ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
r^f' f.t y°Uj he Wa8 there' and this is hi« option, both as to the
character of the speeches and the deportment both of the speakers and of the
audience, on the night of the 4th of May, in which opinion Inspector Bonfield
nimseli concurred with the mayor : that it was a peaceable meeting, calling for
L ' k !uenCe t0 Within ten min»tes of the unlawful order to disperse the
aame by the guardians of the peace and the preservers of order. Now, the
two witnesses for the prosecution, who are they? Waller and Schroeder.
7ere ™e State's informers, called "squealers," upon whom the State
attempted to base the proof and charged the conspiracy against us. Have
tney made out a case on the testimony of these men? Let us take the evidence for a moment. These men were the first witnesses called, and they
absolutely and completely negative the idea, and not alone the idea, but the
tact itself, that the collision of the Haymarket was ever contemplated at that
meeting, much less provided for by any perpetrator whatever. Now, that
stands as a fact in the testimony here. It was not brought about by any
person or by any individual, or by any member of the so-called armed group,
and your honor won't claim that we have not a right to have an armed group.
Your honor will not say it is unlawful to have an armed group if we want it.
As I understand the law and the constitution, if we want an organized
group we have the right to it. The constitution defines that treason against
the government consists in the fact, only in the fact, of an overt act proven,
indisputably proven, by at least two persons. This is what I, as an American,
understood the constitution to mean. You say in your remarks upon the sentence that there can be no doubt but what this was an unlawful combination.
Well, suppose it was. If I am a member of an unlawful combination, am I
to be hung for that? Are seven men to be exterminated for that? Are there
not surely some degrees in punishment? Because I belong to an unlawful
combination am I to be put to death? Why, that would be cruel. That
would be a verdict of hate. That would be a penalty of vengeance, not of
justice, and it is not proven; it has not been alleged, even, nor has it been
shown, that I was a member of an unlawful combination. That question has
not been put in consideration in this court; it has not been here to be established by this jury whether or not I am now or ever was a member of an unlawful combination. Now, for proof of the charge to which I wish to call
your honor's attention, that there was no conspiracy, and given out of the
mouths of these witnesses of the State, I will cite the very words of the witness Waller himself. In reply to interrogatories by the State's attorney as
to what was said at the meeting after he had called it to order, Waller said,
"It was said that these men had been killed at McCormick's," referring to
the Btrikers killed by the police the day before.
Engel brought forward a resolution at the April meeting, and what did
Engelsay? He said that if through the fall of the strikers the other men
should come into conflict with the police, we should aid them, lie then told
us that the northwestern group had resolved to bring aid to these men; that
if, on account of this work, something should happen to the police, we must
assemble at the corners. What else did Engel say? He said that if tumults
occurred in the city, then we should meet in Wicker Park; if the word should
appear in the paper, that the northwestern group and the Lehr and Wehr-