Statement on Abraham Isaak and Chicago Anarchists, September 8, 1901



Men Under Arrest Say Assassin Was Here July 12.


Made No Mention of Murderous Intentions.

Detectives at Work Classifying Confiscated Letters -- May Give a [Clue].

Martin Fox, one of the several anarchists locked up at the central station on the charge of conspiracy to kill President McKinley, identified the picture of the assassin, Czolgosz, as that of the man he had seen in Chicago July 12. Fox was one of the men arrested in the rear of No. 100 Newberry Avenue Saturday afternoon. The photograph was also identified by Isaak and [Travaglio] as that of a man they had seen here about the time Emma Goldman was in the city.

Fox was before Captain Colleran yesterday afternoon. He said that Isaak introduced the man to him and that he took him to the boarding-house of Miss Esther Wolfson, No. 525 Carroll Avenue. Czolgosz slept with Fox on the night of July 12, and Czolgosz paid 50 cents for his share of the room. Fox said his talk was rabid, but that he made no mention of his intention to assassinate President McKinley. Fox is an American. He was born in New York City of an Irish father and an English mother, and received his education in the public schools of that city.

Henry [Travaglio], another of the prisoners, who was arrested in the raid last Friday night at No. 515 Carroll Avenue, positively identified the photograph of Czolgosz as that of the man he had seen at No. 515 Carroll Avenue, and who gave the name of Schloss. [Travaglio], in an account of himself, says he is the son of a major in the Italian army, and that he has traveled in all the civilized countries. He admits that he left Italy suddenly and for good reasons. He also admits that he is probably better known to Emma Goldman than any other man. He says his last letter from her was received seventeen days ago.

Captain Colleran failed to elicit any information from the prisoners yesterday that would strengthen the case against them as having had knowledge of the projected assassination.

Classifying Letters.

The letters and books confiscated in the raid on the room in the rear of No. 100 Newberry Avenue were taken in charge yesterday by Captain Colleran. He turned them over to Detective Ryan to classify into the various languages in which they are written. Ryan was assisted in this work by Detective Sergeant Howe and Patrol Sergeant Alcock. The letters are from all over Europe and the principal cities of this country. The police believe they may throw much light on the doings of the anarchists everywhere.

The prisoners will be arraigned this morning before Justice Prindiville at the Harrison Street police station.

Assistant City Prosecutor Carmichael has been instructed to ask for a continuance of ten days, so that the police may have time to make further investigation. Captain Colleran intimated last night that he had secret information of a conspiracy hatched among the anarchists in Chicago.

"I am not ready yet to say that a conspiracy to kill President McKinley existed in Chicago," said the captain. "I have submitted my evidence to the law department. I am ready to begin the hearing tomorrow, but the law department may desire more time, and if this is the case a continuance will be asked for."

Says Face Is Familiar.

"Jake" Yetter, proprietor of a clothing house at Twelfth [Street] and Ogden Avenue, whose name and business address were found stamped on the collar of Czolgosz's coat when the man was examined Saturday by the Buffalo police, was shown the photographs of the assassin, published in The Inter Ocean of Sunday. He said:

"The face seems very familiar, and I would almost be willing to say that I had seen the man some time recently. If, as is said, he was in Chicago not long ago, it is likely he bought the coat of me, personally."

Miss Jane Addams of Hull House called upon Mayor Harrison yesterday morning, in company with Attorney Raymond Robins. Miss Addams told the mayor that complaints had been made to her that the prisoners were not permitted to see counsel. She said she was acquainted with Isaak and several of the men, and that they had always appeared to her to be above suspicion. Mayor [Harrison] issued an order that Miss Addams and Mr. Robins be permitted to see Abraham Isaak, Sr., as often as they desired. Yesterday afternoon they called upon Isaak, and Miss Addams conversed with him for some time. In the evening Attorney Robins called and had another conference with Isaak.

Had Been Appealed Too.

Miss Addams said last night that she had been drawn innocently into the affair, and that her acquaintance with the men was but slight. "I had been appealed to by friends of the men," she said, "who declared they were not permitted to see a lawyer. I thought if such was the case it was an injustice, and I appealed to Mayor Harrison. I had read an interview attributed to him in the morning papers, in which he stated that there was little evidence against them, and I could see no reason why they should not be allowed to communicate with their friends. I asked Isaak if he wanted counsel, and he said he did not think so, as he was satisfied that there was no case against him and that he would not be prosecuted."

The meeting of Chicago anarchists scheduled to take place in the Athenaeum building, No. 26 Van Buren Street, last night, failed to materialize. Orders were issued to Head Janitor J. L. Doornheim by A. J. Stevens, agent of the building, to allow no anarchists to enter the building. Doornheim stood guard at the door and would allow no one to enter unless they first stated their business. About twenty attempted to gain access to attend the advertised anarchist meeting, but all were turned away. Two meetings of Spiritualists were being held in the building, and persons coming to attend these were stopped by the guard and asked their business. They were allowed to enter, but those who, when asked, said they came to attend the anarchist meeting, found the door locked against them.

Watched by Detectives.

After being turned from the building, the anarchists were reluctant to leave, and stood about in small groups and discussed the situation. They remained but a few minutes and left. They were watched by Detective Sergeants Davidson, Facklan, and [Morrissey], who were sent to guard against a possible outbreak. One of the anarchists was left on the corner of Van Buren Street and Wabash Avenue, and was seen to stop and talk to several persons. An assistant was sent by Doornheim to find out, if possible, what the man was doing. He returned in a short time and reported that he was informing those who came to attend the meeting that another meeting was in progress at No. 81 Clark Street. An investigation of the building on Clark Street by the detectives found the place in darkness. Nobody could be found in the building.

One portly man walked up to the door, and when challenged by the guard, became excited. He accused Doornheim of insulting him by calling him an anarchist. It took several moments to pacify the man, and he was then allowed to pass.

Head Janitor Doornheim said: "I received orders from the agent of the building to admit no anarchists. The hall was rented about two weeks ago to A. [Edelstadt], who represented himself as a member of a socialist society. He said the hall was to be used for the discussion of socialistic questions, and the rental was arranged for four Sundays. The first meeting was held last Sunday. [Edelstadt] secured the rental of the hall by a misrepresentation. Had I known at the time that they were anarchists, I would not have rented them the hall. There were 250 anarchists at the meeting a week ago."