[May 6, 1886 (New York Times)]
Anarchy’s Red Hand
Police mowed down with dynamite
The slaughter following an anarchist meeting-twelve policemen dead or dying – the number of killed or injured civilians unknown but very large – the bravery of the police force.
In response to this invitation 1,400 men,
most active in the Anarchist riots of the past 48 hours, gathered at
designated. At Des Plaines-street,
They were not disappointed.
Fielden spoke for 20 minutes, growing wilder and more violent as
proceeded. Police Inspector Bonfield had
heard the early part of the speech and walking down the street to the
“I command you in the name of the law to desist, and you,” turning to the crowd, to disperse.”
Just as he began to speak the stars on the broad
the blue coats, as they came marching down the street so quietly that
not been heard, reflected the rags of light from the neighboring street
lamp. From a little group of men
standing at the entrance to an alley opening on
The men in the centre of the line went down with shrieks and groans dying together. Then from the Anarchists on every side a deadly fire was pured in on the stricken lines of police and more men fell to the ground. At the discharge of the bomb the bystanders on the sidewalk fled for their lives and numbers were trampled upon in the mad haste of the crowd to get away. The groans of those hit could be heard above the rattle of the revolvers as the police answered the fire of the rioters with deadly effect. In two minutes the ground was strewn with wounded men. Then the shots straggled and soon after all was quiet and the police were masters of the situation.
The situation was appalling in the extreme. The ground was covered with the bodies of men writhing in agony and apparently dying. The men who were uninjured were ministering to their comrades as best they could and as soon as possible the wounded were removed to the station house. The first death was that of Officer Joseph Deegan, who rose from the ground where he was thrown by the explosion, walked a hundred feet toward the station house and dropping down, expired. All around within a radius of a block of the field of battle men were seen limping into drug stores and saloons or crawling on their hands their legs being disabled. Others tottered along the street like drunken men, holding their hands to their heads and calling for help to take them home. The open doorways and saloons in the immediate vicinity were crowded with men. Some jumped over tables and chairs, barricading themselves behind them; others crouched behind the walls, counters, doorways, and empty barrels. For a few minutes after the shooting nobody ventured out on the street.
A hospital was hastily improvised in the squad room at the station house and thither the wounded were carried by tender hands. The room presented a harrowing sight. Half a dozen men from whom the blood literally flowed in streams, were stretched upon the floor. Others were laid out on tables and benches and others not so badly wounded were placed in chairs to await, with what patience they could, the assistance of the surgeon. Mattresses and other bedding were dragged down stairs, and dozens of willing hands did their utmost to assuage the pain of the sufferers. Very soon the doctors were busy with needle lancet and probe. Priests passed from one wounded man to another administering brief words of consolation and hope and the sacrament of extreme unction to others. Officers and volunteer assistants went around with stimulants or helped to bind up wounds or held the patient down while the Surgeon was at work or carried some of the wounded to the other apartments, or in some other way did what could be done to help in easing pain or saving life. Pools of blood formed on the floor and was tramped about until almost every foot of space was red and slippery.
As the bodies were picked up from the ground it was found that one man, an unknown Bohemian, was dead, making with Officer Deegan, two victims already of the crime. The following is a partial list of the 33 injured policemen. It is impossible to say at this hour (1:15 A.M.) how many will die, but it is believed that the number will be nearly if not quite a dozen.
Lieut. James Stanton,
John K. McMahon,
John E. Doyle,
John H. King,
“Yes, I am. I could make no mistake about it for I saw it thrown. Officers Heid and Doyle were knocked down by it. Bonfield, Ward, and myself wore the only three to escape. Every one behind me was wounded- just mowed down.”
Several of the men listening to Fielden had their revolvers in their hands under their coats, and were prepared for an attack. These drifted around to the northern end of the crowd, where the street was much darker. The windows of the brick building in the northeastern cotner of Randolph and Desplaines streets were filled with the heads and faces of men and women. One of the wounded officers says he saw the bomb coming from one of these windows. Officer Marx said he saw the bomb coming from the wagon in which the speaders stood. It is probable that both of the officers were mistaken and that the bomb cam from the sidewalk.
When the first shots wee fired most of the crowd
east and west in
The feeling among the police when they fully
extent of the calamity which had befallen their comrades rose to a
nothing but the discipline among them and the presence of Inspector
who was one of the very few cool men in the station, prevented their
and taking summary vengeance on the crowds of loiterers on the
jeered the flying patrol wagons as they passed filled with officers on
to the scene of the disaster. The cruel
of the men who exulted over the fact that more than a score of
fallen victims to the deadly Nihilist bomb surpasses belief, and yet it
fact that crowded along the sidewalks on both sides of Desplaines
Madison street to the station were hundreds of Community sympathizers
exulted in the flendian work which had been perpetrated but a few
before. The big bell in the police
station tower had tolled out a riot alarm, while the telegrapher sent
dispatches to other stations calling for aid.
Ten minutes later patrol wagons were dashing toward the scene of
riot from all directions, bringing stalwart policemen.
The mob shouted wildly as the wagons dashed
by, and several missiles were thrown, all of which missed the bluecoats
wagons. The Anarchists slunk back as a
large company of policemen on foot marched down
Several times the mob advaced with wild shouts
north, but they were kept back as far as
The celerity with which the leaders of the dynamite movement for out of the way as soon as the explosion occurred was little short of marvelous and this fact led man to believe that they had knowledge of what was to be done and therefore took occasion to escape the consequences they knew would follow.
Robert Shults, a waiter, on his way home from the theatre: shot in the leg.
John Sachman, who was walking in
Frank Wrovsch, shot in the shoulder and sides and will die.
Charles Shoemaker, tailor: shot in back.
Joseph Kucher; shot in back.
John Edlund; shot in head.
Peter Ley; shot in the back.
B. Le Plant, of Earl Park,
It should be borne in mind that the men who were present at the Anarchist meeting were with few exceptions, fellows with no visible means of support and professional agitators. They were not there to right any specific wrong, but to listen to wild harangues, such as they hear upon the lake front and in the Anarchist halls on Sunday. The meeting was of precisely the same nature as those held Sundays, differing only from the usual gatherings in that it was held in the night instead of the day time. The street where the meeting was held was narrow, but the crowd was gathered very compactly. Everything points to a preconcerted plan on the part of Spies, Parsons, and Fielden to try the effect of one of their bombs. The speeches were planned to rouse the mob gradually to a point where police interference could reasonably be hoped for and then a man, screened by others, at the end of a convenient dark alley, down which he could run, was detailed to throw a bomb when the proper time came.
This evening 200 Bohemian sausage makers at
the establishment and marched down to Ashland avenue, carrying red
beating drums, and shouting “Down with the police.”
They paraded around all night and about 11
o’clock reached the corner of Forty-eighth and Laflin streets. Officers Doran, McManus and J. W. Murphy of
the town of
On a table in the station house where the wounded policemen are one poor fellow lies stretched on a table with terrible bullet wounds in his breast. A few feer distant a man with tattered clothes and a mortal wound in his side is lying insensible on a cot. Around the chairs, with their legs bandaged up and resting on supports of different kinds, are some 15 or 20 of the officers who were wounded by the bombs. Not a groan or complaint is heard from any of them. Another officer, who was found lying in a doorway where he had been carried, or where he had dragged himself has just been brought in, frightfully wounded. There are some 20 of the Socialists in the cells in the basement. Nearly all of them are wounded and one of them , a young fellow of about 20, is dead.
Forewarnings of Trouble
At noon a crowd of 500 strikers from the lumber
At the Railroad Switches
Chicago, May 4 –All the railroads were able to
freight after a fashion to day, through none of the striking freight
returned to work and their number was augmented during the day. About 200 men worked all day in the
The railroad managers held another meeting today, at which every road running into the city was represented. The action of yesterday, by which the road determined not to accede to the demands of the strikers, was reaffirmed. The managers, despite their bold stand, are very nervous and fear the extension of the strike.
The Michigan Central men resolved to wait until Wednesday for a definite reply to their demands. This action was taken after the local agent had informed them that the company was not prepared to give an answer, but was silling to pay as much as other roads.
The Illinois Central freight handlers listened to an address from General Superintendent Jeffrey, in which he said it was impracticable for the road to grant eight hours. The men conferred a few minutes and decided to quit work, which they did. They express a determination to stay out until they have secured their demands.
This morning 600 striking employees of the new gas
marched t the centre of the city from the south side.
Judge Gresham formally refused today to make any
appointing special Deputy Marshals to protect the property of the
Railroad. He had another conference wit
Mr. Railroad. He had another conference
with Mr. W.J. Durham, who represented the road, late in the afternoon,
him that he wanted better evidence that the Receivers were making the
application. It looked very strange that
one of them should be in
Anarchists Called to Arms.
“Blood has flowed. It had to be and it was. Not in vain has order drilled and trained its bloodhounds. It was not for fun that the militia was practiced in street fighting. The robbers who know best of all what wretches they are who pile up their money through the misery of the masses, who make a trade of the slow murder of the families of workingmen are the last ones to stop short at the direct shooting down of workingmen. Down wit the Canaille’s is their motto. Is it not historically proved that private property grows out of all sorts of violence? Are these capitalistic robbers to be allowed by the canaille-by the working classes – to continue their bloody orgies, with horrid murders? Never? The war of classes is at hand. Yesterday workingmen were shot down in front of McCormick’s factory whose blood cries out for revenge. Who will deny that the tigers who rule us are greedy for the blood of the workingman? * * * But the workingmen are not sheep and will reply to the white terror with the red terror.
“Do you know what that means? You soon will know. Modesty is a crime on the part of workingmen, and can anything be more modest than this eight hour demand? It was asked for peacefully a year ago, so as to give the spoils men a chance to reply to it. The answer is, drilling of the police and militia, regulations of the workingmen seeking to introduce the eight hour system, and yesterday blood flowed. This is the way in which these devils answer the modest prayer of their slaves. Sooner death than life in misery. If workingmen are to be shot at, let us answer in such a way that the robbers will not soon forget it. The murderous capitalistic beasts have been made drunk by the smoking blood of our workingmen. The tiger is crouching for a spring; it’s eyes glare murderously; it moves its tail impatiently and all its muscles are tense. Absolute necessity forces the cry to arms! To arms! If you do not defend yourselves you will be torn and mutilated by the fangs of the beast. The new yoke which awaits you in case of a cowardly retreat is harder and heavier than the bitter yoke of your present slavery.
Many Industries Paralyzed
Secretary Hotchkiss, of the Lumbermen’s Association, chanced to overhear the latter part of the remark, and followed the man to the street where he requested a policeman to arrest him, and Schmidt was locked up for disorderly conduct. The Exchange voted to present to the Grand Jury the names of any persons found intimidating their employees and to prosecute them at the expense of the organization. It also voted not to treat with any union in the matter of taking back strikers, but with the men individually.
The outcome of the trouble with the lumbermen is
with no small degree of anxiety. At
present appearances are threatening. Directly
and indirectly at least 20,000 men, most of them with families to
dependent upon the lumber dealers business in this city.
The wages paid by
No serious trouble occurred at the McCormick works. A fair-sized force of police, under Lieut. Sheppard, was on hand ready to quell any disturbance that might arise. Fifty of them stood opposite the factory and as many more patrolled the vicinity. There were several attempts near the works to organize mobs, but the sight of the blue coats brought terror to the hearts of the Anarchists, and caused them to cease their attempts. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 men went to work in the factory, the others staying at home through fear. Several inmates of the hotel in front of the works had exceedingly narrow escapes Monday afternoon, and it is known that at least four men besides Votjek, who is still alive, were wounded. A number of policemen were badly bruised.
The vessel business of
The great army of idle operatives increases every hour. Where employees will not consent to the short day the men invariably drop their tools and leave the shops in a body with fires burning in the forges. At the Union Steel Company’s works the manager said that it was simply impossible to run an eight hour schedule, but he offered instead to increase the pay of the men from $1.25 to $1.40 for 10 hours’ work. This offer was refused on the spot and the men walked our of the works.
The North Side Rolling Mills have shut down for an indefinite period, and about 1,000 men are thrown out of employment. The Superintendent said that in all probability the mills would not start up again until the labor troubles were at an end. The company could not give ten hours’ pay for eight hours’ work, and to shut down was the only course open.
All friends of labor are hereby requested to keep out of the employ of the Calumet Iron and Steel Company.
The shutting down of this mill will throw 650 men out of employment.
Many of the packing houses have yielded to the
the men rather than bother with a strike.
At a monster mass meeting of packing house employees’ committees
reported that Armour, Fowlser, Swift, Moran & Healy, Morril,
Metal workers who have been trying to run their shops on the eight hour system, having conceded the demands of their men, today gave the movement the most serious setback, it has yet suffered by voting to return to 10 hours. Sixty foundry men, boil makers’ and manufacturers held a meeting today, at which R. T. Crane presided, and organized the Metal Manufacturers’ Association of Chicago. The following, which will be signed and posted in the factories tomorrow morning, was adopted:
“It is the sense of the meeting of the metal workers that, in consequence of the eight hour movement not being extended throughout the country, it is not practicable to run our works on eight hours’ time and that we will close on or before next Saturday night to reopen on 10 hours.”