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Edited ami Published by the Inmates of the Minnesot a State Prison. Entered at the Post Office at Stillwater, Minn., as Second Class Mail Matter. This paper will be forwarded to subscribers until ordered discontinued and all arrears are paid. Should THE Mirror fail to reach a subscriber each week, notice should be sent to this office, when the matter will be attended to at once. Contributions solicited from any and all sour ces. Rejected manuscript will not be returned. THE MIRROR is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year ------ SI.OO Six Months - - - .50 Three Months ______ .25 To inmates of penal institutions, 50 cts. per year. Address all communications. Editor. The MIRROR. Stillwater, Minn. THE 7IIKROK is a weekly paper published in the Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in l£S7 by the prisoners and is edited and man aged by them. Its objects are to be a home newspaper: to encourage moral and intellectual improvement among the prisoners: to acquaint the public with the true status of the prisoner; to disseminate penological information and to aid in dispelling that prejudice which has ever been the bar sinister to a fallen man’s self-redemption. The paper is entirely dependent on the public for its financial support. If at any time there should accrue a surplus of funds, the money would be expended in the interests of the prison library. Unless above himself he can Erect himself, how poor a thing is man.” —Daniel. “When that supreme moment comes, meet it like a man, like a woman, and choose the good.'' We quote these few words, which, though simple, mean so much to every man and woman, from the excellent article reproduced in an other column under the heading, Choose tiie hood, and would ask every inmate to reflect upon these words, and also upon the two lines that head this article, and make the choice now. To each one of us comes back the memory of childhood and young manhood, when the opportunities were ripe for a choice of life; and today, we curse that blind ness that led us to adopt that which was evil because it seemed to satisfy the bestial part of our natures, and has brought on degradation and misery. Life is short, boys, and man is always as a child, always learning a lesson. If he has to learn the same lesson twice he is to be pitied indeed. But it is within the possibilities of every man to erect himself above himself if he but chooses the good. Prison walls cannot prevent man from becoming a grander, a loftier being than he has been pictured. There is a divine spark in every man that can be fanned into a light that will carry him safely through life's darkness and storms, if he will only dig down in his heart and find it. A spark that will raise him as far above himself and his surroundings, as the clouds are from the forest, as the king is from the pauper; but it will never be felt while evil thoughts or desires are harbored. We must strive every mo ment to banish the evil; and while the process may be slow, as bad habits formed are monsters that require superhuman strength to remove, we will gradually feel the influence of that better side of our natures, and, how ever small it may be, if we but listen to its promptings, we can erect a manhood upon which the convict garb will rest but lightly. Duty toward God and conscience is the supreme height of man. Xe social power on earth can affect it. The time to commence get ting ourselves right is with us now; not when again at liberty, it may then be too late. We are as children pun ished for errors. The true man never commits crime, and as: ••Once to every man and nation Conies the moment to decide. In the strife 'twixt good and evil For the good or evil side.’’ We have learned from experience that to choose the evil means degrada tion, punishment and moral death. To choose the good means honor, happi ness and peace here and hereafter. How will you decide? For the former and a continuation of present condi tions, or the latter and the respect of fellowman? Quite a number of the inmates have made the inquiry: “When did the war for the L nion close ?” We replied, as many others, no doubt, have and would, in 1865. This is not the case however, as in a recent editorial in the Chicago Inter-Ocean, it is claimed that President Andrew Johnson did not issue a formal proclamation de claring the war over until August 20, 1866;andthe Supreme Court of the United States, rendered a decision in 1887, making this date binding upon the entire Government in all official matters. Make your bets accordingly. Ex-Warden H. G. Stordock died at Rothsay Minn., last Monday, of stran gulated hernia. We were pleased to find among our exchanges this week an old friend, the Kansas City Trcice-a- Week Times. We have missed this bright and newsy paper for some time and its re-appear ance is welcome. When a paper says, “The man got it where the chicken got the axe” we can locate the spot without much difficulty. But when they locate the blow “where Hannah wore her beads’’ we confess we “are up a stump" as it were! Supt. Lee of the state reformatory in an interview with a press reporter at the Capitol a few days ago, says: “That they have begun to cut the stone for the new cell building, and expect to get the foundation in this summer. Both the foundation and the super structure will be built by the convicts, and it is expected that the building will be completed in about two years. They now have 128 men employed in the stone cutting.” At a meeting of the Minnesota Edi tors’ and Publishers’ Association held at the St. Paul Commercial Club rooms, last Thursday, the Northwestern Pub lishers' Association was incorporated; capital, .$20,000. The purpose of this organization is to secure state and for eign advertising at rates profitable to the publishers of Minnesota papers. The following board of directors were selected: E. A. Paradis, Midway News, St, Paul; E. Hoard, Montevideo Leader; Geo. A. Lamphere, Moorhead News; A. N. Dare, Elk River Star News; W. R Hedges, Sleepy Eye Herald; 11. G. Day, Albert Lea Standard; J. A. Sehmahl, Redwood Gazette; W. M. James, Breckenridge Telegram, and Joseph Leicht, 'Westlicher Herold, Winona. In the evening the editors joined the Manufactures in gathering about a board laden with the edible products of Minnesota. One of the prison clerks is at work compiling a complete record of the pris on since its inception, which, no doubt, will be very valuable, when completed, to the officials and as part of the State's history. It will show, among other things: The first two prisoners were received Sept., 25th, 1854, from Ramsey Co., both short termers. In Feb.. 1856, there was not one prisoner within the enclosure. Two were re ceived in 1857, but not until Sept., 1859. did the population begin to grow, and it did not reach the 100 mark till 1871. The first murderer was received in 1860, and his register number was 16, indi cating that but few prisoners had pre ceded him. In those days the warden was chief cook, and attended to every thing else required about the prison. At one time, when the only two prison ers were out in the yard, a heavy wind arose, and carried away the board fence, and the prisoners walked out, and never came back. Along in the sixties the prison contained a colored gentleman who was a character, in his way. Every evening he would sneak up town, but would be found in the morning waiting for the warden to open the gate. Sometimes the warden would oversleep himself; and to this, the son of Ham objected, and wrote to the governor stating that he was obliged to stand and wait for hours at the gate after doing the town all night. If this story is true, well may we ex claim, Ah! “those days, those good old days. Will they ever return?" We are in receipt of the following very interesting letter from Mr. Geo. F. Barrett of the Alaska Commercial Company at Kayak Islands. Alaska. Mr. Barrett is a brother of Ed. Barrett, for many years a keeper at the prison. Kayak Is., Alaska. May 24, '95. Editor Mirror, Stillwater, Minn, Dear sir As I am just in receipt of a large number of newsy Mirrors, it reminds me of the fact that my year will soon be up, and as I am most anxious to continue your bright little paper I en close, herewith, S 2. One year in ad vance. As the Mirrors were among the first papers received this spring, after our long ice-bound winter from com munication with civilization, we can assure you that they were heartily wel come and devoured by the many beys in this vicinity. I send you, per this mail, two copies of Alaska Journals, w’hich I am sure the editors would gladly exchange for your spicy Mirror. Yours very respectfully, Geo. F. Barrett. Agt. Alaska Com’l Co. The Mirror, Stillwater This little paper reflects the feeling of the brotherhood of mankind; we are interested in all that makes better manhood and womanhood within the walls.and feel that we, who are without, owe sympathy and help to those who are bearing outwardly the burden of sin, from which none of us are free. Take courage friends, and work out your better selves into the light.—The Duluth Press. The Prison Mirror thinks that in view of the increasing frequency of brutish assaults upon women, it is about time to look the matter squarely in the face and encourage the (laying and burning alive of such monsters. “Hanging,” it says, “is too good, too easy. The prison is a para dise for such fiends.” The Witness would here suggest that the remedy lies not alone in summarily destroying the guil ty ones but by destroying the sin in the child by education, by the education Christ preached.—Northwestern Wit ness. Under the new law. passed last win ter, insurance companies will be com pelled to pay the full amount of policy in case of loss. This will prevent a cheeky adjuster from browbeating fire sufferers out of the sums to which they are entitled and upon which they had perhaps for years been paying a pre mium. Time and again the insurance combine has been able to defeat this measure, which is known as the “valued policy law,” but this year the sentiment in favor of an honest ad justment of loss had reached such proportion that the usual smooth and seductive lobby was unable to cope with it. Hereafter if companies write fictitious insurance they will pay ficti tious losses.—Martin Co. Sentinel. Probably the best institution existing in connection with the state penitentia ry at Stillwater is the prison school. About six years ago the first steps were taken to have a school at the prison and at that time was largely an experiment. But it has passed the experimental stage and is now considered one of the best institutions in connection with the pris on. The Prison Mirror, that bright little paper published at the prison, says that out of the 496 inmates there is not one who cannot read and write, and that those who were unable to do so when they entered the prison now fall upon newspapers and magazines and devour their contents like a hungry person would devour a dainty meal. A higher education will lessen the percentage of crime. Let the good work go on. —The Pine Knot. Clioose The Good. “Once to every man and nation Comes the moment to decide. In the strife ’twixt good and evil, For the good or evil side.” The first time that one was tempted to choose the evil stands out in bold re lief in the memory of every reader of these lines. The sensation is very hard to describe, but we have all been there. Lucky indeed is he, who decided to “pass up" a moment's pleasure. When next the tempter beckoned it w’as easier to wave an easy “nay." It is the first step that tells the story. It is the “divide - ’ in life. Stand by the right and life's descent will be easy and full of pleasure. Take the plunge and you get the exhilerating sensation of being carried through the air; but the fall must come and then what? If the boys and girls who are growing up, surrounded with all that the experience of ages can devise to educate, could only realize the importance of deciding in favor of the good, how little would the next generation care for prisons, asylums, poor houses or Keeley cures! One can not stir from his mother's apron strings without encountering an opportunity to choose between good and evil. The path toward bestiality, drunkenness and crime is strewn with roses and bordered by gilded castles. Those who are traveling in it are dressed in the latest fashions and there is an unnatural color on their counte nances. The temptation to join them is great. Xow look on the other pict ure. See the honest, hard-w r orking, painstaking boys and girls plodding along and carving out a path of their own towards the mountain of success. It is hard to get down there with them and leave the pretty picture of a life of ease that w T e have just seen. But time goes on as it has a habit of doing. A score of years have been lost in those four figures that mark the circles of the earth and now take a look at our friends. What a change. Those in dustrious, honest toilers are resting on the brow of the mountain. The view is glorious, the air refreshing and in vigorating and but one thing spoils the enjoyment of the well-rewarded worker. It is the human wrecks that he sees strewn along that highway on which he was at one time sorely tempted to tread. How sad it makes him feel! He tries to help them, but they sneer at his extended hand. He calis on them to quit the road they are on and follow him; but they are as stone and hear him not. What is to be done? What are the choosers of good doing; but building hospitals, prisons and poor houses at intervals along the highway and here and there a stray wreck is sheltered from the storms or anchored that it may not endanger the lives of such as are not yet wholly lost. Be fore it is too late, the ambitious boy and girl should pause and count the cost. Bead the four lines of verse that head this piece of advice and when that supreme moment comes meet it like a man, like a woman, and choose the good.—Kenville Star-Farmer. A Word For tlie Times. There are those who tell us that we are entering upon a new era, a time of unique interest to our own land and the world at large. A time when effete systems of social and business life must give place to new ones better and higher, which shall grow of nec essity out of the disintegration of the old. In short, we are told that this is a climacteric age. To this assertion every thinking mind must give a more or less hearty assent. The transition, though gradual, has been sure and persistent until we iind ourselves entangled in conditions strangely complex, but which must nevertheless be met promptly and forcibly. In a crisis like the one which confronts us today, character of a high order will be in de mand to aid in the readjustment which must inevitably follow a chaotic con dition of affairs. But this demand will not be met while men and women are dominated as at present by fear. Let any thoughtful person note for one month the casual remarks and mental attitude of those about him and he will soon iind the trend of thought to be timorous in the extreme. On the one hand are men fearing the harvest will be damaged by drought, on the other that it will be ruined by too copious rains. When nature car ries her affairs with a high hand and forces the season, the individual croaker fears again that the early buds will be frost bitten, with evident chagrin if his worst fears are over ruled. Let there arise the merest whisper of a contagious disease and a note of alarm resounds through the neighborhood and some one is always afraid somebody else, whom they hasten to name, is going to take it. The honest man hesitates to run for office for fear he should fail of election. Take a bold stand for a principle and mark how shrinking conventionality fears the idea has not been fully en dorsed. The simplest matter in the ordinary details of life seems to be occasion for some expression of alarm. Such a con dition of mind renders an individual incapable of a healthful comprehension of life and its work. The world is slow to learn that fear is the highway to contagion, serving to attract toward men the very enemy of which they stand most in dread. And because fear is contagious and is one of the most fatal diseases, the man who spreads it, ranks with one who would pass from a pesthouse recklessly lip and down the crowded street. Fear is fatal since persisted in it renders a person unfit for clear seeing or vigor ous action. Business will revive, men have reiter ated, when confidence is restored. In that word confidence lies the secret. What is this confidence, and who is responsible for its restoration ? Some vague impersonal quality means noth ing. Let each individual eliminate fear from his mind, cease to pass it on to his neighbor; let him stand like a man in emergencies, then and then only will confidence be restored. It will never come to stay while men think they see a danger lurking behind every corner, or a cyclone ready to burst upon them from every threaten ing cloud. Courage fits a man for seizing the opportunity, and holds him in every event. Among men of cour age will be found our leaders in the near future and among such women, too, for God is no respecter of persons when he moulds great souls. —Penny Press. We Tlie Jury. It is often surprising that intelligent men and women can indulge in so much useless chatter and so much aim less thinking about the men and the things we are pleased to term “practi cal.” One would almost think that the theorizer, in their opinion, is a species of maniac, and that the practi cal man is the only human creature en dowed with proper sanity. At once a new work is proposed the public set up a cry for its execution by a practical man; the moment, a new system is suggested, people demand that its au thors take themselves and their minds out of the way, and leave its inaugura tion and completion to practical meth ods. This is all very natural, and in some degree necessary; but we are in clined to carry our demand too far, to the exclusion of the man whose brain first makes a new work or scheme pos sible and to whom, as its author, be longs by right most of the credit and profit. Common sense has been defined as a capacity to tell how things will work. If this be true, and it undoubtedly is true, then the man who can conceive a common-sense idea will, nine times out of ten, be able to carry it forward to reality if only he is given a fair oppor tunity. But, as a rule, he is forced to struggle against strong antagonism to his theoretic enthusiasm; antagonism engendered by people who cannot un derstand that the greatest and most lasting of all reforms and accomplish ments have been and always will be born of the thought, persistency and devotion of the enthusiast. If enthusiasm which comes of honest conviction and common sense is to be derided, then even the practical man himself is not safe. lie may be an ex tremist in his ideas, quite as distinctly as is supposedly the theorist. The only difference is that his enthusiasm is negative and cold blooded; for the strictly practical man is content to ‘Bet well enough alone," is willing to accept things as they are and always have been. Surely such an unprogressive creature is as hurtful to society, as un qualified to administer the affairs of men, as is the mere common-senseless theorizer who can speculate but not achieve. It is only when both are brought together in harmony and with ideas of mutual help, that good results can be obtained. These two elements are essential to all social and political welfare, and it should be the ambition of every good citizen and every careful home builder to combine in his own personality the virtues of the man of ideas with those of the man of deeds. Find the man in whom are united the push, spirit of research, persistency, and energy of the theorist with the care fulness. clear sightedness and business perception of the so-called practical man, and you will have the man, who contributes something to the strength of his nation and to the civilization of the world. Without the aid of such men as this, the efforts of the theoretical extremist and the practical extremist would count for nothing; for, though wisdom and genius may discover and invent, busi ness sense must come forward to push them into life and activity. In Edison we find such an ideal man. Fullerton was another; so was Stephenson. But what would all the great genius of Howe have accomplished without other men to put his theories to practical use ? And is it not true that Morse, another great thinker, could not have succeeded alone? Our great need is for more men like those of the former group. The theorist is the real pioneer, but it is the exception, not the rule, that he receives that reward for his genius to which he is justly entitled. If, therefore, we would bestow honor where honor is due, let us look with more favor upon the man with theories. He may not have the business faculty of the practical man; that is his mis fortune, not his fault. But he has a brain whose strength and clearness pre pare the way for accomplishment, and without which the road would be full of insurmountable obstacles. He turns the practical man from a stumbling block into a helpful factor toward the advancement of civilization. Why, then, should he not receive more credit and more of the world's consideration? Here is a chance where we ourselves may be both judge and jury in the ad ministration of justice.—Boston Budget. The Prison Min or is a paper that is well worth reading. Every issue is re plete with words of advice and wisdom that every young person could well af ford to peruse. The editor has been called a preacher by some more-nice than-wise men. If there were a few more such men with the fearlessness of speaking against the wrong as ex hibited by the Mirror man, there would be a consequent reduction in the number annually sent to Stillwater. — Princeton Union. LITERARY NOTES. Fantastic and entertaining is the story of “A Trip to Mars,” by T. B. Connery, judging from the opening chapters, which appear in Once a Week for June 6. The means by which the teller of the tale, thanks to amysterious bottle, confided to him by the Hun garian savant, Prof. Virskin, contrives a journey to the ruddy planet, which has so engrossed the attention of earth’s inhabitants of late, is told with skill and verve. The story is as re freshing as a trip in a balloon would be in this torrid season.