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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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hands of evil doers, and thereby lessen the demand
for punishment. To you, sir, and to many other
benevolent characters, the United States are under
great obligations; but your labours are not yet
terminated. Since by punishment alone, we are not
to look for that amelioration in the state of society,
which is to arise from the diminution of crimes,
the minds of your chief magistrates and active
senators, ought ever to be alive to the means of
prevention. To those who are likely to commit
offences, there cannot be a greater act of humanity;
while on society at large, a greater benefit cannot be
conferred. It is not the mere loss of property that
is to be deplored. In the ramifications of vice extend-
ed broad and wide, a nation bleeds at every pore in
that general contamination, which poisons the mind,
renders the corporeal functions useless, and abridges
that industry and exertion in beneficial labour, which
constitutes the support of every state and body

It is not enough to frame excellent laws to punish
delinquents. The history of all civilized countries,
has proved how inefficacious they are in the improve-
ment of morals. With every attention which human
wisdom can bestow, where multitudes are congre-
gated together in gaols, who have long been apostates
from virtue, vice must in general be triumphant.
As you advance in population, under the unavoidable
hazard of contamination by frequent importations
of depraved characters, who have fled, in many
instances, from the punishment due to their crimes
in Europe

, a vigilant and active preventive police
becomes necessary. Nor should a free country com-
plain of such a system, since crimes and criminal
people constantly abridge the privileges of innocence.
Restraints which attach only to evil doers, can never
disturb the proceedings of the peaceful citizen in the
general intercourse of society. Let the American
government, before it becomes too unwieldy, guard