« PreviousContinue »
Q. What have you been doing since?
Q. So that you have spent a considerable 'part of your life at the island and in the House of Reformation?
A. Yes, sir.
2. Now, in going down to the island and on the boat, will you tell these gentlemen whether you were put in cells with men and women convicts? Were you?
A. Yes, sir; well, the second time going down I was put into a cell with fifteen or twenty House of Industry men.
A. Yes, sir.
Well, when you were pardoned at that
And was that the only time?
A. Well, I couldn't say for sure whether there was any with me the last time or not.
on the boat, do
(By the CHAIRMAN.) Whereabouts are these cells
Were there any other boys in there at that time? I don't remember now, sir.
(By Mr. RILEY.)
Q. Now, will you state what was done to you when you got to the House of Reformation the second time, by way of punishment - - a little louder; I want you to keep your voice up. What was done to you by way of punishment when you went down there the second time?
A. Well, Mr. Hickey caught me under the chin here and twisted my neck a little and then slapped me in the face.
Well, what did you do?
A. I didn't do anything; just coming down the second time, that is what it was for.
What did he say, anything?
A. Well, he asked me what I came down for, why didn't I keep out of trouble.
Q. Well, that didn't hurt you, I suppose?
A. No, sir.
2. Now, how was it when you got down there the third time any punishment then?
4. No, sir. I don't think so, sir.
Q. Now, will you tell us what you know in regard to punishing or beating the boys down there, if you know anything about it?
A. Well, Mr. Hickey had a habit of catching the boys by the hair on the neck here, and lifting them off their feet, and catching them under their chin and slapping their faces, and then he would take and swing his hand and give a boy a crack in the face that would stagger him, make him cry, cry with pain.
Q. How often have you seen them lifted off their feet by the hair?
A. Oh, I have seen that done, I guess, about once a day, sir.
2. Right along?
A. Yes, sir.
And for what would that be done? What would the boy have to do in order to get that reward of merit?
A. Well, I have seen them get a swinging slap on the face.
Well, you say that staggered them and made them cry?
Q. How often have you seen that?
A. Oh, that was done nearly every day, sir.
Q. Have you seen any of the boys knocked down?
A. Well, I seen a colored boy knocked down by a kick under the chin by Officer Averill.
Q. Well, what was the position of the boy at the time he got the kick? A. The boy was down on his knees blacking the officer's shoes, and the officer said something abont shining the heels, I think.
Well, perhaps the boy would whisper in line or turn his head around.
Q. About shining the heels?
A. Yes, sir; and the boy says, "I am coming to that," and with that the officer up with his foot and kicked him under the chin and knocked him over. Q. Was that done by way of joke? said,
No, sir; he meant it
None of your back talk," and kicked
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What with?
Did the boy cry?
No, he didn't cry, but it hurt him.
Well, did he finish the boots?
The rattan, sir.
Q. What part of his person?
On his hips, sir.
Now, do you remember the case of James Halloran?
Yes, sir. He got fifteen raps from Hickey for coming down a second
And simply for coming down the second time?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And how many blows have you seen given to some of the boys there?
A. Well, I have seen one boy, John Duffy, get sixty raps from Mr. Hickey.
2. Yes for what?
A. Some indecent act, sir.
2. Sixty raps?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know of any other cases of punishment down there that you think of?
And did the boy cry?
Well, the boy didn't want to cry. He wanted to keep it in.
I mean was the boy hurt?
Yes, sir; he was hurt.
A. Well, Officer Averill, his monitor he used to have a boy for a monitor. While he would be attending to his business in other parts of the institution he would give this monitor his rattan and tell him to lace the boys with it if they didn't mind, and if the boys objected to that, the monitor would send them to Mr. Averill and they would get more.
Q. Well, have you seen whiskey with any of the boys?
A. Well, no; I didn't see any whiskey, but I have heard of a case where a boy got punished for having
Q. You knew of a boy's getting punished by whom?
A. I don't know the officer, sir; I was told this, sir.
Who was the boy that was punished?
A boy named Donovan, sir, got it in an officer's room.
is that it?
Q. Well, do you know anything about boys having tobacco down there?
A. Well, the boys used to get tobacco through the fences in the yard, sir.
From the House of Industry men, sir.
From the prisoners?
And they were as close together as that, were they? A. Yes, sir.
So that tobacco could be passed through the fence?
Q. Did you at any time hear the voices of female prisoners who were put in cells in the House of Reformation?
Yes, sir, I did.
Did you hear the talk?
I have heard their talk
Q. You needn't state what it was, but you can state whether it was offensive or not.
A. Yes, sir.
A. Yes, sir, I did.
Q. How long would such talk and noises be kept up?
A. Well, about half an hour, sir, while the boys were there at supper, dinner, or breakfast.
Q. And most of the boys about there, I suppose, heard it?
And did you hear the screams and yells?
Q. (By Mr. RILEY.) I meant to say that those noises were close to where most of the boys were?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. In regard to the punishment of a boy named Murphy - do you remember anything about that?
A. Yes, sir; he was punished for
Mr. PROCTOR. What Murphy was this? Do you know his first name? Mr. RILEY. - No, I don't.
Ald. BARRY. There have been two Murphys, Mr. Riley.
Q. (By Mr. RILEY.) What Murphy was this?
This boy's name was Patrick Murphy.
Q. What do you know about him?
A. He and two other boys were punished by Officer Averill for talking to a female prisoner in a cell.
Q. A prisoner that was locked up in the House of Reformation?
2. Did you know anything about stolen apples and other things being brought into the House of Reformation, thrown over the fence?
A. I know at the time of the riot there prisoners, House of Industry men, threw over a couple of barrels of apples, I should judge, and I and another boy went out to get some of them and got punished, for eating the apples, by Officer Hickey.
Then he speaks of a colored boy, named Johnson, whom he says was punished by Mr. Hickey:
Q. How severe was the punishment?
A. Well, I guess it left the marks, left plenty of marks on the boy.
I say the testimony of this poor little boy Scott sums up the case against the House of Reformation. A place where those boys are sent in order that they may be cared for turns out to be a place where they see nothing but brutality, hear nothing but profanity, where drunkenness is called to their attention, where they are listening to the yells, shrieks, and obscene talk of female criminals put in cells in the same institution. And, in a few words, I believe that institution graduates them as criminals. It is no uncommon thing to find House of Reformation boys in our House of Correction afterwards, as well as in the other institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. Will Mr. Riley inform the committee how much longer time his argument will take.
Mr. RILEY. I will get through as rapidly as I can, gentlemen, but you see I am dealing with the testimony and consequently, I should like to call your attention to everything I have. I am not talking for the sake of listening to my own voice, but I am talking for the sake of calling your attention seriously to things which I insist have been proved. If you say stop now and come in to-morrow morning or go on now until 12 o'clock, I am perfectly willing to comply - just as you prefer. The CHAIRMAN. The committee have already given you more time
than agreed upon.
Mr. RILEY. Well, I thank the committee for it, but it is really for your benefit, gentlemen, and not for mine. I am only a citizen of this Commonwealth, and this concerns the public. On page 1661 to 1663 you will find the testimony pertaining to the imprisonment of women in the House of Reformation, and you will find as you follow along testimony in regard to a man who died in a cell there, and will also find testimony pertaining to the cases of F. M. Brown, and a man named Black, both of them being officers.
I now refer particularly to the case of Black, who had for more than a year or quite a year, to give $5 of his salary a month to another officer named Atwood, or else he could not keep his place, and the same proposition was made to an officer named Brown, and sooner than submit to it he left. This Atwood, I understand, This Atwood, I understand, is the same man who was a defaulter at one time to the institution to the extent of $100, and you remember, according to the sworn statement of Ryerson, that some $29 in money belonging to dead paupers was taken and appropriated for the purpose of cancelling the indebtedness of Mr. Atwood. I think he is down there yet.
I need call your attention only in passing to the burial of dead paupers and convicts together, to the testimony showing that forty or fifty bodies of the dead were allowed to accumulate, were stowed away for a time, in a place where the hogs used to be killed, and then a large trench was dug by the paupers, and the bodies were buried in that way, without any funeral services, the paupers who were digging the trench being compelled to smoke their pipes while doing so, such was the offensive odor from the bodies. One of the bodies, for instance, according to the testimony of Dr. Newell, had been kept for more than a week in that place, and another body had been kept for nineteen days during the month of August.
I have already referred to the stringing up of men, to the wickedness of the punishment, to the way it was given, and the fact that the officers, some of the police officers from our city, were called to view it and seemed to enjoy the sport: to the fact that one man was kept up twenty minutes and another man kept up about an hour. That is, they. were strung up and taken down when they fainted, and that was continued for an hour at a time until the man finally went off in a fit.
You have already had called to your attention the matter of sending convicts to Long Island. That is clearly against the law. I don't think there is anywhere in statutes any law for it. A person is sentenced to Deer Island for crime, and it is clear as the noonday sun that if a person is sent to Deer Island there is no authority to transfer them to Long Island, or to the House of Correction, or any other prison for work during the day. His sentence is to that place. And so it is with regard to Long Island. When the superintendent, the Commissioners, or any other persons, send prisoners over to Long Island for the purpose of doing work there, they are breaking the law, and more clearly are they breaking it when they send, as they did, 100 or 104 men and let them to a contractor over there. In some cases people are brought back at night. Most of the time they are; but in one case, as you remember the testimony of Dr. Newell, a barber was kept over there three months,
really put in his sentence at Long Island, although he was sentenced to Deer Island, and another man was kept on Long Island for a week, I think, if not more
This thing should be stopped. It is a breaking of the law. You have had testimony in regard to the contagious clothing and how the clothes are all washed together, especially the underclothing, and how some of the prisoners have been obliged to use the dirty clothing cast off by others. You remember the testimony of a man who had been down there and who pointed over to Mr. Gerrish and emphasized the fact that every word he told was true, and among other things he spoke of the clothing.
In regard to the bad quality of the food, that is a matter of much import. They called nobody but Mr. Flanders. A reference has already been had to Flanders, and you know and everybody knows that tea for 10 cents a pound is unfit for human consumption. You wouldn't have it in your house and wouldn't give it to your servants. Mr. Flanders was compelled to admit that nobody else bought tea as cheap as that. Then take the price of butter - 12 to 14 cents a pound butter in name only, not fit for human consumption. Molasses for 10 cents a gallon, 21 cents a quart, is not bought in our houses. Whiskey at $1.25 and $1.50 a gallon and sherry as low as $1.80 a gallon is, as you know, liquor not fit for hospital purposes. It was purchased for medicinal use and should not have been the cheapest stuff, but rather the best stuff. No reputable doctor would undertake to give it to his patients, and no man of experience in drinking such liquor would want to use it for any other purpose.
If the food is of a proper quality Boston teams with wholesale and retail grocers who could easily be called to show it, but no testimony has been introduced other than this man's, because no other could be obtained. You remember what he said in regard to Dr. Newell - that Dr. Newell and Mr. Devlin wanted him to go to the Mayor, and he said he thought it shouldn't go because it would be unfair to the Commissioners. But it appears afterwards that when the chairman was interested in his going, although he had refused to go, had not been willing, he did go to the Mayor. He went for one of the Commissioners then, never thinking of the other two. Does anybody doubt the honesty and integrity of Commissioner Devlin, who was present during the conversation with Dr. Newell and was a party to the transaction? And everybody knows that the command of the two Commissioners was for the purpose of having the Mayor's attention called to the inferior quality of the articles. But of course Mr. Flanders didn't dare to go at that time, because he was afraid he would lose the trade. It was a matter of dollars and cents with him.
Now, there is one other piece of testimony that I don't wish you to lose sight of, on page 2043. I don't want that to escape your notice. Here it is, speaking of the two doctors Dr. Cogswell, then on Deer island, and Dr. Roche. The witness had been testifying about whiskey, Game Cock Whiskey, etc., and he was asked if there was anything peculiar about that brand. He answered:
I don't know as there is about that, it smells very strong, sir, as far as that is concerned. Then, during that summer, on my night's work, this Dr. Roche, Dr. Cogswell, and two other friends of theirs, took the Vigilant and went down to Hotel Pemberton. They came home between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning happy-go-lucky, full as a tick, all they could do to walk up the plank-walk.
All of them?
All four of them, and I made the remark about that when I went back to the office, and Spalding, if he was alive, would say the same thing. [ told Spalding the very morning when I saw that, and Spalding said, "They find fault with me drinking rum, but they don't find fault with drinking ru..