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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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which, in fact, is the great improvement of the age.
Such was Mr. Eddy

's anxiety to have the penitenti-
ary succeed, that he not only consented to serve as a
director, but as an agent. He undertook the latter
office, as his reputation was involved in the success
of the plan, and probably from an honest conviction
that he had made himself better acquainted with
the whole subject than any other person in the State.
In these two offices, as inspector and agent, he acted
for more than four years. He was so assiduous and
calculating in his duties, that every anticipation of
his friends and of himself was more than realized.
The expenses of the establishment had been less
than were expected, the health of the prisoners bet-
ter than that of the free and honest citizens in the
ordinary walks of life. Such cleanliness, order, and
moral discipline, marked the penitentiary system
under the administration of this untired philanthro-
pist, that those formerly dissipated and sickly were
made sober and healthy. He watched the results of
his plans, and held to a theory no longer than he
found it good in practice. His, was truly the induc-
tive system of philanthropy. In 1801, Mr. Eddy pub-
lished an account of the State Prison of New York.
His mottos were taken from Beccaria and Montes-
quieu; in fact, his whole theory of crimes and pun-
ishments is drawn from those great friends of liberty,
Beccaria, Montesquieu, Howard, Penn, and other
celebrated reformers of this and a former age. He
pointed out the state of the penal code in New York
before 1796, and showed, that after it was altered,
diminishing the number of capital punishments,
and substituting imprisonment, the humane change
was made without increasing crime. In this work,
Mr. Eddy recounted the history of the establish-
ment, described the edifice with its workshops, cells,
&c.; and no one can deny but that the plan was
admirable, according to the state of information on
these subjects at that time. The government of the