Newspaper Page Text
3£he grisou Hlhrur.
Edited and Published by the In mates of the Minnesota 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 MIRKOR fail to reach a subscriber each week, notice should be sent to this office, and the matter will be attended to at once. Contributions solicited from all souijes, Rejected manuscript will not be returned. THE MIRROR is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year ------ Si .Of Six Months - ----- .5C Three Months ------ .2S To inmates of penal institutions. 50 cts. per year, Address all communications, Editor PRISON MIRROR. Stillwater, Minn. THE MIRROR is a weekly paper published In the Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in 1887 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. NOTICE. ALL PERSONS receiving copies of THE MIRROR who are not on our regular lists will please consider such as sample copies. If, after reading* you conclude that THE MIRROR is worthy of patronage seud. your npne to. this office, fox % trial subscription <\t rates as, pub lished above. Learn a trade, is an advice which all reformers, etc, keep in stock to fling at anyone who hap pens to be down at heels. It is a mighty good thing—a trade. The artisan can usually secure work at some price, but most any man who is willing to work can usually secure something to do. The main question is not the getting of work —the more impor tant item is the question of pay. The cost of living in the United States is comparatively high. The amount of work required of a workman is at least 50 per cent more per capita here than in any Other country on the face of the globe. All foreign workmen com ment on this and frequently com plain about the hard driving to which they are subjected in this country. When this and the high cost of living are taken into consideration it is not surprising that the American workman should demand and require a higher rate of wages than is paid in European countries. This he usually re ceives, although in many localities in this country wages are not any higher than those paid in the same line in England. Such is the case in the textile industries in the East and South. But the desirability of having a trade is undoubtedly great, al though some trades are so simple and easily acquired that the name of laborer is more fitting to those who pursue them than artisan. The more difficult a trade is to learn the higher are usually the wages paid. Some of the more difficult ones are better named arts than trades. Such one, for instance, steel engravers, instru ment-makers, (optical, scientific and musical) Litographers. wood and process engravers, glass blowers, china-decorators (hand), cut-glass workers, certain classes of printers, etc. Such trades are highly remunerative. The wages in some branches running as high as $75 per week. But no matter how good a trade may be, the man who does not know his w T ell, would almost be better off without one. I am not going to take any tling at industrial training, but the fact is well known that many so-called industrial training schools are re sponsible for turning on the labor market a terrible lot of botch workmen. The reason for this is, of course lack of interest on the part of the pupil. It is naturally difficult to get boys to apply their minds to work which is compulsory and for which they receive no compensa tion. Another disadvantage lies in the limited amount of experience which can be given in any trade, and, finally, the difficulty, in some trades, of keeping the appliances in such shape that any good results can be accomplished. I call to mind in this connection an experience I had some ten years ago in one of the largest in dustrial training institutions in the South. An effort was to be made to get out certain work there for which it was deemed necessary to import an expert printer (that’s I). When I arrived on the scene I found a pretty large printing plant with one large cylinder press and two jobbers all run by steam. The jobbers were connected up on the main shaft without speed cones in such a way that they would run at the rate of about 400 per hour, whereas the usual speed for such presses is about 1200. The condi tion of the large press beggars description so —l'll not try to de scribe it. Every case of display type in the office was hopelessly pi’d, and it was almost impossible to pick up two leads or rules of the same length out of the “labor jsaving” cases. You may be sure they turned out printers from that establishment. There is nothing more pitiable than an incompetent workman. He is the last taken on and the first discharged. He is driven from pillar to post—and, worst of all, he is an object of contempt among his fellow workmen. It is his kind that spend their time traveling over the country and stepping in where a difference has arisen between employer and workmen. He becomes that most detestable thing—a ‘'scab.’’ And even a position gained in such a manner he is usually unable to hold, for his employer soon finds him improfitable. But on the other hand, there is the craftsman who is a master of his trade, who painstakingly has learned all its details and many of its tricks. He is always wanted. The employer find it to his ad vantage to pay him somewhat above the “scale’' iu order to keep him and should he desire to leave he will need no other letter of in troduction than that which the cunning of his hands will present. The moral of all this is that it is better to be a master of the poorest trade than a botch at the best. It is a pity that the old system of indenturing qpperentices has fallen so much into desuetude, for under it competent workmen w 7 ere turned out and the master w T as to a large extent the moral guardian as well as the preceptor of his ap perentice. If this system could be revived it w 7 ould enable many young men who go out from a training school w’itli a good foun dation to build upon to be inden tured to some respectable master the scope of whose business would enable them to finish the good work begun in the training school. Too much praise cannot be giv en to the work of most of the in structors in the reform schools of manual training, for they have the most refractory material to deal with, and yet the results attained in these institutions are certainly remarkable and in favorable con trast to the w’ork of manual train ing schools in our large cities, where the teaching of a trade is regarded by most of the pupils as a mere diversion. Prof. Frank Weld, the super intendent of the prison school, has often before given utterance to sentiments tending to encourage fairness on the part of the public in forming opinions about and dealing with ex-prisoners. It is therefore in line with his previous expressions on the subject that the following is given place in his semi-annual report to the Board of Managers, which will, in a few days be ready for the public:— The teachers are selected from the convict body, and, of course, the brightest men are chosen. Some of these men would do effi cient w 7 ork in any public school, and their intellectual attainments would commend them to a culti vated and cultured society. There are among the teachers men w T ho have traveled extensively, and men who have been trained in high schools, colleges and universities. The corps of teachers last year was the best in the history of the school. Each teacher did his work conscientiously and effectively. Sentiments such as the above from men who have every oppor tunity to know do more for us than many resolutions of numer ous societies. They are appeciated by the boys who taught school last season—the immortal thirteen. Some one has said that crimi nals are born not made. Now the writer does not claim to be au thority on the subject, but from close observance and in conversa tion with men who have become criminals it seems safe to say that there are more made than born that way. It is often said “He is a natural born thief, and can’t help it.” This I do not believe, but if that same girl or boy could have had the proper training and their home made pleasant they would have lived a different life. Doubtless this may seem strange and on the crank order. Now parents if your home has been sad dened by the entering therein of dishonesty and deceit, just sit down and quietly run matters over in your own mind and see if you controlled the child. If so, was it with love, or pretended love, and in that controlling did you make him to think there was no such thing as true love. Were you frank and honest with the child, or have you time after time told him that he or she could not do a certain thing and after wards relent and allow them to do it when you knew at the time that you were doing the child an injus tice in yielding. Have you ever threatened to punish and then for got all about it? Or do you believe iu punishing the dsiobedient child. Where are your children at night and in the evenings, are they at home learning their lessons for the morrow, or on the streets learning mischief? Do the parents of the country as a whole, look after the whereabouts of their children as they should? There is another thing wdiere it seems to the writer many make grave mistakes and the child is soon learned to be dis honest with its parents and if the parents, why not others, and that is to allow the child to go to a par ty with barely enough money to pay the actual expenses. He wants more, he borrows it of some one that has been more generously dealt with, and then comes the question how shall 1 pay it back? He has no way of earning it at hand and finds that father's money drawer or some ones’ else is avail able and he makes use of it for this once, and from that he goes on to worse, until he finally lands in the penitentiary, and when brooding over his mistake he will say if my parents had been more strict, or had been honest with me, my life would have been different. Parents make confidents of your boys and girls, be honest with them on all occasions and there will be less criminals to be sent to the prisons. This little lecture was inspired by hearing a conver sation between some of the little boys of this city as to the curfew ordinance, and each told how he deceived his parents in order to get out on the street. One said to the other won’t your mother whip you when she finds out, and he replied that she would threaten but that would be all, she would never whip him even if she did find out that he had lied, for said he she lies to me right along. She tells me she will whip me and then don't do it. One told how he had stolen money of his mother, she threatened to punish him but had not and he would do it again if he got a chance. Parents have much more responsibility in raising children than they are apt to fig ure on, and if more children were kept in from the street at night, there would be less criminals.— Lake City Graphic Sentinel. HITS AND STRIKES The Stillwater Gazette refers to Sterne’s “Sentimental Journey” as “the most immoral book in our language.” That is a most uncalled-for aspersion against a book written by a clergyman and a gentleman, and in which the on ly hint at immorelity is the telling of temptations resisted; temptations for which many a good editor of today would fall. Ido not believe that any one ever was a worse man for having read that little gem. By the way, whiJe the editor of the Gazette is mentioning immoral hooks, I would like to call attention to the much talked-of “Quo Vadis?” While its merits as a work of art may not be questioned, still its great popularity is due lo the filth which it contains. High lights in literature and the nude in art are to the uneducated masses like fire water to an Indian—ruination. While the trained white man sips champagne with a decollette partner with no other effect than a heightened brilliancy and a slight indisposition the next morn ing, the effect of reveling with Nero is likely to be inimical to the masses. It is real mean of the Pontiac Pioneer to reprint any of Hans Miller’s stabs at me in such a way as to make it appear that I myself wrote them. Our compositors are among the fast est in the country. In fact you would have to be acquainted with the strength of this fastness in order to reaiize how very fast they are. Hard and fast. Guess I’ll have to back out of the proposition to bet on Banker Todd. There’s a vast differance between the St. Paul style and the Preston style. Now they are going to take the meas urements of the earth. Probably some new scheme in connection with the Bertillon system. The Czar of Russia is anxiously await ing the reply from Pana, 111., to his general peace proposal. When a widow marries, is that re pairing, asks an exchange. Not pre cisely, but when a Chicago couple gets married, you can bet that it is. Cornell University has again estab lished its claim to leadership in sport ing matters. A freshman has carried off the wife of one of the professors. The husband lost the game on acoount of off side play and poor interference. The following essay on ‘“The Prom ised Land” was written by a Stillwater boy The promissed land was called be cause they dident get it on time. It is in the southeast corner on the map and teacher poked a hole in it near Gee rusalem. It is also called the holey land. The Gews have moved out be cause the law was tuff on ponebrokers. There aint no sawmills in the promissd land because they had log-jams on the jordan and conldent run no xcursion trains because they had no railrodes but asses. It is a little early to prognosticate about the peach-crop m Delaware, but the plum-crop in Pennsylvania and the blackberry-crop in North Carolina are promising. The lack of honor among thieves is again demonstrated. At Spokane a policeman was held up and relieved of $32. Ex Queen Isabella is living in retire ment under the title of Countess of Toledo. This has caused pangs of jeal ousy among other Ohio towns and San dusky has opened negotiations with Hon Carlos to assume the title of Duke of Sandusky. The ordnance commission has decid ed to devote $25,000 to experimenting with flying machines. This will be glad news to a large number of people who have wheels in the balloon. * * * The Northwestern University at Ev anston is reported to have added a course of matrimony to its curriculum. It is not known what it will embrace, although a large number of spinsters from Boston are willing to sacrifice themselves on this new altar of science. A post-graduate course would no doubt be appreciated by Chicago. Gen. Miles called for three cheers for Shatter at a New York banquet the other day. Now if a similar report should come from Schley and Sampson, the peace commission might look upon it as an incentive to action. I read in the papers of another at tempt to assassinate ex-king milan of Servia. The frequency of these reports arises from the fact that the ex-king when cornered by a creditor, is in the habit of crying out: “I am stabbed.” A man who has been the cause of a great many ups and downs has just died in Chicago. His name was Crane. He made elevators. A St. Paul young lady, when in formed that kissing was dangerous to health,tartly replied: “Thank you for the information, but I do not kiss for my health.” The latest combine is for the purpose of controling the fish market. It is not thought that this will interfere with our supply of “fresh fish” for this in stitution. A new side income for sheriffs has been discovered. It consists in haying the pictures of men accused of crime taken (by force), and selling them to the Sunday papers. Oh, yes. This is a free country. Any quantity of liber ties. “The Cell Theory as it Relates to Hu man Anatomy,” is a very learned work by Prof. Virchow. It should be care fully studied by prison officials every where. A man with a stock of fake jewelry invaded a country town once, and his advertisement headed “Grand Auction” occupied one-half of the. front page of the local paper. But the intelligent compositor went around to the auction and got “suckt in” on a full-jeweled, brass watch, and his revenge was ap preciated the next week, when he had surreptitiously changed a letter in the ad, and the scare line appeared as GRAND SUCTION *** “I hear your son is a great scholar, Mrs. Bliffington.” “Yes, indeed. He is a most carnivor ous reader.” Hans Miller includes entomology in the study of anatomy. That however is no sign that Hans is bugged. * * * A woman in Paris shot a judge be cause he had refused her father justice. Some of those French judges need hanging worse than shooting. There are others. Old adges exist only to be knocked in the head. Our peace commission have for several months been engaged in demonstrating that the sword is mightier than the pen, although it is probably not able to do as much execu tion as a typewriter. “This is a hard world,” was the re mark of one of The Mikuok force the other morning. He had just fallen downstairs. His opinion on the com pactness of the world is therefore of practical value. The following is handed in by one of the inmates. It is a gem that deserves to go further than this little paper is able to send it: Only a strip of sunshine; Cleft by rusty bars. Only a patch of azure. Only a cluster of stars; And you who judge so harshly, Are you sure the stumbling stone That tripped the feet of others, Might not have bruised your own? I hope you will not neglect to give thanks this Thanksgiving, because you have much cause to be thankful in that you have so much time to be thankful in.