Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1
Bill of exceptions filed by counsel for the defense, 1886 Oct. 28-1886 Nov. 13.

Volume 1, 115-130, 16 p.

Motion by counsel for the defense to quash the indictment on the grounds of: misjoinder of counts in the indictment; multiplicity of counts in the indictment; indictment is uncertain and insufficient; improper action of the prosecution in regards to the grand jury; improperly drawn grand jury; improper charge to the grand jury; deposition of Ernst Legner attesting to improper action of the prosecution in regards to the grand jury and; copy of motion for a separate trial filed in June 1886 that was denied by the court.


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And afterwards to wit: on the twenty eighth day of October in the year last aforesaid, it being the term of court last aforesaid, the following, among other proceedings, were had and entered of record in said court, which said proceedings are in the words and figures following to wit:

The People of the State of Illinois.
vs.
August Spies, Michael Schwab.
Samuel Fielden, Albert R.Parsons.
Adolph Fischer, George Engel
Louis Lingg and Oscar W.Neebe impld.&C.
18803. Indictment for Murder

Upon motion of Counsel for defendants it is ordered that the said defendants be allowed thirty five days from and after the ninth day of October A.D.1886 in which to prepare and file their bill of Exceptions in this cause.

And afterwards, to wit: on the 13th day of November A.D.1886, the said defendants by their Counsel filed in said Court their Bill of Exceptions which said Bill of Exceptions is in the words and figures following, to-wit;


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STATE OF ILLINOIS,- Cook County. ss.

In the CRIMINAL COURT of Cook County.

THE PEOPLE etc.
vs.
August Spies, Michael Schwab,
A.R.Parsons, Adolph Fischer,
Samuel Fielden, Louis Lingg,
Oscar Neebe and George Engel,
Impleaded etc.

Indictment for the Murder of Mathias J. Degan

BE IT REMEMBERED that on the twenty-first day of June, A.D.1886, the above named defendants, except said A.R.Parsons, moved the Court for leave to withdraw their plea in said cause, and to move to quash the indictment; and in support of the said motion to quash the indictment filed the following affidavit:


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State of Illinois, County of Cook. SS

In the Criminal Court, June Term, A. D. 1886.

The people of the State of Illinois,
vs.
August Spies, et al.
1195 Indictment for murder.

And now comes the defendants August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, Adolph Fischer, George Engel and Louis Lingg and Oscar Neebe in person as well as by their attorneys Salomon & Zeisler, W. P. Black and W. A. Foster and move the Court to quash the indictment herein for the reason and upon the grounds

1
There is a misjoinder of counts in the indictment.

2
There is a multiplicity of counts in the indictment.

3
The indictment is uncertain and insufficient.

4
That during the time and while the Grand Jury were in session and considering whether or not to find an indictment against these defendants, one Julius Grinnell pretending to be and acting as States Attorney, and one Edward Furthman pretending to be acting as detective for and in the employ of the States Attorney


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were in the room set apart for the exclusive use of the Grand Jury and said Julius Grinnell and said Edward Furthman were present and in the Grand Jury room while certain witnesses were under examination and being heard by said Grand Jury, said Julius Grinnell and said Edward Furthman putting divers questions to and examinging said witnesses.

5
That said Grand Jury were improperly drawn and improperly impanelled in this, that certain of said Jurors, that is to say John N. Hills, John M. Clark, Edward S. Dreyer, John C. Neemes, W. J. Quan, F. W. Hall were not drawn from the body of the County nor were they bystanders but the Sheriff of the County caused said persons to be improperly selected and particularly one E. S. Dreyer, who was at the time he was drawn as a grand Juror, and is a personal enemy of August Spies and bore him hatred and illwill and was an improper person to serve thereon, that at the time of the impanelling of said grand Jury in the court room, none of these defendants were present in the court room and each and every one of us was prevented from being present, and addressing the said grand Jury, by reason of being confined in the County Jail of Cook County, except the defendant Oscar Neebe who was not confined in Jail, but this defendant Oscar Neebe had not at the time said Grand Jury had been impanelled been held to answer for any crime nor was this defendant Oscar Neebe aware that he would be presented for indictment.

6
And for that the Honorable John G. Rogers improperly and erroneously upon the impanelling of the Grand Jury charged them as


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follows, to wit:

(Here insert charge)

which said charge is wholly improper and erroneous and improperly influenced the grand Jury to find an indictment against these defendants and this the said August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, Oscar W. Neebe, Adolph Fischer, George Engel and Louis Lingg are ready to verify, wherefore they pray Judgment and that by the court here they may be dismissed and discharged from the said premises in the said indictment above specified.

Aug Spies,
Michel Schwab,
Samuel Fielden,
Adolph Fischer,
Louis Lingg,
G. Engel,
Oscar Neebe

being on oath first duly sworn deposes and saith that the said charges and specifications are true, so far as the same is stated upon the knowledge of affiants and so far as the same is stated upon the information and belief of affiants, we and each of us believe it to be true.

Aug Spies,
Michel Schwab,
Samuel Fielden,
Adolph Fischer,
Louis Lingg,
G. Engel,
Oscar Neebe.


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State of Illinois Cook County. ss.

IN THE CRIMINAL COURT OF COOK COUNTY.

People, etc.
vs.
August Spies, et al.

Indictment for murder.

Ernst Legner, being on oath first duly sworn, deposes and says that he is the same person, whose name is endorsed on the back of the above indictment as a witness for the state, that on or about the 20th day of May, A.D., 1886 this affiant was called upon to testify before the Grand Jury of this court of the May Term, 1886 thereof, pursuant to a subpoena served upon this affiant, that while in the room of the Grand Jury, this affiant saw in that same room one Julius S.Grinnell, States Attorney for Cook County, and one Furthman, whom your affiant is informed and believes to be an assistant of the said states attorney, Grinnell, that the said Grinnell and the said Furthman were not present at that time in the Grand Jury room, as witnesses, and that the said Grinnell and Furthman did not testify then and there, nor were they asked any questions by the Grand Jury or the members thereof, while your affiant was in the said room of the said Grand Jury, but this affiant says, that both the said Grinnell and the said Furthman put questions to this affiant and principally conducted the examination of this affiant and that only a few questions were put to this affiant by members of the Grand Jury; further affiant says that in the course of the examination to which this affiant was subjected the question was asked, whether affiant was a socialist, which question


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this affiant answered by saying, "No", whereupon the said Grinnell said in substance, "If you ain't a Socialist, you are not far from it" And further affiant says, that when he left the Grand Jury Room, the said Grinnell and the said Furthman remained there. And further affiant saith not.

Ernst Legner.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 15th day of June, A.D., 1886

Charles Werno,
Notary Public.

(SEAL)


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Which motions were by the Court overruled; to the overruling of which motions respectively the said defendants then and there severally and respectively excepted.

And afterwards, to wit, on the twenty-first day of June, A.D.1886, said defendants August Spies, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, and Oscar Neebe filed their certain motion and affidavit in support thereof, for a separate trial in said cause, as follows:


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In the Criminal Court of Cook County. No. 1195.

The People of the State of Illinois,
vs.
August Spies et al.

Motion for separate trial.

Come now the defendants, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab and Oscar W.Neebe by Salamon & Zeisler, W.P.Black and William A.Foster, their attorneys, and move the court to grant to them jointly a separate trial from all other defendants with them herein indicted, and for cause of said motion show to the court the following, viz:

1. The testimony against affiants upon the trial will be materially different from the testimony against other defendants with them jointly indicted.

2. Many portions of the testimony upon the trial of this cause will not be competent as against these defendants, which may be competent as against other defendants with them indicted, and these defendants will be greatly prejudiced thereby.

3. Certain evidence of an alleged conspiracy, it is claimed, will be introduced upon the trial of this cause, with which these defendants are in no way connected, and which will be wholly incompetent as against each and all of these defendants, but may be competent as against other defendants, jointly herein indicted, which will be prejudicial and greatly damaging to these defendants.


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4. These defendants ought not to be prejudiced in a lengthy and tedious trial, where evidence competent against other defendants will be introduced, which will be incompetent as against these defendants, and each of them, and which will greatly prejudice and imperil their defense by reason of such damaging testimony.

5. They are advised that illegitimate evidence as against each of the defendants will be submitted to the Jury, and especially upon the question of alleged conspiracy, which these defendants will be powerless to exclude for the reason that the same may be competent as against other defendants jointly indicted herein, to the great injury and wrong of these defendants.

6. That a fair, legal and impartial trial of this cause cannot be had so far as these defendants are concerned, if such trial is had jointly with the other defendants with them indicted.

In proof of the above facts defendants refer to the subjoined affidavits, and the same are made a part of this motion.

Salomon & Zeisler,
W.T.Black, and
William A.Foster,
Attys for defendants.


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State of Illinois, Cook County. ss.

August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab and Oscar W.Neebe, being first duly affirmed say, that they are defendants in cause No.1195, in the Criminal Court of Cook County, State of Illinois, charged with the murder of one Matthias J.Degan, alleged to have been committed on or about May 4th, 1886.

Affiants state that from information within their knowledge, and particularly from facts disclosed to them and statements made by their counsel, they believe that the prosecution upon the trial of this cause intend to introduce evidence tending to establish a conspiracy on the part of certain of the defendants indicted under said charge, under and in pursuance of which the act or acts producing the death of said Degan are alleged to have been done and performed. That they are advised that the State will introduce evidence tending to show that on or about the second day of May, 1886, a certain meeting was held, participated in by certain defendants, with these defendants jointly indicted and others, in which it was understood or agreed that violence might or would be used thereafter, by the parties attending said meeting, or some of them; and that thereafter, about the 3d day of May in said year, another meeting was held at which certain of the defendants jointly indicted in said indictment with these defendants were present, and in which they participated, and at which, as they have been advised and informed, the State will introduce evidence tending to show a conspiracy was entered into, to commit the crime charged in


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said indictment, or some unlawful offense, at a meeting to be held at the Haymarket Square, in Chicago, on the evening of May 4th, 1886.

These affiants state that in truth and in fact they had no knowledge whatever of the meeting alleged to have been held on the 2nd day of May, and furthermore that they had no knowledge directly or indirectly, of the meeting which your affiants have been informed the State would attempt to show was held on the 3d day of May, 1886; that these affiants never consented to the holding of such meeting; never counseled the holding of the same; never urged the calling of said meetings or either of them; never participated therein in any manner whatsoever, nor had they any knowledge from any source of the calling or of the holding or existence of said meetings until long thereafter, nor did they or either of them ever subsequently thereto, directly or indirectly, acquiesce in or adopt any action or policy, alleged to have been adopted, proposed or discussed at said meetings, or any of them.

Affiants have been assured by their counsel that the prosecution upon the trial of this cause will attempt to show the existence of such meetings and the participation therein by certain of the defendants herein jointly indicted, and furthermore that such testimony will or may be competent as against other defendants jointly indicted with affiants, who might have been present or counseled the holding of said meeting and of the acts alleged to have taken place thereat.

Affiants state that there are more than sixty names of witnesses indorsed on the back of said indictment and that


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their counsel have been furnished with a list of additional witnesses by the State's Attorney about equalling said number; that the trial will be very lengthy, and these affiants have been advised and verily believe that if evidence incompetent and illegitimate as to these affiants, is introduced, by reason of its competency as against other defendants with them indicted as herein stated, and from the mass of testimony which will necessarily be introduced the large number of defendants, etc., it will, as affiants verily believe, be absolutely impossible upon the trial for the jury to be able to clearly apply such evidence so as to prevent the greatest possible prejudice and damage to these defendants. That such will be the magnitude of the trial, in its various details, as they verily believe, that the result of such damaging and incompetent evidence as to these defendants, and the illegitimate effects of such evidence, cannot be overcome or guarded against by the instructions of the court; and that a great and irreparable injury may result to these affiants, if they are compelled to proceed to trial jointly with the remaining defendants indicted with them. And that the only possible means of their obtaining a fair, legal and impartial trial, is by the court entering an order permitting them to sever in the trial of this cause from the remaining of the defendants named in said indictment. And further affiants saith not.

Aug Spies,
Michael Schwab.
Samuel Fielden,
Oscar Neebe.


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Subscribed and affirmed before me this 21st day of June, A. D. 1886.

John Stephens, Clerk of the Criminal Court of Cook County.

State of Illinois, Cook County. ss

Moses Salomon, Sigmund Zeisler, W.P.Black and William A.Foster, being first duly sworn on oath state, that affiants Moses Salomon and Sigmund Zeisler have been acting as counsel for the defendants in this cause from and ever since about May 5th, 1886; that affiant W.P.Black has acted as counsel in this cause since May 22nd, 1886; and that affiant William A.Foster has acted as counsel in this cause since June 10th, 1886; that from and ever since their respective engagements as counsel they have devoted almost their entire time in the investigation of the case, in ascertaining the proofs which will probably be offered by the people, and of arranging for the defense of the defendants.

That from very thorough and careful inquiry they have ascertained that the statements relative to the testimony which will be introduced by the States Attorney upon the trial of this cause, as stated in the foregoing affidavit of August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab and Oscar W.Neebe are true; and they verily believe that the only means of obtaining a fair, unprejudiced and impartial trial in this cause, so far as said last named defendants are concerned, is by permitting said defendants to sever in their trial


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from all other defendants with them jointly indicted.

And further affiants saith not.

Moses Salomon,
Sigmund Zeisler,
Wm. P.Black,
Wm. A.Foster.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 21st day of June A.D.1886.

John Stephens,
Clerk of the Criminal Court of Cook County.


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which motion was by the Court overruled, and a separate trial to said defendants was denied; to the overruling of which motion, and denial to them of a separate trial, said last named defendants then and there excepted.

And afterwards, to wit, on the twenty-first day of June, A.D.1886 said defendant A.R.Parsons appeared in said Court, at the bar thereof, and surrendered himself to the jurisdiction of said Court and being called upon to plead, etc., to said indictment, moved the Court to quash said indictment upon the same grounds as embodied in the motion of the other defendants. He also moved the Court for a trial in said cause separate from the defendants Lingg, Engel and fischer; said last named motion being based upon the same grounds as the motion in behalf of said Spies, Schwab, Fielden and Neebe; which said several motions of said defendant A.R.Parsons were overruled by the Court: to the overruling of which motions respectively said defendant Parsons then and there excepted.

And upon the examination and impanelling of the jurors called and examined in said cause, the following proceedings were had, to wit:


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