Newspaper Page Text
might be affected. Farmers having a
small surplus <>f sacks in the fall would
be forced to sell them at or below cost,
and any number of such transactions
could not raise the prices the following
Bummer, unless the board pegged them
up. The small sales made by needy
farmers of surplus sacks after harvest
have no influence on market quotations,
and if they had it would be to reduce
the local prides.
Regarding legitimate sales to actual
consumers from every point of view, if
every small farmer applicant in the
State, who came -within the 5000 limita
tion of the Ostrom law, should have se
cured too many Backs, whatever dispo
sition he might make of his surplus
could not inflate prices on him and his
fellow farmers the succeeding year.
If the truth were told the board
holds the Ostrom law in contempt.
They have assumed erroneously that
their particular function is to do as
they please with the jute mill product.
po lons as they can make a good show
ing on the balance sheets. It does not
contain a single provision of a restric
tive or mandatory nature they have
not at one time or another violated,
under specious pretensions and a
manifest misapprehension of the obli
gations Imposed on them as public of
ficials. If it is a bad law it remains to
be proved such, and even if proved a
i\v it is no part of the duty of the
prison directors to repeal it or abrogate
it. Legislatures are elected for the
purpose of annulling, making and
amending the statutes. Every time the
board has appealed to the Attorney
ral for his official consent to dis
regard certain specific provisions of the
Ostrom act he has tried to recall them
to their senses.
The frequent reminder in the lan
guage of the law that the warden and
the board should deal only with actual
consumers meant that they should
spare no vigilance and precaution in
acting upon applications. It meant
that they should closely scrutinize each
and every affidavit, and see to it that
the sacks sold were delivered to citi
zens needing them for the transporta
tion of grain from their wheat fields to
market." Confessedly th c board did
not bother their wits on this score.
In Beveral wheat sections, among
them Yolo County, The Call has taken
pains to consult the farmers as to
their experience in procuring San Quen
tin sacks, and the divulgements con
firm the assertion already made that
the supply is pretty largely controlled
by middlemen. While they are guilty
of no direct violation of the law. they
have established a. system which pro
duces that result. It is even shown
that in furtherance of their plan for
loading up each year with San Quentin
stock, the middlemen secure the sig
natures of farmers to affidavits for
sacks in excessive number, without
swearing the affiant before a proper of
ficial. Farmers familiar with the law
testify to having refused to make affi
davit to these inflated applications,
knowing they would thus commit a
misdemeanor. Afterward they secured
without affidavit all the San Quentin
packs they needed from the very men
who demanded of them an oath to a
In those instances where farmers
■were persuaded to attach their signa
tures to affidavits heedlessly before the
attest of a notary was affixed, or
where they willingly testified to the re
quirement of many more sacks than
they could consume, they appear to
have bet a to some extent in the power
of the jobbers as debtors. The necessi
ties of these poor men were made the
vehicle of the fraud so daringly prac
ticed. They were approached partic
ularly during 1897, when the big deal
•was put through, long before sacks
were needed, in the month of Febru
ary, an<l told applications must be for
warded at once or they might not be
able to get their supplies when harvest
time came. Thus informed, they made
applications to suit the greedy plans
of the middlemen.
What The Call intends to prove posi
tively at this stage of the investiga
tion is collusion between Warden Hale,
the board and at least one conspicu
ous middleman in Yolo County. Th<>
latter, Mr. Diggs, is a personal friend
of Mr. De Pue and his father-in-law,
W. <}. Hunt of Woodland, who has
been sold jute goods known as "bar
leys," or defective sacks, without
making affidavit. It will be found in
following the inquiry that Diggs sold
the Backs, and that farmers found
It has been asserted by The Call that
middlemen have been favored, and it
now remains to prove the fact. By
those persons who have followed the
exposure in progress it will be remem
bered that the Board of Prison Direct
ors fixed the price of Backs at $4 75 per
hundred February 3, 1895, and decided
to s^ll on application to any number
within 1,000,000. A second resolution of
similar purport was passed to cover the
disposal of a second million. As has
been intimated already, the sale for fu
ture delivery in the brief space of fif
teen days of 2,000,000 sacks shows that
certain friends and operators were, to
quote a. vulgarism, "put on.**
Dtgprs was one of the protected mid
dlemen, as will appear from the letter I
files at San Quentin. Three days before
the plan of the directors matured, the
Woodland middleman wrote to Warden
Hale as follows:
WOODLAND, CaL, Jan. 30. 1897.
W. E. Hale, Warden, San Quentin. Cal.
Dear Sir: What are sacks worth? I
already have a few customers and I would
like to do the sack business with you j
the coming year, and would like also to ;
know what would be the chances for me ;
to secure a certain number of bags for i
June and July delivery, so that I will
know I will be able to furnish my cus
tomers with them at a certain given
Of course. I would furnish tho affidavit!
at the proper time. I would he pleased lo
hear from you on this i>oint (and you
might talk the matter over with our mu
tual friend, Mr. De Pue, and let me know
in regard to it). Yours truly,
Warden Hale promptly answered:
February 3. 1897.
Mr. M. Dlpgs. Woodland. o*l.
Dear Sir: In reply to your favor of
the 30th ult. I beg to s.iy that the price
of our grain bags has been fixed by the
State Board of Prison Directors at A\
cents. Conditions and terms will be the
same as formerly, and I Inclose herewith
a number of blank order-sheets.
The outlook now is that bags will ad
vance in price with the season and our
present price may be changed by the
directors at any time. The only way I
can see for you to secure the bags you
require for your customers is to obtain
their orders as soon as possible and sen-J
them in with the required deposit, to have
them booked for delivery at any time to
The "Ostrom law" may be repealed or
modified by The present Legislature, but
even if it is. the same rules will most
likely be followed by the directors In the
disposal of our bags with, perhaps, the
exception that they will not Insist upon
W. G. HUNT, Father-in-Law of Mr. DePue.
affidavit with orders from known di-
rect customers. Until something is done
by the Legislature, we must, of course,
follow the provisions of that law. Yours
truly, W. K. HALE. Warden.
Then comes Mr. Piggs, under date
four days before the board raised th«
price of sacks 25 cents a hundred, with
WOODLAND, CaL, Feb. 18, 1897.
W. E. Hale, Warden. San Quentin, Cal.
Dear Sir: Will you please let me know
as soon as you can after you decide to
make a change in tho prto of bags?
Notify me as soon as possible after you
find out there is to be a change. Yours
truly. M. DIGGS.
What Warden Hale telegraphed is
not known, but here is the interesting
letter Mr. Diggs sent to him the day
before the price was put up to $5 00.
WOODLAND, CaL, Fob. 19. ISP7.
W. E. Hale, Warden, San Quentin. Cal.
Dear Sir: I wired you this morning to
reserve for me 66.000 sacks, and that I
would forward affidavits. I received your
answer stating that you wosid do so.
tor which please accept thanks. It will
probably take me several days to get
the affidavits, as some of the farmers live
quite a distance. in the country, and it is
storming so hard and owing to the i^nr
condition of the roads it may be s.-veral
days before they prt in. but I will for
ward them to you as soon as I possibly
Thanking you for past favors, T remain
yours truly, M. DIGGS.
Mr. Diggs had not the affidavits to
foward just then, but would get them
as soon as the county roads were aus
picious. Thus he got In on the ground
1!.. 0r price of $4.75 per hundred sacks,
saving his distance by a day and the
good offices of the board.
R. Lichtenberg of San Francisco fre
quently sells raw jute to the board on
contract. He is evidently on excellent
terms with the memDers and keeps in
touch with their management of af
fairs. On February 18, two days be
fore the price of San Quentin sacks
was advanced from $4.75 to $5, Mr.
Lichtenberg put in applications that
were accepted for a total of 7">,000 sacks
as follows: George E. Williams, 5000;
J. A. Williams, 10.000; Frank S. John
son, 10.000; Jacob Levy Sr., 50,000. Two
of these orders were not filled until
May, the other two remaining in the
State warehouse until July.
Middleman Diggs Does a
Thriving Busioess ir) San
Careful investigation by The Call
shows that among the most extensive
dealers in grain sacks in Yolo county
are Marshall Diggs. I. P. Diggs, T. B.
Gibson and C. D. Simpson, of Wood
land, and Borach & Levy of Yolo,
while many others deal in them to a
The firm of Borach & Levy, as shown
by the statements of several farmers
in that vicinity, entered into contracts
with farmers to supply San Quentin
bags without even having them make
the necessary affidavits. C. E. St. Louis
says he entered into a contract for 800
1 prison sacks and that they were duly i
! delivered to him. He made no affidavit
i and was not aware that any of his
neighbors did. In addition to his affi
davit he stated to The Call correspond
ent that when he ordered his sacks one
of the members of the firm handed him
a blank application and told him to
sign his name to it. This he did and
' the merchant then took charge of it.
Mr. St. Louis had no idea what became
i of it, whether it was filled out by the
merchants and forwarded to San Quen
tin or not. He was positive, however,
he did not go before a notary and attest
it. It was his belief that the others
signed blank forms in the same man
! ner. Such a proceeding is clearly in
violation of the law governing the sale
of jute bags.
But while almost anybody with suffl
( cient capital can trade in San Quentin
I sacks there was one transaction in 1893
that is tinctured with something more
than mere evasion of the act of 1893.
Only one grade of bags is made at I
San Quentin. Every year there is a j
S quantity of bags that are supposed to j
'be imperfect. These are sorted out and !
| are what are known as culls. In 1893 ]
; and 1894 these bales were stamped and
known as "barleys," but during the
past two seasons no distinctive mark
has been put upon them and instead !
| of being known as "barleys" they are
now called "culls."
i W. G. Hunt of Woodland, who in
1893 purchased 5000 "culls" at 5 cents,
i : Is the father-in-law of ex-Prison Di
i } rector E. J. De Pue, whose official term
I ; recently expired. Mr. Hunt owns 800
» acres of land on Cache Creek. 515 acres
i of which are set out in fruit trees and
known as the Yolo orchard, of the
■ land not included in the orchard about
100 acres are covered with timber and
: i less than that quantity is sown to
i j wheat,
i Mr. Hunt's purchases of "culls" were
I 1 made on June 10, July l, July 20 and
THE SAX FTCAXCTSCO CATX, FKIBAT, JAKXTABY 14, 189 S.
August 12 of 1593. From March until
August th" regular price f<>r bags was
|5 ~:> per hundred. In the latter month
the Directors advanced the price to
$6 40 per hundred. He made no affi
davit \vh. n he bought the culls, al
though the law says that "Al! orders
for jut>* triM da must be accompanied by
an affidavit setting forth that the
amount of goods contained in the or
der are for individual and personal use
of the applicant, mid affidavit to be
subscrib.-d and sworn to before some
Notary Public or Justice of the Peace."
Mr. Hunt was present at a meeting
of the Board of Prison Directors at
which the Question <-f disposing of im
perfect bags was discussed, and he sail
he could use some of them. Tlv hoard
decided to lot him have some at $5 per
hundred, and the purchases were made
in four lots.
That these bags were not for his own
use, and that they were n"t Imperfect
hags, but of first quality, is shown by
the affidavit* of two highly respected
farmers of Tolo County. James E.
Scarlett, who owns 31 T> acres of land
about seven milts from Woodland,
makes affidavit that in 1893 I. P. Dtggs
offered to let him have all the bags he
needed for that season. Pipers was do-
Ing Scarlett's harvesting, and. accord
ing to the tatter's affidavit, Digga told
him he had got the bars from Hunt:
that, although they were marked and
Fold as "barleys." they were perfectly
good. Scarlett pays he examined the
sacks, and found them to be without
flaws or imperfections, and accordingly
he bought all he needed for that year.
L. Cramer, another Yolo County
farmer, makes affidavit that during I*W?
Diggs offered to sell him what grain
sacks he needed, and stated, as he did
to Sr arlett, that the sacks were known
as "barleys," but were first class in ev
ery respect; that he had p<7t them from
Hunt, and that Hunt had procured
them through the influence of Pc Pup.
Cramer did not take any. as be had
already purchased his bags.
Mr. Piggs was ask.-d fur an explana
tion of that and other transactions but
hf refused to make any statement
whatever thnt would throw any light
upon his dealings in crrain baps.
Mr. Piggs owns 198 acres of land in
Tolo County, and last year he rented
lfiO acres from K. U. Lowe, making a
total of 3'S acres he cultivated. This,
at the average yield of ten sacks to the
YOIiO, Yoln County, State of CaHfornia, January 1, 1898. (
I am a farmer having 140 acres In township 10 north. 2 east, Yolo <
County. Early In the spring of 1597, myself and pt-veral other farmers I
in my neighborhood entered into a contract with the firm of Borach & (
Levy, merchants of Yolo. for grain bags. I ordered SOO San Quentin (
bags, agreeing to pay either $5 50 or $5 75 per on< hundred. I made no (
affidavit and am not aware that any of the others did. The bags were t
duly delivered to me and were the San Quentin bags. I could have <
had either San Quentin or Calcutta bags. It was understood that we t
were to pay more than the rate quoted at San Quentin prison, but we t
were satisfied to do this in consideration of the fact that the freight t
charges were paid, and that we were given credit for the bags until i
after our crops were harvested. This is the first year I have purchased i
San Quentin bags from an outside dealer. t
C E. ST. LOUIS. i
Subscribed and sworn to before me this first day of January. A. i
D. 1898. CLAUDE V. BURKE, Notary Public. I
act«, would make 35*0 sacks he would
require for his own use. Certainly, his
CTOfM could not be so heavy as to re
quire more than 5000 bags, yet on Feb
ruary 19 last I. T. Diggs, through his
cousin, Marshall Diggs. filed an appll
catlOQ for 12,000 San Quentin sacks. |
which, according to the prison records,
were delivered on June 1.
J E. Scarlett, who bought some
"culls" of I. P. Diggs in lhi'3. also
bought 2000 San Quentin bags from him
in 1897. This would show conclusively
that Mr. Diggs did not use all the bagn
he ordered, but when he was asked for
information on the subject he eaid that
if a farmer had more sacks than ho
needed it was natural for him to get
rid of them rather than carry them
for a year.
"Rut how is it that you ordered 12,000
sacks, Mr. Diggs? Surely your crops
never gave promise of such a yield as
that," was suggested.
"Last year I farmed nearly 500
acres," replied Mr. Diggs.
"But even so, you could not possibly
want 12,000 sacks for your own use."
"Well, a man is liable to overestimate
his crop sometimes. It is a hard mat
tes to R<> into a field of growing wheat
and estimate just what it will yield."
All attempts to induce the gentleman
to say how many surplus sacks be had.
or what he had done with them, met
with the same ill success. Mr. Diggs
would not even admit that he had sold
any, although he was told that Mr.
Scarlett had made affidavit to that ef
"I know Mr. Scarlett well," said Mr.
Diggs, "and he is one of the most re
sponsible men in« the county, but you
know that everybody is liable to make
He djd not deny that he had sold the
sacks, but intimated that he might
have loaned or traded them to Bear
lett. The latter's affidavit, however,
names the price he paid Mr, Diggß for
Mr. Diggs declared he had no recol
lection whatever of the transaction in
the culls or "barleys" referred to. and
professed ignorance of what "culls" or
"barleys" were. He said he paid cash
for everything he bought and kept no
books, therefore he had no means of
telling anything about his transactions
of former years, and did not take the
trouble to remember them.
"But did you not sell some 'culls' to
Mr. Scarlett in 1893?"
"That Is too far back for me to re
member anything about. Possibly I
did; I cannot say now."
"Did you offer to sell any to Mr.
"I tell you I cannot remember all my
transactions so far back."
"Did you purchase any bags from Mr.
Hunt that year?"
"You had better ask Mr. Hunt, he
can probably tell you better than I
"But surely you can remember
whether you ever bought any bags
from him and if at less that the reg
"Now, see here! If a man does you
a favor, you are not going to say or do
anything that might work him an in-
Jury, are you? Well, that's my case. I
have absolutely nothing to say on this
subject; if you want any information
go to Mr. Hunt."
"Do you remember having bought
any kind of sacks from him at any
"I really can't say whether I have or
not. As I told you before, such matters
pass from my mind, and I never pay
any further attention to them."
W. O. Hunt is classed as one of the
wealthiestmenin Yolo County. In addi
tion to the Yolo orchard, he owns much
property in Woodland, and resides
there. He was not inclined to throw
any more light upon the deal in
"culls" than Mr. Diggs. ;ind made no
secret of his desire to have the inter
view terminate with all possible haste.
"If you want any information go to
headquarters for it," was all he would
He declined to state whether he had
<l»-alt in prison baps since 1893. ur
whither be had ever had any dealings
with Marshall or I. P. Diggs.
s<mie idea of the extent of the traffic
In San Quentin grain baps may be
gained from the number that passed
through the hands <-f Marshall Diggs
of Woodland last season. As shown by
records at San Quontin. Mr. Dipgs sent
in orders for 156,000 bags between Feb
ruary 9 and April 14. 1597. the orders
being filled out in Mr. Pipgs' name.
while the affidavits bore the names of
A copy of the order and affidavit of
A. Bourn of Yolo County, which is sim
ilar to the others, is herewith Riven:
Woodland. March 5. 1597.
To the Warden of San Quentin Prison— Sir:
I herewith' enclose check for $50, to cover de
posit required by law on 10,000 grain bags, at
Ship bags, upon receipt of balance of pur
chase price, by to ■ . Shipping in
structions to follow. Respectfully.
State of California,
County of Yolo.
I hereby certify that 1 am a farmer and
grower of grain, residing In V •■!.. County, and
that the bags ordered above are for my own
personal and Individual use. A. BOURN,
Subscribed and sworn to before me. this sth
day of March, 1397. J. I. MeCONNELLs
[L B.] Notary Public.
It will be noted that all the orders
but the last two, calling for all but
9000 of the sacks ordered by Mr. Diggs,
were filed prior to March 13, on which
date the board advanced the price to
$5 40 per hundred.
Mr. Dipgs expressed the utmost will
ingness to explain his connection with
the traffic in San Quentin baps. He
made no »c» ret of the fact that he
handled them, but explained that he
<li<l so as a matter of a<< ■■mmodation
to his customers, and that the profit
h>» made on them was limited to the
difference in the freight charges on car
load lots and on k:«s than full carloads.
"The extent of my dealing: in San
Quentin bags is this," said Mr. Biggs.
"Early in the season I take orders from
farmers for what grain sacks they
need. These orders, accompanied' by
the usual affidavit, I forward to San
Quentin, together with the necessary
10 per cent deposit, which secures the
bags, subject to orders. When I get
ready to have the bags shipped, I for
ward the remaining M per cent of the
purchase pr i and the bag*" are for
warded.V % -.
"How is it that you order your bags
so far in advance of the time you have
"Merely to secure prompt delivery
when I get reads f° r them."
"The orders sent in by you are us
ually marked, 'Shipping Instructions to
follow.' What is that for?"
"Oh. I do that because, as Is often
the case, I <!<■> not want them all de
liver. •<! at i :• place. For instance.
Charles Pay ordered all of his baga
from me lnst season, taking in all, I
think, about 21.000 San Quentin bags.
Part of these were for his Yolo ranch.
and the others were to be sent to an
other ranch in the San Joaquin valley.
"When he got ready to use them I for
warded instructions as to the number
to be shipped to each point."
"How are these orders and affidavits
made out, Mr. Diggs?"
"Right hrre in my store. The far
mer gives the number of bags he wants
and the order is made out. He signs it
and makes affidavit that they are for
his personal use. We forward the or
der, and sometimes advance the 10 per
"Are these orders ever raised; that is,
do the orders call for more sacks than
the farmer really needs?"
"Not to my knowledge."
"Rut you certainly have had prison
made bags for sale and have sold
quantities of them?"
"Well, yes. I have, but it Is like this:
A farmer cannot estimate from his
growing grain just how many sacks
he will require and if he has a surplus
I take them off his hands."
"What is the largest surplus you re
member a fnrmer to have had during
th^ past season?"
"Oh, I can't answer that, but some
crops will fan short one-half. Of
course they don't want to carry the
surplus bags over to the next year so
I take them and sell them to some
body who needs more than he counted
"Well, your cousin. I. P. Diggs, for
instance, did he have any surplus bags
from last season?"
"Yes, a few."
"He cultivated about 3"0 acres of
land last season, did he not?"
"Yes, about that."
"And ten sacks to the acre Is a good,
"Yes. that is a fair average."
"So that would make about 3500
sacks he would require?"
"Yr-s. about that."
"Then why did you. on February 19
last, accept an order from him for
"A man may go out in the spring and
estimate what his crops may yield, and
when he comes to harvest them they
may fall short one-half. I have known
that to happen frequently, and, of
course, rather than to carry the sur
plus sacks they have bought over until
the following ppason the farmers are
willing to sell them at even less than
YOLO. Tolo County, State of California. January 1, 1898.
I am a farmer cultivating 100 acres in township 10, range 2 east,
Yolo County. In the year 1593, I. P. Diggs came to me and offered to
supply me with all the grain bags I needed for that season's crop.
He told me they were San Quentin wheat sacks, but were marked
and shipped as barley sacks. He assured me they were No. 1 sacks
in every respect. He told me he got the sacks through W. G. Hunt, of
Woodland, and that Hunt got them through the influence of Prison
Director De Pue, who is Hunt's son-in-law. He said the price was
$5 per hundred, but I cannot remember whether that included the
freight, or I was to pay that. I did not take any of the sacks, as I
had already purchased all I needed.
That was the only time Dlggs ever spoke to me about grain baps.
About the first of June, 1897, I bought 1000 San Quentin grain bags
from Borach & Levy of Yolo, paying for them $5 12^4 per hundred, de
livered in Yolo. I was not asked, and did not make any affidavit, nor
did I sign any paper whatever. I merely ordered the sacks and got
them at the depot. L- CRAMER.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this first day of January, A.
D. 1898. CLAUDE V. BURKE, Notary Public.
"But how can a man who is culti- j
vating a small farm on which it is im
possible to make such an over-estimate
as occurred In this instance make am
davit that he requires 12,000 bags when |
it is impossible for the land he is cul- j
tivating to yield more than, say, 4000
sacks of grain at the most?"
"I don't know anything about that.
All I can say is that if ■ man gives an j
order for a certain quantity of sacks
we fill out the order as he gives it and
never question it."
"And you are Entirely willing to take
all the surplus sacks he may have?"
"Oh, certainly. I only wish we could
get hold of more than we do."
"How many San Quentin sacks do .
you think you handled last year?"
"Oh. probably 160.000."
"Have you had any dt-alings with Bo- j
rach & Levy?"
"Yes; I have sold thotn BOBM Snn
Quentin sacks, but how many I do not !
"None of the sacks ordered by you i
are ever delivered before June, are
"No; I never call for th^-m until the
farmers begin to want them. They are
delivered mostly during June and
Mr. Digps was then questioned about
the traffic in "culls," and at first pro
fessed the densest ipnorance on the
subject, but later he admitted having
heard something about them several
years ago. Ho denied emphatically,
however, that he had ever dealt in
them, and did not know of anybody
"Have you ever handled any 'culls'?"
"What are culls?" returned the mer
chant. "I never heard of culls."
It was explained that they were
marked "barley," but were comnumly
"No; I never heard of them before."
replied Mr. I >igps. "I thought that
only one prade of sacks was manufact
ured at the prison."
After some further conversation he
suddenly remembered having heard
something about culls before, but only
In a general way. and was positive he
had never handled any.
"It must have he?n about 1593 or '4,"
said he. "that some barley s:i<ks, or
what were called barley sacks, wore
sold at the prison, but who bought
them, or how many were sold, I can
Results of an Investigation)
fimong Wheat-Raisers in
Several days were spent by Call rep
resentatives among the farmers in dif
ferent sections of Yolo County, and
many WON the side lights thrown upon
the handling of San Quentin bags.
There wore some who, while admitting
that they had hoard and seen enough
to be convinced that merchants and
speculators WOTt derhrlng a rood in
come from the handling of prison bags,
were opposed to making: any statement
for publication for fear, as they ex
plained, lest they might provoke the
wrath of men to whom they were un
der obligations, in one way or another.
Farmers who till thousands of acres, as
well as men who have barely enough
land on which to eke out a living, were
seen, and nearly all expressed the opin
ion that a thorough investigation
should be made.
That San Quentin bass can be pro
cured in large quantities without the
necessity of filing an affidavit Is proven
beyond a doubt, while the prices charg
ed by these dealers, including freight
from Pan Quentin. vary from the fac
tory price to nearly 25 per cent above.
< ;>'orge Scott owns and farms more
land than any other man in Yolo Coun
ty, his farm lying about sixteen miles
from Woodland. Last season he re
quired 20.000 sacks to hold his crop of
wheat. Mr. Scott does not use San
Quentin sacks, because the Calcutta^
are cheaper and answer the purpose
just as well, although they are not
quite as good in quality as the prison
"It has long been a mystery to me,"
said Mr. Scott, "why sacks cannot be
manufactured at San Quentin prison
at a less cost than they can be im
ported from Calcutta, but whenever I
want to buy any, I find that the latter
are the cheapest, and so I take them.
The San Quentin factory is supposed
to be operated for the benefit of the
farmers, but I fail to see where they
derive much benefit from it. Regard
ing the handling of prison bags by
dealers, of course I cannot speak from
experience, as I have never purchased
any, but I have no doubt that anybody
can get all the prison bags he wants in
season, without sending to San Quen
tin for them."
Charles T. Day lives about three
miles southwest of Woodland on one
of the largest and richest farms in the
Sacramento Valley, which he is proud
to call his own. Mr. Day is well known
throughout the State and is generally
regarded as an up-to-date farmer and
a shrewd business man. But when the
subject of prison bags was brought to
his attention he laughingly admitted
i that there were some things of which
■ he had but vague knowledge, and one
! of those was the management of the
I San Quentin jute factory.
"I understand the law governing the
sale of prison-made bags," said Mr.
Day, "but I imagine there are few
farmers in this section, at least, but
know that its provisions are evaded
and violated in one way or another. I
have told some of the men I knew to be
dealing in bags that the affair would
be thoroughly ventilated sooner or
"Why, only last season." Mr. Day
continued, "a certain dealer in this
town whose name I must decline to
give, came to me and asked me why I
didn't buy 'culls' instead of the regular
sacks. I had never heard of "culls' be
fore, and I asked him what they were.
" 'Don't you know about these culls?"
asked he. apparently surprised at my
"I confessed that I did not, and he
explained what culls were, and assured
me that they were as good as the reg
ular bags. That was the first I ever
heard of culls, and I told this party
that exposure would come eventually,
but he did not seem to think so.
"I did not buy any culls, but went to
the Bank of Tolo, as I always do, and
tilled out an application fur 1f.,000 San
Quentin sacks. Then I went before a
notary and made the usual affidavit
that they were for my own use. This
order was forwarded for me by Mr.
Diggs. So far as I know, my affidavit
was regular in every respect; I follow
ed the same course I do every year."
"Did you order any more sacks than
"No; but there is another thing: I
have noticed, and that is that the deal
ers are always anxious to have a far
mer order all he can possibly need.
They assure him that they will take
all he may have left over. That haa
been my experience repeatedly. I have
been told to be sure and get enough
sacks, and there* will be no danger of
my being out of pocket by getting too
many. But I have never ordered more
than I thought I needed, and if any of
my applications have called for more,
the figures have been raised after I
Mr. Day would not say who it was
that gave him the information regard
ing culls, but as Marshall Diggs han
dled his order for him and has done so
before, it is not unreasonable to sup
pose that it was he who gave the ad
vice to purchase them.
Asa Morris, who has many acres ly
ing between Tolo and Knights Land
"It has been no secret In these parts
that San Quentin bags could be ob
tained at any time from dealers. Diggs
and Hunt of Woodland have dealt in
these bags extensively, and merchants
throughout this section are always
ready to supply either Quentin or
Calcutta bags at practically the same
price as quoted at the prison.
"I have never bought any prison bags
from dealers, preferring to get them
direct from San Quentin. This season
I bought Calcutta bags, but several of
my neighbors bought prison bags and I
am quite certain that some of them at
least got them from Diggs and other
"I have often wondered how these
dealers got hold of prison bags, and
naturally supposed there was some
thing shady about it, for the law is
very explicit in regard to their sale
and requires every purchaser to make
affidavit that they are for his own use.
Consequently there must be something
wrong when men who do not farm a
foot of ground, or at most compara
tively small tracts, stand ready to fur
nish at any time more prison- bags than
they would need for their own use in
twenty years. These men do not han
dle bags as a matter of accommodation
to farmers, and if they get prison bags
at a less rate than the farmers can the
farmer is a double loser, for he not
only helps to support the prison, but
he is charged more for an article os
tensibly manufactured for his especial
benefit than a few favored dealers are,
and the latter are thus enabled to
make a profit out of the farmer on
prison bags that the law intended there
should be no traffic in. I sincerely hope
the entire matter will be thoroughly
G. B. Eustis, an extensive wheat
grower, living about six miles from
Knights Landing, was most caustic in
his comments on the way prison sacks
were being Bold.
"I have thought for some years that
there was something wrong about the
handling of the San Quentin product
and many of my neighbors have had
the same idea. For that reason I and
T think others have not cared whether
I used prison or Calcutta bags.
"There has been nothing secret about
dealers handling prison bags. Hunt,
Diggs and others have sold both San
Quentin and Calcutta bags to farmers
throughout this section for years, and
it has always been a mystery to the
farmers where they got the former.
"This past season I bought 1500 bags
of Borach & Levy at Yolo, and they
offered me either brand, but I took the
Calcutta bags, as they hold more and
are just as good as the San Quentin
bags. It is known to everybody around
here that almost every storekeeper in
the county is prepared to furnish any
quantity at short order. "Where they
get them of course I can't say, but I
have all along thought that some San
Francisco houses were handling San
Quontin bags and supplied the interior
"We all know the law governing the
sale of San Quentin bags, and if a
farmer wants to purchase from the
prison direct he has to make the usual
affidavit that they are for his own use,
but of course, with almost any mer
chant handling them openly, I be
lieved that the law was being evaded,
to put it mildly, and the natural sup
position is that the Prison Directors
must be aware of what is going on. I
hear much about the defects in the law
governing the sale of prison bags, but
It is my opinion that if it were proper
ly enforced it would afford ample pro
tection to the farmers, as it was intend
ed to do."
T. F. Laugenour is one of the oldest
and most highly respected farmers in
Yolo County. His farm comprises one
of the most fertile tracts along Cache
Creek. Mr. Laugenour explained that
his memory had failed him somewhat
and he could not recall the dates of
his transactions with the dealers, but
that bags of San Quentin make were
openly and constantly handled by them
there could be no doubt. There were
several people in Woodland, he said,
who dealt in sacks, as did also Borach
& Levy of Yolo, and other merchants
in the county. He coula not remember
anybody In Knights Landing who han
dled them, and it was his impression
that there was nobody there who was
engaged in the business.
"I have not used any San Quentin
bags for the past two seasons," said
Mr. Laugenour, "for the reason that
Calcutta bags have been cheaper, and
I find them just as good. But in 1895.
I think it was, I bought a number of
prison-made bags from If. Diggs of
Woodland. I do not remember just how
many I purchased or what I paid for
them, but I am sure it was in that
year that I got them.
"Of course San Quentin bags are sold
outside the prison; every farmer in
Yolo knows it. But where or how tba
dealers get them I do not know. I
have been told, however, that the deal
ers buy up the surplus bags from the
farmers, but it is not likely that they
depend upon that source alone for their
supplies. What I mean by surplus bags
is this: If a farmer bought 5000 bags
at San Quentin and only used 4000,
some dealer would take the other thou
sand. That explanation does not
amount to much, though, for a farmer
generally has a pretty good idea of
how many bags he will need before he
Continued on Fourth rage.
/ ■ */ t-of * "it
Il'I 1 '
i' ■ «
You Unow all those
pretty Ulsters that we
have bee ii showing this
winter at §7.^0 and
$6.95. Those real swell
ones in light, 'medium
and dark colorings, blues
among 'em, those very
long Ulsters reaching
down to the boy's shoe
tops, sizes up to 16 years.
We're going to malic one
lot of all these choice
Ulsters. Your pick of
any of 'em Friday and
Saturday, including one
of those Brownie Lunch
And women are fitting out for Alaska
with proper clothing, with suitable
food, with mining tools and conveni-
ences of travel. We are glad to be of
service to all these and to save them
money where possible.
On all Klondike subjects — our ex-
hibit on first and third floors, in the
windows and at the
'■''.■"■::■;..■■_■■■;■: ... v
Fair from January 29th to- March 6th.
This will be the greatest Fair held in
this fair city. Ask the fair lady at the
demonstration counter on the right
near the door to show you our pulver-
ized potatoes and what nice pan cakes
they make. Receipts ready in a few
days. "We are oversold on evaporated
onions by several tons, but will keep a
few pounds for you and your friends
who call at • i":
ad 61 MulaCL oil tut, Call IlulltlubU,
Coke! Coke! Coke!
p. a. McDonald
813 FOLSOM STREET,
J. a. McDonald
813 FOLSOM STREET,
holesale dealer and shipper of the best
§ bra FOUNDRY AND FURNACE COKE.
» have on band a large quantity of San
Francisco Coke, superior to anthracite for
furnace or cannel for crate use. This coke la
made from the best Wallsend ■. coal, and caa
recommend it to consumers as an Al article.
Will Deliver Any Amount From a Sack to a Shipload.
CARLOAD ORDERS SOLICITED:
"~— . ■ . ■■ ; •.- .-■
"OI3TTCIJI7C FOR BARBERS. BAK-
brewers, bookbinders, candy-makers, canners,
dyers, flourmills, foundries, laundries, - paper-
hangers, printers, painters, shoe • factories,
stablemen, tar-roofers, tanners, tailors, etc.
Brush Manu¥acturePB,6o9 Sacramento St.
Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills
Are acknowledged by thousands of persona who
have used them for over forty years to cure
SICK HEADACHE. GIDDINESS, CONSTlP\-
an^urlfy&loiS ?ea* ; Stomach,
(h this reamed? Persons can euro themselves
without [ the least exposure, ■ chansre of diet or
changre in application to business. The medicine
contains nothiug that is of the least injuryto the
liutiou. Aak your arugglst for It. Price, $1