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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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the Reformation of Offenders, which I submit with
great diffidence to your judgment and experience;
and should feel still more, if I had not, in almost
every respect, conformed to your views, and availed
myself of your excellent writings on this subject,
which do the greatest credit both to yourself and your
country; on which account, you will find I have not
only occasionally quoted you, but have given the Re-
port of the State Prison of New York

for 1815 (which
contains so many of your excellent remarks) entire.

From the portion of my tract which relates to this
country, you will perceive, that we are not insensible
to the great importance of the penitentiary system,
and that some idea of such a plan has been enter-
tained, even from a remote period; but that which has
always been wanting, has been to place it on a pro-
per ground, and to substitute a system of benevolence
and reformation for one of revenge and punishment.

If this can be fully effected, every thing else will
naturally flow from it, as from a parent stream; and
from the united efforts that are making in almost
every civilized part of the world, and the free com-
munication of sentiments between those who are
earnest in the cause, I trust that such a foundation
will be laid for the moral improvement of mankind,
as may allow us to indulge the warmest hopes of a
speedy and happy result.

The publications you were so good as to send me,
were of the highest value, as they show, by a variety
of experiments, not only what ought to be done in
establishing a penitentiary system, but what ought
to be avoided. On this head, you will see I have
expressed myself with great freedom, and will, per-
haps, think I have been more ready to blame than
to commend. If, however, I have written without
reserve, I have also endeavoured to give reasons for
my opinions; and it would give me the greatest plea-
sure, if any suggestions of mine should be thought
worthy the attention of those in your country, who