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Vol. XV.—No. 33. * JRb Old Cime American Prison. « j. _ j,. + **^ — iT* p> -*-•»£© IN glancing over an old volume of Ballou’s Pictorial Magazine of the date of 1858, the writer came chusetts state prison situated at Charlestown, which he believes will b° of general interest to the inmates of this institution and will enable them to make comparisons between the present methods of dealing with prisoners in penal institutions and some of the ideas prevalent half a ceDtury ago. The article in question is illustrated with a number of cuts of the institu tion showing the general character and •arrangement of cells, kitchen; yard, etc. One of these pictures presents a convict in his prison dress. This dress, in which all the prisoners were clothed, was half red and half blue, so that on one side they appeared red and on the other blue. The third grade suits in use at the Stillwater penitentiary, and which are very seldom worn by over a dozen inmates at any one time, are dress suits as compared with those blue and red affairs in which the old bay state robed her convicts in those early days. And the cap they wore! Made of the same two colors as the suits, it was built up to about three stories, and came to an apex something like an old-fashioned loaf of sugar. The original structure of the Charles town prison was built iu 1804 and 1805. In 1826 another wing was added to the main building. It was built on what was then known as the Auburn system, and at that early day was looked upon as a model of humanity and propriety; “yet at the present day,” (1859) says the writer, “with the increased knowledge of prisoners and prison discipline, it is looked upon as barbarous, from the coffin-like size of its cells, its narrow areas, and its gloomy porthole win dows in the exterior walls.” The outer windows on the old parts were mere slits or loopholes in the massive walls admitting little air and less light. The •cells in themselves were narrow and with very clumsy entrances, having doors mostly solid, which gave the in mates but a small allowance of light and air admitted from the outer win dows. . .I \ • The report of the board of inspec tors for the year 1858 says: “The pris oners as an almost universal thing, have been prompt, orderly and respect ful. Many of them have shown an un usual and most encouraging desire to form fixed habits of industry and be havior, so that on regaining their lib erty, they may be prepared to lead vir tuous lives.” These convicts were imbued with the right kind of motives and intentions, and if they lived up to them after their release they no doubt became exemplary citizens. The re port then goes on to state that no cor poreal punishment had been inflicted for two years. Previous to that period the favorite mode of punishment was to strip the prisoner to the waist, fasten him to a post and then play the devil’s tattoo on his back with a cat o’ nine tails, until either the recipient fainted or the wielder of the whip desisted from sheer exhaustion. Corporeal punishment is still inflicted in a large number of the prisons and convict farms of the southern states. The laws of these states prescribe the num ber of blows that shall be inflicted on the convict’s bare flesh, and also desig nates the size and weight of the strap to be used. The state of Delaware uses the whipping post for the punish ment of minor infringements of the law. In 1857 the good time law went in to effect. As to the excellency of the law, the report says: “This wise across an article on the Massa- STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, MARCH 6,1902. provision has been observed to have a very salutary influence and is a very strong incentive to good behavior.” As the last few months of a prisoner’s term, like the closing weeks of a long voyage, hang much the most heavily, the prisoner, knowiug that by a few months’ perseverance in the good de corum thus induced, can lessen his term several months he naturally does his best. It also has the result of forming in the convict permanent hab its of obedience and self-control, and developing in him a more hopeful and therefore more kindly and tractable disposition. Here is an extract from the warden’s report: “Not a stripe with the lash has been inflicted for an entire year; the cat has been laid aside for ever; soli tary confinement has been substituted with the very best results. Jhe argu ment heretofore raised in favor of the lash has been that by this mode the state has not been deprived of the la bor of the convict, as would be the case were he shut up. Dollars and cents should not weigh against discipline and reformation; excessive severity always tends to harden the heart. The stout est man that ever breathed will suc cumb beneath the lash; he may be con quered but not subdued, and he returns to his work neither a wiser nor a better man, but too often with feelings of ha tred and revenge rankling in his bosom; Upon the other hand, there is not probably, any degree of personal se verity that produces such a powerful impression on the human mind as soli tary confinement. Thus condemned to his own thoughts, he' has an opportu nity of renewing his past misconduct. In fact he must reflect, and he knows that the length of his punishment rests with himself. “A day or two will hardly elapse be fore a change is visible, and the proud est spirit will solicit enlargement, with premises of the utmost industry and quietness. Instances could be cited where all other methods had failed, and the subjects given up as in corrigible and hopeless; yet under this treatment they have been changed, and are now among the most industrious and well-behaved men in the prison. Wholesome seclusion from the world, coupled with constant occupation, form the extent of their punishment. Nothing that will humiliate or degrade a convict is demanded or expected of him.” It seems that the old theory that prisons ought to be not merely places t)f restraint, but of restraint coupled with deep and intense misery, and that so much evil is repaired by so much misery, Was beginning to be considered as a little Jess than barbarous in Mas sachusetts in 1858. The inspectors of the prisons also recommended the adoption of a rigid classification of the inmates, as by that means the most good could be secured to the convict and the highest degree of efficiency to the prison in its character of a penal and reformatory institution. The entire labor of the convicts was let out to lessees. The health of the prisoners was ex ceptionally good, as out of a popula tion that averaged 638 not one death occurred in ten months and the in mates of the hospital only averaged four per day for the year. F. The greatest bay on the face of the earth is that of Bengal. Measured in a straight line from the two inclosing peninsulas, its extent is about 420,000 square miles, or nearly double that of Texas. ‘‘IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” Castles. There’s a building boom In Nowhere land— It's the one that comes each year, When the spring is new And the skies grow blue And the south wind whispers cheer. Witii Fancy as architect, we’ve planned (His charges are small but fair) 1 mprovements great For each vast estate And our castles in the air. It's only a minute we need to see The minarets and towers In beauty rise ’Neath our very eyes And these treasures all are ours. Your likes may be fickle and strange ami free, For easily you repair The wreck that falls When the old charm palls In your castles in the’air. When the golden rivers of twilight start And the scarlet suivsinks low, It’s a journey slight To that laud of light Where the maybe blossoms blow. And It’s only the friend with the honest heart Who has followed through ill and fair Who can be your guest " As you dream and rest In your castlesJn the air. A RECENT DETEC TIVE STORY. WHEN Conan Doyle intro duced herlock Holmes to the world of fiction he gave us a character rich in many interesting traits. That subtle, crafty genius of deduction has .had many imitators, some good, some bad and not a few simply ridiculous. The reasoning of some of the disciples of Sherlock Holmes is very illogical and would be tiresome were it not for the amazing conclusions they ofttimes all unconsciously reach. In one of the recent periodicals there appeared a story entitled “A Challenge to Crime,” in which the author tells us his tale “is the account of a coid-biooded conversation and its gruesome sequel,” Gruesome it is, and cold-biooded enough to suit the most frenzied reader of blood and thunder literature; butits text is an absurd fabrication of illog ical nonsense. The characters in the tale are three students and a villain of stupendous originality who is known by the mystery-inciting name of “Un der the Tiles.” The students lived to gether in happy comradeship, marred somewhat by the austere, cynicism of “Under the Tiles.” This villain is peculiar in more ways than one. Mr. S. Verney, his creator, says of him: “‘Under the Tiles’was an old stager and had given years of his life to his pet subject.” His net subject was the study of crime—“the analytical mania and the love of intricate problems.” This analytical maniac spent most of his time in reading literature devoted to his peculiar ailment and searching among the superannuated documentsof the British museum for records of an cient criminal history. His early life was a mystery; the only fact known about his existence previous to making the acquaintance cf the three students was that he “had led a wild life as a cowboy in Mexico.” “His room was a back attic, ventilated and lighted by a large skylight.” Rather confined quar ters for one who had tasted the free air of the plains, and no wonder he turned out bad with no other outlook upon the world than a skylight— One or two windows would have perhaps arrested his morbid tendencies. It is important to bear in mind the location of the villain’s room in order to understand the peculiar conclusion Bolton, one of the students, arrives at in his deduction? from the facts that surround the tragedy. “The house was a detached one, and between it and the one in which we lived was an attached row of twelve, none of which had sky- light windows or a means reaching the roof from the inside.” A very re markable omission in the construction of these houses. The roofs wert* flat, and all such roofs have some means of communication with the attics below them—this is necessary to faciliate re pairs and made imperative by fire ordi nances. This was necessary to carry out the deductions of the shrewd Bol ton. The three students are visited in their quarters by “Under the Tiles” quite frequently, Bolton being particularly interested in “Tiles’s” “pet subject.” One evening during one of these periodical visits, the subject of crime and murder is more thoroughly dis cussed than usual and Bolton expresses the opinion that when the opportunity offers he will surprise the slow-going members of the poliee force. Edwards, the dullest of the students, withdraws from the gruesome atmosphere and seeks the attic room above, where he has been in the habit of burning the midnight oil over his studies. When Edwards leaves the room it is remarked that he appears melancholy. “Under the Tiles” closes the discussion by a brief lecture on his pet hobby and bids the vivacious Bolton good night. Next morning Edwards fails to ap pear as usual and his two friends as cend the stairs to the attic to find the reason. They find the door locked and, on looking through the keyhole, dis cover the lamp burning on the table; they twist open the door and find, “in the center of the room with the feet just lifted from the fioer almost an inch, hung the body of Edwards.” Bol ton, cool and collected, —all the heroes of this kind of a tale are perpetually on ice—restrains his friend from cutting down the body of Edwardß and sends him after an officer. By the time the officer arrives Bolton has the mystery solved. “Under the Tiles” arrives up on the scene with “JTack,” who meets him as he is returning from wiring the police. Bolton says that it is a case of cold-blooded murder and scorns “Un der the Tiles’s” suggestion of suicide. He makes the whole thing clear by the simple process of logical deduction, saying that Edwards was strangled by an assassin who threw a lasso from the open skylight of the attic and en circled Edwards’ throat with its noose. Edwards was studying, and as the crime was commitetd after midnight, he was without doubt tired and proba bly sat resting his head upon the open palm of his hand as he bent over his book. This is the natural attitude of one deeply interested in study. Bolton reasons that Edwards bolt upright in his chair, thus offering'a good target for the noose. What nonsense! And again, you cannot throw' a lasso through an open skylight with any success; you must have room to give the coils of rope full swing—so much for this re markable deduction. Bolton says the murderer crossed the roofs of the ad joining houses, neither of which had any means of communication with the attics below them. What a ridiculous statement! He reasons that when the murderer lassoed his victim he pulled poor Edwards from his feet and left him suspended in the air and fastened to a spike that was part of the appa- . ratus which raised or lowered the sky light. A man does not submit to such drastic usage without some protest. Why, before the assassin could have drawn that rope taut, Edwards would have got a foothold on the chair, reached up and grasped the rope above bis head with both hands, kicked the table over and made noise enough to raise the whole block. Mr. Bolton, your dedufetion is too “obtuse.” Bolton trails the murderer from the scene of the tragedy oyer the roofs of the adjoining houses until the trail is broken by an alley. But an alley ten feet wide does not stop Bolton; he says the assassin bridged it by throwing his —Washington Star. TERMS:-I S-OOperyear.inadvam® 1 Six Months 50 cents. lasso over the chimney on the opposite house and then making fast to another chimney that w r as handy and crossing the chasm hand over hand. This reads well, but such a feat is impossible. You must have good daylight to throw a lasso accurately. Bolton says this feat was done on a dark night. Why ten feet is not such a great distance; one could easily have jumped it. The climax of the tale is when Bol ton denounces “Under the Tiles” as the guilty party. “Under the Tiles” promptly shoots himself, and well he might. Most anybody-would be driven to extremes by such a fabrication of illogical nonsense. ♦ Fiction that deals with the detection of crime in this absurd manner and en deavors to make of crime a high art is very injurious to moral development. Crime, when stripped bare of the glamor of romance, is hideous, and to treat the subject of murder and cow ardly assassination as a fine art is not only illogical, but is in itself debasing. Dime novels have been condemned by the public as moral poison, but here is a leading magazine story that endeav ors to make cowardly assassination a fine art and dishes up the ghastly de tails of a debasing tragedy as an ex ample of current fiction. A YOUNG MAN’S OUTLOOK. THIS question would mean the consideration of present con tions as compared with those of the past, which enable a young man to succeed in gaining a competency and a position among his fellow men. Success does not necessarily mean the acquisition of wealth or fame. Wealth rightfully obtained and used unselfish ly may be an evidence of success, but in all times the key to a successful life has been industry, honesty and intelli gence. The demand for honest and intelligent men is steadily increasing, and the demand for such will ever out number the supply. The educational facilities of today are greater than ever before. On the farm there is less risk of fail ure and equal opportunity for improv ing oneself in the profession. In me chanical occupations, the attentive and industrious workman has great op portunities for rising to the top. The same principles are patent in obtaining success in the professions. Few can otftain great wealth or influence, but ail may be prosperous and successful. Success and good luck are not the same, as some would have you believe. Success only crowns those who toil and wait and trust. All humanity is in the race for success; if we look into the lives of successful men we find pres ent three ruling qualities: labor, pa tience and faith. The first essential is labor. Something cannot b© had for nothing. Genius has been defined as a capacity for hard work. Patience or perseverance is also a prime requisite for success, for no one can pass through this world without meeting difficulties that only patience can surmount.. A foundation for any structure that is lasting must have had expended upon it a vast amount of time and patience. The nobility of toil has always been a favorite subject to writers, and yet it seems to have more flatterers than friends. Labor is the price paid for everything and all values are based up on it. Nature has shown us the neces sity of labor’s exercise by giving us bodies constructed for that purpose. Labor is invaluable in its effect on the mind, keeping it clear and untroubled. It is a duty and a necessity to those born to fortune that they should fol low employment of some kind. The duty of labor also belongs to nations. The toiling masses are supreme in America. The achievements of labor are ever greater and more honored. Strabo. Pendennis.