H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Albert Parsons was raised
in Texas by his brother, Confederate General William Parsons. After the
Civil War he became a radical Republican, and was appointed a state official
during Reconstruction. The target of hostility from white Southerners, he
came to Chicago in 1873.
a former slave of African-American, Indian and Mexican ancestry, married
Parsons in 1871. Like her husband, she was a fiery public speaker and an
organizer for the fledgling labor movement. Albert worked as an editor of
labor newspapers; Lucy wrote articles and supported the family as a dressmaker.
They were living here at 1908 North Mohawk Street when their son, Albert
Richard, was born on September 14, 1879.
In May 1886, the couple
helped to organize the Eight Hour Day Movement. On May 4, Albert spoke at
a hastily organized rally at the Haymarket Square, after which he left for
nearby Zepfs Hall. Subsequently someone threw a bomb into the crowd,
killing and injuring workers and policemen. Albert Parsons and seven other
radicals were blamed for the bombing. He and three other men were found
guilty in an infamous trial and hanged on November 11, 1887.
As an organizer, writer
and speaker, Lucy continued after Alberts execution to promote economic
freedom, industrial unionism, womens rights and civil rights. She
died in a fire in her home on March 7, 1942.