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Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

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ed account of Mr. Eddy

, by my apparent negligence;
my correspondence with him being only occasional,
and extending to little more than the interchange of
new publications, although I always entertained a
very high opinion both of his benevolence and his
literary talents. As the indisposition to which I
have referred, attacked me at a lime when I was en-
gaged in a debate with some of your countrymen,
on the subject of prison discipline, my medical friends
advised me, for a time, not to enter again upon that
subject, and it is only of late that I have been able to
have the satisfaction of hearing of the system of dis-
cipline recently established at Pennsylvania; whence,
for many years, I have been led to expect the adop-
tion of the horrid punishment of solitary confinement,
without permitting the convicts to labour; with
which view, the legislature has erected two large and
expensive prisons, intending to confine the criminals
in such a manner that they should be separated, not
only by night but by day, and should be deprived of
the liberty of working, lest it should be an allevia-
tion of their suffering. Against this inhuman and
unchristian-like system, my humble voice has been
raised, amongst those of many others of more impor-
tance, for several years past; but it is only a few
weeks since that I have learnt, by a communication
of authentic documents from Philadelphia, that the
legislature have at length given way to the feelings
of humanity, and have determined that the convicts
shall be allowed to labour in the day, and shall be
instructed for that purpose, as well as in whatever
else may be requisite for their reformation. The
commissioners, whom the legislature had appointed
to consider and report to them on this subject, had,
indeed, recommended to them, in their report, that
the convicts should be permitted to labour in compa-
nies, under proper restriction; but with this the legis-
lature would not comply, which I cannot but greatly
regret; although I cannot but rejoice, at the same