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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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so obliging as to take charge of a parcel for you, in
which, according to your desire, you will find a copy
of my Treatise on Indigence, and the three last re-
ports of our Society for bettering the Condition of the
Poor, with several other tracts, which I trust you will
find interesting.

It is pleasing to observe the rapid progress you
make in originating, and carrying into effect, useful
institutions for improving the state of society in your
country, in all which you appear to act a prominent
part; and well may it be said, that you deserve well of
your country, since your whole time and attention are
bestowed in promoting measures tending to the pre-
vention of criminal offences, to the religious and moral
instruction of infants and adults, to the relief of mental
and bodily infirmity, and to the general improvement of
the morals of the people.

You will observe, that so far back as the year
1806, I recommended Provident Banks, in my Trea-
tise on Indigence, upon a national plan. The idea
of such institutions originated with me ; but the pub-
lic mind was not then prepared for such institutions,
and I much fear they will not be rendered perma-
nent under the present system, on account of the la-
bour attending the gratuitous management, although
our legislature has afforded them some facilities, with
respect to the deposits. Had my plan been adopted
in 1806, I am certain that not less than seven mil-
lions sterling of the property of the labouring classes
would have now been yielding interest. The insti-
tutions, however, as now constituted, have become
popular, and they are spreading fast all over the
country; but the demand for labour, in consequence
of the happy return of peace, is unfortunately much
less than the supply, and the poor, out of work, or
being only half employed, and wages being generally
reduced, they have little to spare; but, upon the whole,
more money is deposited than could reasonably have
been expected. In 1816, and part of last year, there