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A document describing various methods of sabotage, originally used in the trial of the United States vs. William D. Haywood, et al. This exhibit was introduced into the trial of Michael Simmons vs. the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Company through the deposition of John W. Hughes.

UA Special Collections AZ 114 Box 1, folder 2, exhibit 113.

No. 1

A few hints to active Saboteurs.

            It would be well for anyone getting these Hints to carefully commit to memory and pass on to someone else, re not keep in your possession longer than necessary.


The best way to get explosives that are needed for any act is to confiscate them, but if forced to make them experiment with small quantities to avoid unnecessary expense.

            Nitro-glycerin is a double mixture: - First - (2) Two parts sulphuric acid must be mixed with one part of nitric acid, then must be added &emdash; one eighth (1/8) of the whole weight of glycerin. For instance Sulphuric acid of 48 degrees can be had at wholesalers in bottles which contain 9 pounds,- Nitric acid of 56 degrees is sold in seven (7) pound bottles.

            If 18 pounds of sulphuric acid are on hand then take 9 lbs. of Nitric acid and 3-1/2 (three and one half) pounds of glycerine. Use an enamel or earthenware vessel for the mixing. Have tub filled with water and place pot or mixing vessel in center of bricks or a triangle. Have ice handy to keep water at a low temperature. Be sure the mixing vessel is clean and after using clean with soda foam. Now pour in the Sulphuric acid and add slowly half as much Nitric acid. Both the acids must by measured beforehand. While pouring in the Nitric acid stir in a whirling motion with a glass stick. To avoid the vapors tie a handkerchief over the mouth as they are damaging to the health. Also cover the nose and have all the windows open. Try and have a draft as fresh air is badly needed. When this mixing is completed lay a glass plate over the pot and let the acid cool which will take from 15 to 20 minutes/

            In the meantime put one eighth of the whole mixture by weight of glycerin in a coffee pot and pour slowly into the acids and keep whirling all the time. Now be CAREFUL the mixture is apt to catch fire at this stage and the warning is the rising of yellow-reddish vapors. When these vapors appear stop pouring the glycerin and stir the faster. After a while continue the mixing until thru. Continue to while slowly until then minutes have elapsed/// Then remove the pot from the tub as well as the triangle or brick and pour the mixture into the water and whirl a little in this operation. Now you will see a yellow oil which is heavier than water sinking to the bottom:-- that is the stuff desired – NITRO-GLYCERIN. After a little while pour off the water slowly and shake what is not sufficiently cleaned glycerin into a wash tub full of soda foam or wash soda. While this very heavily so that all parts of the oil settle and pour off the soda foam and fill the Nitro-glycerin into bottles.

IT IS DANGEROUS to keep the stuff very long on account of unforeseen shocks. It is easily exploded especially in a frozen condition.

            TO MAKE DYNAMITE all that is necessary is to do is soak the precious oil in some porous material that is very dry either sawdust of dry wood or wood coal dust or a mixture of equal parts of augar dust or wood pulp. When made with the latter it is particularly good and strong.

            TO MIX DYNAMITE;;- PUT a certain quantity of sawdust, etc. into a water tight vessel or wash tub and pour nitro-glycerin into it and knead with a spoon or the like. When this stuff refuses to soak any more oil the performance is done. The appearance of the finished article must not be like soup but like tough dough. The best packing material is strong oil paper. Professional Mixers are forced to abandon the use of intoxicating liquors to save themselves from the effects.

            GUN COTTON

                        First;-- Treat a mixture of Sulphuric acid and Nitric acid as we done with Nitro-glycerin. Prepare your cotton before hand by boiling unlined white cotton thoroughly in washing soda and dry in the open air, pulled apart in strings. Or this drying can be done on an iron platter or bricks. Before going on with the whole mixture take a piece of the cotton and dip into the acid mixture;- if it assumes a brownish color and a brownish stinking steam is evaporating there from that is an indication that the cotton was not yet perfectly dry or the acids not sufficiently cold or both./. If the materials are sufficiently dry and cool the cotton will remain cool. Whenever this is the case finish the whole process with all of the prepared quantity. Put as much cotton in the Vessel as the mixture will hold and keep under the acid with a glass stick. When the cotton is sufficiently soaked thru with the acids take out by means of glass or iron sticks. Squeeze out lightly to avoid wasting acids (NOT WITH THE HANDS) but by means of a sieve. The acids may be used again. Now take and wring out the cotton and put it in a vessel with washing soda. After about 15 minutes take out and wring with the hands and rinse thru three or four fresh waters. When the cotton is thoroughly dried do not leave in sun rays as it will ignite. So do not make too much at a time. It is best to use as soon as made. In loose condition Gun Cotton does not explode. It only flames up when a spark comes in contact with it. A spark is also sufficient to explode gun cotton when it is pressed tightly into a vessel. Round shaped bombs are unsuitable for gun cotton as it cannot be pressed tight enough. Cylinder shaped bombs are much better. Then one can press the cotton by means of a wooden block and &emdash; the gun cotton very light. Blows are not necessary for this stuff, fuse or strip of german tinder which are leading thru the shell into the cotton are sufficient to cause the explosion. To be absolutely sure put on the place where the fuse touch the guncotton a little gunpowder. Several trials with this self produced stuff give excellent results. First:) A layman can make it 1 as easy as dynamite, and second it has a very harmless appearance like cotton and this is particularly suited for open transit. Even old sofas, old chairs and mattresses may be stuffed with gun cotton and transported from place to place under the very nose of the police.

            Finally we want to mention that guncotton is suitable for the preparation of an explosion which will surpass dynamite by far. Soak guncotton with as much nitro-glycerin as it will hold and you have nitro-gelatione which has an enormous explosive power. New trials have been made with this blasting material near the city of Washington d/c/ which have surpassed all expectations.

            By means of recently invented dynamite cannon and in spite of all mockers completely reliable bombs and so forth which were loaded with eleven pounds of nitro

(line crossed out) gelatine and thrown against a rock 2000 feet distant tore a hole six feet deep and two feet wide. What concerns Revolutionists is that they can make bombs of the above materials

BLASTING QUICK SILVER,-- is composed of three equal parts of quicksilver, nitric acid and alcohol. Weigh the stuff before mixing. A clean glass or china vessel is also needed for this mixing too. FIRST put the quicksilver in a vessel and then pour in slowly the nitric acid whirling steadily with a glass stick. If a part of the quicksilver remains undissolved in the nitric it is because the nitric acid is not strong enough or there is not sufficient quantity.

After mixing the acid and quicksilver cool the mixture good and add the alcohol. At this last operation the alcohol must be poured slow and whirled good. If the mass is hissing the alcohol is too weak:-- then add more alcohol. Always proceed slowly so as not to get wearied with the stirring and whirling. Correctly prepared quicksilver forms a gray mass which can be dried on blotting paper. To handle blasting quicksilver with less danger mix it with potash, but the more potash is mixed with the more power it loses. Both the quicksilver and potash must be warm in order to mix. But the potash will EXPLODE at a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius Therefore it must be carefully watched. But the mixing vessel in warm water and control the temperature with a thermometer. &emdash; silver can be used in place of quicksilver, also in equal proportions. The product in this case is of better quality, but also more expensive. Amateurs start with small quantities.

            Blasting quicksilver requires no guncotton cap to explode it. A fuse or tinder directed into the blasting quicksilver will set it off. Blasting quicksilver is preferred to dynamite of this account. Bombs loaded with this explosive will go off without any fuse. The mere throwing of it is sufficient to set it off. When loading a bomb with blasting quicksilver be careful. Do not press hard or &emdash; as in gun cotton because it will explode. A good way is to fill the mass in a half dry condition into the shell, then let it dry. The mass in this case will fit itself completely to the room inside the shell. Do not close this style of bomb until dry! Great care must be observed if screwing on the cap.; particularly if they are made of steel or iron. If sand is on the thread or they are not greased properly sparks may appear which is sufficient to make it explode in your hands. The danger is less if the bombs are made of lead or zinc and the screws of brass.

            FIRE            FIRE

                        This had a better effect in war. Fire materials cannot be ignored/ A mixture of carbon dissulphite (C-D) and yellow phosphorous (Y-P) is a juice of wonderful effect. This is mixed in the following manner:--

            Take y-p be sure to distinguish between yellow and red phosphorus/ Y-P is sold in sticks four or five inches long and about one and a half inches in diameter. It is always kept under water in a bottle with a glass stopper and a wide neck. Never touch it with your hands as this is dangerous. Put the phosphorus in a china dish and cut it in small pieces the size of a bean than take a bottle of the required size (a six ounce bottle is sufficient for a stick of the above size) and fill it two thirds full of c-d (This is a strong light burning colorless liquid which may be had at any druggist) put in the cut up phosphorus, which may be handled with a fork Fill the remaining room in the bottle with C-D and close the bottle tight with a glass stopper. This operation must be done as quickly as possible because when the phosphorus is mixed with the c-d and remains exposed it is all apt to go up in flames. Shake the bottle slowly and long enough to dissolve the phosphorus.:::: Now the stuff is ready. TO USE pour some of the stuff on some rags in moderate portions on paper, wood shavings etc and after a little while they will catch fire. If coal oil is added to the mixture then it will ignite slower according to the amount of coal oil used. This gives time for a getaway.

Find out for yourself the most suitable way to act. Clothing will burn good and there are opportunities galore at times to use it on bulls and dicks.

            FIRE NO 2   Solder the cover of a fruit can and out a hold in it through which can be thrust a small bottle filled with powder. Run a fuse into the powder through the cork of the bottle. Fill the can two third full of gasoline. Surround the bottle where it fits into the can with rags or paper, light the fuse and leave in the enemy’s camp. When the fuse has burned into the powder (gun) it explodes and this causes the gasoline to explode. No one can deny that 20 men fitted with these cans can do more damage than a whole artillery. Do not put your life in danger as we need all the rebels we can get but if you find it necessary to sacrifice your life in performing an act be sure that it is going to be successful by experimenting beforehand.


            The best of all poisons for arms is “Cuari” with which the south american Indians grease their arrows points. It leaves no visible trace behind. Kills instantly as soon as the smallest amount comes in contact with flesh. It is high priced and hardly anyone but a doctor of professional man a can get it. Temper a dagger red hot heart a dagger red hot and temper it in oleander juice; i,e oleander leaf juice, then a small cut or blow wound will suffice to cause blood poison and death. Mix red phosphorus with gum arabic and grease on sabers swords daggers, bullets etc. Use pulverized phosporus.

Verdegris can be produced by putting copper or brass in vinegar and then expose to the air. This is also mixed with gum arabic and rubbed on arms. The best of poison is undoubtedly that extracted from corpses. But we find this hard to obtain unless we can get it through suitable persons. Prepare the arms shortly before they are to be used otherwise they may not be any good. Prussic acid is not very good as it dissolves quickly. Poisoned bullets shot from a noiseless gun, pipe or apparatus are very good. Thick clothing prevents their effectiveness so aim for face or hands as a wound is necessary. Try on animals as trying beats studing. All of the workers should arm themselves secretly with the best modern rifles and firearms. Do not stand defenseless and hopeless against a bunch of uniformed assassins and cutthroats. Do not depend on the other fellow. Be prepared and the other will also.

Red pepper concealed about the person is a handy defense, and good to throw hounds off the trail.

SALTPETER solution. Mix a strong solution of saltpeter and water and in this soak a heavy string and dry. This is a good fuse for fires.

Take ordinary matches and cut off the heads and wrap around the home made fuse leading into 1 oil soaked shaving or rags. This is noiseless and safe.

Never use your real address or name. Do not call comrades by their names any more than possible. Keep nothing about the place that can be used against you as evidence. Do not associate with revolutionary fellow-workers who are already compromised as that draws attention of spies upon you.

Grind the seeds of 25 ripe black thorn apples and back in a cake to feed an enemy. He goes crazy in a few days and afterward dies.

            Lemon juice makes a invisible ink brought out by applying torch