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Executive circular to metropolitan police commissioners - Page

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With this circular, Governor Lorenzo Dow Lewelling of Topeka, Kansas, appeals to police commissioners of Kansas cities to show restraint in the prosecution of the unemployed. The governor argues that high rates of unemployment are a product of the industrial system of production and not the fault of individuals. Since jobs are not available to all employable persons, he argues, unemployed persons should not be treated as criminals. The governor denounces the vagrancy law for first class cities included in the General Statutes of 1889, and similar city ordinances, which allowed for the arrest, imprisonment, or fine of "all vagrants, tramps, and confidence men and persons found in said city without visible means of support, or some legitimate business." The Kansas Legislature originally enacted the law in 1881. Governor Lewelling was the first People's Party (Populist) candidate to become governor. Republican opponents of the Populist governor dubbed this letter the "Tramp Circular."

Creator: Lewelling, Lorenzo Dow, 1846-1900
Date: December 4, 1893

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Executive circular to metropolitan police commissioners - 1

Item Number: 207957
Call Number: Misc. Lewelling
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 207957

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