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Life of Albert Parsons

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Characterized our effort in making converts to this scheme of social and industrial emancipation. But the party had reached the zenith of its power as a political factor. A few months later we participated —unofficially— in the judicial election which returned Judge McAllister by an overwhelming majority, with Barnum, Tuley, and Moran. After this election charges of improper conduct were made against some of our members, creating internal strife, and our party influence began to decline. In the spring of '80 we re-elected Frank A Stauber to the Council by a majority of thirty one votes, but his opponent, who belonged to the element of "fine workers," was not willing to accept this popular verdict. At the seventh precinct Stauber had received 109 votes to his opponent's 100.

The results were declared at the precinct in the presence of the three Election Judges, two clerks, party challengers, and a police officer. Two of the judges, Walsh and Gibbs, took the ballot—box and tally sheet home, and on learning that the election had resulted in the defeat of their candidate (J. J. McGrath) they stuffed the box and changed the result on the tally sheet so as to give Stauber only 59 votes and J. J. McGrath 150.

This change gave McGrath a majority and he was seated by the Council. A long litigation ensued, costing the workingmen about $2,000 and keeping Mr. Stauber out of his seat for nearly a year. Stauber was finally recognized by the Courts as the duly elected Alderman from the Fourteenth Ward. Walsh and Gibbs, the two Election Judges who had suffered the ballot—box and forged the tally sheet, were tried for the offense and acquitted, Judge Gardner declaring that, while they had violated the law, there had been no evidence showing that that had been their intent.

This circumstance did more, perhaps, than all the other things combined to destroy the faith of the Socialists in Chicago in the efficiency of the ballot.

From that time on the advocates of physical force as the only means of industrial emancipation found a wide filed of action for the dissemination and acceptance of their ideas. The Presidential election of 1880 also tended to disintegrate the party as a political factor. As a party, we had participated in the national convention that the nominated Gen. Weaver, and it was the opinion of


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