Testimony of Michael Schwab (August 9, 1886)

Michael Schwab

Aug. 9th, 1886, 10 o'clock A.M.

Court met pursuant to adjournment.

MICHAEL SCHWAB, one of the defendants, called and affirmed on behalf of the defendants; was examined in chief by Mr.Foster, and testified as follows:

Q What is your full name?

A Michael Schwab.

Q Where do you live?

A Well, in the county jail.

Q Where does your family live?

A I couldn't tell that. I don't know. I only know my neighborhood.

Q Where did you live prior to the fourth of May?

A 51 Florimond Street.

Q How long have you resided in Chicago?

A hyI think it is now, taking it all together, five years.

Q What is your business, or what was your business?

A Co-editor of the Arbeiter Zeitung.

Q Do you remember where you were on the 4th of May about eight o'clock in the evening?

A Yes sir.

Q Where were you?

A I was in the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung.

Q How do you fix the time?

A I fixed the time by the fact that I went away from home about half past seven. I was talking with my wife of going away, and so I looked at the clock and it was twenty minutes to eight. I remember that because I was asked that the next day at the coroner's jury.

Q Your attention was called to the time that you left the night before on the following day, which then fixed it in your mind as I understand it?

A Yes sir.

Q Leaving your house at twenty minutes before eight at or about what time did you leave the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung?

A At eight o'clock. It might have b en that the clock was fast or slow but it would not amount to much I think.

Q At what time did you leave the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung?

A About ten minutes later.

Q During the time that you were at the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung was there any telephoning done between that office and Deering as you understood it?

A Yes.

Q Who did the telephoning?

A The office boy Louis Brandt

Q I will ask you whether that had any reference to the furnishing of a speaker for that night at Deering?

A Yes sir. They asked for Mr.Spies because he understood the German and the English language.

Q What did you do after that telephone communication was had at the office of the Arbeiter Zeitung?

A I left the office and went over to the Haymarket.

Q What for?

A To see whether I could find Mr.Spies. The men out there were waiting already for an hour, and so I didn't stop long over there. I just went through.

Q How long did you circulate around there at the haymarket?

A Well, I could not say that. I came over from Washington street, went down Desplaines street, crossed Randolph Street, crossed Desplaines street on the north side, crossed Randolph street again and then I met my brother-in-law and talked to him about that matter and said--

MR. GRINNELL (Interrupting) Never mind what you said.

MR. FOSTER: Never mind the conversation. You met your brother-in-law--what is his name?

A Rudolph Schnaubelt.

Q After having a conversation with your brother-in-law what did you do?

A Well, I took a car going in an easterly direction.

Q You say Rudolph Schnaubelt is your brother-in-law?

A Yes sir.

Q How was he dressed that night, if you remember?

A Well, I never paid any attention to details, and I couldn't say that at all.

Q Do you know whether he was dressed in light clothes or dark clothes, as to the general character of his clothing?

A If I am right, he used to wear light clothes at that time, but I am not certain.

Q You paid no particular attention to the details of his dress?

A No sir.

Q What car did you take?

A I don't know. It was a car going in an easterly direction.

Q How far did you ride on the car?

A To the Court house.

Q Then what did you do?

A I took the next Clybourne Ave car.

Q Where did you go?

A To Deering's factory, that is to say I took a Clybourne Ave. car, and near the car stables I was met by a man, I didn't know him at that time, but he asked me whther I was Mr.Schwab.

MR. GRINNELL: Never mind.

MR. FOSTER: The conversation you can give. According to your best judgment from the route you took and the distance you went, I will ask you how long you were according to the best of your belief now in going from the haymarket where you took the car until you landed at the car stables at Deering?

A I should judge it takes about ten minutes from the Haymarket to the Court House, but of course I don't know that for sure, and it takes about forty or forty-five minutes from the Court House to Fullerton Avenue.

Q It would take in the neighborhood of an hour?

A Yes sir.

Q What did you do after you went to Deering?

A Well, I stepped from the car with that man, and went up to the saloon 888 to see the committee, and the committee wasn't there, and so I went out with that man direct to the prairie at the corner of Fullerton Ave. and Clybourne Ave., and there I met some men who told me that they were the committee.

MR. GRINNELL: Never mind what they told you.

MR. FOSTER: Simply that they were the committe. You needn't give any detailed conversation. Then what did you do--did you talk with them?

A I talked with them.

Q How long did you talk with them?

A Some minutes.

Q Then what did you do?

A I mounted the stand and made a speech about the eight hour movement. The men had struck that same day, and demanded eight hours and ten hours pay.

Q You made a speech?

A I made a speech.

Q How long did you talk?

A Twenty minutes or twenty-five minutes.

Q How long had you been at Deering before you commenced to speak, according to your best judgment?

A Well, that would not have been long. That could have been only a few minutes.

Q You say there was a gentleman met you at the stable and went with you to hunt the committee. Was that the gentleman who testified here from the witness stand the other day?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you remember his name?

A I think it is Pruesser, he told me that night.

Q I will ask you, Mr. Schwab, at what time you returned home that night?

A Well, it must have been about eleven o'clock. You mean when I left Deering?

Q No, when you returned home?

A It must have been eleven o'clock. I didn't pay any attention to that at all.

Q By what route did you return home?

A After the meeting was over I went with that man to a saloon, took a glass of  beer and ate some lunch, and then I took the next car that went down. I left the car on Willow street and went home.

Q Where is Willow Street?

A Well, it isn't far from North Ave.--north from North Ave.

Q From Willow street did you walk home?

A I walked home.

Q What is the distance from Willow street to where you lived at that time?

A I should think twenty mintutes walk about that, but I could not say that for sure, but it is about that.

Q Now, I will ask you whether at any time that you were at the haymarket did you enter the mouth of Crane's alley or of any other alley with Mr. Spies and had a conversation with him, near the mouth of the alley?

A No sir.

Q Did you at any time that night walk in company with Mr. Spies on the north side of Randolph street from the corner of Desplaines?

A No sir.

Q Down past Union Street two blocks, and then return and walk back to where the wagon stood?

A No sir.

Q Did you at any time in company with Mr. Spies meet your brother-in-law, Mr. Schnaubelt, at which time Mr. Spies handed to Mr. Schnaubelt any package or anything?

A No sir.

Q I will ask you whether you spoke to Mr. Spies at the haymarket that night?

A No sir.

Q I will ask you whether you saw Mr. Spies at the haymarket market that night?

A No sir.

Q I will ask you whether at any time you said to Mr.Spies or anybody else in the mouth of Crane's alley anything about pistols or police?

A No sir.

Q Or whether or not you asked the question as to whether one would be enough or whether you better go and get more?

A No sir.

Q Did you have that conversation with anybody at the hay-market anywhere?

A No sir.

Q I will ask you whether or not at Union street, or about Union street, you stated to Mr.Spies, Mr.Schnaubelt, or to any other man before the meeting began there, or an any other time, at or about the haymarket meeting that "Now, if the police come, we are ready for them," or "We would give it to them" or words to that import or that effect?

A No sir.

Q You say you did not walk with Spies that night?

A No sir

Q Nor talk with him nor see him?

A No sir.

Q Had the meeting begun at the time you left the haymarket that night?

A No sir, men were standing around on all four corners.

Q When was the last time that night that you had seen Mr.Spies?

A I had not seen him that night at all. I saw him in the afternoon.

Q What time did you next see him after that haymarket meeting or that night?

A The next day in the morning when I came to the office.

Q Then from the afternoon of the 4th of May to the morning of the 5th, you didn't see him at all?

A No sir.

Cross Examination by Mr.Grinnell.

Q You have been in Chicago five years you say?

A Yes sir taking it altogether.

Q Where did you live before you came to Chicago?

A In Germany.

Q You have been in America then five years?

A No sir.

Q How long have you been in America?

A Seven years.

Q Where did you live the first two years you came to America?

A The first year I lived in Chicago, the second year in Milwaukee.

Q Then came back from Milwaukee to Chicago?

A No sir, I went out West for some months.

Q Was your attention occupied by any business or profession?

A Yes sir.

Q What?

A At that time I was a book-binder.

Q That is your trade?

A Yes sir.

Q Where in Germany were you born?

A Kissingen, Franconia

Q You came to Chicago to live permanently about five years ago?

A Yes sir, about that time

Q What group of Internationals were you a member of?

A I was a member of the north side group.

Q How long have you been a member of that?

A Since it started some years ago.

Q Are you still a member?

A Well, I don't know that. I was a member up to the 4th of May.

Q Up to the 4th of May you were a member?

A Yes sir.

Q Do you know any of the other defendants?

A I know all of them.

Q Are any of them a member of the north side group, the same group you belong to?

Objected to.

A I couldn't say that.

Q What time was it you went to the Arbeiter Zeitung office that night?

A The 4th of May?

Q Yes sir.

A According to the clock in my house it was twenty minutes to eight.

Q How long have you known Lingg?

Objected to.

MR.GRINNELL: Perhaps I ought to ask the preliminary question if he did know Lingg.

THE COURT: You asked that.

MR.FOSTER: What is the importance of this examination?

MR.GRINNELL: It shows the relation of this witness to the defendant.

MR.FOSTER: He is defending for himself.

MR.GRINNELL: He is simply a witness on the witness stand, and the same rules of law, or the same application of all the rules of evidence applies to him as apply to any other witness

THE WITNESS: Am I to answer it?

MR.FOSTER: Wait until the court says whether you shall or not.

THE COURT: An ordinary witness is cross examined with reference to his bias or feeling in the case, but there is no ground for that here, I don't think that is proper cross examination. he has been examined in chief simply as to going to the Arbeiter Zeitung office, and from thence to the haymarket and from thence to Deering, and thence home? He has not been asked any general questions.

MR.FOSTER: No sir, not a word.

MR.GRINNELL: Q You left the Arbeiter Zeitung office for the west side about eight o'clock?

A No.

Q As near as you can estimate? it?

A It must have been a little later.

Q A young man by the name of Brandt was the one that received the telephone message?

A Yes sir.

Q Where is he?

A I don't know. How can I know--I am in jail, since three months.

MR. ZEISLER: I can tell you where he is. We had a letter from him yesterday.

MR. GRINNELL: He is in Cincinati, isn't he?

MR. ZEISLER: Yes sir.

MR.GRINNELL: How long since you saw him?

A I saw him last that night--that is to say, I may have seen him the next morning, but I can't remember.

Q Did you walk to the haymarket that night?

A I walked to the haymarket that night.

Q Did you walk through the tunnel or over the bridge?

A I walked through the tunnel.

Q Anybody with you?

A Yes sir.

Q Who?

A Rau. He left me on the corner of Desplaine and Randolph.

Q Balthazar Rau?

A Balthazar Rau.

Q He left you on Desplaines and Randolph?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you walk straight to Desplaines on Washington?

A Yes sir, I walked straight to Desplainnes on Washington.

Q And north on Desplaines to Randolph?

A North on Desplaines to Randolph.

Q Was Rau with you all the time until you got to Randolph?

A Yes sir, that is where I lost him.

Q Where did you go then?

A I crossed Randolph street and saw Mr.Heinemann at that time.

Q Was that on the northeast, north-west, or what corner was that on of those two streets?

A I suppose that Mr. Heinemann, as far as I can remember, was in the middle of the street at the time I saw him --the middle of Randolph street.

Q How long did you stay there at that corner or in that vicinity?

A I didn't stay there at all--that is to say I inquired of some persons I knew by sight whether they had seen Spies.

Q I asked you how long you stayed there in that vicinity?

A That is just the time.

Q Five or ten or fifteen minutes?

A I would say it could not have been more than five minutes.

Q You took a Randolph street car go ng east?

A I don't know what car I took.

Q What street were you on when you took a car?

A Randolph street, it was a car going east.

Q It was a car going east on Randolph street?

A Yes sir.

Q Where did you get off of that car?

At the Court House

Q Did Balthazar Rau go with you?

A No sir.

Q Did you go alone from that place?

A Yes sir.

Q Whereabouts on Randolph street did you get that car?

A It was on the corner of Randolph and Desplaines.

Q Was it right on the corner?

A I could not say that for sure.

Q Was it at the east corner, one of the cars going east, full of passengers you got into, or on the west side It was on the east corner.

Q You got on right there then?

A I got on right there--that is to say, I could not say exactly whether I got on exactly on the corner.

Q It was near the corner any way?

A Yes sir.

Q Then you went east?

A Then I went east.

Q Crossed Randolph street bridge and got off at what place?

A The Court House.

Q That is Clark Street?

A Yes sir.

Q Then you got a Clybourne ave. car?

A Yes sir.

Q And went on a Clybourne Ave. car north?

A North.

Q As near as you can what hour was it, what time in the night was it that you got that car?

A Well, I couldn't say that--I was not carrying a watch with me.

Q What is your estimation?

A But I should judge it was about half past eight, about that time--it may have been before.

Q You went north?

A I went north, that is to say, when I took the car on Randolph Street.

Q On the Clybourne avenue car you went north?

A Yes, that must have been ten minutes later.

Q That would be about twenty minutes of nine?

A Yes sir, it might have been.

Q Got on a Clybourne Ave. car and went north?

A Went north.

Q Anybody go with you?

A No sir.

Q Were you alone?

A All alone.

Q Where did you get off that car, how near that saloon at 888 Clybourne Ave. you speak of?

A The car stops at Fullerton Ave. and Clybourne Ave. My remembrance is I got off a little before, or before the car slows up at the car stables.

Q Where is 888 Clybourn Ave. with reference to Fullerton Ave.?

A It is two houses, three or four--I couldn&t say that exactly.

Q Near the corner?

A No, it isnt near the corner. It is a little further, it is a little off from the corner in Lake View.

Q It is not a block off?

A I should not say so.

Q Did you go to the meeting first or saloon first?

A I went first to the saloon to meet the committee.

Q Went first to the saloon at 888?

A Yes sir.

Q Did you look at the clock there?

A No sir.

Q Do you know what time it was when you got there?

A No sir.

Q How long were you in that saloon?

A Some minutes, five or ten.

Q Five, ten or how many?

A It may have been five.

Q Did you then go direct to the meeting?

A I went direct to the meeting.

Q When you got to the meeting how far did you have to walk from this saloon, 888 Clybourne Ave. to that meeting?

A It wasn't very far. On the prairie just at the corner of Clybourne Ave. and Fullerton Ave.

Q About how far is it, one, two or three blocks?

A  It may have been a block and may have been a little more.

Q Did you walk?

A I walked.

Q Did you begin to speak as soon as you got there at the meeting?

A No sir.

Q How long did you wait before you spoke?

A I spoke first to some of the members of the committee, as I understood it. Of course I had to know what they wanted. I didn't know anything about what they wanted.

Q Did you wait five minutes?

A It may have been.

Q You spoke about twenty or twenty-five? minutes?

A Yes.

Q What did you do then?

A After that?

Q Yes sir.

A. Well, there was some talk

Q What did you do?

A there was some talk after that and I stayed maybe a minute or two, and then I got down from the stand and went with that man Pruesser--I went down Clybourne Ave. to a saloon corner of Clybourne Ave. and Ashland Ave.

Q It was the same saloon you went into the first time?

A No sir.

Q How long did you stay there?

A Just to take a glass of beer and take some lunch.

Q You came back then and got a car?

A Got a car, yes sir

Q How many minutes were occupied in getting your glass of beer and lunch?

A I never paid any attention to time, but it wasn't very long. It was only some minutes.

Q Where did you get off from this car--did you take a Clybourne Ave. car?

A Yes sir.

Q Where did you get off from it?

A On Willow street.

Q Where is the street that you live?

A Florimund street

Q Yes sir.

A It is a short street--it is about one block and a half and is between Eugene and Menominee street.

Q You went directly home?

A I went directly home.

Q You got home there about eleven o'clock?

A I couldn't say that.

Q Didn't you say about eleven?

A No, I didn't say that.

Q I understood you a moment ago to say you got home about eleven o'clock?

A It may have been that time.

Q What time was it?

A I don't know. I didn't look at the clock.

Q You don't know what time it was you got home. You only, estimate the time it took you to get home?

A Yes, I estimate it. That is my remembrance now.

Q That is the only way you have to tell?

A That is my remembrance.

Q Did you see Balthazar Rau again that night?

A No sir.

Q Are you an anarchist?

A That depends upon what you mean by that. There are several divisions of the anarchists.

Q Are you an anarchist?

A Well, I can't answer that.

Q Do you remember that article of May 4th appearing in the Arbeiter Zeitung?

Objected to as not proper cross examination.

THE COURT: The examination of this witness having been specific as to a particular thing, I suppose your cross examination must be confined to that. He has been asked no general questions.

MR. GRINNELL: Q I will ask you another question. Have you not heretofore, before your arrest, been an advocate of force?

Objected to as incompetent and immaterial and not proper cross examination.

THE COURT: I think the objection as to not being proper cross examination is well taken.

Haymarket Trial Homepage