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The Washington bee. volume (Washington, D.C.) 1884-1922, May 27, 1899, Image 8

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84025891/1899-05-27/ed-1/seq-8/

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Issued by the Howard association,
London, 1S99'
During tins past year, the Howard
Association has, on various occasions,
received irom those Southern states
very grievous accounts of cruelties ln
flicte l both upon prisoners and others
of the colored race, and in particular,
in the convict camps and chain gangs,
where a shocking condition of affairs
There are comparatively .-cry feu
prison buildings in the South. Offend
ers are chiefly leased out, for open air
work, to contractors or bidders who
pay their labor, so much a head, to
the state or countv, and then become
absolute masters of such prisoners;
so that the taxpayer is entirely re
lieved from the burden of criminals,
who actually become a source of large
revenue to the state and to individ
uals. This may, at first sight, seem to
be a great advance upon the general
systems of the North and of Europe,
which are so costly to the community.
But iu reality the lease system pro
duces the most terrible sufferings and
fatalities to many thousands annually.
It is practically, a revival of slavery,
and on a very extensive scale. In
Florida, public sales of convicts (most
of whom are negroes) occasionally
take place, when they are sold by auc
tion to the highest bidder, for various
periods, up to four years. Usually the
sentences in the South (on colored
people,) even for minor offences, such
as stealing eggs, are for very long
Theie are several classes of leased
convicts. Firstly, those under the
immediate supervision of the state, in
camps, or farms, corresponding some
what to British convict establishments
These, though open to grave objection
are comparatively free from the gross
est evils, and have, of late years, un
dergone considerable improvement
in several of the states. Secondly,
there are the county camps, which are
worse. And, lastly, and worst of all,
there are the numerous gangs farmed
out to private sub contractors, or bid
ders, who, in many cases, "sweat"
their victims to death by excessive
labor, wretched food, brutal violence
and the grossest neglect of sanitarj' re
quirements And of course, religious
and moral obligations are utterly
ignored in most instances.
In the best prisons of the Northern
States, as in New York (at Elmira,)
Massachusetts, (at Concord Junction
and Sherborne,) Illinois, (at Joliet and
Pontiac,) Ohio, (at Columbus,) Min
nessota, (at Stillwater,) and in Penn
sylvania, Michigan, Rhode Island
and other states, the reformation of
the prisoner is, at least, earnestly at
tempted, and often successfully
achieved. But in southern camps and
?hain gangs it is the very reverse.
The "capt?ins" employed by the
sub-contractors are often of the class
depicted in "Legree" in "Uncle
Tom's Cabin." Their conduct to
the female convict is indescribable.
'A large number of illegitimate births
take place in these camps. The
wretched children born in them are,
in some instances, permanently re
tained as slaves. And the breeding
of such has become an avowed pur
pose, at lease in one state. Woe to
the women or jrirls
such camps! Thei
be an inferno. Men and women fre
quently run avay and are then chased
with bloodhounds and guns; those
killed being sometimes registered as
The colored population furnishes
about nine tenth of the southern con
victs, and it is reliably stated that a
considerable portion of them are
either quite innocent or are punished
by long sentences for the most trifling
otiences, and frequently, on merely
tiump-up charges. It is to the inter'
eit of the local officials and contrac
tors that the number of convicts
should be as large as possible and
their detention as prolonged as it
can be made.
A very sao feature in these chain
gangs is the number.of young children
sent to them. A leading philanthropist
of Baltimore, Mr. G. S. Griffith, pres
ident of the Maryland Society for the
Protection of Children, was pained to
find in the gangs so many children
from nine years of age and upwards!
In one of the better class of chain
gangs, in North Carolina, he found 55
person, including three women and
1 boy of 11 years cfage. And he says:
"These men women and boys, all
sleep under a tent 70 by 24 feet." This
promiscuous and most demoralizing
association of the various ages and
sexes, by day and night, is the usual
feature of the private camps, and
sometimes, even of the state estab
lishments. Judge Chandler of Georgia, says:
"My experience is that when a boy is
sent to the chain gang-, he is ruined."
Judge Berry of Atlanta, savs: "I have
seen too many cases where boys have
been ruined by being sent to the chain"
gangs." Then what must thev be for
In the Richmond Planet, July 23rd
189S, a bishop is quoted as saying:
"Enough colored men have been
lynched to death to reach a mile high,
if laid one upon another-and nearly as
miny women and children to make a
similar pile."
These lynchings aio- defended by
many persons on the ground of their
necessity of protecting white women
from negro assaults. No doubt, occa
sionally such crimes of this kind have
been committed by them, but they
have been immensely out numbered
by similar outrages by whites upon
the females of the weaker race.
The colored people have need to
5 who are sent to clear themselves from complicity with
r life is, and mustisuch crimes, and also to cultivate
more nonesty ana iruuiimu is. nui
can they expect to be much respected
until they manifest more self-respect
and become less characterized, as a
people, by their everlasting grin and
giggle. Lord Chesterfield said: "1
never knew a 'Merry-Andrew' a re
spected man." But the colored peo
ple are too often such fools, and until
as a race, they manage to make them
selves both respected and feared,
th'ey are not likely to get the justice
which is due to them. Buffoons will
be despised.
Fearful brutalities are perpetrated
by these "captains" in the lonely, re
mote places where many of the gangs
are located, as in forests and mines.
Sometimes convicts have been flayed
alive ! On one prisoner's corpse forty
injury were found. He had been
literally beaten to pieces. Another
had been disgustingly dismembered
by kicks, and there was a great hole
gaping in his side. A young white girl
tif seventeen years, after being repeat
edly outraged by the officers of the
camp, fled to the woods. She was
overtaken bv bloodhounds, her
clothes stripped off. and she was then
flogged in the presence of jeering
men. Another Door girl, similar treat
ed, gave birth to a child, but both
mother and offspring were speedily
relieved by death. Women and girls
are habitually subjected to the gross
est indecencies and exposures. In
one camp was found a woman who
had had seven children whilst there,
and another had had six there. And
such cases are legion !
Christian America sends hundreds
Even the aggregate of lynchings is
very small in comparison with the
enormous mortality of the the convicts
in the camps and chain gangs. Where
as in English convict prisons the death
rate is under 7 per 1000 per annum, it
ranges in these camps from 75 to over
200 per 1000 yearly.
The Voice of Missions mournfully
remarks: " here are no advocates of
human rights in the United States to
day. Charles Sumner is dead, Abra
ham Lincoln is gone, Wendel Phillips,
Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Dou
glas and Harriett Beecher Stowe have
all passed away; and with them went
the last great advocates of human
rights." This complaint is, however,
too pessimistic.
Yet even the Society of Friends
(Quakers) in America, once the fore
most champions of the negro, through
their J. G. Whittier, Thomas Garrett,
Isaac B. Hopper, Levi Coffin, Francis
T. King and other good men, have of
late years, become strangely silent
and apparently apathetic, as to the
oppressed race.
However, a people of twelve million
01 ght no longer to be mainly depend
ent upon or looking to others for their
own protection. They must now chief
ly turn to schemes of self-help or re
main oppressed-
An American correspondent of the
Howard Association- wri'es (1S99):
"The negro trouble has become so
great that, I fear, the difficulty can
never be setttled but with blood."
The problem is indeed a vast one,
and of pressing import to the United
States, both North and South. Is the
Christianity of that great nation to re
main impotent for the solution ? Are
the colord people to be driven to what
now appears to be their only means of
relief by self-help, through imitat
ing the methods of their adversaries
in the formation, of Secret Societies
and powerful and compact, Organized
Unions, for defence and offence? It
is only thus, that they can make them
selves what they must be, somehow
spected and eared as a race? But
at else are they to do, unless the
ite race bestirs itself for other ef
ts than continuing oppression ?
of missionaries to- Asia and Africa.
But is ther not here a vast mission
field for effort and influence?
The State of Mississi pi, Arkansas,
and the Carolinas, all need great re
forms in this matter; but especially
Florida and Georgia. Their forest
terpentine works and their phosphate
mines are often awful spots, morally
and physically. Lousiana is making:
j some special efforts at improvement.
ftiauama ana 1 exas are pernaps oet
ter than formerly. Yet a prison chap
lain in Texas writes to Howard Asso.
ciation (1S9S.) "Practically there has
been no advance in the lease system
of our convicts. It can onlv be an
The Howard Association has also
received, in connection with these sad
accounts of southern camps and chain
gangs, much information showing that
they form but one portion or still a
vaster system of oppres ion of the
colored race generallv in the South
ern States. The Voice of Missions,
Atlanta, December, 1S9S contains a
long and terrible indictment of the
white race for the treatment of the
colored people since 1S65.
1 1 says: "The Cuban War and its
results and the American massacres
are nothing when compared with the
the thirty years of 'whitecapping,
chasing bv blooohounds, murdering,
burning at the stake, lynching, flaying
swindling, robbing, defamation of
character, injustice, false imprison
ment and oppression, which the color
ed people of America have passed
through, and are still undergoing."
"This year 300 have been lynched and
murdered by our white Christian
friends and no voice but our own weak
cry has been raised in protest."
Many negroes were shot by the white
democrats in North and South Car
olina during the November elections of
1S9S Rec ently also, many unoffending
colored people have been driven awiy
from their homes and farms in the
South by violent and covetous white
The same journal complains of the
silence of the pulpit, both North and
South, respecting these evils, and re
marked that even the United states
Supreme Court at Washington has
always turned scale against the color
ed race. Also that several of the
Southern States have disfranchised
the negroes by wholesale, in violation
of the Federal Constitution, whilst re
turning them all as voters for the
purpose of their own proportionate
representation in Congress. It is
known that some prominent politician
and legislators at Washington have
made large fortunes as convict contractors.
They Were Sometimes Put to the Hack In
Order to Extort Confession In Other In
stances They Were Buried Alive Pigs
Handed or Ilurned for Murdor,
Beasts were often condemned to he
burned alive, and, strangely enough, it
was in the latter half of the seven
teenth century, an age of comparative
enlightenment, that this cruel penalty
was most frequently inflicted. Occasi
onally a merciful judge adhered to the
letter of the law by sentencing the cul
prit to be slightly singed, and then to
be strangled before being burned.
Sometimes they were coudemued to be
buried alive. Such was the fate suf
fered by two pigs in 145G, "on the vigil
of the holy virgin," at Oppeuheim-ou-the-niiine.
for killing a child. Animals
were even put to the rack in order to
extort confession. It is not to be sup
posed, that the judge had the
slightest expectation that any con
fession would be? made; he wished
simply to observe all forms pre
scribed by the law, and to set in
motion the whole machinery of justice
before pronouncing judgment. "The
question," which in such cases would
seem to be only u wanton and super
fluous act of cruelty, was nevertheless
an important element in determining
the liual decision, since the death sen
tence could be commuted into banish
ment provided the criminal had not
confessed under Torture. The use of
the rack was therefore a means of es
caping the gallows. Appeals were
sometimes made to higher tribunals,
and the judments of the lower courts
annulled or modified. In one instance
a sow and a she-ass were condemned
to be hanged; on appeal and after a
new trial they were sentenced to be
simply knocked on the head. In an
other instance an appeal led to the ac
quittal of the accused.
In j2G(, at Font enay-aux-Roses, near
Paris, a pig, convicted of having eaten
a child, was publicly burned by order
of the monks of Sainte-Genevieve. In
13SG the tribunal of Falaise sentenced
a sow to be mangled and maimed in
the head and leg, and then to be hang
ed, for having torn the face and arm
of a child and caused its death. Here
we have a strict application of the lex
tallonis. The sow was dressed in man's
clothes and executed in the public
square, near the city hall, at the ex
pense to the state of ten sous and ten
deniers, besides a pair of gloves to the
The executioner "was provided with
new gloves in order that he might
come from the discharge of his duty
with clean hands, thus indicating that
as a minister of justice he incurred no
guilt in shedding blood. He was not
a common butcher of swine, but a pub
lic functionary, a "nu'ster of high
works" (maitre des hautes oeuvres)'
as he was officially styled. In 1304 a
pig was found guilty of "having killed
and murdered a child in the parish of
Iioumaygne. in the county of Mortaing,
for whh'li deed said pig was condem
ned to be drawn and hanired by .Tehan
Pel lit. lieutenant of the bailiff."
There is also extant an order issued
by the magistracy of Gisors in 140.,
commanding payment to be made to
the carpenter who had erected the
scaffold on which an ox had been exe
cuted "for its demerits."
On the Orh of June, 157C. at Schwein
furt. in Franconia. a sow which had
bitten off the ear and torn the hand of
a child was given in custody to the
hangman, who, without furtherauthor
ity. took it to the gallows green and
there "hanged it publicly, to the dis
grace and detriment of the city."
On the 10th of January, 14"7. a sow
was convicted of murder, committed
on the person of an infant name .Tehan
Martin of Savigny. and sentenced to he
hanged. Her six sucklings were also
included in the indictment as accompli
ces, "but in default of positive proof
that they had assisted in mangling the
deceased, they were restored to their
owner, on condition that he should
give bail for their appearance should
further evidence be forthcoming to
prove their complicity in their mother's
The Ivuortnjf shnrk.
A painful moment on board ship at
sea is that when some poor mortal,
who has died on the voyage, has to be
laid away in the bosom of the deep
with the simple ceremonies of an ocean
A vessel carrying a dead body and
passing through waters frequented by
sharks is almost sure to be followed by
one or more of those fishes if it does
not out-speed them.
Rather than bury a corpse while
sharks are following the vessel the
captain will sometimes have a body
placed in the ice chamber and fuil
steam put on the engines until the
hungry fishes have dropped astern
In one case at !car e. body was actu
ally cremated on board by the cap
tain's orders because of the sharks.
But sharks are not often obstacles to
prompt burial, and, generally speaking,
when death occurs at sea the body is
slipped into the water at night with
none to witness the proceeding but a
couple of the rrow and the captain,
who reads an abridgment of the serv
ice from the Prayer Rook.
Tlt OMft Clocks.
The oldest clocks of American man
ufacture were made by Gideon Rob
?rts, of Bristol, Conn. According to
the best authorities, no clocks were
manufactured in what are now the
United States prior to 1800, at which
time Mr. Roberts first placed his time
pieces on the market. His clocks were
made with the greatest care, and
much time wns spent in perfecting
them. They were all of the style com
monly known as "hall" clocks, about
?ix feet in height, handspniely fin
ished and a recognized separate piece
of furniture in which the owner al
ways took great pride.
A novel sort of window jlass lias
Deen invented. Persons on the inside
Df the tiouse can see through it, but it
:s opaque to those on the outside..
Kni a.'Bn'In-nv Will.
The Kurds and Cossacks believe 'JhsLt
Mount Ararat is guarded by ai un
earthly being, and that no maj. n
iscend the peak and live.
Dili? IK.
Their- Daring Depredators
Have Aroused the Qff
cials of Four States.
Governors of Colorado, Utah, Wyo
ming and Idaho meet to Devise
Means to Capture or Kill.
Marauding and Murdafrous Bands Con
duct Their Outrages Practically With
out Kentraint Rewards Offered fox
"Butch" Cassidy Aggregate Over Twen
ty Thousand Dollars.
Within a short time, in the city 01
Salt Lake, Utah, there was held a meet
ing of the governors of four states of
the Union, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming
and Idaho, for the purpose of devising
means to rid the fastnesses of the
Rocky Mountains of a gang of outlaws
that has pillaged all that came within
their reach. The gang includes 50G
of the wildest desperadoes in the west
This in the present day may sound
like an exaggeration, but that is not
the case. Under the leadership of
"Butch" Cassidy no more villainous,
ruffianly band was ever organized.
That their depredations have not been
more extensive has been due to the
safeguards with which civilization has
surrounded the country.
After the ordinary methods of hunt
ing outlaws had been tried unsuccess
fully it was decided that drastic means
must be employed. Rewards have
been repeatedly offered for "Butch"
Cassidy, dead or alive, and after each
fresh outbreak these awards have in
variably been increased. If all the of
fers which have been made from time
to time hold good, the slayer of "Butch"
should he ever live to claim his reward
would be entitled to upward of $20,000
in blood money.
The forces are subdivided into five
hands, each controlled by its own lead
er, with Cassidy as the supreme power.
The outlaws now practically control
the sparsely settled region extending
from central Wyoming southwesterly
through northwestern Colorado and
Utah, and almost to the Arizona line.
Marauding and murderous hands con
duct their raids without restraint. The
thefts of live stock run into the mil
lions. Ranchmen are murdered and
driven out of business, and the officers
of the law are powerless.
These bands have a number of
strongholds in the mountains. Each
is both a rendezvous and a fortress, ab
solutely impregnable. They can only
be reached by traversing deep and
narrow gorges, scaling lofty and rugged
peaks and penetrating the wildest re
cesses of the Rocky mountains. In
.many places the only trail lies over a
narrow shelf of rock, cut by the ban
dits along the face of a precipice.
Holes have been drilled into which in
case of close pursuit dynamite can be
placed and the trail blown into the
chasm below, thus baffling all pursuit.
About four years ago "Butch" was
shot at from ambush near Green river
by a cowboy known as "Hackney"
Hughes, whose only object was to se
cure the reward offered by the state
authorities of Utah. The bullet pierced
the lobe of his ear and the blood
streaming down his face acted upon
Cassidy as a red flag might to a mad
dened bull.
With a howl of rage he turned his
horse just as another bullet passed
through the rim of his sombrero. A
puff of smoke from a clump of bushes
showed where the assassin was con
cealed. For unique profanity "Butch"
Cassidy hasn't his equal in the states
and on that occasion he is said to have
fairly surpassed himself. Ripping out
a string of oaths that would reach from
Dan to Beersheba he jumped from his
horse and dodged behind a boulder.
He waited for twenty minutes and
then the cowboy shot the outlaw's
horse, which had been grazing in the
open. That was more than "Butch"
could sta'nd. Throwing caution to the
winds he ran towards the clump of
bushes with a pistol in each hand,
barking at every step.
But Hughes, considering discretion
the better part of valor, had jumped
on his horse and succeeded in making
good his escape. But the vindictive
nature of "Butch" Cassidy asserted it
self. He had recognized his assailant,
and every member of the band received
instructions to be on the watch for him.
Hughes left the Green river country,
and it was not until six months later
that he was located, on the north fork
of the Powder river, up in Wyoming.
Cassidy was notified, and with a doz
en picked men he reached the ranch
where Hughes was working. It was
during the spring roundup. The two
men met face to face. Hughes knew
what was coming and pulled his gun.
But he wasn't quick enough.' Cas
sidy's pistol crackec: first, and the cow
boy dropped from ais saddle with a
br.Uet through b.z rxht eye.
Cattle stealing is The chief source of
income to Cassidy and his followers.
One company alone in central Utah haa
lost 2,000 head during the past two
years, worth at the present prices
'80,000. These were driven through
Colorado and into New Mexico. It is
n driving these stolen cattle frorn
ne state into another and out of the
ountry that their system of co-opera-ion
is beneficial.
However, any operation that prom
ies adventure and financial reward is
.ever overlooked. Trains are held
up. express companies and banks are
cobbed, and even individuals, when
known to have money in their posses
ion are relieved of their possessions
1. true road agent style.
Australian MRn Language.
F:u- away from civilization gesture
:.:,ntfiuiiro is still extant in Australia,
some of the tribes possess such an ex-HIi-iit
code that it is almost as effi.
.ieut as the spoken language
High Living.
The .loftiest inhabited place in the
world is the Buddhist monastrv or
Ha.ne in Tibet. it is about 17,001
jc-t-t above the sea.
A Unique Income.
A church in London still possesses
Jjn income originally given to it for the
purpose ot buymg fagots for burning
heretics. Uius
Get dates. &ave money and time.
Equal to and ebeaper than
Atlantic Cit
For Excursions and up-to-date Amusements C
cuiu organizations.
The Palasades of the Chesapeake Summer Resort on T
Twenty per cent paid to excursionists. Apply to the office ofrh.u
1109 I Street, northwest. UBES
t-Six miles from Annapoli3 Base Ball. Croquefc, Boutin fA.
rabbing, Saltwater baths, mineral water. s K na
Fare from Washington.
Has been lately fitted tip for Day Meetings and Camp Meetings, iv
Grove has been enclosed by a Wire Fence, a Ticket OQice built
a Well sunk to the depth of 40 feet, yielding an ample suppy
of Cool Water. Twenty Cents on a Dollar will be puid to all
Churches and other Oiganizations upon the Sale of 100 Whole
Tickets. The Dates are being taken fast. Be in time an!
securayour Dates Before the Season Opens.
S R. HUGHES. Agents
Sro. 1318 3N. Fremont Street, or at Main Office, Record
Building. St. Paul and Fayette Streets.
and Burks
1013 7th Street, northwest.
Who carry a complete line of Furniture ParlorM
Bed-room and Dining-room, Stoves Carpets
and Mattings.
Rugs, Lace Curtains, Comforts, Blankets Lamps
clocks, Portiers, Curtains, Baby Carriages.
Easy Payment to AIL
' rMyij' w-va..iK. wlrtzt'j.'i.''' .v.-iv
P 55lf iss jf?t
-ft Bf
S Js
lirjsy. Y-yv.Y OStO
. !"'. mm
W'' Hi
r-rv W ,tf J?r?A - . TTVlt T
Mff i Zfttf" (. 'v. V
!s ;
The onlv article p.vw manufactured
that actually takes the KINKS out of
the hair. It will make the hair s-truigM
ioit, pliable and beautiful. Nicely per
fume Guaranteed pure and harmiess. One
bottle will convince the most doubtful that
it will do all that we claim for it
S. Heller, 7.0 7th street northwest

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