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Decree of the Court in the Case of the Chicago Anarchists.

The trial of the eight anarchists held responsible for the massacre at Haymarket, Chicago, has at last been brought to an end. Seven of the prisoners- A. R. Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Louis Lingg, George Engel, Michael Schwab and Adolph Fischer- have been sentenced to be hanged, and Oscar Neebe has been condemned to undergo fifteen years' imprisonment at hard labor.

The scene in the court room was, according to a Chicago dispatch, a most impressive one. Judge Gary, who has always been considered the coldest and hardest man on the Bench, showed more emotion than he every thought capable of. His voice faltered and he was much affected. The prisoners all took the sentence calmly and coolly, except Schwab, who is a broken and nervous man. He grew pale and gasped for breath. The others had apparently long ago given up all hope of being looked upon hereafter as martyrs to a great cause.

The closing scenes were watched with the profoundest interest by the public, and for more than an hour the street in front of the Court House was thronged by an eager crowd, not one-tenth of whom could possibly hope to gain admittance. The police were in full force all over the court room, and there was more than the ordinary large attendance of ladies. The prisoner Parsons was the last of the prisoners to address the court in response to the Judge's demand whether they had anything to say why sentence should not be passed. He spoke continuously five hours and forty minutes.

When the sentence was passed, all the prisoners rose and began slowly to walk out of the court room with the bailiffs who had them in charge. As they rose, Mrs. Parsons came up and kissed her husband. Mrs. Ames also kissed Parsons on the cheek. The relatives of the other defendants wrung their hands, but none of the women shed a tear. They aimed to cheer up the condemned men by a show of fortitude. The condemned men passed slowly out of the court-room to the jail. As Parsons passed some police officers he drew his hand across his throat in a significant manner.

A daughter born in the West Polk street at the same hour that her father, Samuel Fielden, in Judge Gary's court, began giving reasons why sentence of death should not be passed upon him. But few who listened to Fielden's plea guessed the cause of the added bitterness in his bitter speech. The knowledge of the scene being enacted at his little home made his burden harder to bear. The mother was heartbroken at the thought of the improbability of the new-born babe ever seeing her father.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: Local newspapers were important sources of national news in the 19th century. This article on the sentencing of anarchists for the "Haymarket Riot" appeared in the Turners Falls Reporter. Turners Falls was a small industrial village within Montague, Massachusetts, a town on the Connecticut River opposite Deerfield. The labor violence that caused the trial occurred during a strike and rally in Chicago for the eight hour day (May 4, 1886). During the demonstration a bomb was thrown at police and a gun battle ensued. Eight anarchists were convicted for murder in a widely publicized trial. Four men were eventually executed. The socialist holiday "May Day" originated with this event.


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"Sentenced to Death" article from Turners Falls Reporter newspaper on Haymarket rioters' fate

publisher   Turners Falls Reporter
date   Oct 20, 1886
location   Turners Falls, Massachusetts
width   3.0"
height   9.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L07.023

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See Also...

Excerpts from Rev. Robert Crawford's diary about labor issues, Haymarket and Westfield Normal School

"Ten Years of Massachusetts"

John Russell Cutlery Grinding Room Employees

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