The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 04, 1864
    General Rosenkranz' Order against Strikes (Editorial)

    Since a condition of war still exists in Missouri, General Rosenkranz has issued the following order: "Everybody is forbidden, directly or indirectly to intimidate, or to hinder from the performance of his duty, any workman who is employed in a Saint Louis factory or shop where articles for use on ships plying Western waters, or in the service of the military, marine, or transport-divisions of the United States. Other workers may not enter such establishments for the purpose of finding out who works in them. Organization, maintenance, and attendance upon meetings, of associations or combines that propose to dictate to the owners of such establishments who shall, and who shall not, work therein, is also prohibited." Thus if necessary, men who work in the aforesaid factories or shops are granted military protection. The proprietors of these places of business are ordered to 2report the names of all those "who have left their work since March 15, 1864 for the purpose of joining such an association or combine, or who have been induced to leave their work through the activity of such an association or combine, or through the efforts of individuals affiliated with such associations or combines." The commanding office is charged with the enforcement of this order, and the city authorities, as well as all loyal citizens, are asked to co-operate.

    We condemn this order, because we consider it both unjust and unnecessary. It is true, of course, that the introduction to the order indicates that the military authorities do not wish to include within the scope of the order the wage question or strikes for the purpose of obtaining more pay, and that these authorities are apparently concerned solely with interference by workers with the operation of the aforementioned businesses. It is also true, of course, that the order pertains to those branches of business that manufacture goods necessary to carry on the war. However, we should like to ask, How many 3factories and shops are not included in this category? Tailors, manufacturers of boots and shoes, machinists, saddlers, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, steelworkers--in short, men in nearly all the principal occupations and trades in Saint Louis are doing work for the Army or Navy. And, no doubt, the order goes far beyond its original object, for it directly deprives workers of their right to join an association, but does not take this right away from manufacturers or dealers. Furthermore, the order imposes a system of military supervision upon workers. It greatly exceeds the limits set by the New York Antistrike Bill, which was withdrawn when the workers who would have been adversely affected by it protested against its passage. The encroachment upon personal freedom and the systematic secret persecution which the order involves are not justifiable under any circumstances.

    And, besides, the order will not attain its purpose, which is to prevent interruption in work that is being done for the Army or Navy. Yes, we venture to say that it will have just the opposite effect; for many workers in Saint Louis will go to other cities where there is also a shortage of labor and 4where higher wages are paid, or where the workers are not hindered by the military or municipal authorities from endeavoring to obtain more pay.

    Let us hope that Colonel Knobelsdorff, who is so sensible and humane in other respects, will have withdrawn his order by this time.

    Since a condition of war still exists in Missouri, General Rosenkranz has issued the following order: "Everybody is forbidden, directly or indirectly to intimidate, or to hinder from the performance ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- October 08, 1872
    The Bricklayers' Strike.

    Some of the striking bricklayers seem to be firmly resolved to attain the long desired aim of an eight hour day or to perish fighting for it. Others, not a few, are inclined to accept the compromise offered by the contractors, - namely, the ten hour day, or to work as long as the daylight permit at the same wages as before the strike, and an assurance that after January 1, eight hours will be regarded as the legal work day.

    Especially the German workers yesterday seemed willing to accept this, in our opinion, very reasonable compromise and only the violent opposition and threatening attitude of the American bricklayers prevented them from resuming work. It is rumored that all who would resume work on these conditions have been threatened with violence.


    We hope that the rumor exaggerates. Otherwise, should it be true and should the attempt be made to carry out the threat, it will happen that we can tell the gentlemen of the strike committee there will be dire consequences for themselves. The bricklayers undoubtedly have the right to form a union...they even have the undisputed privilege, if a majority is for it, to resolve to go on strike. But the right to coerce any member to obey this resolution and to conform with the orders of the majority, that right they have not...It is quite natural, also, for the workers to combine in order to take care of their own interests. Even if the Crispin Ritter Lodge, in Chicago, now and then made mistakes on the whole it did much good.

    The speaker did not believe that the solution of the labor question eventually would lead to bloody conflicts; the education of our day would prevent that. In the United States such conflicts could all the less be expected, because it is the country of the vote, by virtue of which many things have been ironed out. Finally, Mr. Hoffman asked those present 3not to despair if the press falsified, ignored or ridiculed their endeavors. The press, he said was very powerful, and could help much or hurt much. Unfortunately the trade unions were not able to have their own press; eventually that would become different.

    After Mr. Hoffman had ended, the question of a wage raise for the shoemakers was debated. It was decided to hold a mass meeting of the shoemakers of all nationalities at the same place, next Sunday.

    It also was communicated that a committee of the Hans Von Sagan Lodge was charged to made contact with the Scandinavian Lodge. The latter plans to hold a mass meeting in the interest of a raise of wages in about two months.

    Some of the striking bricklayers seem to be firmly resolved to attain the long desired aim of an eight hour day or to perish fighting for it. Others, not a ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 14, 1875
    Labor Mass Meeting

    A mass meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the Bohemian Turner Hall, on West Taylor Street near Canal Street. The smallness of the hall made it difficult to accommodate the huge crowd. Mr. Jeffers was the chairman and Messrs. McAuliffe and Schlueter functioned as secretaries. The agenda was: "The position of the coal miners in Pennsylvania and the striking coal handlers and wheelers, as well as the brick and lumberyard workers in Chicago". [Translator's note: The Union's resolution, appearing toward the end of the article, shows that "the striking coal handlers, or shovelers, and wheelers," refers to workers in Chicago.]

    The proceedings were of a highly exciting nature. The speeches were given in English, German, and Bohemian.

    Mr. Simmen, as first speaker, explained the purpose of the meeting. He 2spoke in English, launching into a mighty tirade against capitalism and then drifting into a discussion of politics. He closed his speech with the following words:

    "The ballot box in America has become a tool by which a band of thieves endeavors to enrich itself. In such a dishonest game, where conniving crooks have stacked the cards beforehand, the workers cannot participate. The universal, equal franchise, that holy institution, the ballot, so coveted by many nations today, has degenerated into a farce, to the dismay and disgust of the honest citizenry. Yes, this is the pass to which we have come in this country. And who dishonored and prostituted the ballot in this manner? We, the workers? Indeed we did not! Let those who created these Augean stables clean them. Let those who so defiled our sacred heritage re-create the ballot box. We have other matters to consider. You have to think of bread for yourselves and your families, and you will never find it in the voting booth.


    "Are you familiar with Ferdinand Lassalle's speech of May 19, 1863, at Frankfort am Main?

    "'If the ruling class threatens to suffocate the labor movement....we must....face a....proletarian revolution within a few decades and the terrors of the June uprising will be....repeated. It must not--shall not be!'

    "Lassalle belonged to the higher economic strata, and as arbiter between labor and capital earned only calumny and hatred from his equals, while his love and devotion for the cause of the workers caused his death.....The safety valves he tried to open were kept closed and the present machine of state must eventually explode!

    "Don't our local powers see the misery which afflicts our people here? Can they not perceive that the split between capital and labor is constantly widening? And what are they doing about it? Greater injury is being 4inflicted; capital tramples on labor remorselessly, constantly widening the gaping rift until--I cannot speak of it!

    "Yes, they know it well enough, are fully aware of it, but they desire it.

    "Someone once said (I cannot recall the name): 'Labor is a sort of vermin which must be exterminated from time to time.'

    "Obviously, our capitalists act according to this principle. Now they let you suffer the pangs of hunger, and later when, driven by spotted fever, you find it necessary to fight for bread, then--you will note--what starvation has not accomplished will be achieved with bullets.

    "But look how they are already making preparations for the coming anticommunist agitation; perceive how they train their uniformed servants. And you, you sleep and are unconcerned!"


    Then Mr. Simmen spoke of the Labor party organ, the Vorbote (Harbinger), which, according to Mr. Simmen, represents the only reasonable point of view; and he exhorted the assembly to support it.

    The next speaker was McAuliffe, who harangued the crowd in his usual somewhat monotonous manner. He advised them to use force against capitalism and thus earned hearty applause. In his speech he made indiscriminate reference to the city fathers, Mayor Colvin, Beecher, the Y.M.C.A., etc.; referred to the stuffing of the ballot box and diverse election frauds, castigating all in a characteristic manner. The failure of even a single coal shoveler to appear aroused McAuliffe's displeasure in particular; after all, the meeting was called chiefly for their benefit.

    Winnen spoke with moderation. He admonished the workers to be staunchly united and asked for support of the Vorbote.


    The most provocative and violent expressions were indulged in by Mr. Pflugrad, who spoke in German. He was adequately rewarded, since his speech was repeatedly interrupted by applause.

    The following resolution was then read in German, English, and Bohemian and unanimously accepted by the assembly.

    "Whereas, The coal miners of Pennsylvania, the coal shovelers, wheelers, and laborers in the various woodyards in Chicago have been compelled by arrogant capitalism's unwarranted wage cuts to suspend working operations, and

    "Whereas, The interests of all workers are identical throughout the world; therefore be it

    "Resolved, That the striking coal miners in Pennsylvania, the coal shovelers 7and wheelers and the laborers in the various woodyards in Chicago are assured of the sympathy of all workers assembled here today, at West Taylor Street, and that the aforesaid laborers will be given moral and material support in the fight against capitalism, the subjugator of all workers; and be it further

    "Resolved, That the unification of all workers of America into a single labor party is a vital necessity fully recognized by us, and that we shall bend our efforts toward the attainment of that goal without delay."

    In order to give due emphasis to these resolutions, a collection was started forthwith in behalf of the coal miners of Pennsylvania.

    A committee of four was nominated for this purpose and when these gentlemen became aware that the word "collection" caused a rapid exodus they deemed it expedient to post themselves at the exit and thereby succeeded in garnering $35.50.


    The money will be sent to the General Council of the International Workingmen's Association in New York, with the request that the fund be forwarded to the miners.

    The meeting was then adjourned.

    A mass meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the Bohemian Turner Hall, on West Taylor Street near Canal Street. The smallness of the hall made it difficult to accommodate the ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- March 18, 1879
    The Stonecutters' Strike Involving the City Hall What They Have to Say

    A committee of the Stonecutters' Union, consisting of Messrs. Heinrich Sonne-born and Otto Schanzenbach, visited our editorial staff yesterday, and asked for the correction of certain erroneous reports, in English language newspapers, about the strike involving the City Hall (now under construction) and the contracting firm of Tomlinson and Reed.

    The first statement was that the Union does not pay the striking members $2.50 per day, as reported; only one dollar per day is given to married men, and single workers receive only enough to defray board and laundry bills. Our informants also said that Tomlinson and Reed did not pay two dollars per day last year, but only $1.25 to $1.50. In November, after the reorganization of the Union, the firm paid two dollars a day for three weeks, and then work was suspended.

    Stonecutters have worked on an average of eight hours per day for the last 2twelve or thirteen years. It is hard, exhausting labor, and only a few men can work longer than eight hours. All other cut stone contractors are satisfied with the eight-hour period; only Tomlinson and Reed are not. Furthermore, cut stone contractors are willing to pay $2.50 for a day's work. Tomlinson and Reed have no reason to pay less, since they have not signed a disadvantageous contract. Besides, just as much work will be performed in eight hours as in ten.

    The stonecutters are not making unfair demands; they can work only seven or, at most, eight months a year; they must provide their own tools, costing from fifty to sixty dollars, and keep them in proper condition, which cost at least twenty dollars a year. Aside from that, apprenticeship lasts four to five years before the worker can command the full wage.

    The committee asked us to interview some stonecutters to corroborate the aforesaid. We complied, and every statement was verified. Mr. Henne, of Boldenweck and Henne, for instance, told our reporter that their best 3worker, who is always given a job if the weather permits, earned only $470 last year. The stone dealers are all in favor of the eight-hour day, because it is believed that more work is actually produced in eight hours than in ten. The work is very strenuous and fatiguing, so that only exceptionally strong people can continue for longer periods. Besides, the foremen gain more time to prepare the work, make plans, and order stone.

    It appears, accordingly, that the strike at Tomlinson and Reed's is fairly justified, as not only the stonecutters, but also other stone contractors, approve it.

    A committee of the Stonecutters' Union, consisting of Messrs. Heinrich Sonne-born and Otto Schanzenbach, visited our editorial staff yesterday, and asked for the correction of certain erroneous reports, in English ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 25, 1879
    The Aftereffect of the Riot The Trial of Former Police Commissioner Hickey

    The case of "Harmonia vs. Hickey et al." was on the docket in Judge McAllister's court yesterday afternoon and brings to our mind the regrettable occurrences at the riot two years ago. It is to be hoped that the outcome of the trial will establish definitely where Karl Tessmann died.

    It will be remembered that at the time of the riot near the Halsted Street viaduct the police rushed into the nearby Vorwaerts Turnhalle and broke up a meeting of the Carpenters' Union. The officers claimed stones were thrown from the Turnhalle. Others stated that some of the rioters fled to the hall and were pursued there by the police. At this juncture the officers of the law met with resistance, whereupon the people in the hall were attacked by the police.

    The storming of the Turnhalle was considered justified at the time due to the 2great excitement prevailing in the neighborhood, and it was generally regretted that the carpenters were holding their meeting on such an unfortunate forenoon.

    It will also be remembered, that, despite positive statements made at the time that Tessmann fell at the corner of Halsted and 16th Streets, his relatives persistently declared that the man was shot by the police while attending the meeting at the Vorwaerts Turnhalle.

    The unfortunate incident happened while the Carpenters' Aid Society, incorporated under the name "Harmonia," which had rented the hall, was in session. All damages occurring to the building, due to this police raid, were, therefore, added to the petition of the Harmonia. And, therefore, the name of the Harmonia appears as plaintiff in the damage suit against former Police Commissioner Hickey, a number of policemen, and the mayor.

    Harry Rubens, assisted by two other attorneys, represented the plaintiff; 3Corporation Counsel Tuthill was in charge of the defense.

    The case was called yesterday afternoon at two o'clock. Both parties were satisfied to let the Judge render the verdict by waiving jury trial. Therefore the proceedings started immediately.

    The plaintiff's attorney, in a brief introductory speech, offered to produce evidence showing that the defendants in person, or their subordinates, had entered the Turnhalle illegally and disbanded a meeting of peaceable citizens on July 26, 1877, thereby causing certain damages.

    Wilhelm Starkwehr was the first witness for the plaintiff. He stated that he had been and still was the financial secretary of the Harmonia, and that he was acting in that capacity at a meeting of carpenters, called by the Harmonia, at the Turnhalle on July 26, 1877. The object of the meeting, he testified, was to consider reports and prospects of shorter working hours or increased wages in the carpenter shops of the city. The meeting was a 4continuation of a session held in the same hall on the forenoon of the previous day.

    The meeting began shortly after ten o'clock, he said, and had been in progress for about half an hour, when the police rushed into the hall, where about three hundred people were assembeld, and yelled, "Get the H... out of here!" and clubbed everyone within reach.

    The witness further stated that he was sitting at a table attending to membership applications, and that the table was upset and books and cards trampled on; also, that he saw about ten policemen shooting into the crowd and belaboring it with clubs, and that the assembly fled in all directions.

    According to the witness, none of the Union members were armed. Nothing had been done to provoke the police into making such an attack. The windows of the hall had not been opened and the doors leading to the hall were ajar; admission had been denied to no one. The witness stated positively that no 5order had been given to keep out the police, and that the meeting was not a secret one.

    The next witness was Meyer Wassermann, lessee of the Vorwaerts Turnhalle at the time of the occurrence. He said that he stood at the entrance of the building while the meeting was in progress and that the assembly was exceptionally quiet; that he saw no one carrying arms; that the street was crowded and he watched the people passing by. According to his testimony, suddenly a squad of police, led by Sergeant Brennan, rushed to the hall. He told them that they had no business in the hall, and was given a trouncing and was struck in the face with revolvers. The next moment the police rushed upstairs. What happened there he did not see, but in less than two seconds men were being driven downstairs and clubbed by the police. He also heard shots. He saw Sergeant Brennan on the street shooting wildly; but did not notice anyone being struck. In the opinion of the witness, Brennan was leader of the police.

    When cross-examined, the witness testified that prior to the arrival of the 6police there was no disturbance in the hall. The barroom was closed. No one had told him to exclude the police, he said. He merely tried to prevent the raid, to avoid trouble. He admitted that considerable excitement prevailed in the neighborhood on that day due to clashes of the police with alleged rioters, but said that he knew of it only from hearsay. He asserted that he did not ask Hickey for the names of the policemen who made the raid; that it was unnecessary to do so because he [the witness] knew some of the officers personally.

    The police, he said, had never before this time been refused admittance to the Turnhalle, nor had they ever before acted in such a manner in obtaining entrance.

    The witness declared that he saw no one defending himself against the police, who were clubbing and shooting at everyone in their path; also, that after the police had left, he went into the hall and found it devastated; that on the east side, near the door, there was a large pool of blood.


    In so far as he knew, the witness concluded, there was no reason why the police should have made such an attack. No one in the hall had molested the police, nor had anyone fled from the police to seek shelter there. None of the policemen said what they wanted, no warrant for a person or search warrant was shown, and the Riot Act was not read. The police merely ordered, "Get out," and did not wait for anyone to obey, but cursed and used their cudgels.

    Alderman Stauber

    Alderman Stauber was sworn in and told what he saw.

    He stood, he said, near Wassermann at the entrance to the Turnhalle. He saw a couple of teen-age boys in an alley west of the Turnhalle. These fellows threw chunks of coal at some policemen walking on the opposite side of the street. While one of the officers ran after the youngsters, a police wagon darted around the corner on Halsted Street, and both divisions stormed the 8hall. He heard Wassermann tell the officers, "This is my hall, and I don't want to have a row here," and he saw Wassermann being clubbed. During the melee he, the witness, fled and hid behind a door. He, too, was given several welts on his back as he left the building. He also saw men fleeing from the hall while being cudgeled. He heard several shots.

    George Heidenberger

    George Heidenberger, who was at the carpenters' meeting, corroborated Starkwehr's testimony regarding the unprovoked raid, and the unarmed assembly. He was struck on the head and back as he fled from the hall, he stated.

    Henry Stahl

    According to his testimony, Henry Stahl gave a speech at the beginning of the meeting and then walked downstairs to get a drink at the bar, when he noticed the police at the foot of the stairs. Before he knew what it was all about, 9he was struck with a night stick and dropped, unconscious, to the floor. The assembly was peaceable and had nothing to do with the alleged riot.

    Moritz Wassermann

    Moritz Wassermann, colessee of the hall, said that at the time of the raid he was in the barroom; that, noticing the passing crowd and the rush of the police toward the building, he locked the door leading from the stairway into the barroom; that he heard the fight on the floor above and saw the police on the stairway beating the people as they came down; that he noticed a policeman standing on the wagon and shooting wildly; that Sergeant Brennan, at a corner on Twelfth Street, was amusing himself similarly. He stated that he saw no one injured by the shooting.

    Joseph Danziger

    Joseph Danziger, chairman of the routed assembly, spoke of the peaceable 10character of the meeting and described the police raid in about the same manner as the other witnesses. He said he fled to the stage loft and heard shots, one of which passed near his head. He knew Karl Tessmann, he acknowledged, but could not say whether he was at the meeting.

    The case was then postponed until this morning at ten o'clock, when further testimony will be taken.

    The case of "Harmonia vs. Hickey et al." was on the docket in Judge McAllister's court yesterday afternoon and brings to our mind the regrettable occurrences at the riot two ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- April 26, 1879
    The After-Effect of the Riot Continuation of the Investigation

    [Translator's note: See Illinois Staats-Zeitung, April 25, 1879. It describes the beginning of the court trial.]

    The case of Harmonia vs. Hickey was continued yesterday morning in Judge McAllister's court in order to shed more light on the alleged transgressions of the police during the Turnhalle raid on July 26, 1877.

    Gym Instructor Gloy

    Gym Instructor Gloy was the first witness at yesterday's session. He spoke in German as he is not well versed in English. He is physical culture instructor of the Turnverein Vorwaerts. The gist of his testimony follows. He was at the Turnhalle at ten o'clock in the morning on July 26, 1877. A meeting of cabinet makers [Translator's note: This is the first instance in which 2the word "cabinet makers" appears in the article. Before they have been classified as "carpenters"] was being held, and the witness stayed there for about ten minutes. The proceedings did not interest him, so he went to the barroom below, and then to the street. There he saw a police wagon going westward. Shortly afterward it returned, and stopped before the Turnhalle. The police jumped from the wagon, rushed past him, and ran into the hall upstairs. About three or four seconds later he heard several shots and a frightful noise in the hall. A moment later the members of the assemblage were fleeing pell-mell down stairs. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairway they were clubbed by the police. In the middle of the street, opposite the entrance of the building, stood a policeman who fired repeatedly at the fleeing people.

    Shortly afterward he, the witness, went into the hall. He noticed a large pool of blood near the door toward the east, and found all the furnishings of the hall in complete disorder.

    About half an hour after the raid he [the same witness, Gloy] saw a baker's 3wagon, bearing an unknown dying man, on Twelfth Street, near Newberry Street, in the vicinity of his [Gloy's] home. The wagon went westward. It appeared to have come from the Turnhalle. He also corroborated the statements of other witnesses regarding the peaceful conduct of the assemblage, which consisted of from about two hundred to three hundred men. In detailed account he showed that no missiles could have been thrown at the police from the windows of the Turnhalle.

    William Remien

    William Remien, a cabinet maker by trade, was the next witness. He was at the meeting which the police broke up, he said. When the police rushed into the hall, everybody ran toward the stage and there the police, without giving warning or orders to leave the hall, shot at and clubbed the assemblage. When the hall was fairly empty, he further testified, he saw a man dressed in a dark suit lying in the center of the hall, and a policeman, standing about twenty feet away, shooting at his body. He, himself, was so fearfully beaten, the 4witness said, that he almost fainted from the loss of blood. Cross examination did not change his testimony.

    James Geschke

    James Geschke said the police began firing as soon as they entered the hall. He was on the stage and served as a target for a policeman standing near. The aforementioned officer, however, did not injure him because his pistol jammed. The witness said to the officer, he declared: "If you want to kill me, shoot through the heart!" He, the witness, saw a man lying on the floor. The police gave no one an opportunity to leave the hall. As they rushed in they began shooting and clubbing.

    Frank Shippeck and Theodor Zander made similar statements.

    Henry Strasler

    Henry Strasler said that he stood "next" to Carl Tessmann three or four minutes 5before the police attack. The police rushed into the meeting, shouting: "Get out, you sons of bitches" [verbatim], while swinging clubs with one hand and discharging pistols with the other.

    Jacob Schnoepfel

    Jacob Schnoepfel testified that he was severely hurt; that at least six policemen trounced him, and six or eight shots were fired at him, which resulted in three broken ribs and injury to his lungs. He protected himself, he said, by holding a chair in front of himself. A bullet actually struck the chair.

    Mr. Ruhlen

    Ruhlen testified that he observed disturbances on the street.

    Wilhelm Miehlan

    Wilhelm Miehlan saw Tessman lying on the floor of the hall, and another man 6near by felled by the police. The witness was beaten by policeman Householder.

    Jacob Beiersdorff

    Jacob Beiersdorff saw the police rushing into the hall and heard shots.

    Hermann Stroelle

    Herman Stroelle saw the police clubbing mercilessly everybody on the street who happened to be near them. People trying to save themselves by climbing over fences were beaten as they swung themselves across, he said.

    This closed the testimony in so far as the plaintiff [Harmonia] was concerned, for the time being at least.

    In rebuttal, the Corporation Counsel presented a member of the police force.


    Policeman Householder

    Policeman Householder said he was a member of the division which, under command of Sergeant Brendan, left the Central Station and went to the Twelfth Street Station on July 26. The division was driven to the location in two wagons. Arriving at the Twelfth Street station, the men were sent to the Turnhalle, which they had just passed. The witness could not remember if there was any disturbance in front of the hall, but stated his belief that people on the sidewalk threw stones at the police. [Translator's note: It is not explained whether he meant the police riding in the wagon, or the police walking on the sidewalk opposite the Turnhalle, who were supposedly pelted with chunks of coal by a few youngsters, according to the issue of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, April 25.] The witness did not know how he came to be sent to the hall. He heard no shots, nor did he see anyone being struck with clubs. He may have swung his club, but he struck no one. He carried a revolver [elsewhere the weapon is called a pistol], but did not use it. When he came into the hall the place was nearly empty.


    On the stage were several people, among them Danziger, who apparently had intended to make a speech. The witness knew nothing further concerning the affair, and denied having seen any transgressions on the part of the police. He asserted he was not involved in any fight.

    During cross examination the witness [Householder] said that he was very excited when he reached the hall; that he believed, after all, he heard a shot in the hall, but that he could not say who did the shooting. He struck no one with his club--there was no occasion to warrant its use. The witness said he was not ordered to break up the meeting. No one gave him orders except Sergeant Brennan, and he did not know whether or not Sergeant Brennan issued orders to raid the hall. He saw a few people being struck by the police, but saw nothing of a serious nature.

    The next witness in rebuttal was Ex-Sergeant Brennan, who also showed poor memory.


    During direct examination the witness said that he and thirty men were sent from the Central Station to the Twelfth Street Station to take orders from the captain or lieutenant in charge. His [Brennan's] division rode in two wagons and passed the Turnhalle where several policemen and a special police force appeared to be suppressing a disturbance. The witness was ordered by Captain Seavey or Lieutenant Callaghan to go to the Turnhalle because of "trouble" at that place, so he and his men proceeded to it. He was given no particular orders. He gave no orders to anyone to raid the hall. The witness claimed that he did not use his revolver or remove it from his pocket [holster?] that he used his cudgel only to threaten; that he struck no one. He said that Wassermann told him on the evening before [Verbatim. Translator's note: The original is not clear on this point; it does not define, "yesterday evening"; but it may mean just that]: "If you are not the policeman who was shooting while on the corner of Union Street, then somebody resembles you very much." After that Wasserman did not insist, he said, that he [Brennan] was shooting.

    Brennan insisted that he did not know whether Seavey or Callaghan ordered him 10to the Turnhalle; that he received no order, except to go to the hall with his men because there was trouble there; that his superiors probably had enough confidence In him to think that he would know what to do.

    Upon reaching the hall he admonished his men, Brendan stated, to act in a quiet manner, and ordered them to clear the sidewalks. He gave no special orders, because all the men knew their duty. He did not enter the hall and gave no order to raid it. He knew by hearsay only that some of his men were in the hall. He saw none of the officers using clubs and heard no shots near the hall.

    A man threw a brick and struck him in the stomach, he said; whereupon he pursued him, but could not catch him. He saw no small boy trying hard to lift up a heavy stone. He saw no large crowd coming from the hall, nor did he see anyone fleeing from the premises. He noticed no one who was injured. He was in front of the hall before the clash of the police and rioters started. He made no report concerning his activities before the hall, he said; and did 11not know whether a written report of the occurrence was in existence or not.

    The case was then postponed until Monday, when further evidence will be taken. [Translator's note: See "Where Was Tessman Shot?" "Judge McAllister Will Give a Decision According to the Evidence Presented by Witnesses"; Illinois Staats-Zeitung, Apr. 29, 1879].

    [Translator's note: See Illinois Staats-Zeitung, April 25, 1879. It describes the beginning of the court trial.] The case of Harmonia vs. Hickey was continued yesterday morning in Judge McAllister's court ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 06, 1879
    The Right of Assembly Judge McAllister Gives Verdict in Harmonia vs. Hickey Case

    [Translator's note: This is one of a series of articles on this subject.]

    Judge McAllister gave the following decision in the case of Harmonia vs. Hickey et al.:

    "The plaintiff in this case is an incorporated society of workers and brings suit against several persons because of a raid on the hall of the plaintiff and enforced dispersion and interruption of the meeting assembled at said hall.

    "It was agreed that all legal means of defense would be admissible, and the 2case was given to the judge without inclusion of a jury. The facts, as shown by a large number of witnesses and which are not disproved in any manner whatsoever, are as follows:

    "The plaintiff had rented the Turnhalle for July 26, 1877, on West Twelfth Street, in which to hold a meeting on the morning of the aforesaid day, and two hundred to three hundred persons were present, mostly carpenters, apprentices, and cabinet makers; and also several manufacturers or representatives of manufacturers. The purpose of the meeting was to consult with the manufacturers or their representatives on matters appertaining to wage increases or reduction in working hours. All participants were unarmed and the meeting proceeded quietly and peaceably. The audience did not face the entrance to the hall; only a few people were on the stage opposite, and all these were wholly concerned with the business at hand. Suddenly fifteen to twenty-five policemen rushed into the hall. Many of them, if not all, held a club in one hand, and a gun in the other. They did not wait to ascertain the 3character of the meeting but at once started waving their clubs, shouting: 'Get out of here, you damned sons of bitches!' [Translator's note: the judge's words are given in English.] Several policemen actually fired into the crowd, and a young man was shot in the back of the head and died. To augment this brutality the police stationed themselves on both sides of the stairway leading to the hall, and apparently wielded their clubs with full force as they belabored the men who fled from the assembly hall.

    "These facts in general have been established by overwhelming evidence given by many witnesses. In regard to the legal questions involved it is not necessary to go into further detail.

    "As a means of bringing the affair to the attention of the court, the defendants were permitted to offer testimony of witnesses showing that at about the time of the aforesaid incident there was a riot in the city in connection with 4which a man was killed. It was not established who committed the manslaughter.

    "At the close of the testimony the attorney for the plaintiff stated that the sole object of the litigation was to obtain a decision whether the people present at the meeting had a constitutional right to assemble peaceably for the purpose herein stated, and whether the police of the city, or anyone else, had any right to raid the hall and break up the meeting. He asserted that, in order to emphasize this point, the plaintiff was willing to forego all claims for damages with the exception of a nominal amount.

    "The greatest political privilege of our citizens is the right to vote, whereby the people exercise their will; but they have two other rights of almost equal importance:

    The right of free speech and a free press.


    The right of peaceful assembly for the purpose of peaceably conferring on matters affecting the welfare of the community.

    "These rights are fundamental in so far as our institutions are concerned and are definitely protected by the Constitution.

    "Paragraph 17, Article 2, of the Bill of Rights proclaims [Translator's note: The quotation is from the Second Amendment to the Constitution.] 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.'

    "Jurists do not regard this paragraph of the Bill of Rights as something on which laws are to be based, but they consider it an assurance against any 6curtailment of aforesaid rights by any branch of the government. These rights in themselves are regarded as natural and undeniable, applicable to every individual; and, also, as political rights arising naturally out of the system on which a free government is founded. The assurance given by the Constitution is a bulwark against any legislative or other attack on the part of the government. If an individual's rights are impaired, regardless of whether these rights are of a natural or political order, he may apply to the courts for protection.

    "The principle, 'Ubi jus, ibi remedium,' also applies here. If anyone is within his right, then, according to Chief Justice Holt in Ashby vs. White 2. Lord Raym. 953, there must be means available to enforce the law guaranteeing this right; and there must also be a remedy if his rights are infringed upon. It would be absolutely foolish to speak of rights, if no means existed to guarantee them, since a denial of rights and a denial of legal enforcement amount to the same thing.


    "Since the right of the people to assemble peaceably in order to confer on matters appertaining to their welfare is guaranteed by the Constitution, one may apply this principle in general without considering the power of the state in its various phases. One cannot assert that the interests of the labor class do not affect the common weal. Our own state, even, passed laws covering the very question which brought about the aforesaid meeting. These laws are considered state laws, because they affect the welfare of the state.

    "Since the right to assemble peaceably is established, and, as it is proved that the meeting was a peaceable affair which was broken up by brutal force, we must now consider whether the persons can be sued who participated in, ordered, or encouraged, directly or indirectly, the perpetration of this outrage.

    "Judge Cooley in his new, excellent work on Torts mentions legal means 8against disturbances of political meetings and expresses himself as follows: 'If anyone intentionally disturbs a lawful meeting for the purpose of disrupting and breaking up such an assemblage, then he violates the rights of those who are in temporary possession of the meeting place. If several persons are associated in such an endeavor, then it may terminate in a riot, according to the Criminal Code.'

    "This explanation of the law appears so correct that it would be a waste of time to quote further proof.

    "That everyone who participated in the violent disruption of the meeting, whether ordering, abetting or in any other manner associating himself there-with, transgressed against the rights of the plaintiff cannot be denied, and the procedure was obviously riotous and criminal, because no information was sought regarding the character of the assemblage before deadly weapons were 9used in attacking the people present.

    "The only remaining question, therefore, is: 'Who among the defendants actually perpetrated the deeds enumerated in the plaintiff's petition, or who ordered, encouraged, or took part in the aforesaid actions?'

    "In my opinion the evidence failed to show who of the defendants were responsible for the occurrences with the exception of Brennan and Householder.

    "In regard to the latter it was shown that he was in the hall and participated in the violence. Brennan was the police sergeant and commanded the police who were in the place at the time in question. Householder testified that the sergeant gave orders to clear the hall. It is entirely unreasonable to assume that the large force of policemen who raided the 10hall acted without orders from a superior. Obviously the police were intent upon breaking up the assemblage without regard to its character.

    "Brennan stayed on the street in front of the hall. Witnesses declared that he fired at people who had committed no unlawful acts. Jacob Beiersdorff, a furniture manufacturer employing more than two hundred people, was invited to the meeting and came to the hall. As he entered a harmless old man, who apparently had not done anything, was struck in a most brutal manner by a policeman and fell to the floor. Following a humanitarian impulse, Beiersdorff forgot everything else and took care of the injured man. This occurred in the presence of Brennan, who also witnessed other acts of violence perpetrated by the men under his command. Had he done his duty, he would have noted and restrained the transgressions and brutality of his subordinates. He was present and encouraged the men who committed these despicable felonies. He and Householder are liable in a civil suit for the breaking up of the afore-mentioned meeting, because Brennan was the leader during the transgressions11 and Householder took part in them. The other defendants are discharged. Damages awarded, six cents."

    [Translator's note: This is one of a series of articles on this subject.] Judge McAllister gave the following decision in the case of Harmonia vs. Hickey et al.: "The plaintiff ...

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  • Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 14, 1879
    The "Big Surprise" (Editorial)

    After July Fourth a day's work will be eight hours. That is the resolution of the "punks" who call themselves labor leaders. We wouldn't say anything about it, if these would-be dictators could at least prove that they actually worked for eight hours.

    To work eight hours out of twenty-four is not objectionable; the question is, "Who pays the piper?" One does not receive the same wage for eight hours as for ten; or, do the gentlemen believe the wage will be the same, or will even be increased?

    But, regardless of whether wages will increase or whether one works fewer hours, the price of necessities will rise. And what have the workers gained by that? Do the workers believe that the citizens can be 2bamboozled by the labor agitators, and that the consumers will willingly pay higher prices?

    we would like to know how these dictators intend to enforce their plan. If they repeat their acts of two years ago, they may find a fly in the ointment.

    Yesterday's Volksstimme Des Westens makes the following statement:

    "As our readers probably know, a movement was started to obtain a shortening of the working day; it is to be eight hours after July fourth.

    "Obviously, eight hours at present; then, later this will be reduced to six hours and--finally--no work at all."

    After July Fourth a day's work will be eight hours. That is the resolution of the "punks" who call themselves labor leaders. We wouldn't say anything about it, if these ...

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  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- May 15, 1879
    [A Socialist Mass Meeting]

    A Mass-meeting at the Vorwarts-Turnhalle, West 12th Street, Sunday, May 18th 2:30 o'clock P.M.

    Agenda: The introduction of the eight hour work day and the victory of the Workers in California.

    Council of the Trade and Labor Union.

    A Mass-meeting at the Vorwarts-Turnhalle, West 12th Street, Sunday, May 18th 2:30 o'clock P.M. Agenda: The introduction of the eight hour work day and the victory of the Workers in ...

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  • Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung -- June 18, 1879
    [Singers Attention]

    All the members of the Song Societies: "Liedertafel vorwarts", "North Chicago Male Chorus", "Schiller Liedertafel", "Liedertafel La Salle" "The Socialist Male Chorus", "Male Chorus Eutopia" and the Westside Male Chorus" are requested to be present at the last rehearsal, to take place Thursday, June 19th, at Orpheus Hall No. 70 west Lake Street. The celebration of the Anniversary of the Foundation, of the Furniture Worker's Union will take place June 22d at Ogden's Grove.

    All the members of the Song Societies: "Liedertafel vorwarts", "North Chicago Male Chorus", "Schiller Liedertafel", "Liedertafel La Salle" "The Socialist Male Chorus", "Male Chorus Eutopia" and the Westside Male Chorus" ...

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