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Encyclopedia > August Spies


August Vincent Theodore Spies (December 10, 1855November 11, 1887) was an anarchist labor activist hanged under doubtful circumstances following a bomb attack on police at the Haymarket Riot. December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1855 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... November 11 is the 315th day of the year (316th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 50 days remaining. ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar). ... The Haymarket Riot on 4 May 1886 in Chicago, Illinois is the origin of international May Day observances and in popular literature inspired the caricature of a bomb-throwing anarchist. ...

Contents


Birth

Spies was born in Germany in 1855 and emigrated to America in 1872 with his mother and siblings. His mother was Christine, and his father had died in 1871. He had the following siblings: Henry Spies; Kenny Spies; Maggie Spies; Willy Spies; Adolph Spies. Motto: E pluribus unum (1789 to 1956) (Latin: Out of Many, One) In God We Trust (1956 to present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at federal level; English de facto Government • President • Vice President Federal republic George... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


Chicago

Anarchist

Known for his aggressive rhetoric, an enraged Spies published a leaflet on May 4th entitled "Revenge! Workingmen to Arms!" It included the passage: "They killed the poor wretches because they, like you, had the courage to disobey the supreme will of your bosses. They killed them to show you 'Free American Citizens' that you must be satisfied with whatever your bosses condescend to allow you, or you will get killed. If you are men, if you are the sons of your grand sires, who have shed their blood to free you, then you will rise in your might, Hercules, and destroy the hideous monster that seeks to destroy you. To arms we call you, to arms." May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ...


Haymarket Square

Later on May 4, Spies spoke during a rally at Haymarket Square. Police were there and, contrary to the mayor's explicit instructions intervened, sending units into the crowd in an attempt to disperse it. Violence erupted and a pipe-bomb was thrown killing four policemen. Seven men were arrested including Spies. (Albert Parsons turned himself in.) May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... On May 1, 1886 (on May Day), labor unions organized a strike for an eight hour work day in Chicago, Illinois, United States. ... Albert Parsons, ca. ...


There were witnesses to testify that none of the eight charged threw the bomb. Indeed, Spies had been on stage delivering his speech at the time when the bomb was thrown. However, all eight were found guilty, and seven were sentenced to death. One was sentenced to 15 years in prison.


(According to The Press on Trial, Spies was finished with his speech but still on stage when the bomb went off.)


Trial

The trial of Spies and his associates was highly controversial. The jury was selected specifically by a special bailiff; one of the jury members was a relative of one of the slain policemen. Julius Grinnell, the State's Attorney, told the jury: "Convict these men, make examples of them, hang them, and you save our institutions." During the trial the jury was allowed by the judge to read articles in support of political violence written previously by the defendants as evidence. While in prison Spies wrote an autobiography.


Three of the defendants asked for clemency and were pardoned by John Peter Altgeld, the governor of Illinois. Of the remaining five, Louis Lingg killed himself in his cell with a Cigar bomb but Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, and George Engel were hanged on November 11, 1887. As he faced his demise on the gallows, Spies shouted out: "There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!" John Peter Altgeld (December 30, 1847 - March 12, 1902) was the governor of the U.S. state of Illinois from 1893 until 1897. ... List of Illinois Governors Categories: Lists of United States governors | Governors of Illinois ... Louis Lingg (September 9, 1864 — November 10, 1887) was an anarchist who committed suicide while in jail, after being arrested as an agitator during the Haymarket Square bombing. ... Albert Parsons, ca. ... Adolph Fischer (1858 - November 11, 1887) was an anarchist and labor union activist executed after the Haymarket riot, along with Albert Parsons, August Spies, and George Engel. ... George Engel (1836 Cassel, Germany - November 11, 1887) was an anarchist and labor union activist executed after the Haymarket riot, along with Albert Parsons, August Spies, and Adolph Fischer. ...


Marriage

While in jail, in January of 1887, Spies married Nina van Zandt (1862-1936). She was a graduate of Vassar college and the only child of a wealthy Chicago chemist. She published an article on the trial for the Chicago Knights of Labor. After Spies's death she married Stephen A. Malato, an attorney, in 1895. They divorced in 1902, and she reverted to the surname Spies. 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Vassar, Michigan is a place in the State of Michigan in the United States of America. ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


See also

On May 1, 1886 (on May Day), labor unions organized a strike for an eight hour work day in Chicago, Illinois, United States. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2720x3241, 1381 KB) Summary August Spies in the 1880 US Census in Chicago, Illinois. ... Chicago, Illinois is the current Good Article Collaboration of the week! Please help take it from Good to Featured article status. ... May Day is a name for various holidays celebrated on May 1 (or in the beginning of May). ...

References

Autobiography of August Spies. Anarchy Archives. URL accessed on January 23, 2005. August Spies. Spartacus Educational. URL accessed on January 23, 2005. The Anarchy Archives project is a self-described online research center on the history and theory of Anarchism. ... January 23 is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 23 is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
August Spies

  Results from FactBites:
 
August Spies - definition of August Spies in Encyclopedia (370 words)
August Spies (1855–11 November, 1887) was a labor activist, hanged under doubtful circumstances following a bomb attack on police at the Haymarket Riot.
Spies was born in Germany and emigrated to America in 1872.
If you are men, if you are the sons of your grand sires, who have shed their blood to free you, then you will rise in your might, Hercules, and destroy the hideous monster that seeks to destroy you.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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