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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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almost all writers on the subject, join in a degree to
acknowledge this, and yet almost all recommend it
for some offences; this I cannot understand, unless it
be the effect of a vindictive sensation against atro-
cious crimes, which ought not to be indulged in legis-

I am sorry to find, that an opinion of the ineffica-
cy of the penitentiary system is gaining ground, and
should be still more grieved if I thought it well
founded; but I do not, and am inclined to think, that
all the great defects in the system, arise from parsi-
mony in preparing the establishments. If the build-
ings were sufficiently spacious, the prisoners might
be classed, and reformation reasonably expected,
instead of the corruption which indiscriminate con-
finement produces; and injudicious pardons of old
offenders need not be given to make room for new
convicts;—if they were sufficiently solid and strong,
the hope of escape would never be indulged or reali-
zed—but to erect spacious and strong buildings
requires large funds, and it is easier to condemn a
whole system, than to lay taxes to execute it. I
trust, however, that a fair experiment will be made
in New York

; there, if any where, we must look for
enlarged views and useful institutions.

As it is not very probable that I shall ever return
to my native city, my desire to live in the remem-
brance of my friends there has become more import-
ant to me; among them I have always counted you,
and hope you will still allow me to do so.

To THOMAS EDDY. Naples, November 13th, 1821. SIR,

On my return to Naples

, after an absence of several
months, I found your letter, dated New York, Novem-
ber 3d, 1820. I am not at present sufficiently
acquainted with the system pursued at the Lunatic