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D (Ti t «it, // dJlL lk JUNI 1 77?#» I i/C? -6 aho Seimitar. The Lil Ti 0 SïATMc / BOISE, IDAHO, JANUARY 11, 1908 No. 11. Vol. I The Honor of Idaho. In returning a verdict of not guilty in the case of the State against George A. Pettibone, charged with conspiracy to murder Governor Steunenberg, the Boise District Court jury last Saturday closed the prosecutions against officers of the Western Federa tion of Miners. Following the acquittal of Mr. Petti bone, the case against Charles H. Moyer was dis missed. William D. Haywood was acquitted before Pettibone was tried, the jury in his case returning a verdict of not guilty. The conspiracy charge against these men, based on the confession of Orchard, has been proved founda tionless and justice must now turn to Orchard for its vindication. Mr. Haywood and Mr. Pettibone have been given The State of Idaho, as the prosecutor, fair trials. has been treated with equal fairness. An able and impartial judge presided over the proceedings. The utmost latitude was given in the selection of the juries and they were unprejudiced. There was no demonstration on the part of the people of Idaho and undue interest manifested in the trials. Cool no counsel prevailed from beginning to end. The State contributed generously from its treasury to the expenses of the litigation and able attorneys In privileges, permitting the jury to form its judgment chiefly on the testimony and argument of the prose and the most conspicuous sleuths were employed to the net of complicity about the defendants. With the utmost in the way of facilities extended to them, the prosecutors were unable to convince of the twenty-four jurors that either of weave even one the two men who passed through the ordeal were entitled to the attention bestowed upon them, the final case the defense declined to exercise its cution. It can never be said that justice was hindered in the slightest particular or that Idaho has manifested any other sentiment than one of fealty to the law and its processes. Attempts have been made to attach political sig nificance to the relation between the interested min ers' union and the mine owners' organization and it is probable that the Governor gained temporary prestige for his combination out of some of the circumstances. The Democratic party gave attention to the cases only so far as to assert its demand for the full measure of justice. The end having finally been reached, Messrs. Hay wood, Pettibone and Moyer have been discharged with no taint of suspicion upon them or upon the organization they represent. The man who is guilty of the heinous murder of Governor Steunenberg, by his own detailed confes sion twice repeated on the witness stand, is in cus tody and suspicion is mentioned that he will not be brought to trial. If so, the outside public will have warrant for the attacks it has made on the honor of the State of Idaho in connection with this deplorable affair. The State has yet to vindicate itself through the punishment of the monster who is guilty of the Will it now falter in its duty? crime. Door Opened to Fraud. Men who have been looting the public domain have found another supporter in the Supreme Court of the United States, which has reversed the Federal Court of Oregon in the case of J. N. Williamson and sent the case back for another trial. The Supreme Court held that the Oregon court erred in instructing the jury that it was unlawful to enter into contract to sell a claim before final proof was made. The finding of the Supreme Court will stop proceedings against many men under indictment for participation in that offense and will raise the question of the validity of punishment already wholly or partially inflicted. Men are serving sentence in Nebraska and prob ably other States for contracting with entrymen for the purchase of claims after proof was made, a notable case being that of Rev. George Ware, rector of an Episcopal church in the Black Hills, now in jail, for whose pardon a petition was recently laid before the President by the bishop of the diocese. The position taken by the court will tend to dis courage the investigation into land frauds prosecuted with vigor by the administration under the suppo sition that the processes under which large tracts of the public domain fell into the hands of individuals were illegal. The theory of the land distribution laws seems to be overturned by the court, for it leaves the way open for the employment of dummy entrymen to any number by an individual, who can possess himself, through contract, of all the land he is able to pay for. The decision of the court appears to cover all classes of land entries and, if so, it will seriously af fect the interests of Idaho and all other public land States. It will enable corporations and other com binations to appropriate the forests, to denude the sources of water supply and to carry off everything that is of value to the present and the future. If a corporation can make a valid contract with an individual to purchase his holding as soon as final proof is made, it can make valid contracts with any number of individuals. That is, it can hire any num ber of individuals to take claims and turn them over to the corporation as soon as title is secured. Civil Service Abuses. As was foreordained when the first sleuth of the system was sent to Idaho to make a secret investi gation of the office of the Surveyor General of the State, that official has been asked to resign. The President made the request and General Eagleson can comply or be turned out, as he may elect. His place was needed by the political machine that some server might be compensated, and that is about all there is in the charges that have been produced against him. A short time ago it became necessary, for political reasons, to transfer the register of the Boise land office to another position at Washington and he went to the distant capital in compliance with commands. His place has not yet been filled and the business of the Government is being neglected while the ma nipulators of the system adjust their assignments. The public service is as flagrantly made the me dium of political rewards and punishments as it was before the distinguished civil service reformer placed at the head of the immense patronage tablishment of the National Government. He has administered the system more than half a dozen years and yet the politician can, with old-time impunity, ask for the scalp of a public servant whenever adjustments for influence are needed. The cases under discussion attract local remark because they are locally understood. Changes in the service are continually being made in the interest of was es new party expediency and they attract local attention only. But in the unknown aggregate the putting out of experienced men and the putting in of inexperienced men impairs the public service sufficiently to render it almost inefficient. The civil service, under the reformer, has not been improved in the slightest degree, for the minor places that are protected were under protection when he assumed the reins of government. The public will therefore experience a sense of disappointment in realizing that the loudly heralded improvement in the government workshop was but an empty promise. No Responses Hade. Two weeks have elapsed since this newspaper amiably suggested to Governor Gooding that one of his duties to the public was full and free dis closure of the delinquencies of George C. Parkinson, whose resignation from the board of regents was at tended by some unpleasant rumors. The Governor has not responded. Instead, he has taken his own course, has emptied his vials of accu sation on the head of another official and has dem onstrated his need of a cool-headed advisor by mix ing himself up with a robust libel suit that might have been avoided without impairing the force of his philippic against the Auditor of the State. The Scimitar is assured that the Governor could do justice to the regent without encountering any of the risks that confronted him at the time he made his assault on the revengeful Auditor, and the col umns of this paper are open to him for any gentle manly accusations that he may be disposed to utter against the distinguished Mormon with whom he was recently associated in an official way. The Scimitar also extended to the Mormon church, at the same time, a broad intimation that it might properly visit the wrath of God on the offending Mr. Parkinson and thus verify its rather boastful claim that it always punishes the moral delinquent who transgresses any of its laws. But the church, like the Governor, evinces silent sympathy with the offender in permitting him to continue to point the way that leads to grace and glory, thus retaining him in the capacity of a spiritual guide, though he smells of earth and is very earthy. These two representative wheels in the political machine of the State do not seem disposed to yield to the guiding hand of The Scimitar, which seeks only to square them with the public, and it is con strained to believe that their estimate of the public is similar to that once profanely expressed by the eminent Mr. Vanderbilt. Working a New County. An unusual degree of Mormon activity is noticed in the newly organized county of Twin Falls, in the southern portion of Idaho, where Gentiles predomi nate and government is administered on the Ameri can plan. Missionaries are exceedingly busy in Twin Falls County—the missionaries of a theocracy, not of a religion that is any better than the American religion—and they are endeavoring to plant their churches here and there and establish their methods. There could arise no possible objection to the presence and labors of teachers representing merely the ethics of a Christian religion, but the mission aries of the Mormon church have designs far beyond the spreading of the word of God and the building of shrines to His holy name. Wherever they intrude they seek control politically, commercially and morally and their anxiety for the remission of sins is but incidental—used only buscade as they construct the foundations of a de grading system, as am Twin Falls County is attracting the attention of the best citizenship of the country and it is to be hoped that its productive lands may be reserved for that class of people.