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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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causes of this increase of crimes are the rapid growth
of our population and wealth; the consequent luxury
and corruption of, manners, particularly in the capital
of the state; and the great number of indigent and
vicious emigrants from Europe

and the West Indies,
driven hither by the disordered and distressful condi-
tion of their native countries, or to escape the ven-
geance of the laws.

More than three fourths of the whole number of
crimes are committed in the city of New York

. Its
population has almost doubled in ten years, and the
increase of its trade and wealth is unequalled in the
history of commercial states. It is certain also, that under
the present system of punishment, a much less
number of offenders escape conviction. Individuals
do not, from a sense of the terrible consequences to
the party, refuse to prosecute; nor juries, from motives
of compassion, forbear to convict the guilty. This
is a most salutary consequence of the melioration of
our penal laws.

The corruption of morals engenders those crimes
which pollute society, and undermine the security of
life and property. It is the duty of government to
begin at the source, and to endeavour, by every
rational and practicable expedient, to prevent crimes,
rather than to apply the painful and uncertain remedy
of punishment to evils grown formidable by negli-
gence. It is in vain, under the best devised plan of
punishment, to expect that crimes should be dimin-
ished or exterminated, if laws are not framed to check
the progress of vice, and to arrest the first steps of

It is well known, that the greater number of crimes
originate in the irregular and vicious habits produced
by intoxication, and by the idle, low, and dissipated
practices encouraged in taverns and tippling-houses.
There are few criminals whose gradual depravation
cannot be traced to this source. It is well ascertained,
that in this city there are more than twelve hundred