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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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him as to the extent of this abolition : he desiring that life should
not be taken in any case; and I believing that this highest
punishment should be reserved for the highest crimes. After-
wards, in the year 1825, I think, when Mr. Allen

, Mr. Tibbits,
and Mr. Hopkins, were making some investigations relative to
the state prison, they circulated a number of queries, and addressed
copies of them to Mr. Eddy and myself. We each wrote answers.
They came so late, that they are not printed with the report of
the commissioners; but Mr. Eddy being unwilling that they
should be lost, obtained from me a copy of my answers to the
commissioners, and published his and mine in a small pamphlet
at his expense. This is evidence of Mr. Eddy's liberality, not
only as to pecuniary consideration, but as to his toleration of prin-
ciples which differed from his own; for while his letters to the
commissioners, zealously maintained that imprisonment was suf-
ficient punishment for any crime ; I expressed the opinion that
I at that time continued to entertain, that the most atrocious
guilt, such as wilful and deliberate murder, should be punished
with death. Before I pursue this subject farther, I will mention
a circumstance which made a strong impression on my mind, and
convinced me, that however adverse the Society of Friends were
to the punishment of death, they had rather that it should be
inflicted in some cases, than that the guilty should escape with
impunity. A female belonging to the Society, or who was at
least professedly a Friend, was found a corpse, under circumstan-
ces that left no doubt of her having been murdered. I was then
assistant attorney general. The first information I had of this
crime, was from Mr. Eddy, Robert Browne, and several others of the
same high standing in the Society of Friends, who called on me to
institute a prosecution against the person suspected; and through the
whole progress of the prosecution they were active and zealous in
their efforts to furnish me with the means of developing the truth.

It is well known that the laws for establishing our state prison,
owed their origin more to the part taken by the Society of Friends,
than to any exertions in their favour by any other class in the com-
munity. And among these, Mr. Eddy

, as he was in every thing
in which he engaged, the most active and the most zealous, in
this matter, as in others, in which the public good was concerned,
be devoted himself to its success, with all the industry and earnest-