"My imagination has already been overworked to the impairment of my other mental faculties.
"I do not believe in the Christian religion. I have formulated a creed agreeable to my mind.
"I have always been fearful of those to whom government grants the special privilege to furnish a particular brand of theology.
"I deny the right of government to compel me to attend any kind of religious service. I claim and proclaim my religious freedom under the U. S. Constitution.
"In reformatory and penal institutions I have attended religious service every Sunday for forty-odd years--to what purpose?"
The entire career of this unfortunate prisoner was determined by his imprisonment in his childhood, and as well might he have been sentenced for life in his cradle. The system in which he was worn in poverty condemned him to a life of crime and penal servitude in which he typifies the lot of countless thousands of others doomed to a living death behind prison walls.
There is an intimate relation between the poorhouse and the prison. Both are made necessary in a society which is based upon exploitation. The aged and infirm who remain docile and submissive through the struggle for existence, to whatever straits it may reduce them, are permitted to spend their declining days in the county house and to rest at last in the potters' field.
But they who protest against their pitiless fate rather than yield to its stern decrees, they who refuse to beg, preferring to take the chances of helping themselves by whatever means seem most available, are almost inevitably booked for the jail and the prison.
Poverty has in all ages, in every nation, and under every government recorded in history, been the common lot of the great mass of mankind. The many have had to toil and produce in poverty that____________________