Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1872[Concerning Chicago's Reconstruction]
According to the resolutions of various meetings of plot-owners on the North Side, a procession formed itself last night at seven before Alderman Carney's house. The home-owners of the 16th and 17th Wards, came under the leadership of Mr. Schlotthauer with a band. Then followed a regiment of torch bearers, under the command of Mr. John Hahn, carrying banners with such inscriptions as "Leave the worker his home," "No tenement houses?" and so on. Though the procession marched in ranks, eight men deep, the head of it had arrived before the new City Hall building, while the end of it was still standing at the corner of Illinois and Market streets. Altogether, the number of participants cannot have been less than 10,000.
In spite of the vast crowd not a single disturbance and no case of drunkenness occurred, and to the honor of the German citizens of the North Side, be it said that the procession was the quietest (even though there have been bigger ones), that ever passed through the streets of the North Side. 2Of course, the young American loafers were present in packs, but to keep them away from a torch parade would be a feat as difficult to accomplish as to fill in Lake Michigan in one night.
Before the City Hall building the procession stopped. A committee was to present a copy of the resolutions to the City Council. It had been decided to accompany them into the session chamber with the banners. However, Police Sergeant Lull and six policemen stopped the bearers of the transparencies at the door of the hall. This was the signal for general excitement. In spite of the admonitions of Mr. Hessing that the Aldermanic Council would have to give in to the will of the mass, the crowd pushed into the building and soon the upper story around the staircase was so overcrowded that the floor threatened to collapse. A general confusion ensued; hundreds of people from below tried to get into the chamber; other hundreds, fearing to be buried under the collapsing hall, tried to reach the staircase and the street.3
The police tried to drive the crowd back from the door of the chamber, Alderman McGrath tried in vain to make a speech, and several people tried to convince the demonstrators that their lives were in danger, but nobody would listen. Finally, Police-Superintendent Sherman gave the order to open the doors of the hall. The banners were carried in, but here, too, the floor soon threatened to give in. Those who waited outside did not know that the City Council had adjourned. Finally, the procession marched home over the Clark Street Bridge, Only a few young rowdies who remained behind, amused themselves by breaking some windows panes of the City Hall building. One of the stones is said to have accidentally hit Police-Sergeant Lull, and to have wounded him slightly in the face.
I F 3, I F 4
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