Talk:August Spies

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The Relative on the Jury[edit]

The claim in the section "Trial" should be changed because it is not historically true that a relative of one of the policemen sat on the jury. According to the record of the trial, M.D. Flavin was examined and during the course of his questioning noted that Officer Flavin was a “distant relative”. The defense challenged him for cause and Judge Gary did overrule the challenge and the defense used one of their 180 peremptory challenges to remove Flavin from the jury pool. Flavin did not serve on the jury that convicted the anarchist defendants. (Abstract of Record, vol. 1, pp. 84-85. See also, (talk) 14:32, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


This section is not compatible with the claims in the Haymarket affair page, it reads: "Known for his aggressive rhetoric, an enraged Spies published a leaflet on May 4, 1886 entitled Revenge! Workingmen to Arms!" But on the Haymarket affair page it states that a seperate individual wrote the leaflet and Spies said he would not speak unless the "offensive" title was changed, which it was. I have not edited because I am not familiar enough with the subject but I believe editing is in order unless I am misunderstanding something. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, these articles do conflict. I will bring the Spies article into conformity with the Haymarket article citing pages 193-96 in Avrich's Haymarket Tragedy. User: AecwriterAECwriter 16:43, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Haymarket Affair[edit]

From the Article: "Violence erupted and a pipe-bomb was thrown, killing seven policemen." This may mislead readers into believing the pipe-bomb killed 7 policeman, while the Haymarket Affair page, which links to this page directly, states, "A pipe bomb was thrown at the police line and exploded, killing policeman Mathias J. Degan." and, "Aside from Degan, several police officers appear to have been injured by the bomb, but most of the police casualties were caused by bullets, largely from friendly fire." [1] The latter page's claim that a single officer was killed by the bomb itself is evidenced by detailed, in-line citations, which this page notably lacks. --WebWaster (talk) 15:51, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Suggested edits[edit]

“Witnesses testified that none of the eight men charged threw the bomb.” This statement makes it sound like there was a question as to whether or not the men on trial threw the bomb. There was no such debate. The prosecution always maintained that Spies’ associate Rudolph Schnaubelt threw the bomb.

“Death and Legacy” The first two paragraphs are about other defendants, not Spies.

AECwriter 07:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aecwriter (talkcontribs)

Schnaubelt was not one of the eight men on trial. He was indicted, I believe, but never arrested and he was not tried in absentia. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 17:42, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
You're correct. On second thought I don't think my first suggestion warrants any action. User:Aecwriter (talk)AECwriter 07:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Significant additions[edit]

Today on March 2, 2012, I added significant information to the Haymarket and Trial sections.

I was hesitant to label the "Monday Night Conspirators" as "extremists," but found that Avrich, one of the scholars said to represent the "consensus opinion" on the Haymarket, indeed uses that word. See citation in article.

I have deleted "the trial was controversial." I think I weigh both sides to an adequate degree that this need not be stated.

I have focused on those elements of the trial directly relating to August Spies as much as possible. For this reason, I have deleted a reference to the "special bailiff," often cited by those arguing the trial was rigged and the defendants unquestionably innocent. I feel if the special bailiff is mentioned, it should be contextualized, as I have argued on the Haymarket Talk page (Special Bailiff section). To do so here would detract from the Spies case. I think the special bailiff should be discussed in the main Haymarket article, as this impacted all the defendants.

I also debated whether I should add information that throws August Spies' statement at sentencing into question. Although there are multiple instances where Spies' accounts are contradictory or shown to be false, I chose to mention only one instance, the Legner issue, and this one because it relates directly to Spies' statements at sentencing, which I have added. I don't think we need to hammer home the dubiousness of some of Spies' claims, but I think one reference is in order.

I intend to work on Death and Legacy also when I get a chance. User:AecwriterAECwriter 02:00, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Rally at Haymarket Square". Haymarket Affair. Wikipedia. Retrieved 5 September 2011.