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Brevier Legislative Reports, Volume XXIV, 1888, 660 pp.
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BREVIER LEGISLATIVE REPORTS, OF THE INDIANA LEGISLATURE.

PROSPECTUS--To the 56th General Assembly:

The undersigned proprietor of the BREVIER LEGISLATIVE REPORTS respectfully represents That thirty-one years ago we organized and executed a plan of independent unpartizan Legislative Reporting (the first ever attempted west ofthe Alleghanies having regard to fullness and completeness as to the matter and the parliamentary forms) upon which we have printed our Reports at a cost to the State less by one-half than any similar job of the State's printing: That our work proved acceptable to the General Assembly and received acts for authorization and pay; That it has been maintained and has received similar acts of endorsement by every General Assembly since; and we respectfully submit that under this usage of the General Assembly we have a fair constructive permission and invitation to continue our independent work of elaborating and offering the BREVIER REPORTS.

Volume twenty-five of the BREVIER LEGISLATIVE REPORTS of the Proceedings and Debates of the Indiana Legislature will cembrace reliable short-hand sketches of the Journals, Proceedings and Debates of both Houses of the Fifty-6th General Assembly of the State of Indiana, convened at Indianapolis city, in regular session, the 10th day of January, A. D. 1889. It will contain imporant motions, and verbatim sketches of the Debates,--presenting without partizan bias the position of every member on the floor, with the yeas and nays in every question of moment on which they shall be ordered and taken.

The coming session will without doubt, be usually interesting and the BREVIER REPORTS will be, as it has been for 31 years the only source froma which reliable reports of the Debates of the Legislature can be obtained. This has been found to be the best and most economical means of presenting to the people an intelligible journal not only of what is done, but of what is said in the General Assembly, together with a reliable account, in proper legislative forms, of the order of the doings and sayings of the people's representatives.

W. H. DRAPIER,

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Your attention is specially directed to that paragraph in this Prospectus which challenges any one to point out a partial report in any of the twenty-four volumes printed. And while thinking about the impartiality of these Reports, consider also how difficult a thing it is for men to write about questions of great public interest without indicating their own individual opinions, and you can then pardon the pride with which the compiler of the Brevier Reports points to their stern integrity in every page of the twenty-four volumes which have been printed.

More than a quarter of a century's experience has determined that the publishing of just parliamentary reports of the Proceedings and Debates of the General Assembly, such as are found in the Brevier Reports, is practicable, desirable and valuable. Twenty-three volumes of the Brevier Reports have been published without the protection of copy-right, and this alone demonstrates the fact that the price which has been uniformly paid by the State for the Brevier Reports is so very small it does not and has not in all these thirty-one years invited competition. And so the claims made in the Prospectus that this is by far the cheapest job of work of the kind ever done for any State should go unquestioned.

In this life-work of the compiler he has striven to perform a service for the State that will become more and more valuable with the lapse of time; and, expecting some future General Assembly to authorize the publication of an abridgement of his report of the sayings and doings of her representative men when ranking as the fifth State in the Union, he is content to work for such consideration and such a monument, though the pecuniary compensation is small.

For nearly two score years it has been a cherished desire of the compiler to see the citizens of Indiana kept as fully, if not better, informed of the doings of their immediate representatives than the people of any other State in the Union. And in furtherance of that idea, he has hoped the General Assembly would authorize the printing of the Brevier Legislative Reports of its Debates and Proceedings every night, and a order passed authorizing each member to furnish a list of 20 or twenty-five names--including every newspaper office, every reading room, every county Clerk's office, every Cross-Roads Post-Office, and every country Inn, Tavern or Hotel in the State--to which these Reports shall be sent by the Printers, their voucher to be the Postmaster's receipt, as provided by law.

W. H. DRAPIER, Stenographer,

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Not a line of the Brevier Reports of Debates of the 56th Assembly will be made up from the columns of any newspaper, but from the short-hand notes of our own corps of reporters.

The undersigned submit that these Reports are indispensable to the history of legislation in the State, of great value to the people at large, especially to politicians, and every public man; and that their value is increased by time.

We propose to pursue the publication of our BREVIER LEGISLATIVE REPORTS. But there is now this difficulty about our work: we are unable to contract with either of the morning papers in this city for the daily printing of our Reports of the Session in their newspaper.--Therefore, since our Reports of the coming Session cannot appear in the papers, and to provide against restrictions of space in the daily papers by which the reports were heretofore marred and excluded, we propose to contract for printing outside of the daily press, so as to insure a complete and satisfactory record. These contracts involve an inevitable expense of money on our part, which is barely justified by the State's authorization of the purchase of the number of copies of the Reports which have been ordered for thirty-one years in the Specific Bill or by resolution of every Assembly since 1857.--The price is less than one-third which is paid by the State for the work of the Reporter or the Supreme Court.

The past, we think, teaches plainly enough, that unless the General Assembly were to establish a special Bureau for Reporting and Printing, involving new offices and additional public expensiveness, which should be avoided by all means consistent with reasonable carefulness for the information and welfare of the supervising people been accepted by every General Assembly for thirty-one years is the best, and certainly it is by very much the cheapest way to escape the evils of partial Reporting in the interest of rings and factions. We think, also, that the general acceptance of our Reports thirty-one years justifies the expectation that the Legislature will not now forego the advantages of these contributions to the history of its work.

So, pledging diligence and fidelity for completeness and impartiality, larger space and improved facilities for printing, we hope you will regard it as respectful, and but the part of common prudence for us to ask members of the Gen'l. Assembly for some expression, in advance, in favor of the continuance of these Reports, upon which we may proceed with the printing of another--the 25th--volume of our Reports.

W. H. DRAPIER.

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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The Compiler of the Brevier Legislative Reports deems it reasonable that, along with the announcement of another volume the twenty-fifth--he should declare some of the considerations which encourage him to make it. His father--who, with him, originated this work--was of the staff of writers organized for Verbatim Reports in Congress at the expense of the treasury in 1848, which gave to history the Congressional Globe, and the Congressional Record. In 1857, seeing the general appreciation of these national works, and with some notion of their value, these reporters adventured their hands in connection with the local daily press, for reports of Proceeding and Debates in the Indiana Legislature. This connection with the daily press has proved unfortunate, though the demand for the Brevier Reports has protracted it, under all the difficulties involved, until the close of the last Session of the General Assembly.

These difficulties conisist principally, perhaps, in the unfitness of the vanishing newspaper for any complete historical depository: but there were others which appeared at once, and increased with the growing municipality of Indianapolis. Whilst the Brevier Reports could not pretend to absolute completeness as to the records of proceedings and debates, its completeness has proved to be too much for the newspaper: and the newspaper worked against the Reports by restricting the space for the Reports. So the connection was made sometimes with the newspaper of one political bias, and sometimes with that of another bias, but always with the same result of unfitness and clashing of interest and whims.

Gathering from these experiences, that it has become a purpose accepted and determined by the people of the State to continue the Brevier form of their legislative records as the cheapest, the best, and the best provocative and sign of the popular demand for more acceptable legislative reports by the press at large, the undersigned has made an arrangement to publish another--the twenty-fifth volume.

These Brevier Legislative Reports have been acceptable to the Legislature for more than a quarter of a century. The work has stood sternly on its merits with each particular session since; and it is offered again with the ability and desire to make an abridgement of the State Legislative Record in the best form and at the cheapest rate. The principal thing is the requisite readiness, energy and ability of the party to undertake it, and to hazard the expensiveness of the reporting, printing and submission of the work.

W. H. DRAPIER, Stenographer,

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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In this submission of the Brevier Reports we have not been mistaken as to the common and growing public demand for just and intelligenst public records. We have tried to meet that demand, and to provoke parties abler than we are to supply it as it ought to be supplied. And we still suppose that the representatives of the people know what they want in this matter--know whether it is better to do everything here at the Capitol by memory and word of mouth than to I stand upon a fair and open record for history.

We have proceeded strictly upon the presumption that the people's representatives know what is due to the country and to themselves in this matter of a record of their legislative action. And if there is any consideration against the continuance of the Brevier except that of its cost, the same conceit is as much against the lobbies and open doors for the sessions of the General Assembly; and it is at least one hundred years too late for secret sessions.

The work can not be done by jobbers for the money that has been paid for it; and as to the standing contract price of the work, it carries that on every page: for "two-thirds of a cent a page per copy" it is furnished to the proper accounting officers of the State in printed sheets, procured in every item of its cost at our own expense.

The Brevier Legislative Reports have been acceptable to the Legislature and the people for thirty-one years. The work has stood sternly on its merits with each session since 1857 and it is offered again with the ability and desire on the part of these reporters to make such an abridgment of the State Legislative Record in the best form and at the cheapest rate.

Considering the difficulties and opposition incident to such a work; the contingencies of failing health and failing purse, and failing at length to make an acceptable offering of the work, there is nothing in the offering of it on our part but hard work, and the good name of unswerving workers, much very delicate personal responsibility, and some pecuniary hazard.--(large for our means--) and, last and at the best, but small pay.

Inasmuch as the Indiana General Assembly for 31 years has authorized the publication of the Brevier Reports, it is regarded respectful and a duty to continue a proffer of the service that has been acceptable to the Legislature for so many years.

None in the State are so competent to make a Legislative Record as the projectors of the Brevier Reports because the lives of no other Indianians have been passed in such like service.

W. H. DRAPIER, Stenographer

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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The issuing ofa Prospectus for the twenty-fifth volume of the Brevier Legislative Reports of the Proceedings and Debates of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, combining the facile newspaper sketch with the most authentic record of the action had upon every important measure of the session, presents occasion for stating, that, it is part of their design to show the practicability of reforming the fashion of journalizing employed in most of the Legislatures of the Union; to suggest, that the Minute Clerk of each House of the General Assembly shall be a Stenographer, or all be required to employ such reporting force as may enable him to sketch every proposition in its order and in due form, with the debate and action thereon, and that he be required to contract for the printing of his journal in some newspaper printed in the town of Indianapolis, the day after the date thereof, conditioned that it shall not exceed a given reasonable amount of matter; the volume of the Journals of the two Houses to be but one book, made up from the columns of the newspaper. Let one copy be placed on the desk of each member of the Assembly every morning, so that if errors be detected they can be pointed out to the Stenographer before the noon recess, and the corrections made in the types before the printing is done for the book form of the Journals. And then let it be ordered simply, that a manuscript copy of the said Journal be filed with the Secretary of the State, as the law now is. Thus a saving of thousands of dollars, the cost of printing and binding the clumsy Journals, wou1d be induced, without adding anything to the expense of the clerkships; a readable and authentic journal of our legislation would be secured to the Public Archives and the newspapers throughout the country, instead of the awkward, unprofessional, unreliable matter which now passes for that; and the volume would then be in the binders hands complete and ready for distribution the day after the final adjournment of each and every session.

In announcing to Assemblymen when the Brevier Reports have been ready for distribution, the Compiler has taken the liberty to suggest that "each member is expected, upon consultation with his colleagues, (in order to avoid sending two copies to the same place) to distribute these books in his District among the County, Township, Law Associations and other Public Libraries and Reading Rooms, County Clerks and Newspaper Offices, and such other places as may be deemed best."

W. H. DRAPIER, Stenographer,

Indianapolis, Indiana

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The particulars of Legislative expenses for the extra session of 1872, itemized in the Specific Bill approved Dec'ber 21, 1872, justifies our statement that the Legislature found the cost of the newspaper subsidies for legislative reports in this city to exceed that of the authentic Brevier.--The cost of newspapers for that session above that of the Brevier Legislative Reports was $356.73. The newspaper vanished, but the Brevier is extant with all its contributions to history.

The Legislature finding that the cost of their newspaper subsidies exceeded that of the authorized BREVIER REPORTS, the subsidy was cut of by the act of December 19, 1872. By that act the newspaper became justly and legally recognized as but "stationery" for the people and their representatives, and, by implication, as unfitted and unworthy to be intrusted and authorized at the public expense as the depository of their solemn legislative records.

The Brevier Reports have done for the people what the newspapers are unfit and unable to do in the matter of a just and stern legislative record; and the work has been done cheaper than the newspaper charges which have been paid out of tthe treasury for their partial, personal, restricted and unreliable matter called "Legislative Proceedings."

The BREVIER REPORTS contain a record that is impartial,--not single partial report can be found in any one of the twenty-four volumes issued.

The BREVIER Reporters in the 31 years of its publication have been careful chiefly to make their work here a good record, and rest its claims to the cherishment of the Legislature upon that alone. They have gone before no Committee, lobbied none, received no approaches for individual favor, nor shaped their work at any time with sinister or partizan objects. It has rested solely and all the time on its merits, its integrity and its fairness; and for these it has all the time received the favoring notice of the Legislature.

As compensation should always be regulated by the skill required, there can be no question but that the pay for service but few are competent to perform should largely exceed the pay for labor that many are able to do. These Brevier Reports, in each page, contain more than three times as much matter as there is in one page of the Supreme Court Reports, yet the Brevier Reports are furnished to the state for two-thirds of a cent a page, while the Reporter of the Supreme Court has received three-quarters of a cent per page, besides the copyright.

W. H. DRAPIER, Stenographer,

Indianapolis, Indiana.

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