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Haymarket Affair collection

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 516

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of the papers of Illinois State's Attorney Julius S. Grinnell, who led the prosecution in the Haymarket trial in 1886-1887. These include trial evidence, notes and drafts of legal briefs, personal papers, and printed ephemera. The collection also includes a few items that were added to Grinnell's papers in the 1950s-60s by collector Frederick B. Adams. Trial evidence is chiefly in German, and consists of manuscripts, correspondence, leaflets, and other items seized from the offices of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, a publication of the International Working People's Association, with which many of the defendants were involved. The manuscripts are chiefly holograph drafts of editorials by August Spies and Michael Schwab; much of the correspondence is to Spies, including several letters from Johann Most, editor of the New York paper Die Freiheit. The evidence also includes other socialist and anarchist newspapers, as well as fragments of the bomb that exploded in Haymarket Square. Papers of the State's Attorney's Office include Grinnell's notes and drafts of legal briefs prepared for the trial and for the defense's appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court in 1887. These include a draft letter from a police spy to Lucy Parsons, Albert Parsons's wife. Also present are personal papers of Grinnell: most relate directly to the trial while others document his later career. The collection also contains printed ephemera of the socialist and anarchist movements, including a number of items relating specifically to the Haymarket affair. Among these are cabinet card photographs of six of the eight convicted men.

Throughout the collection are manuscript notes written by the collector and previous custodian of the papers Frederick B. Adams, and many typed descriptions and English translations which were likely prepared by Adams. These have been left with the items they describe, and their presence noted where they occur.

Dates

  • 1872-1901

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile Materials in box 8 may be consulted only with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies or photographic prints for reference use have been substituted in the main files.

Conditions Governing Use

The Haymarket Affair Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hans P. Kraus, 1987.

Arrangement

Organized into five series: I. Haymarket Trial Evidence. II. Papers of the State's Attorney's Office. III. Personal Papers of Julius S. Grinnell. IV. Printed Ephemera; V. Other Papers.

Extent

7.05 Linear Feet ((8 boxes) + 2 broadside folders, 1 art storage item)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.haymarkt

Overview

The bulk of the collection consists of the papers of Illinois State's Attorney Julius S. Grinnell, who led the prosecution in the Haymarket trial in 1886-1887. These include trial evidence, notes and drafts of legal briefs, personal papers, and printed ephemera. The collection also includes a few items that were added to Grinnell's papers in the 1950s-60s by collector Frederick B. Adams. Trial evidence is chiefly in German, and consists of manuscripts, correspondence, leaflets, and other items seized from the offices of the Arbeiter-Zeitung, a publication of the International Working People's Association, with which many of the defendants were involved. The manuscripts are chiefly holograph drafts of editorials by August Spies and Michael Schwab; much of the correspondence is to Spies, including several letters from Johann Most, editor of the New York paper Die Freiheit. The evidence also includes other socialist and anarchist newspapers, as well as fragments of the bomb that exploded in Haymarket Square. Papers of the State's Attorney's Office include Grinnell's notes and drafts of legal briefs prepared for the trial and for the defense's appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court in 1887. These include a draft letter from a police spy to Lucy Parsons, Albert Parsons's wife. Also present are personal papers of Grinnell: most relate directly to the trial while others document his later career. The collection also contains printed ephemera of the socialist and anarchist movements, including a number of items relating specifically to the Haymarket affair. Among these are cabinet card photographs of six of the eight convicted men.

HAYMARKET CHRONOLOGY

Numerous secondary sources about the Haymarket affair exist, including two full-length monographs, and these should be consulted for a detailed history of the events documented by these papers. The chronology below is a brief summary of the events surrounding the trial.

1886 May 1: Beginning of a general strike by Chicago laborers for the eight-hour day.

1886 May 3: Police kill several striking workers during a confrontation at McCormick Reaper Works factory in Chicago.


1886 May 4: A meeting in Chicago's Haymarket Square, held to protest police violence at McCormick's, is broken up by police. A bomb is thrown into the ranks of police by an unidentified person. The police open fire on the gathering; the crowd fires back. Seven officers are fatally wounded by the bomb or by bullets; an unknown number of meeting attendees are killed and wounded.


1886 May 5 and following: Suspects are arrested, including leaders and members of local groups of the International Working People's Association (IWPA), the Central Labor Union, Lehr- und Wehr-verein, and other Chicago socialist and anarchist organizations. Particularly targeted are those associated with IWPA-sponsored publications The Alarm, the Arbeiter-Zeitung, Vorbote, and Die Fackel, all published from the same office at 107 Fifth Avenue. Papers, weapons, and other materials are seized without warrant from suspects' homes and offices by police, State's Attorney Julius S. Grinnell, and Assistant State's Attorneys Edmund Furthmann and Francis W. Walker. Special counsel George C. Ingham joins the prosecution as they prepare the case for the State. The Central Labor Union retains the legal firm of Moses Salomon and Sigmund Zeisler, along with attorneys William A. Foster and Captain William P. Black, to represent the accused.


1886 May 27: A Grand Jury indicts ten suspects for the murder of Officer Mathias J. Degan: August Spies and Michael Schwab, editors of the Arbeiter-Zeitung; Albert R. Parsons, editor of The Alarm; Adolph Fischer, a typesetter at the Arbeiter-Zeitung and editor of a non-IWPA paper, Der Anarchist; George Engel, co-editor of Der Anarchist; Samuel Fielden, a leader in the American Group of the IWPA; Louis Lingg and Oscar Neebe, organizers with the Central Labor Union; William Seliger, secretary of the Carpenter's Union, with whom Lingg boards; and Rudolph Schnaubelt, brother-in-law of Michael Schwab and active member of the IWPA. Parsons and Schnaubelt have earlier fled the city to avoid arrest; Seliger turns state's evidence.


1886 Jun 5: Spies, Schwab, Fischer, Engel, Fielden, Lingg, and Neebe are arraigned, pleading not guilty.


1886 Jun 10: Trial set to begin June 21 in the Cook County Criminal Court, under Judge Joseph E. Gary.


1886 Jun 21: Defense motions to quash the indictment. The motion is overruled. Spies, Schwab, Fielden, and Neebe motion for a separate trial from Fischer, Engel, and Lingg. The motion is overruled. Parsons returns to Chicago and surrenders himself in court, pleading not guilty. Jury selection begins.


1886 Jul 15: Last juror sworn. Opening arguments.


1886 Jul 16-Aug 11: Witness testimony and introduction of evidence.


1886 Aug 20: Jury delivers verdict of guilty for all eight defendants. Defense motions for a new trial.

1886 Oct 1: Arguments on motion for new trial begin.


1886 Oct 7: Motion for new trial denied.


1886 Oct 7-9: Speeches by the accused to the court.


1886 Oct 9: Judge Gary pronounces sentences: Neebe is sentenced to fifteen years hard labor; Spies, Parsons, Schwab, Fielden, Engel, Lingg, and Fischer to execution by hanging on December 3.


1886 Oct 28-Nov 13: Defense files bills of exception, appealing to Illinois Supreme Court for a writ of error.


1886 Nov 25: Illinois Supreme Court grants defendants a stay of execution and writ of error.


1887 March 17-19: Appeal is argued before Illinois Supreme Court. Leonard Swett joins Black and Salomon & Zeisler in representing the eight anarchists; Illinois Attorney General George Hunt joins Grinnell and Ingham in arguing for the State.


1887 Sep 14: Illinois Supreme Court upholds ruling of lower court.


1887 Oct 27: Defense appeals to U. S. Supreme Court.


1887 Nov 2: U. S. Supreme Court rules the case out of Federal jurisdiction.


1887 Nov 10: Lingg commits suicide in his cell. Governor Richard Oglesby commutes sentences of Schwab and Fielden, who have petitioned for clemency, to life imprisonment.


1887 Nov 11: Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engel are hanged.


1893 Jun 26: Governor John P. Altgeld pardons Schwab, Fielden, and Neebe, for the reasons that they did not receive a fair trial and were never proven guilty of murdering Officer Degan.

JULIUS S. GRINNELL

Julius Sprague Grinnell was born in Massena, New York, on November 13, 1842. He was educated at Potsdam and Lawrenceville Academies, and graduated from Middlebury College in 1866. After college he taught at or was principal of the academy in Ogdensburg, New York, while he studied law with local attorneys. He was admitted to practice in New York State in 1868.

According to contemporary newspaper accounts of his career, Grinnell married in 1869 and moved to Chicago in 1870, where he practiced law privately until he was elected City Attorney in 1879. He was elected State's Attorney in 1884.

In 1887, in addition to the Haymarket case, Grinnell also prosecuted a high-profile case against corrupt city officials. On the strength of these two prosecutions, he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, in June of that year, and began his term in December.

For financial reasons, Judge Grinnell retired into private practice in 1891, accepting an offer to serve as counsel for the City Railway Company. He died of a heart attack on June 8, 1898, in Chicago.

Custodial History

This collection was acquired by H. P. Kraus from Frederick B. Adams, Jr. (Yale 1932) in 1969. Adams acquired the papers of Julius S. Grinnell in 1952, and later added a few other Haymarket-related items to the collection.

Appendix: Kebabian Catalog Cross Reference

The arrangement of this collection differs considerably from that described in the catalog of the collection prepared for H. P. Kraus (Kebabian, John S., The Haymarket Affair and the Trial of the Chicago Anarchists: Original Manuscripts, Letters, Articles and Printed Material of the Anarchists and of the State Prosecutor, Julius S. Grinnell. New York: H. P. Kraus, 1970).

The index below provides a cross reference from the Kebabian catalog number, noted as K-#, to the current location of the same material in the present arrangement.

K-1: Box 5, folder 87
K-2: Box 5, folder 81
K-3: Box 5, folder 81
K-4: Box 5, folder 91
K-5: Box 2, folder 31
K-6: Box 2, folder 39
K-7: Box 2, folder 37
K-8: Box 2, folder 38
K-9: Box 2, folder 40
K-10: Box 5, folder 92
K-11: Box 2, folder 34
K-12: Box 2, folder 33
K-13: Box 2, folder 35
K-14: Box 2, folder 32
K-15: Box 6, folder 110
K-16: Box 2, folder 41
K-17: Box 2, folder 42
K-18: Box 2, folder 43
K-19: Box 2, folder 52
K-20: Box 2, folder 44
K-21: Box 2, folder 36
K-22: Box 1, folder 4
K-23: Box 2, folder 53
K-24: Box 1, folder 14
K-25: Box 6, folder 108
K-26: Box 6, folder 111
K-27: Box 2, folder 45
K-28: Box 5, folder 93
K-29: Box 6, folder 107
K-30: Box 2, folder 50
K-31: Box 2, folder 46
K-32: Box 2, folder 25
K-33: Box 6, folder 112
K-34: Box 1, folder 8
K-35: Box 1, folder 9
K-36: Box 2, folder 47
K-37: Box 5, folder 94
K-38: Box 1, folder 5 (top half of p. 13)
------Box 1, folder 6 (pp. 3-8)
------Box 1, folder 10
------Box 2, folders 15-17
------Box 2, folder 20
------Box 2, folders 22-24
------Box 2, folders 26-29
------Box 2, folder 54
------Box 3, folder 58
K-39: Box 1, folder 11 (second fragment of p. 10)
K-40: Box bsd, folder 109
------Box 2, folder 21
K-41: Box 2, folder 49
K-42: Box 1, folder 7
K-43: Box 2, folder 18
K-44: Box 6, folder 106
K-45: Box 1, folder 6 (p. 1 - top half of p. 2)
K-46: Box 1, folder 11
K-47: Box 1, folder 5
------Box 1, folder 13
K-48: Box 1, folder 7 (p. 4)
------Box 2, folder 19
K-49: Box 1, folder 6 (bottom half of p. 2)
K-50: Box 1, folder 12
K-51: Box 1, folder 3
K-52: Box 1, folder 1
K-53: Box 1, folder 2
K-54: Box 2, folder 30
K-55: Box 2, folder 51
K-56: Box 6, folder 113
K-57: Box 3, folder 56
K-58: Box 3, folder 57
K-59: Box bsd, folder 114
K-60: Box 3, folder 60
K-61: Box 6, folder 115
K-62: Box 6, folder 115
K-63: Box 6, folder 116
K-64: Box 3, folder 69
K-65: Box 3, folder 61
K-66: Box 3, folder 65
K-67: Box 3, folder 67
K-68: Box 3, folder 68
K-69: Box 3, folder 62
K-70: Box 3, folder 64
K-71: Box 5, folder 96
K-72: Box 3, folders 71-73
K-73: Box 3, folder 75
K-74: Box 3, folder 70
K-75: Box 3, folder 74
K-76: Box 3, folder 78
K-77: Box 3, folder 77
K-78: Box 5, folder 104
K-79: Box 5, folder 95
K-80: Box 3, folder 59
K-81: Box 5, folder 97
K-81A: Box 5, folder 105
K-82: Box 4, folder 79
K-83: Box 4, folder 80
K-84: Box 6, folder 117
K-85: Box 6, folder 121
K-86: Box 5, folder 98
K-87: Box 6, folder 118
K-88: Box 5, folder 101
K-89: Box 5, folder 85
K-90: Box 4, folder 99
K-91: Box 5, folder 100
K-92: Box 5, folder 102
K-93: Box 5, folder 84
K-94: Box 5, folder 82
K-95: Box 5, folder 83
K-96: Box 5, folders 88-90
K-97: Box 6, folder 119
K-98: Box 5, folder 103
K-99: Box 5, folder 86
K-100: Box 2, folder 48
K-101: artstor, folder 120

Processing Information

The arrangement of this collection differs considerably from that described in the catalog prepared for H. P. Kraus by John S. Kebabian in 1970, The Haymarket Affair. As it was the only guide to the collection for over thirty years, material from the collection has been cited by the lot numbers assigned in the Kebabian catalog. Therefore, an index to the collection by these lot numbers may be found in an appendix to this finding aid.
Title
Guide to the Haymarket Affair Collection
Author
by Ellen Doon
Date
April 2004
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Location

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Access Information

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