Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas. Page: 21 of 28
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MESSAGE OF THE GOVERNOR.
now, a serious question. It would seem that from principles of humanity
and public justice this great mass of imprisoned laborers must not be confined
in idleness. There seems to be little escape from the difficulty, and
that is confined to the necessity of an appropriation of sufficient public funds
by which the convicts may be operated or kept in idleness upon State account.
Springing from this condition, great public economy may be practiced by
requiring the boards of managers of the various charitable institutions of the
State to use, as far as possible, all the clothing and victuals, as well as furniture
and implements, respectively needed by them, from penitentiary products.
A law drawn, requiring the boards or the superintendents of these institutions
to make out estimates of goods and provisions needed by them, and
to file them in advance with the Financial Agent of the Penitentiaries, so
that penal labor may, in so far as practicable, be used in supplying the wants
of the charity charges of the government, would comport with sound policy.
If all these institutions are required as a duty to accept from the penitentiary
the corn, meal, potatoes, sugar, molasses, shoes, hats, and clothing, besides
furniture, wagons and carts, that may be needed to maintain them, there is
but little doubt that the annual cash outlay expended by them could be saved
to the State, and to that extent the convict labor properly utilized. In due
time this system would grow into popularity, because the constantly increasing
and growing demands for the support of the charity subjects would be
met by the fruits of convict labor, the consequent heavy burdens that must
otherwise be imposed upon the public reduced to the minimum, and the
present and prospective competition with free labor greatly curtailed.
Another important demand, arising from a sense of honor and pride on the
part of the people has also been made by them through their said platform,
7. We favor an amendment to our State constitution that will permit
the legislature to provide for the indigent ex-confederate soldiers resident in
our State, who were disabled in the military service of the Confederate States,
in any manner that may be deemed best." To comply with this expressed
wish therefore, it becomes proper and necessary to submit a constitutional
amendment that will give the people an opportunity from the public revenues
to alleviate the pain and misery of the unfortunate ones who obeyed the demands
of the State in the hour of distress. There can be no higher duty
resting on the patriot than to obey the call of his country in time of war.
And there is no greater moral obligation resting on the government in return
than to care for her indigent, disabled or wounded soldiers at all times.
For the sake of economy it would be well to submit the constitutional
amendments to be voted on at the next general election.
Through their platform, the Democratic party also, last August, in obedience
to a just public sentiment, denounced as inimical to a free representative
government the system of life tenure in federal offices, and pronounced
in favor of an amendment to the federal constitution limiting the term of
such officers to a reasonable period of years. They also pronounced in favor of
the free and unlimited coinage of silver; of the repeal of the national banking
system and the federal tax oa State banks; declared for a graduated income tax
for federal purposes, and denounced all bounties and subsidies by the federal
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Gov. J. S. Hogg to the twenty-third Legislature of Texas., book, January 12, 1893; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5861/m1/21/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .