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Vol. 5. No. 31. Stillwater, Minn.,Thursday, March 10,1892. TO-MOKKOW. • ‘There is an island full of pleasant faces. For which men hunger ere the dav grows old, And thitherward they turn with uplifted faces. Longing to rest them in its blessed fold. ••No grief, they say, may steal within its border. Their hurt wounds heal them swiftly of their smart; While sweet forgetfulness doth stand as warder To still the aching tumult of the heart. “There, too, to-day’s brief joys shall have great increase. And all its longings shall find blessed gain. While to the toiler there shall come sweet sur cease. For, lo! This island knoweth naught of pain.” 'Then one whose life felt the fevered throbbings Of great wounds gotten In the day’s swift tide. Turned, and gave eager question, touched with sobbings. Unto the mighty chorus at his side. “Where is the land for which with strong persis tence The men of every age and clime do long? And swift in answer, full of sweet insistence, Uprose the strident echo of a song. “Behold, the island that is void of sorrow, And for whose shelter men have long made quest. We have not seen, but it is called To-morrow— The land within whose border there is rest.” —Harper’s Weekly. Experience In an English Prison. Austin Bidwell, one of the Bauk of Eng land forgers, who was released a short time ago after serving nineteen years in Chat ham prison, tells how convicts are treated in the much boasted of and greatly admired penal institutions of Great Britain. Eng land, we believe, reeently petitioned the Kussian Czar in behalf of his outrageously treated convicts. It is the old parable of the mote and the beam acted out in real life. Of course England’s method is more refined, but the result is the same —brutalization. Bidwell says: Chatham prison illustrates an infamous phase in the English prison theory. It is there they send the worst criminals of every sort. Chatham is not a corrective institu tion. There is no attempt to better the moral condition of the prisoners. It takes the place of the infamous chain gang of years ago. The object in sending a man there is to kill him. The exactions are such that no physical constitution can stand the strain. The prisoner is embruted by the frightful exac tions demanded of him by insufficient clothes and food. It isn’t the object to have him die in the prison. Inside he is worked just this side of the breaking limit. He is discharged a moral and physical wreck, a being without hope or chance, and with so little constitution left that his first spree is very apt to carry him off. The mortality is considerable in the prison, but the mortality among those just discharged is something frightful. I don’t know of any prison in the United States which bears any comparison whatever with Chatham. When I went there in the fall of 1873, I was pushed into a little cell in a division containing 280 convicts. The cell was ex ceedingly narrow, with walls of corrugated iron, and floor and ceiling of solid masonry. 1 slept in a canvas hammock which was swung up to the ceiling during the day. On a small iron shelf I found a tin dish used by some previous occupant and smeared in side and outside with gruel. There being no water in my jug, when the men came in for dinner 1 asked one of the officers for some water to wash the dish. He looked at me with great contempt and said: ‘‘Will you have it hot or cold?” "Oh, cold, please?” He went away, but soon came back again and said: “You are a precious flat Lick it off, man. Before long you won’t waste gruel by washing your tin dish. You won’t be here many days and want to use water to clean your pint.” Well, after dinner, I saw the men march ed out to labor, and was amazed to see the famished, wolfish looks—thin, quaint, and almost disguised out of all human resem blance by their ill fitting, mud-covered gar ments and mud-splashed faces and hands. I found out to- my cost that what the officer had said was true. I will tell you what we had to eat and you can judge for yourself. At half-past 5 o’clock in the morning 11 ounces of brown bread and a pint of gruel •containing two ounces of oat meal was eerved to each man. With that breakfast we were marched out, rain or shine, hot or “ IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” cold, to the hardest kind of outdoor labor. At 11:30 o’clock we had dinner. This was one pound of potatoes, five ounces of bread and five ounces of boiled meat. Every other day a pint of thin soup took the place of the meat. Then we went back to work and at 6 o’clock received eight ounces of brown bread and a pint of thin cocoa each. That had to suffice. A hearty free man doing outdoor work will eat twice or three times as much in a day before he is satis fied. Many a time I suffered from hunger, and more than once have snatched a tallow candle and eaten it greedily. I was made a barrow and-spade man in the brick pile. 1 wheeled barrow loads of brick all day up a steep slant. It was frightful work, but there was no letting up. The first day I was at it some of the men gave out and threw down their barrows, panting through inability to go on. They were instantly handcuffed. At noon, when we turned in, those who gave up were marched into punishment cells for three days on a scant allowance of bread and water and no bed. This overwork and in sufficient food drove many to try and find relief by suicide or a mutilation which would make severe bodily toil impossible. During my first year no less than 22 con victs had their arms and legs taken off by thrusting them under the loaded wagons as they passed by the rail. One old fellow in my party by the name of Andrews threw himself in front of an advancing train of wagons, but we managed to seize and drag him away in time. The poor fellow had neither strength nor courage to do the work demanded of him, and, to make It worse, he had been so many times reported for “idleness,” or what was termed so, and had grown so weak from starvation on pun ishment diet that it was simply impossible for the man to go any longer. He was taken into the infirmary and died soon afterward. But winter was our hardest time. To be sure the brick making was stopped, but there was plenty of outdoor work neverthe less. The prison suit in Chatham consists of a shirt, jacket and knee breeches of cloth of medium thickness and long thick stock ings. The shirt, jacket and breeches are all light yellow, without stripes. The jacket has red bands about the neck and sleeves, and a black broad arrow, the sym bol of English penal service, on the should ers. The stockings are blue, encircled with two red stripes. Under this suit is worn only an uudeishirt and drawers. In sum mer the suit is not too warm, but in winter no thicker clothing is provided. On going out of doors on a brisk morning, with little in one’s stomach, the cold penetrates to the marrow. To work out of doors all day is to get numbed with cold. The worst of it is that on returning at night, chilled to the very bone and not warmed by our few ounces of bread and lukewarm cocoa, we were thrust into a cold prison house. In my division, which contained 280 cells, there was only one small stove, and that was in a corridor at one end of the room. Men of weak temperament shivered all night long and awoke only to drink their pint of gruel and go out again into the cold. It is no wonder that the sickness and mor tality is very great. When men were worked, starved, and frozen to near the breaking point they were transferred to lighter work or to another prison, so that they could be discharged alive at the close of their terms. But few were little more than alive. A Few Words on Prison Reform. In choosing this subject 1 am well aware that it has been repeatedly treated in The Mikror, and perhaps in a more able man ner than I can handle it. Nevertheless I wish to express my opinion on this most important question. The majority of the public at large seems to labor under the delusion that a man be cause he has been two or more times behind prison bars is irredeemably lost to society, and consequently deem every effort for ref ormation in their behalf wasted. A strik ing illustration that men who have lived in vice and immorality a score of years or more, may yet be redeemed and become re spected members of society, is given in the the late Michael Dunn, who recently died in Brooklyn. Here is a man who, through the good influence.’of Mr. Cutter of the New York Prison Association, was brought back to the path ot honesty at the age of 52 years after a criminal career of 44 years, to devote his life to the conversion of crimi nals. And yet there are men who main tain that a man who has served two or three terms in prison is incorrigible. I find in the last issue of this paper an article on which I have bestowed much thought. At the con ference of the New York Prison association Judge Wayland expressed his opinion, that men who had by a second or third convic tion shown that they were bent on crime, could properly be called incorrigibles. He said the state should pass a law to confine such men in prison for an indefinite term, to terminate with death or reformation. Others took the theological side of the question, that every man was susceptible to the grace of God and consequently could be saved. This latter view seems to my mind to be the right one. I compare humanity with a plant or tree. If you put the seed into good soil and take care of it, it will flourish and bring forth good fruit. Again, take a young tree out of good and open soil and put it in close proximity—say two feet —of a grown tree and you will find that the progress of its growth will be very slow and it will have a dry and withered appearance. Why is this so? Simply because the grown tree has its roots extend around the young one and needing more nourishment draws all the vitality away from the latter. Transplant it again and give it proper care, it will shoot up into the air and spread its branches in short order. So it is with hu manity. A boy who has been born of criminals, has the seed of crime inculcated in him even before his birth. What wonder then, that being associated with low and debased people he should drift into the path of crime and make the acquaintance of the prison at an early age. Take this same boy away from his surroundings, teach him the truth of the Gospel, surround him with proper associates and nine times out of ten, he will be saved. Now, take a young man, brought up by respected parents and sur rounded by the best of influences, he gives hopes of an exemplary career. But alas, for the hopes of his parents and friends— the serpent lingers near him. He makes the acquaintance of some young men, whom he believes quite respectable. N ight after night they meet, spending their time in saloons or carousing in houses of ill fame. By and by he visits gambling dens, and loosing more money than he wins, he wishes to replenish his pocket; his salary being small, and f knowing not how to pay his debts he at last resorts to robbing his em ployer or, if balked in this scheme, he way lays some unsuspecting stranger and re lieves him of his cash. Caught, tried and convicted he is sent to prison for a term of years, and all this because he has left his good associates and has been thrown into the society of low and debased men, who like the tree, have sucked the vitality and good out of his heart and left it bare. After the expiration of his sentence, on re turning home he finds that all his former friends turn their backs on him. A few. perhaps, tender their kind advice and well wishes and there their efforts for his refor mation cease. The fact of the matter is, that most of the so-called charitable people do less than nothing for the ex-convict— a few kind words of advice and he goes from their presence. And yet, as 1 said before, there is some good left in every hu man heart. 1 remember years ago on visit ing an eastern penitentiary seeing a pris oner with tears in his eyes. My brother on mentioning it to the warden, was informed that one of bis co prisoners had been killed that day by a belt from one of the machines and that the shock of this event was the cause ot his crying. This shows that there was some feeling left in his heart, and I am confident that if some one would have taken charge of him and rekindled the fire which had almost died out, it would have sprung up with a stronger flame than ever before. But in order to accomplish refor mation of prisoners on a large scope we need scattered over the United States hun dreds of such philanthropists as, for in stance, Miss Linda Gilbert, who will sacri fice their lives and fortunes for the redemp tion and elevation of the ex criminal. Hector. Shopman: What is it for you, sir? Professor: I—l—dear me, if I haven’t totally forgotten what I wanted to buy. Never mind: give me something similar. — Selected. Rive Gents, Integrity. Our integrity is more precious than gold. The old miser said to his sons, "Bovs, get money; get it honestly if you can, but get money.” This advice was not only wicked, but was the very essence of stupidity. It was as much as to say, if you can’t get money honestly, get it dishonestly. We know by experience that to get money dis honestly is not only foolish, but that it is one of the most difficult things in life. The same energy put forth to get money honest ly would be far easier, and in the long run we would find it far better. We know our prisons are full of men who have followed the advice of the miser; we know that no man can be dishonest without being found out; that when his lack of principle is found out nearly every avenue of success is closed against him forever. The public, whether honest or dishonest, properly shun all whose integrity is doubted. No matter how pleasant and accommodating a business man may be, no one will deal with him if he suspects "false weights and measures.” Strict honesty not only lies in the founda tion of success in life —financially—but in every respect. Uncompromising integrity of character is invaluable. It secures to its possessor a peace and joy which cannot be attained without it, which no amount of money can purchase. A man who is known to be strictly honest may be ever so poor, but he has the purse of all at his disposal. For all know if he promises to return what he bor rows he will not disappoint them. Take the saloon keeper—the supposed thief’s friend—he will readily loan to the one that is considered square. If a man has no higher motive for being honest, he will find that the maxim of Franklin can never fail to be true, that "Honesty is the best policy.” To get rich is not always equivalent to be ing successful. There are many rich poor men, while there are many others, honest and devout men and women, who have never had as much money as some rich people squander in a week, but who are really richer and happier than any man can ever be who is a transgressor of the higher laws of his being. The love of money is, no doubt, the root of all evil, but money itself, when properly used, is a handy thing to have; it affords us the gratification of bless ing our race by enabling its possessor to enlarge the scope of human happiness and human influence. The desire for wealth is universal, and who can say it is not lauda ble, providing the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities and uses it as a friend to humanity. The history of money getting, which is commerce, is a history of civilization, and where trade has flourished most, there we have the most been blessed. In fact, as a general rule, money getters are the bene factors of our race. To them, in a measure, we are indebted for our institutions of learning, of art, of colleges, and churches. There are sometimes misers who hoard money for the sake of hoarding it alone; it is their god. and they have no higher as pirations than to grasp every penny that comes within their reach. As we have hypocrites in religion and demagogues in politics, so there are misers. These, how ever. are only exceptions to the rule. To all men and women 1 say, make money honestly and not otherwise and preserve that gem of all gems, integrity. WAY. Arthur H. Brown, the chief proof reader of the government printing office, is called "Dictionary Brown,” on account of his remarkable accuracy about words. It is stated of him that compositors have often, in kicking over his corrections, called his attention to the dictionary, and have shown him that Webster indorsed their own judg ment. "So it does,” Brown would say, calmly. Then he would’correct the diction ary with pen and ink. His corrections were always right, too. Once he sent about twenty of them to the publishers of the dictionary, who accepted all of them. — Patent. He Beat the Tattoo. Reporter: Great fun up at the dime mu seum to-night—the one legged drummer ran a race with one of the freaks. Sporting Editor: Who won? Reporter: Look at the heading.— Puckr