Insurance broker, and did considerable business
as an underwriter, in which 1 was successful.
In 1793, or 1794, I was
elected a Director in the
Mutual Insurance Company, and soon after a Director
in the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company, and
in 1797, was appointed Treasurer of that Company.
From early life, all improvement of a public nature,
that tended to benefit the country, or in any shape
promote the happiness and welfare of mankind, were
considered by me as highly important, and claimed
my attention. I have been connected with a num-
ber of public institutions, and have providentially
been the means of their being established.
had leisure to turn his attention to some of those
charities that are of permanent benefit to mankind.
He had read the human mind with great sagacity
and attention, and had analyzed the spirit of society
in his own country. He found, as every wise man
will, that if there are inevitable evils in the world,
yet much may be done by way of softening them,
or preparing the mind to bear them.
One of the first objects of his exertions was that
of establishing a penitentiary in the State of New
lured to the paths of vice might be recalled, if proper
methods were taken to instruct them in trades, to give
them industrious habits, and to keep them from the
pollution of those hardened in iniquity. He was
well acquainted with the general plan and economy
of the penitentiary establishment in Philadelphia
which had been got up by the influence of the Soci-
ety of Friends, but he thought even this system was
susceptible of improvement. No other state had then
followed the example of Pennsylvania
fame reached the leading philanthropists of New
the sanguinary spirit and hard features of the English
penal code, which, with all their boasted love of