Haymarket Aftermath

Historical content: 
The Gilded Age
Historical skills: 
Contextualization, Sourcing



Use the source information, your knowledge of history, and the cartoon to answer the questions below.


In 1893, Illinois Governor Altgeld pardoned those found guilty for the Haymarket Square bombing of 1886. This cartoon appeared in the New York magazine Judge soon after. It depicts Altgeld releasing the hounds of anarchy on Lady Columbia, a symbol of liberty. The caption reads, “The Friend of Mad Dogs: Governor Altgeld of Illinois in freeing the anarchists bitterly denounced Judge Gary and the jury that convicted them.

"The Friend of Mad Dogs," Judge, 1893.

Question 1: Does this cartoon approve of Altgeld’s pardon?

Question 2: Which two of the facts below might help explain why the cartoonist depicted Altgeld’s pardon in this way? 

1.    The Haymarket riot in 1886 aroused fears about anarchism in the United States. 
2.    In 1901, a lone anarchist named Leon Czolgosz assassinated U.S. President William McKinley.
3.    By the 1880s, Chicago had grown into a major industrial city. 
4.    Conflicts between workers and management increased during the depression of 1893.

About the Assessment

Like the John Brown assessment, this question gauges students' ability to evaluate the relevance of contextual information for determining the motivations of an author. Students must select 2 facts and explain how they shed light on the cartoon's depiction of Altgeld's pardon.  Students with a strong understanding of contextualization will be able to explain how fears aroused by the Haymarket riot, and increasing tensions during the Depression of 1893, may help explain the cartoonist's work.