Newspaper Page Text
gite prison pliiTor.
Edited and Dubltslied by tlie Imitates. Entered at the Post Office at Stillwater Minn as Second Class Mail Matter. Subscription Kates. THE PRISON MIRROR is issued every Thurs day morning at the following rates. One Year f 1.0(1 Six Months 6(1 Three Montns 3o Single Copies 5 Subscriptions must be paid nvtr ab v i vance. Advertising rates given upon application. Address, EDITOR PRISON MIRROR. Stillwater, Minn. TO THE PUBLIC. THE PRISON MIRROR is a weekly paperpub lished in the Minnesota state prison. All matter published in its columns is contributed by the inmates, except that properly cred.ted. Its sup port must come from the outside as every inmate is given a paper without cost. It is published in the interest of the prison library and after paying for the pr nting outfit, contributed $l5O to the library fund the first year. Its ob ects are to en courage individual intellectual effort, provide a healthy journal for the inmates of this and other prisons, and, above all, to acquaint the outside world with the needs of the prison by reflect ng its inner life and thus aid the cause of moral ad vance. uent and prison reform. We have received another excellent con tribution from “A ”, our Charleston. Mass., correspondent, which will appear in our next issue. In the few following lines the Stillwater Gazette gives one of those sad, sad stories of whisky wrecked lives: Preliminary steps were taken to-day to wards sending Joe Ilageman to the county poor farm, where he may he eared for dor ing the rest of his life. .Joe is a well known person about town, a man of naturally good ability and good impulses, but now reduced by improvidence and dissipation to a con diiion which prompts this move in his be half. Major T. M. Newson has accepted War den Randall's invitation to deliver a lecture in our chapel and he will he liete next Sun day afternoon. We will be assembled in the chapel at about one o'clock. Evolution, we bel eve will be the subject of the Major’s lecture. The Major has a national reputa tion as an eloquent and forcible speaker; and we here who have had the pleasure of listening to him on several occasions, an ticipate having a grand treat next Sunday afternoon. The Prison Mirror is inflexibly op posed to the gushing platform nonsense that makes heroes of criminals the moment they are detected. Nor is there toleration of it among convicts themselves, accord ng to the Mirror, which says; “We are un sparing in our condemnation of those of our fellow prisoners who occasionally pilfer things from our cells while we are absent working in the shops. We think there is no punishment too severe for them.” Whether we be in prison or out of prison no one is a wise friend who attempts to ex plain away all our sins. Reformation does not come through that sort of dealing.— Minneapolis Spectator. “Why, hello, John, what have you been doing that they have you here in the chain gang—killed or robbed some one? - ’ “Oh no. It was like this; 1 drew my Day day before yesterday. I had forty dollars. I met a friend and the poor fellow was ‘busted’ so I asked him to take ‘some thing’ with me. Well, we drank a good deal, and somehow we got into a row with a policeman. The next morning we were fined twenty dollars each; but the strangest thing about it was. my good friend had the money to pay his fine while 1 had nothing left but my old clay pipe. And so they let him go, but here l am cleaning the gutters. My pards here say lam a‘sucker,’ and 1 guess 1 am.” The police rules of London forbid an of ficer to arrest a drunken person unless lie is trying to do some one an injury, and it is not an uncommon thing for an officer to have six or eight “drunks” asleep at inter vals along his beat. They may all sing, whistle or shout, but he cannot arrest them. —Ex. That is a good rule and should exist in every city where the sale of liquor is licensed by law. If it is to the decency and safety of the city that drunken men should not be seen on the streets, then it is against the decency and safety of the city to have drunkard factories in the city. If a man gets drunk he does no more than what the law says he may do and the law should not punish him fordoing it. The Prison Mirror, published by the inmates of the state prison at Stillwater, is now in its third volume. The outfit was purchased by the inmates and the first year it paid for itself and turned over 8150 to the prison library, the real cause of its establish ment being to raise funds»for the purchase of new books. In addition to the above benefit, it furnishes the prisoners an oppor tunity to exchange ideas through its col umns. and many an able article is penned inside the walls. The press‘work is done outside for the present. Over 1,500 copies of The Mirror are printed, each inmate receiving one copy free, and the remainder to subscribers outside. The subscription price is 81 per year. * * The Mirror claims, undisputed, the cleanest printing otfice in the state. —Montevideo Leader. We have received the first annual report of the Home of Industry located in Phil adelphia, Pa. Th sis one of the several institutions established by Michael Dunn for the aid of discharged prisoners. Here a comfortable home is provided and work furnished until the discharged prisoner finds a situation. It is supported by the labor of the inmates assisled by liberal donations from the good people of Philadelphia. Michael Dunn, superintendent of the Home, is an ex convict, having served time in Europe. Australia and the United Slates. Thirty-five years of his life were spent in penal institutions previous to his reforma tion some twelve years ago, since which time he has labored for the welfare of ex convicts, and has established Homes in the cities of Chicago, San Francisco. Detroit. New York and Philadelphia. These places are all doing good work and should he sup plemented ,n every large city of the Union. We have all heard of the terr ble tragedy that occurred in Stillwater a lew' days ago by which two lives were destroyed and four young children were made orphans. The dead couple were buried Tuesday. They were members ot the Lutheran church, but the pastor of that church, acting in accord with his fa th. refused to participate in the funeral services. Yet there was at least one minister in Stillwater whose faith did not forbid his following the dead to their last earthly resting place, and the Daily Gazette speaks of this man as follows: Rev. A. D. Stowe, that large hearted Christian of the Ascension chinch, however, gladly assented to come and officiate, al though, under the circumstances, he was obliged to bear the cross. He read portions of the burial services and a passage of scripture, and w Inle condemning in until is takahle terms the sin of suicide (the taking of that which God gave, and which man cannot restore) he pleaded in behalf of the human heart over weighted to madness with real or imagined wrongs. He prayed and spoke in behalf of the little orphans and by Ins act and simple words did good beyond the little circle of mourners whom be was address: ug. The people of this country are expressing themselves as greatly shocked at the stories of the cruel and inhuman manner in which Russia is treating her exiles and convicts in the Siberian prisons. But what right have we to cry “shame” at Russia while within the borders of our own country there are states who treat their convicted humanity in as shameful, if not more shameful man ner than Russia treats her convicts in the wilds of Siberia. Geo. Kennan’s vivid descriptions of the worst prisons of Siberia cannot compare in horror with some of the convict camps of the southern states. A worse state of affairs could not be than ex ists in those places recently described by investigating committees who were sent to the camps by the governors of the states. You may say tiiat those southern convicts are only “niggers” while many of the Si berian convicts and exiles are noble white men. but that should make no difference to the humanitarian. If it is inhuman to tor ture a noble Russian in Siberia, it is equally inhuman to torture a poor, ignorant black man in the United States. It is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. V It looked a while back as though we were about to have a Chautauqua circle organized among the inmates of this institution, but of late nothing more has been heard of it. We hope the matter has not escaped the memory of those who first agitated the question, for it would no doubt encourage many to make a systematic effort toward self-improvement. It seems there is no other system of education so well adapted to state prisons. The plan has been thor oughly tested in the Warnerville, Mass., Reformatory, and the chaplain of that in stitution says: Our Chautauqua class was the literary and social movement that first took public shape here. We should rejoice if it might be introduced into other prisons and espe c ally it it might be followed by as large and splendid a development of literary activity and social influence as has followed here since Nov. 10. 1885 when the first meeting of prisoners was held in the interest of the C. L. S. C. Our C. L. S. C. class has varied in size, numbering sometimes thirty or forty and often less. It has continued with some obstacles that might not be met in other institutions, for a large part of our best men go out in a year or even less. The C. L. S. C. work here illustrates the entire practicability of such studies in a well ordered prison and the great comfort, profit and inspiration that should follow. HE DIDN’T KNOW. Some queer specimens of humanity are sent to state prison—the white haired old man whose tottering footsteps proclaim his near approach to the brink of the grave; the young man in his prime; the boy just entering manhood; the cripple and the crank; but the unfoitunate who excites most pity is the imbecile in mind. A sad specimen of this latter class was released from this institution a few days ago. We do not know for what crime he was sent here; but we do know that he should have been sent to the home for the feeble minded instead of to a penal institution. When questioned he could not remember where he was sent from nor how long he had to stay here. He was a quiet, hardworking boy and did without question whatever he was set at. He did not know when the day of his release had come that his sentence had expired, and when dressed in a suit of cit izen’s clothes even then he did not seem to know that he was going out. After re ceiving his gate money and discharge pa pers the Warden called him into his private room and tried to induce him to talk; but he stood mute, with eyes wandering about the room, and was seemingly oblivious to the Warden’s questions. Once he brightened up as if he would say something, but im mediately his countenance resumed its ex pressionless cast. His ear seemed deaf to words of kindly advice and when asked where he was going and what he intended to do he only replied. “Id-on’t kn o w;'’ and anyone seeing him at that time would have been satisfied that he spoke the truth. The Warden bade him good bye and to d him that he might go. He pulled his hat as far down as possible, then shambled bur riedly out of the office, then out of the b g door into the street a free man without sense enough to appreciate his liberty. Now, what good end do you suppose that simple boy’s imprisonment has wrought in him or for the world? Nature endows some men with bright intellects while she sends some into the world with so little intellect that it would seem they should not be accounted responsible for anything they might do. yet the law is no respecter of persons.and contrary to the fundamental principles of charity, mankind is more apt to be charitable toward those whom nature has made most responsible for their actions. A story told of a man who was out hunt ing and met with little success, and just as he was about returning a heavy shower came up. and having no shelter he crawled in a hollow log which was barely large enough to admit h s bodv. He remained in this cramped position until the rain was over, but to his surprise the water had caused the log to swell, which made the hole too small for him to get out. This pre dicament made him review his past life and think of his sins of commission and oniis sion and when he thought he was not a subscriber for his home paper, he suddenly felt so small that he crawled out without any difficulty.—Jackson Republic. It is all very well to talk about giving a man a >how: but how many are there, we should like to know, who would know enough to conduct it alter they got it.— The Eye, St. PauL WHAT IS GOOD. ■‘What is the real good?” I asked in musing mood. Order, said the law court; Knowledge, said the school; Truth, said the wise man; Pleasure, said the fool; Love, said the maiden; Beauty, said tlie sage Freedi m, said the dreamer; Home, said the page; Fame, said the soldier; Equity, the seer Spake my heart full sadly— “ The answer is not here." Then within my bosom Softh this I heard: "Each heart bolds the secret; Kindness is the word.” —John Boyle O’Reilley. Cultivate lfour Temper. There is nothing in the make up of a man —this includes convicts—that will make friends or enemies or get him into trouble quite so easily as his temper. The temper is something that should be cultivated daily. The question is how should a person manage this self training? There are a thousand different ways to get at this, and I shall en deavor to mention a few. If a man is in the habit of atising out of sorts, now and then, he may rest assured that some time he will leave his resting place so much dissatis fied with himself and those around him, that he will make some mistake that will either cause him trouble and sorrow, or he will at least have occasion to look back upon his rash conduct with di.-gust, and will for the time being brand himself as a fool for letting his temper get the best of him. With a person who is so troubled. I would suggest as a sure cure, the simple matter of making a plain sign with these three words thereon. “Cultivate Your Temper.” and then hang it where you can see it the tirst thing in the morning. No matter how ugly you may be when you arise the next morn ing, w hen you read that s gn it will put you on your guard, and if you have committed a rash act in the past, it will suggest to you that it pays to think before you act. and to at all times avoid becoming angry. When you are at work and things are moving along smoothly try and get ■ii the habit of calling to mind those words. Canvas them in your miiiil all the time, and then when something goes wrong you will be most apt to be confronted with them, and in most cases it will have the right effect. If you are a quick tempered man. never carry a re volver or a large knife, even though you may deem it necessary in order to act in self detense. Bear in mind that it is better to receive a wound, than to suffer the pen alty for inflicting one. If you discover that you cannot converse without becoming ex cited. make an effort to avoid entering into an argument. It you find that your fellow workman tries to aggravate you try and change your station, and if this is not con venient bridle your tongue and say nothing. Do not put yourself to any unnecessary tests until you have, to a certain extent, con quered the habit. Although natural with many persons the losing of control of the temper is more often a habit ot careless ness. No man has so fiery a temper as to render it beyond his control if he tries to cultivate it. and keep the above mentioned words before him all the time. Study yourself until you know your fail ings and then exert your will-power and better nature in the way of mastering them. It can be done, and is surprisingly easy if the right course is pursued. It is a matter that works both ways. If you allow your self to get mad and curse everyone and everything that does not suit you, you will soon fine yourself in a condition of hatred, even toward yourself, and you will curse your own body and soul when you make an error. If you see a man who cannot control his temper, tell him of his greatest fault and ask linn to make an effort to avoid getting angry.but do not refer to it while he is angry. “In time of peace prepare for war.” hut if you can avoid the war so much the better, if you wish to succeed per fectly in your efforts to control your temper, guard your words and when your tongue does not err. you will master the faults of the whole body. Uncle Jake. A case has just come to light in an Eng lish pr son where Irish political prisoners are treated with greater cruelty than the people of Siberia. Russia. John Daly’s feet were blistered by fire and the man was also given poison by the prison physician. His sister found Daiv in a dying condition. The cruelties practiced in British prisons are be yond belief. —Stamford Mirror. New York. As Requested. Prisoner: Yes. your Honor, it is true that I was intoxicated last night; but I can ex plain all if your Honor will give me a little time. His Honor: Ten days.—Puck. Love looks through a telescope; envy through a microscope.—H. W. Shaw.