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EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY THE INMATES OP THE MINNESOTA
STATE PRISON, BTIIA.WATEB V MINNESOTA, r
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Entered at the postoffice at Stillwater, Minnesota, as second-class mail matter.
Contributions solicited from all sources. Rejected manuscripts will not be returned.
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The Mirror is issued every Thursday at the following rates:
One Year .... SI.OO <sx Months - - - . : 9.50
Three Months ... .25 To inmates of all oenal institutions 50
Address all communications to per year.
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 che 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 will be granted by complying with the following rules: Write
vour own name and register number and send same to this office witn name and ad
dress of person to whom paper is to be sent. Each 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,
There is a peculiar quality wbicb some persons possess that makes us
turn to them when we are in trouble, while we as naturally Bhrink from
others where friendship for us may be quite as sincere.
Some one has said that “there are persons who are as much out of
place in a house where there is illness or death as would be a parrot
perched on a coffin.”
Perhaps these may be the people who, never Laving suffered them
selves, do not know how to sympathize with those who suffer. Their one
idea in the presence of grief is to make the mourner forget sorrow —a
thing which is manifestly impossible. They talk lightly, even merrily, of
indifferent matters, and avoid all reference to the trouble which presses
like a weight on the sufferer’s heart. It depresses rather than soothes.
To sympathize, one should possess that tender-heartedness that feels for
another’s woe. When wo are in trouble, the friend we want is one to
whom we can talk our trouble out. There in comfort in speaking'of it.
It ceases then to be a hidden pain which we must bear alone. We can
not forget it, and to try to hide it under immaterial conversation is agony.
The true sympathizer may gently lead our talk and thoughts iutoYither
channels, but does not feign forgetfulness of our grief.
There is much said to the effect that words of condolence do not
lighten s>rrow. They may not lighten it, but they make it easier to bear.
And words are not all, for he who’s pity and desire to comfort are gen
uine will convey in a hand clasp, a look, a tone of the voice more genu
ine sympathy than can be expressed in the most eloquent language.
Last month a bill passed the U.S. Senate authorizing the parole of
federal life prisoners who have served fifteen years or more of their sen
tence. In its issue of Feb. Ist, “Good Words.” the paper published by
the inmates of the U.S. prison at Atlanta Ga., carried the following arti
cle by prisoner No. 3419:
“When the lirst golden rays of the rising sun shot across the crests
of the rolling Georgia hills, on Sunday morn, January 19, they awoke the
occupants of both hill and dale to another day of prosaic existence; to an
other day of cheer or sadness, or to another day of worship or work.
“Speeding on their way, the golden rays crept swiftly over the huge
gray wall surrounding the Atlanta Federal Prison and flooded with light
the massive stone and steel structures within. Through gloomy prison
bars their brightness penetrated, carrying into every nook and corner of
the Abode of Sorrow the bright and cheerful light of another day of life.
As they stole silently into cell after cell, the golden shafts of light found
each and every one of the fifty-eight life prisoners confined within these
walls, wide awake to welcome their coming, for to them the golden light
had never seemed so bright and warm and cheerful. It brought to them
a day bl ight w ith hope and comfort, for during the dark hours of the night
the Warden had sped the message to each one of them, that the bill ex
tending the benefits of parole to those life prisoners who had served fif
teen years of their sentence, had been passed by the Senate —and there
had been no further sleep for them that night. They arose, laughed and
chatted; for who would waste in sleep the hours that were fraught with
golden hope? And thus the first golden rays of morning sunshine found
“Many welcomed it as they had not welcomed the morning light for
many a long year. For was not this the first time that it had brought to
them a golden gleam of real hope? The bright sunlight of days gone by
had uot meant to them what it had to the other prisoners—another day
nearer home. To them it had alw T ays meant nothing but another day
nearer Death. But now, for the first time since their imprisonment, the
sun’s first rays on a perfect Sunday morn enveloped them with the bright
light of a new-born hope—the hope that they could once more be free.
Free to spend their declining years with loved ones! Free to prove to
the world their worth!! Free to taste once more the sweets of liberty!!!
To one of them the suu’a rays must have seemed like a message from
the God he has so long and faithfully worshiped; for after thirty-three
years of watching the sun rise and set on nothing but dark and hopeless
days, it at last brought to him the light of a day filled to the brim with the
hope that he might lie as other men.
‘As the sun’s first golden rays sped on toward the sea, leaving in
their wake the birth of another day of life, nowhere, from the Pacific to
the Atlantic, were they any more warmly or joyously welcomed than they
had been by the fifty-eight life prisoners wdlhin the huge gray walls of
the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.”
Our Solid Sonnet: Alas, alack!
ah, woe is me; and also woe is Mary
D., because the fight is lost. I shout
ed loud for women, when we had a
gabfest in the “pen”, and did not
count the cost. Metaphor and sub
lime verse, night and day I did re
hearse so I could put it strong. I
wrote and preached day after day;
and all my pals here rose to say I
had it doped out wrong. Up in our
great “Chat-ta-qua” I said with a
grand hip hurrah give woman, pray,
the “ballet.” The chairman, rising
from his chair, said I was out of or
der there, and hit me with his mal
let. Shall w’oraan, always good and
brave, I said, be evermore a slave to
dish-pan and to mop. She shall, —
I shouted —shall be free. Then a
guy rose and said to me “chop,”
Apache “chop.” It surely makes a
chap so me blue when wooded heads
whisper to you, you talk like a blind
shoat. My voice has rang out loud
and strong to hasten the good time
along when you, “my dears,” could
vote. I dreamed your final triumph
would —when I at last was under
stood — bri nf g on prosperity. I
drempt a glad dream, o’er and o’er,
some day a “lady governor” would
ope the gates for me. My voice is
gone, my spirits broke, I’m almost
sorry that I spoke for “women’s
rights at all. Years for the cause I
slaved and they killed the thing in
just one day. Oh, shame on you,
St. Paul! Ob, w y ell it doesn’t matter
much I’m hobbling ’round, upon a
crutch, the “antis” gave me mine.
From now on you must fight alone.
My enthusiasm has flown. Suffra
gettes, I resign.
Some day I am going to write a
book entitled “Girls that help their
mother in the kitchen,” and all ths
girls will be under 14 years.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a
At 3 p. x. zig zag he plods his homeward
The water wagon made a stop lieside a
Which accounts, O reader, for his zig zag
“What about the‘good road’ from
St. Paul to Duluth,” asks the Pine
County Pioneer. Brother, who
wants to go to either town? no mat
ter how good the road.
Some class to that New Prison
sheet, fact is that reading between
spaces we find that all of its corres
pondents are working together to
make it worth while.
Notice to owners of “Winning of
Barbary Worth;” “Garden of Allah;”
“The Bondman;” “The Turn of the
Balance;” “Melting of Molly.” I
have sentthem to next number, with
the hope that they may be sent to
again when I have the time to
Some man down at the New Pris
on is trifling with the truth, claim
ing to have seen a robin. Let this
be a warning to all who are trying
to rob me of my glory. The first
robiu always comes to my window.
I have seen him first for the last
three years, so beware, you are step
ping upon holy ground. I always
take my vacation when I catch a
glimpse at the first robin. When
Apache’s corner isn’t there then you
will know that the robins nest again.
For a year, or more, I have been searching through papers and mag
azines in hopes of eventually connecting with that gem of poesy “My
Rosary.” I’ve got it at last—seems as tho’ we can always find good
things, if we are honest in our search—and hope it will appeal as strong
ly to my readers as it did to me, when that young lady, from St. Paul,
sang it to us, in the dining room, over a year ago.
Dr. b rank Arthur Heath has a partner. It is a curious partnership
for charitable work, like politics, sometimes makes strange bed-fellows
We will call the little doctor s partner William,” for the excellent rea
ron that that is not his name.
Now, Dr. Heath is a man of God and head of the Seattle Brotherhood
League Club, which keeps “The Open Door,” on King St., in wbat was the
old Arcade dance hall. The door is wide open, night and day, the year
’round, for down-and-out men.
Now, W illiam is not a man of God. He admits he has been here and
there during the course of a roaming aud adventurous life, and he has
done this and that. He has been up against all sorts of curious games
and has exchanged wallops with Fate many times and oft.
“I sometimes despair,” said the doctor to William recently. “It is so
difficult to lead these men to Jesus.”
“Lead them to a ham sandwich first,” advised William.
“William,” said the doctor another time, “how is it you have never
been converted? I have watched you. William. I have observed your
sympathy for these men. Surely, you have Christian sentiment?”
iam,” be said.
Doc,” said William, “I understand you like a book. You’re a good
man. Aou were converted at tbe age of 11. You’ve always been good.
That’s wbv you don’t understand me. I’m glad you don’t. We’re a
team, Doc. You furnish the Christian sentiment. I furnish tbe under
standing. Alone, we’re neither of us complete. Together, they can’t
beat us. Let it go at that.”
So the little doctor is the spiritual head and William is the temporal
head of The Open Door.” Tbe little doctor preaches the sermons,
teaches the Bible classes. William puts the drunks to bed, sobers them
up, finds jobs for them. William buys the groceries and meats, pays the
bills, runs the lunch counter, collects old clothes.
It’s a comedy life,” says William, “and I’m wondering what my old
friends would say if they knew. But I like it. Don’t get any wrong no
tions about why I’m here. I can’t fall for this religion stuff, and I’ve
told the doctor so. It hurts his feelings. My talk’s rough, too, and it
bothers him —hurts his ear-drums —but it’s the only language I know.”
Don’t imagine, either, that William is a common criminal. He feels
nothing but pity and contempt for the stick-up man, tbe strong-arm man,
the brute who would “roll a drunk.”
“Nothiug rough,” says William. “I’m all for classy work that’s in
side the law. When you roll a drunk, you’re lucky if you get a nickel —
and it’s highway robbery. Bur if a guy walks up to you and urges you
to accept a large sum of money for nothing and thanks you kindly for do
ing it —w r ell, far be it from William to turn him down.”
There is nothing extraordinary about William’s outward appearauce.
He is a well-set-up man, ou the right sideof 40, with bright, shrewd eyes
and a good mouth, which, when he smiles, as he frequently does, discloses
perfect teeth of dazzling whiteness. He’s a bit of a bully, as one soon
learns when he has entered “The Open Door.”
Theoretically his hours are from nine to nine. Actually he works
all hours, wandering restlessly through the streets of the old restricted
district, turning into alleys, entering tough saloons, looking for brands to
be snatched from the burning.
lie has a positive genius for being on hand when there is mischief
doing. He prides himself on being able to get to a drunken man before
the policeman on the beat. In a trice he has him through “The Open
Door.” In two shakes he has hisclothes off. Before you could say “Jack
Robinson” the drunk is in the tub, having, perhaps, ihe first bath in his life
“ln you go,” says William, and the drunk is in a cot, covered to the
chin, and snoring.
Out at 6:30 in the morning, shaky and penitent, the wayward one has
a heart-to-heart talk with William. Breakfast, and, if needed, a second
hand coat. A job, maybe.
“Services tonight,” says William, “and if you don’t show up I’ll
knock your block off. The doctor’s going to preach on ‘Come unto Me,
all ye who are heavy laden.’ It’ll do you good to hear him. ‘Laden’!
You were ‘heavy laden’ last night, all right. To the guaids, my boy! So
mind you, show up on time, or I’ll go get you. And what I’ll do to you’ll
The hours I spent with thee, dear heart
Are as a string of pearls to me,
I count them over —every one apart,
Lach hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer
J o still a heart in absence w T rung,
I tell each bead until the end—and there
A cross is hung.
Oh, memories that bless —and burn,
Oh, barren gain—and bitter loss,
I kiss tach bead and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross,
To kiss the cross.
9 9 9
William Is Not A Man Of God
But He Knows the Ham-Sandwich Gospel and so He
Helps the Little Doctor Guide the Down-and-outers
Through the Open Door.
From a Seattle Newspaper
It isn’t Christian sentiment. It’s justice,” said William.
The little doctor sighed. “I confess I don’t understand you, Wiil-
I don’t know what I would do without William,” says the doctor
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