that would put the older despotisms of Europe to shame?

"Knowing myself innocent of crime, I came forward and gave myself up for trial. I felt it was my duty to take my chances with the rest of my comrades. I sought a fair and impartial trial before a jury of my peers, and knew that before any fair-minded jury I could with but little difficulty be cleared. I preferred to be tried and take the chances of an acquittal to being hunted as a felon. Have I had a fair trial? * * * No, I am not guilty. I have not been proven guilty, I leave it to the people to decide from the record itself as to


my guilt or innocence. I cannot, therefore, accept a commutation to imprisonment. I appeal not for mercy, but for justice. As for me, the utterance of Patrick Henry is so apropos that I cannot do better than let him speak:

"‘Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may pursue, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.’


"CHICAGO, ILL., September 21, 1887.
"Prison Cell No. 29."

These are extracts taken from Mr. Parsons' "Appeal to the People of America."

The appeal in full can be found in the book he wrote himself — "Anarchism." As also his letter to Oglesby regarding his case, under date of October 13, 1887.


Among the occupations of Mr. Parsons' idle moments he made two small steamers with his pocket-knife, one of which he sent to Justus H. Schwab, of New York, to be raffled for. In the box containing it was a piece of rope obtained from a deputy sheriff. The grim humor of the following note, accompanying the box, speaks for itself:

CHICAGO, September 21, 1887.
My Dear Comrade:

With this I express to you the tug boat which I cut and made with my pocket knife to while away the lonely hours in my cell. Also I send you a hangman's noose which is emblematic of our capitalistic, Christian civilization. The rope is official — the kind which it is proposed to strangle myself and comrades with. The knot was tied by myself, and is the regulation style. I give it to you as a memento of our time. Fraternally,

The boat was put up at raffle, and some doubts having arisen


whether such an artistic piece of work could have been made by him with only his pocket knife, a dispatch was wired him for information. The following answer was immediately returned:

CHICAGO, November 3, 1887.
F. W. Sasse:
It was made in my cell by myself to be raffled for the benefit of my family, but I feel like presenting it to Comrade Schwab. Fraternally,

Address and Letter to Albert R. Parsons Jr. and Lulu Eda Parsons from their father, Albert R. Parsons.


Following are copies of the four dispatches received by Albert R. Parsons a short time before his execution:

NEW YORK, November 10, 1887.
Dear Albert: Another Gethsemane to-night. More than a legion of angels with pitying eyes survey the spectacle of man's inhumanity to man. Millions of hearts in Europe and America are now thrilling with sympathy for the men who died for humanity. I am proud of your sublimity, fortitude, and hereditary heroism.

BOSTON, MASS., November 11, 1887.
Albert R. Parsons, Cook County Jail: Not good-bye, but hail brothers. From the gallow's trap the march will be taken up. I will listen for the beating of the drum. JOSEPHINE TILTON.

ST. Louis, Mo., November 11, 1887.
Albert R. Parsons, Prisoner: Glorious martyr, in the name of social progress bravely meet your fate. C. R. DAVIS.

SAN FRANCISCO, November 10, 1887.
Brave Parsons: Your name will live long after people will ask: "Who was Oglesby?" FOUR CITIZENS.

To the sender of the first telegram Parsons desired that his red silk handkerchief be sent.



Up to 3 o'clock Parsons had not retired, but was talking to his guards, Bailiffs Hanks and Rooney. At 12:30 o'clock he sang in a low voice an Anarchist song named "Marching to Liberty," to the tune of the "Marseillaise," which he sang at several Anarchist meetings formerly. He also sang "Annie Laurie." Bailiff Hawkins suggested that he ought to try and get a little sleep. Parsons answered in a joking way:

"How can a fellow go to sleep with the music made by putting up the gallows?"


Taken, from the Chicago Tribune, November 1, 1887.

Albert R. Parsons yesterday sent the following letter to the Tribune:

CHICAGO, November 3, 1887.
Editor of the Tribune:
In your issue of to-day on the "People's Page," and column headed "Voice of the People," a correspondent asks: "To settle a dispute please state what religion Anarchist Parsons has, or has he any religion?" To which you reply "No."

To settle a dispute concerning my religious belief, which will doubtless arise after my judicial assassination, when it will be beyond my power to speak, I desire to say to your inquirer, and to all others, that religion in the sense now understood and practiced by those who profess it is merely a blind faith of the honestly superstitious, or a cloak of designing knaves.

If there is a Supreme Being, or Almighty God, who rules the universe, the sphere as well as the actions of puny men, then why do these who profess allegiance to Him cast aside and violate His laws and impeach His integrity and insult His beneficency by erecting man-made governments and enacting man-made laws, and use the bloody weapons of war to prop up and maintain these man-made laws and Governments?

My religion — if it can be called such — is, viz.: Who so lives right dies right; there is but one God — Humanity. Any other kind of religion is a mockery, a delusion and a snare. Respectfully,


Chapter III. — Last Hours of Life.

The news of Governor Oglesby's refusal to commute the death sentence except as to Fielden and Schwab was received by all the prisoners with perfect composure.

The deputy sheriff who was with Parsons for three hours on the night of Nov. 10, undertook, when he was relieved at one o'clock A. M. to tell what the condemned man had said, but when he began to realize the enormity of the task, he cut his narrative short by saying:

"He was very cheerful and hopeful." Such was indeed the case. Parsons was never in better humor than he was that night. He seemed to forget entirely that he would have to die within twelve hours, so interested did he become in his own harangue to the death watch. He talked about socialism, about anarchy, the Haymarket, and his wife and children. It was not until he had reached this subject that he manifested any sorrow or regret, and the more he talked about it the more sorrowful he became. He said his wife was a brave woman, a true wife and a good mother.

During the early part of the night his rapt soul poured itself forth in song. He sang the old yet beautiful ballad: "Annie Laurie."

As the clear tenor voice rang through the gloomy corridors the other prisoners raised themselves on their elbows and listened. Doubtless to many the beautiful lines recalled tender memories of other days.

Early the morning of the 11th all the doomed men were awake. Parsons ate fried oysters and seemed to enjoy them. After breakfasting, he recited Marc Cook's beautiful poem, entitled "Waiting," with smiling features:


Tell me, O sounding sea! I pray,
Eternally undulating,
Where is the good ship that sailed away
Once on a long-gone summer's day —
Sailed and left me waiting.

No braver ship was ever seen,
As over the sunlit waters
She glided on with stately mien
Of a fair, white-vested ocean queen —
A queen among Neptune's daughters.

Her sails were white as the wings of a dove —
Alas, for the fate she was daring!
Gayly she rode the waves above,
Gayly, as if all conscious of
The precious freight she was bearing.

And never before sailed ship from shore
With a cargo half so precious;
Youth, hope and love my good ship bore,
And all the fair visions that come no more
In sadder days to refresh us.

Yes, hope and love, the dreams of fame,
Youth's sweet self-satisfaction,
Ambition, which kindles the blood to flame,
The lusty longing to win a name
On life's broad field of action:

All these my good ship bore away —
With such rare treasures freighted
She sailed on that long-flown summer's day:
How long it is no tongue can say —
Yet still have I waited — waited!

And ever this barren shore have I paced
With eyes still wearily straining,
Gazing out on the water's waste,
Where naught remains of the faith that I placed
In the blue waves, uncomplaining.


And so, through the long and desolate years,
Have I watched for my ship's returning;
Watched and waited 'mid doubts and fears,
Waited and watched, when the scalding tears
Adown my cheeks were burning.

The seasons have gone and rolled away,
Each with its burden freighted,
But whether December or whether May,
In flush of the morn or twilight gray,
Still have I waited — waited!

The busy world to the New has turned,
Its pulses palpitating;
Again have life's bitter lessons been learned,
And hands have labored and hearts have burned,
While I for my ship have been waiting:

But now I am weary and hope is flown
And the sea's sad undulating
Breaks on my ear like a dismal moan;
My ship has gone down in the waters unknown,
And vain has been all my waiting.

Shortly afterward he said to Brainerd: "I am a Mason and have always tried to help my fellow-man all my life. I am going out of the world with a clear conscience. I die that others may live." He then gave Brainerd the Masonic grip and word to authenticate his statement.

Rev. Dr. Bolton was met by personal kindness, but with religious indifference. Parsons flattered the exhorter by listening to his proffered grace, mercy, and peace, but overturned the good impression when he answered: "Preachers are all Pharisees, and you know what Jesus Christ's opinion of the Pharisees was. He called them a generation of vipers and likened them to whited sepulchres. I don't desire to have anything to do with either."

When Dr. Bolton said farewell Parsons shook his hand and said: "Thank you," and added, "Don't forget, though, I didn't send for you." He referred to his wife as a "lion-hearted" woman, said his children would not feel his loss on account of their youth, and favored


the turnkey with snatches from the "Marseillaise," his favorite so of liberty and death to oppressors. On being asked if he wished stimulants he answered, "No." "I wish to go off sober," said Parsons, and perhaps the temperance people will be disposed to drop a single tear of sympathy in consequence.

The moment his feet touched the scaffold. Parsons seemed to completely lose his identity and to feel that his spirit was no longer a part of his body. He stood like one transfigured. Only he — the one American — seemed to realize to the full that he must die in a manner to impress, if possible, on all future generations the thought that he was a martyr. No tragedian that has paced a stage in America ever made a more marvelous presentation of a self-chosen part, perfect in every detail. The upward turn of his eyes, his distant, far-away look and, above all the attitude of apparent complete resignation that every fold of the awkward shroud only served to make more distinct, was by far the most striking feature of the entire gallows picture.


CHICAGO, November 11, 1887, 9:10 a. m.
C. R. Matson, Sheriff Cook Co., Ill.:
I request you to deliver my dead body to my wife, Lucy E. Parsons, No. 785 Milwaukee avenue.


The deputies who were with the four during the half-hour before the procession was formed were greatly impressed with their courage and fortitude.


After reading the telegram sent from San Francisco and signed "Four Citizens," Parsons took a pencil from his pocket and indorsed it on the back, "A. R. Parsons, November 11, 1887," and handed it to Bailiff William B. Brainerd, saying: "I will make you a present of this as a relic."

A short time before the pinioning a deputy offered Parsons a glass of wine. He refused it, saying: "No, thanks. I would prefer a cup of coffee." A pot of coffee and a bowl of crackers were procured. He drank the coffee and ate a few of the crackers, afterwards thanking the deputy and exclaiming: "Now I feel all right. Let's finish the business."

During the reading of the death warrant his face was a study. His eyes were unnaturally brilliant, but whatever emotion he felt was firmly checked by the indomitable spirit which had hitherto sustained him. He toyed carelessly with his mustache and let his eyes rest easily upon the objects about him. As the men moved forward Parsons turned to the Jenkinses of the press, who were scrutinizing every action, and said sarcastically: "Won't you come inside?"

When the halter was placed about his neck he never faltered. He stood erect, looking earnestly yet reproachfully at the people before him. The nooses were quickly adjusted, the caps pulled down, and a hasty movement made for the traps. Then from beneath the hoods came these words:

Spies: "There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle to-day!"

Fischer: "Hurrah for anarchy — "

Engel: "Hurrah for anarchy!"

Fischer: "This is the happiest moment of my life!"

Parsons: "Will I be allowed to speak, O men of America? Let me speak, Sheriff Matson! Let the voice of the people be heard! O —" But the signal had been given, and the officers of the State performed their mission by strangling both speakers and speech.



COOK COUNTY JAIL, Nov. 11, 1887. — My Dear Comrade Lum: Eight (8) o'clock A. M. The guard has just awakened me. I have washed face and drank cup of coffee. The doctor asked if I wanted stimulants. I said no. The dear "boys," Engel, Fischer and Spies, saluted me with firm voices.

Please see Sheriff Matson and take charge of my papers and letters. Among them find MS. letters from Gen. W. H. Parsons' book — return it to Norfolk, Va. Please have my book on "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis" put into good shape, etc.

LATER. — Well, my dear old comrade, the fatal hour draws near Cćsar kept me awake till late at night with the noise (music) of hammer and saw, erecting his throne, my scaffold. Refinement! Civilization! Matson (sheriff) tells me he refused to agree to let Cćsar (State) secrete my body, and he has just got my wife's address from me to send her my remains. Magnanimous Cćsar! Alas, good-bye! Hail the social revolution! Salutations to all.


Chapter IV. — Arrest of Mrs. Parsons and Children.

Under the deep shadow of that awful tragedy, enacted on the eleventh day of November, many shameful deeds passed almost unnoticed; the gloom, so dense that the close of the century will scarcely see it lightened, veiled the blackness of injustices that would have appalled the hearts of the people if thrown up against the light of freedom in brighter days. Now, it is well that they be brought forth for investigation; the judgment of the people must be given on proceedings done in the name of "law and order," in this so-called free country.

It will be remembered that in the extras of Friday, Nov. 11, a casual notice of the arrest of Mrs. Parsons "for persistent disobedience of orders," and that of a lady friend for "haranguing the people" was given. The officers were reported as being "very courteous and gentle," and the ladies "were given arm-chairs in the registry office merely to keep them away from the crowd and prevent trouble."

This is the true story: On Thursday evening after Governor Oglesby's tardy decision had been given, Mrs. Parsons, accompanied by Mr. Holmes and myself, went to the jail to plead for a last sad interview. She was denied an entrance, but was told by the deputy-sheriff in charge that she would be admitted at half-past eight the following morning. At that time she, with her children and myself, was promptly as near to the gates as the police would permit. Every street for two blocks away leading towards the jail was crossed by a rope and guarded by a line of police armed with Winchester rifles. At the first corner Mrs. Parsons quietly made known her errand. The lieutenant said she could not go in there, but that she should pass on to the next corner, and the officer there would perhaps let her through.


She did so with the same result. Another captain told her she must get an order from the sheriff; on inquiring where he could be found, she was told to go on to another corner where a message might be sent to him. At this corner no one knew anything about it and again we were sent on; and so, for more than an hour we were urged along in a veritable game of "Pussy wants a corner" that would have been ridiculous had it not been so tragical. Sometimes it was a deputy-sheriff who was to be found at a certain corner, sometimes it was the peculiarity of location that promised an entrance beyond the death-line; but it was always "not this corner but some other corner." Not once did an officer say, "You positively cannot see your husband. You are forbidden to enter his prison and bid him farewell," but always offered the inducement that if she passed quietly along, at some indefinite point she would be admitted. Meanwhile the precious moments were flying; sweet little Lulu's face was blue with cold, and her beautiful eyes were swimming with tears. Manly little Albert, too, was shivering in the raw atmosphere, as he patiently followed his grief-stricken mother from one warlike street to another.

Then Mrs. Parsons besought the officers only to take the children in for their father's last blessing and farewell; for one last interview that his memory might never be effaced from their young and impressible minds; one last look that the image of that noble father might dwell forever in their heart of hearts; one moment in which to listen to the last dear words that his loving and prophetic soul might dictate to the darling children left to live after, him. In vain. The one humble prayer the brave woman ever voiced to the authorities in power was denied her. They heeded her not except to hurry her along.

The last sad moments of her dear one's life were wasting so steadily, so relentlessly. Who can picture her agony? Who can wonder at her desperate protest against the "regulations of the law" which were killing her husband and forbidding her approach. She determinedly crossed the death line and told them "to kill her as they were murdering her husband." No, they were not so merciful. They dragged her around to a quieter corner, with the promise of "seeing


about it," and there ordered her, her two children and myself into a patrol wagon awaiting us. What had the innocent children done?

Pleaded dumbly with soft, tearful eyes for their father. What was my crime? Faithfulness to a sorrowing sister.

Once when some one asked me if I could not "prevail on that woman to keep quiet and go home," I answered:

"I have no such influence over her and would not exert it if I had. Do you wonder that she is nearly distracted with grief at being driven from pillar to post like this, when in one short hour her husband will be dead? She has not seen him for five days, and now they deny her the sacred right of a last good-bye; why, the worst despotisms in Europe are not so bad as that."

At this a burly, brutal-looking detective in citizen's clothes said:

"See here, young woman! you shut up or we will send you off in the wagon!"

"Must I not even say this, much, in a free country?" I asked in surprise.

"No, you can't," he growled, with a fierce frown.

And this, I suppose, constituted "my harangue to the people on the streets."

And so, into the patrol we were hustled, a heart-broken wife and mother, two innocent tearful children, and the one friend near her. The "polite" officers did not perhaps go out of their way to be brutal or rough, but were about as "courteous" as so many wooden men moving about like machines. Far from being given arm chairs in a comfortable office, we were locked up in dark, dirty stone cells — Mrs. Parsons and her children in one, myself in another.

And there — shame be it to America that I have it to relate! there we were stripped to the skin and searched! even the children, crying with fright, were undressed and carefully searched.

No excuse could be offered that we were ignorant foreigners and did not understand the laws of the country, and that the safety of American institutions depended on our being totally unarmed; for the blood of revolutionary forefathers coursed in our veins, while the matron and officers who gave the order (if there be any merit in


being born in one country rather than another) had not been here long enough to speak our language correctly.

The woman ran her fingers through my hair, through the hems of my skirts, the gathers of my undergarments, even to my stockings; I asked her "what she expected to find."

"I don't know," she simpered, "this is my duty."

She clanged the doors behind her finally and we were left alone. We could hear each other's voices but could not see one another. And in those gloomy, underground cells we passed those terrible, anxious hours of Friday, Nov. 11, 1887.

God knows her lot would have been bitter enough in her own comfortable home, with loving, sympathizing friends at her side to support her in that awful time. But who dare dwell upon the reality — the picture of that devoted wife in such a place at such an hour?

At a few minutes past twelve the matron came and said coldly: "It is all over," and left us.

Not a soul came and asked the bereaved woman if they could help her to even a cup of cold water. And I, the one friend near her, could only sit shivering with my face pressed to the cruel iron bars, listening to her low, despairing moans, as helpless as herself.

Every friend who called to inquire after our whereabouts and welfare was sent away without any information and we were not told that anyone had been to see us.

Mr. Holmes came as early as he received word that we had been arrested, and was not only denied any information, but was roughly ordered away and threatened with arrest himself "if he hung around there."

At three o'clock Capt. Schaack came down and asked how long we had been there, hypocritically expressed sorrow that we had been locked up, and opened our prison doors. They had done their worst and Mrs. Parsons was permitted to go to her desolated home.

And thus it was that while organized authority was judicially murdering the husband and strangling "the voice of the people," the


wife and children were locked up in a dungeon, that no unpleasant scene might mar the smoothness of the proceedings. Where is there a parallel in history? Only in the State where dying men are forbidden to speak a few last words can such a scene be possible.


Chapter V. — Capt. Black's Eulogy at the Tomb.

Capt. Black ascended the platform where the mourning women stood. He motioned for silence, and said:
"If you will all be as quiet as possible many of you may be able to hear what may be said, although to make one's self heard by all this multitude, who have come hither to-day, the common people, to pay their tribute of love and affection, would be an impossibility. Let us keep silence while we are here together.

"Many loved truth and lavished life's best oil
Amid the dust of books to find her,
Content at last for guerdon of their toil
With the cast mantle she has left behind her,
Many in sad faith sought her,
Many with crossed hands sighed for her,
But these, our brothers, fought for her,
At life's dear peril wrought for her,
So loved her that they died for her.
Tasting the raptured sweetness
Of her divine completeness,
Their higher instincts knew,
Those love her best who to themselves are true,
And what they dared to dream of, dared to do.

They followed her and found her,
Where all may hope to find,
Not in the ashes of the burnt-out mind,
But beautiful with danger's sweetness round her,
Where faith made whole with deed,
Breathes its awakening breath Into the lifeless creed.
They saw her plumed and mailed,
With sweet, stern face unveiled,
And all repaying eyes looked proud on them in death.


"And what is truth? Not statements of lifeless dogma, not words here and there spoken, that echo through the corridors of time, but the life consecrated loyally to the conviction of duty, to the service of that which is apprehended as the highest, and noblest, and best; a life that is thrown into the service of humanity and not withheld even unto death — this is truth. Through eighteen centuries there has come down to us the answer of that lowly but glorious one of Nazareth, to the question: What is truth? in the words, I am the truth.

"No man knows the truth until it has entered into his being, until it has taken possession of him, until it has become the inspiration of his life and his crown in death. And these men, even their enemies being judges, have kept loyal to the conviction that entered into their lives and became the best part of themselves.

"Whatever their mistakes of judgment, their hearts were wrapped up in the cause of the common people, with that sublime infatuation of self-sacrifice which is the one thing that lifts our humanity up to heights where sits the Eternal Good.

"I am not here this afternoon, dear friends, to speak to you any special word concerning the cause for which these men lived, nor concerning the manner of their taking off; but to speak to you rather of themselves, to tell you their love for the cause which commanded their services, was sealed at last by their lives, not grudgingly, but given with unstinted measure for the sake of those they loved. You know, many of you, who have read the press, how grandly they passed out of this life that is seen into the perfect and glorious life that is beyond the reach of misjudgment, of resentment, or of pain.

"As the years go by, of whose record the story of their services will form a splendid part, they will come to be better known, to be loved, to be revered. I am not here to talk of their violent end as of an ignominious death. We are not beside the caskets of felons consigned to an inglorious tomb. We are here by the bodies of men who were sublime in their self-sacrifice, and for whom the gibbet assumed the glory of a cross. They moved to their appointed death slow-paced and strong — no faltering, no trembling, no turning back. Upon


the morning of that fateful day, when August Spies stood already within the shadow of his doom, he said to one near him, holding up his hand in witness of the fact:

"This hand is as steady as when, in the old days,
It plucked the already ripe fruit from life's tree;
The apple that weighted the bough in the gold days
When blazed the great sun of promise for me.
Yes, perfectly steady, with no trace of trembling,
Though all is near ready to meet my death here!
Pray observe! There is nothing remotely resembling
The outward expression of commonplace fear.

"To such men death had, and could have, no terrors, and their execution, which was self-immolation, could have no touch of shame. Whatever else may be said of these dead, it will not be denied that they were loyal and true to the convictions which had taken captive, years ago, their hearts, and to what they believed to be the welfare of the people, whom they loved.

"I must not keep you long, and yet there is one thing that I specially want to say, because doubtless in this great throng there stand many who misapprehended their position and their views. They were called Anarchists. They were painted and presented to the world as men loving violence, riot, and bloodshed for their own sake; as men full of an unextinguishable and causeless hatred against existing order. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were men who loved peace, men of gentle instincts, men of gracious tenderness of heart, loved by those who knew them, trusted by those who came to understand the loyalty and purity of their lives. And the Anarchy of which they spoke and taught — what was it, but an attempt to answer the question, ‘After the revolution, what?’ They believed — ah! I would that there were no grounds for this belief — that there was that of wrong and hardship in the existing order which pointed to conflict, because they believed that greed and selfishness would not surrender, of their own volition, unto righteousness. But their creed had to do with the to-morrow of the possible revolution, and the whole of their thought and their philosophy, as Anarchists,


was the establishment of an order of society that should be symbolized in the words, ‘order without force.’ Is it practicable? I know not.

"I know that it is not practical now; but I know also that through the ages poets, philosophers, and Christians, under the inspiration of love and beneficence, have thought of the day to come when righteousness shall reign in the earth, and when sin and selfishness should come to an end. We look forward to that day, we hope for it, we wait for it; and with such a hope in our hearts can we not bring the judgment of charity to bear upon any mistakes of policy or action that may have been made by any of those who, acknowledging the sublime and glorious hope in their hearts, have rushed forward to meet it?

"We are not here this afternoon to weep, we are not here to mourn over our dead. We are here to pay, by our presence and our words, the tribute of our appreciation and the witness of our love. For I loved these men. I knew them not until I came to know them in the time of their sore travail and anguish. As months went by, and I found in the lives of these with whom I talked the witness of their love for the people, of their patience, gentleness, and courage, my heart was taken captive in their cause. If any of you feel that the tears are coming, listen to the last words spoken by one of these (Parsons), our dead, on that morning before their execution:

"Come not to my grave with your mournings,
With your lamentations and tears,
With your sad forebodings and fears!
When my lips are dumb
Do not thus come.

Bring no long train of carriages,
No hearse crowned with waving plumes,
Which the gaunt glory of death illumes;
But with my hands on my breast
Let me rest.

Insult not my dust with your pity,
Ye who're left on this desolate shore


Still to suffer and lose and deplore.
'Tis I should, as I do,
Pity you.

For me no more are the hardships,
The bitterness, heartaches, and strife,
The sadness and sorrow of life,
But the glory divine —
This is mine.

Poor creatures! Afraid of the darkness,
Who groan at the anguish to come.
How silent I go to my home!
Cease your sorrowful bell —
I am well.

"It has been said that these men knew no religion. I repel the charge. I know but one religion, the religion which seeks to manifest itself — its service of God or of the Supreme Good — by its service these, our dead, while within the very gloom of approaching death, gave us these words: ‘My religion is this, to live right; to do right is to live right, and the service of humanity is my worship of God.’

"I remember that back in the centuries it was written in words that shall never perish: ‘He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous,’

"There is no worthy conception possible to humanity of that which we call God, other than the conception which sets our life aflame in the service of our fellow-men.

"But I must not keep you. There is no need to multiply words in such a presence as this. There are times when silence is more terrible than speech. When men, moving to the supreme issue of life, can say, standing with one foot on earth and the other upon the shore of the unknown, in a sublime burst of enthusiasm: ‘This is the happiest moment of my life.’ When men, even in that hour, can cheer for the cause to which they have given their lives; when, forgetting themselves, they can speak of ‘the voice of the people,’ until utterance is silent forever. And what need is there, standing by the bodies of such men, to multiply words?


"Yet let me read to you a poem handed to me on the train as I came hither, written by I know not whom, but by some one whose breast was full of love, and whose brain could catch the inspiration of such a death as was theirs in whose memory we are here. Give me your hearts as I read:

"Under the cruel tree,
Planted by tyranny,
Grown in barbarity,
Fostered by wrong;
With stately, soldier pace,
With simple, manly grace,
Each hero took his place,
Steady and strong.

Wearing their robes of white,
As saints or martyrs might,
Calmly, in conscious right,
Faced they the world.
While on each face upturned
Sternly their sad eyes burned
Reproach, for blame unearned
Hatred had hurled.

Hatred, dull-eared and blind,
Hatred, of unsound mind,
Hatred, which gropes to find
That which is worst!
How could it judge a heart,
Where wrong and suffering start
The throbbing valves apart,
E'en till they burst?

How could it hear the call,
Through life's grim silence fall,
Sounding to waken all
Those souls who sleep?
How could it see the height?
That to those eyes was bright
Where, as a sun, in might,
Freedom shall sweep?


Not for the hearts that bled,
Not for the bride unwed,
Children and wives unfed,
Should our tears flow;
But for the palsied brains,
But for the stagnant veins,
For the greed that sucks its gains
For human woe.

One with a gentle word,
One with a sob unheard
Of warning love; a third
With triumph cry
Meeting the rope's embrace —
Of gallows' old disgraced,
Making a holy place;
Thus did they die.

And when, in later days,
Bards all sing lofty lays,
In freedom's makers' praise,
Their names shall live;
And hearts which cannot sing
Shall the pure incense swing
Of love, that all may bring,
That each will give."

Other speeches were made on this occasion by Robert Reitzel, of Detroit, Michigan, Paul Grottkau and T. J. Morgan.



BOSTON, MASS., February 14, 1888.

My Dear Capt. Black:

I am very much obliged to you for your letter, and I am also thankful for the receipt of your argument to the jury in the case of Spieset al., or what will be known in the long history as the "Anarchist case."

Our pleasant acquaintance under the most unpleasant circumstances, the joint unsuccessful advocacy of life for men who were unlawfully convicted and unwisely executed, has given me an insight into your purpose and character, and will make our friendship a lasting one, at least on my side.

I had not believed it possible that palpable judicial murders could again prevail in this country. They once did, in what we have been accustomed to regard as the best and purest days of the colonies. It is less than two centuries since seven men of the highest standing, a majority of whom were reverend gentlemen, clergymen, as good and pious men as ever lived, as exemplary in every relation of life as it was possible for men to be, sat in a so-called Court of justice, each morning session whereof was opened with fervent prayer to the divine source of all knowledge, grace, and power, to direct the actions of his servants as the Judges of that Court; and in that Court were arraigned, day after day, poor, miserable, broken down, superstitious women and children, upon the accusation that they had commerce with the devil, and used his power as a means of inflicting torture, because thereof the devil had empowered these poor creatures to shoot common house pins from a distance into the flesh of their neighbors' children, by which they were greatly afflicted. Being put to the bar to be tried, they were not allowed counsel, and, thank God, our profession was not disgraced, because the Attorney-General was a merchant. The deluded creatures sometimes pleaded guilty, and sometimes not guilty, but in either event they were found guilty and


executed, and the pins, which were produced in evidence, can now be seen among the records of that Court, in the court-house of the county of Essex, Massachusetts.

And beyond all this that Court enforced, worse than the tortures of the Inquisition, dreadful wrongs upon a prisoner in order to accomplish his conviction. Giles Corey was an old man, 80 years of age. He had a daughter, some 40 years of age, simple-minded, not able to earn her own living, and a small farm, a piece of land and a house thereon, which he hoped to leave to his daughter at his then impending death. Giles was accused of being a wizard. His life had been blameless in everything except his supposed commerce with the devil. Upon ex parte testimony he was indicted for this too great intimacy with the evil one, and sent to the bar to be tried for his life.

Giles knew that if he pleaded not guilty he was sure to be convicted, because that was the doom of the Anarchists of that day; and if he pleaded guilty he would be sentenced to death, and in either case the farm would be forfeited to the King. But if he did not plead at all — such was the law — then he could not be tried at all, and his property could not be forfeited to the King and taken from his daughter. So Giles stood mute and put the Court at defiance.

And then that Court of pious clergymen resorted to a method to make him plead which had not been in practice in England for 200 years, and never here, and poor Giles was taken and laid on the ground by the side of the court-house, on his back, with the flashing sun burning in his eyes, and a single cup of water from the ditch of the jail, with a crust of bread, was given him every twenty-four hours, and weights were placed upon his body, until at last the life was crushed out of him, but not the father's love for his child. He died, but not until his parched tongue protruded from the old man's fevered mouth. It was thrust back by the Chief Justice with his cane. The cherished daughter inherited.

Being fully imbued with this knowledge of what good men will do when they are either frightened for their souls or their bodies, it has not been to me a source of so much wonder as it might otherwise have been, how the law was administered in frenzy in Chicago. Years hence, when you and I have passed away, the case of Giles


Corey and the witches, and the case of the Anarchists, will be compared by just-minded men more than they are now. I hope there may be one fact follow in the Anarchists' cases that followed in the witches' cases: Judge Sewall, a reverend clergyman, and one of the Judges of the witches, before he died learned how deeply he had erred and sinned before God, and he repented in sack-cloth and ashes, literally coming out in the face of his congregation and standing in the broad aisle of the church exclaiming, while his written confession of his sins and folly in the witches' case was being read: "Alas! God have mercy on me for what I have done!"

I hope you will live to be present when one of the Judges before whom you argued will find it his duty to take a like step; but I fear that, while he has had the incredible folly of Judge Sewall in the treatment of his prisoners, he won't have the piety of Sewall in publicly appealing to his God for mercy, as an example against all others offending in a like manner.

A learned and upright Judge, writing the judicial history of witchcraft in this country, sums up as follows:

If the popular cry is to be the standard of what is right, the security of property is at an end, personal liberty is no longer safe, and the blood of the innocent will often seal the triumph of a popular administration of justice in the triumph of popular vengeance.

Some later writer on judicial proceedings, comparing the judicial murder of the witches with the trial of the Anarchists, will close by saying: "Alas! how surely, from age to age, doth history repeat herself."

One further fact, which I send to you for your comfort: The determined action of a single member of our profession, standing up against this witchcraft craze, brought it to an end. I look for like fruits to come from what you have done.

Renewing my assurance of kindest regard, I am, very truly, your friend and servant,





Autobiography of August Spies.


"— Barbarians, savages, illiterate, ignorant Anarchists from Central Europe, men who cannot comprehend the spirit of our free American institutions," of these I am one. My name is August Vincent Theodore Spies, (pronounced Spees). I was born within the ruins of the old robbers' castle Landeck, upon a high mountain's peak (Landeckerberg), Central Germany, December 10, '55. My father was a forester (a government administrator of a forest district); the forest house was a government building, and served — only in a different form — the same purposes the old castle had served several centuries before. The noble Knighthood of highway robbery, the traces of which were still discernible in the remnants of the old castle, had passed away to make room for more genteel and less dangerous forms of plunder and robbery, such as are carried on in the modern dwelling under the present government. But while the people from old custom designate this and similar ruins in the vicinity as "old Robber Castles," they speak with great deference of the present government buildings, in which they themselves are daily and hourly fleeced; they would even, I believe, fight for the maintenance of these lawful institutions.

How greatly these "Barbarians" differ from the intelligent American people! Tell the Americans to fight for the maintenance of our commercial robbing posts and fleecing institutions — tell them to fight for the protection of the lawful enterprises of our Board of Trade men, Merchant princes, Railroad kings, and Factory lords — would they do it? Deplorable as the fact must seem: — they would! even more readily, I fear, than those "barbarians from Central Europe." The American people in their vast majority are ignorant of the great truth that is embodied in these words of a celebrated philosopher and poet:

"What from your fathers came to you as an inheritance — You, must acquire it, if you would possess it!" —


Viewed from a historic standpoint my birthplace is quite an interesting spot. And this is the only excuse I can offer for the selection of the place for said purpose. I admit I ought not have made the mistake, ought not have been born a foreigner. Probably, I might have avoided the fatal mistake had I prior to my entry upon the stage of life possessed the requisite power of divination. I might then have known that I was about to commit a monstrous crime — a crime, punishable by death 30 years hence in Chicago. I should then have known that the Christian God in his sublime wisdom had under a recent enactment arranged matters so, that all good people were now born in America under the protective tariff of the "United Monopolies" — But unaware and unconscious of the dangerous enterprise I was about to enter upon, "I popped up serenely" and unsuspectingly, as it were. I do not offer this as a mitigating circumstance, and find no fault with such wise and intelligent men as Mr. Grinnell and His jury, for hanging miscreants who have so little judgment in the selection of their birthplace. Society must protect itself against offenses of this kind.

But speaking of castle Landeck. Follow me there, reader, on a bright and clear day. We make our way up the old tower. Take care, or you will stumble over the debris. That? Oh, that is a piece of an old torture rack; we found it in one of the subterranean walks, together with several pieces of old ugly weapons, once used to maintain order among the victims — but why do you shudder? The policeman's outfit of to-day is not quite so blunt and barbaric, it is true, but it is as effective and serves the same purpose—. So, now, take my hand, I'll help you on top of the ruin. Look out for the bats. These winged lovers of darkness have great resemblance with kings, priests and masters in general; they dwell in the ruins of the "good old times," and become quite noisy when you disturb them or expose them to the light; adders, too, made this place their favorable habitation in former years and rendered it very dangerous for any one to place his sacrilegious foot upon this feudal monument; we killed them. They were the companions of the bats and owls; their fate has given the latter much uneasiness, and fears were entertained that something terrible would happen — that the ghosts of the old "noble knights" and "noble dames" would come back and avenge the ruthless annihilation of the venerable reptiles, but nothing of the kind has transpired. I need hardly add that the work of renovation was greatly impeded by these venomous creatures; since their extermination we have made remarkable progress —. You smile! Oh, no, I am not speaking of those other reptiles you think of. No, no! But here, we have reached the top. Great view, is it not? Over there, about thirty minutes' walk from here (west) you see another ruin like this; that is castle Dreieck, and over there, an equal distance (southwest), you see another one, Wildeck. And now look


down in the fertile valleys, the beautiful meadows and fields and nourishing villages! Of the latter you can count a dozen, all located around this mount; and do you know that all these villages, and some others which have been laid waste during the thirty years' war, were tributary to the robbers who ruled over them in these three castles? Yes, the people in these villages toiled all heir lives from early dawn till late at night to fill the vaults of those noble mights, who in return had the kindness to maintain "peace and order" for them. Par exemple: If one of these toiling peasants expressed his dissatisfaction of the existing order of things, if he complained of the heavy and unbearable tasks placed upon him, "law and order" demanded that he be placed upon one of those racks you have seen a relic of, to be tortured into obedience and submission. "Society had to protect itself against this class of criminals!" The noble knights had their Grinnells, Bonfields and Pinkertons as well as their descendants have them to-day; and while they were less civilized than their descendants of our time, they got along wonderfully well. To accomplish their beneficent objects, they did not even require the assistance of a Chicago "gentlemen jury" —.

Many of the peasants were put-to an ignominous death. Some of them would persist in their folly that it could not be the object of society nor the intention of Providence to have a thousand good people kill themselves in a laborious life for the glory, enrichment and grandeur of a few ungrateful, vicious wretches. Such dangerous teachings were a menace to society, and their promulgators were unceremoniously stamped out.

Not more than 200 feet from where we stand there is a perpendicular hole (chasm) of volcanic origin; it is about 8 feet in length and 3 feet in breadth; its depth has never been ascertained. The saying goes that scores of girls were cast into this terrible abyss by the valiant Knights during their reign of peace and good order! It is said that these benevolent "respectables" of ancient times kidnapped the pretty girls of the villages, carried them like birds of prey to their lofty abodes, and then when they got tired of them, or found something better, disposed of them in this way.

Oh, I see, you shake your head incredulously! Have you never seen the dumping grounds of the modern Knighthood in our large cities — a similar abyss? No? It is more frightful than the one I have told you about; its name is prostitution.

You don't believe the people would have borne all these outrages —? My friend, your rebellious spirit carries you away. The "orderly and good" people suffered these atrocities just as silently as our "law and order abiding workingmen" abide them to-day. I told you what happened to those who showed resistance!

My words make you sad, turn you pessimistic? Let me show you something else. Look through between these two mounts; can you see a tower in the dim distance — yes? At the side of this tower are yet to be seen the ruins


of the first chapel built in the realms of the old heathen, but free and liberty-loving Germans. It was founded by one of the apostles of St. Boniface, in the eighth century; his name was Lullus. With this chapel and others that soon followed the poison of Oriental servilism, the gospel of man's degradation, resignation and asceticism was first introduced. The old Cherusker and Katten, who had in mortal combat thrust the Roman eagle to the ground, were less successful in resisting the mind-infecting poison of pestilential Rome; it came flowing in incessantly through the channels of the Christian church It is true, the healthy and robust Germans were not an easy prey to the pessimistic belief of a debauched and dying race (Rome) — they never have been good Christians — but they became sufficiently infected to lose their consciousness and pride of manhood for a while, to fall into the despairing vagaries of the Orient, and as a natural consequence into serfdom. If life had no value why then aspire to liberty —? Friend, the ruin of yonder chapel is the monument of an epoch that gave birth to such robberburgs as the one we stand upon. The people would have razed these roosts to the ground long before they did, if the priest had not stood between them and "Law and Order." The priest is an essential indivisible part of the despot and oppressor; he is the conciliatory link between them and their victims.

These two ruins, once sacred as the pedestals of social order, are prophetic monuments. Man will so stand upon the ruins of the present order and will say as you say now — "was it possible —!"

But now turn around — along this mountain chain, northeast, there, where the earth dips mistily into the horizon, the periphery of our view — do you see yonder gray spot, it looks like a small cloud? Yes? That's the Wartburg, you have heard of the Wartburg. It was here, where Dr. Martinus Luther lived and worked, an instrument of the revolutionary forces; the revolutionary forces, my friend, that gradually had developed in these villages.

It is our custom to attribute great movements to single individuals, as being their merit. This is always wrong, and it was so with Luther. The Germanic race could not digest the Byzantinian philosophy, as embodied in the Judaic and Christian teachings. The idea that this world was calculated to be simply a purgatory and our life a martyrdom was repulsive to the common sense of the merry Germans, and what made it still more repulsive to them was; that servitude and despotism were growing from the seed of the new religion and developing, where once had been the habitation of liberty; developing at such a rate, that patience ceased to be a virtue. The rebellious spirit of the people, their animosity to the doctrine of self-abnegation, imposed upon them by the church, had been successfully calmed and suppressed by the priests for several centuries. But as the iniquities of the "nobility" and the domestic burdens of the people grew unbearable, this spirit burst out in flames and in Luther found a crystallization point. From the Wartburg then the mighty wave of the reformation rolled forth. It was the Occident struggling


in self-preservation against the Orient. The love of liberty which had been lying spellbound in the people's heart for generations, now flowed out in lucid streams; the magic spell was broken —. But the "nobility," while gluing liberation from the despotism of the Roman Church, they liked the privileges the latter had given them; the idea of the common people aspiring to economic freedom. Was not "spiritual liberty," a change of certain religious notions, enough for any common man? Luther soon became the tool of these cheating knaves, and wielded his pen in condemnation of the objects contended for by the people. He denounced the true and brave leaders of the people, the fearless Thomas Muenzer and his associates, worse than the pope had denounced him shortly before. And when the liberty-thirsty people finally took up their scythes and axes and forks, and drove the "noble Knights" from their robbers' roosts, it was Luther who brought about a conspiracy of the latter against the people —. It is characteristic that now all religious differences were set aside and all petty tyrants combined to subdue the people. Papist or Lutheran, all were instantly united in the crusade against labor. (America at this time presents an analogous spectacle; Republicans and Democrats "embrace each other as Nectar and Ambrosia," wherever labor rises for emancipation.)

Of course, the people were conspirators and incendiaries. Hear what Thomas Muenzer said: "Look you, the sediment of the soup of usury, theft and robbery are the Great, the masters; they take all creatures as their property — the fish in the water, the birds in the air, and the vegetation of the earth. And then they preach God's commandment to the poor: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ But this is not for themselves. They bone and scrape the poor farmer and mechanic until these have nothing left; then, when the latter put their hands on the sacred things, they are hanged. And Doctor Liar says Amen! The masters do it themselves, that the poor man hates them. The cause of the rebellion they won't abolish, how then can things change to the better. As I say this, I am an incendiary — let it be so!"

No, these words were not spoken in Judge Gary's court! You make a mistake, reader, the language is not modern, it's 400 years old — . And the man who used it was in the right. He interpreted the Gospel, saying that it did not merely promise blessings in heaven, but that it also commanded the equality and brotherhood among men on earth. The champions of law and order and Christendom chopped his head off.

The rebels were victorious at first, but against the united vassals of their oppressors they could not stand. At the foot of this mount they were defeated, down there, where you see that big rock, surrounded by magnificent oaks, the battle for freedom was fought and, alas, lost —. No, it was not lost, it was merely interceded by a temporary victory of the enemy.

The spirit of the Reformation was the "eternal spirit of the chainless


mind," and nothing could stay its progress. Gibbets, stakes, tortures and dungeons were of no avail. On the contrary, the blood of the martyrs only intensified the flame of liberty, until it sprang from land to land, kindling everywhere the discontent of the oppressed in its irresistible triumphant course.

These ruins still bear evidence of its tremendous force! The most momentous thing accomplished by this rebellious and lawless spirit, however, was the opening of the new world. The reformation gave birth to the young giant, America; it gave England a Cromwell and France a Richelieu, Its fermenting forces drove the Huguenots from France and the Puritans from England. But for the reformation and the persecution of its adherents, these early settlers of the western hemisphere would have remained in France and England as good and law-abiding citizens. As dangerous elements, society had to protect itself against them, and they fled over the Atlantic rather than to suffer martyrdom at home for their "advanced ideas."

The reformation, my friends, which started right here, in the country where four centuries later the "Barbarian Anarchists" come from, "who cannot comprehend the spirit of the American institutions" etc. — broke down the feudal barriers which impeded human progress. It was asserted in a thirty years' war, a war which laid the continent desolate, that the exercise of free thought and opinion and that scientific investigation should no longer be suppressed because they conflicted with religious superstition and dogma generally believed in and sanctified by custom. The "good and law-abiding" people were fanatically opposed to those in favor of the imperative change, and oceans of blood had to be shed in consequence. The ruins you see here wherever you turn your eyes bear witness of the terrible war that has not yet ended — the war for human emancipation and freedom: economic, political and religious. Every one of these ruins is a milestone on the path of social progress. At our feet lies the historic chaussee upon which Napoleon's victorious armies, much against the intention of the grand empereur, carried the seed of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" to the far east, and there opened a new perspective to the purblind eyes of the oppressed and down-trodden millions of our race. Aye, even now that seed is bringing forth good fruit. Russian dungeons, gibbets and Siberia bear witness.

Now friends, before we retire from this retrospective view, look once wore in the mirror of the past 1,000 years, observe closely the traces that lead from yonder chapel to this castle, from here to the Wartburg, from the Wartburg to the battlefield below here and to these ruins, and then follow them to England, France and America; follow them up to this day and tell me if you do not see the contours of the future reflected —. You do!

I have dwelt at great length in describing my (barbarian) birthplace but in so doing I have traversed in a general way over the history of 1,000 years. The present status of society is but the result of the struggle of human kind during this and preceding periods — yes, struggle! "You cannot reform


the world by the sprinkling of rose oil," said Mirabeau, and history proves that he was right. In no age did the rulers and despoilers of our race relinquish their hold upon the throat of their victims, until forced to — by logic and argument? No —. Blood, the precious sap, was ever the price of liberty.

My years of childhood were pleasant. I played and studied — how different from the childhood of the offsprings of the average workingman in this "glorious, civilized and — according to Grinnell — enlightened country." The children of the proletaire have no youth; the spring of life has no sunshine, no blossoms, no flowers for them! If there is a discernible object in their existence it is that of serving to make life happy and pleasant for those who tread upon them.

In my native land children must attend school daily from the age of 6 to that of 14; every child in that "Barbarian country" is thus compelled to attend school for 8 years, and cannot therefore be "utilized and made to pay" by either their parents or factory lords.

In this enlightened country the children of the wage-workers do not attend school in the average more than two years; they learn just enough to serve as a piece of organic machinery, and as such they are "let out" to benevolent and Christian employers in their tenderest years. Their vitality, which is needed for their own bodily and intellectual development, is in such wise tapped from the innocents and turned into gold for our "law and order" loving, respectable citizens. They die from consumption before they attain their maturity, or resort to whisky, thinking thereby to restore their lost vigor. If they escape early destruction, their life is generally terminated in one of those charitable or reformatory institutes known as the insane asylum, the penitentiary, or poorhouse.

But woe to the wretch who condemns this order of things! He is an "enemy of civilization," and "society must protect itself against such criminals." — There comes the star-spangled Mephisto, Bonfield, with his noble guards of "Liberty"; there comes the savior of the State, Grinnell, with the visage of a Sicilian brigand; there comes the hireling juror, and there comes the vast horde of social vultures: Unisono is the anathema! Unisono is the cry — "To the gallows!"

"Society" is saved, and "Liberty and order" — of the policeman's club — triumph! Selah!

I do not intend to say that the condition of the wage-workers in Germany is better than in this country, but I will say that I never saw there such real suffering from want as I have seen in this country. And there is more protection for women and children in Germany than here.

I was educated for a career in the government service (forest branch). As a child I had private tutors, and later visited the Polyfechnicum in Cassel. At the age of seventeen my father died suddenly, leaving a large family in


moderate circumstances. As I was the eldest one I did not feel justified in continuing my studies — they were expensive — and concluded to go to America where I had and have now a number of well-to-do relatives. I arrived in New York in 1872, and upon the advice of my friends learned the furniture business. The following year I came to Chicago, where I have resided ever since; though I may add that I have been away from the city occasionally for some time. Once, with the intention of settling in the country, I worked on a farm for a year. But seeing that the small farmers and renters were in a worse plight even than the city wageworkers, and that they were equally dependent, I returned to the city. I have also traveled over the Southern States to get acquainted with the country and people, and at another time I joined an exploring expedition through Upper Canada, which failed.

When I arrived in this country I knew nothing of Socialism, except what I had seen in the newspapers, the "public teachers" (?) and from what I'd read I concluded that the Socialists were a lot of ignorant and lazy vagabonds "who wanted to divide up everything," Having come but very little in contact with people who earned their living by honest labor in the old country; I was amazed and was shocked when I became acquainted with the condition of the wage-workers in the new world.

The factory with its ignominous regulations: the surveillance, the spy system, then the servility and lack of manhood among the workers and the arrogant arbitrary behavior of the boss and his mamelukes — all this made an impression upon me that I have never been able to divest myself of. At first I could not understand why the workers, among them many old men with bent backs, silently and without a sign of protest bore every insult the caprice of the foreman or boss would heap upon them. I was not then aware of the fact that the opportunity to work was a privilege, a favor, and that it was in the power of those who were in the possession of the factories and instruments of labor to deny or grant this privilege. I did not then understand how difficult it was to find a purchaser for one's labor. I did not know then that there were thousands and thousands of idle human bodies in the market, ready to hire out upon most any conditions, actually begging for employment. I became conscious of this very soon, however, and I knew then why these people were so servile, why they suffered the humiliating dictates and capricious whims of their employers. Personally I had no great difficulty in "getting along." I had so many advantages over my co-workers. I would most likely have succeeded in becoming a respectable business man myself, if I had been possessed of that unscrupulous egotism which characterizes the successful business man, and if my aspirations had been that of the avaricious hamster (the latter belongs to the family of rats, and his "pursuit in life" is to steal and accumulate; in some of their depositories the contents of whole graneries have often been found; their greatest delight seems to be possession, for they


steal a great deal more than they can consume; in fact they steal, like most of our respectable citizens, regardless of their capacity of consumption.)

My philosophy has always been that the object of life can consist in the enjoyment of life only, and that the rational application of this principle is true morality.

I held that asceticism, as taught by the Church, was a crime against nature.

Now observing that the vast mass of the people were wasting their lives in drudgery, accompanied with want and misery, it was but natural for me to inquire into the causes. (I had up to that time never read a book, or even an impartial essay on Modern Socialism.) Was this self-abnegation, this self-crucifixion of the people voluntary, or was it forced upon them; and if so, by whom?

About this time, while looking over my books in search of something, my attention was attracted by this passage from Aristotle: "When, at some future age, every tool upon command, or by predestination, will perform its work as the art works of Daedalus did, who moved by themselves, or like the feet of Hephaestos, who went to their sacred work spontaneously, when thus the weaver shuttles will weave by themselves, then we will no longer require masters and slaves."

Had this time, long ago anticipated by the great thinker, not come? Yes, it had. There were the machines. But master and slave still existed. The question arose in my mind, is their existence still necessary?

Antiporas, a Greek poet, who lived at the time of Cicero, had in like manner greeted the inventions of the water-mill (water power) as the emancipator of male and female slaves. "Oh, these heathens!" writes Karl Marx, after quoting the above; "they knew nothing of Political Economy and Christendom! They failed to conceive how nicely the machines could be employed to lengthen the hours of toil and to intensify the burdens of the slaves. They (the heathens) excused the slavery of one on the ground that it would afford the opportunity of human development to another. But to preach the slavery of the masses in order that a few rude and arrogant parvenus might become ‘eminent spinners,’ ‘extensive sausage-makers’ and ‘influential shoe black dealers’ — to do this they lacked that specific Christian organ."

I think it was in 1875, at the time the "Workingmen's Party of Illinois" was organized, when, upon the invitation of a friend, I visited the first meeting in which a lecture on Socialism was delivered. Viewed from a rhetorical standpoint this lecture, delivered by a young mechanic, was not very impressive, but the substance — . I will simply say that this lecture gave me the passepartout to the many interrogation marks which had worried me for a number of years. I procured every piece of literature I could get on the subject; whether it ^as adverse or friendly to Socialism made no difference. In the beginning I


was a visionary, an enthusiast. I believed as so many righteous people do today that the truth only required to be expressed, the argument only to be made to enlist every good man and woman in the good cause of humanity. In my youthful enthusiasm I forgot to apply the experience of historical progress to this particular case. But to my great sorrow I soon became convinced that the bulk of humanity were automatons, incapable of thinking and reasoning, altogether unconscious of themselves, simply tools of custom —

"For from the sordid is man made,
Usage and custom he doth call his nurse."

But nothing could discourage me. The study of French, German and English economist and social scientists soon made me view things differently than I had seen them in my first enthusiasm. Buckles' "History of Civilization," Karl Marx's "Kapital," and Morgan's "Ancient Society" have probably had the greatest influence over me of any. I now became an attentive observer of the various social phenomena myself. The last ten years have been very favorable for such investigation as I sought. I found my favorite teachers corroborated everywhere.

I think it was in 1877 when I first became a member of the Socialistic Labor Party. The events of that year, the brute force with which the whining and confiding wage-slaves were met on all sides, impressed upon me the necessity of like resistance. The latter required organization. Shortly afterwards I joined the "Lehr und Wehr Verein," an armed organization of the workingmen, numbering about 1,500 well drilled members. As soon as our patricians saw that the canaille was arming for defense to repel such scandalous attacks in the future as had been made upon them in 1877, they at once commanded their law agents in Springfield to prohibit workingmen from bearing arms. The command was obeyed.

The workingmen also went into politics, independent politics. I served as a nominal candidate myself several times, but when the noble patricians and the political augurs saw that they (the workingmen) were successful in electing a number of their candidates, a conspiracy was organized to disfranchise them by fraudulent count and like methods. The workingmen thereupon left the ballot with disgust.


Autobiography of Adolph Fischer.


On the banks of the Weser, in Germany, about seven miles above where its waters lose themselves in the North Sea, lies the old city, Bremen. In the middle ages Bremen was one of the free cities which formed the Hanseatonic Union — a combination famous because of its constant wars against the freebooters and for its wealth and power. These cities monopolized the trade of the world in those days. Bremen is still one of the most important commercial centers of the European continent, and has to-day a population of about 140,000. This is the place of my birth. It will be of little interest to the reader were I to extensively describe the history of my childhood. It is the same as that of the average child. Therefore I may only state that I attended school eight years and a half and that I sailed for the United States when a lad of fifteen years. Soon after my arrival on these shores I entered apprenticeship as compositor in the printing office of my brother, William B. Fischer, at Little Rock, Ark., at which place he published a weekly German journal. Since the termination of my apprenticeship I have been working at my trade in different cities of this country. In June, 1883, destiny landed me in Chicago, where I have resided with my family since, occupying a situation as compositor in the office of the Arbeiter-Zeitung until my arrest on the 5th day of May for alleged participation in the Haymarket affair. I am a member of the German Typographical Union, which organization I joined in 1879 in St. Louis, Mo. At the latter place, in 1881, I also entered into a matrimonial engagement, the result being three children — one girl and two boys — who are with my wife in this city.

Being familiar with the doctrines of Socialism from my earliest youth, I have held it my duty to spread these principles so dear to me, whenever and wherever I could. What induced me to become a Socialist, you may ask? I will relate in a few words.

It happened during the last of my school days that our tutor of historical science one day chanced to refer to Socialism, which was at that time beginning to flourish in Germany, saying it meant "division of property." I am inclined now to believe that it was a general instruction given by the Government to the patriotic pedagogues to periodically describe Socialism to their elder pupils as a most horrible thing. It is a customary policy on the part of the respective monarchial Governments of the Old World to prejudice


the undeveloped minds of youth against everything which is disagreeable to despots through the medium of the school teachers. For instance, before the outbreak and during the Franco-German war we were made to believe by our teachers that every Frenchman was at least a scoundrel if not a criminal. On the other hand, kings were praised as the representatives of God and obedience and loyalty to them was described as the highest virtues. Thus the minds of the children are systematically poisoned, and the fruits of this practice are made use of when the little ones become men and women. On the occasion mentioned our teacher told us that Socialists were a lot of drunkards, swindlers and idlers, who were opposed to work. "The time draws near," that worthy said, "when you young men will have to earn your daily bread in the sweat of your brow. Some of you will acquire wealth while others will be less fortunate. Now these Socialists, mark you, who are a lazy set of people, intend forcibly to make you divide with them everything you possess at the termination of each year. For instance, if you should call two pairs of boots your own, one of these Socialistic scoundrels would kindly relieve you of one pair. How would you like that!" Certainly we thought we should not like it at all. Nor would I consent to anything of that sort now. Most decidedly not — such an arrangement would be absurd. Now I knew it to be a fact that my father took part in Socialist meetings very frequently, and I wondered that day why he, whom I thought to be so good, should have intercourse with such a bad class of men whose object it was to lead a lazy life and to make sober, industrious workingmen, at the end of each year, divide their earnings with them. When I reached home I intimated to my father (according to what my teacher had told us) what bad people the Socialists must be. Much to my surprise my dear father laughed aloud and embraced me affectionately.

"Dear Adolph," he said, "if Socialism is what your teacher explained it to be why the very institutions which prevail now would be Socialistic." And my father went on to show me how, in fact, there are so many idlers and indolent people under the existing form of society who were residing in palatial houses and living luxuriously at the expense of sober and industrious working people, and that Socialism had a mission to abolish such unjust division. After this day I accompanied my father to Socialist gatherings, and soon became convinced of the truth of what he had said. I began to study. Wandering about the streets, I often saw groups of hardfisted men working in quarries and other places of toil and handling heavy picks and clumsy shovels from early morning until late at night. I would notice standing a little aside an elegantly dressed individual smoking a Havana, and seemingly interested in the work of the toilers. The hands of the idler were covered with kid gloves; in the bosom of his snow-white shirt glittered a diamond, and from his vest dangled a valuable gold watch chain. You can guess who this gentleman was — the "employer." The busy toilers, notwithstanding


the many hours of strained work, could scarcely earn enough to keep themselves and families from want. I saw they inhabited miserable hovels, and the pleasures and comforts of life were unknown to them. Their children were hollow-eyed and resembled fence posts covered with human skin more than human beings. On one occasion I followed the fine gentleman who had been standing idly by commanding the workingmen, and saw him enter a wonderfully beautiful house — a palace. Costly pictures decorated the walls, precious carpets covered the floors, and golden chandeliers were suspended from the ceilings. The safes and pantries were bursting with their tempting contents, and the tables covered with choice wines and delicacies. In short, everything good and agreeable could be enjoyed there in abundance. This contrast between the busy toiler and the idle bystander did not fail to impress me, especially as I observed that these conditions existed everywhere and in all branches of industry. I perceived that the diligent, never-resting human working bees who create all wealth enjoy only a minor part of their products and lead comparatively miserable lives, whilst the drones keep the warehouses locked up and revel in luxury and voluptuousness. Was I wrong or was the world wrong? I saw men who manufactured shoes and boots and had helped fill storehouses with these products ever since their boyhood, and yet they lingered in their shanties after rainy weather for fear of getting wet feet, and in many cases the toes of their children's feet peeped speakingly out from their shabby shoes. Bricklayers were busy building houses, but very few owned a house to live in. The clothing stores were full of goods, but it was not a rare sight in my native city to see tailors going about to such an extent that they resemble chessboards. While the bakers were half roasting in the hot bakehouse sixteen hours out of the twenty-four, their wives in many instances did not know where to get a loaf of bread. My father's neighbor worked in a butcher shop, but his wages were so low that his family could afford the luxury of a pound of meat only once a week — on Sunday. All these circumstances convinced me that "there must be something rotten in Denmark," and it did not require a sorcerer to discover that the prevailing social institutions were based upon the extortion of one class by another.

But now after coming to this conclusion, I wondered whether the workingmen were conscious of their real situation. I found that the overwhelming majority were not. Instead of hating those who enslaved them, they looked upon their masters as their benefactors. I remember visiting a cousin of mine one Sunday, who worked in a gigantic sugar refinery together with thousands of other men and women, the owner of said factory being a well-known millionaire. My cousin could not help at every occasion speaking in high terms of his "benefactor," as he styled his employer. On this day he specially endeavored to make the generosity of his employer plain to me. "Why," my enthusiastic cousin explained, "besides employing so many people who would otherwise starve, he donates annually an enormous sum of money


to charitable purposes, and furthermore was so noble-hearted as to give employment to the wives and children of the two unfortunate workingmen who lost their lives by being crushed by the machinery." But ungrateful as I was I could not see anything noble in this. I had read in novels (secretly my father having forbidden such literature) that famous highwaymen had given part of their booty to the poor, and I therefore saw nothing extraordinary in the "charity" of my cousin's "benefactor." I communicated my thoughts to my relative, who in return got very angry because of this comparison and muttered something that sounded like "that lad is getting too smart." This is only one example. Thus I found the brain of the toiler molded everywhere. Oh, these stupid fools! They are slaves without knowing it. They stood still like innocent sheep while their masters sheared them. Aye more than that, they looked upon them as their noble benefactors, who employed them for the purpose of saving them from starvation.



Autobiography of George Engel.


I was born the 15th of April, 1836, in the city of Casel, Germany, at that the capital of Kurhessen. My father, Conrad Engel, a mason and brick-layer, died when I was eighteen months old, and left my mother, a very poor widow, with four little children. When I was twelve years old my mother died and left me to the mercies of the cruel world. Two of my brothers were taken to an orphan asylum, I and another child were given to two poor families that took care of us for 20 thalers ($15) a year. I already knew what hunger meant; then I learned what starvation was. When I was fourteen the city quit paying for my sustenance and I was told that it was time for me to learn a trade. And so it was. In Germany a common school education is compulsory and every child must go to school twelve months in the year, excepting the usual vacations, from the age of seven to fourteen. At fourteen the boy begins to learn a trade and goes to the Sunday school. There he is further educated in reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, etc. Nobody caring for me, I went around and at last found a shoemaker who was willing to teach me the mysteries of shoemaking in four years if somebody would furnish me with clothing and washing during that time. Nobody was inclined to do me that favor, and having been apprenticed for two weeks, the shoemaker turned me into the street. For some time I searched in vain for a master, and then gave it up. In Germany to a great extent, even to this day, an apprentice must pay to his master a certain sum for learning a trade, so it is difficult for a poor boy to get apprenticed at all. I had lost all hope when I heard that certain of my schoolmates had emigrated to America. I heard a good deal of the United States, which left on my mind the impression that there was a better chance for me in that country. But before I could leave I must earn some money, and I therefore went to Frankfort-on-the-Main to try my luck after having failed in Cassel. As I had no money I traveled on foot. Tired and footsore after several days, I reached Frankfort, and wandered in the streets of the city during the day, not knowing what to do. Night came and hunger and cold drove me into a saloon. I asked the saloonkeeper for something to eat, saying I would work for it. He arose and angrily told me to get out. A citizen in the room pitied me, for I was only fourteen, and offered to learn the trade of painting, if I was willing to go with him. Very thankful and glad, I said yes. I went with him after


eating a hearty meal for which he paid. I was apprenticed according to the rules of the trade, and I remember the years of my apprenticeship with gratitude, for my master was a just and good man. After learning my trade I went abroad — "traveled," for so the custom of young mechanics is described In the year of 1863 I came to Bremen, after having worked in Mayence, Cologne and Dusseldorf. I read a great deal, but nothing of Socialistic literature. Up to this time I had been easy going and careless; by and by I began to think of the difference between the rich and poor.

The newspapers in Bremen had much to say about the oppression of the inhabitants of Schleswig-Holstein by Denmark. A movement was going on to free these German brothers from the yoke of the Danish king, as it was put I considered the struggle of my countrymen something great and joined a regiment of volunteers. We were drilled and marched to Altona in Schleswig-Holstein. But when the regular militia of Prussia and Austria came there our regiment dissolved. The war between the German federation and Denmark then broke out. The German brothers were freed from the Danish, only to come under the Prussian yoke.

I worked in many different cities. The years 1868 found me in Retina, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, where I married. There I started a business for myself. The development of the factory system in Germany swept most of the small manufacturers out of existence. The struggle for life increased and it became harder to make a decent living. My intention to emigrate to America, which I had when a boy, came back to me. To make it short, the 8th day of January, 1873, found me in Philadelphia. I took work in a sugar refinery, and in May worked again as a painter. In this city, for the first time in my life, I heard something about serious labor troubles. The militia marched along the streets, coming from the coal mines, where they had "subjugated" some troublesome, starving miners. I watched them, when a bystander says: "These scoundrels ought to be hung on the spot." The remark surprised me, for at that time, being an "ignorant foreigner," I sang the praises of this "free and glorious country." Scornfully looking at the man, I asked the reason of his unpatriotic remark. He gave me his reasons; having been a manufacturer myself, though on a small scale, and knowing nothing of the labor question. I could not comprehend him; in answer I reiterated the well-known trash of the capitalist newspaper. It is true, I earned what was called good wages by ten hours' daily work and laid by a little money for a rainy day. Well, the rainy day came soon enough; I became sick and my eyes suffered. Doctors and medicine were dear; my family had to be supported and my savings were soon gone. For a year we had a very hard time and then I began to get well and able to work again. As soon as I earned money enough I came to Chicago, and here I learned something of Socialism for the first time in my life. In the year 1874 I worked in Tembruth's wagon factory. There I got acquainted with a Socialist. One day he showed me a paper, Der Vorbote,


a small Socialist weekly edited by Conrad Conzett, who is now working for the cause in Switzerland. I found the paper very interesting and saw that it contained great truths. I was delighted with it. An advertisement of a meeting to be held by the International Workingmen's Association at 130 Lake street attracted my attention and I attended it. About fifteen or seventeen men were present — a small branch of the I. W. A. These men made great sacrifices to uphold their paper, and it was at that time astonishing to me that men could, without any compensation, work so eagerly for humanity. It struck me what a gigantic work it was to educate and organize the masses who create everything only to be cheated by their exploiters out of the fruits of their toil. My health was good. I had work; therefore was able to buy and study Socialistic literature. The more I read the more I became convinced; enlisted in the cause and have worked for and grown firmer in my belief ever since. I started a toy store in 1876, which gave me more time and opportunity to work for the cause. In 1878 the I. W. A. disbanded and all the members entered the different labor organizations of the city, and in a short time we were able to organize the "Socialistic Labor Party." Next year we polled 12,000 votes for the labor candidates. This was a great success, but it brought a horde of corrupt politicians into our ranks, who cared little or nothing for principle. Dissensions broke out and reduced our numbers considerably. At the time of the Greenback Convention in Chicago some of our members proposed a fusion with the Greenbackers; others held that to be treason to the Socialistic principle. In Chicago the anti-Greenback-fusion faction was in the lead. Numerous quarrels ensued, and at last nothing but two or three small Socialistic societies were left. The only substantial remaining permanent was Arbeiter Zeitung, Vorbote, and Fackel, all German newspapers. Of course, there were thousands of Socialists in the city, although unorganized. They still believed in the ballot, but when Judge Gardner refused to punish two ballot box stuffers and said it was a righteous thing to cheat a Communist out of his vote these workingmen got disgusted with voting and began to reason as to other methods of spreading Socialist principles. In 1882 the Socialists began to rally and founded clubs all over the city which declared themselves for the International Working People's Association, the American branch of which was founded in October, 1883, in Pittsburg, Pa. I soon became an active member of the international. I belonged to the Northwest-Side Group, the original group in that part of the city.

On May 2 and 3, 1886, I was present at meetings in which it was proposed to give aid to any strikers if the police or Pinkertons should attack them. On the evening of May 4 I was at home playing cards, when Waller entered and told us of the tragedy on the Haymarket. I told him to go home, and very soon after went to bed myself.

And now a few words as to the bomb-throwing. It is my belief to-day that if the bomb had not been thrown by the unknown, at least 300 working


people would have been killed or wounded by the police. The police were used to put an end to the eight-hour movement, and thereby save the capitalists of this city millions of dollars' profit on labor. The police, led by Bonfield, wanted to pose as petted champions of the millionaires. It came out differently, and that is what the police are so enraged about. They intended to slaughter the workingmen, but were disappointed.


Speech of Louis Lingg.

Louis Lingg was born in Germany; was a carpenter by trade, and worked steadily at his trade after coming to America; was never arrested before the Haymarket trouble. He was only 22 years old at the time of his death.

Following are extracts from his speech in remonstrance to the death sentence:

COURT OF JUSTICE! With the same irony with which you have regarded my efforts to win in this "free land of America" a livelihood such as humankind is worthy to enjoy, do you now, after condemning me to death, concede me the liberty of making a final speech.

I accept your concession; but it is only for the purpose of exposing the injustice, the calumnies and the outrages which have been heaped upon me.

You have accused me of murder and convicted me; what proof have you brought that I am guilty?

It is not murder, however, of which you have convicted me. The judge has stated that much only this morning in his resume of the case, and Grinnell has repeatedly asserted that we were being tried, not for murder, but for Anarchy, so that the condemnation is — that I am an Anarchist!

You have charged me with despising "law and order." What does your "law and order" amount to? Its representatives are the police, and they have thieves in their ranks. Here sits Captain Schaack. He has himself admitted to me that my hat and books have been stolen from him in his office —stolen by policemen. These are your defenders of property rights!

The detectives, again, who arrested me forced their way into my room like house breakers, under false pretences, giving the name of a carpenter, Lorenz, of Burlington street. They have sworn that I was alone in my room, therein perjuring themselves. You have not subpoenaed this lady, Mrs. Klein, who was present, and could have sworn that the aforesaid detectives broke into my room under false pretences, and that their testimonies are perjured.

But let us go further. In Schaack we have a captain of the police, and he also has perjured himself. He has sworn that I admitted to him being present at the Monday night's meeting, whereas I distinctly informed him that I was at a carpenter's meeting at Zepf's Hall. He has sworn again that I told him that I had learned how to make bombs from Herr Most's book. That also is perjury.


Let us go still a step higher among these representatives of "law and order." Grinnell and his associates have permitted perjury, and I say that they have done it knowingly. The proof has been adduced by my counsel and with my own eyes I have seen Grinnell point out to Gilmer, eight days before he came upon the stand, the persons of the men whom he was to swear against.

While I, as I have stated above, believe in force for the sake of winning for myself and fellow workmen a livelihood such as men ought to have, Grinnell, on the other hand, through his police and other rogues, has suborned perjury in order to murder seven men, of whom I am one.

Grinnell had the pitiful courage, here in this court room, where I could not defend myself, to call me a coward! The scoundrel! A fellow who has leagued himself with a parcel of base hireling knaves to bring me to the gallows. Why? For no earthly reason save a contemptible selfishness — a desire to "rise in the world" — to "make money," forsooth!

This wretch — who, by means of the perjuries of other wretches is going to murder seven men — is the fellow who calls me "coward!" And yet you blame me for despising such "defenders of the law" — such unspeakable hypocrites!

The judge himself was forced to admit that the State's attorney had not been able to connect me with the bomb throwing. The latter knows how to get around it, however. He charges me with being a "conspirator." How does he prove it? Simply by declaring the International Workingmen's Association to be a "conspiracy." I was a member of that body, so he has the charge securely fastened on me. Excellent! Nothing is too difficult for the genius of a State's attorney!

It is hardly incumbent upon me to review the relations which I occupy to my companions in misfortune. My friend Spies has already explained how we became acquainted with each other. I can say truly and openly that I am not as intimate with my fellow prisoners as I am with Captain Schaack.

The universal misery, the ravages of the capitalistic hyena have brought us together in our agitation, not as persons, but as workers in the same cause. Such is the "conspiracy" of which you have convicted me.

I protest against the conviction, against the decision of the court. I do not recognize your law, jumbled together as it is by the nobodies of by-gone centuries, and I do not recognize the decision of the court. My own counsel have conclusively proven from the decisions of equally high courts that a new trial must be granted us. The State's attorney quotes three times as many decisions from perhaps still higher courts to prove the opposite, and I am convinced that if, in another trial, these decisions should be supported by twenty-five volumes, they will adduce one hundred in support of the contrary, if it is Anarchists who are to be tried. And not even under such a law, a


law that a schoolboy must despise, not even by such methods they have been able to "legally", convict us. They have suborned perjury to boot.

I tell you frankly and openly I am for force. I have already told Captain Schaack, "If they use cannons against us, we shall use dynamite against them."

I repeat that I am the enemy of the "order" of to-day, and I repeat that, with all my powers, so long as breath remains in me, I shall combat it. I declare again, frankly and openly, that I am in favor of using force. I have told Captain Schaack, and I stand by it, "If you cannonade us, we shall dynamite you." You laugh. Perhaps you think, "You'll throw no more bombs;" but let me assure you that I die happy on the gallows, so confident am I that the hundreds and thousands to whom I have spoken will remember my words; and when you shall have hanged me, then, mark my words, they will do the bomb throwing! In this hope I say to you: I despise you. I despise your order, your laws, your force-propped authority. Hang me for it!



Altgeld's Reasons for Pardoning Fielden, Neebe and Schwab.


On the night of May 4, 1886, a public meeting was held on Haymarket Square in Chicago; there were from 800 to 1,000 people present, nearly all being laboring men. There had been trouble, growing out of the effort to introduce an eight-hour day, resulting in some collisions with the police, in one of which several laboring people were killed, and this meeting was called as a protest against alleged police brutality.

The meeting was orderly and was attended by the mayor, who remained until the crowd began to disperse, and then went away. As soon as Capt. John Bonfield, of the police department, learned that the mayor had gone, he took a detachment of police and hurried to the meeting for the purpose of dispersing the few that remained, and as the police approached the place of meeting a bomb was thrown by some unknown person, which exploded and wounded many and killed several policemen, among the latter being one Mathias Degan. A number of people were arrested, and after a time August Spies, Albert R. Parsons, Louis Lingg, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Oscar Neebe were indicted for the murder of Mathias Degan. The prosecution could not discover who had thrown the bomb and could not bring the really guilty man to justice, and, as some of the men indicted were not at the Haymarket meeting and had nothing to do with it, the prosecution was forced to proceed on the theory that the men indicted were guilty of murder because it was claimed they had at various times in the past uttered and printed incendiary and seditious language, practically advising the killing of policemen, of Pinkerton men and others acting in that capacity, and that they were therefore responsible for the murder of Mathias Degan. The public was greatly excited, and after a prolonged trial all the defendants were found guilty; Oscar Neebe was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment and all of the other defendants were sentenced to be hanged. The case was carried to the Supreme Court and was there affirmed in the fall of 1887. Soon thereafter Lingg committed suicide. The sentence of Fielden and Schwab was commuted to imprisonment for life, and Parsons, Fischer, Engel and Spies were hanged, and the petitioners now ask to have Neebe, Fielden and Schwab set at liberty.

The several thousand merchants, bankers, judges, lawyers and other prominent citizens of Chicago who have by petition, by letter and in other


ways urged executive clemency, mostly base their appeal on the ground that, assuming the prisoners to be guilty, they have been punished enough; but a number of them who have examined the case more carefully and are more familiar with the record and with the facts disclosed by the papers on file, base their appeal on entirely different grounds. They assert:

First — That the jury which tried the case was a packed jury selected to convict.

Second — That, according to the law as laid down by the Supreme Court, both prior to and again since the trial of this ease, the jurors, according to their own answers, were not competent jurors, and the trial was therefore not a legal trial.

Third — That the defendants were not proven to be guilty of the crime charged in the indictment.

Fourth — That as to the defendant Neebe, the State's attorney had declared at the close of the evidence that there was no case against him, and yet he has been kept in prison all these years.

Fifth — That the trial judge was either so prejudiced against the defendants, or else so determined to win the applause of a certain class in the community, that he could not and did not grant a fair trial.

Upon the question of having been punished enough, I will simply say that if the defendants had a fair trial, and nothing has developed since to show that they were not guilty of the crime charged in the indictment, then there ought to be no executive interference, for no punishment under our laws could then be too severe. Government must defend itself; life and property must be protected, and law and order must be maintained; murder must be punished, and if the defendants are guilty of murder, either committed by their own hands or by some one else acting on their advice, then, if they have had a fair trial, there should be in this case no executive interference. The soil of America is not adopted to the growth of Anarchy. While our institutions are not free from injustice, they are still the best that have yet been devised, and therefore must be maintained.


The record of the trial shows that the jury in this case was not drawn in the manner that juries usually are drawn: that is, instead of having a number of names drawn out of a box that contained many hundred names, as the law contemplates shall be done in order to insure a fair jury and give neither side the advantage, the trial judge appointed one Henry L. Ryce as a special bailiff, to go out and summon such men as he (Ryce) might select to act as jurors. While this practice has been sustained in cases in which it did not appear that either side had been prejudiced thereby, it is always a dangerous practice, for it gives the bailiff absolute power to select a jury that will be favorable to one side or the other. Counsel for the State, in their printed


brief, say that Ryce was appointed on motion of defendants. While it appears that counsel for the defendants were in favor of having some one appointed the record has this entry:

"Mr. Grinnell (the State's attorney) suggested Mr. Ryce as special bailiff, and he was accepted and appointed." But it makes no difference on whose motion he was appointed if he did not select a fair jury. It is shown that he boasted while selecting jurors that he was managing this case; that these fellows would hang as certain as death; that he was calling such men as the defendants would have to challenge peremptorily and waste their challenges on, and that when their challenges were exhausted they would have to take such men as the prosecution wanted. It appears from the record of the trial that the defendants were obliged to exhaust all of their peremptory challenges, and they had to take a jury, almost every member of which stated, frankly that he was prejudiced against them. On page 133 of volume I of the record it appears that when the panel, was about two-thirds full, counsel for defendants called attention of the court to the fact that Ryce was summoning only prejudiced men, as shown by their examinations. Further: That he was confining himself to particular classes; i. e., clerks, merchants, manufacturers etc. Counsel for defendants then moved the court to stop this and direct Ryce to summon the jurors from the body of the people; that is, from the community at large, and not from particular classes; but the court refused to take any notice of the matter.

For the purpose of still further showing the misconduct of Bailiff Ryce reference is made to the affidavit of Otis S. Favor. Mr. Favor is one of the most reputable and honorable business men in Chicago; he was himself summoned by Ryce as a juror, but was so prejudiced against the defendants that he had to be excused, and he abstained from making any affidavit before sentence because the State's attorney had requested him not to make it, although he stood ready, to go into court and tell what he knew if the court wished him to do so, and he naturally supposed he would be sent for. But after the Supreme Court had passed on the case and some of the defendants were about to be hanged he felt that an injustice was being done and he made the following affidavit:


Otis S. Favor, being duly sworn, on oath says that he is a citizen of the United States and of the State of Illinois, residing in Chicago, and a merchant doing business at Nos. 6 and 8 Wabash avenue, in the city of Chicago, in said county. That he is very well acquainted with Henry L. Ryce, of Cook county, Illinois, who acted as special bailiff in summoning jurors in the case of The People, etc., vs. Spies et al., indictment for murder, tried in the Criminal Court of Cook county, in the summer of 1886. That affiant was himself summoned by said Ryce for a juror in said cause, but was challenged and excused


therein because of his prejudice. That on several occasions in conversation between affiant and said Ryce touching the summoning of the jurors by said Ryce, and while said Ryce was so acting as special bailiff as aforesaid, said Ryce said to this affiant and to other person's in affiant's presence, in substance and effect as follows, to-wit: "I (meaning said Ryce) am managing this case (meaning this case against Spies et al.) and know what I am about. Those fellows (meaning the defendants, Spies et al.) are going to be hanged as certain as death. I am calling such men as the defendants will have to challenge peremptorily and waste their time and challenges. Then they will have to take such men as the prosecution wants." That affiant has been very reluctant to make any affidavit in this case, having no sympathy with Anarchy nor relationship to or personal interest in the defendants or any of them, and not being a Socialist, Communist or Anarchist; but affiant has an interest as a citizen, in the due administration of the law, and that no injustice should be done under judicial procedure, and believes that jurors should not be selected with reference to their known views or prejudices. Affiant further says that his personal relations with said Ryce were at said time, and for many years theretofore, had been most friendly and even intimate, and that affiant is not prompted by any ill will toward any one in making this affidavit, but solely by a sense of duty and a conviction of what is due to justice.

Affiant further says that about the beginning of October, 1886, when the motion for a new trial was being argued in said cases before Judge Gary, and when, as he was informed, application was made before Judge Gary for leave to examine affiant in open court, touching the matters above stated, this affiant went, upon request of State's Attorney Grinnell, to his office during the noon recess of the court and there held an interview with said Grinnell, Mr. Ingham and said Ryce, in the presence of several other persons, including some police officers, where affiant repeated substantially the matters above stated, and the said Ryce did not deny affiant's statements, and affiant said he would have to testify thereto if summoned as a witness, but had refused to make an affidavit thereto, and affiant was then and there asked and urged to persist in his refusal and to make no affidavit. And affiant further saith not. OTIS S. FAVOR,

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of November, A. D. 1887.
JULIUS STERN, Notary Public in and for said County.

So far as shown no one connected with the State's attorney's office has ever denied the statements of Mr. Favor as to what took place in that office, although his affidavit was made in November, 1887.

As to Bailiff Ryce, it appears that he has made an affidavit in which he denies that he made the statements sworn to by Mr. Favor, but unfortunately for him, the record of the trial is against him, for it shows conclusively that


he summoned only the class of men mentioned in Mr. Favor's affidavit. According to the record, 981 men were examined as to their qualifications as jurors, and most of them were either employers, or men who had been pointed out to the bailiff by their employer. The following, taken from the original record of the trial, are fair specimens of the answers of nearly all the jurors, except that in the following cases the court succeeded in getting the jurors to say that they believed they could try the case fairly notwithstanding their prejudices.


William Neil, a manufacturer, was examined at length; stated that he had heard and read about the Haymarket trouble, and believed enough of what he had so heard and read to form an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, which he still entertained; that he had expressed said opinion and then he added: "It would take pretty strong evidence to remove the impression that I now have. I could not dismiss it from my mind; could not lay it altogether aside during the trial. I believe my present opinion, based upon what he had so heard and read to form an opinion as to the guilt of the dewould influence me in determining and getting at a verdict."

He was challenged by the defendants on the ground of being prejudiced, but the court then got him to say that he believed he could give a fair verdict on whatever evidence he should hear, and thereupon the challenge was overruled.

H. F. Chandler, in the stationery business with Skeen, Stuart & Co.; said: "I was pointed out to the deputy sheriff by my employer to be summoned as a juror." He then stated that he had read and talked about the Haymarket trouble, and had formed and frequently expressed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, and that he believed the statements he had read and heard. He was asked:

Q. Is that a decided opinion as to the guilt of the defendants?

A. It is a decided opinion; yes, sir.

Q. Your mind is pretty well made up now as to their guilt or innocence?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would it be hard to change your opinion.

A. It might be hard; I cannot say. I don't Know whether it would be hard or not.

He was challenged by the defendants on the ground of being prejudiced. Then the court took him in hand and examined him at some length, and got him to state that he believed he could try the case fairly. Then the challenge was overruled.

F. L. Wilson: Am a manufacturer. Am prejudiced and have formed and expressed an opinion; that opinion would influence me in rendering a verdict.

He was challenged for cause, but was then examined by the court.

Q. Are you conscious in your own mind of any wish or desire that there


should be evidence produced in this trial which should prove some of these men, or any of them, to be guilty?

A. Well, I think I have.

Being further pressed by the court, he said that the only feeling he had against the defendants was based upon having taken it for granted that what he read about them was, in the main, true; that he believed that sitting as a juror the effect of the evidence either for or against the defendants would be increased or diminished by what he had heard or read about the case. Then on being still further pressed by the court, he finally said: "Well, I feel that I hope that the guilty one will be discovered or punished — not necessarily these men."

Q. Are you conscious of any other wish or desire about the matter than that the actual truth may be discovered?

A. I don't think I am.

Thereupon the challenge was overruled.

George N. Porter, grocer, testified that he had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, and that this opinion he thought, would bias his judgment; he would try to go by the evidence, but what he had read would have a great deal to do with his verdict; his mind, he said, was certainly biased now, and that it would take a great deal of evidence to change it. He was challenged for cause by the defendants; was examined by the court and said:

"I think what I have heard and read before I came into court would have some influence with me." But the court finally got him to say he believed he could fairly and impartially try the case and render a verdict according to law and evidence, and that he would try to do so. Thereupon the court overruled the challenge for cause. Then he was asked some more questions by defendants' counsel, and among other things said:

"Why, we have talked about it there a great many times and I have always expressed my opinion. I believe what I have read in the papers; believe that the parties are guilty. I would try to go by the evidence, but in this case it would be awful hard work for me to do it."

He was challenged a second time on the ground of being prejudiced; was then again taken in hand by the court and examined at length, and finally again said he believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence, when the challenge for cause was overruled for the second time.

H. N. Smith, hardware merchant, stated among other things that he was prejudiced and had quite a decided opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants; that he had expressed his opinion and still entertained it, and candidly stated that he was afraid he would listen a little more attentively to the testimony which concurred with his opinion than the testimony on the other side; that some of the policemen injured were personal friends of his. He was asked these questions:


Q. That is, you would be willing to have your opinion strengthened, and hate very much to have it dissolved?

A. I would.

Q. Under these circumstances do you think that you could render a fair and impartial verdict?

A. I don't think I could.

Q. You think you would be prejudiced?

A. I think I would be, because my feelings are very bitter.

Q. Would your prejudice in any way influence you in coming at an opinion, in arriving at a verdict?

A. I think it would.

He was challenged on the ground of being prejudiced, was interrogated at length by the court, and was brought to say he believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence produced in court. Then the challenge was overruled.

Leonard Gould, wholesale grocer, was examined at length; said he had a decided prejudice against the defendants. Among other things, he said: "I really don't know that I could do the case justice; if I was to sit on the case I should just give my undivided attention to the evidence and calculate to be governed by that." He was challenged for cause and the challenge overruled. He was then asked the question over again, whether he could render an impartial verdict based upon the evidence alone, that would be produced in court, and he answered: "Well, I answered that, as far as I could answer it."

Q. You say you don't know that you can answer that, either yes or no?

A. No, I don't know that I can.

Thereupon the court proceeded to examine him, endeavoring to get him to state that he believed he could try the case fairly, upon the evidence that was produced in court, part of the examination being as follows:

Q. Now, do you believe that you can — that you have sufficiently reflected upon it — so as to examine your own mind, that you can fairly and impartially determine the guilt or innocence of the defendants?

A. That is a difficult question for me to answer.

Q. Well, make up your mind as to whether you can render, fairly and impartially render, a verdict in accordance with the law and the evidence. Most men in business possibly have not gone through a metaphysical examination so as to be prepared to answer a question of this kind.

A. Judge, I don't believe I can answer that question.

Q. Can you answer whether you believe you know?

A. If I had to do that I should do the best I could.

Q. The question is whether you believe you could or not. I suppose, Mr. Gould, that you know the law is that no man is to be convicted of any offense with which he is charged, unless the evidence proves that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

A. That is true.


Q. The evidence heard in this case in court?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you believe that you can render a verdict in accordance with the law?

A. Well, I don't know that I could.

Q. Do you believe that you can't — if you don't know of any reason why you cannot, do you believe that you can't?

A. I cannot answer that question.

Q. Have you a belief one way or other as to whether you can or cannot? Not whether you are going to do it, but do you believe you cannot? That is the only thing. You are not required to state what is going to happen next week or week after, but what do you believe about yourself, whether you can or can't.

A. I am about where I was when I started.

Some more questions were asked and Mr. Gould answered:

Well, I believe I have gone just as far as I can in reply to that question.

Q. This question, naked and simple in itself is, do you believe that you can fairly and impartially render a verdict in the case in accordance with the law and evidence?

A. I believe I could.

Having finally badgered the juror into giving this last answer, the court desisted. The defendants' counsel asked:

Do you believe you can do so, uninfluenced by any prejudice or opinion which you now have?

A. You bring it at a point that I object to and I do not feel competent to answer.

Thereupon the juror was challenged a second time for cause, and the challenge was overruled.

James H. Walker, dry goods merchant, stated that he had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of defendants; that he was prejudiced, and that his prejudice would handicap him.

Q. Considering all prejudice and all opinions you have, if the testimony was equally balanced, would you decide one way or the other in, accordance with that opinion or your prejudice?

A. If the testimony was equally balanced I should hold my present opinion, sir.

Q. Assuming that your present opinion is, that you believe the defendants guilty, would you believe your present opinion would warrant you in convicting them?

A. I presume it would.

Q. Well, you believe it would; that is your present belief, is it?

A. Yes, sir.

He was challenged on the ground of prejudice.


The court then examined him at length, and finally asked:

Q. Do you believe that you can sit here and fairly and impartially make up your mind, from the evidence, whether that evidence proves that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or not?

A. I think I could, but I should believe that I was a little handicapped in my judgment, sir.

Thereupon the court, in the presence of the jurors not yet examined, remarked:

Well, that is a sufficient qualification for a juror in the case; of course, the more a man feels that he is handicapped the more he will be guarded against it.

W. B. Allen, wholesale rubber business, stated among other things:

Q. I will ask you whether what you have formed from what you have read and heard is a slight impression, or an opinion, or a conviction.

A. It is a decided conviction.

Q. You have made up your mind as to whether these men are guilty or innocent?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. It would be difficult to change that Conviction, or impossible, perhaps?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. It would be impossible to change your conviction?

A. It would be hard to change my conviction.

He was challenged for cause by defendants. Then he was examined by the court at length and finally brought to the point of saying that he could try the case fairly and impartially, and would do so. Then the challenge for cause was overruled.

H. L. Anderson was examined at length, and stated that he had formed and expressed an opinion, still held it, was prejudiced, but that he could lay aside his prejudices and grant a fair trial upon the evidence. On being further examined, he said that some of the policemen injured were friends of his and he had talked with them fully. He had formed an unqualified opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants, which he regarded as deep-seated, a firm conviction that these defendants, or some of them, were guilty. He was challenged on the ground of prejudice, but the challenge was overruled.

M. D. Flavin, in the marble business. He had read and talked about the Haymarket trouble, and had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants, which he still held and which was very strong; further, that one of the officers killed at the Haymarket was a relative of his, although the relationship was distant, but on account of this relationship his feelings were perhaps different from what they would have been, and occasioned a very strong opinion as to the guilt of the defendants, and that he had stated to others that he believed what he had heard and read about the matter. He was challenged on the ground of prejudice, and then stated, in answer


to a question from the prosecution, that he believed that he could give a fair and impartial verdict, when the challenge was overruled.


The twelve jurors whom the defendants were finally forced to accept, after the challenges were exhausted, were of the same general character as the others, and a number of them stated candidly that they were so prejudiced that they could not try the case fairly, but each, when examined by the court, was finally induced to say that he believed he could try the case fairly upon the evidences that was produced in court alone. For example:

Theodore Denker, one of the twelve: "Am shipping clerk for Henry W. King & Co. I have read and talked about the Haymarket tragedy, and have formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants of the crime charged in the indictment. I believe what I read and heard, and still entertain that opinion."

Q. Is that opinion such as to prevent you from rendering an impartial verdict in the case, sitting as a juror, under the testimony and the law?

A. I think it is.

He was challenged for cause on the ground of prejudice. Then the State's attorney and the court examined him and finally got him to say that he believed he could try the case fairly on the law and the evidence, and the challenge was overruled. He was then asked further questions by the defendants counsel, and said:

"I have formed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants and have expressed it. We conversed about the matter in the business house and I expressed my opinion there; expressed my opinion quite frequently. My mind was made up from what I read and I did not hesitate to speak about it."

Q. Would you feel yourself in any way governed or bound in listening to the testimony and determining it upon the pre-judgment of the case that you had expressed to others before?

A. Well, that is a pretty hard question to answer.

He then stated to the court that he had not expressed an opinion as to the truth of the reports he had read, and finally stated that he believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence.

John B. Greiner, another one of the twelve: "Am a clerk for the Northwestern railroad. I have heard and read about the killing of Degan, at the Haymarket, on May 4, last, and have formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants now on trial for that crime. It is evident that the defendants are connected with that affair from their being there."

Q. You regard that as evidence?

A. Well, I don't know exactly. Of course I would expect that it connoted them or they would not be here.


Q. So, then, the opinion that you now have has reference to the guilt or innocence of some of these men, or all of them?

A. Certainly.

Q. Now, is that opinion one that would influence your verdict if you should be selected as a juror to try the case?

A. I certainly think it would affect if to some extent; I don't see how it could be otherwise.

He further stated that there had been a strike in the freight department of the Northwestern road, which affected the department he was in. After some further examination he stated that he thought he could try the case fairly on the evidence, and was then held to be competent.

G. W. Adams, also one of the twelve: "Am a traveling salesman; have been an employer of painters. I read and talked about the Haymarket trouble and formed an opinion as to the nature and character of the crime committed there. I conversed freely with my friends about the matter."

Q. Did you form an opinion at the time that the defendants were connected with or responsible for the commission of that crime?

A. I thought some of them were interested in it; yes.

Q. And you still think so?

A. Yes.

Q. Nothing has transpired in the interval to change your mind at all, I suppose.

A. No, sir.

Q. You say some of them; that is, in the newspaper accounts that you read, the names, of some of the defendants were referred to?

A. Yes, sir.

After further examination he testified that he thought he could try the case fairly on the evidence.

H. T. Sanford, another one of the twelve; Clerk for the Northwestern railroad, in the freight auditor's office:

Q. Have you an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants of the murder of Mathias J. Began?

A. I have.

Q. From all that you have heard and that you have read, have you an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants of throwing the bomb?

A. Yes, sir; I have.

Q. Have you a prejudice against Socialists and Communists?

A. Yes, sir; a decided prejudice.

Q. Do you believe that that prejudice would influence your verdict in this case?

A. Well, as I know so little about it, it is a pretty hard question to answer. I have an opinion in my own mind that the defendants encourage the throwing of that bomb.


Challenged on the ground of prejudice.

On further examination, stated he believed he could try the case fairly upon the evidence, and the challenge for cause was overruled.

Upon the whole, therefore, considering the facts brought to light since the trial, as well as the record of the trial and the answers of the jurors as given therein, it is clearly shown that, while the counsel for defendants agreed to it, Ryce was appointed special bailiff at the suggestion of the State's attorney, and that he did summon a prejudiced jury which he believed would hang the defendants; and further, that the fact that Ryce was summoning only that kind of men was brought to the attention of the court before the panel was full, and it was asked to stop it, but refused to pay any attention to the matter, but permitted Ryce to go on, and then forced the defendants to go to trial before this jury.

While no collusion is proven between the judge and the State's attorney, it is clearly shown that after the verdict and while a motion for a new trial was pending, a charge was filed in court that Ryce had packed the jury, and that the attorney for the State got Mr. Favor to refuse to make an affidavit bearing on this point, which the defendants could use, and then the court refused to take any notice of it unless the affidavit was obtained, although it was informed that Mr. Favor would not make an affidavit, but stood ready to come into court and make a full statement if the court desired him to do so.

These facts alone would call for executive interference, especially as Mr. Favor's affidavit was hot before the Supreme Court at the time it considered the case.



The second point argued seems to me to be equally conclusive. In the case of the People vs. Coughlin, known as the Cronin case, recently-decided, the Supreme Court, in a remarkably able and comprehensive review of the law on this subject, says, among other things:

"The holdings of this and other courts is substantially uniform, that where it is once clearly shown that there exists in the mind of the juror, at the time he is called to the jury box, a fixed and positive opinion as to the merits of the case, or as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant he is called to try, his statement that, notwithstanding such opinion, he can render a fair and impartial verdict according to the law and evidence, has little, if any, tendency to establish his impartiality. This is so because the juror who has sworn to have in his mind a fixed and positive opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, is not impartial, as a matter of fact. * * *

"It is difficult to see how, after a juror has avowed a fixed and settled opinion as to the prisoner's guilt, a court can be legally satisfied of the truth of his


answer that he can render a fair and impartial verdict, or find therefrom that he has the qualification of impartiality, as required by the constitution. * * * *

"Under such circumstances, it is idle to inquire of the jurors whether they can return just and impartial verdicts. The more clear and positive were their impressions of guilt, the more certain they may be that they can act impartially in condemning the guilty party. They go into the box in a state of mind that is well calculated to give a color of guilt to all evidence, and if the accused escapes conviction, it will not be because the evidence has not established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but because an accused party condemned in advance, and called upon to exculpate himself before a prejudiced tribunal, has succeeded in doing so. * * *

"To try a cause by such a jury is to authorize men, who state that they will lean in their finding against one of the parties, unjustly to determine the rights of others, and it will be no difficult task to predict, even before the evidence was heard, the verdict that would be rendered. Nor can it be said that instructions from the court would correct the bias of the jurors who swear they incline in favor of one of the litigants. * * *

"Bontecou (one of the jurors in the Cronin case), it is true, was brought to make answer that he could render a fair and impartial verdict in accordance with the law and the evidence, but that result was reached only after a singularly argumentative and persuasive cross-examination by the court, in which the right of every person accused of crime to an impartial trial and to the presumption of innocence until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the duty of every citizen, when summoned as a juror, to lay aside all opinions and prejudices and accord the accused such a trial, was set forth and descanted upon at length, and in which the intimation was very clearly made that a juror who could not do this was recreant to his duty as a man and a citizen. Under pressure of this sort of cross-examination, Bontecou seems to have been finally brought to make answer in such a way as to profess an ability to sit as an impartial juror, and on his so answering he was pronounced competent and the challenge as to him was overruled. Whatever may be the weight ordinarily due to statements of this character of jurors, their value as evidence is in no small degree impaired in this case by the mode in which they were, in a certain sense, forced from the mouth of the juror. The theory seemed to be, that if a juror could in any way be brought to answer that he could sit as an impartial juror, that declaration of itself rendered him competent. Such a view, if it was entertained, was a total misconception of the law. * * *

"It requires no profound knowledge of human nature to know that with ordinary men opinions and prejudices are not amenable to the power of the will, however honest the intention of the party may be to put them aside. They are likely to remain in the mind of the juror in spite of all his efforts to get rid of them, warping and giving direction to his judgment, coloring the fact as they are developed by the evidence, and exerting an influence more or less


potent, though it be unconsciously to the juror himself, on the final result of his deliberations. To compel a person accused of a crime to be tried by a juror who has prejudiced his case is not a fair trial. Nor should a defendant be compelled to rely, as his security for the impartiality of the jurors by whom he is to be tried, upon the restraining and controlling influence upon the juror's mind of his oath to render a true verdict according to the law and the evidence. His impartiality should appear before he is permitted to take the oath. If he is not impartial then, his oath cannot be relied upon to make him so. In the terse and expressive language of Lord Coke, already quoted, the jury should stand indifferent as he stands unsworn."

Applying the law as here laid down in the Cronin case to the answers of the jurors above given in the present case, it is very apparent that most of the jurors were incompetent because they were not impartial, for nearly all of them candidly stated that they were prejudiced against the defendants, and believed them guilty before hearing the evidence, and the mere fact that the judge succeeded, by a singularly suggestive examination, in getting them to state that they believed they could try the case fairly fair on the evidence, did not make them competent.

It is true that this case was before the Supreme Court, and that court allowed the verdict to stand; and it is also true that in the opinion of the majority of the court in the Cronin case, an effort is made to distinguish that case from this one; but it is evident that the court did not have the record of this case before it when it tried to make the distinction, and the opinion of the minority of the court in the Cronin case expressly refers to this case as being exactly like that one, so far as relates to the competency of the jurors. The answers of the jurors were almost identical and the examinations were the same. The very things which the Supreme Court held to be fatal errors in the Cronin case, constituted the entire fabric of this case, so far as relates to the competency of the jury. In fact, the trial judge in the Cronin case was guided by the rule laid down in this case, yet the Supreme Court reversed the Cronin case because two of the jurors were held to be incompetent, each having testified that he had read and talked about the case, and had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt of the defendants; that he was prejudiced; that he believed what he had read, and that his prejudice might influence his verdict; that his prejudice amounted to a conviction on the subject of the guilt or innocence of the defendants; but each finally said that he could and would try the case fairly on the evidence alone, etc.

A careful comparison of the examination of these two jurors with that of many of the jurors in this case shows that a number of the jurors expressed themselves, if anything, more strongly against the defendants than these two did; and what is still more, one of those summoned, Mr. M. D. Flavin, in this case, testified not only that he had read and talked about the case, and had formed and expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants,


that he was bitterly prejudiced, but further, that he was related to one of the men who were killed, and that for that reason he felt more strongly against the defendants than he otherwise might, yet he was held to be competent on his mere statement that he believed he could try the case fairly on the evidence.

No matter what the defendants were charged with they were entitled to fair trial, and no greater danger could possibly threaten our institutions than to have the courts of justice run wild or give way to popular clamor; and when the trial judge in this case ruled that a relative of one of the men who was killed was a competent juror, and this after the man had candidly stated that he was deeply prejudiced, and that his relationship caused him to feel more strongly than he otherwise might; and when, in scores of instances, he ruled that men who candidly declared that they believed the defendants to be guilty, that this was a deep conviction and would influence their verdict, and that it would require strong evidence to convince them that the defendants were innocent; when in all these instances the trial judge ruled that these men were competent jurors, simply because they had, under his adroit manipulation, been led to say that they believed they could try the case fairly on the evidence then the proceedings lost all semblance of a fair trial.


The State has never discovered who it was that threw the bomb which killed the policeman, and the evidence does not show any connection whatever between the defendants and the man who did throw it. The trial judge, in overruling the motion for a new hearing, and again, recently in a magazine article, used this language:

"The conviction has not gone on the ground that they did have actually any personal participation in the particular act which caused the death of Degan, but the conviction proceeds upon the ground that they had generally, by speech and print, advised large classes of the people, not particular individuals, but large classes, to commit murder, and had left the commission, the time and place and when, to the individual will and whim or caprice, or whatever it may be, of each individual man who listened to their advice, and that in consequence of that advice, in pursuance of that advice, and influenced by that advice, somebody not known did throw the bomb that caused Degan's death. Now, if this is not a correct principle of the law, then the defendants of course are entitled to a new trial. This case is without a precedent; there is no example in the law books of a case of this sort."

The judge certainly told the truth when he stated that this case was without a precedent, and that no example could be found in the law books to sustain the law as above laid down. For, in all the centuries during which government has been maintained among men, and crime has been punished, no judge in a civilized country has ever laid down such a rule before. The petitioners claim that it was laid down in this case simply because the prosecution,


not having discovered the real criminal, would otherwise not have been able to convict anybody; that this course was then taken to appease the fury of the public, and that the judgment was allowed to stand for the same reason. I will not discuss this. But taking the law as above laid down, it was necessary under it to prove, and that beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committing the violent deed had at least heard or read the advice given to the masses, for until he either heard or read it he did not receive it, and if he did not receive it, he did not commit the violent act in pursuance of that advice; and it is here that the case for the State fails; with all his apparent eagerness to force conviction in court, and his efforts in defending his course since the trial, the judge, speaking on this point in his magazine article, makes this statement: "It is probably true that Rudolph Schnaubelt threw the bomb," which statement is merely a surmise and is all that is known about it, and is certainly not sufficient to convict eight men on. In fact, until the State proves from whose hands the bomb came, it is impossible to show any connection between the man who threw it and these defendants.

It is further shown that the mass of matter contained in the record and quoted at length in the judge's magazine article, showing the use of seditious and incendiary language, amounts to but little when its source is considered. The two papers in which articles appeared at intervals during years, were obscure little sheets, having scarcely any circulation, and the articles themselves were written at times of great public excitement, when an element in the community claimed to have been outraged; and the same is true of the speeches made by the defendants and others; the apparently seditious utterances were such as are always heard when men imagine that they have been wronged, or are excited or partially intoxicated; and the talk of a gigantic Anarchistic conspiracy is not believed by the then chief of police, as will be shown hereafter, and it is not entitled to serious notice, in view of the fact that, while Chicago had nearly a million inhabitants, the meetings held on the lake front on Sundays during the summer, by these agitators, rarely had fifty people present, and the most of these went from mere curiosity, while the meetings held indoors, during the winter, were still smaller. The meetings held from time to time by the masses of the laboring people, must not be confounded with the meetings above named, although in times of excitement and trouble much violent talk was indulged in by irresponsible parties; which was forgotten when the excitement was over.

Again, it is shown here that the bomb was, in all probability, thrown by some one seeking personal revenge; that a course had been pursued by the authorities which would naturally cause this; that for a number of years prior to the Haymarket affair there had been labor troubles, and in several cases a number of laboring people, guilty of no offense, had been shot down in cold blood by Pinkerton men, and none of the murderers were brought to justice. The evidence taken at coroners' inquests and presented here, shows that in at


least two cases men were fired on and killed when they were running away and there was consequently no occasion to shoot, yet nobody was punished that in Chicago there had been a number of strikes in which some of the police not only took sides against the men, but without any authority of law invaded and broke up peaceable meetings, and in scores of cases brutally clubbed people who were guilty of no offense whatever. Reference is made to the opinion of the late Judge McAllister, in the case of the Harmonia Association of Joiners against Brenan, et al., reported in the Chicago Legal News. Among other things, Judge McAllister says:

"The facts established by a large number of witnesses, and without any opposing evidence, are, that this society, having leased Turner Hall, on West Twelfth street, for the purpose, held a meeting in the forenoon of said day, in said hall, composed of from 200 to 300 individuals, most of whom were journeymen cabinet-makers engaged in the several branches of the manufacture of furniture in Chicago, but some of those in attendance were the proprietors in that business, or the delegates sent by them. The object of the meeting was to obtain a conference of the journeymen with such proprietors, or their authorized delegates, with the view of endeavoring to secure an increase of the price or diminution of the hours of labor. The attendants were wholly unarmed, and the meeting was perfectly peaceable and orderly, and while the people were sitting quietly, with their backs toward the entrance hall, with a few persons on the stage in front of them, and all engaged merely in the business for which they had assembled, a force of from fifteen to twenty policemen came suddenly into the hall, having a policeman's club in one hand and a revolver in the other, and making no pause to determine the actual character of the meeting, they immediately shouted: ‘Get out of here, you damned sons-of-bitches,’ and began beating the people with their clubs, and some of them actually firing their revolvers. One young man was shot through the back of the head and killed. But to complete the atrocity of the affair on the part of the officers engaged in it, when the people hastened to make their escape from the assembly room, they found policemen stationed on either side of the stairway leading from the hall down to the street, who applied their clubs to them as they passed, seemingly with all the violence practicable under the circumstances.

"Mr. Jacob Beiersdorf, who was a manufacturer of furniture, employing some 200 men, had been invited to the meeting and came, but as he was about to enter the place where it was held, an inoffensive old man, doing nothing unlawful, was stricken down at his feet by a policeman's club.

"These general facts were established by an overwhelming mass of testimony, and for the purpose of the questions in the case, it is needless to go farther into detail.

"The chief political right of the citizen in our government, based upon


the popular will as regulated by law, is the right of suffrage, but to that right two others are auxiliary and of almost equal importance:

"First: The right of free speech and of a free press.

"Second: The right of the people to assemble in a peaceable manner to consult for the common good.

"These are among the fundamental principles of government and guaranteed by our constitution. Section 17, article 2, of the bill of rights, declares: ‘The people have a right to assemble in a peaceable manner to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives, and apply for redress of grievances.’ Jurists do not regard these declarations of the bill of rights as creating or conferring the rights, but as a guarantee against their deprivation or infringement by any of the powers or agencies of the government. The rights themselves are regarded as the natural and inalienable rights belonging to every individual, or as political, and based upon or arising from principles inherent in the very nature of a system, of free government.

"The right of the people to assemble in a peaceable manner to consult for the common good, being a constitutional right, it can be exercised and enjoyed within the scope and the spirit of that provision of the constitution, independently of every other power of the State government.

"Judge Cooley, in his excellent work on ‘Torts,’ speaking (p. 296) of remedies for the invasion of political rights, says: ‘When a meeting for any lawful purpose is actually called and held, one who goes there with the purpose to disturb and break it up, and commits disorder to that end, is a trespasser upon the rights of those who, for a time, have control of the place of meeting. If several unite in the disorder it may be a criminal riot.’"

So much for Judge McAllister.

Now, it is shown that no attention was paid to the judge's decision; that peaceable meetings were invaded and broken up, and inoffensive people were clubbed; that in 1885 there was a strike at the McCormick Reaper Factory, on account of a reduction of wages, and some Pinkerton men, while on their way there, were hooted at by some people on the street, when they fired into the crowd and fatally wounded several people who had taken no part in any disturbance; that four of the Pinkerton men were indicted for this murder by the grand jury, but that the prosecuting officers apparently took no interest in the case, and allowed it to be continued a number of times, until the witnesses were sworn out, and in the end the murderers went free.

It is shown that various attempts were made to bring to justice the men who wore the uniform of the law while violating it, but all to no avail; that the laboring people found the prisons always open to receive them, but the courts of justice were practically closed to them; that the prosecuting officers vied with each other in hunting them down, but were deaf to their appeals; that in the spring of 1886 there were more labor disturbances in the city, and particularly at the McCormick factory; that under the leadership of Capt. Bonfield


the brutalities of the previous year were even exceeded. Some affidavit and other evidence is offered on this point, which I cannot give for want of space. It appears that this was the year of the eight hour agitation, and efforts were made to secure an eight hour day about May 1, and that a number of laboring men standing, not on the street, but on a vacant lot, were quietly discussing the situation in regard to the movement, when suddenly a large body of police under orders from Bonfield, charged on them and began to club them; that some of the men, angered at the unprovoked assault, at first resisted, but were soon dispersed; that some of the police fired on the men while they were running and wounded a large number who were already 100 feet or more away and were running as fast as they could; that at least four of the number so shot down died; that this was wanton and unprovoked murder, but there was not even so much as an investigation.


While some men may tamely submit to being clubbed and seeing their brothers shot down, there are some who will resent it, and will nurture a spirit of hatred and seek revenge for themselves, and the occurrences that preceded the Haymarket tragedy indicate that the bomb was thrown by some one who, instead of acting on the advice of anybody, was simply seeking personal revenge for having been clubbed, and that Capt. Bonfield is the man who is really responsible for the death of the police officers.

It is also shown that the character of the Haymarket meeting sustains this view. The evidence shows there were only 800 to 1,000 people present, and that it was a peaceable and orderly meeting; that the mayor of the city was present and saw nothing out of the way, and that he remained until the crowd began to disperse, the meeting being practically over, and the crowd engaged in dispersing when he left; that had the police remained away for twenty minutes more there would have been nobody left there, but as soon as Bonfield had learned that the mayor had left, he could not resist the temptation to have some more people clubbed, and went up with a detachment of police to disperse the meeting; and that on the appearance of the police the bomb was thrown by some unknown person, and several, innocent and faithful officers, who were simply obeying an uncalled for order of their superior, were killed. All of these facts tend to show the improbability of the theory of the prosecution that the bomb was thrown as a result of a conspiracy on the part of the defendants to commit murder; if the theory of the prosecution were correct, there would have been many more bombs thrown; and the fact that only one was thrown shows that it was an act of personal revenge.

It is further shown here, that much of the evidence given at the trial was a pure fabrication; that some of the prominent police officials, in their zeal, not only terrorized ignorant men by throwing them into prison and threatening them with torture if they refused to swear to anything desired, but that they


offered money and employment to those who would consent to do this. Further, that they deliberately planned to have fictitious conspiracies formed in order that they might get the glory of discovering them. In addition to the evidence in the record of some witnesses who swor6 that they had been paid small sums of money, etc., several documents are here referred to.

First, an interview with Capt. Ebersold, published in the Chicago Daily News, May 10, 1889.


Ebersold was chief of the police of Chicago at the time of the Haymarket trouble, and for a long time before and thereafter, so that he was in a position to know what was going on, and his utterances upon this point are therefore important. Among other things he says:

"It was my policy to quiet matters down as soon as possible after the 4th of May. The general unsettled state of things was an injury to Chicago.

"On the other hand, Capt. Schaack wanted to keep things stirring. He wanted bombs to be found here, there, all around, everywhere. I thought people would lie down and sleep better if they were not afraid that their homes would be blown to pieces any minute. But this man Schaack, this little boy who must have glory or his heart would be broken, wanted none of that policy. Now, here is something the public does not know. After we got the Anarchist societies broken up, Schaack wanted to send out men to again organize new societies right away. You see what this would do. He wanted to keep the thing boiling — keep himself prominent before the public. Well, I sat down on that; I didn't believe in such work, and of course Schaack didn't like it.

"After I heard all that, I began to think there was, perhaps, not so much to all this Anarchist business as they claimed, and I believe I was right. Schaack thinks he knew all about those Anarchists. Why, I knew more at that time than he knows today about them. I was following them closely. As soon as Schaack began to get some notoriety, however, he was spoiled."

This is a most important statement, when a chief of police, who has been watching the Anarchists closely, says that he was convinced that there was not so much in all their Anarchist business as was claimed, and that a police captain wanted to send out men to have other conspiracies formed, in order to get the credit of discovering them, and keep the public excited; it throws a flood of light on the whole situation and destroys the force of much of the testimony introduced at the trial.

For, if there has been any such extensive conspiracy as the prosecution claims, the police would have soon discovered it. No chief of police could discover a determination on the part of an individual, or even a number of separate individuals, to have personal revenge for having been maltreated, nor could any chief discover a determination by any such individual to kill the next policeman


man who might assault him. Consequently, the fact that the police did not discover any conspiracy before the Haymarket affair, shows almost conclusively that no such extensive combination could have existed.

I will simply say in conclusion, on this branch of the case, that the facts tend to show that the bomb was thrown as an act of personal revenge, and that the prosecution has never discovered who threw it, and the evidence utterly fails to show that the man who did throw it ever heard or read a word coming from the defendants; consequently it fails to show that he acted on any advice given by them. And if he did not act on or hear any advice coming from the defendants, either in speeches or through the press, then there was no case against them, even under the law as laid down by Judge Gary.


At the trial a number of detectives and members of the police swore that the defendant, Fielden, at the Haymarket meeting, made threats to kill, urging his hearers to do their duty as he would do his, just as the policemen were coming up; and one policeman swears that Fielden drew a revolver and fired at the police while he was standing on the wagon and before the bomb was thrown, while some of the others testified that he first climbed down off the wagon and fired while standing by a wheel. On the other hand, it was proven by a number of witnesses, and by facts and circumstances, that this evidence must be absolutely untrue. A number of newspaper reporters, who testified on the part of the State, said that they were standing near Fielden — much nearer than the police were — and heard all that was said and saw what was done; that they had been sent there for that purpose, and that Fielden did not make any such threats as the police swore to, and that he did not use a revolver. A number of other men who were near, too, and some of them on the wagon on which Fielden stood at the time, swear to the same thing. Fielden himself swears that he did not make any such threats as the police swore to, and further, that he never had or used a revolver in his life. But if there were any doubt about the fact that the evidence charging Fielden with having used a revolver as unworthy of credit, it is removed by Judge Gary and State's Attorney Grinnell. On November 8, 1887, when the question of commuting the death sentence as to Fielden was before the governor, Judge Gary wrote a long letter in regard to the case in which, in speaking of Fielden, he, among other things, says: "There is in the nature and private character of the man a love of justice, an impatience at undeserved sufferings. * * * In his own private life he was the honest, industrious and peaceful laboring man. In what he said in court before sentence he was respectful and decorous. His language and conduct since have been irreproachable. As there is no evidence that he knew of any preparation to do the specific act of throwing the bomb that killed


Degan, he does not understand even now that general advice to large masses to do violence makes him responsible for the violence done by reason of that advice. * * * In short, he was more a misguided enthusiast than a criminal conscious of the horrible nature and effect of his teachings and of his responsibility therefor."

The State's attorney appended the foregoing letter, beginning as follows:
"While endorsing and approving the foregoing statement by Judge Gary, I wish to add thereto the suggestion, * * * that Schwab's conduct during the trial, and when addressing the court before sentence, like Fielden's, was decorous, respectful to the law and commendable. * * * It is further my desire to say that I believe that Schwab was the pliant, weak tool of a stronger will and more designing persons. Schwab seems to be friendless."

If what Judge Gary says about Fielden is true; if Fielden has "a natural love of justice and in his private life was the honest, industrious and peaceable laboring man," then Fielden's testimony is entitled to credit, and when he says that he did not do the things the police charge him with doing, and that he never had or used a revolver in his life, it is probably true, especially as he was corroborated by a number of creditable and disinterested witnesses.

Again, if Fielden did the things the police charged him with doing, if he fired on them as they swear, then he was not a mere misguided enthusiast, who was to be held only for the consequences of his teachings; and if either Judge Gary or State's Attorney Grinnell had placed any reliance on the evidence of the police on this point, they would have written a different kind of a letter to the then executive.

In the fall of 1887, a number of the most prominent business men of Chicago met to consult whether or not to ask executive clemency for any of the condemned men. Mr. Grinnell was present and made a speech, in which, in referring to this evidence, he said that he had serious doubts whether Fielden had a revolver on that occasion, or whether indeed Fielden ever had one.

Yet, in arguing the case before the Supreme Court, the previous spring, much stress was placed by the State on the evidence relating to what Fielden did at the Haymarket meeting, and that court was misled into attaching great importance to it.

It is now clear that there is no case made out against Fielden for anything he did on that night, and, as heretofore shown, in order to hold him and the other defendants for the consequences and effects of having given pernicious and criminal advice to large masses to commit violence, whether orally, in speeches, or in print, it must be shown that the person committing the violence had read or heard the advice: for, until he had heard or read it, he did not receive it and if he never received the advice, it cannot be said that he acted on it.




At the conclusion of the evidence for the State, the Hon. Carter H. Hamson, then mayor of Chicago, and F. S. Winston, then corporation counsel for Chicago, were in the court room and had a conversation with Mr. Grinnell, the State's attorney, in regard to the evidence against Neebe, in which conversation, according to Mr. Harrison and Mr. Winston, the State's attorney said that he did not think he had a case against Neebe, and that he wanted to dismiss him, but was dissuaded from doing so by his associate attorneys, who feared that such a step might influence the jury in favor of the other defendants.

Mr. Harrison, in a letter among other things, said: "I was present in the court room when the State closed its case. The attorney for Neebe moved his discharge on the ground that there was no evidence to hold him on. The State's attorney, Mr. Julius S. Grinnell, and Mr. Fred S. Winston, corporation counsel for the city, and myself, were in earnest conversation when the motion was made. Mr. Grinnell stated to us that he did not think there was sufficient testimony to convict Neebe. I thereupon earnestly advised him, as the representative of the State, to dismiss the case as to Neebe, and, if I remember rightly, he was seriously thinking of doing so, but, on consultation with his assistants, and on their advice, he determined not to do so, lest it would have an injurious effect on the case as against the other prisoners. **** I took the position that such discharge, being clearly justified by the testimony, would not prejudice the case as to the others."

Mr. Winston adds the following to Mr. Harrison's letter:
March 21, 1889.

I concur in the statement of Mr. Harrison; I never believed there was sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Neebe, and so stated during the trial.


In January, 1890, Mr. Grinnell wrote a letter to Gov. Fifer, denying that he had ever made any such statement as that mentioned by Mr. Harrison and Mr. Winston; also that he did believe Neebe guilty; that Mr. Harrison suggested the dismissal of the case as to Neebe; and further, that he would not have been surprised if Mr. Harrison had made a similar suggestion as to others, and then he says: "I said to Mr. Harrison at that time, substantially, that I was afraid that the jury might not think the testimony presented in the case sufficient to convict Neebe, but that it was in their province to pass upon it."

Now, if the statement of Messrs. Harrison and Winston is true, then Grinnell should not have allowed Neebe to be sent to the penitentiary, and even if we assume that both Mr. Harrison and Mr. Winston are mistaken, and that Mr. Grinnell simply used the language he now says he used, then the case


must have seemed very weak to him. If, with a jury prejudiced to start with, a judge pressing for conviction, and amid the almost irresistible fury with which the trial was conducted, he still was afraid the jury might not think the testimony in the case was sufficient to convict Neebe, then the testimony must have seemed very weak to him, no matter what he may now protest about it.

When the motion to dismiss the case as to Neebe was made, defendants counsel asked that the jury might be permitted to retire while the motion was being argued, but the court refused to permit this, and kept the jury present where it could hear all that the court had to say; then when the argument on the motion was begun by defendants' counsel, the court did not wait to hear from the attorneys for the State, but at once proceeded to argue the points itself with the attorneys for the defendants, so that while the attorney for the State made no argument on the motion, twenty-five pages of the record are filled with the colloquy or sparring that took place between the court and the ; counsel for the defendants, the court in the presence of the jury making insinuations as to what inference might be drawn by the jury from the fact that Neebe owned a little stock in a paper called the Arbeiter-Zeitung and had been seen there, although he took no part in the management until after the Haymarket troubles, it appearing that the Arbeiter-Zeitung had published some very seditious articles, with which, however, Neebe had nothing to do. Finally one of the counsel for the defendants said: "I expected that the representatives of the State might say something, but as your honor saves them that trouble, you will excuse me if I reply briefly to the suggestions you have made." Some other remarks were made by the court, seriously affecting the whole case and prejudicial to the defendants, and then referring to Neebe, the court said:

"Whether he had anything to do with the dissemination of advice to commit murder is, I think, a debatable question which the jury ought to pass on." Finally the motion was overruled. Now, with all the eagerness shown by the court to convict Neebe, it must have regarded the evidence against him as very weak, otherwise it would not have made this admission, for if it was a debatable question whether the evidence tended to show guilt, then that evidence must have been far from being conclusive upon the question as to whether he was actually guilty; this being so, the verdict should not have been allowed to stand, because the law requires that a man shall be proven to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before he can be convicted of criminal offense. I have examined all of the evidence against Neebe with care, and it utterly fails to prove even the shadow of a case against him. Some of the other defendants were guilty of using seditious language, but even this cannot be said of Neebe.




It is further charged, with much bitterness, by those who speak for the prisoners, that the record of this case shows that the judge conducted the trial with malicious ferocity, and forced eight men to be tried together; that in cross-examining the State's witnesses, be confined counsel to the specific points touched on by the State, while in the cross-examination of the defendants' witnesses he permitted the State's Attorney to go into all manner of subjects entirely foreign to the matters on which the witnesses were examined in chief; also, that every ruling throughout the long trial on any contested point, was in favor of the State; and further, that page after page of the record contains insinuating remarks of the judge, made in the hearing of the jury, and with the evident intent of bringing the jury to his way of thinking; that these speeches, coming from the court, were much more damaging than any speeches from the State's Attorney could possibly have been; that the State's Attorney often took his cue from the judge's remarks; that the judge's magazine article recently published, although written nearly six years after the trial, is yet full of venom; that, pretending to simply review the case, he had to drag into his article a letter written by an excited woman to a newspaper after the trial was over, and which therefore had nothing to do with the case, and was put into the article simply to create a prejudice against the woman, as well as against the dead and the living; and that, not content with this, he, in the same article, makes an insinuating attack on one of the lawyers for the defense, not for anything done at the trial, but because more than a year after the trial, when some of the defendants had been hung, he ventured to express a few kind, if erroneous, sentiments over the graves of his dead clients, whom he at least believed to be innocent. It is urged that such ferocity of subserviency is without a parallel in all history; that even Jeffries in England, contented himself with hanging his victims, and did not stoop to berate them after death.

These charges are of a personal character, and while they seem to be sustained by the record of the trial and the papers before me, and tend to show the trial was not fair, I do not care to discuss this feature of the case any farther, because it is not necessary. I am convinced that it is clearly my duty to act in this case for the reasons already given, and I, therefore, grant an absolute pardon to Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, and Michael Schwab, this 26th day of June, 1893.
Governor of Illinois.


Press Comments.


It will be difficult to get this book into circulation, and more difficult still to get it out of circulation. The "classes" will ignore it. It must depend for its existence on its own fascination as "a weird and wondrous tale." It will grow slowly, but it will live long. It is the prose epic of the great struggle for labor emancipation. Some day it will be the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of a new deliverance.

This "Life of Albert R. Parsons" will not be a welcome book, because it ruffles and disturbs the conscience of "society." It reviews the "Anarchist case," legally and officially settled on the 11th of November, 1887. This book will not be welcome, because it is a posthumous motion to reverse a judgment executed and done — a motion made by the spirit of Parsons, who was excluded from politics a year and a half ago. This book is a strange medley of biography, autobiography, history, opinions, letters and miscellaneous matter, by, of, and concerning Albert R. Parsons, and the "labor movement." Every chapter has an independent interest of its own, and some chapters weave a sympathetic spell around the reader's heart in spite of him. There is a charm in chivalry which excites our admiration; and there has not appeared of late a tale of chivalry told with such overpowering pathos as the story of Parsons is told in this book.

Of New England lineage, Albert R. Parsons was a Puritan fanatic in zeal, courage, and enthusiasm, spirituality, and tenacity of principle and purpose. Neither the gloom of the cell nor the shadow of the scaffold could break or bend him. His iron Puritanism had been hardened into steel by his Southern birth and education. He would not for his life tell a lie, even to himself. His life was offered him for the asking, but he said he could not ask for that which he had not forfeited. From that resolution neither friends nor foes could move him. Never did Scott or Shakespeare imagine a deed of chivalry more splendid than that actually done by Parsons when he walked into the court-room and offered himself for trial. Neither could novelist nor dramatist describe that heroic incident so vividly as it is presented in this biography. Self-devotion compels praise, and we cannot withhold it. This life-offering will take its place among the brave deeds told in story for the emulation of mankind.

The tragedies of May and November combine to give this biography dramatic interest. They make it a theatrical attraction, and the story magnetizes


like the tale of "The Ancient Mariner." The contrast between the realities which made up the destiny of Parsons, and the Utopian idealities he worshiped is so palpable and romantic that his adventures fascinate the reader, like the adventures of Robinson Crusoe. The right or wrong of his opinions and his plans of change will be overshadowed by the interest attaching to the personality, the actions, the motives, the fortunes and the fate of Parsons These will give the book vitality. That Parsons was innocent of the crime for which he was condemned is not seriously disputed now. Parsons was a man of genius, gracefully eloquent in speech. In literary taste and elegance of diction his addresses were far above the average grade of popular oratory. His voice was musical and of great magnetic power. He was a picturesque specimen of that much-quoted product known as the "Typical American." Of Revolution and Mayflower stock, he was thoroughly American by blood and character. He was refined in dress and manner, well knit together, of graceful form and feature. He had great muscular activity, exuberant spirits, delicate, clear-cut features, and very brilliant eyes. There was not a sign of grossness in his form, face, or complexion, and there was a spirituality in his look that revealed a temperament of poetry and dream. His life was a conflict, and the end of it for him was rest.

The Non-Conformist concludes a flattering review of the book thus:

"Talk of your Robert Emmet, your Saul of Tarsus, the heroes of the French Revolution, our own honored John Brown; but gaze at the awfully sublime heroism of this man, who, with an instinct born only of true manhood, comes of his own free will to the bar of (in-) justice and, to satisfy the hungry yells of an infuriated aristocracy, gives himself up to be tried; he is incarcerated, listens to the perjured testimony of the paid assassins, to the pleading before the court, and then, after proving himself clear of any connection whatever, to stand up and be condemned to death — for what? For holding opinions regarding a system of society that he believed to be an improvement over the systems that now tyrannize the people of the earth."

One of the most remarkable books of this century has just been issued from the press at Chicago. It is the "Life of Albert R. Parsons," and it is one which will attract unusual attention. Men may be divided in their opinions as to the final outcome of the great labor agitation, which in one form or another is now shaking the thrones and governments of the world, * * * but no one can comprehend the political economy of the industrial system of the nineteenth century without first understanding, the poverty, the misery, the degrading of mankind to the level of the brute. * * * * Mrs. Parsons has done her work well. The motive that has prompted her to attempt the task appeals to every wife-heart. — Mt. Vernon Progressive Farmer.



MINNNEAPOLIS, MINN., April 9, 1889.

MY DEAR MRS. PARSONS: I have read your "Life of Albert R. Parsons" with an interest that increased from the beginning to the end of the volume. It has corrected some false impressions that I had in regard to Mr. Parsons supposed responsibility for the throwing of that fatal bomb. I had never thought that that occurrence was the result of an actual conspiracy on the part of those who called the Haymarket meeting, deliberately planned as a part of the demonstration should circumstance favor it but I confess that I did think until the reading of this book that it was a natural consequence of your husband's teachings. I am glad to acknowledge that I now believe I was mistaken. At a public meeting in Minneapolis, on November 11th last, I thought it my duty to protest against a resolution denouncing the execution of your husband and his fellow-sufferers as a "judicial murder." Should such a resolution be again offered in my presence you may depend that I shall not make the same mistake, but shall, instead, give it my support. It seems to me that every one with the same prejudices that I had, who reads your book, must reach the same conclusion, and on this account, if for no other reason, I earnestly hope that it will be widely read by all persons who are honest enough to wish to be just. But, although I have erroneously thought Albert R. Parsons criminally responsible for public utterances calculated and intended to incite to deeds of violence simple-minded men engaged in strikes and thereby already excited by their sufferings and wrongs, I have never doubted his honesty of purpose or his loyalty to his own convictions of duty. Therefore I have revered him as a martyr; and his voluntary surrender in order to share the fate of his comrades, his dignified conduct during the memorable trial, and the sublime heroism of his death, place him, in my mind, among the noblest of that highest aristocracy of human nature — the "noble army of martyrs." This is irrespective altogether of the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the cause for which he died. His children need never be ashamed of their father's life, and they ought to be proud of his glorious death. And as for you, his wife, his companion, and comrade, I do not wonder at your devotion to his memory and to the cause he so earnestly and ably espoused.

Respectfully yours,


The "Life of Albert R. Parsons," published by Mrs. Lucy E. Parsons, his widow, is just from the press, and furnishes the reading world a volume full of interesting narrative, and material matter for thought. The mere story of Parsons' life is a stirring tale, and the problems presented in his sayings and doings, and especially in his death, are worthy any man's considerations. * * *


The purpose of the publication is announced in the following strong and impressive "author's note," written by Mrs. Parsons:

"In preparing the ‘Life of Albert R. Parsons’ for publication I have been actuated by one desire alone, viz.: that I might demonstrate to every one the most prejudiced as well as the most liberal minds: First, that my husband was no aider, nor abettor, nor counsellor, of crime in any sense. Second that he knew nothing of nor had anything to do with the preparation for the Haymarket meeting, and that the Haymarket meeting was intended to be peaceable and was peaceable until interfered with by the police. Third, that Mr. Parsons' connection with the labor movement was purely and simply for the purpose of bettering the condition of his fellow-men; that he gave his time, talents, and at last his life to this cause.

"In order to make these facts undeniable I obtained articles from persons holding avowedly adverse views to his, but who were nevertheless willing to testify to his innocence of the crime for which he suffered death and to his sterling integrity as a man.

"It has been the endeavor of the author to make the present work not only biographical but historical — a work which might be relied upon as an authority by all future writers upon the matters contained in it. Hence nothing has been admitted to its pages that is not absolutely correct, so far as it was possible for me to verify it by close scrutiny of all matters treated. And for this reason I ask the public to read its pages carefully, for in this way they will become acquainted with the inmost thoughts of one of the noblest characters of which history bears record."

The book is well illustrated, handsomely printed, and nicely bound. — Chicago Times.

There is comparatively little that is trashy in the book, and such as believe Anarchism a living issue in America will undoubtedly find in it considerable of interest. — Chicago Tribune.

Mrs. Parsons' work has been mainly that of a compiler; but she has performed her task carefully and intelligently. — Chicago News.

The typographical appearance of the book is fine. — Chicago Herald.

Much that is best in the volume is selected from Mr. Parsons' own letters and editorials. The "Statesman" can commend the book to those who are familiar with only the other side of this great tragedy, as a fair presentation of the side yet unexamined by them. — Statesman (Magazine), Chicago.

More than half of the book is justly occupied with the details of the Haymarket incident, from the beginning of the eight-hour movement in the spring of 1886 to the death of the subject of the biography, in the fall of 1887. This includes the Haymarket meeting and Parsons' speech in remonstrance to the sentence of death. The methods of the authorities in collecting the evidence is bitterly denounced, and every argument is adduced to fix the stigma of corruption


upon the performances of the police and judiciary, and establish the wrongfulness of the sentence. Then, accepting the hypothesis of the truth and reason or the evidence; the entire theory that Parsons' accessoriness or that of his fellow defendants is attacked, and the Hon. Leonard Swett is copiously quoted in support of the position. — Chicago Sentinel.

This is one of the most remarkable books ever printed in America; it is a labor of love and memoir, compiled and published in poverty and privation, by the devoted wife of a martyr * * * in a cause which both husband and wife believed the cause of humanity. — Woman's Journal, Boston.


"Have I one more wish?" said Parsons, with that familiar flash in his eyes, when, a few days before that black Friday, I called to bid him farewell. "Oh, yes, I have more than one. Never tire in advocating our high principles, in the warfare between cowardice and tyranny; never cease until the American people know why we are murdered, and the class fanaticism characterising our condemnation is understood." — (Extract from Editorial in Alarm.)

Front View and Back View of Monument Erected in Waldheim Cemetery to Our Martyred Comrades. Albert Richard Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, and Louis Lingg.



1. This is the "Uncle Jonathan" whom America makes its patron saint.

2. This was being done at that time in the Territories.

3. The grand jury's indictment alleged, among other things, that Mr. Parsons was only in the movement for the money which he could make of his dupes.

4. The jury in an interview spoke of themselves as a jury of "gentlemen."

5. Sample report of capitalistic papers of Mr. Parsons' voluntary surrender in Court for trial when the case was called, June 21, 1886.

6. The book here referred to is almost exclusively compiled from the records of the police department of Vienna.

7. Twenty-four hours before the jury retired to consider their verdict, the Chicago Tribune opened its columns for the solicitation of voluntary contributions to pay the jury for the verdict! It was suggested that a sum of $100,000 be raised for this purpose. This was done editorially. Several good Christian gentlemen sent their names to the paper, stating the sum they were willing to contribute to the blood-fund. Possibly this may have had something to do with the "swift" verdict. A brother-in-law of one of the jurors was in constant attendance upon them; brothers-in-law have been known to let their kinsmen know when there was a good thing in prospect for them. The following are a fair sample of letters from some of those good Christian gentlemen:

"A FUND FOR THE JURY. Chicago, August 20, 1886. — Editor of the Tribune: In view of the long and close confinement endured by the jury in the Anarchist trial and the display of manly courage evidenced by their prompt and fearless verdict. I beg to suggest the propriety of starting a subscription for the purpose of raising at least $1,000 for the benefit of each juryman. I am far from being rich, but would gladly give $25 for this purpose, and will deliver same at your office the day you may start the subscription. W. C. E."

"Chicago, August 20, 1886. — Editor of the Tribune: The long agony is over. Law has triumphed. Anarchy is defeated. The conspirators have been promptly convicted. Let them be as promptly punished. The ‘twelve good men and true,’ whose honesty and fearlessness; made a conviction possible should not be forgotten. They have performed their unpleasant duty without flinching. Let them be generously remembered. Raise a fund — say $100,000 — to be presented with the thanks of a grateful people. E. A. MULFORD."

"Mr, N. B. Ream, in speaking to a Tribune reporter, thought it would be eminently proper to start a fund for the purpose of indemnifying the jurors who so patiently sat for eight weeks at the trial, thereby losing in business and time and endangering their health, for which they were so meagerly paid by the County and then in vouchers which will be cashed nobody knows when. Mr. Ream thought it was not proper to mention this while the trial was in progress, but now that it is over he is willing to head the list with the sum of $500. Thus will the school-master who so nobly sacrificed his vacation be in a measure repaid, and so will the others who, being mostly if not all business men, were greatly inconvenienced by their selection as jurors."

Nor was the good Judge Gary unmindful of the raising of the blood-fund. For hear what the "honorable" Judge has to say from the bench in thanking the jury for the noble work on their part, so well prearranged in the awful tragedy of judicial murder:

"Gentlemen of the Jury: You have finished this long and very arduous trial, which has required a considerable sacrifice of time and some hardship. I hope that everything has been done that could possibly be done to make those sacrifices and hardships as mild as might be permitted. It does not become me to say anything in regard to the case that you have tried or verdict you have rendered, but men compulsorily serving as jurors, as you have done, deserve some recognition of the service you have performed besides the meager compensation you have received."

Now the "hardships" consisted in the jury's being put up at a fashionable hotel, just across from the court-house, and in sight of the entrance, so they could observe the part played by the police and detectives. The latter fairly swarmed about the door, and as the jury filed past many times they were heard to make such remarks about the case as to prejudice still further the already prejudiced jury's minds. The "sacrifice" was relieved by giving the jury carriage rides every Sunday along the avenues of the rich, and occasionally letting a juror visit his family, it being alleged that there was sickness in the family. But this was done possibly because they were a jury of "gentlemen" and a jury of "business men."

8. The General here gives a decision from the Supreme Court of the State of New York, sustaining this position.

9. The author was told by an attorney on the morning of the rendering of the verdict that Grinnell had just expressed the regret to him that he had forgotten to mention to the jury that, in view of the fact that Parsons had voluntarily surrendered, he ought to be entitled to some consideration. This proves what kind of a "fair" trial it was.

10. The above letter was handed to me by Mr. Parsons in the afternoon of August 20, 1886, the first time I had seen him after the verdict was rendered.

11. His children, Albert and Lulu, were at this time stopping at Waukesha, Wis.

12. The article is given in full, and is simply a comment upon General-in-Chief U. S. A. Sheridan's annual reports.

13. For a detailed and faithful account of the last sad hours of his life, when the shadows of the scaffold were thickening and casting their gloom upon the prison cell, read his own graphic account of his thoughts and feelings when on that last night he heard them. erecting the gallows upon which he was to die in a few fleeting hours, in his book on "Anarchism," which he wrote thirty days before his judicial murder. These, together with a great deal of interesting matter, will be found, in the Appendix of the book.

14. It will be observed that Mr. Parsons was compelled to sign an order turning his body over to his wife. This was unprecedented in this State. The reason for it was this: The Citizens' Association and other capitalists tried to persuade Sheriff Matson to secret the bodies and not turn them over to the families; but be refused to do it. In order to prevent them from stealing the bodies he, on his own responsibility, caused each one to sign an order requesting of him to deliver their bodies to their families, and these orders were placed in the bands of undertakers, who waited in the jail yard until the murder was committed, with these orders, to prevent the bodies from being stolen by the ghouls.

15. This extract is from one of the city dailies which was most bitter in urging the officials and jury to "discharge their duty to society," and, coming from this source, could hardly be called a favorable prejudiced account.

16. Quotation from Grinnell's speech to the jury.

17. Mr. Grinnell's principal argument upon which he demanded a conviction for murder was that the accused were "foreigners."