The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Orchard, Harry

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ORCHARD, Harry (real name Alfred E. Horsley), American assassin: b. Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada, 18 March 1866. He killed ex-Governor Steunenberg of Idaho with a bomb in December 1905, was arrested, brought to trial, sentenced to death and later received commutation to life imprisonment. He made what purported to be a complete confession in which he admitted himself a forger, arsonist and professional murderer. He claimed to have been employed by the Western Federation of Miners in the commission of his crimes and laid definite charges against its leaders, Haywood, Moyer and Pettibone, who were tried for complicity in Orchard's crimes, but were acquitted. Orchard's confession, believed to be sincere by Rev. E. S. Hinks, dean of Saint Michael's Cathedral, Boisé, Idaho, absolved the general membership of the unions from knowledge of the acts of the leaders, but laid the most serious charges against the officers of the unions. The labor leaders denounced the confession as a conspiracy against labor organizations. It was published in serial form in McClure's Magazine and in book form, ‘The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard’ (1907).