Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

Page out of 347

him, grew the magnificent Lunatic Asylum at Bloomingdale

He was chairman of the committee of Governors of the Hospi-
tal under whose superintendence the buildings were erected, and
who had the management of the concern till the patients were
removed to it; and till long after a system was arranged for the
government of the house and the treatment of the subjects. In
all this, no one had so large a part as Mr. Eddy, and no one
devoted so much time and attention to the establishment.

As any thing I may write, can only serve as memoranda, which
will direct the attention of Mr. Eddy

's biographer to the history
or records of the institutions with which he was connected, I
may mention that I was a long time associated with him as a
member of the Humane Society. This was an association, which
had its origin long before I knew any thing of it. The objects
of this association, were to provide food for the destitute, and,
particularly, to supply the debtors in prison with some of the
necessaries of life. At that time these objects of charity made
an irresistible appeal to the attention of the benevolent. For it
is strange that the laws which shut a person up within the walls
of a prison, because he did not, and in most cases could not, pay
his debt, made no provision for supplying him either with fire,
food, or raiment. As you well know, the first soup house that was
ever opened in New York, was established by this society, and it
should not be forgotten, that the fears of the members that their funds
were not equal to this enterprise, were overcome by your liberal
engagement to defray from out your own purse all that might be
required, beyond the means the friends of the society could afford.

The views which were presented to many members of this
society, of the condition of the poor in the city of New York

, led
to the formation, in the year 1816, of a society for the prevention
of pauperism
; in the establishment of which, and in its action,
Mr. Eddy took a more active part than any other man. This
society was merged in the Society for the Reformation of Juve-
nile Delinquents
, or House of Refuge, which was incorporated in
the year 1824. This institution, after it had been in operation
two years, Mr. Clinton described in his annual message to the
legislature of 1826, as perhaps the best penitentiary institution
which has ever been devised by the wit, and established by the
beneficence of man. I had a more intimate association with