Writing conversation: Mitch Hepburn

Neil McKenty’s first book was published in 1967. Below is an excerpt from The Inside Story describing how it got published, and you can then read the preface and chapter 1.

“I dug out my 400-page thesis and hawked it around to various publishers. Only one, the dynamic and irrepressible Jack McClelland, was enthusiastic. He thought a biography of Mitch Hepburn, Premier of Ontario at Queen’s Park from 1934 to 1942, with his flamboyant lifestyle (based in an opulent suite of Toronto’s King Edward Hotel and paid for by his political friends), his heavy drinking and habitual womanizing, would make a sure-fire biography. Jack McClelland stood up, pumped my hand, gave me the thumbs up and said to go for it.

I went for it and sold the idea to Father George and my other superiors. I visited Mitch Hepburn’s widow, still living on the family farm near St. Thomas. She was reluctant to cooperate in the project because of the shadow side to her husband’s public career. However, I was to be more than gratified that by the time Mitch Hepburn was published, she and I were good friends. After a day’s writing, I would often head downtown to my favourite bar at 300 College Street which had a musical trio with a fantastic trumpet player. I usually sat at a table alone, drinking beer, listening to the music, getting a quiet buzz on while I imagined ways of bringing Mitch Hepburn to life on paper.”

Mitch Hepburn

by Neil McKenty


This is not the Life and Times of Mitchell Hepburn, Premier of Ontario from 1934 to 1942. The materials for a work of that scope are unavail­able if, indeed, some of them exist at all. Neither is it a portrait of Ontario’s eleventh Premier. The social and economic frame for a full portrait is lacking. Rather, the book is intended to be a political profile of the man who has been considered one of the most colourful Premiers in the province’s history.

The profile developed from research into Hepburn’s victory in the Ontario election of 1934 carried out at the University of Toronto under the direction of Dr. John T. Say well, now Dean of Arts and Science at York University. To expand that into a book seemed an interesting chal­lenge and Centennial project because so little has been written concerning Ontario’s Premiers.

Some of the problems raised in Mitch Hepburn require further re­search and development. The lack of certain material made this inevitable. Fortunately, the raw material for an interesting story was available. The main thing, it seemed to me, was to tell that story interestingly. Others will more fully analyze Mitchell Hepburn’s motives, assess his record, and estimate his place in Canada’s history. My primary aim was to sketch a profile of the man in action.

Professor Ramsay Cook of the University of Toronto read the entire manuscript, as did Richard M. Alway who has done extensive research on the Hepburn period. Professor H. Blair Neatby of Carleton University read portions of it. I am grateful for their suggestions. The staffs of the Provincial Archives of Ontario and the Public Archives of Canada were invariably helpful. I am also indebted to the Centennial Commission for a grant of $1,500.

That the book was completed is due most of all to the generosity of Canada’s English-speaking Jesuits, particularly the Jesuit Provincial, the Reverend Angus J. Macdougall. The Jesuits provided financial support and freedom from other duties for research and writing. My thanks, also, to those many friends whose enthusiasm for the project exceeded my ability to do it justice.

I hope that students will find the book useful, and that the general reader, especially those Mitch Hepburn affectionately referred to as “the people on the back concessions,” will find it enjoyable.

N. McKenty

Chapter 1

Under the Shadow

There was no hint of discontent, no portent of future trouble in the applause that filled Aylmer’s stifling town hall on that warm June after­noon in 1906. After a long meeting during which thirteen other nominees withdrew, the Reformers of East Elgin had finally chosen a candidate to contest the federal by-election scheduled for October 4. What was more, the slim young nominee standing on the platform acknowledging the cheers looked like a winner. There was a smile on his face and just the hint of a devilish twinkle in his eyes as Billy Hepburn[1] waved to the applauding delegates. Droplets of perspiration had formed on his trim black moustache. It had been an exhausting afternoon for Billy Hepburn. As he stood there, wearing his fashionable fawn vest, he still looked debonair and dapper, younger than his thirty-five years.

He waited for the cheering to subside. Then in a strong voice, which carried effortlessly through the jammed hall, Billy Hepburn began to speak. He would accept the nomination, but he would have backed any other winner. Yes, he knew about the rumours going around the riding; he had been in charge of Liberal patronage for the past two years but, despite what anyone said, he had managed it honestly. As for the stories about his personal life, well no man in his home district near Union would call him “a whisky barrel.”

Let his accusers come to his farm in Yarmouth township and ask his neighbours about that. Those “dirty stories” had cost him the federal election in 1904 when he lost by a handful of votes. This time, Billy Hepburn concluded, to more cheering from the East Elgin Liberals, this time he would be a winner. The strongly Liberal St. Thomas Evening Journal agreed: “It was a triumphant day for Mr. Hepburn, and his elec­tion would appear to be an assured certainty.”

On that afternoon in 1906, as the East Elgin Reformers streamed out into the warm June sunshine, there were solid reasons to believe that their nominee would win back the traditionally Tory riding. Billy Hepburn had already proved himself a canny politician and a substantial vote-getter. In his first try for elective office in 1901, he headed the polls for council in Yarmouth Township. Re-elected the two following years, he ran for Reeve in 1904 and won with a handsome majority. “Full of vigour, open- hearted, genial, a good speaker,” Billy Hepburn contested Elgin East for the federal Liberals in the 1904 general election. Out of more than four thousand ballots cast, he lost by just twenty-one votes.1

That near victory in a Conservative riding was an astonishing feat for so young a man. Already affable, easy-going Billy Hepburn had built up a strong following, especially among the younger folk in his home Town­ship of Yarmouth. A part of Elgin County (named in 1852 after Canada’s great Governor-General, Lord Elgin), that belt of land stretching for sixty miles along the northern shore of Lake Erie, Yarmouth Township comprised the rich rectangular strip extending from the lake shore to beyond the county seat, St. Thomas, so called for Colonel Thomas Talbot (the “St.” was “prefixed for euphony”), who pioneered the area in 1803. Later South Yarmouth (where the Hepburns settled near the hamlet of Union four miles south of St. Thomas) would be described as “a land of noble farms, good roads, fruitful orchards, and rich, hospitable homes.” It was also a land whose sturdy pioneers, busy cutting a living out of the wilderness, had little patience with the established forms, religious or political. They flocked to St. Thomas to hear William Lyon Mackenzie denounce “the family compact.” A force from Yarmouth and other nearby townships gathered to support Mackenzie in “the trouble” of 1837, and a Yarmouth man was hanged at London for treason.2 Whether they were attacking a tree or the establishment, the pioneers of Yarmouth could make the splinters fly.

When Billy Hepburn first tried for a federal seat in 1904, there had been Hepburns in Yarmouth township for sixty years. Fifteen members of the Hepburn clan sailed from Dundee, Scotland, on July 18, 1843, to make their fortunes in the new world. Among them was a boy of ten, the first Mitchell Hepburn, bom in Newburgh, “a town on the River Tay, in the kingdom of Fife, as the old Scottish folk used to call that country.” After a hazardous three-month journey, these hardy border-clan people settled in Yarmouth Township along the old gravel road between St. Thomas and Port Stanley. Armed with the perseverance and thrift of their Fifeshire forbears, the Hepburns were determined to hew homes from the wilderness at a time, the first Mitchell Hepburn recalled many years later, when St. Thomas, soon to become a railroad centre, was not much more than a hamlet in the woods.

The Hepburns succeeded admirably, none more so than Mitchell Hepburn himself, the grandfather of the future Premier of Ontario. By 1863, Mitchell Hepburn had amassed 118 acres of land near Union. About the same time he also acquired a wife, Eliza Johnson, a Yarmouth girl, one of whose uncles had served with William Lyon Mackenzie in 1837. During the early years of their marriage, saddened by the deaths of all four of their children, they adopted[2] a baby son, William Frederick, a special blessing for Eliza who proudly watched Billy grow into a fine- looking boy.

In these years Mitchell Hepburn Sr. was increasing his land holdings, and by 1890, when young Billy was nineteen, his father had acquired nearly seven hundred acres. A cheese factory had been built, and a fine dairy herd developed. The herd was Billy’s responsibility, requiring a good part of his spare time.3 Billy Hepburn knew that his father meant business, and business meant a hard day’s work. Part of a normal man’s business was to acquire a wife, and there was no objection when, in 1892, still only twenty-one, Billy Hepburn decided it was time he did just that. By then Billy Hepburn had a mind of his own, and he had no doubts about the girl he wanted to marry.

A few miles away, in the neighbouring township of Southwold, lived the Fulton family. In 1836, five strapping Fulton brothers had come to Southwold from “Ballemoney,” Antrim County, Ireland. One of the brothers, James, had married Annie McPherson, and from that fruitful union were born six sons and four daughters. Only one of the girls, Mar­garet, bom on New Year’s Day, 1871, had ever been crowned “the belle of Southwold.” In 1892, Maggie Fulton, as everyone called her, was a lovely young woman of twenty-one, rather slim with dark upswept hair. She was “the pretty Miss Fulton,” and Billy Hepburn’s attraction was reciprocated.

The happy couple were soon making wedding plans which included a big new house, the gift of Mitchell Hepburn Sr., just a stone’s throw from the homestead. Billy worked on their new home, a splendid three- story, white-brick structure set in a green meadow off the Fruit Ridge Road. Billy Hepburn and Maggie Fulton were married and moved into their new home. Life for the newlyweds began placidly and was blessed by the birth of a girl, Irene, on August 5, 1895. A year later, on August 12, 1896, in an upstairs bedroom overlooking the fields of Yarmouth,

Maggie bore her second child, a son, Mitchell Frederick Jr., named after his grandfather, a son who cried lustily and was destined thirty-seven years later to become the Prime Minister of Ontario.

These were exciting weeks at the Hepburn house: a son was born, and a month earlier Wilfrid Laurier was sworn in as Reform Prime Minister. “Old Mitch,” as he came to be known, was pleased with his new grand­son and the new government. Long before he had brought his own staunch brand of liberalism from his native Fifeshire. Through the years he had actively supported Reform candidates in Elgin, though he had no personal interest in running for office himself. Not so with the more gregarious Billy. He liked people and he liked politics. Shortly after he headed the poll for Yarmouth Council in 1901, Billy decided to strike out on his own. Whether “Old Mitch’s” spartan regime on the farm was too confining, or whether business life seemed to offer more opportunities, Billy Hepburn moved his young family into St. Thomas to go into the implement-selling business.4

There, on a September morning in 1902, his son, Mitchell, aged six, probably accompanied by Maggie, walked from their home on Queen Street to the three-storey, forbidding red-brick building, the Wellington Street School. The teacher Miss “Allie” Pye was reassuring as she began taking down the names of her fifty-one, well-scrubbed Grade I young­sters. “Mitchell Hepburn Jr.” replied the lad with the slick dark hair and high voice, as he began his first day at school. Young Mitch remained only two years at Wellington Street. In the spring of 1904, with his parents and his sister Irene, he moved back to the farm near Union. Perhaps his father had not found selling farm machinery in Yarmouth and Southwold as lucrative as he had expected. In any event, his election as Reeve of Yarmouth in 1904, by “a handsome majority,” had whetted his interest in politics. In March of that year, against ten other nominees, he won the East Elgin Reform nomination for the federal general elec­tion. “A bright, aggressive, capable young man,” the Liberal Evening Journal described Billy, and added, “the seal of victory is upon Mr. Hep­burn. … He is young. He is popular. He has no enemies.” The Tories, who brought their leader Robert Borden into the riding, were taking no chances that the upstart from Yarmouth would cause an upset. He didn’t. Billy Hepburn ran a strong campaign, losing by just twenty-one votes in over four thousand cast, the best Reform showing in the riding in years.

In November, 1904, when Billy Hepburn’s father first ran for the federal House, young Mitch was just eight, old enough to hear his father speak from those Elgin platforms – Yarmouth Centre, New Sarum, Springfield – where he would stand addressing his audience’s children twenty years later.* Most of young Mitch’s time in the fall of 1904, however, was spent at Union School, just over a mile from his home. Union School was a one-room frame building heated by a big wood stove and at first young Mitch found it a bewildering change from Wellington Street and the ordered Miss “Allie” Pye. At Union, Mitch had a teacher who could not teach very well and who could not keep order at all. In the fall of 1904, if a pupil at Union School did not like the location of his desk, he picked up his books and moved without so much as a by- your-leave. Sooner or later something was bound to blow, and something did. One noon-hour, while the seventy or so students were crowding through the narrow door for afternoon classes, Mitch and two other lads placed a handful of giant firecrackers into the blazing old box stove. The ensuing blast blew the door off. Predictably, the teacher blew up too. The licking with a stiff wooden pointer, which Mitch and his two accomplices suffered in full view of the class, as one of them remembered later, “really took hold.”

Fortunately for the good of education at Union, a new teacher soon took hold. Unlike his predecessor, David Weir was a splendid teacher. For about two years young Mitch Hepburn developed rapidly under Weir. The boy excelled in the oral recitation periods held once or twice a month on Friday afternoons. Anything connected with history or current events intrigued him, and Dave Weir encouraged this interest. According to one recollection, during a class period Weir caught Mitch examining pictures of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Ontario’s Premier, the Honourable George Ross. As punishment, Weir ordered the lad to deliver a speech on the two men the very next day. That night, with his father’s help, Mitch wrote his first political speech, memorized it, and delivered it on schedule. But there was more than study and speech-making at Union School. Weir promoted sports — football, skating and hockey on the pond, tobogganing. Young Mitch Hepburn, not as robust as some of his fel­lows, enjoyed the sports, particularly tobogganing at which he was con­sidered expert.5

These early years – working and playing at Union School; secure with his parents and his sister, Irene, in the house on Fruit Ridge Road; fre­quently walking through the back fields to visit “Old Mitch”; enjoying the companionship of his dogs and rabbits – these were happy years for Mitch Hepburn Jr. When school ended for the year, in June, 1906, he was not quite ten, a healthy contented boy. At that time no one could have foreseen that his father’s growing involvement in politics would shatter some of the happiness so soon and forever.

On the sunny morning of September 17, 1906, the government patrol boat Vigilant steamed through the waters of Lake Erie into the harbour of Port Burwell. On board was William F. Hepburn, Reform candidate in East Elgin for the federal by-election called for October 4 because the sitting Conservative member had resigned. Beside him stood the Honour­able A. B. Aylesworth, federal Minister of Justice and the Honourable C. S. Hyman, acting Minister of Public Works. They were there to examine the harbour improvements and to help Billy Hepburn’s cam­paign.

* Billy Hepburn ran in Elgin East, his son would later represent Elgin West in the federal House. The boundaries of the two ridings were frequently changed so that some areas appeared at various times in both.

The loudest cheers of the election meeting at the Oddfellows’ Hall were evoked by Hepburn’s promise that no matter what was said about him he would make no derogatory references to his Conservative oppo­nent, the wealthy David Marshall of Aylmer. The Evening Journal in St. Thomas was taking care of that in every edition. Marshall’s major sins were that he had money; he owned a Russell car worth more than three thousand dollars (apparently in storage for the remainder of the cam­paign); he headed Canadian Canners Ltd., in Aylmer; he did not pay enough for farmers’ corn; and he was the candidate of the trusts and big business.

The next night, in David Marshall’s stronghold of Aylmer, Billy Hepburn, never at a loss for words, gave one of his best fighting speeches. Mopping perspiration from his face, he paid tribute to the ladies who had arranged the crowded meeting. Then he took dead aim at the charges that were being hurled against him through the riding: the old-guard Liberals opposed him; he misused his control of patronage for personal gain; he bet on the horses and was too friendly with the sporting fraternity; he drank too much.* Billy Hepburn did not know what else his opponents could say, but if they had other accusations he hoped they would make them at once. Even if worse things were said, he was in this fight to the finish. “I can beat them anyhow,” Billy Hepburn promised as he invited the electors to “go to the polls and give ‘the boy from Yarmouth’ a chance.”

Two days later, his campaign moving into high gear with the Evening Journal proclaiming that even prominent Conservatives were conceding his victory, Billy Hepburn’s chance was gone, his promising political career was in ruins, and his family’s happiness was threatened. Friday evening, September 21, he failed to appear at a scheduled meeting in Copenhagen, just north of Port Bruce, where the voters were well pleased with the harbour improvements he had obtained for them. Next morning, a cryptic paragraph appeared on page one of the Evening Journal: “Mr. W. F. Hepburn, Liberal candidate for Elgin East, has tendered his resignation.” That afternoon the Reformers would meet in Aylmer to choose a new candidate.6

Rumours swept the riding. Had Justice Minister Aylesworth and other Liberal officials forced Hepburn out because they had decided he was a sure loser? Had the old-guard Reformers been too much for “the young colts” who had strongly supported him? It was an anxious group, a pale Billy Hepburn with them, who crowded into the Reform club rooms in Aylmer that Saturday afternoon, September 22, to choose a new can­didate and to hear the first version of what was soon to be called “the Orwell Affair.” Behind locked doors, in a room depressed by heat and bitterness, the Reform president recounted “the dastardly plot” that had forced their candidate’s sudden resignation.

On the evening of August 1, after a long day’s canvassing in the Belmont district, Billy Hepburn arrived about seven-thirty at the Albion House, a hostelry in the hamlet of Orwell half-way between St. Thomas and Aylmer. It was late, his horse was tired, so he decided to put up for the night. He ordered supper, finished some correspondence, retired shortly after eight, and slept soundly for nearly twelve hours. Next morning he breakfasted and left the Albion House to resume his canvass south of Orwell.

A few days later, David Butler, the proprietor of the Albion House, informed Hepburn that two women “of alleged ill repute” had visited his House on the night in question, one of them remaining until morning. Unless Hepburn paid him five hundred dollars, Butler threatened to con­nect him in an immoral way with the women and ruin his election chances. Butler intimated that the Conservatives, including candidate David Marshall, were behind the plot. Billy Hepburn flatly refused to pay any hush money. Accordingly, after a long delay, on August 25, the district Licence Inspector, William Andrews, laid a charge of keeping a disorderly house against Butler. No attempt was made to press this charge. Instead, the plan was to hold the case off until a few days before the election, then confront Hepburn with a subpoena to appear as a

* Some of these charges came to the attention of leading Liberals in Ottawa, including Sir Wilfrid Laurier himself. On June 26, two days before the official nomination, W. S. Caron, a prominent Aylmer Reformer, wrote the Prime Minister and enclosed a petition protesting Hepburn’s impending nomination. A second letter reached Laurier on July 4 with the rumour that Hepburn was alleged to have shared in the profits of government-dredging operations in his riding. To the first correspondent, who concluded “that it is desirable and urgent that Mr. Hepburn should be induced not to enter into the contest,” the Prime Minister merely observed “that I have it an invariable practice never to interfere with the choice of the candidates.” With his second informant, Laurier was more explicit: “These insinuations against Hepburn do not seem to be well-founded. It is a matter, however, which will have to be cle.ared in the riding itself.” To that end, the Liberal Chieftan passed on the protests to the Hon. C. S. Hyman, Acting Minister of Public Works and top Liberal strategist in Western Ontario, who promised to take the matter in hand and hoped “it may be possible to avoid trouble.” (W. Laurier to W. S. Caron, June 26, 1906; H. H. Miller to W. Laurier, July 4, 1906; W. Laurier to H. H. Miller, July 7, 1906; W. Laurier to C. S. Hyman, June 26, 1906; C. S. Hyman to W. Laurier, July 3, 1906; pac Laurier Papers).

witness in the action, thereby implicating him in disorderly and immoral conduct. His defeat by Marshall would be certain.

Despite the “dastardly plot” that had forced his resignation, many of the Liberals at the Aylmer meeting cheered Hepburn when he rose to speak and urged him to continue in the contest. Billy Hepburn, though promising to support Granville Haight, the surprised and somewhat lack­lustre candidate chosen to succeed him, stuck by his decision to retire. He explained to the press, “There was a tendency … to destroy my home life, and I refused to stand it any longer, and so I resigned.” In a public statement, he confessed that he would “suffer injury that may prove irreparable from this base conspiracy.” He promised again to fight for the new candidate’s election and thanked the many friends in East Elgin who had stood loyally by him “under the shadow.” Then Billy Hepburn left for home and Maggie and the children and the memory of what might have been.7

Those memories were made more poignant by the cheers which greeted him on every platform during the next few days. True to his word, Billy Hepburn campaigned hard for his successor with the theme that a Reform victory would vindicate his own good name. The affair at the Orwell Hotel became the central issue of the campaign. David Mar­shall denied he had anything to do with it and threatened to sue anyone who repeated that insinuation. It was repeated, especially on the after­noon of September 27, when Licence Inspector Andrews, a Tory appointee, served Hepburn with a subpoena to appear at the trial of one, David Butler, charged with keeping a disorderly house at Orwell. With what appeared unnecessary callousness, the summons was handed to Hepburn surrounded by his friends as he emerged from Granville Haight’s official nomination meeting in Aylmer.

So just four days before the crucial election, on Monday morning, October 1, the Council Chamber at Aylmer was jammed when Magis­trate Frank Hunt ascended the bench at 10:07 a.m. to hear the charge that David Butler kept a disorderly house. Among the spectators sat Billy Hepburn, still dapper, still debonair, but most of his lively sparkle gone. During the next two days the case against Butler unfolded. The astonishing thing about it was that Butler himself was the chief prosecu­tion witness. He testified that Hepburn had not retired early on the night in question, that several times he had been ordered to bring liquor to Hepburn’s bedroom quarters where he found the Reform candidate with a woman of low reputation. Sometime after midnight Hepburn had ordered his rig, driven off, and later returned and retired with a second woman. Several times since then he and Hepburn, at the latter’s request, had discussed the matter with Mahlon Boughner, a Yarmouth farmer. The purpose of these visits was to induce Boughner, a friend of Provincial Conservative Member, Andrew Brower, to use his influence to have any charges dropped. Boughner testified that some weeks previously Butler had handed him a statement giving his version of the Orwell Affair, and he corroborated the testimony about Hepburn’s request that the charges be dropped.

Chief witness for the defence in the anomalous position of defending Butler, his accuser, against disorderly conduct, was Billy Hepburn. There had been no women, he had slept soundly all night. Yes, he had talked with Boughner but at Butler’s request. He had refused to play Butler’s blackmail game. Under three hours of gruelling questioning by both the Crown and defence lawyers, Billy Hepburn lost some of his composure but stuck to his testimony. Each day after court, as he had promised, he was on the platform campaigning for Granville Haight and his own reputation.

Just two days before the election when Magistrate Hunt handed down his decision, Billy Hepburn was cheered at Springfield and Belmont, cheered despite the verdict. On the strength of Butler’s testimony alone, the Magistrate found Butler guilty of keeping a disorderly house at Orwell. Almost certainly that decision influenced the election result. Granville Haight, Hepburn’s replacement, lost to Marshall, the wealthy Aylmer businessman, by seventy-three votes. A few days later, Magistrate Hunt cancelled David Butler’s hotel licence at Orwell, fined him fifty dollars and $16.50 costs with the option of one month’s imprisonment at hard labour.8

That was the end of the first round in the Orwell affair. Strong legal talent from Toronto now appeared in Elgin to assist Butler, and the con­viction was appealed. The appeal was heard almost immediately at the Court House in St. Thomas before the highly respectcd Judge C. Wesley Colter. The Judge was much interested in why Inspector Andrews had delayed prosecuting the case until just before the election. He was baffled by the Inspector’s answers and many other aspects of the Orwell affair. “This is a very peculiar case. I have never heard anything like it, and I have never had anything at all approaching it in all my experience … I don’t expect to arrive at the whole truth in this case, and I don’t think that will ever be revealed until the Day of Judgment.”

Nevertheless, Judge Colter did his best to arrive at the truth. He noted that Hepburn was, in fact, the real defendant in the case, yet a defendant unable to call witnesses on his own behalf. Butler’s whole testimony was “absurd and untrue,” including the allegation that Con­servative officials had put him up to it. The Judge also found it remark­able that Boughner, who testified against Butler, now had signed the bond for appeal to reverse Butler’s conviction. He further found that Butler himself had brought the two women to his hotel for immoral purposes but that Hepburn was in no way involved with them. On that score the con-

viction would stand. The whole affair, concluded Judge Colter, “was a foul and most wicked conspiracy . . . with a view to making a victim of an innocent man.”

“Colter Judgment Vindicates Hepburn” ran the heading in the St. Thomas Times for November 8, 1906, but this was not the end of the Orwell Affair, and for Billy Hepburn the vindication was already too late. He assessed the damage — his political hopes blasted; his reputation attacked; his loved ones hurt — and he decided it would be easier to leave Elgin and start afresh.9 When he left his home and his family to stay with relatives in the American Mid-West, Billy Hepburn felt himself still to be “under the shadow.”

[1] At that time the family name was pronounced “Heebum,” but later on Billy Hepburn’s son, Mitchell, who would become Ontario’s eleventh Premier, was usually called “Hepburn.”

[2] Because there was no adoption law at that time, children were usually in­dentured.

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