Samuel Fielden, a labor king of the late 19th century, had a major influence on the Haymarket Riot of 1886. He was born in 1847 and migrated to the United States in 1869. Fielden was a supporter of labour rights and became involved in the late 1870s labor movement. He was a founding member of the International Working People’s Association and was a leader of the movement for the eight-hour workday.
Fielden’s participation in the 1886 Haymarket Riot was significant. Fielden was one of the speakers at a rally called by the International Working People’s Association in Haymarket Square in Chicago on May 4, 1886. Fielden gave a speech in which the police were chastised, and he had just killed several striking employees. The police stepped in and ordered the audience to disperse as he was speaking. Fielden, who was still speaking, was unable to do so. Someone in the crowd threw a bomb, starting a tumultuous scene in which many people were injured and several people were killed as the police began to march.
Fielden was arrested and charged with murder and plotting in connection with the Haymarket Riot. He was convicted and sentenced to death, but his term was commuted to life in prison later this year. He worked eight years before being pardoned in 1893.
Fielden’s address and activities at the Haymarket Riot of 1886 had a major impact on the United States’ labor movement. Many saw his arrest and conviction as an assault on the labour movement, and his pardon in 1893 was seen as a victory for the labor movement. Fielden’s participation in the Haymarket Riot made him a pillar of the late 19th-century labour movement. His life is a pivotal piece of labor history and a reminder of the United States’ fight for worker rights.