Haymarket Martyrs' Monument
Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Forest Home Cemetery
|Location:||Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois Wp→|
|Built:||dedicated June 25. 1893|
|Sculptor:||Albert Weinert Wp→|
|Added to NRHP:||February 18, 1997|
|Designated NHL:||February 18, 1997|
The Haymarket affair (also known as the Haymarket massacre or Haymarket riot) refers to a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police Wp→ as they dispersed the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians, and the wounding of scores of others.
In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy although the prosecution conceded none of the defendants had thrown the bomb. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were subsequently commuted to terms of life in prison and another committed suicide Wp→ in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged Wp→ on November 11, 1887.
The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers. In popular literature, this event inspired the caricature of "a bomb-throwing anarchist."
The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark on March 25, 1992. The Haymarket Martyrs' Monument in nearby Forest Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark Wp→ on February 18, 1997.
- 1 Background
- 2 Legal proceedings
- 3 Burial and memorial
- 4 Historical characterization
- 5 Effects on the labor movement and May Day
- 6 Suspected bombers
- 7 Haymarket memorials
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Following the Civil War, particularly following the Depression of 1873–79, there was a rapid expansion of industrial production in the United States. Chicago was a major industrial center and tens of thousands of German and Bohemian immigrants were employed at pauper's wages, about $1.50 a day. In the early 1880's during the economic slowdown which extended from 1882 to 1886 socialist and anarchist labor organizing was very sucessful. In Chicago the anarchist movement of several thousand, mostly immigrant, workers centered about the German-language Arbeiter-Zeitung ("Workers' Times") edited by August Spies. The anarchists were a militant revolutionary force with an armed section which was equipped with guns and explosives. Its revolutionary strategy centered around the belief that successful operations against the police and destruction of the capitalist power structure would result in massive public support by workers, revolution, freedom, and creation of a socialist economy by the people.
May Day parade and strikes
In October 1884, a convention held by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions unanimously set May 1, 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. As the chosen date approached, U.S. labor unions prepared for a general strike in support of the eight-hour day.
On Saturday, May 1, rallies were held throughout the United States. Estimates of the number of striking workers across the U.S. range from 300,000 to half a million. In New York City the number of demonstrators was estimated at 10,000  and in Detroit at 11,000. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, some 10,000 workers turned out. In Chicago, the movement's center, an estimated 30 to 40,000 workers had gone on strike and there were perhaps twice as many people out on the streets participating in various demonstrations and marches, as, for example, a march by 10,000 men employed in the Chicago lumber yards. Though participants in these outdoor events added up to 80,000, it is unclear if there was ever a single, massive march of that number down Michigan Avenue led by anarchist Albert Parsons, founder of the International Working People's Association [IWPA] and his wife Lucy and their children.
On May 3, striking workers in Chicago met near the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company plant. Union molders at the plant had been locked out since early February and the predominantly Irish-American workers at McCormick had come under attack from Pinkerton guards during an earlier strike action in 1885. This event, along with the eight-hour militancy of McCormick workers, had gained the strikers some respect and notoriety around the city. By the time of the 1886 general strike, strikebreakers entering the McCormick plant were under protection from a garrison of 400 police officers. Although half of the replacement workers defected to the general strike on May 1, McCormick workers continued to harass strikebreakers as they crossed the picket lines.
Speaking to a rally outside the plant on May 3, August Spies advised the striking workers to "hold together, to stand by their union, or they would not succeed." Well-planned and coordinated, the general strike to this point had remained largely nonviolent. When the end-of-the-workday bell sounded, however, a group of workers surged to the gates to confront the strikebreakers. Despite calls by Spies for the workers to remain calm, gunfire erupted as police fired on the crowd. In the end, two McCormick workers were killed (although some newspaper accounts said there were six fatalities). Spies would later testify, "I was very indignant. I knew from experience of the past that this butchering of people was done for the express purpose of defeating the eight-hour movement."
Outraged by this act of police violence, local anarchists quickly printed and distributed fliers calling for a rally the following day at Haymarket Square (also called the Haymarket), which was then a bustling commercial center near the corner of Randolph Street and Desplaines Street. Printed in German and English, the fliers alleged police had murdered the strikers on behalf of business interests and urged workers to seek justice. The first batch of fliers contain the words Workingmen Arm Yourselves and Appear in Full Force! When Spies saw the line, he said he would not speak at the rally unless the words were removed from the flier. All but a few hundred of the fliers were destroyed, and new fliers were printed without the offending words. More than 20,000 copies of the revised flier were distributed.
Rally at Haymarket Square
The rally began peacefully under a light rain on the evening of May 4. August Spies, editor of the German-language Arbeiter-Zeitung ("Workers' Times"), spoke to a crowd estimated variously between 600 and 3,000 while standing in an open wagon adjacent to the square on Des Plaines Street. A large number of on-duty police officers watched from nearby.
Paul Avrich, an historian specializing in the study of anarchism, quotes Spies as saying:
"There seems to prevail the opinion in some quarters that this meeting has been called for the purpose of inaugurating a riot, hence these warlike preparations on the part of so-called 'law and order.' However, let me tell you at the beginning that this meeting has not been called for any such purpose. The object of this meeting is to explain the general situation of the eight-hour movement and to throw light upon various incidents in connection with it."
Following Spies' speech, the crowd was addressed by Albert R. Parsons, the Alabama-born editor of the radical English-language weekly The Alarm. The crowd was so calm that Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr., who had stopped by to watch, walked home early. Parsons spoke for almost an hour before standing down in favor of the last speaker of the evening, Samuel Fielden, who delivered a brief 10 minute address. A New York Times article, with the dateline May 4th and headlined "Rioting and Bloodshed in the Streets of Chicago ... Twelve Policemen Dead or Dying", reported that Fielden spoke for 20 minutes, alleging that his words grew "wilder and more violent as he proceeded.".The same New York Times article (also datelined May 4), headlined "Anarchy’s Red Hand" and dated May 6, is reproduced on the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School website. The article opens: "The villainous teachings of the Anarchists bore bloody fruit in Chicago tonight and before daylight at least a dozen stalwart men will have laid down their lives as a tribute to the doctrine of Herr Johann Most." It refers to the strikers as "a mob" and uses quotation marks around the term "workingmen".
The bombing and gunfireAt about 10:30 pm, just as Fielden was finishing his speech, police arrived en masse, marching in formation towards the speakers' wagon, and ordered the rally to disperse. Their commander, Police Inspector Bonfield, proclaimed:
I command you [addressing the speaker] in the name of the law to desist and you [addressing the crowd] to disperse.A home-made bomb with a brittle metal casing filled with dynamite and ignited by a fuse, was thrown into the path of the advancing police. Its fuse briefly sputtered, then the bomb exploded, killing policeman Mathias J. Degan with flying metal fragments and mortally wounding six other officers.
Witnesses maintain that immediately after the bomb blast there was an exchange of gunshots between police and demonstrators. According to the May 4th New York Times (which was manifestly hostile to the strikers) demonstrators began firing at the police, who then returned fire. Others, notably historian Paul Avrich, point out that accounts vary widely as to how many returned fire at the police. He maintains that the police fired on the fleeing demonstrators, reloaded and then fired again, killing four and wounding as many as 70 people. What is not disputed is that in less than five minutes the square was empty except for the casualties. Policemen than carried their wounded comrades and some wounded demonstrators into the adjacent police station. Other wounded demonstrators found aid where they could. The exact number of dead and wounded among the demonstrators is unknown.
In his report on the incident, Inspector Bonfield wrote that he "gave the order to cease firing, fearing that some of our men, in the darkness might fire into each other". An anonymous police official told the Chicago Tribune, "A very large number of the police were wounded by each other's revolvers. ... It was every man for himself, and while some got two or three squares away, the rest emptied their revolvers, mainly into each other."
About 60 officers were wounded in the incident, along with an unknown number of civilians. In all, seven policemen and at least four workers were killed, with one other policeman dying two years after the incident from complications related to injuries received on that day. It is unclear how many civilians were wounded since many were afraid to seek medical attention, fearing arrest. Police captain Michael Schaack wrote the number of wounded workers was "largely in excess of that on the side of the police". The Chicago Herald described a scene of "wild carnage" and estimated at least fifty dead or wounded civilians lay in the streets.
Aftermath and red scare
Hounded by the police who accosted them on sight, arresting them, entering their homes, and ransacking them in their search for weapons, explosives, socialistic literature, and bomb making instructions, the anarchists, who had previously been quite bold, were soon nowhere to be found in public spaces. An atmosphere of hysteria prevailed. There was a massive outpouring of community and business support for the police and many thousands of dollars were donated to funds for their medical care and to assist their efforts. The entire labor and immigrant community, particularly Germans and Bohemians, came under suspicion. Casting legal niceties such as search warrants aside, Chicago police squads subjected the labor activists of Chicago to an eight-week shakedown, ransacking their meeting halls and places of business, arresting scores of suspects, many only remotely related to the Haymarket agitation or violence. The emphasis was on the speakers at the Haymarket rally and the newspaper, Arbeiter-Zeitung. A small group of self-identified Anarchists, twenty-two year-old Louis Lingg, William Seliger, owner of the home where Lingg was a boarder, and few helpers were discovered to have been engaged in making bombs on the same day as the incident, including round ones like the one used in the bombing.
The earliest press reports assumed that the anarchist agitators were to blame for the riot, a theory adopted by the public, then amplified by the press. As time passed press reports and illustrations of the riot became more elaborate, even fantastic, with The New York Herald-Tribune reporting three bombs had been thrown. Coverage was national, then international. Among property owners, the press, and other respectable elements of society, a consensus developed that suppression of anarchist agitation was necessary. While for their part, union organizations such as The Knights of Labor and craft unions were quick to disassociate themselves from the anarchist movement and to repudiate violent tactics as self-defeating. Many workers, on the other hand, considered the Pinkerton agency to have been somehow responsible.
The police assumed that an anarchist had thrown the bomb as part of a planned conspiracy; their problem was how to prove it. On the morning of May 5, they raided the offices of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, arresting its editor August Spies, and his brother (who was not charged). Also arrested were editorial assistant Michael Schwab and Adolph Fischer, a typesetter. A search of the premises resulted in the discovery of the "Revenge Poster" and other evidence considered incriminating by the prosecution.
On May 7 police searched the premises of Louis Lingg where they found a number of bombs and bomb-making materials. Lingg's landlord William Seliger was also arrested but cooperated with police and identified Lingg as a bomb maker and was not charged. An associate of Spies, Balthasar Raus, suspected of being the bomber, was traced to Omaha. He was offered an opportunity to cooperate and returned to Chicago. His statement included the information that he had accompanied August Spies, Schwab, Neebe, Engel, and Schnaubel on a trip where Engel and Schnaubel had experimented with dynamite bombs. Questioned about the use of code words such as "Y" and "Ruhe" in the Arbeiter-Zeitung he stated that they were code words calling the armed section of the anarchists to meetings or to events, in the case of "Ruhe" to the Haymarket Square rally.
Consultation with physicians who had tended the wounded yielded a nut used to bolt the bomb together and fragments of the casing which were turned over to chemists for analysis together with the bombs recovered from Lingg. Comparison showed a rough match with respect to the proportion of metals in the samples. Interviews revealed a long history of failed, semi-successful, and finally, successful experiments with dynamite and other explosives by some labor activists. Over a period of several years the design of bombs had been refined until the very effective bomb used at Haymarket had been developed.
Rudolf Schnaubelt, the police’s lead suspect as the bomb thrower, was indicted and arrested twice early on, but was released, and by May 14, when it became apparent he had had a significant role in the event, he had fled the country. William Seliger was initially arrested but turned state's evidence and testified for the prosecution and was not charged. Eight other suspects, however, were indicted and stood trial for being accessories to the murder of Degan. Of these, only two had been present when the bomb exploded. Newspaper editor August Spies had spoken at the rally and was stepping down from the speaker's wagon in compliance with police orders to disperse just before the bomb went off, as was also the English-born union organizer and last to speak Samuel Fielden (later pardoned). Two others had been present at the beginning of the rally but had left and were at nearby Zepf's Hall at the time of the explosion. They were: Arbeiter-Zeitung typesetter Adolph Fischer and the well-known activist Albert Parsons, who had spoken for an hour at the Haymarket rally. Parsons, who believed that the evidence against the other defendants was weak, subsequently voluntarily turned himself in in solidarity with the accused. A third man, Spies's assistant editor Michael Schwab (who was the brother-in-law of Schnaubelt) was speaking at another rally at the time of the bombing (he was also later pardoned). Not directly tied to the demonstration but arrested because notorious for their militant radicalism were George Engel (who was home playing cards on that day), and Louis Lingg, the hot-headed bomb maker denounced by his associate, Seliger. Another defendant who had not been present that day was Oscar Neebe, an American-born citizen of German descent who was associated with the Arbeiter-Zeitung and had attempted to revive it in the aftermath of the trial. (Neebe was convicted but was ultimately pardoned). Of the eight defendants, five – Spies, Fischer, Engel, Lingg and Schwab – were German-born immigrants; a sixth, Neebe, was a U.S.-born citizen of German descent. Only the remaining two, Parsons and Fielden, born in the U.S. and England, respectively, were of British heritage.
IndictmentOn June 4, 1886 an indictment of August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, Albert R. Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg, William Seliger, Rudolph Schnaubelt and Oscar Neebe for murder was returned by the grand jury.
Charged with making an unlawful, willful, felonious and with malice aforethought assault on the body of Mathias J. Degan causing him mortal wounds, bruises, lacerations and contusions upon his body.
In addition to the indictment, the Grand Jury reported to the convening court that, in its opinion, despite great public apprehension resulting from the Haymarket Massacre, that the danger posed by anarchist agitation was greatly exaggerated with the total number of principals involved in anarchist agitation in the United States less than 100, and probably not more than 40 or 50, with a group of core supporters of about 200, and only about 2,000 people influenced by its activities. A decision was made to indict only members of the core group; followers were characterized as "dupes." It was the opinion of the grand jury that the anarchist group in Chicago had little relationship with labor or union activities, having only exploited labor issues to advance its own agenda, which mostly consisted of pursuance of power and profit.
The trial, Illinois vs. August Spies et al., which began on June 21, 1886, and went on until August 11, was conducted in at atmosphere of extreme prejudice by both public and media toward the defendants. It was presided over by Judge Joseph Gary. Judge Gary displayed open hostility to the defendants, consistently ruled for the prosecution, and failed to maintain decorum. A motion to try the defendants separately was denied. The defense counsel included Sigmund Zeisler, William Perkins Black, William Foster, and Moses Salomon. Selection of the jury was extraordinarily difficult, lasting three weeks, and nearly one thousand persons called. In the end a jury of 12 was seated, most of whom confessed prejudice towards the defendants. All union members and anyone who repressed sympathy toward socialism were dismissed. Despite their professions of prejudice Judge Gary seated those who declared that despite their prejudices they would acquit if the evidence supported it, refusing to dismiss for prejudice. Eventually the peremptory challenges of the defense were exhausted. Frustrated by the hundreds of jurors who were being dismissed a bailiff was appointed who selected jurors rather than calling them at random. The bailiff proved prejudiced himself and selected jurors who seemed likely to convict based on their social position and attitudes toward the defendants. The prosecution, led by Julius Grinnell, argued that since the defendants had not actively discouraged the person who had thrown the bomb, they were therefore equally responsible as conspirators. The jury heard the testimony of 118 people, including 54 members of the Chicago Police Department and the defendants Fielden, Schwab, Spies and Parsons. Albert Parsons' brother claimed there was evidence linking the Pinkertons to the bomb. This reflected a widespread belief among the strikers.
With respect to the admission of evidence the court took an expansive view of what might constitute conspiracy, holding that preparations to resist the police might be conspiracy although a specific time, place, and actions were not designated.
A lead fragment from the wounds of one of the policeman was subjected to chemical analysis and found to be markedly different from commercial lead and similar to the casing of bombs found in the home of the defendant, Louis Lingg. Consultation with physicians who had tended the wounded yielded a nut used to bolt the bomb together and fragments of the casing which were turned over to chemists for analysis together with the bombs recovered from Lingg. Comparison showed a rough match with respect to the proportion of metals in the samples. Interviews revealed a long history of failed, semi-successful, and finally, successful experiments with dynamite and other explosives. Over a period of several years the design of bombs had been refined until the very effective bomb used at Haymarket had been developed.
After the prosecution and the defense presented their cases they submitted suggested jury instructions to the court. The prosecution submitted 14 instructions which the court submitted to the jury on behalf of the people. The defense submitted 74 instructions of which 46 were accepted and the remainder refused. Louis Lingg submitted an instruction on his own behalf, but it was refused by the court. Two instructions were given by the court on its own motion, one of which addressed the form of the verdict. At the last minute it was discovered that instructions for manslaughter had not been included in the submitted instructions, the jury was called back, and it was given.
Verdict and contemporary reactions
The jury returned guilty verdicts for all eight defendants – death sentences for seven of the men, and a sentence of 15 years in prison for Neebe. The sentencing sparked outrage from budding labor and workers' movements, resulted in protests around the world, and elevated the defendants as international political celebrities and heroes within labor and radical political circles. Meanwhile the press published often sensationalized accounts and opinions about the Haymarket affair, which polarized public reaction. In an article datelined May 4, entitled "Anarchy’s Red Hand", The New York Times described the incident as the "bloody fruit" of "the villainous teachings of the Anarchists." The Chicago Times described the defendants as "arch counselors of riot, pillage, incendiarism and murder"; other reporters described them as "bloody brutes", "red ruffians", "dynamarchists", "bloody monsters", "cowards", "cutthroats", "thieves", "assassins", and "fiends". The journalist George Frederic Parsons wrote a piece for The Atlantic Monthly in which he identified the fears of middle-class Americans concerning labor radicalism, and asserted that the workers had only themselves to blame for their troubles. Edward Aveling, Karl Marx's son-in-law, remarked, "If these men are ultimately hanged, it will be the Chicago Tribune that has done it."
The case was appealed in 1887 to the Supreme Court of Illinois where it was unanimously confirmed on September 14, 1887 in a 225 page, 56,000 word opinion, then to the United States Supreme Court where the defendants were represented by John Randolph Tucker, Roger Atkinson Pryor, General Benjamin F. Butler and William P. Black. The petition for certiorari was denied.
Commutations and suicide
After the appeals had been exhausted, Illinois Governor Richard James Oglesby commuted Fielden's and Schwab's sentences to life in prison on November 10, 1887. On the eve of his scheduled execution, Lingg committed suicide in his cell with a smuggled dynamite cap which he reportedly held in his mouth like a cigar (the blast blew off half his face and he survived in agony for six hours).
The next day (November 11, 1887) four defendants, Spies, Parsons, Fischer and Engel were taken to the gallows in white robes and hoods. They sang the Marseillaise, then the anthem of the international revolutionary movement. Family members including Lucy Parsons, who attempted to see them for the last time, were arrested and searched for bombs (none were found). According to witnesses, in the moments before the men were hanged, Spies shouted, "The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!" Witnesses reported that the condemned men did not die immediately when they dropped, but strangled to death slowly, a sight which left the spectators visibly shaken.
Identity of the bomber
Notwithstanding the convictions for conspiracy, no actual bomber was ever brought to trial, "and no lawyerly explanation could ever make a conspiracy trial without the main perpetrator in the conspiracy seem completely legitimate." Some members of the anarchist movement later hinted they knew the bomber's identity but refrained from disclosing it. History professor Timothy Messer-Kruse believes the evidence at the trial points to Rudolph Schnaubelt, brother-in-law of Schwab, as the likely perpetrator. Howard Zinn, in A People's History of the United States also fingered Schnaubelt, suggesting he was a provocateur, posing as an anarchist, who threw the bomb so police would have a pretext to arrest leaders of Chicago's anarchist movement. This theory does not have wide support among historians.
An extensive collection of documents relating to the Haymarket affair and the legal proceedings related to it, The Haymarket Affair Digital Collection has been created by the Chicago Historical Society
Burial and memorial
Lingg, Spies, Fischer, Engel, and Parsons were buried at the German Waldheim Cemetery (later merged with Forest Home Cemetery) in Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Schwab and Neebe were also buried at Waldheim when they died, reuniting the "Martyrs." In 1893, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument by sculptor Albert Weinert was raised at Waldheim. Over a century later, it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior, the only cemetery memorial to be noted as such.
The trial has been characterized as one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in United States history.Template:Citations needed A recent historian has criticized the defense for pleading the lesser charge of manslaughter for his clients. Most working people believed Pinkerton agents had provoked the incident. On June 26, 1893, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld signed pardons for Fielden, Neebe, and Schwab after having concluded all eight defendants were innocent. The governor said the reason for the bombing was the city of Chicago's failure to hold Pinkerton guards responsible for shooting workers. The pardons were highly unpopular and ended his political career.
Effects on the labor movement and May Day
The Haymarket affair was a setback for American labor and its fight for the eight-hour day. However, despite the commonly expressed view that the bombing and its aftermath destroyed the Chicago labor movement, in the view of historian Nathan Fine trade union activities there continued to show signs of growth and vitality, culminating later in 1886 with the establishment of the Labor Party of Chicago.
"[T]he fact is that despite police repression, newspaper incitement to hysteria, and organization of the possessing classes, which followed the throwing of the bomb on May 4, the Chicago wage earners only united their forces and stiffened their resistance. The conservative and radical central bodies — there were two each of the trade unions and two also of the Knights of Labor — the socialists and the anarchists, the single taxers and the reformers, the native born...and the foreign born Germans, Bohemians, and Scandinavians, all got together for the first time on the political field in the summer following the Haymarket affair.... [T]he Knights of Labor doubled its membership, reaching 40,000 in the fall of 1886. On Labor Day the number of Chicago workers in parade led the country."
Popular pressure continued for the establishment of the 8-hour day. At the convention of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1888, the union decided to campaign for the shorter workday again. May 1, 1890, was agreed upon as the date on which workers would strike for an eight-hour work day.
In 1889, AFL president Samuel Gompers wrote to the first congress of the Second International, which was meeting in Paris. He informed the world's socialists of the AFL's plans and proposed an international fight for a universal eight-hour work day. In response to Gompers's letter, the Second International adopted a resolution calling for "a great international demonstration" on a single date so workers everywhere could demand the eight-hour work day. In light of the Americans' plan, the International adopted May 1, 1890 as the date for this demonstration.
A secondary purpose behind the adoption of the resolution by the Second International was to honor the memory of the Haymarket martyrs and other workers who had been killed in association with the strikes on May 1, 1886. Historian Philip Foner writes "[t]here is little doubt that everyone associated with the resolution passed by the Paris Congress knew of the May 1 demonstrations and strikes for the eight-hour day in 1886 in the United States ... and the events associated with the Haymarket tragedy."
The first international May Day was a spectacular success. The front page of the New York World on May 2, 1890, was devoted to coverage of the event. Two of its headlines were "Parade of Jubilant Workingmen in All the Trade Centers of the Civilized World" and "Everywhere the Workmen Join in Demands for a Normal Day." The Times of London listed two dozen European cities in which demonstrations had taken place, noting there had been rallies in Cuba, Peru and Chile. Commemoration of May Day became an annual event the following year.
The association of May Day with the Haymarket martyrs has remained strong in Mexico. Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was in Mexico on May 1, 1921, and wrote of the "day of 'fiestas'" that marked "the killing of the workers in Chicago for demanding the eight-hour day". In 1929 The New York Times referred to the May Day parade in Mexico City as "the annual demonstration glorifying the memory of those who were killed in Chicago in 1886." The New York Times described the 1936 demonstration as a commemoration of "the death of the martyrs in Chicago." In 1939 Oscar Neebe's grandson attended the May Day parade in Mexico City and was shown, as his host told him, "how the world shows respect to your grandfather". An American visitor in 1981 wrote that she was embarrassed to explain to knowledgeable Mexican workers that American workers were ignorant of the Haymarket affair and the origins of May Day.
The influence of the Haymarket affair was not limited to the celebration of May Day. Emma Goldman was attracted to anarchism after reading about the incident and the executions, which she later described as "the events that had inspired my spiritual birth and growth." She considered the Haymarket martyrs to be "the most decisive influence in my existence". Alexander Berkman also described the Haymarket anarchists as "a potent and vital inspiration." Others whose commitment to anarchism crystallized as a result of the Haymarket affair included Voltairine de Cleyre and "Big Bill" Haywood, a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Goldman wrote to Max Nettlau that the Haymarket affair had awakened the social consciousness of "hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people".
While admitting none of the defendants was involved in the bombing, the prosecution made a weak argument that Lingg had built the bomb and two prosecution witnesses (Harry Gilmer and Malvern Thompson) tried to imply the bomb thrower was helped by Spies, Fischer and Schwab. The defendants claimed they had no knowledge of the bomber at all.
Several activists, including Dyer Lum, Voltairine de Cleyre and Robert Reitzel, later hinted they knew who the bomber was. Writers and other commentators have speculated about many possible suspects:
- Rudolph Schnaubelt (1863–1901) was an activist and the brother-in law of Michael Schwab. He was at the Haymarket when the bomb exploded. Schnaubelt was indicted with the other defendants but fled the city and later the country before he could be brought to trial. He was detectives' lead suspect and state witness Gilmer testified he saw Schnaubelt throw the bomb, identifying him from a photograph in court. Schnaubelt later sent two letters from London disclaiming all responsibility, writing, "If I had really thrown this bomb, surely I would have nothing to be ashamed of, but in truth I never once thought of it." He is the most generally accepted and widely known suspect and figured as the bomb thrower in The Bomb, Frank Harris's 1908 fictionalization of the tragedy. Written from Schnaubelt's point of view, the story opens with him confessing on his deathbed. However, Harris's description was fictional and those who knew Schnaubelt vehemently criticized the book.
- George Schwab was a German shoemaker who died in 1924. German anarchist Carl Nold claimed he learned Schwab was the bomber through correspondence with other activists but no proof ever emerged. Historian Paul Avrich also suspected him but noted that while Schwab was in Chicago, he had only arrived days before. This contradicted statements by others that the bomber was a well-known figure in Chicago.
- George Meng (b. around 1840) was a German anarchist and teamster who owned a small farm outside of Chicago where he had settled in 1883 after emigrating from Bavaria. Like Parsons and Spies, he was a delegate at the Pittsburgh Congress and a member of the IWPA. Meng's granddaughter, Adah Maurer, wrote Paul Avrich a letter in which she said that her mother, who was 15 at the time of the bombing, told her that her father was the bomber. Meng died sometime before 1907 in a saloon fire. Based on his correspondence with Maurer, Avrich concluded that there was a "strong possibility" that the little-known Meng may have been the bomber.
- An agent provocateur was suggested by some members of the anarchist movement. Albert Parsons believed the bomber was a member of the police or the Pinkertons trying to undermine the labor movement. However, this contradicts the statements of several activists who said the bomber was one of their own. Lucy Parsons and Johann Most rejected this notion. Dyer Lum said it was "puerile" to ascribe "the Haymarket bomb to a Pinkerton."
- A disgruntled worker was widely suspected. When Adolph Fischer was asked if he knew who threw the bomb, he answered, "I suppose it was some excited workingman." Oscar Neebe said it was a "crank." Governor Altgeld speculated the bomb thrower might have been a disgruntled worker who was not associated with the defendants or the anarchist movement but had a personal grudge against the police. In his pardoning statement, Altgeld said the record of police brutality towards the workers had invited revenge adding, "Capt. Bonfield is the man who is really responsible for the deaths of the police officers."
- Klemana Schuetz was identified as the bomber by Franz Mayhoff, a New York anarchist and fraudster, who claimed in an affidavit that Schuetz had once admitted throwing the Haymarket bomb. August Wagener, Mayhoff's attorney, sent a telegram from New York to defense attorney Captain William Black the day before the executions claiming knowledge of the bomber's identity. Black tried to delay the execution with this telegram but Governor Oglesby refused. It was later learned that Schuetz was the primary witness against Mayhoff at his trial for insurance fraud, so Mayhoff's affidavit has never been regarded as credible by historians.
- Thomas Owen was a carpenter from Pennsylvania. Severely injured in an accident a week before the executions, Owen reportedly confessed to the bombing on his deathbed by saying, "I was at the Haymarket riot and am an anarchist and say that I threw a bomb in that riot." He was an anarchist and apparently had been in Chicago at the time but other accounts note that long before his accident he had said he was at the Haymarket and saw the bomb thrower. Owen may have been trying to save the condemned men.
- Reinold "Big" Krueger was killed by police either in the melee after the bombing or in a separate disturbance the next day and has been named as a suspect but there is no supporting evidence.
- A mysterious outsider was reported by John Philip Deluse, a saloon keeper in Indianapolis who claimed he encountered a stranger in his saloon the day before the bombing. The man was carrying a satchel and on his way from New York to Chicago. According to Deluse, the stranger was interested in the labor situation in Chicago, repeatedly pointed to his satchel and said, "You will hear of some trouble there very soon." Parsons used Deluse's testimony to suggest the bomb thrower was sent by eastern capitalists. Nothing more was ever learned about Deluse's claim.
In 1889, a commemorative nine-foot (2.7 meter) bronze statue of a Chicago policeman by sculptor Johannes Gelert was erected in the middle of Haymarket Square with private funds raised by the Union League Club of Chicago. The statue was unveiled on May 30, 1889, by Frank Degan, the son of Officer Mathias Degan. On May 4, 1927, the 41st anniversary of the Haymarket affair, a streetcar jumped its tracks and crashed into the monument. The motorman said he was "sick of seeing that policeman with his arm raised". The city restored the statue in 1928 and moved it to Union Park. During the 1950s, construction of the Kennedy Expressway erased about half of the old, run-down market square, and in 1956, the statue was moved to a special platform built for it overlooking the freeway, near its original location.
The Haymarket statue was vandalized with black paint on May 4, 1968, the 82nd anniversary of the Haymarket affair, following a confrontation between police and demonstrators at a protest against the Vietnam War. On October 6, 1969, shortly before the "Days of Rage" protests, the statue was destroyed when a bomb was placed between its legs. Weatherman took credit for the blast, which broke nearly 100 windows in the neighborhood and scattered pieces of the statue onto the Kennedy Expressway below. The statue was rebuilt and unveiled on May 4, 1970, then blown up again by Weathermen on October 6, 1970. The statue was again rebuilt, and Mayor Richard J. Daley posted a 24-hour police guard at the statue. In 1972 it was moved to the lobby of the Central Police Headquarters, and in 1976 to the enclosed courtyard of the Chicago police academy. For another three decades the statue's empty, graffiti-marked pedestal stood on its platform in the run-down remains of Haymarket Square where it was known as an anarchist landmark. On June 1, 2007 the statue was rededicated at Chicago Police Headquarters with a new pedestal, unveiled by Geraldine Doceka, Officer Mathias Degan's great-granddaughter.
During the late 20th century, scholars doing research into the Haymarket affair were surprised to learn that much of the primary source documentation relating to the incident (beside materials concerning the trial) was not in Chicago, but had been transferred to then-communist East Berlin.
In 1992, the site of the speakers' wagon was marked by a bronze plaque set into the sidewalk, reading:
"A decade of strife between labor and industry culminated here in a confrontation that resulted in the tragic death of both workers and policemen. On May 4, 1886, spectators at a labor rally had gathered around the mouth of Crane's Alley. A contingent of police approaching on Des Plaines Street were met by a bomb thrown from just south of the alley. The resultant trial of eight activists gained worldwide attention for the labor movement, and initiated the tradition of 'May Day' labor rallies in many cities."
- Designated on March 25, 1992
- Richard M. Daley, Mayor
On September 14, 2004, Daley and union leaders—including the president of Chicago's police union—unveiled a monument by Chicago artist Mary Brogger, a fifteen-foot speakers' wagon sculpture echoing the wagon on which the labor leaders stood in Haymarket Square to champion the eight-hour day. The bronze sculpture, intended to be the centerpiece of a proposed "Labor Park", is meant to symbolize both the rally at Haymarket and free speech. The planned site was to include an international commemoration wall, sidewalk plaques, a cultural pylon, a seating area, and banners, but as of 2007 construction had not yet begun.
- Bay View Massacre (in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 5, 1886)
- Days of Rage
- Dyer Lum, close associate of the defendants who wrote an account of the case in 1891.
- First Red Scare of 1917-1920
- May Day Riots of 1894
- May Day Riots of 1919
- Palmer Raids of 1919
- Sacco and Vanzetti
- Wall Street Bombing of 1920
- List of massacres in Illinois
- National Register Information System. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- (2004). Lists of National Historic Landmarks. National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service Wp→. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
- Originally at the corner of Des Plaines and Randolph
- Trachtenberg, Alexander (March 2002) . The History of May Day. Marxists.org. http://www.marxists.org/subject/mayday/articles/tracht.html. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
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- (2003). Site of the Haymarket Tragedy. City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
- Henry David, The History of the Haymarket Affair (1936), introductory chapters, pages 21 to 138
- How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday. The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything. bbc.co.uk. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
- How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday. The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything. bbc.co.uk. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
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- According to Henry David there were strikes by "no less than 30,000 men", and "perhaps twice that number (i.e., 80,000) were out on the streets participating in or witnessing the various demonstrations..."
- David, The History of the Haymarket Affair, pp. 177, 188.
- The existence of an 80,000 person march down Michigan Avenue, described by Avrich (1984), Foner (1986), and others, has been questioned by historian Timothy Messer-Kruse, who claims to have found no specific reference to it in contemporary sources and notes that David (1936) doesn't mention it.
- Green, Death in the Haymarket, pp. 162–173.
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- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, p. 193.
- Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1, 1886 Nov. 26. M. p. 255. http://www.chicagohistory.org/hadc/transcript/volumem/201-250/M250-263.htm. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
- (2000). Act II: Let Your Tragedy Be Enacted Here, Moment of Truth. The Dramas of Haymarket. Chicago Historical Society. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
- Nelson, Bruce C. (1988). Beyond the Martyrs: A Social History of Chicago's Anarchists, 1870–1900. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 189. .
- In the Supreme Court of Illinois, Northern Grand Division. March Term, 1887. August Spies, et al. v. The People of the State of Illinois. Abstract of Record. Chicago: Barnard & Gunthorpe. vol. II, p. 129. . , quoted in Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, pp. 199–200.
- Nelson, Beyond the Martyrs, p. 188.
- "Rioting and Bloodshed in the Streets of Chicago" (PDF), May 5, 1886. Retrieved on February 29, 2012. This is the same articlem datelined May 4th, reproduced elsewhere.
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- Nelson, Beyond the Martyrs, pp. 188–189.
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- Schaack, Michael J. (1889). "The Dead and the Wounded". Anarchy and Anarchists. A History of the Red Terror and the Social Revolution in America and Europe. Communism, Socialism, and Nihilism in Doctrine and in Deed. The Chicago Haymarket Conspiracy, and the Detection and Trial of the Conspirators. Chicago: F. J. Schulte & Co. p. 155. . http://homicide.northwestern.edu/docs_fk/homicide/AAA/Anarchy.09.pdf. Retrieved January 19, 2008. "After the moment's bewilderment, the officers dashed on the enemy and fired round after round. Being good marksmen, they fired to kill, and many revolutionists must have gone home, either assisted by comrades or unassisted, with wounds that resulted fatally or maimed them for life. ... It is known that many secret funerals were held from Anarchist localities in the dead hour of night."
- Chicago Herald, May 5, 1886, quoted in Avrich (1984), pp.209–210.
- "The Anarchists Cowed", May 8, 1886. Retrieved on February 29, 2012.
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- Messer-Kruse, Timothy (2011) , page 21
- Messer-Kruse (2011), pp. 18–21.
- |"Meet the Haymarket Defendants" University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School website.
- Messer-Kruse (2011), pp. 18–21.
- Grand jury indictments for murder, 1886 June 4. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
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- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy (1984) pages 260 to 262
- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy (1984) pages 262 to 267
- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, pp. 271–272.
- Court discussion regarding the defense's objection to the admission of certain pieces of evidence, 1886 July 16. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- "THE ANARCHISTS' TRIAL", July 16, 1886. Retrieved on March 24, 2012.
- Court's instructions to the jury on behalf of the people, 1886 Aug. 19. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Court's instructions to the jury on behalf of the defendants, 1886 Aug. 19. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Defendants' instructions to the jury: refused by the court, 1886 Aug. 19. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Louis Lingg's instructions to the jury on his behalf: refused by the court, 1886 Aug. 19. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Court's instructions to the jury given of its own motion and upon its own volition, 1886 Aug. 19.Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- Court's instructions to the jury as to the form of the verdict, 1886 Aug. 19. Chicago Historical Society, Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
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- "THE ANARCHISTS MUST DIE", September 15, 1887. Retrieved on March 25, 2012.
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- Building the Digital Collection
- Messer-Kruse, The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists, p. 128.
- Morn. The Eye That Never Sleeps. p. 99. . On April 9, 1885, Pinkertons shot and killed an elderly man at the McCormick Harvester Company Works in Chicago. On October 19, 1886, they shot and killed a man in Chicago's packinghouse district. More info.
- Nathan Fine, Labor and Farmer Parties in the United States, 1828-1928. New York: Rand School of Social Science, 1928; pg. 53.
- Foner, May Day, p. 40.
- Foner, May Day, p. 41.
- Foner, May Day, p. 42.
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- Foner, May Day, pp. 45–46.
- Roediger, Dave, "Mother Jones & Haymarket", in Roediger and Rosemont, eds., Haymarket Scrapbook, p. 213.
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- Foner, May Day, p. 118.
- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, p. 436.
- Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne (2005). Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press. p. 73. . "How do I explain to my compañeros Mexicanos why May Day is not a holiday in the United States where it originated? They know about the Haymarket martyrs of Chicago, but workers in the United States do not."
- Goldman, Emma (1970) . Living My Life. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 7–10, 508. .
- Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, p. 434.
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- Thompson, Malvern M. Testimony of Malvern M. Thompson, Illinois vs. August Spies et al.. Haymarket Affair Digital Collection. Chicago Historical Society. URL accessed on January 19, 2008.
- After the hangings, Reitzel reportedly told Dr. Urban Hartung, another anarchist, "The bomb-thrower is known, but let us forget about it; even if he had confessed, the lives of our comrades could not have been saved." Letter from Carl Nold to Agnes Inglis, January 12, 1933, quoted in Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy, p. 442.
- Messer-Kruse, The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists, p. 74.
- Messer-Kruse, The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists, p. 182.
- Lucy Parsons stated that Harris's book "was a lie from cover to cover." Letter from Lucy Parsons to Carl Nold, January 17, 1933, quoted in David, The History of the Haymarket Affair, p. 435.
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- David, The History of the Haymarket Affair, pp. 429–430.
- Parsons, Albert R.. "Address of Albert R. Parsons". The Accused, The Accusers: The Famous Speeches of the Eight Chicago Anarchists in Court. Chicago Historical Society. http://www.chicagohistory.org/hadc/books/b01/B01S008.htm. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
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- Foner, Philip S. (1986). May Day: A Short History of the International Workers' Holiday, 1886-1986. New York: International Publishers. .
- Green, James R. (2006). Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America. New York: Pantheon Books. .
- Messer-Kruse, Timothy (2011). The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. .
- Roediger, Dave; Franklin Rosemont, eds. (1986). Haymarket Scrapbook. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr Publishing. .
- Schaack, Michael J. (1889). Anarchy and Anarchists. A History of the Red Terror and the Social Revolution in America and Europe. Communism, Socialism, and Nihilism in Doctrine and in Deed. The Chicago Haymarket Conspiracy, and the Detection and Trial of the Conspirators. Chicago: F. J. Schulte & Co. . http://homicide.northwestern.edu/pubs/anarchy/.
- Bach, Ira J.; Mary Lackritz Gray (1983). A Guide to Chicago's Public Sculpture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. .
- Fireside, Bryna J. (2002). The Haymarket Square Riot Trial: A Headline Court Case. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers. .
- Harris, Frank (1908). The Bomb. London: John Long. . http://books.google.com/?id=T2YRAAAAYAAJ.
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- Kvaran, Einar Einarsson (unpublished manuscript). Haymarket — A Century Later.
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- Haymarket Affair Digital Collection, Chicago Historical Society
- Table of Contents Haymarket Affair Digital Collection
- The Dramas of Haymarket, Chicago Historical Society
- The Haymarket Riot Trial, Famous Trials, University of Missouri–Kansas City Law School
- The Haymarket Affair (1886), Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930, Northwestern University
- The Haymarket Massacre Archive, Anarchy Archives
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- 1886: The Haymarket Martyrs and Mayday, Libcom
- Haymarket affair texts at the Kate Sharpley Library
- The Haymarket Martyrs, Illinois Labor History Society (archived from the original on 2004-10-15)
- The Haymarket Tragedy, Illinois Labor History Society (archived from the original on 2004-06-04)
- Haymarket Martyrs' Monument, Graveyards of Chicago
- The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists, Bowling Green State University (Ohio) blog
Encyclopedia of Chicago
- Haymarket and May Day
- Haymarket Riot Monument, 1889
- Haymarket Monument, Waldheim Cemetery
- Haymarket Memorial, 2005
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