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Brevier Legislative Reports, Volume XXI, 1883, 311 pp.
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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

TUESDAY, Jan. 23, 1883-10 a. m.

The Speaker announced prayer by Rev. H. C. Mable, of the First Baptist Church of Indianapolis.

A motion to dispense with the reading of the Clerk's minutes of yesterday's proceedings was agreed to.

CONTRACTS AND CONVICT LABOR.

Mr. SMITH. of Tippecance, offered the following resolution:

Whereas, There is a great complaint on account of the unjust and ruinous competition arising from the contract system in vogue in our State Prisons, by which not only free competition in the awards of contract of Prison labor is destroyed, but worse than this, and far more ruinous, the labor of prisoners, fed, clothed, and housed by the State, is put on the market at an average of fifty-three and one half (53 1/2) cents per day of nine and one-third (9 1/3) hours average for the year, thus throwing the manufactured products of this slave paid labor, associated with the best machinery and skilled management, on the market to ruinously compete with the manufacturers by free labor, self-clothed, self-fed, and self-housed laborers who are taxpayers, faithful to all the obligations of citizenship, guilty of no misdemeanor unless it be, in that they are the heads and members of families whose fortunes it is to eat bread honestly earned in the sweat of their brow; and,

Whereas, This is an opportune time to commence the investigation which must lead to Prison labor reform; therefore

Resolved, That we instruct our Committee on Prisons to carefully investigate this matter in its various phases and ramifications, and report to the House at an early day the result of such investigation, in order that this House may promptly and intelligently apply the remedy to this crying evil.

Mr. SMITH, of Tippecanoe, said: Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few words on this resolution, and I begin by quoting an expression of the resolution, "this is an opportune time" to consider this question. To day we elect the Directors of both Prisons, and before they enter upon the duties of their office we make the move in a new departure. One not only new, but radical in its purpose. We have no reflection as to the outgoing officers or anything to offer by way of reprehension. They may have worked faithfully the policy they were elected to carry out. The Committee will at an early day, give us the reports as to whether the contracts have been let in a free and impartial manner and as to whether, under cover of legal forms, they have violated the[?] truth and made free competition a farce. We are not here today to arraign the past (till the Committee report), but to work and act for the future. We are here to lift our voice up in the interest of free labor against the slave labor of our Prison system; to call for the complete deliverance of the State from a system that strikes down the laborer, whose only crime is to [?] obedient to the [?] of fortune, he "eats his honestly-earned bread in the sweat of his lace." That strikes down the system that [?] it reaches out its hand to aid [?] yet, in the face of all the lessons page: 94[View Page 94] of the past, we are perpetuating this system simply ringing the changes on the charges for manufactures made by convicts and thrown on the market by the State, and manufactures made by convicts and thrown on the market organized by monopolies: still it is the same when unwashed-competition of slave with free labor. It is not enough that under one form within the past ten years certain industries of a sister State were ruined, and that now under the other from every quarter the cry from oppressed labor comes up to the council halls of the Nation and almost every State. This is not the time to outline a plan of Prison labor reform. After the Committee is made it might be time to act intelligently and promptly. But, Mr. Speaker, we deem it entirely proper to say that in any event we shall at no distant day lay before the House a scheme that will be both radical and corrective. Till then we have said all that it is wise and prudent to say.

Mr. WILSON, of Marion, moved an amendment to instruct the Committee on Prisons to prepare a bill, and report the same to the House, to provide for the relief of free labor from competing with convict labor, and to provide for some way to make convict labor self-supporting.

Mr. JEWETT said: I had thought before I came here that some steps should be taken in this direction, and if there is nothing in the resolution which reflects upon the present Prison managers I shall heartily support it. It seems to me that there is something wrong in allowing Prison labor to be brought into competition with free labor. I have my opinion, which is that convict labor could, and ought to be used in maintaining the highways of Indiana. It seems to me possible for the Prison Committee to devise some means of using this convict labor on the public highways, and as I said before, it after the resolution is read again, if it is as fair and honest as it seems to me to be, it is one that ought to receive the hearty support of every member on this floor.

Mr. SHOCKNEY said our present convict labor is self-supporting and has been for some time. We have a great number of men in our Penitentiaries and they must be employed in some way. I think that as Legislators we should look to the interest of the State and not to the interest of individuals.

Mr. SHIVELEY was in favor of any bill that would protect free labor from the odium cast upon it by coming into competition with convict labor.

Mr. GIBSON did not favor the resolution, and stated that while the persons, who employ this convict labor made more money on their product than other manufacturers they did not place the products of this convict labor upon the market at reduced prices, or at prices lower than other manufacturers. He thought it was not practicable to employ this convict labor in constructing and maintaining our highways as had been suggested by the gentleman from Scott [Mr. Jewett]. The expense of guarding these men while work and building jails to confine them in would make such a thing impracticable.

Mr. SMITH, of Tippecanoe, accepted the amendment [Mr. Wilson's].

The resolution as amended was adopted by yeas, 83; nays, 9.

Mr. SHOCKNEY offered a resolution authorizing the Committee on Prisons to prepare a bill and present it to this House, fixing the maximum and minimum price at which convict labor may be employed.

Mr. GIBSON moved to lay the resolution on the table. This motion was agreed to.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES.

Mr. KESTER from the Committee on Agriculture, reported back Mr. Bower's bill [H. R. 60] concerning sheep-killing dogs, with the recommendation that the bill be indefinitely postponed.

The report was concurred in.

LAWFUL FENCES

Also, Mr. Patten's [H R 166] concerning legal enclosures, with the recommendation that the bill be indefinitely postponed.

Mr. PATTEN said: I want to say this in behalf of my bill: Personally I have very little interest in a bill of this nature for I usually keep good fences myself, but I have been requested by many farmers to introduce a bill of this kind. As the law now stands we have no standard of a legal fence-we have no legal fence in the State of Indiana. This bill simply provides for and defines what a legal fence shall be. I think it a necessity that we have some legal definition in regard to what constitutes a fence in the State of Indiana. This subject has caused a great deal of litigation in this State and has cost our people a great deal of money. A great part of this expense might be saved to our people by making our statutes provide for a legal fence.

Pending the consideration of this report-

Mr. WILSON, of Marion, moved that a Committee of two be appointed to inform the Senate that the House is now ready to go into the election of a State Librarian, two Directors of the Prison South and three Directors of the Prison North.

The motion was agreed to, and in a few minutes thereafter the Senate, conducted by the House Committee appeared, and took seats on the floor of the House.

JOINT CONVENTION.

The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR stated the object of the Convention to be the election of a State Librarian, three Directors for the State Prison North and two Directors for the State Prison South, and announced the first thing in order to be the nominations of a State Librarian.

Senator BROWN nominated for State Librarian Miss Lizzie O. Callis, of Morgan County.

Senator BUNDY nominated for State Librarian Mrs. Emma A. Windsor, of Putnam County.

There being no further nominations, the Lieutenant Governors directed the names of the Senators to be called by the Principal Secretary of the Senate, and the names of Members of the House of Representatives to be called by the Principal Clerk of the House.

The first ballot resulted:

For Miss Callis-Senators, 26; Representatives, 57; total, 83.

For Mrs. Winsor-Senators, 19; Representatives, 38; total, 57.

Miss Callis having received a majority of all the votes cast, the Lieutenant Governor declared her duly elected for the legal term of two years; and announced nominations for Directors for the State Prison South to be in order.

Representative McMULLEN nominated Mr. W. D. H. Hunter of Dearborn County, as a Director for the Prison South.

Senator SPANN nominated Morris McDonald, of Floyd County.

There being no further nominations the ballot was taken and resulted:

For Mr. Hunter-Senators, 26; Representatives, 58; total, 84;

For Mr. McDonald-Senators, 19; Representatives, 37; total, 56.

The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR declared Mr. Hunter elected Director for the State Prison South to serve for the legal term, and announced nomination for another Director of the same Prison to be now in order.

Senator McINTOSH nominated Dr. Horace V. Norvelle of Greene County, as a Director for the State Prison South.

Senator BUNDY placed in nomination William G. Young, of Sullivan County.

There being no further nominations the ballot resulted:

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For Mr. Norville-Senators, 26; Representatives, 58; total. 84.

For Mr. Young-Senators, 19; Representatives, 36; total, 55.

The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR declared Mr. Norvelle elected, and then stated that nominations for Directors of the State Prison North to be in order.

Senator BELL nominated Henry Monning, of Allen County.

Senator YOUCHE placed in nomination Wm. T. Horine, of Lake County.

No other nominations being made the ballot resulted:

For Mr. Monning-Senators, 26; Representatives, 58; total, 84.

For Mr. Horine-Senators, 19; Representatives, 35; total, 54.

THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR declared Mr. Monning elected, and announced nominations for another Director for the State Prison North to be in order.

Senator MAGEE nominated George Majors, of Benton County.

Representative SHOCKNEY nominated Amos C Beeson, of Randolph County.

There being no further nominations, the ballot resulted:

For Mr. Majors-Senators, 26; Representatives, 59; total, 85.

For Mr. Beeson-Senators, 18; Representatives, 34; total, 52.

The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR declared Mr. Majors elected a Director of the State Prison North for the term prescribed by law, and called for nominations" for a third Director of the State Prison North.

Senator WILLARD nominated as a candidate for a Director of thy State Prison North John C. Shoemaker, of Marion County.

Senator BUNDY placed in nomination Leopold Levi, of Huntington County.

There being no further nominations, the ballot resulted:

For Mr. Shoemaker-Senators, 6; Representatives. 58; total, 83.

For Mr. Levi-Senators, 19; Representatives, 37; total, 56.

The LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR declared Mr. Shoemaker elected one of the State Prison Directors for the Prison North for the legal term, and said: The purpose for which the Joint Convention assembled having bean accomplished I now wait for a motion to adjourn.

Representative SMITH moved that the Convention adjourn sine die

The motion was agreed to.

The House then took a recess till 2 o'clock.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

LAWFUL FENCES.

The House returned to the consideration of the report from the committee on Agriculture on Mr Patten's bill [H. R. 165] interrupted by the Joint Convention.

Mr. KESTER said, in justice to the Committee, lie desired to state that they had no 111 feeling against the gentleman from Sullivan (Mr. Patten) or his bill. We simply acted upon the bill and maae a miammous report.

Mr. MONTGOMERY was not in favor of killing the bill so abruptly, and therefore moved to recommit it to the Committee on County and Township Business.

Mr. MOODY spoke in favor of recommitting the bill. He thought the bill in some respects was an improvement on the present statute on the subject, and while he would not argue in favor of the bill, he would speak in favor of what was good in it. He thought there should be some legislation on this subject.

Mr. HEFFREN thought some of the provisions of the bill were not good. He did not consider a four and a half foot fence a good substantial fence in case a pack of mules or a drove of steers were running at large He thought It would be discourtesy to take it from the Committee on Agriculture and end it to some other Committee. He therefore moved to recommit it to the Committee on Agriculture.

Mr. PATTEN protested against sending his bill to the Committee on Agriculture.

The motion was agreed to.

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES.

Mr. KESTER, from the Committee on Agriculture, reported back Mr. Howland's bill [H. R. 134] to provide for the regulation of stock running at large, with a recommendation that, with certain amendments, the bill do pass. The report was concurred in.

Mr Pruitt's bill [H R 147] was reported back from the Committee on Roads with a recommendation that it be indefinitely postponed.

The report was concurred in.

Mr. ELEY, from the Committee on Roads, reported back Mr. Mock's bill [H R. 48] provide for the election of Supervisors of Highways, with a recommendation that it pass, with certain amendments, and that 400 copies be printed for the use of members.

The report was concurred in.

Mr. KESTER, from the same Committee, reported Mr. Montgomery's bill [H. R. 20] concerning roads and highways, with the recommendation that it be indefinitely postponed. The report was concurred in.

Mr. WILLIAMS, from the Committee on Drains and Dikes, reported back Mr. Gillman'ss bill [H. R. 9] concerning petitions for drainage, with recommendation that it be indefinitely postponed.

The report was concurred in.

Also Mr. Weaver's bill [H. R 109] to enable owners of wetland to drain the same, with a recommendation that the same pass with certain amendments.

The report was concurred in.

Mr. THOMAS, from the special Committee to investigate the matter in regard to the cases of small pox in the County Jail, reported that the report was true, and that the cases escaped from the conveyance while on the way to the Pest House.

The report was accepted.

NEW PROPOSITIONS.

The following described bills were introduced, read the first time, and severally passed to a second reading, unless otherwise stated:

By Mr. SUTTON [H. R 253] to amend Section 90 of an act concerning proceedings in criminal cases, being Section 1,666 of the Revised Statutes of 1881.

By Mr. WILEY [H. R. 254] to amend Section 8 of an act establishing a State Board of Health, being Section 4,993 of the Revised Statutes of 1881.

By Mr. STERRITT, by request, [H. R 255] to provide for the election and qualification of Justices of the Peace, etc.

By Mr GRAHAM [H. R. 256] to provide a fund for the permanent endowment of the State University.

By Mr GRAHAM [H. R. 257] to amend Section 2,911 of the Revised Statutes of 1881, concerning the Issuing and taking up of tickets and coupons on tickets, etc.

By Mr. PRICE [H. R. 258] to amend Section 544 of the Revised Statutes of 1881, concerning proceeding in civil cases.

By Mr. ROBINSON [H. R. 259] to repeal all laws for the protection of English sparrows.

By Mr. ROBINSON [H.. R. 260] concerning Grand and Petit Juries.

By Mr. S TUCKER [H. R. 261] to repeal Sections 1 to l5, inclusive of an act ( establishing a State Board of Health-being Sections 4,986 to 5,000, inclusive, of the Revised Statutes of 1881.

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By Mr. WOODLING [H. R. 262] to repeal an act establishing a State Board of Health.

Mr. MERING offered a resolution of respect in referee to the death of the Hon Henry O. Meredith, former member of the House from the County of Wayne.

On motion the resolution was made the special order for Friday, January 26, at 10 a. m.

By M. MELLET [H. R. 263] to amend Sections 64, 75 78, 89, 95 and 106, concerning proceedings in criminal cases.

By Mr. MOODY [H. R 264] to regulate the incorporation of the town of Garrett, DeKalb County.

By Mr. FISHER [H. R 265] to amend Section 5,795 of the Revised Statutes of 1881, authorizing Boards doing; County business to declare water courses navigable.

By Mr. HUSTON [H. R. 266] to amend Section 2 of an act to provide more effectually for the support and care of pauper children.

By Mr. TULEY [H. R. 267] to amend Section 49 of an act-being Section 1,622 of the Revised Statutes of 1881-concerning proceeding in criminal cases.

By Mr. TULEY [H. R. 268] to amend Section 251 being Section 6,519 of the Revised Statutes of 1881concerning taxation.

By Mr. JEWETT [K. R 269] to amend Section 378 being Section 535 of the Revised Statutes of 1881concerning proceeding in civil cases.

SOLDIERS' PENSIONS.

Mr. ROBINSON offered the following concurrent resolution, which was adopted by a unanimous vote-yeas 90; nays, 0:

Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be and are hereby instructed, and our Representatives in Congress are informed, that it is the sense of this General Assembly that in the pensioning of our soldiers allowance should be made wholly on disabilities incurred, and not upon rank held while in service.

The House adjourned until 10 a. m., January 24.

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