American Experience
American Experience

August Spies | Albert Parsons | George Engel | Adolph Fischer | Louis Lingg
Michael Schwab | Oscar Neebe | Samuel Fielden

Albert Parsons, a former Confederate soldier who moved to Chicago in 1873, worked as a typesetter for the Chicago Tribune before being fired for speaking against capitalism. After that, he worked as a printer, primarily for radical and labor causes. He was a member of the moderate Knights of Labor organization and a founding member of the syndicalist Central Labor Union. Parsons counted August Spies as a close ally, and edited the English language counterpart to Arbeiter-Zeitung, The Alarm.

Spies recruited him at the last minute to speak at the Haymarket rally. Parsons addressed the crowd for nearly an hour and left before the bomb exploded. He fled Chicago after arrests were made for the bombing, but returned voluntarily for trial. He was hanged in 1887, declaring in his final words, "Let the voice of the people be heard!"


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