Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

Page out of 347

adapted to answer the design of such an establish-
ment; the Keeper appears to he a decent and respect-
able man, and well qualified for his station; the
apartments are not so cleanly as I expected to find
them. There are fifty-nine convicts confined, fifty-
seven men, and two women, who appeared decent,
orderly, and industrious; they were employed in the
manufacture of nails, shoes, and cloth. The Inspec-
tors are very worthy citizens, who reside in the neigh-
bourhood of Trenton

. They informed me, that the
profit on the labour of the convicts, was sufficient to
defray the expenses of the prison. It is about four
years since its estabishment.

I also visited several times the prison of Phila-

. This building was erected before the alter-
ations were made in their penal code, and is, there-
fore, not well calculated for the purpose of a peniten-
tiary. Prisoners before conviction, vagabonds, and
disorderly persons, are also kept there, and the sys-
tem of order, &c. does not appear equal to that of
New York prison. This difference is not to be im-
puted to any inability, or want of attention, of the
Inspectors of the former, but to circumstances not in
their power to control. Unfortunately for Pennsyl-
, the vast number of emigrants, from every
country, who have settled there, and the violence of
party spirit, tend much to distract the government,
and destroy the influence of its best citizens. The
political changes in the administration, caused by
this spirit, have also been extended to the peniten-
tiary, and those who have most contributed to its
establishment and support, are displaced to make
way for new men, wholly unfit to manage its con-
cerns. The friends of the institution feel apprehen-
sive of the effects of this change on its future pros-
perity. It is, indeed, to be lamented, that the spirit
of political parties should be so violent, as to check
the progress of improvement, in what so essentially
concerns the safety and happiness of all. But I must