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Records of the Convention.
Since nineteen years ago, when the representatives of the people of Idaho were in convention preparing the constitution upon which the laws of the State of Idaho were to be based, the stenographic notes of the proceedings of the convention have remained uninterpreted and the most important part of the history of Idaho is concealed therein. It is understood that the notes are to be tran scribed for the information of the Supreme Court and if a patriotic legislature, free from Mormon control, is secured at the next election, the proceed and the debates will probably be printed and mgs placed within reach of the people. The debates in all constitutional conventions are considered high authority in legal and judicial cir cles, as they throw light on the intentions of the conventions in relation to provisions that are some what obscure, and the intentions of a convention are always a guide in the judicial interpretation of the product of the convention's labors. The only available record of the work of the Idaho constitutional convention of 1889 is found in the columns of the Boise Statesman of that period. A representative of the Salt Lake Tribune went through the files of that paper last week and ex tracted therefrom ample evidence that, when the constitutional convention adopted the test oath it the avowed purpose of that body to forever disfranchise every polygamist and teacher and abet was tor of polygamy in Idaho. There was sharp discussion over that feature of There were two reports from the constitution, the committee on suffrage, but the test oath as it stands in the constitution was adopted by a now vote of 36 to 16, the date of its passage being July The Statesman of the next day said: 26, 1889. The convention met the Mormon question with the most decisive and extreme remedy suggested.. And that was right. Mormonism and a free State cannot both live in Idaho, wide as are our borders. dwell here—to build a State foi If we purpose to . , . ourselves and our children—we must, at the start, let this monstrous combination of ignorance ana knavery understand that it is to have no vote ot voice in the work. The government that we set these plains and mountains is to be suprenu. No revelations, no matter up on within our boundaries. # their source, coming from the lying lips of lecherous priests, are to be received here as superior to the enactments of our own statute books. It was a monstrous danger which confronted oui State at the start and our delegates have met it like men and the people will solidly stand by them. The Boise Statesman was strong in those days the side of the right. It is now silent, although the issue has lost none of its importance. The party that it represents has endorsed the thing that The Statesman said was monstrous and while that paper refuses to defend the course taken by the party, it does not cry out against an alliance it knows to be unholy. This is to be regretted, for The Statesman could be of great help to the cause it once so ably endorsed. The tyranny of party is sometimes so great that it ought to be broken aw a} on from. The action of the constitutional convention of 1889 was ratified by the people almost unanimously, the majority being 13,000 in a vote of 15,000. There no party division on the question of polygam) about through the was in those days. That has come ability of the Salt Lake hierarchy to deal success fully with party machines, the voting members o the party sustaining the action of the bosses, thougi it is believed with very great reluctance. of the Salt Lake Tribune proceeds The account as follows : It is an easily ascertainable fact that July 26, 1889, J. T. Morgan, Republican delegate to the const tu tional convention from Bingham County, mos terly denounced the Mormon church and calle( J a tention to its bloody record for twenty-five years "in murdering men because they were opponents to that monstrous fraud." "Such a people," he said, subjection by such legislation as we propose, severe it may be. This monstrous crime this desperate remedy. . It .is neither wisdom nor patriotism to be hesitating in this duty. The su only be held in however demands can stitute (Beatty's) allows the Legislature to legis late in regard to certain 'classes.' Let your consti tution attempt to deal with these 'classes' and they (the Mormons) will at once put themselves outside of these 'classes,' and there is an end to your pro hibition. We must enable the Legislature to meet them in any and all possible "classes,' be ready to meet them in whatever shape they may assume. In our section we have Mormons for neighbors. We are a unit on this question. Democrats and Republi cans, we are all one on this question, and we desire all sections of the territory to stand with us against this terrific crime and menace." That expression was the consensus of opinion among the delegates to the constitutional conven tion. Democrats, Republicans and labor delegates were unified in opposing the Mormon encroachment in battling as the Idaho Daily Statesman expressed it July 11 with "an ecclesiastical hierarchy setting itself up in a State and claiming from its devotees an allegiance superior to their allegiance to the State or the United States, a monstrous dogma, and danger more to be deprecated than an hundred test oaths." There was not in all that was said and done at that convention the slightest vestige of utter ance or opinion which then or now could be dis torted to mean a defense of the Mormons. There was not a man in that convention, there was not a Gentile in Idaho, who vouchsafed one word of praise or commiseration for the Mormons. It was a gathering of which the Idaho Daily Statesman said : "We are struck with the intellectual aspect and business air of the membership. There is nothing juvenile or tender-footed about the tone and look of the convention. Nearly all have reached middle life, and the gray heads are not infrequent. They look like men who are familiar with affairs and are at home in consideration of affairs of state. They come together in a spirit of patriotic loyalty to the great duty consigned to their keeping." And these men, according to their utterances, were grimly determined to throw off what was described as "the clutch of that obscene monster, the Mormon church," the mere suggestion by the correspondent of the Salt Lake Tribune that a Mormon bishop had been present at a Democratic caucus was regarded as the grossest affront, and a resolution was intro duced demanding that public reparation be made. And the Democrats who took umbrage at this re port were the minority, which fought to leave the execution of the test oath to the discretion of the Legislature. It was solely upon a question of pre cedent that dissension arose, the minority showing reluctance to give practically monarchical power to the Legislature, and never at any time during the convention was section 3 of the test oath itself disturbed or changed. It appears that the delegates confronted with a pure proposition of self It was a concerted and harmonious were preservation. effort to annihilate forever what the Idaho Daily Statesman pronounced "the stupid and gross pro fanity which would lift abandoned debauchery, the riotous and beastly abandonment to our lowest pas sions, into a sacrament of the sweet and pure re ligion of Jesus of Nazareth." These were the motives of the delegates to the convention of 1889, which gave birth to the test oath, the provisions of which no Legislature shall annul. These are the words which for eighteen years have lain forgotten in the archives of the 'State of Idaho, and which apparently the Supreme Court of the commonwealth has now demanded in order, it is supposed, that it may clearly understand every element which may enter into its deliberations upon the Budge case. And in studying the report of the constitutional convention, the supreme bench will learn that W. B. Heyburn, of Shoshone County, present senior United States Senator of Idaho, was a firm and active delegate of the exigency which de manded the disfranchisement of every Mormon. It will learn that July 16, 1889, Mr. Heyburn, in the discussion of the bill of rights, strongly urged the addition to section 4 of a clause which would re quire Mormons to make additional oaths or affirma tions before exercising the right of suffrage or ac quiring title to public lands. His motion was lost under a parliamentary ruling, it being contended that the suggested provisions should be made a part of the article on suffrage. And it will learn that I. T. Lewis, of Alturas County, who had lived among the Mormons for thirty years, exhorted the convention to adopt every possible precaution in order that the saints, whom he described as a re sourceful and slippery people, might not at future time insinuate themselves within the privi leged classes by some false and characteristic rep resentation. And it will also learn that J. W. Poe, Demo cratic delegate from Nez Perce County, after James H. Beatty's motion to modify section 4 had been lost, urged his confreres to refrain during life from condemnation of the convention for its drastic ac tion in disfranchising the Mormons, saying in effect ever some that, although the Democrats fought in good faith, the original text of section 4, preferring that the execution of the test oath should be left to the discretion of a Legislature, there was no politics in that constitutional convention, and all were gathered there deeply sensible of the exigency which de manded laws to insure a fair and prosperous future for the State of Idaho. Lindsey and the Boys. Lowell Courier- Citizen: The secret of the suc of Judge Lindsey in Denver and of the failure cess of the juvenile court laws in this State seems to be the very simple fact that Judge Lindsey has a knack of dealing with boys and making them look upon him friend who is n't out to punish, so much as to help, them; whereas the ordinary judge has no such remarkable gift. The result is that Judge Lindsey do things that almost no other judge finds him as a can self able to do. Nor is it the fault of the other judges, since talent of Judge Lindsey's order is a rare innate gift, and is not an acquisition. It is a pity, of course, because the penal system as common ly applied to our younger criminals simply con firms them in crime and has no reformative tendency in the average case. Judge Lindsey's method is to snatch brands from the burning, by picking out the good in such a boy's nature and making the appeal to that. It implies a womanly intuition, coupled with a convincing manly sincerity and firmness—quali ties which seldom co-exist in such proportion as is found in Judge Lindsey. If every city could only find his like, and use him to deal with juvenile offen ders much good would be done that cannot be ac complished by prisons and jails and truant schools. The great trouble is that such men are extremely rare—and when found are more often in the schools than on the benches. In Massachusetts, where for two or three years we have been trying a sort of ju venile court idea based on moral suasion rather than punishment, the cry is that it "does n't work" and that a further decay of youthful respect for authority is seriously threatened. How far this is due to the system, or to the lack of personal tact and under standing of wayward children, or to the extraordin ary depravity of the Massachusetts children them selves, is the question. We suspect the latter ele ment may be left out. The children of Denver are probably quite as bad as those of any Massachusetts city, when they are bad at all. The failure in this state is probably due to the lack of really extraordin ary men like Judge Lindsey—for which lack of tem perament nobody is responsible but Dame Nature. It takes a most remarkable talent to do what the Denver judge has done, and the men who can do it are seldom found serving in that particular line. More's the pity. We should save more young men if we had more such extraordinarily gifted boy managers as the Denver man has shown himself to be. Ruth. She stood breast high amid the corn, Clasped by the golden light of morn, Like the sweetheart of the sun, Who many a glowing kiss had won. On her cheek an autumn flush, Deeply ripened—such a blush In the midst of brown was born, Like red poppies grown with corn. Round her eyes her tresses fell, Which were blackest none could tell ; But long lashes veiled a light That had else been all too bright. And her hat, with shady brim, Made her tressy forehead dim :— Thus she stood among the stooks, Praising God with sweetest looks. —Thomas Hood. Senator Hopkins has conspicuously defended the characters of two men, well known men, notorious or distinguished—Senator Smoot and John R. Walsh. Everybody knows what has happened to Walsh and the large majority has hopes for Smoot. Hopkins was never happy in his selections, accord ing to the estimates of Collier's.