Tomorrow marks the 120th year anniversary since Spies, Parsons, Engel, and Fischer - four of the convicted participants in the Haymarket Riot - were sent to the gallows.
The Haymarket incident is important in Chicago history and in the history of the American labor movement. You will find several websites chronicling the events of the entire Haymarket Affair linked on this blog, and I encourage you to investigate these extensive and informative resources.
Primary sources, however, are always more desirable when talking about historical events, so I wanted to direct your attention to a paper read to The Chicago Literary Club in 1927.
The paper is titled "Reminiscences of the Anarchist Case" and written by club member Sigmund Zeisler. It begins:
“Tomorrow night [May 4, 1926] it will be forty years since what has become known as the Anarchist Case had its origin in the throwing of a dynamite bomb and the killing or wounding of a large number of policemen at a meeting of workingmen in Chicago. The judge presiding at the trial, all the twelve jurors, all the counsel for the state, all the counsel for the defense except myself, all the police officials who were active in the investigation and at the trial, all the seven justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois which reviewed and affirmed the judgment of the criminal court of Cook County, all the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States which was appealed to for a writ of error but declined to interfere, are dead. Of the eight defendants, four were executed, one committed suicide in jail the day before he was to have been executed, and three, after serving in the penitentiary for six years, were pardoned, but have long since died. Thus, of all the prominent actors in that thrilling drama, I am the sole survivor.”
You can read the entire paper here.
You might also be interested in "Was It a Fair Trial? An appeal to the Govenor of Illinois by Gen. M. M. Trumbull in behalf of the condemned anarchists (1887)" generously digitized and provided by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.