Testimony of Chief Inspector John Bonfield (July 16 and 28, 1886)

Inspector John Bonfield

JOHN BONFIELD, produced as a witness on behalf of the people, after having beeen duly sworn testified as follows:

Direct Examination by Mr. GRINNELL.

Q. What is your name?

A John Bonfield.

Q You are a police officer?

A I am.

Q Inspector of Police at present?

A I am, yes.

Q How long have you been a police officer?

A Nearly ten years.

Q You were the Inspector of the Police, that is, the second in command on the 4th of May last?

A Yes.

Q You were in charge of the companies or the policemen that were located or ordered to rendezvous at Desplaines Street Station that night?

A Yes.

Q How many companies and who were in charge of them, if you remember, were there, and what time were you there? When did you first get there--- that afternoon or evening?

A I think I got to the Desplaines Street Station in the vicinity of six o'clock; I am not certain, however; it was about that time. There were there present Captain Ward; Lieutenants Bowler and Benson and Stanton and Hubbard and Beard and Steels and Quinn--each of those Lieutenants in charge of a company.

Q What did you do in the evening? Why and how did you come to rendezvous at that particular place that night?

A Sometime during the day of May 4th our attention was called to a circular calling for a meeting at the Haymarket between Desplaines and Randolph streets on that evening.

(Contents of the circular objected to by counself for defendants.)

MR. GRINNELL: I will have the circular here.

WITNESS: I have one.

Q Have you got a copy of it in your pocket?

A I have.

Q That was the circular that you have reference to? (indicating) which called your attention to that meeting?

A One similar to this.

Q Exactly similar?

A I won't say as to the German part. The English part is exactly the same.

Q You need not read from it at present. What time was you attention called to that circular?

A That I could not say, as to what hour; sometime during the day, on May 4th.

Q Pursuant to it you had the companies rendezvous--

MR. BLACK: I object to that.

MR. GRINNELL: (Q) What did you do?

A After consultations with the Superintendent of Police he asked me--

Objected to.

WITNESS (continuing) I went and saw the Mayor on the afternoon of May 4th, and His H-nr, the Mayor, and myself had talked the matter over, as to what would be the most advisable course to pursue.

Q Don't state what your conferences were, but state what you did pursuant thereto?

A After having a consultation with His Honor, the Mayor, I went to the Desplaines Street Station and took command of the forces assembled there.

Q Will you state how many men as near as you can that were there under each of the Lieutenants and Captains that were there?

A I have not got that with me. I think the total force was somewheres about 180 men, each Lieutenant having command of a company.

Q Each officer in charge can tell the number of men under him, but I did not know that I might get from you that information as a whole. Go on now and state what occurred, and what you did?

A We stayed in the police station until somewheres after ten o'clock, somewheres between ten and half past ten; I could not state exactly the time. Acting on the reports that were brought in from the officers---

Objected to.

Mr. Black: I want to know what you did and not why you did it.

Mr. Grinnell: Proceed, Captain.

A The men formed on Waldo Place, on the south side of the station; we marched down north on Desplaines Street.

Q Describe as well as you can the position of the officers, and the companies they were in and so forth, with this map (Indicating)? Tell how you came out of the Waldo Place?

A Between ten and half past ten on the evening of the 4th of May there was a side entrance to the station on Waldo Place; the men marched out of the station through this side entrance (indicating), and formed in a single line on Waldo Place, and as the work "March" was given they swung onto Desplaines Street and faced north and formed into division front Captain Ward and myself were at the head of the two first companies; Lieutenant Steele with his company on the right and Lieutenant Quinn on the left; the next two companies that formed in division front, double line, was Lieutenant Bowler on the right and Lieutenant Stanton on the left; the next company that formed in single line was Lieutenant Hubbard. I do not know of my own personal knowledge just exactly whether Benson or Beard were the first of the two rear companies; their orders were to stop at the entrance to the Market Square--Lieutenant Beard and Benson's orders were to stop at Randolph Street and face to the right and left, so that in case we should be attacked in the rear they could guard our rear---

Objected to.

WITNESS: We marched in that order.

Mr. GRinnell: (Q) They were to be stationed along the line of this street here to guard this (indicating).

A Yes.

Q. And who was over there (indicating)

A Benson here (indicating) and Beard there (indicating); that is my recollection; the remaining companies--Steele and Quinn in the front two companies, Bowler and Stanton following immediately, and Hubbard behind them marched up until we came about to the mouth of this alley (indicating)-- that is, the front of the column was about at the mouth of the alley. There was a truck wagon standing a little to the north of this alley (indicating) and against this east sidewalk of Desplaines Street.

Mr. SALOMON: Q You are now pointing to the alley immediately north of Randolph Street and on the east side of the Street?

A Yes.

Mr. GRINNELL: Q Where the truck wagon was that they were speaking from?

A Yes.

Q I want you to state now, so far as personal orders which were issued are concerned, how the men and officers were in reference to arms as they marched down the street?

A I can state what the orders were.

Mr. BLACK: We want to know what you know about it as to the actual condition.

Mr. GRINNELL: (Q) Were there orders issued in regard to the matter?

A Yes.

Q Where?

A At the Desplaines Street Station.

Q To the men?

A Yes, and to the officers.

Q I want to know what the order was?

Objected to.

Mr. BLACK: What the order was is not material at this stage.

Mr. GRINNELL: I want to know whether they had their clubs in their hands, or pistols, or both.

THE COURT: I think the orders are admissable.

To which ruling of the court the defendants by their counsel, then and there duly excepted.

A The orders were that no man should draw a weapon or commit any act---fire or strike anybody--until he received positive orders from his commanding officer; those orders were given partly to the men and to each commanding officer individually, with instructions to report it to his men individually, and as to my personal knowledge of how the men were, I walked along the line while the men were formed before they turned into Desplaines Street and each officer was dressed in full uniform with his coat buttoned up to the throat and his club and belt on, and the club in the holder on the side. I had no belt and carried a club in my hand myself, and Captain Ward was with me in front, and we each had our batons in our hands.

Q Pistols in your hands?

A No sir.

Q In your pockets?

A Yes.

Q Go on?

A As we approached the truck about at that point (indicating) there was a person speaking from the truck and Captain Ward turned slightly to his right and gave the statutory order to disperse in the name of the People.

Mr. BLACK (Q) What did he say?

A The language was, "I command you in the name of the people of the State of Illinois to immediately and peaceably disperse." And as he repeated
those words--I think those are the exact words used--- as he repeated those words he turned slightly to the right and left and said, "I command you, and you, to assist." Almost instantly, or just before that--Mr. Fielding, as I recognized afterward, was standing on the truck speaking as we approached, and as Captain Ward gave the command Fielding turned so as to face the Captain and myself and stepped off from the end of the truck and turned to go towards the sidewalk, and as he turned he said in a rather loud tone of voice "We are peaceable". Almost instantly after that remark was repeated, I heard from behind me a hissing sound. I had been used in former years ---

Objected to.

Mr. GrINNELL: (Q) You knew something about dynamite from use?

A I knew something about explosives.

Q You knew something about explosives from your former trade and employment?

A Yes. Almost instantly after the remark of Fielding I heard the hissing sound behind me, which was followed in a second or two by a terrific explosion. To go back a little, as we came up the street the crowd parted kind of peculiar to my ideas; some portion of them ran on Desplaines Street towards Lake, but a great portion of them fell back to each sidewalk, to the right and left, and partly lapping back onto our flanks. Almost instantly after the explosion, or whatever it was, the firing from the front and from both sides poured right in on us; I should judge there were from seventy-five to a hundred shots--pistol shots right into our front, and both flanks, almost instantly after the explosion of that bomb.

Q From the people on the sidewalk and the crowd in front of you

A From the crowd standing directly in front and from both flanks of us. Those shots and the explosion was before there was a word spoken or a shot fired by any officer --a word spoken by any officer except the statutory command given by Captain Ward amd my command to the men to halt.

Q Immediately on the bomb being thrown and that explosion and the firing of the numerous pistol shots by the crowd, what order, if any, was given by any policeman in regard to the police force there on the ground? Was any order made to them then after the firing began by the crowd

A I could not say as to that; it was but a few seconds; there was not but just time enough for the men to get their revolvers out, when the police commenced firing, but there was an interval of a few seconds between the firing of the crowd and the return fire of the police. I was standing there when the explosion occurred, perhaps two or three paces in front of the first column of men. On hearing the explosion I turned about quickly and I saw the second two lines of men, almost all of them, shrink to the ground,; there were a great many men laying there; one man reached out his hand and asked me to help him. I then gave the order to the men to close up. Sergeant Fitzpatrick was the first officer that came to my side, and the men immediately reformed, Lieutenants Steele and Quinn with their companies charged down the street, and the others formed and took both sides; in a few moments the crowd was scattered in every direction, and I gave the order to cease firing and went to pick up our wounded.

Q Were any of the officers killed that night?

A Yes.

Q Which one?

A Officer Degan was killed almost instantly.

Q Matthias J. Degan?

A Yes.

Q What company was he in, do you remember?

A I do not.

Q Where were the wounded carried that night?

A To the Desplaines Street Station.

Q Have you in your mind now, or from reports can you tell the number of wounded that night---the number of injured by the bomb and pistols?

A My best recollection is that there were somwhere in the neighborhood of sixty.

Q Do you know how many have died from the effects of the wounds received there?

A Seven.

Q Do you know their names?

A Well, I dont know as I can repeat them all.

A JUROR: (Q) Were there sixty of the officers wounded?


Q You say this is a copy of the circular that you saw-- the English part of it?

A Yes.

Q You cannot read German?

A No sir.

Q Where is the one that you did have?

A I could not say.

Q Have you lost it or has it been destroyed, or how? Do you know whether it was left with me?

A I had quite a number of them alike, and I do not know as I paid any particular attention to the one that I had that day.

Q You did have quite a number of them?

A Yes.

Q And you read it?

A Yes.

Q And you have read this (indicating)?

A Yes.

Q Is this so far as the English part is concerned, the same as the one that was brought to your attention that day?

A Just exact by the same.

(`Same exhibited to counsel for defendants.)

Q Do you know or can you remember how it came to be brought to your attention? Who brought it? Where did you see it first?

A It was shown to me first in the City Hall.

Q Do you remember the time of the day that it was shown to you?

A I do not.

Q Did you see anyother circular distributed prior to this meeting?

A Yes.

Q Did you see that curcular called the "Revenge Circular"?

A Yes.

Q Have you a copy of that with you?

A I have not. The Revenge Circular was shown to me late on Monday evening, and we had a meeting at the City Hall of the police officers --the Captains, the Superintendent and myself, and sometime late Monday evening, perhaps between ten and eleven o'clock, a copy of the Revenge Circular was brought to us.

Q What hour?

A I should judge between ten and eleven, o'clock on Monday evening.

Q That was in what language? The part I read was in English.

Q It was two parts, printed on one piece of paper?

A Yes.

Q A part in English and a part in German?

A Yes.

Q The matters which you have described--- the police station, the marching of the police and the throwing of the bomb and the pistol shots occurred at the place that you designate in the City of Chicago, County of Coook and State of Illinois?

A Yes sir.

Q What was the date of that?

A The 4th of May, 1886.

Q In the evening?

A Yes.

Q Between ten and half past ten?

A That is the best of my judgment--between ten and half past ten o'clock.

(Circular referred to by the witness intro-duced in evidence in behalf of the People; same being marked "People's Exhibit 1." Copy hereto annexed marked "People's Ex. No. 5," contained in Vol. Of "Exhibits", hereto attached.)

Mr. FOSTER: We admit that the German is the same as the English.

Mr. Grinnell: I have not had it translated. I presume it is the same.

(Another circular handed to witness.)

Q Have you read the English part of that paper presented to you now?

A Yes.

Q Have you ever seen that or one like it before?

A Yes.

Q When?

A Monday evening, the third day of May, 1886.

(The circular referred to in the above questions and answers is the one headed "Revenge.")

Q About how many shots were fired do you think by the crowd on either side of the street and in front of you before the police began firing? I do not suppose you can make any kind of accurate statement as to that, but I want your notion, your estimation of it?

A It would be hard to make an accurate statement, but I should think I would be very safe in saying that it was not less than a hundred.

Q Who was it that spoke to you and asked for help?-- that was thrown down or shot--- one of the officers in your own company immediately back of you?

A He was one of the officers in Lieutenants Stanton's or Bowler's company; I thik his name is McEnery.

Q He was in the company immediately back of you?

A Yes, one of the companies.

Q What did you do as soon as that firing began?

A I turned around, and as I stepped back perhaps ten feet and Officer McEnery was laying in the street, and he raised up his hand and in an imploring voice said,."Captain, help me." I took him by the head and attempted to raise him. I thought maybe he was knocked down, and I saw he was powerless, and I advised him to lay still and I would give him assitance as soon as possible. I called on the officers to "Fall in". I was afraid they would come back and attack us

Objected to.

WITNESS: (continuing) The officers fell in and the crowd scattered, and in a few minutes afterwards I ordered the officers to cease firing, and immediately after that Officer Conley from the Desplaines Street Station came from the sidewalk as he had his hand on his back and he told me he was shot.

(Last sentence of the answer objected to, and ordered stricken out.)

Q When was it, in reference to the shooting, that you saw this other officer? It was when you came back to relieve them?

A It was when I stepped back to relieve them. When I was speaking to McENery the shooting was still going on.

Q What obsrvation did you make of the occupants of that wagon?

A My best recollection is, as we approached there were five or six; perhaps more; I could not say. I think there were that many.

Q You did not see from what direction the bomb came at all, itself?

A No sir.

Q But it came from your rear?

A Yes.

Q Yuo were up near the wagon?

A Yes.

Q How close to the wagon were you?

A I think about as far as from here to the jury, or about not quite as far, (indicating about ten feet)

Q Where was the most difficulty? Where was the most injury? Was it the front company which was immediately back of you, or back of that?

A The second company.

Q And these companies came down, filling up the entire street from sidewalk to sidewalk, or nearly so?

A Yes.

Q It was the second row of officers?

A The rear rank of the first companies and the second companies suffered the most.

Q You say you have had some experieince with explosives and with fuse?

A Yes, some.

Q Did you make some experiments yourself in attempting to explode some bombs since the Haymarket matter?

Objected to as leading. Objection overruled.

A I have made some experiments with bombs since the 4th of May.

Q Give a description of the bombs?

Objected to as immaterial.

THE COURT: The proof of the place from which the bombs with which he experimented came, probably should precede this.

Mr. GRINNELL: I will leave that branch of the case, if you will allow me permission to recall him.

THE COURT: If you undertake now to show that the bombs came from any of the defendants that he experimented with, you may put in his experiment; but what he says about the experiments will be of no value unless you should hereafter have proper evidence to connect where they came from.

MR GRINNELL: I suppose I can have the permission to recall Captain Bonfield later if I desire to do it?

THE COURT: That part, whatever you want from him, must be postponed until you show where the bombs came from that you propose to show the experiments with.

Q Were you present at the Central Station or anywhere where any conversations were had with any of the defendants?

A I was present during a part of a conversation between some of the officers and Mr. Fischer.

Q State what the conversation was. What did Fischer have to say?

A I could not say.

Q According to your statement, as I understqnd it, you were at the Desplaines Street Station with this large number of officers from about six or a little later until about ten o'clock, before any move was made?

A Yes.

Q I will ask you whether or not orders were given by you or any officers had directions from you to attend this meeting and report to you from time to time as to what was going on?

Objected to.

Question withdrawn.

Q I will ask you if you received reports during the evening during the continuance of that meeting from the officers or others as to what was going on down there?

A I did.

Q Did that report come to you from officers who had been detailed for that purpose?

A Yes.

(The circular heretofore referred to headed "Revenge" introduced in evidence on behalf of the People and marked "Peoples Exhibit 2." Copy hereto annexed, marked "People's Ex. 6," contained in Vol. Of Exhibits hereto attached.)

Mr. BLACK: When you come get ready to read it then I will object to it.

Cross Examination by Mr. BLACK:

Q Your rank in the Chicago Police Force is that of Inspector?

A Yes.

Q What relation does that bear to the police officers in it--- is it first, second or third?

A Second rank.

Q Second in rank to the Superintendent?

A Yes.

Q Mr Ebersold is the Superintendent?

A Yes.

Q And was on the 4th of May last?

A Yes.

Q You have been connected with the Chicago Police Force how long?

A Not quite ten years.

Q During that time what offices in the force have you had?

A I joined as a patrolman, and I was a detective for a short time and I was prmoted to the rank of Lieutenant and Captain and Inspector.

Q How long were you in the detective force of the city?

A I could not say; perhaps a year or so, as detective and acting detective.

Q And how long were you a captain of the police?

A Between four and five years.

Q At what hour do you think it was that you arrived at the Desplaines Street Station on Tuesday evening?

A I should say somewheres about six o'clock, perhaps a little before, perhaps a little after.

Q Had you eaten your supper before going there?

A No sir.

Q Did you eat your supper after getting there?

A No sir.

Q You did not leave the station then?

A No sir.

Q Then you were supperless that afternoon?

A Yes.

Q At what hour in the afternoon had you eaten your dinner?

A I could not say.

Q There were all told you think about 180 policemen including the officers?

A In that neighborhood.

Q You cannot fix the exact hour I understand you to say when the police came out of the station?

A No sir.

Q Do you remember how many men form these different divisions, or, we will take the first one in the street?

A I could not say as to that. Capt. Ward formed the men in line and how many men were in front I could not say exactly.

Q You were the highest officer upon the ground that night?

A Yes sir.

Q And the whole force was under your special charge and direction?

A Yes sir.

Q How nearly did the front of your platoons or divisions of police as they marched down Desplaines street occupy the roadway?

A My impression is that they occupied about the full width of the street--- between sidewalk and sidewalk or from curb to curb.

Q When did you first in your march to the north come up to them--any people who were apparently in attndance upon this meeting-- at what point?

A Not until we came quite close-----those who were apparently in attendance at the meeting. Around the corner of Desplaines and Randolph there were a few scattered there but not apparently paying any attention to the meeting, because they were too far away. But the crowd that was attending the speaking was apparently north of that alley.

Q Of course you did not come upon the crowd so to speak until you yourself reached the alley?

A Only a scattering portion of it.

Q And you say that the scattering portion that you reached south of the alley did not seem to be paying much attention to the meeting?

A The scattering portion that stood near the intersection of Desplaines and Randolph street---there was a scattering portion there. As we crossed Randolph street going north on Desplaines street then the crowd commenced to get a little thicker. They was scattered considerably, but the main body of the crowd that were apparently in attendance upon the meeting were north of the alley.

Q How far north of the alley stood the wagon from which the speaking was going on?

A My best recollection is it was not more than five or six feet, if that much. It was close up to the north side of the alley.

Q Did you observe in what direction the speaker was facing when he was addressing the crowd?

A I did not.

Q Was he facing west into the street or was he facing toward Randolph?

A My best recollection is that Fielding when speaking was facing to the north and west; but when my attention was particularly drawn to him he had turned around and was facing us.

Q Was facing you when your attention was especially called to him?

A Yes.

Q On which side of the wagon did the main body of the crowd that seemed to be in attendance on the meeting stand?

A The main crowd that apparently were in attnedance at the meeting were on the west side of Desplaines street, and a large portion of them to the north of the mouth of the alley. That is, when we arrived there; they may be different before we got there.

Q I am asking you about what you observed when you got there--- about how many people do you think there were in that crowd at the time you got on the ground?

A My best judgment would be there was at least one thousand people there

Q What did you have by way of light there to enable you to see the extent of the crowd and the space that was occupied by it?

A We did not have anything.

Q Was that a moonlight night?

A I would not say now.

Q Is it a fact, or is it not, that the night was cloudy shortly before that and that there was some threatenings of some rain or of a storm?

A I could not say of my own knowledge. I was inside until we went out.

Q You don't remember whether it was moonlight or not?

A I do not.

Q Were there any other lights there than the street lamps?

A My recollection is that the street lamps were put out; there were no street lamps (that were lit) on that block between Lake and Randolph.

Q How distinct is your recollection upon that subject?

A Well, it is pretty clear.

Q If there were not street lamps there and you have no recollection of any artificial lights and no recollection of any moon shining, what was there to enable you to see the crowd?

A A clear sky -- you can see a crowd pretty well in the street.

Q The question is what there was that night to enable you to see the crowd or to get an idea of its dimensions?

A What I base my opinion on as to the crowd is, I was in front of the men; I had a view of the entire street from side walk to sidewalk; as I went down and I know that the street was pretty well filled with people from building line to building lime, scattered some after we passed the intersection of Randolph and Desplaines streets, but gradually increasing in thickness as we went toward Lake street and about and immediately north of the wagon.

Q Was the main body of the crowd between the wagon and Lake street or between the wagon and Randolph street?

A When I got there the most of them were between the wagon and Lake street; that would naturally occur; as we went the crowd went before us.

Q How much of the crowd did you drive before you?

A As to the driving I don't know as we drove any.

Q Do you mean to say that the vrowd shifted its position? as you came up there before you actually came in contact with the crowd?

A Yes.

Q The crowd shifted its position and yet the speaking went right on?

A As to that---I have not said anything about the speaking.

Q I understood you to say that there was a man speaking when you got there?

A There was a man on the stand apparently addressing the crowd; but what his language was I could not aay.

Q The speaking went right on although the crowd shifted?

A I presume it did.

Q Did the main body of the crowd as to its location east and west---east or west of the center line of Desplaines street---did they stand east or west of the center line of Desplaines street---in other words, was the crowd around the wagon or was it on the westerly side of Desplaines street?

A As we approached a number of the crowd went down to the center of the street north, but the main portion of them fell back to right and left to both sidewalks. My recollection is that the greater portion of the crowd was on the west side of Desplaines street between where Crane's alley would strike and Eagle street. On that opposite side and on both sides of the alley in front of Crane's place, there was quite a large crowd there. They appeared to be thicker on the sidewalks and on both sides than they were in the middle of the street.

Q Do I understand you now say that the major part of the people whom you met separated and went up on the sidewalks, and a portion of them fell back to the north upon the body of the Crowd?

A Well, I want to be understood, that as we came up taking the entire street-- usually a crowd goes away in a body, and this crowd parted towards the right and left and towards each sidewalk; in place of going off in a body they parted to the right and left and a small portion went off down the street, still leaving a sufficient number directly in front of us to cover the entire street.

Q You think that the street was occupied from lot line to lot line at the time you called a halt in front of you?

A Yes sir.

Q Were the sidewalks upon either flank crowded at that time, or was there plenty of room on the sidewalks for the people that were standing there?

A My recollection is the sidewalks were pretty well crowded.

Q For how great a distance toward the alley from Randolph street was that the condition of the sidewalk?

A I could not say as to that.

Q Isin't it your experience in marching your police force in the streets of a city that the people who are occupying the streets usually seek the sidewalks as a means of departure or to get out of the way of your force or to clear the track for you?

A That would depend upon circumstances. If the police were marching in parade the crowd would get to the sidewalks to look on. If the police were marching to disperse a crowd or mob the natural thing would be for them to run away.

Q I ask you as to your experience?

A That is my experiences.

Q And on this particular evening you say that the crowd--part of them took to the north from your front and a part of them took to the sidewalks on either side?

A Yes.

Q Did you know Fielding at that time?

A No sir.

Q That was your first becoming acquainted with him or growing to know him?

A How I know it was Fielding was I was a sclose to the man as I am to this gentleman here (Indicating).

Q That was the first time that you became acquainted with him?

A It was the first time that I saw him. I saw him afterwards in the police station after he was arrested and recognized him as the man.

Q Now you say that Cap. Ward gave the command to disperse?

A Yes.

Q What did you do while he was giving that command?

A As we marched up the street Capt. Ward on my right and the nearest to the wagon or stand, either the Captain had not given the order to halt, or the men had not heard it as he turned slightly to his right to get over nearer to the wagon to speak or give the statutory order or command to disperse, I saw that the men were still advancing and I turned to the left facing the men and gave the command to halt, and then I turned around and stepped to the left and came up alongside of the Captain again.

Q You mean you stepped to the right?

A I stepped to the left first in giving the order to halt, going toward the left side of the street as we were going north, and I then turned around and came up alongside of the Captain.

Q And in turning around again you mean you went to the right?

A Yes.

Q Where did Capt. Ward stand when he gave the order to the crowd to disperse?

A Within a few feet of the south end of that truck.

Q Did the truck stand lengthwise of the sidewalk, or did it project lengthwise into the street?

A Lengthwise of the sidewalk, perhaps not exactly parallel with the sidewalk but nearly so.

Q The tongue end north or south?

A The tongue end north.

Q Within how many feet should you think of the rear end of that truck did Capt Ward stand when he gave the order?

A Not more than six feet, perhaps not as much as that.

Q Can you tell me with reference to the north line of what we will call for convenience Crane Bros. alley, referring to the alley on the south and running part way through the block---with reference to the north line of that alley where was the front rank of your first division?

A My best judgment would be that the front rank of the first division would be not quite up to the north line of that alley

Q Within probably how many feet?

A Well, I could not say. I would say in a general way they were perhaps in front of the alley; maybe in front of the south line and perhaps up to the north line, but within a very few feet of it; my best judgment would be that they were very near up to the north line of the alley.

Q Can you tell how near it was from the front rank of the men at their easterly end of the line--over next that east sidewalk---to the wagon---between the men and the wagon?

A I could not say. My best judgment is that Capt. Ward was within six feet of the wagon, perhaps not three, and he may be perhaps two or three paces, a little more or less, in front of the first line of the men.

Q So that there was not in your judgment to exceed from ten to fifteen feet between the front rank of your men and the rear end of the wagon where the speaking was going on?

A I should judge not.

Q Where did you march with reference to your company or division front---near to the center or to the right or to the left flank?

A To the right flank; near the center until we approached to near where the truck was and then we turned and went to the right. Capt. Ward turned to the right to give the command, and I first turned to the left to give the command to halt and then turned around and went up and before he got through speaking I was standing at his side.

Q So that before he had finished his command to the meeting you were beside him?

A Yes.

Q How far in front of your front rank did you march?

A Not more than two or three paces.

Q Did you have any difficulty from the crowd in maintaining that position relatively?

A No sir.

Q So that the crowd was not so dense or so unmanageable but that up to that point you were able to keep your alignment substantially?

A The crowd gave way as we advanced.

Q Who did Capt. Ward address when giving in the first instance the command which you have repeated?

A I could not swear as to whom he addressed. My impression was that he addressed the speaker.

Q Upon the wagon?

A Yes.

THE COURT: Q Did he address anybody by name?

A No sir.

Q How loud did he speak?

A He spoke in a loud voice. I think as loud as he could speak.

MR. BLACK: After giving this first command you say he turned first to the right and then to the left and says "I call on you and you to assist in disbursing the meeting"?

A I presume that was his intention.

Q What did he say?

A He turned after giving the statutory command slightly to the right and left and said "I command you and you to assist." I think that was his exact language.

Q That followed immediately upon the giving of the command?

A Yes.

Q How long a time do you think transpired in all from the time you called the halt until the explosion of the bomb?

A I don't think it was a minute, a very short space of time.

Q Did you hear anything that was said by the speaker who was addressing the crowd as you approached?

A I did not. I paid no attention to the speaker, as I looked after the men, until they had come to a halt, and then I turned and paid attention to what was going on on the wagon; previous to that I paid no attention to what was going on at the wagon at all. Capt. Ward was looking that way.

Q After these orders had been given by Cap.Ward, and I suppose, of course, when he gave this last summons to the bystanders to assist you were by him were you?

A I was along side of him.

Q After giving the command, calling upon the bystanders, what did Capt. Ward do?

A It was not but a very few seconds after he gave the command, so near that it was almost instantly, that the bomb exploded. I turned towards the rear and Capt. Ward with the remnants of the companies went to the sidewalk to the right, or to the east side of Desplaines street.

Q You say almost immediately the bomb exploded? Now, can you tell what you mean by that-- one second, two seconds, half a second or what?

A A very few seconds. The best way I can describe it is by telling you that as the Captain finished Fielding stepped from the truck and faced us, and stepped from the rear end of that truck wagon.

Q Stepped to the sidewalk?

A No, to the street, and as stepping on the street he turned to the sidewalk or curb, which is perhaps ten inches above the street, and as he went to the street he said "We are peaceable." Almost instantly after Fielding made that remark I heard that hissing sound, and it was but a very few seconds, perhaps not more than two or three. Maybe more. I cannot swear as to the exact number of seconds or minutes, but so near that I would say almost instantly after that the explosion followed.

Q Are you certain whether Mr. Fielding's remark was made after he stepped down or just before he stepped down from the truck?

A After he stepped down.

Q You are certain of that?

A Yes.

Q It was not spoken from the truck?

A I think not.

Q Did you hear anything said by him from the truck?

A I did not. He was in the act of stepping off the wagon; what he said previous to stepping from the truck I do not know.

Q You have just said that you then heard this hissing sound, Are you positive of that?

A Yes.

Q You are certain that he said nothing until he had reached the street?

A I could not very well have heard anything that he said previous to his reaching the street. I do not know of anything he said previous to reaching the street.

Q When he stepped on the street how near was he to you?

A So near that I could have reached out and touched him.

Q And You say he then said "We are peaceable"?

A He then said "We are peaceable".

Q Didn't he say "This is a peaceable meting", in effect?

A No sir.

Q You are certain of that?

A Yes.

Q You made a report about three weeks ago of this matter, did you not?

A Yes.

Q You have of course talked over this mattrr from time to time with your various officers in your command in connection with the preparation of the report, and also in the general preparation for the trial of the case?

A I have. With the various officers in command. I have had no conversation with them as to what their various reports would be, or anything about the details of it at all.

Q You have talked over with the different officers the details of the occurrences on that evening, have you not, from time to time, since then?

A We have talked over the affair of the 4th of May.

Q You have talked over particularly what was said by Fielding, haven't you?

A No, not particularly.

Q Haven't you talked that over with anybody --what was said by Fielding?

A Capt. Ward and myself did the next morning.

Q Since then haven't you talked it over with him or with others?

A I don't remember as I have had any particular conversation in that regard.

Q Give the matter a little thought and tell us what is your best recollection--- whether you have conversed with him or with others as to what was said by Fielding since the morning following the occurrence?

A Oh, probably I have repeatedly in giving the details. I have met a great many members of the force and outside people who wanted to know the particulars of that meeting, and in talking it over probably I mentioned what Fielding had said; probably I have, because afterwards it struck me as though there was something peculiar about it.

Q It didn't strike you as peculiar at the time?

A Well, I could not say as to that just at that time. The bomb came near striking me so soon after that that I did not think of the language.

Q You were slightly excited after that that evening?

A No sir, not any more than I am now.

Q You didn't get excited that evening at all?

A I think not.

Q This hissing sound which you say you heard--- was that after Fielding had stepped down from the wagon?

A Yes.

Q Was it after he stepped from the street up on the sidewalk?

A My best recollection of it is that it was immediately after he made that remark; as he turned facing us he was facing south; he turned to the left to the sidewalk, and as he turned and made that remark then I heard this hissing sound from behind.

Q Simultaneously?

A Following almost instantly.

Q You say almost instantly; was it practically simultaneously?

A There was a second or two, counting time by seconds; it was not simultaneously.

Q What occurred in that second or two?

A Nothing but a short lapse of time.

Q What became of Fielding?

A I don't know.

Q Where was he when you heard the hissing?

A He was in the act of getting to the sidewalk.

Adjourned to 2 P. M.

Testimony on July 28, 1886 (second appearance):

JOHN BONFIELD, recalled by the people; was examined in chief by Mr. Ingham and testified as follows;

Q Were you present at the central station when a man came in with officer Quinn?

A I was.

Q Did you see this apparatus there at that time (referring to blasting machine)?

A I did.

Q Did you have any conversation with Engle in regard to it?

A Yes sir.

Q What was that conversation?

Defefdants' counsel objected to the question in behalf of all the defendants except Engle.

A I don't remember the exact language of the conversation but the substance of it was I asked him what this thing was made for. He said he didn't know. I asked him who made it. That he didn't know. He said it was brought there some months before, five or six, to the best of my recollection, and left at his door, I think he said his basement door, by some party unknown to him. That is the best of my recollection of the substance of the conversation with Mr. Engle. About that time superintendent of Police Mr. Ebersold came up and he commenced talking to Engle in German.

Q The conversation after that was in German?

A Yes sir.

Q Where is the superintendent of Police now?

A I had a dispatch from him last night that he had left Portland, Oregon, on his way to San Francisco.

Q You have been an engineer yourself, have you not?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you know what that machine could be used for, what its purpose is?

Objected to.

THE COURT: It is admissible to show what operations mechanically can be carried on.

Mr. BLACK: It is perfectly obvious with half an eye that fir could be used in that precisely as a plumber usues such things or as a tinsmith uses it.

THE COURT: If the witness knows any mechanical operations that can be carried on with that, as machinery or part of machinery, let him tell.

Defendnats' counsel then and there excepted to the ruling of the court.

Mr. BLACK: If he has ever known of such an instrument being used in an industry, it would be proper for him to state, but to speculate as to the possibilities of such a thing seems to me out of the way.

THE WITNESS: That is a blast furnace in miniature, a homemade one. I can describe it. This upright part could be lined with fire clay. This shoulder you see at the bottom here some two inches and a half from that, could be filled in around with clay, leaving the holes here open. This, in a blasting furnace, would be known as the tweer. It is filled up to a considyrable height with clay to protect it from the hot fire inside, and the blast is applied through those pipes, one or both of them as may be necessary.

THE COURT: Q What do you mean by blast?

A A pressure of air. In a blast furnace where they used hot air or cold air-- the same purpose. I am aware this pulls over here. That trap at the bottom is for that purpose.

When that fire is extinguished or removed the debris or schlag that comes from the metal, and the ashes or cinders from the material used for fuel can be taken out-- let it be coke or charcoal-- those two are principally used.

Q What is the spout for?

A That is where the melted metal, after the metal or combination, whichever it may be, would be in a melted state, passes off. This is stopped with a plug of clay and when it is melted, the material melted, that plug can be removed, and the metal poured thrf through that tube. Defendants' counsel moved to exclude all the evidence as to what was said by Engle. The court denied the motion", to which ruling of the court defendants' counsel then and there excepted.

Mr. INGHAM: Q Look at the circular which I show you. That is the circular calling the meeting at the Haymarket.

(Witness examines circular) Did you see any of those circualrs any place in the city on the 5th day of May?

Mr. BLACK: I object. Mr Bonfield was asked in reference to this circular when he was on the stand.

Mr. INGHAM: The only circualr he was asked about, Mr. Grinell tells me, was in regard to the ones prior to the meeting. I propose to show by him that he found circulars at a certain place in the city after the meeting.

Q Our objection is that this particualr and identical circualr was put in, and Mr. Bonfield was asked in reference to it, or one of which that is a copy.

THE COURT: Is not it true that Bonfield was questioned only as to what occurred, and as to what led up to the meeting.

Mr. ZEISLER: That led up to the meeting.

THE COURT: They want to prove some of them were found at some particular place on the day after. That is another subject matter.

Mr. BLACK: I suppose it is another subject matter, but is a subject matter germane to his original examination.

THE COURT: It is true that the rigid rule is that when a witness is put on the stand that he must then be called to state all that he knows concerning anything that concerns the case; but in a case so voluminous as this is, necessarily there will be some omissions, and if there are any, there ought to be a chance to put them in; also with the proviso that there shall be time given for the other side to answer it.

Defendant's counsel then and there excepted to the ruling of the court.

Mr. INGHAM: Q Did you see any circulars on the 5th day of May similar to the one you now hold in your hand?

A I did.

Q Where?

A At Zephs hall corner of Lake and Des Plaines street,

Q How many did you see there?

A I could not say as to that. There was quite a number. On the morning of the 5th I went with some officers to Zeph's hall, and in the room back of the bar room I found the revenge circular, and several copies of the revenge circular, and several copies of this circular.

Q Did the copies of that circular which you saw there contain the words: "Workingmen arm yourselves and appear in full force"?

A It did.


Q How many circulars did you see there altogether?

A I could not say how many.

Q Why didn't you tell us about that, Inspector, when you were on the stand before and enquired of as to when and where you saw these circulars?

A I was asked if I remembered when I first seen this circualr, and I answered on the evening of the third of May. My recollection is I was not asked anything further as to the circular.

Q The sole reason that you did not tell then what you have told now was that you did not understand that the question called for that?

A I did not understand that the question called for it.

Q How many circulars altogether did you see there in Zeph's hall on the 5th of May.

A I could not say as to how many.

Q Do you know who took them there?

A No sir.

Q Do you know how they got there?

A No sir.

Q This was on the 5th of May?

A On the morning of the 5th 5th of May..

Defendants' moved the exclusion of the whole of the testimony regarding the circular on the ground that it is a matter after the 4th of May, and that Mr. Zeph is not a defendant and that the defendants are not connected in any way with these circulars on the 5th of May.

Motion was denied the court. To which ruling of the court counsel for the defendants then and there excepted.

Mr. BLACK: Q Will you look at this concern with me for a moment? (referring to blast furnace)

A Yes sir.

Q Suppose fire brick were put in here, in this machine and lead melted, and this were attempted to be used, not as a model of a blast furnace, but as a blast furnace for the purpose of melting metal-- the metal would run down through that trap door wouldn't it?

A I didn't say anything about fire brick. I said fire clay.

Q Well fire clay?

A No sir. it would not.

Q If the clay were put as you said, should come out flush with that shoulder there?

A Yes sir.

Q Then the metal would run out through that door?

A I open this, and the fuel, coal, charcoal, or anything else whatever may be used, would be placed in the bottom, and the metal would be placed on top.

Q The metal has got to go down so as to run out of that spout got to get to the bottom?

A Yes sir.

Q When it gets to the bottom would not it run out of that door?

A No sir.

Q Can you put clay enough on that trap door to prorect that trap door from the heat that would be required in a blast furnace?

A Yes sir.

Q And not get the clay above the spout?

A Yes sir.

Q You say you could get clay enough on the door to protect it from the heat and yet the clay would not interfere with that spout?

A Yes sir, do you want me to show it to you?

Q No sir. You can see the distinctly around that door at the bottom?

A Yes sir.

Q You can see the on this floor down there?

A Yes sir.

Q Plainly and distinctly?

A Yes, sir.

Q It is not a close fitting door?

A It was not intended to be. It was not necessary it should be.

Q There has never been any clay in there?

A I could not say.

Q Will you look and say as an expert whether there has ever been any fire clay in it?

A There has never been any fire in it.

Q Has there ever been any fire clay in it to your judgment, put in it for the purpose of corking it.?

A No sir.

Q According to your judgment as an expert, you don't see any?

A No, sir.

Q In your judgment as an expert, that thing never has been used?

A I think not.

Q. No fire?

A No sir.

Q Did you see that at the Haymarket?

A No sir.

Q There did not any body throw that at you?

A No sir.

Q Did any body make a speech from the top if it?

A No sir.

Q You didn't heard any fiendish, defiant cry come out of that?

THE COURT: You need not answer that question.

Haymarket Trial Homepage