FIELDEN, NEEBE AND SCHWAB.
In the fall of 1887, a number of the most prominent business men of Chicago met to consult whether or not to ask executive clemency for any of the
condemned men. Mr. Grinnell was present and made a speech, in which, in
referring to this evidence, he said that he had serious doubts whether Fielden
had a revolver on that occasion, or whether indeed Fielden ever had one.
Yet, in arguing the case before the Supreme Court the previous spring,
much stress was placed by the State on the evidence relating to what Fielden
did at the Haymarket meeting, and that court was misled into attaching great
importance to it.
It is now clear that there is no case made out against Fielden for anything
he did on that night, and, as heretofore shown, in order to hold him and the
other defendants for the consequences and effects of having giveu pernicious
and criminal advice to large masses to commit violence, whether orally, in
speeches, or in print, it must be shown that the person committing the violence had read or heard the advice: for, until he had heard or read it, he did
not receive it, and if he never received the advice, it cannot be said that he
acted on it.
STATE'S ATTORNEY ON NEEBE'S INNOCENCE.
At the conclusion of the evidence for the State, the Hon. Carter H. Harrison, then mayor of Chicago, and F. S. Winston, then corporation counsel for
Chicago, were in the court room and had a conversation with Mr. Grinnell,
the State's attorney, in regard to the evidence against Neebe, in which conversation, according to Mr. Harrison and Mr. Winston, the State's attorney
said that he did not think he had a case against Neebe, and that he wanted
to dismiss him, but was dissuaded from doing so by his associate attorneys,
who feared that such a step might influence the jury in favor of the other
Mr. Harrison, in a letter among other things, said: " I was present in the
court room when the State closed its case. The attorney for Neebe moved his
discharge on the ground that there was no evidence to hold him on. The
State's attorney, Mr. Julius S. Grinnell, and Mr. Fred S. Winston, corporation
counsel for the city, and myself, were in earnest conversation when the
motion was made. Mr. Grinnell stated to us that he did not think there was
sufficient testimony to convict Neebe. I thereupon earnestly advised him, as
the representative of the State, to dismiss the case as to Neebe, and, if I
remember rightly, he was seriously thinking of doing so, but, on consultation
with his assistants, and on their advice, he determined not to do so, lest it
would have an injurious effect on the case as againt the other prisoners. * *
* I took the position that such discharge, being clearly justified by the testimony, would not prejudice the case as to the others."
Mr. Winston adds the following to Mr. Harrison's letter:
March 21, 1889.
I concur in the statement of Mr. Harrison ; I never believed there was
sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Neebe, and so stated during the trial.
F. S. WlNSTOX.
In January, 1390, Mr. Grinnell wrote a letter to Gov. Fifer, denying V t