The event aroused international excitement. Meetings took place in France, Holland, Russia, Italy, Spain. In London a meeting of protest was sponsored by George Bernard Shaw, William Morris, and Peter Kropotkin, among others. Shaw had responded in his characteristic way to the turning down of an appeal by the eight members of the Illinois Supreme Court: "If the world must lose eight of its people, it can better afford to lose the eight members of the Illinois Supreme Court."
A year after the trial, four of the convicted anarchists - Albert Parsons, a printer, August Spies, an upholsterer, Adolph Fischer, and George Engel - were hanged. Louis Lingg, a twenty-one-year-old carpenter, blew himself up in his cell by exploding a dynamite tube in his mouth. Three remained in prison.
The executions aroused people all over the country. There was a funeral march of 25,000 in Chicago. Some evidence came out that a man named Rudolph Schnaubelt, supposedly an anarchist, was actually an agent of the police, an agent provocateur, hired to throw the bomb and thus enable the arrest of hundreds, the destruction of the revolutionary leadership in Chicago. But to this day, it has not been discovered who threw the bomb.
While the immediate result was a suppression of the radical movement, the long-term effect was to keep alive the class anger of many, to inspire others - especially young people of that generation - to action in revolutionary causes. Sixty thousand signed petitions to the new governor of Illinois, John Peter Altgeld, who investigated the facts, denounced what had happened, and pardoned the three remaining prisoners. Year after year, all over the country, memorial meetings for the Haymarket martyrs were held; it is impossible to know the number of individuals whose political awakening - as with Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, long-time revolutionary stalwarts of the next generation - came from the Haymarket Affair.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, HarperCollins, New York, 1995, pages 265-266.