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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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degree, proportionate to the extent of the means em-
ployed, much misery must be prevented, and many
evils be exterminated. Your efforts in establishing a
preventive system, and in diffusing a knowledge of
the means of self-correction to the lower classes of
society, are the wisest that can be imagined; you
strike at once at the root of the tree of evil, instead
of lopping a branch here and there, which, sooner
or later, shoots out again in new vigour.

The United States, particularly those states in
which slavery is unknown, or almost eradicated,
possess signal advantages for securing themselves
from the dreadful evils which oppress society in Eu-

; happy will they be, if they have foresight and
wisdom enough rightly to estimate, and use, the
means that Providence has been pleased thus to put
into their hands.

A law passed our state legislature, authorizing the
corporation of this city to erect a prison for solitary
confinement, to be solely for the punishment of petty
offenders, to be kept on low diet, and in solitary
apartments, for a term not exceeding ninety days;
some accounts of this plan may be seen in the
account of the State Prison, page 62. From observing
the effects of this mode of punishment, in the State
Prison, where it is used to correct those who violate
the rules of the prison, by profane swearing, quar-
relling, want of cleanliness, or neglect of their alloted
task of labour, &c., I have been led to believe it is
the most efficacious that can possibly be adopted.
The average number of convicts is nearly 400, most
of whom observe a uniform, regular, and peaceable
course of conduct; the hardened and refractory are
kept in good order, by occasional punishment in the
cells, which strikes such a terror on their minds, that
it often happens, that not a single person has been
punished for eight or ten days. Certain I am, that a
punishment of this kind will be far more beneficial
than that of the Bridewell, or even the State Prison,