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i .i M m ... i i i a EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY THE IN NATES OP THE MINNESOTA STATE PRISON, STILLWATEB, MINNESOTA. > Entered at the postoffice at Stillwater, Minnesota, as second-class mail matter. H ' - ~ ~ Contributions solicited from all sources. Rejected manuscripts will not be returned. The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates: One Year - * ' - - - SI.OO , Six Months ' - - - - $.50 Three Months - .25 T 6 inmates of all nenal institutions .50 Address all communications to per year. * The Mirror, Stillwater, Minn. The Mirror is a weeklv paper published in the Minnesota State Prison. It was founded in 1887 by the prisoners and is edited and managed by them. It aims 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 shall accrue a surplus of funds, the money will be expended in the interest of the prison library. • For the information of new arrivals and all others desiring to send The Mirror to friends, the privilege wilt be granted by complying with the following rules: Write your own name and register number and send same to this office with name and ad dress of person to whom paper is to be sent. Eacji paper must be kept clean and folded in the same manner in which it is received and placed in your door every Fri day night. All inmates are requested to comply with this order whether sending out a copy or not. - Service in the Prison Chapel at nine o’clock every Sunday morning. Protestant and Catholic service every alternate Sunday. Rev. C. E. Benson and Rev. Fr. Corcoran, chaplains. A Blue X in the otherwise blank space to the right signifies that your subscription has expired. If you wish The Mirror sent to you After receiving a copy thus marked, it will be necessary to fill out the accompanying subscription blank and mail it to Henry Wolfer, Warden, with the price of subscription immedi ately. Yotrsurely cannot afford to miss an issue of The Mirror! So don’t delay, but send in your renewal at once. You have our thanks and appreciation in ad vance. EDITORIAL REMARKS. Our friends and enemies alike, we wish them all a Merry Christmas. And may the next recurrence of the Day find us on a better footing: with our God, ourselves and mankind. The question of whether or no the,public should be placed in pos session of facts which are liable to work to the detriment of the “sub merged tenth,” is a hard oue to answer. An esteemed contemporary taking an affirmative stand, attempted to enlighten his readers, lately,and thoagh he may have succeeded in convincing many that the stand he has taken is the right one, we are unable to see it that way and abide by views set forth in this colurnu several weeks ago. The position of editor of a prison paper seems to carry with it a promise of release. During: the-past mouth, two brother editors, both “lifers,” were pardoned aud are now enjoyiug their regained freedom among friends in the great world outside the walls. We rejoice with them. Liberty is one of the greatest gifts of mankind, and even an editor enjoys a taste of it now and then, though the persistency with which some place it in jeopardy would seem to prove the contrary. It is true that some of us have a propensity to be over zealous in fol lowing out the dangerous leads of the profession; such as faking up too many noms de plume,or a 100 energetic chasing of the quoin with a shoot ing stick, yet in spite of these grievious shortcomings, we love our per sonal liberty, and the day which brings with it the return of same, can not arrive too soon for us. True reform must proceed from the man himself. The helping hand is of no avail without the co-operation of the outcast. A man must work out his own salvation to a great extent, for unless he opens his mind to receive the truth, and receiving, acts upon it, the pleadings, tears, or curses of a host of reformers would fail to move him permanently out of his sinful existence and into one of-uprightness. No man, or woman is totally depraved. That fact is generally eon ceeded. There is always hope for the reformation o.f the outcast, and the realzation of that hope depends upon the time when he will be brought to a knowledge of the truth. And when he once sees the truth, his reforma tion is accomplished, for he then becomes aware of the great advantages to be obtained from living the truth, and will nevermore depart from the paths of right. Humanity, broadly speaking, has a tendency to reach for those things which work for its betterment, and this tendency is stimulated by the recurrence of days set aside to honor the leaders of men whose char acter and works are graven on the milestones of human progress. Among these special days is one which stands out far more prominently than the others, and calls forth the most genuine feeling —the day which ushered into the world, in human form, the Savior of mankind. Your particular, religious beliefs, if you have any, matters not —you .still, and always will have a reverence for Christmas and the happy childhood memories connected with it. Regardless of all religious beliefs, the most arrogant free-thinker ad mits that on this day over 1900 years ago, the most remarkable man ever known in history was ushered into the world. No one questions the fact that such a man lived. It is admitted by all. His divine origin has been scouted by a small number of atheists, but not even one of them have the temerity to deny that as a human he lived and possessed and exerted a wonderful power for good. The thing that sets out his personality more than anything else is, that in the time in which he lived-on earth in human form, humanity was divided into two distinct classes, the masters and the servants, the one scorning to mingle with the other, and yet Christ, pos sessing that rare genius envied by rulers, mingled with the poorest of the poor and sought iris followers among the outcasts. Even the late Col. ingersoll, though disavowing Christianity in its divine attributes, pays the words of the Christ, the most glowing tribute in saying that the Bible is the grandest'book ever written. The life of Christ, taken simply as the man, even has and even will be the grandest stimulant ta the downtrodden and unfortunate in all climes and at all times. And we, who, at our worst, still respect the faith of our fathers and the gentle teachings received at our mother’s knee, should honor the day, not for its holiday feature, but for its holy aspect. It is the greatest possible tribute to religion, that men reared bv Christian parents, though they may become outlaws from society, always have a corner in their heart that withstands the mutatious of a turbulent life; and this corner is reserved for an undyiug love for parents,.brothers TO INMATES. CHURCH NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS and sisters, And a Respect for the religion that brightened and made holy the simple words poured from the loving heart of a mother. A We have often heart! of or seen so-called totally depraved men who would in general ridicule religion as preached to theiii, but let a disre spectful word be said of this same religion and its connection with their parents, and they would resent it to the utmost. ‘ ' On Christmas Day let us all devote a few minutes to a recalling of the Christmasses of the past and see if we are as well pleased with the mode of life that Jed ug here to spend the holiday, as we might be with aii upright career that would have led us into pleasanter lines where we could and should be men among men. s A glance over the past will, certainly do us no harm, and may lead to giving us a truer insight into life as we can make it. Once more The Mirror is called upon to perform a duty which is at once both pleasurable and painful— to speed a departing brother of the gray, or better—to render him a requirem, for, though he is but entering again a life of liberty and, let us hope, happiness, in the great free world outside the walls, he passes out of our lives as completely as though the earth had opened to receive him. We are glad to know that his days of pain among us are over, and that he goes forth to enjoy himself in the shadow of bis own hearth, and yet, it is always hard to see a friend go from us, even Jhough we know it means happiness for him, and it is still harder, when we realize the chances of ever seeing or knowing him again are very slim. But we must ehoke down our own selfish feelings and bid bim Gqd-speed with a smiling face, though our hearts are weeping. Were we situated otherwise these painful partings might not be necessary, but as it is, the great fact that crimes’ punishment is far more than the mere loss of liberty, is brought painfully home to us. The brother who is leaving us today is Mr. F. H., better known as Steele Bard, and the least we can say of him is that during his incarcera tion here, he showed himself to be every inch a gentleman. Sincere and sympathetic, he was always ready to help a fellow along so far as he could, and many there are- of us who will long remember his friendly advice and words of cheer. Aside from his congenial personality, Mr. F. H., is a writer of great ability. He was a valued contributor to the Family Jour nal, for over a year, and some of his writings were copied by the best publications in the land. He did much for our paper, and more for those whom it represents and the withdrawal of his services from our staff leaves a vacancy which cannot be easily filled. " Among the best of his writings were “The Prayer of the Brothers of the Gray” which appeared in the Thanksgiving issue; his “Grief Song,” and a bit of prose entitled Banish Booze!” There were many others hut these three have been selected, as the best and are worthy of a place in any publication. Would that it were possible to fill The Mirror with gems like them each we6k! We have not the space to reprint “The I rayer but the Grief Song,” and the sermon on “Booze” are given be low in full: “Grief Son£.” * ? ¥ I but sigh my poor lay in the gloaming, To the one who cries out for my homing, But the dull wait o'er long, Only burdens my song Of the throb of the years, With their sneers and their tears, And the dirge of the sea in its combing. Still her moan, space and time, keep defying, And the all hut dead heart’s faint replying To the coax in the wail, Like the urge on the sail, Grinds the iron in the soul, And the dole in the toll Of the bejl in the offing, undying. Will we twain never join in the nesting, While grim ages but scorn on the resting Or the black shroud of night ' Ne’er encompass its blight; And the sun never shine On the sign'made divine, Where the Gods smile at bliss, unprotesting; Dark AJons glide away never ending, But the gloom of despair ever pending, Will not turn from my sight, Dare it claim as its right The sweet Hope that still clings Through the flings and the stings, And the sob of the heart-mate, soul rending. “Banish Booze.” 9 * » . ; v Banish boose and the walls of this institution can be used for road building. In a few years the corridors will echo with the solemn tread of a lonely hundred malefactors, and the State Prison will be count ed a dismal financial failure. The bug-houses will be turned into butter factory and the reformatories into schools for the masses. Ten thousand citizens now wasting their lives selling liquid lightening will go to pro ducing honest wealth and the commerce of the state will double. If beans brought as much damnation as booze any man foolhardy enough to raise beans would be strung to the nearest telegraph pole. The facts are so self-evident that the statistics of every state prison in the land an nually prove them beyond all question. Only two total abstainers have been received in the last year and nine lifers out of ten admit that they were drunk when they flirted with fate. Banish booze! In going, Mr. H., leaves behind a host of friends who wish him noth ing but happiness, and though he shall be seen no more among us, his works and his memory will long withstand the destroying hand of time. We bid you farewell, friend, and God-speed! Mirror Mail. The following message of Good Cheer has been received from “Minnesota Rose,” an old friend of the prisoner’s God’s grace be with you ail! Sweet memories will fill many, many a heart this glad Christmas tide, of days gone by when you were with your loved ones. But today as you go back over the years of time you shudder at the thought of how you now are spendixfgf your Hfe be J hind the great prison doors. Why is it my friend, why are yon there? Ah! you well remember the days gone by Vben the pleasures x>f life seemed to give you an everlast ing happiness. Where did it lead you? To a life of misery and sin. ’Tis true when we read in the holy scripture that wide is the gate that leads to destruction. Yes, it swings its portals wide to those who enter. And once entered, the devil will drag them farther and farther down in misery and shame, and at last cast his victims into the burning pit of Hell. . How sad a fate! We see again the grace of God as He calls to.you in your sinful way. He pleads with you,. to turn ere ’tis too late. Oh my friends, why scorn your Master? lie whose blood flowed on Calvary’s Cross to redeem the lost. He who rose from the dead that we may have life eternal. What does it mean to you? God alone can lift a soul out of its sinful life, mould it with His divine power and grace and make it a life of holi ness and peace. Yes, my friends, ’tis blessed to fol low in His footsteps. He has said: “blessed is the man that walketh not in the council of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners', nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Ps. I: 1. • Let our life’s work here be done and when we are called to yonder shore —Oh,blessed thought — our soul shall theu soar to the heav enly throne to praise its Redeemer in eternity. Let this Christmas mean to you a soul saved, a life redeemed, is the prayer of a most humble servant. “Minnesota Rose.” ■ • Vr: Vi...- ‘J. _ r ... Herr Lim burger There vas an old saying that Christinas comes but vonce a year. Bat how many of us vould like to see it eeme efery quarter? - Christmas prings its woes as well as its joys for efery von but the lit tle children, God bless dem. Dey vas bills for dad, tears for moder and sisters, disappointments for Vil lie, regrets for de unmarried and grief for de prisoner. Christmas stands for joy und God knows ve all try to be cheerful t enough, but some times our sorrows hits us too hard und ve feel as dough ve cannot.be happy und den ve set down und have a j*<3od cry. But ven looking at the day as it comes to us here, de hearty greet ings of Merry Christmas vich iss such good music to the ears ven ve vas outside, sound hollow and full of mockery to us. But ven ve dink dot ve can better man ve den und there find joy, for no joy vill come mit evil thoughts. Und den again, dose of us who vas readers' lofe to read de books und magazines dot ve gets, apout de peace on earth, und so much goot vill to men. For if dere vas anv vou dot vas in need of peace und good vill, it vas us. Yah, ve need efery bit of it. Christmas vas von good day but it prings so much sor row to de prisoner. He realize vot a fool he hafe been und some often vi s h dot Christmas vould nefer 6ome. But let us look at it from a different vay, not on de dark side of life, but let us gaze on de shining . side; let us try and be as ve all vant to be, und ve can ven Christmas comes, like all de rest, enjoy our freedom uud be as God intended for us to be —happy. I vish all de readers of dis paper a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year^especially to the inmates of prisons und vish dot de next vill find us mit dose ve lofe. Health Department. W. C. Van D, About Eating in General It is not necessary to eat every thing you can get hold of in order to exist, even in here. If you are not doing hard physical labor it # is wise to omit the meat course^at breakfast entirely, and for most men, especially men, who are inclined to take on flesh, potatoes also. The bread is glways good; the steamed bread that we have been getting lately for breakfast is ex cellent. Stick to bread and gravy, or bread and syrup for breakfast and you will find you will feel much lighter and healthier. At dinner time we all need a good meal so we will let that pass ex cept to remark that the haraberger steak we bad twice lately was as fine as any we have ever eaten anywhere. Do it again Mr. Westlund, the boys all appreciate it. For supper the steamed fruit is a most excellent regulation for tiie bowels —especially the figs, but take a crust or a heel if you aro going to eat more than one slice of bread. The better cooked the bread is, the easier it digests, remember you are not going out for a stroll after sup per, but are going tQ_s*ay in where the supply of oxygen is, to say the * least, rather limited. Don’t push your stomach to the limit, but re member it isn’t what you eat that does you good, but what you digests Ghautauqua. The regular meeting of the Pier ian Chautauqua Circle was held in Chapel Hall on Sunday, Dec. 17 v 1911. Five new members were added to the roll of the circle. Papers were read, viz: “Napo leon at St. Helena” by J. A. ().< “The Commission form of City gov ernment.,” by J. A. S.. and “A. Traveling Man” by J. H. H. The above papers were all well received and proved very instruct ive, and showed considerable work and thought on the part of the writ ers. The entire report was concise and to the point, mentioning especially the paper of J. A. O. as being a. thouroughly good paper. On motion of J. O. the circle unanimously passed a resolution thanking Steele Bard for his services to the circle and wishing him a hap py and prosperous career in his new life. Steele Bard then thanked the circle in his own inimitable way. J. H. H. Secretary.