HAYMARKET MARTYRS' MONUMENT
"THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY"
II. The Martyrs
In the days that followed, numerous raids took place without warrants on the homes and offices of labor activists. As the identity of the bomb-thrower would never be known, the speakers at the meeting and its organizers were arrested instead. Albert Parsons had escaped to Wisconsin, but willingly turned himself in to stand trial with his comrades. Eight men were tried under Judge Joseph Gary, who was firmly anti-labor. Gary allowed the prosecution to make any statements they wished, and frighten the jurors by showing them bombs, while the defendant's lawyers were not allowed to bring in vital evidence. Seven of the defendants were sentenced to hang, with Oscar Neebe given fifteen years in prison.
Appeals by the defense delayed the hanging for over a year. The seven were scheduled to hang on November 11, 1887. The day before the execution, November tenth, Governor Oglesby commuted the sentences of Saumel Fielden and Michael Schwab to life inprisonment. The remaining prisoners were to be hanged the next day. Louis Lingg cheated the executioner and killed himself in his cell by biting down on a dynamite blasting cap. August Spies, Adolph Fischer, Aulbert Parsons, and George Engel, were hanged on November 11th, known as "Black Friday".
The bodies of the five martyrs were returned to their families. On November 13th, thousands of workers marched with the bodies to a downtown railroad station, then accompanied them on the train to German Waldheim Cemetery, where the five were buried together in this plot.