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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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the smallness of population, the facility of detection,
great vigilance in the police, and the mildness of our
punishments. If this be true, the calendar of our
convicts may appear comparatively larger here,
while the number of crimes may be, in part, much
less than in Scotland

. But, on this point, I do not
possess sufficient information concerning that coun-
try, to draw any satisfactory conclusion. Both there
and here, spirituous liquors are, undoubtedly, the
great corrupters of morals. Alcohol, in all its modi-
fications, is the insidious enemy of virtue and happi-
ness ; it saps the foundation of all the useful qualities
that belong to man, and is the great cause of the
increase of vice and criminality. How is this wide
spreading mischief to be destroyed? By an entire
prohibition of home distillation, and a heavy impost
and excise on foreign spirits. But this is impractica-
ble here; no legislature would dare to pass such a
law, and no administration could carry it into exe-
cution. A partial application of impost and excise
has produced some effect, yet no great, in diminish-
ing the consumption in the country. It is painful
to reflect, that it is only in our power to attempt par-
tial remedies, and to endeavour to regulate what we
cannot prevent. I hope, with the assistance of
others, to procure the adoption of a plan to prevent the
increase of taverns and dram shops in this city, and
to lessen the number of those which already exist.

I regret that it is not in my power to make an ade-
quate return for the large fund of valuable informa-
tion which thou hast been so kind as to send me.
I can only reiterate my grateful thanks to thee for
thy liberal communications, and to assure thee, that
I am, with sentiments of great respect and esteem,
thy very obliged friend,

THOMAS EDDY. New York, 6th month, 20th, 1804. ESTEEMED FRIEND,

I have to thank thee for thy kind favour, of inclos-