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TWELFTH 


ANNUAL REPORT 


s* 


OF THE 


BOARD OF MANAGERS 


OF THE 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY 

' ' - i j 


BOSTON, MAY, 1837 


Boston: 

PUBLISHED AT THE SOCIETY’S ROOMS, 

51 Court Street. 

STEREOTYPED AT THE 
BOSTON TYPE AND STEREOTYPE FOUNDERY. 



CONTENTS 


Page of 12 th Report. 


Constitution,. 3 

Annual Meeting, . 4 


ASYLUMS FOR POOR LUNATICS. 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Maine,.... 6 
Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Hamp¬ 
shire, . 7 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Vermont... 8 
McLean Asylum at Charlestown, Mas¬ 
sachusetts,. 13 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in the City of 

Boston,. 17 

Asylum lor Poor Lunatics at Worcester, 

Massachusetts,. 19 

Asylum lor Poor Lunatics in Rhode 

Island. 23 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Connecticut, 24 
New York Stale Asylum for Poor Luna¬ 
tics, . 25 

Bloomingdale, N. Y., Asylum for Luna¬ 
tics, . 25 

Asylum for Insane Poor of the City of 
Now York on Blackwell’s Island, .... 25 
Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Jersey, 26 
Friends' Asylum for Insane near Phila¬ 
delphia, . 26 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Washing-ton, 

District of Columbia,. 28 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in North Caro¬ 
lina, . 29 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics, Lexington, 

Kentucky,. 30 

Asylum lor Poor Lunatics in Ohio,. 31 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Upper Can¬ 
ada, . 33 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Bruns¬ 
wick,. 34 

STATE PRISONS. 

Maine State Prison, . 37 

State Prison in New Hampshire,. 37 

State Prison in Vermont,. 37 

State Prison at Charlestown, Massachu¬ 
setts,. 38 

New Penitentiary in Rhode Island, ..... 40 
State Prison at Wethersfield, Connecti¬ 
cut,.40 

State Prison at Sing Sing. New York,... 47 
Female Penitentiary at Sing Sing, New 

York. 47 

State Prison at Auburn, New York,. 48 

Female Penitentiary at Aul urn, New 

York,. 50 

New Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Penn. 50 
New Penitentiary at Pittsburg, Penn. ... 54 


Page of mh Report, 

New Penitentiary in Lower Canada,.... 55 
New Penitentiary in Baltimore, Maryland, 56 
New Penitentiary in Washington, D. C., 56 
New Penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio,... 57 
New Penitentiary in Upper Canada,.... 59 

COUNTY PRISONS AND HOUSES OF 
CORRECTION. 


Leverett Street Jail, Boston,. 60 

House of Correction at South Boston,... 63 
House of Correction for Middlesex Coun¬ 
ty, Mass., at East Cambridge,. 65 

House of Correction and County Prison 

at Worcester, Mass.,.65 

House of Correction in New Bedford,... 66 


New County Prison in Hartford, Conn.,. 66 
New County Prison in Philadelphia,.... 68 

HOUSES OF REFUGE AND FARM 
SCHOOL. 

House of Reformation at South Boston,.. 69 


Boston Farm School,. 70 

House of Refuge in New York,.73 


House of Refuge in Philadelphia,.74 

IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT. 

Remaining abuses in Massachusetts, .... 75 
Imprisonment for Debt abolished in Con¬ 
necticut,. 76 

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. 

Law ameliorated in New Hampshire,... 77 

Law unaltered in Massachusetts,.77 

Proposed alterations in the law of Eng¬ 
land,. 78 


Officers,. 79 

Life Directors, . 80 

Life Members,. 80 

Treasurer’s Report, .82 

Subscriptions and Donations,.83 


APPENDIX. 

Speech of Hon. John R. Adan,. 86 

Speech of Rev. Jared Curtis,. 89 

Speech of Gov. Everett,. 91 

Report of the Special Committee of the 
Parliament of Lower Canada, on the 

Subject of a new Penitentiary,.94 

Statistics of Prison at Auburn, N. Y., ... 98 
Statistics of Prison at Charlestown, Mass.,100 

Mortality of Prisons,.100 

Statistics of Lunatic Asylums,.100 


















































CONSTITUTION 


OF THE 

3?rteou DiscSjiltnt Socfetj?. 


/ \ . 

Articie 1. This Society shall be called the Prison Discipline Society. 

Art. 2. It shall be the object of this Society to promote the improvement of 
Public Prisons. 

Art. 3. It shall be the duty cf this Society to take measures for effecting the 
formation of one or more Prison Discipline Societies in each of the United States, 
and to co-operate with all such Societies in accomplishing the object specified in 
the second article of this Constitution. 

Art. 4. Any Society, having the same obiect in view, which shall become 
auxiliary to this, and shall contribute to its funds, shall thereby secure for the 
Prisons, in the State where such Society is located, special attention from this 
Society. 

Art. 5. Each subscriber of two dollars, annually, shall be a Member. 

Art. 6. Each subscriber of thirty dollars, at one time, shall be a Member for 
Life. 

Art. 7. Each subscriber cf ten dollars, annually, shall be a Director. 

Art. 8. Each subscriber of one hundred dollars, or who shall by one additional 
payment increase hi3 original subscription to one hundred dollars, shall be a 
Director for Life. 

Art. 9. The officers of this Society shall be a President, as many Vice-Presi¬ 
dents as shall be deemed expedient, a Treasurer, and a Secretary, to be chosen 
annually, and a Board of Managers, whose duty it shall be to conduct the business 
of the Society. This Board shall consist of six clergyman and six laymen, of 
whom nine shall reside in the city of Boston, and five shall constitute a qu rum. 

Every Minister of the Gospel, who is a Member of this Society, shall be enti¬ 
tled to meet and deliberate with the Board cf Managers. 

The Managers shall call special meetings of the Society, and fill such vacan¬ 
cies as may occur by death or otherwise in their own Board. 

Art. 10. The President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and Secretary, shall be, 
ex officio, Members of the Board of Managers. 

Art. 11. Directors shall be entitled to meet and vote at all meetings of the 
Board of Managers. 

Art. 12. The annual meetings of this Society shall be held in Boston, on the 
week of the General Election, when, besides choosing *he officers as specified 
in the ninth article, the accounts of the Treasurer shall be presented, and the 
proceedings of the foregoing year reported. 

Art. 13. The Managers shall meet at such time and place, in the city of 
Boston, as thev shall appoint. 

Art. 14. At the meetings of the Society, and of the Managers, the President, 
or, in his absence, the Vice-President first on 'he list then pre ent, and. in the 
absence cf the President and of all the Vice-Presidents, such Member as shall 
be appointed for that purpose, shall preside. 

Art. 15. The Secretary, in concurrence with two of the Managers, or, in the 
absence of the Secretary, any three of the Managers, may call special meetings 
of the Beard. 

Art. 16. The minutes of every meeting shall be signed by the Chairman or 
Secretary. 

Art. 17. The Managers shall have the power of appointing such persons as 
have rendered essential services to the Society either Members for Life or Direc¬ 
tors for Life. 

Art. 18. No alteration shall be made in this Constitution except by the Socie¬ 
ty, at an annual meeting, on the recommendation of the Board of Managers. 


ANNUAL MEETING. 


The Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Prison Discipline Society, for the 
choice of officers, was held in the Upper Vestry of Park Street Church, on 
Monday, May 29, at 3 o’clock, P. M. The Rev. Dr. Jenks, the oldest Vice 
President of the Society present, took the chair, and opened the meeting 
with prayer. After reading the minutes of the last annual meeting, the 
Treasurer’s account, as audited by Mr. James Means and Henry Hill, Esq., 
was read and accepted. The officers of the preceding year, except the Hon. 
William Reed and Dr. Thomas G. Lee, deceased, were re-elected, witli the 
addition of Hon. Abbott Lawrence to the list of Vice Presidents, and the 
following gentlemen to the list of Corresponding Members,:—Dr. Thomas 
Paddock, of St. John’s, New Brunswick ; Hon. Jonathan McAuley, and Hon. 
Marshall S. Bidwell, of Toronto, Upper Canada; Samuel F. McCracken, 
Esq., and Dr. William M. Awl, of Columbus, Ohio; Dr. William H. Rock¬ 
well, of Brattleboro’, Vt.; Dr. Luther V. Bell, of Charlestown, and Dr. Sam¬ 
uel B. Woodward, of Worcester, Mass.; William Samuel Johnson, Esq., of 
New York city; and Hon. Peter D. Vroom, of Somerville, N. J.—After 
prayer by the Rev. William Adams, of New York, the Society adjourned 
to meet in Park Street Church, on Tuesday, at 11 o’clock, to hear the Re¬ 
port and Addresses. 

The public meeting of the Society was held in Park Street Church on 
Tuesday, at 11 o’clock, A. M., the President of the Society, Hon. Samuel 
T. Armstrong, in the chair. The 41st Psalm, three first verses, Lamenta¬ 
tions iii. 33—36, and John iii. 16, 17, were read, accompanied with prayer 
by Rev. N. Adams, of Boston. An abstract of the Annual Report was read 
by the Secretary, after which the following Resolutions were offered:— 

1. Resolved, Thai the Report, which has now been read, be accepted, and referred to the 
Managers to be printed.—Offered by Hon. John R. Adan, seconded by Rev. Dr. Woods, 
of Andover. 

2. Resolved, That the restoration to virtue and consequent happiness of the inmates of 
our public Prisons and Penitentiaries ought not to be considered as hopeless, but, by every 
Philanthropist and Christian, should be made an object of untiring and strenuous effort.— 
Offered by the Rev. Jared Curtis, and seconded by the Rev. Dr. Storrs. 

After the second resolution, the assembly united in singing the 13th Hymn 
■of the Selection—“ Hark, the glad sound, the Savior comes! ” 

3. Resolved / That the improvements in Prison Discipline are justly to be considered 
among the most interesting achievements of Christian philanthropy in modern times; that 
this Society is entitled to the thanks of every friend of humanity for its successful efforts in 
4he cause; and that unabated exertions ought to be made still further to mitigate the severi¬ 
ty of the penal law, as far as is consistent with public justice.—Offered by his Excellency 
Governor Everett, seconded by Rev. Mr. Robbins, of Connecticut. 

» - 

Messrs. Adan, Curtis, and Everett, severally addressed the meeting.* 


* See Appendix. 



ANNUAL REPORT 


The Managers of the Prison Discipline Society, in presenting their 
Twelfth Annual Report, notice the death of the second vice presi¬ 
dent of the Society, the Hon. William Reed, of Marblehead, Mass., 
who has sustained this relation to the Society from its commencement; 
also the death of one of its most esteemed and useful corresponding 
members, Dr. Thomas G. Lee, superintendent of the McLean Asy¬ 
lum at Charlestown, who has scarcely left a more lovely and beautiful 
image of his Lord and Savior among his fellow-men. We humbly 
trust, they have both been removed to a world where there is no more 
sin—to a sphere of higher activity and benevolence than earth affords. 
We have lost their presence and support; may we imitate their exam¬ 
ple, so far as they imitated Christ; and, if they were truly his disciples, 
as we believe they were, may we follow them to their rest and re¬ 
ward.* 


* “ On the occasion of the lamented death of the late Dr. Thomas G. Lee, physician and 
superintendent of the McLean Asylum for the Insane at Charlestown, at the residence of 
Dr. Woodward at Worcester, a special meeting' of the trustees of that institution was called 
on Sunday, the 30th of October last, when the following votes, expressive of their feelings, 
were unanimously adopted :— 

u ‘ Voted, That such of the trustees as can do so, will attend the funeral services of Dr. 
Lee, at the Rev. Mr. Crosby’s church in Charlestowu, this afternoon, and thence will pro¬ 
ceed to Mount Auburn with the funeral procession. 

“ 1 Voted, That the board, while submitting in sorrow to the dispensations of Providence, 
cannot but feel deeply the loss which the institution under their care, and the public, have 
suffered in the lamented death of Dr. Lee. They had known him long enough to appre¬ 
ciate his talents, his attainments in his profession, his remarkable and entire devotion to the 
pursuit in which he had engaged, the beautiful purity of his character, the elevation of his 
views, and the propriety of the means by which he sought to attain the most worthy objects. 
They have often been struck with the soundness of his judgment, and the kindness of his 
manners ; and have perceived, in the institution of which he was the superintendent, the hap¬ 
py influence of his professional skill, combined with the cheerfulness and gentleness of his 
deportment, and the piety which was the habitual guide of his life. After an association of 
nearly two years of an intimate character, they can say with truth, that they have nothing to 
regret in their intercourse with him, but its premature close. They had hoped to see the 
McLean Asylum long increasing in usefulness under his care, and to witness the extension 
of his well-earned reputation for many years ; and they cannot suffer him to pass to the 
grave without paying a just tribute to his many admirable qualities, and his peculiar fitness 
for the station in which he was placed. 

“ 1 Voted, That the board sympathize sincerely in the grief which this bereavement has 
caused to his friends and the family resident in the Asylum, and especially to his afflicted 
widow. They would not venture to offer consolation under such circumstances ; but, as 
an expression of their regard for the memory of Dr. Lee, they will discharge every expense 

1* H2 




90 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


6 


The arrangement of the Report is under the following heads :— 

1. Asylums for Poor Lunatics. 

2. New Penitentiaries. 

3. County Prisons and Houses of Correction. 

4. Houses of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents, and Farm School. 

5. Imprisonment for Debt. 

6. Capital Punishment. 


1. ASYLUMS FOR POOR LUNATICS. 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Maine. 


His excellency the governor, in his message to the legislature, in 
January, 1837, says, 

“ A resolve was passed by the last legislature, authorizing me, with the advice 
of the council, to appoint an agent, whose duty it should be to superintend the 
erection of an Insane Hospital, agreeably to a plan of the most approved models 
for such an institution, on the site in Augusta purchased for that purpose. In 
conformity to the authority vested in the executive, the trust was confided to 
Reuel Williams, Esq., who has commenced the undertaking, and prosecuted it, 
thus far, in the most satisfactory manner.” 


attending his last illness, and continue his salary to Mrs. Lee until the first day of April 
next. 

“ ‘ Voted, That the thanks of the board be presented to Dr. Woodward and his family, 
for their kindness and assiduous attention to Dr. Lee, during the illness which terminated in 

his deatll> Attest > WILLIAM GRAY, Secretary ’ ” 

From the Boston Courier. •— “ (Mutuary Notice. Dr. Thomas G. Lee, the late lament¬ 
ed superintendent of the McLean Asylum, was born in New Britain, Conn., in 1808. At the 
age of 16, he entered the military school at Middletown, where he passed a year. After re¬ 
maining some time at home, he entered the medical school at New Haven, received his 
diploma at the age of 20, and entered at once as assistant physician in the Insane Retreat 
at Hartford. This institution was then under the direction of Dr. Todd, since deceased, 
from whose admirable character, and wisdom in the management of the unfortunate objects 
of his care, Dr. Lee imbibed the enthusiasm and skill which have made his loss irreparable. 
Not long before the death of Dr. Todd, the subject of this brief memoir established himself 
as a physician in the town of Hartford, but soon after accepted the office of assistant physi¬ 
cian in the McLean Asylum. After the resignation of Dr. Wyman, at the end of one year, 
he was appointed superintendent, in which office he remained another year, and died, aged 
only 28. 

“ In person, character, and talent, Dr. Lee was eminently fitted for the peculiar, delicate, 
and most responsible duties of physician to the insane. His countenance was one of those 
benign and gentle images of his Maker, which inspired immediate confidence and affection. 
His manners were sweet, full of dignity,yet as full of command, if occasion required; his 
temper was imperturbable, his patience and Christian humanity extreme. Rarely has a man 
been so formed to win control, and watch over that most afflicted portion of our fellow- 
creatures ; and perhaps no one ever had such remarkable success in seizing upon the pecu¬ 
liarity of the individual disease, and applying its difficult remedy. The McLean Asylum, 
under him, was one of the most delightful objects which a benevolent mind could find for its 
contemplation. It was a scene of rapid restoration, of tranquillity, even of happiness. The 
means were all kindness, the care was all watchful and provident; and in the circle of the 
writer’s acquaintance alone, there are four or five families, who have reason to bless Prov¬ 
idence, that, before he was taken from his sphere of usefulness, his skill and kindness were 
exerted most successfully in behalf of relatives deeply afflicted. Many of Dr. Lee’s im- 

K rovements in the management of the insane, are in operation in the institution of which he 
ad the care, and it is a blessing and a consolation that his usefulness has not all died with 
him ” 



7 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


91 


A letter from the agent, dated April 8, 1837, accompanied with 
ground view of the plan of building, which is herewith presented, 
shows the present state of the concern :— 

“ Your esteemed favor of the 9th ult. was duly received, with the Eleventh 
Report of the Prison Discipline Society, for which 1 thank you. I have put the 
Report into the hand of Mr. Lord, the' superintendent of the building for a Hos¬ 
pital now in progress in this town, and requested him to compare the plan of the 
Ohio Hospital with ours, and if he found any variance, to make a plan of ours, 
that I might send it to you. He has done so, and I now forward you this plan of 
the Maine Hospital. 

“ We have added to the lot first purchased, four acres of landt adjoining on the 
south side of the original lot, between the road and river, to enable us to occupy 
the best site for the building, and have it nearly central in the lot. 

“ The excavations for the cellar and the cellar walls, resting, in their whole ex¬ 
tent, upon a ledge, were completed last fall; the grounds are mostly graduated, 
the shops built, and some of the materials are provided and upon the lot. The 
work is in progress, and the walls of granite will probably be completed the com¬ 
ing season ; but it is not expected that the building will be finished until the fall 
of 1838. It is intended to make the building as perfect and as convenient as is 
possible. 

“ I have relinquished my agency,t and J. H. Hartwell, Esq has been appointed 
in my place. I have great confidence that he will cause every thing to be done 
as it should be. Although my engagements forbid my continuing my agency, I 
still retain all that interest in the establishment, which prompted me to aid its 
commencement^ and shall be, at all times, happy to receive or communicate any 
information, that may tend to the amelioration of the sufferings of the insane. 

“1 am, very respectfully, 

“ Your obedient servant, 

“ REUEL WILLIAMS.’ 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Hampshire. 

The legislature of 1835 referred the question to the people for their 
vote; and although the principal towns, with few exceptions, cast an 
almost unanimous vote in favor of such an institution, a majority of 
towns, and a small majority of voters, cast a vote against it. The 
towns of Amherst, Chester, Claremont, Concord, Derry, Dover, Dur¬ 
ham, Dunstable, Exeter, Francestown, Gilmanton, Hampton, Hills¬ 
borough, Hollis, Keene, Londonderry, Lancaster, Mount Vernon, 
Newport, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rochester, Sandwich, Wind¬ 
ham, and Wilton, are among those which deserve honorable mention, 
as having cast an almost unanimous vote in its favor. The town of 
Hanover, where Dartmouth College is situated, cast an almost unani¬ 
mous vote against it. An earnest letter was written to one of the 
professors in the college, begging him to use his influence among his 
associates and townsmen on the subject; but whether he never re¬ 
ceived the letter, or received it and deemed it unworthy of his notice, 
or did what he could and could do nothing, we are not informed, as 
the receipt of the letter was never acknowledged. The most charita- 


* See Appendix, 
f They had seventy before. 

t Mr. Williams has been elected senator in congress, and he will, without doubt, aid a 
similar enterprise for establishing an Insane Hospital in the District of Columbia. 

§ Mr. Williams gave 5110,000 towards the foundation : Mr. Brown, $10,000: and the state, 

$ 20 , 000 . 


* p 



92 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


8 


ble supposition is that the letter was never received. We find, in a 
list of 11S towns, 54 others, which cast a vote against an Asylum for 
the Insane. It is our earnest prayer, that none of the inhabitants of 
these towns may ever be insane themselves, and then they will not 
need an Asylum. But should they, or their friends, ever be subject 
to this dreadful malady, they might regret having cast such a vote on 
this subject. If they should be, they might class themselves, for hu¬ 
manity and benevolence, with that member of the legislature, who 
seriously proposed in his place, at the last session of the New Hamp¬ 
shire legislature, “ that the judiciary committee be instructed to con¬ 
sider the expediency of confining the insane in the state prison.” 

It has been supposed, or said, that the reason why some of the 
small agricultural towns voted as they did, was, because the farmers 
of the state were unwilling to tax themselves for the support of the 
insane poor of large towns and cities. It appears, however, from the 
reports of the Asylum at Worcester, that the farmer and the laborer 
receive the greatest benefit from such an institution. The occupations 
of 250 inmates, according to one of the late reports of that institu- 


tion, were as follows 

Common laborers,. .. 

..57 

Farmers, . 

..52 

Cooper, . 


Manufacturers,. 

...18 

Shoe-makers,. ... 

..19 

Tanner, . 


Seamen, . 

...16 

Teachers,. 

..13 

Currier,. 

Clergyman,.... 

...1 

Carpenters, . 

...10 

Merchants, . 

...8 

...1 

Machinists,. 

....6 

Blacksmiths, .... 

...5 

Physician, . 

...1 

Tailors . 

....4 

Printers, . 

...3 

Harness-maker,. 

...1 

Paper-makers, . 

....2 

Clothiers, . 

...3 

Pedler, . 

...1 

Millers, . 

....2 

Calico-printers.. . 

. ..2 

Bricklayer, . 

...1 

Cabinet-makers, .... 

9 

Stevedores, . 

...2 

Lawyer, . 

Vagrants, . 

...1 

Stone-cutter, . 

....1 

Comb-maker, ... 

...1 

...3 

So that the farmers 

and laborers are not 

Total, 250 

exempt from this disease 


and cannot excuse themselves from the obligation to provide an 
Asylum for the Insane, because the insane are mostly found among 
the poor of large towns and cities. 

A series of articles, written in behalf of the insane, by Dr. Luther V. 
Bell, at that time living in Derry, N. H., and a representative from 
that town in the legislature, was published in the New Hampshire 
Patriot; an able memorial, written by Dr. Burroughs, of Portsmouth, 
was published and extensively circulated; and lectures were delivered 
before lyceums. Where the information thus disseminated reached 
the voters, the result was favorable; but a majority of the voters in 
the state appear not to have been reached. 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Vermont. 

This institution was opened for the reception of patients in Decem¬ 
ber, 1&36. 

The location was spoken of, in the last Report of this Society, as 
one of unrivalled beauty. , 

The superintendence was committed to Dr. William H. Rockwell, 


































9 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


93 


of whom Dr. Thomas G. Lee wrote, before his death, a letter of strong 
commendation. He says, 

“ Dr. Rockwell went to the Retreat in Hartford, in July, 1827. In the follow¬ 
ing September, Mr. Corning, the steward, died. During the four months suc¬ 
ceeding Mr. Coming’s death, Dr. Rockwell discharged not only the duties of 
assistant physician, but those of steward. He was four years with Dr. Todd; 
and after his death, in November, he had the whole charge of the Retreat, until 
July following, when Dr. Fuller entered upon his duties. He has since been as¬ 
sociated with Dr. Fuller in the management of the institution. He has discharged 
the duties of physician, assistant physician, and steward; and all of them to the 
satisfaction of the managers, of whom your friend Mr. H. is one. He has visited 
all the principal institutions in this country, except Worcester Hospital, for the 
purpose of making himself acquainted with the methods of management which 
they pursue. He is about 35 years of age, is married, and both he and his wife 
are members of the South Church in Hartford. After he left the Retreat the first 
time, he engaged in private practice one year. My illness, and my consequent 
resignation as Dr. Todd’s assistant, caused his return to the institution, and the 
sickness and death of Dr. Todd caused him to devote himself to the insane. He 
has had an amount of experience, which they [i. e. the trustees of the Vermont 
Asylum] will obtain no where else. His desire is to devote himself to this de¬ 
partment of our profession. If the trustees should wish for further information 
respecting him, Mr. H., or either of the trustees, would be gratified to give it.” 

A copy of this letter from Dr. Lee was sent to the trustees of the 
Vermont Asylum, and had the effect, with other testimonials, to de¬ 
cide the question of Dr. Rockwell’s appointment. We give the sub- 
stance of the letter in this Report, that all persons interested may 
know the character of the superintendent, as it was estimated by Dr. 
Lee. The station is one of so much importance and responsibility, 
that the friends of the patients, and the people at large, have a right to 
know to whom the important trust is committed. 

Dr. Rockwell’s inaugural address is what might be expected from 
one so highly recommended to public confidence. We publish it, not 
only to do good at the present time, but to preserve it as a valuable 
document. It is delightful to introduce into the family of kindred in¬ 
stitutions, another, whose being commences under such paternal care 
and guardianship. 

Dr. Rockwell says, at the opening of the institution, 

“ It will be seen by the notice of the trustees of the Vermont Asylum for the 
Insane, that the institution is now ready for the reception of patients. The 
pleasant location of the establishment, the convenient arrangement of the build¬ 
ing, and the means which are provided for the comfort and restoration of its in¬ 
mates, seem to warrant the assurance that, with the favor of God, it will be the 
means of dispensing the blessing of health and reason to those who may require 
its aid 

“ Of all the afflictions to which our nature is liable, that of insanity claims a sad 
preeminence in the catalogue of human sufferings. No age, or sex, or grade of 
intellect, is exempt from its attack. Minds the most exalted and refined, and al¬ 
lied to the warmest and holiest affections, are most exposed to its destructive in¬ 
fluence. The man of genius experiences some disappointment or mortification, 
or the fond and confiding heart suffers some great domestic affliction, and the cit¬ 
adel of reason is attacked, and a brilliant and cultivated mind is laid in ruins. 
By this affliction, man is deprived of that faculty which indicates our divine ori¬ 
gin, and frequently has little left but the human form to distinguish him from the 
brutes that perish. Under its influence, the very foundation of intellect is under¬ 
mined and subverted, and the moral qualities and noble affections are perverted 
or destroyed. Every generous passion and every noble sentiment are liable to be 
obliterated or supplanted by the basest propensities of our nature. He frequently 


94 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


10 


disregards the claims of kindred and friendship, violates the most sacred obliga¬ 
tions, and not unfrequently cherishes the strongest aversion towards these he 
most loved. Formerly the delight, the ornament, and the benefactor of society, 
he lias now become estranged from its delights, and disturbs its order and peace. 
Frequently he is the victim of the wildest and most extravagant illusions, lancy- 
ing himself an inorganized mass, a vegetable, a brute, a man, or a deity ;—and 
sometimes, which is more dangerous, he delights in the destruction of lives and 
property. Of him it may now be literally said, that ‘ destruction and misery are 
in his path.’ 

“ It is now generally conceded, that it is impossible to manage the insane with 
much success in private families. jNeither children and domestics, nor friends 
and neighbors, can exert that influence and control over heads of families which 
obtains among strangers and in an Asylum for the Insane. If the patient be the 
head of a family, and is restrained in his own house, his mind will be constantly 
irritated, and Ins disease aggravated, by the recollection of his former prerogatives, 
and lie will brook with an ill grace any authority from those lie has been accus¬ 
tomed to command. If the patient be a child, every opposition to his wild de¬ 
sires he considers as open hostility to his wishes, and can receive no benefit from 
those he considers as his persecuting enemies. In private families also, not to 
mention the interrupted peace, the multiplied cares, and even wretchedness of 
those among whom is a victim of insanity, the patient will need that medical skill 
which is rarely possessed by those who are occupied in the cure of other diseases, 
and will suiter for want of that moral management which can be pursued only 
with experienced, intelligent, humane and faithful nurses and attendants, who are 
qualified for their task, and whose services are almost indispensable in the cura¬ 
tive treatment of insanity. In private families, the maniac often becomes so un¬ 
manageable, that he is confined in some cell, and doomed to wear those chains 
which should be worn only by the guilty—and then he generally sinks into a state 
of despondency and confirmed insanity. If his case is not entirely hopeless, he will 
retain mind enough to perceive, at intervals, that he is an outcast from society, 
and. being conscious of his innocence, he will consider his treatment as cruel and 
unjust. Often his personal liberty is taken from him by his nearest relative or 
dearest friend. He now thinks that all mankind have conspired against him ; 
and, fancying himself the object of wanton persecution and cruel treachery, he 
abandons himself to all the w’ildness and extravagance of maniacal fury, or sinks 
deplorably miserable into the lowest depths of despondency. This state of things 
is sooner or later succeeded by a state of idiotism, and the most abject degrada¬ 
tion. Little but the human form is now left him, and, ‘ like the ruins of a once 
magnificent edifice, it only serves to remind us of its former dignity and gran¬ 
deur.’ 

We will suppose that the poor maniac is neither violent nor mischievous, but 
merely cherishing the phantoms of his own distempered imagination. He now 
goes from house to house, and wanders from place to place, frequently without 
food and without decent apparel, exposing himself to the scoffs and sneers of the 
thoughtless and unfeeling, and alternately the object of merriment and dread; 
and, retaining his former sensibility, which is perhaps rendered more acute by his 
disease, and the insults and indignities which lie receives, he will either break out 
into maniacal fury, or withdraw from society, and brood in sullen obstinacy over 
his fancied persecutions, or perhaps terminate his life by suicide. 

“ The number of the insane, the misery experienced both by the patients and 
their friends, and the hopelessness of their recovery while they remain at home, 
and among the causes of their insanity, can be conceived of only by those who 
have given particular attention to the subject. Our minds might shrink from 
the contemplation of this dreadful disorder, which is so calculated to humble the 
pride as well as reason of man, were it not for those cheering emotions which are 
produced by learning what has been accomplished for these unfortunate sufferers 
in institutions provided for their relief. So long ago as in 1789, the celebrated Dr. 
Willis, in his evidence before the parliament of Great Britain, stated that, of ihose 
placed under his care within three months from their attack, nine cases out of ten. 
recovered. The same flattering result has been obtained in those great French 
hospitals, over which Pinel and Esquirol have so ably presided. Dr. Burrows, of 
England, in an extensive practice, has had still greater success. Nor need we 
look to foreign countries for examples. In several institutions in our own coun¬ 
try, similar success has also been obtained. 


11 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


95 


“ There is one circumstance, of which the public are not sufficiently aware, in 
regard to these institutions, and that is, the necessity of placing the patient in an 
Asylum as soon as possible after he has become insane. As has been before ob¬ 
served, nine tenths recover when the patient is placed at one of these institutions 
within three months from the attack; but when the disorder has passed into a chro¬ 
nic state, only about one fourth are restored. While the paiient remains at home, 
not unfrequently all the causes which produced his disorder continue to operate; 
and neglect or improper treatment aggravates his disease, confirms his hallucina¬ 
tions, and precipitates him into that hopeless state from which no power other 
than divine can rescue him from his deplorable condition. If the maniacs which 
now reside among us had enjoyed the advantages of a well-regulated Asylum, a 
large proportion of them might now be useful members of society. In their pres¬ 
ent condition, they are not only lost to themselves and the community, but are 
sources of wretchedness and misery to both. We can account for the neglect 
which this subject has received only on the principle that we become callous to 
the miseries we are accustomed to witness. Besides, in all other cases, it is nat¬ 
ural for man to seek relief from his sufferings, and excite the sympathy of his fel¬ 
low-men. But the maniac, unlike all others, shuns the sympathy and assistance 
he so much needs, and, if it were possible, would bar against himself the doors of 
charity which are opened for his relief. 

“ The increase of insanity among us, requires the aid of such institutions. One 
of the greatest evils of civilization and refinement, is the introduction of insanity. 
Perhaps there is no country in which it prevails to so great an extent as in these 
United States. Among the greatest moral causes, are disappointed hopes and 
mortified pride. In this country, where all the offices of government are open to 
every freeman, and where the facilities for accumulating wealth are so numerous, 
persons even in humble life cherish hopes which can never be realized. Expec¬ 
tations high raised are the usual precursors of disappointment, and the mortified 
pride thereby occasioned not unfrequently precedes insanity. 

“ With this view of the subject, it cannot but be cheering to the mind of every 
philanthropist that there is an Asylum for the Insane established among us. This 
institution is established on the most humane and liberal principles ; and what¬ 
ever ingenuity can invent, or benevolence bestow, for the removal of insanity, 
will here be presented to those requiring its aid. This Asylum is the reverse of 
our usual conceptions of a mad-house. It is not merely a place of security, where 
the unfortunate sufferers are only confined ; for here they enjoy the society of 
others, and partake in their amusements and employments. Nor is it merely a 
hospital, in which they may obtain the skilful application of medicine; for-there 
are many cases where the hallucinations may be removed by the skilful adapta¬ 
tion of moral treatment. Nor is it a place for moral management merely; for 
there are cases where medicine alone can remove the disease on which the insan¬ 
ity depends. There are more cases which require the cooperation of both medical 
and moral treatment. 

“ No exertions have been spared, on the part of the trustees, to provide the in¬ 
stitution with every facility necessary for its successful operation. The pleasant 
and healthy location of the Asylum, the convenient arrangement of the building, 
and the decorated grounds about the establishment, render it admirably adapted for 
its object. The provision for the employment and amusement of the patients is not 
inferior to that of any other similar institution in the country. There is a farm of 
excellent land, on which there is a beautiful flower-garden, elegantly laid out, and 
ornamented with many rare plants, which will furnish a pleasant recreation and 
exercise for those who have a taste for that kind of employment. To cultivate 
the culinary garden, and farm, while it invigorates the body, and produces healthy 
action in the system, will tend also to divert the mind, and remove those halluci¬ 
nations which constitute the disorder. The females will be furnished with that 
employment which is adapted to their'sex, the state of the patients, and their for¬ 
mer habits. Carriages are provided for the regular riding of the patients, when 
the weather will permit, and the nurses and attendants will accompany them in 
their daily walks about the premises. When the weather will not admit of out¬ 
door exercise, it will be furnished within, together with suitable amusements, 
such as battledoor, throwing the ring, chess, draughts, and the like. A library, 
selected for the purpose, is provided, and the several patients will be furnished 
with such books as are adapted to their individual cases. They will also have 
access to newspapers and several periodicals which are received at the Asylum. 


96 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


12 


“ One important consideration in the management of Asylums for the insane, is, 
that proper nurses and attendants should be provided; for without their assist¬ 
ance, all other exertions will in a great measure prove unavailing. We are hap¬ 
py to state that both are procured, who have formerly assisted the physician in 
this arduous employment, and are known to be experienced, intelligent, humane, 
and faithful. We think the friends of the patients may rest assured that every 
effirt will be made to remove the disorder; and, in all cases, every inmate will 
be treated with all that kindness and humanity, and be allowed every indulgence, 
of which his case will admit. JNeither chains nor the scourge will ever be admit¬ 
ted, and every attendant who shall offer any violence in the performance of his 
duty, will be immediately dismissed. There is also a vigilant board of trustees, 
whose duty it is to visit the Asylum frequently and regularly, to suggest improve¬ 
ments, and correct abuses, if any exist. 

“ Physicians and editors of newspapers are called upon to advocate every 
object of benevolence and humanity, and especially one in which the welfare 
of such numbers of the community is involved. * 

“ WILLIAM H. ROCKWELL, 

. u Physician to the Vermont Asylum for the Insane .” 

The terms of admission are, for convenient accommodations in the 
wings, three dollars per week ;—for those who require a room in the 
centre building, from five to twelve dollars per week, according to the 
accommodations required;—for patients from the state of Vermont, 
who are not themselves, and whose friends are not, worth one hundred 
dollars, and whose disease is not of more than three months’ continu¬ 
ance, two dollars per week. 

As evidence of the utility of the institution, we mention the follow¬ 
ing facts, on the authority of the Vermont Phoenix, published in Brat- 
tleboro’, where the institution is located :— 

“The friends of one of the patients, who is now enjoying the benefits of the In¬ 
sane Asylum in this place, had actually determined on sending him to the Jail 
in this county, for safe keeping, when some person, learning the fact, made 
known to them the advantages of the institution, and induced them to send him 
here, where he will doubtless soon recover. 

“ The friends of another patient, residing in the same county, supposed that the 
most ridiculous measures were resorted to in these institutions for the restoration 
of reason, and it was with some hesitation that they ventured to send him here.” 

The following letter from the superintendent shows the condition 
of the institution when the letter was written :— 

“ Brattleboro’, May 9, 1837. 

“ My dear sir, 

Yours of the ‘2d inst. is received, and I am happy to give you any infor¬ 
mation relative to our institution. Our Asylum was opened for patients on the 
12th of last December; since which time, we have had twenty-five admissions, 
six of whom have left, and nineteen remain. Two or three of the above were not 
insane, but only affected with nervous disorders. Those of the last-mentioned 
class are received only when the institution is not filled with those who are in¬ 
sane. 

“ We have been very fortunate in the location of our establishment. We have 
a healthy air, and an abundance of pure v#ater. YVe have also an excellent farm, 
and easy of cultivation. From the first, it has been our determination that, a full 
and fair trial should be made of employing the male patients in agricultural pur¬ 
suits. Since the opening of spring, most of them have been employed in the 
flower, or culinary garden, or on the farm, according to their taste and condition. 
These exercises give them appetite, and keep them cheerful through the day, and 
induce sleep at night. Although it is but a short time since we commenced the 
experiment, I am fully convinced of its utility. It is well known that useful 


13 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


97 


labor, of almost any kind, is very beneficial for insane persons; but, from my own 
experience, at this, as well as at the institution with which I was formerly con¬ 
nected, I am well satisfied, that employment in the open air is far preferable to 
that which is followed within doors. Besides the above exercises, we do not fail 
to have our patients take their usual walks and rides, and engage in many other 
amusements. * 

“ From the commencement, we introduced religious worship into our Asylum, 
which most of our patients consider it a privilege to attend. Several, who pre¬ 
viously appeared to be destitute of the power of self-control, would be very quiet 
and orderly during these exercises. One of the patients, who has recovered, and 
left, was a clergyman. During the last several weeks he remained with us, he 
officiated on the Sabbath, at the institution, with much satisfaction to the other 
inmates. There is generally a good share of attention manifested on these occa¬ 
sions, and they there begin to exercise that self-control which leads to very bene¬ 
ficial results. Aside from the soothing and sustaining effect of religious worship, 
and its preparing for a ftiture state, man is so much of a religious being, that the 
physician to an Asylum for the Insane, who neglects the prudent use of appropri¬ 
ate religious worship among his patients, fails to employ one of the most effica¬ 
cious means for their restoration. 

“ We have but just commenced, and our funds are comparatively small; but, 
from the liberal and enlightened views of the trustees, and the favorable regard 
which has been evinced by the state legislature, I cannot but trust, that the time 
is not far distant when our means will be coextensive with the wants of the state. 

u With much respect, 

“1 remain yours, &c. 

“ WM. H. ROCKWELL.” 

McLean Asylum at Charlestown, Mass. 

When Dr. Lee, the late superintendent of this institution, and high¬ 
ly valued corresponding member of this Society, died, it was felt by 
many that his place could not be supplied, and that the cause of re¬ 
ligion and humanity had sustained an irreparable loss. But, in the 
good providence of God, a successor to our departed friend has been 
found, who delights to honor him by treading in his footsteps. Dr. 
Luther V. Bell, of Derry, New Hampshire, who had taken great in¬ 
terest in the establishment of an Asylum for Poor Lunatics in his native 
state, was believed by the trustees of the McLean Asylum, after careful 
inquiry, to possess the necessary qualifications for this important of¬ 
fice, and accordingly received the appointment on the 1st of January, 
1837, with leave to spend several weeks in visiting similar institutions, 
before he entered upon the duties of his office. Under the wise, 
affectionate, and religious care of Dr. Bell, this institution may be 
said not only to sustain its high character, but to be advancing to a 
higher grade of excellence. A pious brother of Dr. Lee has been 
appointed assistant physician; so that the organization of the govern¬ 
ment of the institution, at the present time, under Dr. Bell, with Dr. 
Lee’s assistance, sustained by a most estimable steward and matron, 
and by supervisors and nurses of great kindness and devotion, cannot 
fail to be admired by every philanthropist and Christian. 

The law of love is the great law in every department. It would be 
well for private families if there was every where to be seen as much 
of this most enduring grace. So great is its power, that evil spirits 
seem to retire before it, in the McLean Asylum. 

The religious exercises are sustained on the Sabbath, and every day 
in the week. 

2 


I 


98 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


14 


11 Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw, 

Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw, 

Gives exercise to faith and love, 

Brings every blessing from above.” 

The system of employment in the garden and the field, in the work¬ 
shop, the kitchen, and the parlor, is steadily pursued, ^with the same 
happy results, on the principle that Satan will find employment for 
idle hands, and useful labor promotes health, cheerfulness, and good 
only. 

The amusements are all sorts of innocent and agreeable, to prevent 
the monotony of labor. 

The medical treatment is the same as that pursued by Woodward 
and Lee. 

The diet is full and nutritious. 

The purity and cleanliness of the establishment is scarcely sur¬ 
passed by the sweetest private dwelling. 

What can be done, which is not done, for the insane, in the Mc¬ 
Lean Asylum ? Let it be known, and it will not remain long undone. 

What are the results of treatment in this institution? 89 patients 
were received from January 1 to October 1, 1836, of whom 53 re¬ 
covered, and were discharged before January 1, 1837; 10 were con¬ 
valescent ; 7 were much improved; 6 were improved; 4 were prema¬ 
turely removed by request of friends; 4 died. 

We will now present a few cases, from the last report of the stew¬ 
ard, Mr. Columbus Tyler, in illustration of some of the general prin¬ 
ciples adopted in this Christian system. 

1. To show the effect of kindness:— 

“ A young man was brought to us handcuffed, who had been insane six months, 
and, during half of that period, had been chained to the floor,—constantly growing 
worse, (as any one would under similar circumstances,)—and disposed to tear his 
clothes and be filthy. We immediately removed his chains and fetters, and, with 
the assurance that we were true friends to him, and would treat him kindly, he 
seemed very much pleased and happy; but he was noisy and much excited, and 
loud in his curses upon those who had chained him. He was taken into the garden 
to work the next day, and, continuing work daily, his excitement soon passed off. 
In six weeks from the time of his admission, he rode with me to Boston, and se¬ 
lected a suit of ‘ Sunday clothes.’ In less than two months, he was permitted to 
work without an attendant; and before the end of three months, he was dis¬ 
charged, well.” 

2. To show the effects cf the workshop:— 

“ A periodical case of excitement, the turns recurring once a month, and lasting 
two weeks ; very filthy, and so furious that it was only with great difficulty 
clothes could be kept on him. He had been in the institution two years, with no 
improvement. During his tranquillity, he was listless and childish,—slept most 
of the time,—and could be occupied or diverted very little. At the time of open¬ 
ing the shop, he, being tranquil, was induced to go to work, and was placed in the 
upper story with the most quiet patients. He soon became interested, was taken 
to ride, fish, &c., for relaxation; continued his work with daily-added interest, 
strength, and vigor; and in five months was discharged well. He has been, ever 
since his discharge, employed at his former trade, is industrious and faithful, and 
gives satisfaction to his employers.” 

3. To show the utility and economy of labor:— 

“ Our labor has not resulted in mere amusement, as the harvest of our crops 
abundantly testifies. Our farm and lands, inclusive of all the grounds occupied 


15 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


99 


by the buildings and courts, consist of twenty-five acres. We have raised, for the 
most part, vegetables enough of every kind to supply the institution for the year, 
and have cut hay sufficient to keep five horses and six cows, besides storing eighty 
barrels of apples, and fifty bushels of pears. We have also made rose-water 
enough for medicinal and culinary purposes, and disposed of fifteen dollars’ worth. 
The net profits of our farm and garden, for the past year, have been $500 00. ’ 

Again 

11 Fifty patients have worked in the shop, six hours per day, and have been 
employed eleven hundred and fifty-one days; and made seven thousand two hun¬ 
dred and thirty-six boxes, which have been sold for $907 0G.” 

“ Besides the work here stated as having been done by the males, they have 
sawed, split, and piled all the wood for the whole establishment, viz. two hundred 
cords; and have carted one hundred cords from the wharf to the house. Work 
promises much, and it has been the aim of the institution, the past year, to keep 
every patient employed in labor as far as possible. One patient has braided and 
sewed one hundred palm-leaf hats.” 

Again;— 

“ The 1 Belknap Sewing Society ’ continues its operations, and affords agreea¬ 
ble occupation and diversion for its members. They continue their regular weekly 
meetings, which are held in the oval room of the mansion house, or in one of the 
halls of the wing. In the absence of the presiding officer, the meeting is organ¬ 
ized by choosing, on nomination, by a vote of a majority, one of the members to 
act as president pro tern., whose duty it is to oversee the work, and read some in¬ 
teresting story selected for the occasion. Their employment is piecing and quilt¬ 
ing bed-coverings, and making and mending garments and furniture for the insti¬ 
tution and the patients. After the labors of the day are over, tea is passed round, 
and then the meeting adjourns. The account of each day’s proceedings is record¬ 
ed in the society’s book. It is sixteen months since the society was organized, 
and the avails of their work have been, in cash, $112 96. 

4. To show the personal safety of labor ;— 

11 On the 20th of April, we opened the dome of the male wing as a carpenter's 
shop for the patients, having previously secured the services of a judicious car¬ 
penter to superintend and work with them; and although we were confident of 
success, our hopes have been more than realized. Not the least accident has oc¬ 
curred, although the patients have not been restricted in the use of tools ; and herein, 
as I conceive, our safety lies. The patients, feeling themselves under no restric¬ 
tion, consider that they are placed upon their honor, and, their self-respect being 
called into action, they would not forfeit the confidence and good opinion of the 
officers for any consideration. Give a man constant employment, treat him with 
uniform kindness and respect , and , however insane he may be, very little need be 
feared from him, either of mischief or violence .” 

5. To show how amusement, exercise, and labor, have been com¬ 
bined to occupy and divert the mind ;— 

“ We keep a carriage, two carryalls, one chaise, and four horses, which are de¬ 
voted almost exclusively to the use of the patients. Many of them ride every fair 
day, and have, the last year, ridden ten thousand miles. The males are also en¬ 
gaged at bowls, quoits, bass-ball, fishing, fancy painting, walking, dancino-, read¬ 
ing, swinging, and throwing the ring, <fcc. Of the one hundred and three male 
patients, who have been in the institution during the year, seventy have been 
engaged in out-door amusements, passing, in this way, three thousand five hun¬ 
dred and forty-one hours. Seventy-seven have walked ten thousand four hundred 
and thirty-one miles. Some have walked, individually, over one hundred and 
fifty miles per month. Twenty-four have occupied one hundred and nineteen 
hours in fishing.” 

Again;— 

“ Gardening, the cultivation of flowers, and farming, as usual, have occupied 
and interested many of the patients during the whole season. The tastes and 
wishes of each individual have' been, in all cases, consulted as far as possible; 


100 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


16 


and while some were engaged with the team, others would he equally ambitious 
to excel in planting, hoeing, or in displaying their taste in the arrangement of 
the flower-beds and borders. Thus their irritability was expended in healthy ex¬ 
ercise and occupation; and instead of meeting them in the halls in tattered gar¬ 
ments, with oaths and imprecations, we are greeted in the walks with the affec¬ 
tionate grasp of friends, their countenances glowing with pleasure and content¬ 
ment, and each commenting, in his own way, upon the business of the day.’' 

Besides, 

“ In all our amusements and recreations, it is our intention to blend utility with 
labor or diversion. Thus when we walk or ride, some object of interest is sought 
to visit; and, in this respect, the advantages of the locality of the institution 
are preeminent. It stands in the midst of the most interesting portion of New 
England, isolated from the noise and throng of business, but in full view of the 
capital and its beautiful environs. During the excursions of the past year, the 
patients have visited repeatedly the Navy Yard, Glass-Houses, State Prison, 
Fresh Pond, (on whieh sailing was enjoyed,) Winship’s Nurseries, Institution for 
the Blind, Dorchester Heights, East Boston, Mount Auburn, Chelsea Hospital, 
the Houses of Industry, of Correction, and of Reformation, at South Boston, and 
some of the Green-Houses in Brookline and other places. In these excursions, 
the patients have uniformly conducted with perfect propriety.” 

6. To show the attention to religious exercises:— 

11 Our religious meetings and exercises, mentioned in the last annual report, 
have been continued, and with all the success which the trial of last year led us 
to anticipate. Seventy-nine of the males, and sixty-six females, have attended 
family prayers. Not the least disturbance has been witnessed; but a great de¬ 
gree of solemnity, suited to the occasion, has universally been maintained ; and 
the patients of both departments, with a few exceptions, depend as much upon 
being present at this exercise, as upon their daily meals. The attendance at 
prayers is altogether a matter of choice. 

“ We have had preaching nearly every Sabbath evening during the year. Sev¬ 
eral clergymen in this vicinity have contributed, very cheerfully, their services, 
and to them we tender our united thanks. They have universally expressed sur¬ 
prise at the wonderful stillness and attention of the audience. 

“ Fifty of the males, and forty-six of the females, have attended public worship 
at Charlestown and Cambridge.” 

7. To show the effect of good fare :— 

“ A male patient was admitted possessing great muscular power, weighing two 
hundred pounds, and remarkably athletic in form. He was in the highest degree 
of irritability and violence. His occupation had been carrying bricks and mortar 
for masons. He boasted of his great strength, and of his pugilistic attainments, 
and delighted in quarrelling; and would try many ways to bring himself into 
collision with the officers and attendants. He was put upon low diet, with ca¬ 
thartics three times each week. His breakfast and supper consisted of a bowl of 
gruel, with half the common allowance of bread and butter ; his dinner, of a mod¬ 
erate quantity of pudding and vegetables with bread, and one mug of small beer. 
On this fare he continued some months, constantly growing more troublesome 
and dangerous. When walking in tl-e courts, he would always seek for nails or 
pieces of glass, with which he would make weapons of danger and mischief. 
Various restraints were tried, but without avail. In this way he continued doing 
all the mischief he could. At last he was kept entirely in his room. In a few 
days he had almost spoiled a bedstead and the casing (which was of hard wood) 
to his window. Upon entering his room one day, and finding him, as usual, at 
mischief, I said to him, ‘ My dear sir, hear me for a moment—you are here, in this 
state, causing yourself a great deal of useless labor, and us much unnecessary 
anxiety; all of this misehief will be charged to you, and neither you nor your 
friends are able to pay for it. Now, what shall be done ? ’ He replied, 1 1 am 
ready to make a bargain with you for one week; at the end of which time, if we 
can agree, we will make another. Give me as much coffee, tea, bread and butter, 
pudding and vegetables, (I will not ask meat,) as I desire, and I will give you no 
trouble.’ Believing that nothing could be lost in the experiment, I complied. 


17 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


101 


* But/ said 1,‘ if at any time your attendant does not give you enough, send for 
me before you swerve from this bargain.’ ‘Agreed/ he replied; and I left him, 
and gave his attendant directions accordingly. The first meal after this was din¬ 
ner, of which he ate immoderately, and in a few minutes after he was found in a 
sound and tranquil sleep, which continued till near tea-time. He had not slept 
much for a long time previously. The week passed off in perfect quietness, and 
at the end of it, he said to me, ‘ Continue your course, and 1 will mine.’ We did 
—and in a few weeks added meat to his dinner. Complete recovery in four and 
a half months was the result. We have met several times since his discharge, 
and he remains well, and remembers with gratitude the day, when, as he says, 
‘ We both made a good bargain.’ ” 

8. To show the personal happiness of benevolence :— 

“ The Belknap Sewing Society is professedly and operatively benevolent. 
They furnish clothing for any of their members who may be needy, and sometimes 
purchase for themselves articles of taste and fancy ; and they seek out and assist 
the afflicted and destitute of the neighborhood. The poor widow, whose husband 
was killed in a sudden and shocking manner, last summer, by the rail-road en¬ 
gine, was visited, and mourning was provided for herself and daughter at the ex¬ 
pense of the society. They called a special meeting, and deputed a member to 
purchase the articles necessary, and, with their accustomed promptness, made 
them with their own hands. I mention this, not as an act of charity worth narm 
ing, but as exemplifying the fruits of the system of moral management which is 
pursued, and to show that our patients are not excluded from society, and that 
there is scope enough for useful occupation, even here. The making of the 
dresses for this widow and her daughter, for the time, engaged the united interest 
and attention of all. Diseased manifestations were quieted in the universal feel¬ 
ing of sympathy for that afflicted family. This being over, something else would 
be found to excite a similar interest; and a succession of objects to engage their 
attention, and call into exercise the better feelings of their nature, has helped to 
do away, little by little, diseased impressions, and bring about, with many, the 
healthy and natural operations of the mind and body.” 

This admirable institution, where all these important principles are 
so beautifully illustrated, for the benefit of the insane, has found it 
necessary to enlarge its borders. Accordingly the trustees are now 
erecting, on a plan formed by Dr. Lee, an additional building, to con¬ 
tain about fifty apartments, for the accommodation of female patients, 
at an expense of $40,000. This building will be finished and occu¬ 
pied the present season, and will be called the Belknap Ward, in mem¬ 
ory of Miss Mary Belknap, a retired and modest Christian female, whose 
legacy to the McLean Asylum amounted to $88,500. 

The trustees have also purchased six acres of land, at an expense 
of $1,000 per acre, so great is the importance attached to labor on 
the land as a means of cure. , 

Notwithstanding these extraordinary appropriations for land and 
buildings, the trustees say, 

“ It is confidently believed, that an institution so beneficial in its character, 
conferring such unquestionable and inestimable blessings upon the most afflicted 
of our race, and reflecting so much credit upon the liberality of the community, 
will never be permitted to languish, or become limited in its sphere of usefulness, 
for want of funds.” 

Who does not respond to this sentiment ? 

) 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in the City of Boston. 

Mr. Eliot, the mayor, thus introduced the subject, in his inaugural 
address, on the opening of the city government, in January, 1837:— 
2 * 12 


102 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY* 


18 


“ There are many* unfortunate idiots and maniacs, in the Houses of Industry 
and Correction, for whom, under existing circumstances, no suitable accommoda¬ 
tions are, or can be, provided. By the Revised Statutes, a hospital is required for 
such persons in the House of Correction. Would it not be becoming, in a com-r 
munity of large resources, and enlightened liberality, to provide for the comfort 
and safety of those, also, who are inmates of the House of Industry ? A hospital, 
fitted for the application of suitable medical treatment of these patients, would not 
only be honorable to the philanthropy of the city, but might result in such a dimi¬ 
nution of their number as materially to lessen the expense of their support.” 

The consideration of the subject was referred to a committee; 
and by that committee the following report was submitted:— 

“City Council, Boston , April 24, 1837. 

“ The joint committee on the Jail, and Houses of Correction, Industry, and 
Reformation, who were instructed to consider and report on the expediency of 
providing a suitable hospital for insane persons and idiots in the Houses of Indus¬ 
try and Correction, have attended to the subject, and ask leave to report,—That 
the city is required by law to provide suitable accommodations for persons of the 
description mentioned in the order, who may be confined in the House of Correc¬ 
tion ; and, however great may be the difference of opinion as to what is suitable, 
it can scarcely be supposed by the committee, that the accommodations now pro¬ 
vided would be regarded by any one as suitable for idiots or insane persons. 
They are but slightly, if at all, different from those provided for all others confined 
there ; and the committee cannot but think the city is called upon, by a proper 
regard to its legal liabilities, to erect a Hospital for persons of the description re¬ 
ferred to. 

“ If that is to be done, as the committee presume it will be, at as early a period 
as may be practicable, the question arises, whether it would be expedient to con¬ 
nect with it one for the idiots and the insane of the House of Industry. The want 
of proper accommodations for this unhappy class of human beings in that house, 
is very painful to all who witness it. Humanity requires in this case what the 
law requires in the other; and the committee cannot doubt that every member of 
the city council, who would take the trouble to visit the institution, would re¬ 
turn with the conviction that it was his duty to do something for the relief of 
those, who, however low in the scale of intellect, are still their fellow-creatures. 
If any thing is to be done, is it not best to do the work in such an ample manner 
as will be satisfactory to the community hereafter, as well as at the present mo¬ 
ment? The committee, in the belief that the council would adopt such a course, 
if they deemed it expedient to act at all, have caused a plan to be prepared, under 
the care of the directors of the House of Correction, which, if executed, would 
afford room enough for all the insane in both houses, together with accommoda¬ 
tions for the physician, and would be of a construction approved by those who 
have most experience in such matters—Dr. Woodward of Worcester, and the su¬ 
perintendent of the McLean Asylum, having been consulted in relation to it. 
This building could be erected at a cost of $28,000, according to the estimate of 
the directors, and might be placed between the Houses of Industry and Correc¬ 
tion, with which it would, in some degree, correspond in appearance. 

“ Another plan has also been prepared for a Hospital sufficient merely for the 
insane in the House of Correction, which ean be erected for about $12,000. 

“ It is not the province of the committee to urge the immediate action of the 
council, but they are desirous of putting on record their recommendation of the 
large plan, in case it should be deemed proper to act on the matter at present. 
They offer the following order. 

“ For the Committee, 

“SAMUEL A. ELIOT, Chairman .” 

“ Ordered , That the committee on the Jail, Houses of Industry, Correction, and 
Reformation, be a committee with full power to erect a Hospital for the Idiots and 


* The number of these classes, supported by the city of Boston at the public expense, 
was, last year, between ninety and one hundred. 



19 


TWELFTH REPORT — 1837 . 


103 


Insane Persons in the Houses of Industry and Correction, according to the plan 
reported by the committee on the jail, &c., provided the cost of the same shall 
not exceed the sum of $30,000. 

“In the Board of Aldermen, May 1,1837. 

“ Read, accepted, and the order passed. 

“ Sent down for concurrence. 

“ SAMUEL A. ELIOT, Mayor” 

The following article, from the Mercantile Journal, briefly expresses 
what we believe to be public sentiment on this subject:— 

“ Poor Lunatics .—In reading the address of our new mayor, I was much grati¬ 
fied with the allusion made to the condition of lunatics and insane persons con¬ 
fined in the Houses of Industry and Correction, at South Boston. It is high time 
that this subject were fully understood ; for, although these unfortunate fellow- 
creatures are made as comfortable in those institutions as the circumstances will 
allow, yet it must be seen by a single glance, that those are not suitable places for 
that unhappy class of human beings. 

“ In the first place, the officers of these institutions have not time to pay proper 
attention to that class of paupers. Their duties are so numerous and complicated, 
that the time and care bestowed on these, must detract from that which ought to 
be spent on others. 

“ Then they have no proper accommodations. The dormitories are contiguous 
to each other, and the newly-introduced subject, from whose mind the ray of rea¬ 
son has scarcely become extinct, must be confined within hearing of the raging 
maniac, whose piercing cries, and loud vociferations, burst upon her distracted 
ear, agitate the frenzied bosom, till she unites her voice with that of her furious 
companion, and soon becomes the more furious of the two. Dreadful as this ap¬ 
pears, it is unavoidable; therefore something should be done to better their con¬ 
dition. The accommodations should be such as to afford the greatest possible 
quiet to those whose minds have recently become disordered, and such as will 
allow the physician the proper facilities for prosecuting the duties of his pro¬ 
fession. Humanity.” 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics at Worcester, Mass. 

Three general principles, of the utmost importance in the treatment 
of the insane, are again enforced upon the public mind by Dr. Wood¬ 
ward, as the results of another year’s experience, in his last report to 
the legislature:— 

1. The importance of early attention to the disease. 

“ No disease,” says he, “ of equal severity, can be treated with greater success 
than insanity, if the remedies are applied sufficiently early. If, however, the early 
symptoms of insanity be neglected, till the brain becomes accustomed to the irreg¬ 
ular actions of disease, or till organic changes take place from the early violence 
of these actions, then the case becomes hopeless of cure. In this situation, in too 
many cases, the victim of this deplorable malady is cast off by his friends, thrust 
into a dungeon or into chains, there to remain till the shattered intellect shall ex¬ 
haust all its remaining energies in perpetual raving and violence, till it sinks into 
hopeless and deplorable idiocy. In the condition of distress and suffering, the in¬ 
sane man is the only individual upon earth who rejects the proffered kindness of 
his friends. With strangers he will be civil and kind; on this account he is al¬ 
ways a proper subject for an institution, the design of which is to meliorate his 
condition, as well as attempt his cure.” 

2. The importance of labor. 

“ The results of labor, both remedial and pecuniary,” says this physician of 
great experience, “ have, for the last year, been more satisfactory than ever, and 
cause us to regret that this important means of benefiting a large class of our 


104 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


20 


patients cannot be more liberally furnished. With suitable direction and super¬ 
vision, we could bring into the field of labor thirty men or more, who have for 
years been confined in solitude, and secluded from society as desperate and dan¬ 
gerous. These, with some convalescents, and a few that are harmless, are capa¬ 
ble of performing a large amount of labor. The proportion of females, of corre¬ 
sponding classes, able to labor, is greater still, as the means of employment are 
more constantly within their reach.” 

3. The importance of a chapel . 

u In the course of the last year, we must have had more than 200 patients who 
could have steadily attended religious worship on the Sabbath, if we had had a 
suitable chapel contiguous to the Hospital. A few of our inmates at present go 
to the churches, and are always gratified by such an indulgence; others spend the 
day in reading at home ; but with a large proportion of them, the day passes 
heavily along, and is spent in idle listlessness or irritation. If it were proper to 
engage in sports or amusements on the Sabbath, in such an institution, the habits 
and feelings of New England people, even when insane, are decidedly against 
them. Very few individuals in this Hospital would consent to engage in the 
most quiet amusements, and others would consider them highly improper. I 
greatly doubt the propriety or advantage of amusements on the Sabbath; on the 
contrary, I am of opinion they would be injurious. With the insane, I would, as 
far as possible, inculcate all the habits of rational life. I wish them to attend re¬ 
ligious worship on the Sabbath for the same reason that other men do—for instruc¬ 
tion in religion and virtue. In matters of religion and morality, I would deal with 
the insane, as with the rational mind; approve of no deception, encourage no de¬ 
lusions, foster no self-complacent impressions of character, dignity, and power. 
I would improve every opportunity, when the mind is calm, and the feelings kind, 
to impress them that they are men, to excite in their minds rational contempla¬ 
tions, encourage correct habits, awaken self-respect, and prompt to active duty. 
In aid of this, I wish them to attend religious worship, to listen to instruction 
from the volume of truth, and receive encouragement to calm and quiet temper 
from its promises of reward to virtuous and upright conduct. Few individuals 
are so completely insane as to be beyond the reach of moral instruction, and per¬ 
haps I may add moral responsibility. If so, it may be doubted whether it be right 
to incarcerate men, and deprive them also of that instruction upon which their 
future well-being may depend.” 

Dr. Woodward closes his report with this cheering and affecting 
paragraph:— 

“ A Hospital building is but one item necessary for the successful management 
of the insane. In every possible case, they should be employed. Riding, amuse¬ 
ments, games, walks, and reading, are all useful, and the means for them all 
should be amply provided. But labor is the very best employment, and the only 
one that can be continued long without satiety. Provide fields, gardens, and 
work-shops, for labor, and a chapel for religious worship on the Sabbath, and you 
will show to the insane what you consider them capable of doing and enjoying; 
and they, in return, will show, by their industry, sobriety, and self-control, that 
they properly appreciate your confidence, and are grateful for your efforts to pro¬ 
mote their happiness.” 

It must be highly gratifying to every friend of humanity to know 
that the legislature of Massachusetts duly considered, and justly ap¬ 
preciated, these general principles, so well laid down by Dr. Wood¬ 
ward, and acted accordingly. 

They appropriated ten thousand dollars to finish the north wing of 
the building, that suitable accommodations might be provided for all, 
as soon as they should apply for admission. This being done, two 
hundred can be accommodated. 

They appropriated seven thousand dollars to purchase a farm, where 
healthful occupation on the land, in farming and gardening, can be 
more liberally supplied. 


21 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


105 


And they appropriated three thousand dollars to build a chapel suf¬ 
ficiently commodious to receive all the patients who might wish to 
attend on the public and social worship of God. 

Even without the additions and improvements here proposed, let us 
see what has already been accomplished by this admirable institution, 
not less successful in execution than beautiful in design. 

The whole number of patients received into the Hospital since its 
establishment, is 510; the number received last year is 125. Of those 
received last year, 106 have been discharged;—cured, 57; improved, 
15 ; died, 8; discharged for want of room, 24. 

The proportion cured of recent cases, (i. e. of less than one year’s 
continuance,) was 84T per cent.; of old cases, only 18§ per cent. 

Of all the cases received from the first, of less than one year’s con¬ 
tinuance, 132 out of 161 have been cured, and 11 more probably will 
be cured, and 6 have been removed before the effect of remedies had 
been sufficiently tested; 10 have died, and only 2 have become incu¬ 
rable ; while, in the old cases, varying from one to thirty years, the 
cures have been in an inverse ratio to the duration of the disease. 

The number of deaths, out of the whole number, 510, has been only 
28, or 5^ per cent.; while, in a similar institution in France, the num¬ 
ber of deaths, out of 2049, has been 546, or 26J per cent. 

These numerical statements, however important in showing the 
healthfulness and success of the institution, do not reach our hearts 
like particular cases. We therefore give a number of cases of cure 
from the last report:— 

“ No. 1 was an athletic man, aged 32. His habits were correct, and rather ab¬ 
stemious. After a few days of unusual mental effort, he was suddenly taken in¬ 
sane. His excitement was violent in the extreme; his strength, like that of a 
giant; for three weeks he had scarcely slept. In this state he was brought to the 
Hospital. In my experience with the insane, I had rarely seen such a case. He 
had, at the time of his admission, from one to two hundred boils and bruises, the 
effect of the struggles and restraints he had previously had; many of them sup¬ 
purated, and discharged purulent matter. The whole surface of his body was 
literally covered with bruises and contusions. His mind was wholly chaotic; he 
neither knew where he was, or who was about him, but raved and struggled per¬ 
petually, quite unconscious of what he did. He was immediately put upon an 
active and efficient course of remedies; in a short time he became more quiet, 
and about the fifth day came suddenly to himself, so far as to inquire where he 
was, who were-about him, and how he came to the Hospital. From this time, he 
convalesced rapidly. In a week, he was perfectly calm and slept well, took his 
meals at the table with others with propriety and decorum. His remedies were 
gradually diminished, and at the end of four weeks were withdrawn. His mind 
became rational, and has continued so to this time. Previous to his coming to 
the Hospital, he was bled very freely, which reduced his strength, and he did not 
regain it in some time. 

11 No. 2, a female, aged 25, had been insane twelve months. During the whole 
of this period, she had been in the worst possible condition of excitement and 
degradation. All efforts to influence her to self-restraint were unavailing. After 
a long time, it was resolved to try the effect of active remedies. She was almost 
immediately more quiet, and slept better. In a few weeks, there was a manifest 
improvement of all her symptoms, her health was better, and her mind mostly ra¬ 
tional. She continued to mend rapidly, and in two months was fully restored to 
health and sanity, and continued well the last accounts we had from her. 

“ No. 3 had been insane three months. Trial had been made in a private insti¬ 
tution to remove the disease, without benefit. When this patient came into the 
Hospital, her situation was truly deplorable—violent, filthy, noisy, and ill-natured 
in the extreme. She refused her food, and resisted every effort to administer it, 



106 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


22 


as she did every attempt to make her comfortable in other respects. She had 
been reduced by depletion and starvation, without any favorable influence upon 
her mind. She was immediately placed under the influence of active remedies, 
and every effort was made to excite some feelings of self-respect. In a few days, 
there was manifest amendment; her appetite improved, and she began to give 
some attention to personal cleanliness. She exchanged her filthy and tattered 
garments for decent apparel. In two weeks, she sat calmly at work; in one 
month, she was transformed into a beautiful and intelligent woman, and left the 
Hospital, at the end of two months, quite recovered. 

“ No. 4 was a young man of 30. In consequence of severe mental anxiety, he 
was taken insane. For three months, he was violent and dangerous in the ex¬ 
treme. After a severe and long trial with his friends, he was brought to the Hos¬ 
pital. His violence, noise, and excitement, were of the worst kind. He was 
placed upon an active course of medical treatment; in a few days, he became calm 
and rational, and his disease was apparently removed. His remedies were with¬ 
drawn, or nearly so ; in four or five days, his insanity returned as violent as be¬ 
fore. The medicine was resumed, with the same result as in the first trial; he 
appeared, when steadily under its influence, rational and quiet. After some 
weeks, the remedies were again withdrawn with caution ; yet, all the symptoms 
of former excitement again appearing, it was again repeated in full doses, and 
continued for a longer period still: it was then withdrawn very gradually, till it 
was wholly discontinued. After this thorough trial, there was no return of insan¬ 
ity ; in less than four months, he left the Hospital, completely recovered. 

“ No. 5, a young female, 18 years of age, after an attack of severe febrile dis¬ 
ease, became insane. She was under the care of two medical gentlemen of great 
respectability, who prescribed for her three months, and then despaired of her re¬ 
covery, believing that organic lesion, the effect of the previous disease, produced 
the insanity, and rendered it hopeless. In this situation she was brought to the 
Hospital. At this time her health was bad ; she was pale, feeble, extremely irri¬ 
table, and greatly excited; she had no appetite, slept little, and all the functions 
of the nervous and digestive system were badly performed. She was treated with 
active and efficient remedies ; in a week, she was much better, had appetite, and 
slept better. In two weeks, she was rational, and her health was comfortable. 
Her recovery was rapid; in eight weeks, she was quite well, and has remained so 
to this time, eight months. 

“ No. 6 was an aged lady, whose severe domestic afflictions had brought on a 
most deplorable melancholy. She had a strong and irresistible propensity to sui¬ 
cide ; starvation was one of the modes by which she determined to effect this ob¬ 
ject. It was with great difficulty she could be induced to take sufficient food to 
sustain life. In this condition she was brought to the Hospital. She was in a 
most deplorable and alarming condition ; her mind in a state of extreme anxiety, 
her frame emaciated to a skeleton. She spent her time, day and night, in groan¬ 
ing, walking, and rubbing her hands, bewailing the calamity that had befallen 
her, imploring all who saw her to take her life, and thus end her misery. A 
course of active remedies was prescribed for her,, and food was regularly adminis¬ 
tered to her when she refused it. In a few weeks, she became quiet, and com¬ 
menced labor. From this time she improved daily; in two months was cheerful 
and industrious ; her medicine was diminished, and finally suspended ; she left 
the Hospital in three months, quite rational and in good health. 

“ No. 7 was a young man, aged 24. A severe contusion upon his head brought 
on insanity, which, from the nature of the cause, was apprehended, by his friends 
and physicians, to be irremediable. He became so troublesome, that his friends 
brought him, bound hands and feet, to the Hospital. At this time, his disease had 
existed three months. For a day or two, he was exceedingly outrageous ; broke 
the windows and crockery, and tore his garments and bedding. He was imme¬ 
diately placed upon a course of active remedies ; the effect was surprising ; in 
three days, he was calm, rational, and quiet—conversed with propriety, slept well, 
and requested employment; he also read considerably. From this time he had 
no considerable excitement. He remained about two months in the Hospital, and 
was discharged quite recovered. 

“ No. 8, the case of a young man, is given, to show the influence of motive in 
producing self-control. He had been four months insane when he was placed in 
the Hospital. He was represented by his friends as being violent and dangerous. 
We soon found he was unsafe with other patients without restraint, as he would 


23 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


107 


quarrel and strike without the slightest provocation, and, when enraged, would 
tear his clothes, and destroy every tiling that was in his way. He was so un¬ 
manageable that he was placed in a solitary room; here he stripped himself en¬ 
tirely, and was exceedingly noisy, filthy, and violent. Many efforts were made 
to appease him, and induce him to be quiet, and wear clothing; but he tore up 
every garment that was given to him, and would not be persuaded nor rendered 
comfortable. Finding him peaceable and pleasant one morning, I said to him, 
‘ There is no necessity of your remaining in this state ; you can do better; and to 
induce you to do so, I will give you work at your trade, such as I would trust in 
no hands but those of an accomplished mechanic ; I will dress you handsomely 
throughout, and you shall be removed from this solitude to the best gallery in the 
Hospital. He listened attentively to the proposition ; said he would make an ef¬ 
fort to do well, and would like to try. In an hour he was at his labor, which he 
accomplished with the skill and dexterity of a master. From this time, he worked 
almost daily at his trade, and improved regularly. Fearing that some aid would 
be required to maintain his equanimity, active remedies were prescribed for him 
from the commencement. In half the time that he was a raving, filthy maniac, 
confined in a solitary cell, he was restored to his health and the full exercise of 
his mental faculties. 

No. 9 is a female, who had been confined in a Hospital for six years. For 
some time previous to her admission into this institution, she had been in a soli- 
tary cell naked, filthy, and violent; her language was vulgar and profane, and 
all her habits as bad as were ever found, even in an Insane Hospital. She had 
done no labor for many months, perhaps years, and was supposed to be beyond 
the reach of hope, or the possibility of improvement. A few days after she came 
under our care, she was induced to take a little work, and no effort was spared to 
induce her to be quiet, industrious, and to exercise self-control. These efforts 
were happily well received, and had an influence. By degrees all her habits im¬ 
proved ; she now dresses neatly, keeps her room in excellent order, washing and 
scounng it frequently; works steadily ; unites in amusements, and associates 
with the most intelligent patients ; attends the matron’s sewing parties, and is 
hardly ever otherwise than civil and respectful. She has been constantly in the 

use of medicine, and has improved in her health as remarkably as in the state of 
her mind. 

“ No- 10, a female patient, had been in the deepest melancholy. For four or 
nve years, she had been in one of the best institutions in this country, without 
benefit. When she came into this Hospital, nothing could exceed the wretched¬ 
ness and misery of her condition. She believed herself utterly hopeless, and had 
given herself up to despair. For a long time, no effort had any influence to 
change the state of her mind, or to improve her condition. After a while, her 
61 ^ Ce secure ^ i , an d the motives presented to awaken self-respect, and 
the desire of the approbation of others, had a perceptible influence. By degrees 
she emerged from this miserable condition, and became cheerful and happy ; her 
strength returned; and, with it, a confidence that she could assume her former 
station in society, and be useful and happy. She left the institution in four 
months, free from insanity, with a heart full of gratitude to all who had been in- 
strumental in her recovery, and has since been quite well. 

“ These cases are not selected as singular or remarkable in the Hospital; manv 
more might be detailed that are very similar. They are given to show what may 
be done in the early periods of insanity, by judicious medical treatment, combined 
with such moral influence as is applicable to each case.’ 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Rhode Island. 

We u Ie , a ™ f r,? Ur correspondent in Providence, who has kindly 
consulted Dr. Webb physician of the Dexter Asylum, which is not 
particularly designed for the insane, that the number of this class in 
that institution is about twenty, the same as last year; and their con¬ 
dition the same without any prospect of its being improved. An 
Asylum tor the Insane appears not yet to get a foothold in Rhode 


I 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


108 


24 


Island. Discouragement, however, should not arise from this fact. 
It is but a few years since the same was true of Massachusetts. 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Connecticut. 

A letter from one of the directors of the Retreat at Hartford, dated 
March 7, 1837, says, 

“ The directors of the Retreat have had under consideration, for some weeks 
past, the subject of enlarging their institution by the erection of suitable buildings 
for the accommodation of one hundred or more of the insane poor. At their last 
meeting, the following resolution was adopted :— 

“ ‘ Resolved , That Mr. Hudson, Dr. Sumner, and Dr. Brigham, be a committee 
to prepare a memorial, to be presented to the next legislature of this state, repre¬ 
senting the present inadequate provision for the insane, the great number and ab¬ 
ject condition of this unhappy class of sufferers, and the necessity which exists of 
extending to them the fostering aid of public charity; and report the same to a 
future meeting of this board.’ ” 

While this memorial is preparing, the directors have also issued a 
circular letter to physicians and other public-spirited men, inquiring 
as to the number and condition of the insane poor in all the towns in 
the state; hoping to receive the information in season to lay it before 
the legislature, in May, 1837. 

The work, therefore, of providing an Asylum, in Connecticut, for 
the Insane Poor, is well begun. 

The facts disclosed when the Retreat was established, prove its ne¬ 
cessity. A committee of the Medical Society, consisting of Messrs. 
T. Miner, E. Todd, S. B. Woodward, W. Tully, and G. Sumner, 
made a report, October 3, 1821, in which they say, 

11 The number of towns in each county from which returns have been received, 
and the cases of insanity which have been noticed, are exhibited in the following 
table i— 


Counties. 

Towns. 

Cases of Insanity. 

Hartford,. 

IVpw TTflvpn. 

. 7. 

. 56 

New London,....... 

Litchfield,.. 

Windham,. 

Fnirfipld.. 

. 16 .. 

. 8 . 

. 28 

. 11 

. 51 

Middlesex,. 

Tolland,. 

. 9 . 

. 88 


Counties, 8 ; Towns, 70; Number of insane, 510 

11 Fifty more towns, the committee say, remain to be heard from, and if the dis¬ 
order should be found equally prevalent in them, the entire number will scarcely 
fall short of a thousand.” 

On this report the Retreat was established, which accommodates 
less than one hundred, mostly of the class who are able to support 
themselves, and few of the poor. 

If the information obtained, in answer to the circular just now is¬ 
sued, should confirm the opinion here expressed in regard to the num¬ 
ber of insane in Connecticut, it will, in all probability, sooner or later, 
lead to the establishment of an Asylum for the Insane Poor, or to the 
enlargement of the Retreat, so that this class can be accommodated. 
So may it be. 



















25 


TWELFTH REPORT - 1837 . 


109 


New York State Asylum for Poor Lunatics. 

This institution, for which the state of New York has appropriated 
$60,000, which was mentioned in the Tenth Report of this Society 
as having been located at West Troy, four miles from Albany, has 
had its location changed by the legislature, before any thing had been 
done towards erecting the buildings, and fixed by the legislature at 
some place west of the county of Albany. It is understood the new 
location is about one mile from Utica, in the direction of New Hartford. 

Bloomingdale Asylum for Lunatics. 

This institution, located seven miles from the city of New York, 
admitted 121 patients the last year, who, with 144 remaining in the 
establishment on the 31st of December, 1835, made 265 parsons, who 
received the benefits of this establishment during the past year. 

Of the patients above mentioned, 66 have been cured; 26 discharged 
improved, 16 others at the request of their friends ; 14 have died, 1 
eloped; and 142 remained in the Asylum at the close of the year. 
Out of 69 recent cases admitted, 56 have been cured and discharged; 
and of the recent cases remaining in the House, after January 1, 37, 
the recovery of 12 others is considered already established ; making, 
of the recent cases, say the governors, 98 per cent, of recoveries. Of 
196 old cases, 10 only have been completely restored, and 25 others 
discharged improved. A new building is erected for the accommo¬ 
dation of about 40 convalescent female patients, at an expense of about 
$20,500. During the year 1836, the institution received from the 
state annuity, and from the board of patients, $40,847 17; and paid 
for current expenses, improvements, interest, and increase of sinking 
fund, $41,829 17. 

Asylum for the Insane Poor of the City of New York 

on Blackwell’s Island. 

This institution, which has been subject to change in regard to the 
original plan of building, and also to much delay in execution, is likely 
now to go forward. If this change and delay should result in a modi¬ 
fication of the original plan of building, so far as to cause the wings to 
be erected in parallel lines, and not at right angles with the centre 
building, it would be some satisfaction for the delay. If the buildings 
are erected at right angles, the inmates see and converse from window 
to window, and thus disturb the quiet and order of the establishment; 
if in parallel lines, this evil communication is prevented, and the classes 
are kept distinct. But whether this modification of the original plan 
obtains or not, every person, who has any adequate conception of the 
number and condition of the insane poor in the city of New York, 
must earnestly desire the speedy accomplishment of this important 
work. Let it be remembered, that the city of New York contains 
about as many inhabitants as either of the states, Maine, New Hamp¬ 
shire, Vermont, or Connecticut; and, by those acquainted with the 
3 J 


110 


miSON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


26 


character of large cities, let it be remembered how much untold 
misery can exist in their cellars, Alms-Houses, and Prisons. In a 
word, let them spend a day at Bellevue, and they will never forget to 
sympathize with the insane poor of the city of New York, and wish 
the Asylum on Blackwell’s Island speedily finished for this large and 
afflicted class of human beings. 

Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Jersey. 

“ Somerville, N. J., May 13, 1837. 

“ My dear Sir, 

“ There has been no movement, in this state, on the subject referred to in 
Vour favor of the 9th instant. It was my intention to have brought it prominent¬ 
ly before the legislature and the community by message; but a sudden and severe 
attack of illness disabled me from preparing a message last fall, and induced me 
to relinquish the office of chief magistrate. Of course I can give no aid in that 
capacity. In any other, I shall be happy to cooperate with the friends of human¬ 
ity, on a subject which has been too long neglected, and in the prosecution of 
which you have my best wishes for your success. 

“ If you can engage the influence of the governor in bringing the matter before 
the public, I promise my own aid in its behalf, and will endeavor to procure the 
assistance of others. I would advise you to write to the Hon. Theodore Freling- 
huysen, Newark, N. J., and to Lucius Q. C. Elmer, Esq., Bridgeton, Cumberland 
county, N. J., and secure their cooperation. 

“ Very sincerely, 

11 Your friend and servant, 

“P. D. VROOM/' 

Friends’ Asylum for Insane near Philadelphia. 

From the Twentieth Report of this institution, published in March, 
1837, we learn that the number of patients at the commencement of 


the last year, was. 46 

Number received during the year,. 57 


Number under treatment during the year,.103 


Remaining in the Asylum at the close of the year,.62 

Discharged restored during the year,.26 

“ much improved,. 3 

“ improved,. 5 

Stationary, of whom three have been deranged ten years, . 4 

Died,. 3 


Total,. 103 


Of 62 remaining in the house, 10 are restored, 5 much improved, 
11 improved, and 36 stationary. 

The following classification is made in this institution, showing the 
results of treatment:— 

First Class. Patients whose disease was under three months’ dura¬ 
tion , and the first attach , 9. 

Restored, 7; just received, 1; died, 1; total, 9. 

Second Class. Patients over three months, and within twelve 
months, 9. 

Restored, 5 ; much improved, 1; stationary, 2; just received, 1; 
total, 9. 















27 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


Ill 


Third Class. Patients more than one, and within two years, 16. 

Restored, 5; much improved, 4; improved, 4; stationary, 2; 
died, 1 ; total, 16. 

Fourth Class. Patients more than two years’ standing, 69. 

Restored, 19; much improved, 4; improved, 9; stationary, 
36; died, 1 ; total, 69. 

The receipts of the institution, from the board of patients and other 
sources, during the year, were 813,764 39; the expenditures, includ¬ 
ing interest on loan, 813,276 89. 

The produce of the farm, as reported by the superintendent, was 36 
wagon loads of hay, 29 bushels of wheat, 104 bushels of oats, 200 
bushels of potatoes, 179 bushels of corn, 80 bushels of turnips, 95 
bushels of parsnips, 30 bushels of beets, and 7 swine weighing 1158 
pounds. 

The great advance in the price of provisions has rendered it ne¬ 
cessary to raise the price of board. The report does not state what 
the present price is, or what the former was. 

A regulation has been adopted, which is approved by experience, 
admitting other patients besides “ members or professors with Friends.” 
The number of all classes hereafter to be admitted is limited to 60 ; 
of whom 30 may be males, and 30 females. The legislature, at the 
last session, exempted the property of the institution from taxation. 
This Asylum is under the care of John C. Rodman and wife. 

The following remarks from the visiting and resident physicians 
are so consonant with experience elsewhere, and so important, that we 
give them entire from the report:— 

11 Insanity, in its various forms and degrees, has its origin in some disturbance 
of the brain, either structural or functional; which disturbance may spring from 
either a moral or physical source. Let it arise, however, from which it may, the 
proximate cause producing the deranged manifestation of mind, is always located 
in the brain ; and the disease should be viewed in the same light as an} 7 other 
malady to which the human system is obnoxious. This view of the subject, 
besides being in accordance with sound philosophy, and rendering the practical 
application of just principles of treatment comparatively certain, destroys the 
groundwork of that vulgar prejudice, which, shrouding insanity in the mysticism 
of metaphysics, cuts off the hope of medical relief, and too often excludes the un¬ 
happy sufferer from that consideration and tenderness by which comfort is in¬ 
sured, and commits him to the care of those alike ignorant of his disease, and 
- uninterested in his welfare or recovery. 

“ Disease having once fixed itself in an organ of such complicated and delicate 
structure as the brain, it is of the utmost consequence the patient should be so 
situated, that, while he is undergoing judicious medical treatment, the objects 
which solicit his attention, and the moral circumstances which bear upon him, 
shall be calculated to divert his mind from that train of thought, which, if it has 
not been the means of goading him to madness, is yet so productive of irritation 
and excitement, as to destroy the efficacy of the remedial means employed, and 
almost preclude the hope of recovery. 

“ One of the most common attendants upon insanity is the suspension of affec¬ 
tion for relatives and friends, which is often succeeded by dislike and detestation ; 
and those places which have been the scenes of former comfort and enjoyment, 
by false notions and harassing impressions, become associated in the mind with 
the causes of unhappiness and perplexity. Hence home, and those who are 
watching over him with the tenderest solicitude for his welfare, instead of con¬ 
tributing to the sufferer’s comfort, or promoting his recovery, most frequently 
aggravate the violence of his symptoms, and retard, if they do not repel, the ap- 


112 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


28 


proach of convalescence. This being the case, it is consonant alike with the dic¬ 
tates of disinterested affection and sound sense, that the patient should be imme¬ 
diately withdrawn from these sources of injury, and, as before remarked, be placed 
where both medical and moral means can be brought to combat with his disease - 
and hence one of the great advantages of properly conducted asylums. Unhap¬ 
pily, however, it too often happens that the friends of the patient, through mis¬ 
taken kindness or false pride, suffer the most propitious period for affecting a cure 
to pass by, before they consent to his removal to a public institution, which he at 
last enters, when either his energies have become exhausted by unrestrained 
indulgence, or he has become too violent to be managed at home. 

11 To the Managers. 3d mo. 1st, 1837. 

u CHARLES EVANS, Visiting Physician. 

“ ROBT. R. PORTER, Resident Physician .” 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Washington, D. C. 

Our correspondent in Washington writes, under date November 
24, 1836,— 

11 I have just returned from the City Hall, where our board of health have had a 
meeting in relation to petitioning congress for a Lunatic and General Hospital for 
the District of Columbia. A resolution was moved at our meeting this evening, 
appointing a committee of three physicians and two non-professional gentlemen, 
to brino- t,he whole matter before the committee of congress on the District of 
Columbia, as soon as the session opens \ also, a committee of two physicians to 
lay our plan before the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, in order to 
obtain their cooperation and influence with congress. 1 trust, with the divine 
blessing, we shall have the whole subject fully before congress at an early day of 
the session. I believe our national legislature is fully prepared to act, and requires 
nothing but to have our wishes fully laid before them, in a proper manner, in 
order to appropriate liberally towards the object in question.” 

And again he writes, under date December 20, 1836,— 

“ We have recently had a meeting of our board of health, to receive the memo¬ 
rial making application to congress for aid in building a Hospital. The memorial 
was adopted, and a committee of physicians appointed to obtain the assistance of 
the Medical Society of the District of Columbia in forwarding an application to 
congress. The society met yesterday, I believe, and, as far as our agency goes, 
the work has been accomplished.” 

Again, under date February 2,— 

u Our Hospital bill drags heavily in congress. I very much fear the remainder 
of the session will be wholly consumed in debating mere political questions. Still 
1 do not despair. Perseverance untiring is eveyy thing, in a good cause espe¬ 
cially.” 

The letters afford evidence that there is feeling and action in the 
District of Columbia, on the subject of providing an Asylum for the 
Insane Poor ; and, although the point of its establishment is not gained 
this year, it may be next, or the year after. All similar movements 
have in due time resulted favorably. There are those concerned who 
know the value of perseverance. 

The following remarks from the National Intelligencer of January 
6, 1837, accompanying a copy of the bill, will meet a favorable re¬ 
sponse from all the humane and benevolent in the United States :— 

“ Proposed Hospital at Washington. 

11 The measure proposed in the subjoined bill is one which must commend itself 
as well to the judgment as to the feelings of the gentlemen who compose the two- 
houses of congress. Sole legislator for this District, congress is the only authority 


29 


TWELFTH REPORT - 1837 . 


113 


competent to accomplish a purpose, the necessity of which must be admitted by 
all who have examined, even ever so little, into the subject. But the claim of 
humanity is still stronger upon congress, in its federative character as governor 
of the whole country-, than in its local capacity. From every quarter of the coun¬ 
try, from the remotest bounds of civilization, and from all the intermediate circles 
of society of which Washington is the centre, individuals are drawn to this city, 
in pursuit of rights, real or supposed, whose worldly means are too often exhausted 
before they arrive here, or before they get away, and who become objects of char¬ 
ity, or victims to want and suffering, which, through ignorance of it, and the want 
of such an institution as a public Hospital, charity itself is not able to relieve. 
The relief of such objects, besides, it needs no argument to show, ought not to 
continue to depend on individual benevolence. The government, which attracts 
such a population to this city, ought to protect the poor, the needy, and the unfor¬ 
tunate, as well as reward the bold, the ingenious, the persevering, ay, and the 
obtrusive applicants for its favor. The worn-down projector, who finds, after a 
travel of a thousand miles, that his cherished discovery has been patented as long 
ago as before he was born ; the hapless mother or widow, who seeks in vain from 
government a support which her son or husband, in the public service, once af¬ 
forded her; the revolutionary veteran, whose living evidences of youthful service 
have descended to the grave before him; the less unhappy subject of some mental 
delusion which impels him to seek fame or fortune through strange, eccentric 
paths—these, and all the varieties of distress with which a resident of the metrop¬ 
olis, in course of time, becomes acquainted, are entitled to the regards of congress, 
and not the less so because it is impossible that, either as a class or as individuals, 
they can ever plead their own cause before that tribunal. We rejoice that there 
have been found those who are willing and able to do it for them. We rejoice 
that there has been found a committee of congress, with one of the most expe¬ 
rienced and faithful members at its head, that has listened to the plea in behalf 
of the unfortunate, and has sustained it, by reporting the bill to which we have 
now the pleasure of directing the attention of our readers, 

“ ‘ In Senate, January 4, 1837. 

“ ‘ Mr. Kent, from the committee for the District of Columbia, reported the following bill 5 
which was read, and passed to a second reading:— 

<l ‘A Bill to authorize the Erection of an Hospital in the City of Washington, and for other 

Purposes . 

“ ‘ Be it enacted, &c., That the commissioner of the public buildings be, and he is hereby, 
authorized and required, under the direction of the president of the United Slates, and upon 
a plan and site to be by him approved, to erect a building in the city of Washington, suita¬ 
ble for an Hospital for the reception and accommodation of the insane of the District of 
Columbia, and of such sick, disabled, and infirm seamen, soldiers, and others, as may, by 
competent authority, to be hereafter prescribed, be deemed proper to be received therein. 

“ ‘ Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, on the completion of the said building, the 
president be authorized to appoint three respectable persons, residents of the city of Wash¬ 
ington, to be a board of inspectors of the said institution, who shall hold their offices two 
years from the dale of their appointment, and whose duty it shall be to have a general 
supervision of the concerns of the said Hospital; to appoint the necessary subordinate offi¬ 
cers thereof; to prescribe rules for the admission and due regulation of patients therein, and 
to make an annual report to congress of their proceedings, and of the condition of the said 
institution. 

“ ‘ Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there be, and there is hereby, appropriated the 

sum of--dollars for the erection of the said building, to be paid out of any money 

not otherwise appropriated.’ ” 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in North Carolina. 

A letter from our obliging correspondent in Raleigh, under date 
June 3, informs us, that the state does not possess an institution for 
the insane. The erection of one has been frequently suggested, but 
has wholly failed. Neither is there an establishment of the kind sup¬ 
ported by private munificence, or individual enterprise. This unfor¬ 
tunate class of sufferers are either kept at the residence of their friends, 
or are sent to the Hospitals at the north. 



114 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY, 


30 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics, Lexington, Ky. 


“ It is situated on the north-west of the city of Lexington, and about 300 j^ards 
within the mile square which determines the city limits, yet sufficiently without 
the business and bustle of the streets to be entirely free from any inconvenience 
or disturbance from that source. The buildings of the institution are of the best 
brick-work on stone bases, extensively and handsomely constructed. They con¬ 
sist of a centre building, about 64 feet square, four stories in height, including the 
basement, and containing 25 rooms, one half of them spacious, and adapted for 
accommodating the superintendent’s family, officers of the institution, separate 
day-rooms and refectories for the male and female patients. The two front wings 
are each three stories high, including the basement, 62 feet in length, and 24 in 
width, containing 16 rooms each, six on each floor above the basement, with spa¬ 
cious aisles running the whole length of the wings in each story, and meeting 
corresponding aisles in the main building. On the north-west and south-east, 
extensive additions have been made by the erection of wings in the form of an L, 
of the same length and width as the front wings, but of four stories high, and 
containing each 32 rooms. Besides these, there is in the rear of the centre build¬ 
ing, at about forty paces distant, a house about 20 feet square, two stories high, 
and containing 16 small rooms or cells, intended for the worst class of patients, 
and for withdrawing temporarily such as are most turbulent and ungovernable. 
All the rooms, except the centre building, are heated by flues proceeding from 
stoves in the basement story ; and the centre building is provided with stone coal 
grates. 

“ The ground behind the buildings is divided into four airing grounds, and 
enclosed by plank fences twelve feet high. The whole lot is at this time enclosed 
by a post and rail fence, but preparations are now making to enclose it with a 
plank fence, eight feet high. The lot contains about ten acres—five of which are 
cultivated by the patients—and produces corn and vegetables. There is on the 
grounds a never-failing spring of excellent water. 

“ The institution was erected by the legislature of Kentucky, in 1824, for the 
reception of poor lunatics who have no estate, where they are clothed and pro¬ 
vided for by the bounty of the state. Patients who have property, or who belong 
to other states, are received as boarders on the payment, in advance, of their 
board, which is at present very low, viz. two dollars per week; their sureties 
paying all damage they may do, and providing suitable clothing. It is under the 
control of five commissioners appointed by the legislature, who receive all moneys 
from the state or individuals, disburse the same for the purposes of the institu¬ 
tion, and take a general supervision of all the concerns of the same, and report 
annually to the legislature. Their services are wholly gratuitous. The present 
board is composed of John W. Hunt, Esq., chairman; Richard Higgins, John 
Brand, Stephen Chipley, Thomas P. Hart, Esqrs., commissioners. 


Expenditures. 13 years. 


From 1824 to 
1836, inclusive. 


For 1836. 


Cost of buildings,. 

Provisions,. 

Clothing,. 

Furniture and bedding, . 

Salaries and hire,. 

Repairs,.. 

Medicine and attendance,. 

Fire-wood and coal,. 

Conveying patients to Asylum, 

Extras,. 

Balance due last year, .... 


27,892 671 
28,461 54| 
13,855 874 
5,682 731 
16,894 634 
1,631 724 
1.668 201 
10,494 401 
5,460 334 
3,42S 181 


404 00 
3,471 261 
1,433 301 
658 96 
953 57 
171 45 
179 461 
2,034 681 
587 25 
148 98 
101 091 


Total, 


$115,470 32 


$10,144 021 


1836. 


Receipts. 


10,000 00 From commonwealth of Ky. 99,900 00 
2,500 054 From boarders,.17,926 351 


Balance in treasury, 17th Jan., 1837, 


$117,826 351 $12, 500 054 
$2,356 031 $2,356 031 


$12,500 054 

























31 


TWELFTH REPORT - 1837 . 


115 


Total Patients admitted to 31 st December , 1836 . 
Males, 372 ; females, 187; total,. 


Report of 1836 . 
Remained, 31st December, 1835,. 


M. F. Total, 

Of whom, Discharged,... .14 6 20 

Died,.20 6 26 

Eloped,.4 0 4 


Received since,. 

M. F. Total. 

Of whom have Died,.4 1 5 

Eloped,.4 1 5 

Discharged,.4 6 10 


total 

,... 

.459 

.100, 

M. 

F. 

Total. 


49 

93 

.38 

19 

57 

82 

68 

150 

• 38 

12 

50 

44 

56 

i—i 

o 

o 

r, 1837. 


M. 

F. 

Total. 


56 

100 


8 

28 

64 

64 

128 

• 12 

8 

20 

52 

56 

108, 


With the above account of the Lunatic Asylum in Kentucky we 
have been obligingly furnished by the chairman of the commissioners. 
It was also accompanied with a ground plan of the principal building, 
which will be found in the Appendix. 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Ohio. 


The first report of the directors, showing the progress which has 
been made preparatory to the erection of this institution, has been 
submitted to the legislature, by which it appears that the summer of 
1836 was occupied in clearing the land, in making brick upon the 
premises by the employment of a number of the convicts from the 
New Penitentiary, and in collecting lumber preparatory to the build¬ 
ing operations of the summer of 1837, when it is expected the building 
will be so far advanced as to allow of its being occupied in the spring 
of 1838. The report is herewith submitted ; 

Annual Report of the Directors of the Lunatic Asylum. 

11 To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Ohio :— 

u Agreeably to the law of the last session of the legislature, the directors 
of the Lunatic Asylum of Ohio commenced, in the month of March last, the 
necessary preparations for the erection of that institution. 

“ Conceiving it a matter of primary importance to use none but the best mate¬ 
rials, it was determined to devote the past summer to the purchase and collection 
of them, preparatory to commencing the buildings early next spring. 

“This arrangement, it is believed, will not retard the final completion of the 
work, and will save much expense in the progress of it. Accordingly, they ap¬ 
pointed N. B. Kelly, Esq., a practical architect, superintendent of the Asylum, 
with a salary at the rate of eight hundred dollars per annum, computing the time 
actually employed in the discharge of the duties of his office 




















116 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY* 


32 


“ Under the direction of the board of directors, the superintendent made a con¬ 
tract with the warden of the Penitentiary for the labor of thirty convicts, to be 
employed in the manufacture of brick; and, as early as practicable, made contracts 
for the delivery of other necessary materials. 

“ Publication was first made inviting proposals for such materials, whereby a 
fair competition was excited, and contracts obtained upon liberal terms, except 
for the purchase of pine lumber, which it was necessary to obtain otherwise. So 
soon as the convicts could be had, they were first employed in enclosing the yard, 
and cutting a quantity of wood on the Asylum lot for burning brick, and after¬ 
wards, during the season, in the manufacture of brick. 

“ With the supervision and assistance of two men, they have made ten hundred 
and seventy thousand bricks of a superior quality, upon the site of the Asylum, 
which are now ready for use, except about two hundred thousand furnished to, 
and used by the Penitentiary. These brick cost the state, including the neces¬ 
sary fixtures for manufacturing, and allowing for the labor of each convict em¬ 
ployed, fifty cents per day, at the rate of three dollars 77-100 per thousand ; by 
which operation, a considerable saving to the state was experienced, without, as 
we believe, any detriment to the Penitentiary system—besides the fact of having 
an article of a much better quality than could have been procured from individuals 
on contract, 

“ The brick required to be made the coming year for the completion of the 
buildings, will cost considerably less, from the circumstance of the necessary 
outfit for the work being already furnished. 

“ The individual contracts for the various materials have been complied with, 
or are in such progress as to warrant their fulfilment early in the spring. 

“ During the summer, a capacious well was sunk for the Asylum, which will 
afford an abundant supply, at all times, of pure and wholesome water. This is 
deemed a valuable acquisition to the institution. 

“The amount of moneys expended by the superintendent are as follows, to 
wit:— 

“For guarding convicts at the brick-yard; for the purchase of wood; for the 
hauling of wood cut on Asylum grounds; for the plank for sheds; for 
paying assistants in making brick ; for the implements of labor; and for 
other objects connected with the brick-yard, as will more fully appear by 


the superintendent’s books and vouchers,.....$2,267 57 

“ For free-stone delivered,.1,859 32 

“For lime-stone delivered,.1,113 64 

“ For ash, oak, and pine lumber,.2,908 62.^ 

“For two horses and wagon, &c., furnished,. 225 00 

“ For incidental expenses,. 255 59 


“ Making a total of....$8,629 74£ 


“ For paying the present contracts for materials, when fulfilled, about five 
thousand five hundred dollars will be required, leaving a balance of the last ap¬ 
propriation, of about eight hundred and seventy dollars. 

“ There is also due from the Ohio Penitentiary, for bricks furnished, seven 
hundred and seventy-nine dollars ninety-four cents, of which, by an agreement 
with the warden, four hundred and thirty-three dollars sixty-five cents are to be 
paid in cash ; the balance, of three hundred and forty-six dollars twenty-nine 
cents, in labor by the convicts. 

“ The directors have drawn on the auditor of state for the salary of the superin¬ 
tendent, amounting, on the 1st instant, to three hundred and seventy-four dollars 
twelve and a half cents. Under the present arrangements, an additional appro¬ 
priation, in the opinion of the directors, of fifteen thousand dollars, will be neces¬ 
sary for carrying on the work the ensuing year. 

“ Every arrangement being, therefore, in a prosperous condition, the directors 
expect to put the entire edifice under roof during the next season, and, should 
circumstances prove favorable, the Asylum will be ready for the reception of 
patients in the following spring. 

“Respectfully submitted, &c. 

“SAMUEL PARSONS, 
“WILLIAM M. AWL, 

« SAM. F. MACCRACKEN.” 


“ Columbus, December 16, 1836.” 











33 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 . 


117 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in Upper Canada. 

Our esteemed correspondent in Upper Canada, under date Kings¬ 
ton, August 15, 1838, thus writes :— 

“ I duly received, when at Toronto in April last, a few days before the proroga¬ 
tion, your valued favors of the 25th of March and 2d of April. At that time, the 
business of the session wholly engrossed my attention, and I was prevented from 
thanking you, as it was fit I should, for your kindness in sending me a copy of 
the Report of the McLean Asylum, with Dr. Lee's extremely interesting letter, 
and plan for a building, which I intend carefully to preserve, with such other in¬ 
formation as I collect for the consideration of our legislature at the next session. 

“ I hope that the newly-elected assembly will show a disposition to attend to 
the true interests of their constituents, and that, among other measures, they will 
authorize something to be done for our insane, whose situation is very deplorable. 
We have an act directing the census of the insane to be annually made; but the 
duty has not yet been attended to with any degree of care. It is therefore difficult 
to come at the number of insane persons existing in the province. I estimate 
their number at 350, calling 1 per 1000 souls as about the average in Europe and 
America, which I believe is not far from the fact.” 

Again he writes, November 30, 1836:— 

“ I beg leave to transmit you the Upper Canada Gazette, containing the prelimi¬ 
nary doings of our legislature, on the opening of the present session, in which you 
will be pleased to observe, that the question of erecting an Asylum for the Insane, 
has been proposed at length by the government, and cordially entertained by both 
houses. We have therefore an immediate prospect that something effectual will 
soon be accomplished. As soon as I can take my seat in the legislative council, 
I shall submit your letter of last spring, with the new plan for the Lunatic Hospi¬ 
tal, with which you so kindly favored me. In the mean time, I should most highly 
value any further hints or advice on the subject which the occurrences of the past 
summer may suggest as likely to prove useful.” 

From the Upper Canada Gazette we learn that the lieutenant-gov¬ 
ernor of Upper Canada, in his address to the provincial parliament, at 
the opening of the session, on the 9th of November, 1S36, thus intro¬ 
duces the subject:— 

“ Having been made aware that cases of neglected misery and distress have 
long existed within the province, from the want of some place of public refuge 
for those of our fellow-creatures to whom, in his providence, the Almighty, by 
depriving them of reason, has given peculiar claims upon our care, I feel satisfied 
that the necessity of establishing a Provincial Asylum for Lunatics, need only be 
suggested to receive your benevolent consideration.” 

To this address the legislative council replied,— 

“ We doubt not that cases of neglected misery, from the cause your excellency 
has alluded to, have long existed in the province; and we concur with your ex¬ 
cellency in thinking that humanity now calls loudly for the institution of some 
place of refuge for such of our fellow-creatures as are affected by the loss of their 
reason. We should have much pleasure in uniting with the other branches of 
the legislature in lightening, so far as may be done by human means, the pressure 
of calamity so distressing.” 

The house of assembly, also, responded to the governor in a similar 
manner, as follows :— 

“ We will not fail to give every attention to the suggestion of your excellency, 
on the subject of establishing a Provincial Asylum for Lunatics, and will endeavor 
to alleviate the misery of those friendless individuals, who, deprived of reason, and 
without protection, are suffering from the want of some place of public refuge.” 


i 


118 PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 34 

Our correspondent, to whom we have already shown our indebted¬ 
ness, again writes, under date Toronto, 7th March, 1837:— 

“ Your much-esteemed favors of the 26th of November and 9th of December 
last duly reached me, and I deferred acknowledging them, in the hope that I 
might have it in my power to announce some agreeable intelligence with respect 
to the proposed Lunatic Asylum in this province ; but the session has been per¬ 
mitted to slip away without any measure being adopted by our legislature for the 
effectual relief of lunatics. Capt. Dunlop, brother of Dr. Dunlop, (who was a 
few years ago a contributor to Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine,) and member 
for the county of Huron, charged himself with the subject of the Lunatic Asy¬ 
lum.” [It has not been acted upon.] “ I shall endeavor to have the question 
revived at the next session, and with effect.” 


Asylum for Poor Lunatics in New Brunswick. 

Our esteemed correspondent, one of the commissioners appointed 
by the government to examine and report on this subject, writes, 
under date April 20, 1837 :— 

“ I take pleasure in forwarding to you the accompanying report, which was 
laid before our legislature at its last session. I regret to say that the further con¬ 
sideration of the subject was by that body postponed until its next session, and 
the committee invited, at the request of the governor, to extend their inquiries, 
whether a more suitable site might not be found in some other part of the prov¬ 
ince ; the universal prevalence of fog, during a part of the summer season, being 
considered as an objection to its location in the neighborhood of St. John’s.” 

The Report accompanying this letter from Dr. Paddock, is a pam¬ 
phlet of fifty-six pages octavo. It contains a list of works on Insane 
Asylums received by the commissioners; an estimate of the number 
of lunatics in Scotland, the United States, and the province of New 
Brunswick; an account of a temporary Asylum in St. John’s, under 
the care of Dr. George P. Peters; the views of the commissioners in 
regard to a suitable location of the general Asylum for the province ; 
the plan of building proposed; estimated expense of the same; advan¬ 
tages of commencing on a large scale; probable expense of sustaining 
the establishment; the benefits of amusements, labor, and religious 
worship, in a well-conducted Asylum ; and the necessity of removing 
patients from home to such an institution while the disease is yet 
recent, &c. 

The Report is a very able one. The site chosen by the commis¬ 
sioners, near St. John’s, combines all the advantages of location, in 
the view of the commissioners, so beautifully described in Dr. Lee’s 
manuscript, which was sent to them ; the plan of building recommend¬ 
ed by them is the same as that originally proposed and recommended 
by Dr. Lee. In short, the commissioners, throughout the Report, have 
availed themselves of the experience of the McLean and Worcester 
Asylums. It is a document which reflects much honor upon the com¬ 
missioners, and upon the province; and although the action of the 
legislature has been deferred, it by no means follows that there will be 
no action. The legislative action may be more wise and certain in 
consequence of being more deliberate. Many of those great and im¬ 
portant movements of benevolence and humanity, which are deferred 
this year, are better done next year, and almost none of them which 


35 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 . 


119 


are clearly good and important fail of accomplishment. # So may it be 
in this case. 

In the Appendix to the Report, the commissioners have published 
at length Dr. Lee’s manuscript on the location, construction, and 
management of an Insane Asylum ; also a valuable letter from Dr. H. 
A. Galbraith, superintendent of the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum; 
and a letter from Dr. George P. Peters, which may be properly called 
the First Report of the Temporary Lunatic Asylum in St. 
John’s, New Brunswick. 

We give it entire, in gratitude for the past, and as great encourage¬ 
ment to future action. 

It may appear now as the small plant, but, if we mistake not, it will 
become a large tree, whose leaves shall be for the healing of many. 

11 St. John’s, November 28, 1836. 

“ Gentlemen, 

“ 1 have had the honor of receiving your letter, requesting some informa¬ 
tion respecting the temporary Lunatic Asylum in this city, under my charge, and 
take the earliest opportunity of replying to it, and furnishing such particulars as 
seem to be called for by the nature of your inquiries. 

“ When I was put in charge of the Poor Establishment in this city, it consisted 
of the Alms-House, Gaol, and Work-House, with the out-door poor. There was 
no separate place provided for the safe keeping of the pauper lunatics. At that 
time, as they still are in other counties of the province, they were confined in the 
Gaol, under the warrant of a magistrate, as unsafe to be at large ; and there I 
found several unfortunate men, confined in the same room with felons and other 
criminals, some of them perfectly naked, and in a state of filth, which, though 
under the circumstances unavoidable, was yet disgraceful to humanity. 

“ The confining convicts and lunatics together in the same apartment, is a prac¬ 
tice utterly indefensible, except on the ground of absolute necessity. To both 
parties it is cruel and unjust. It certainly formed no part of the sentence of the 
convicts, that they should be shut up, during the term of their imprisonment, 
with maniacs, sometimes furious and dangerous, and at all times offensive from 
the filthy habits which, if neglected, they are sure to acquire ; while to the poor, 
unhappy lunatics, nothing can well be conceived more injurious than such a con¬ 
finement, and the usage which they are sure to meet with. 

“ I felt it my duty to call the particular attention of the overseers of the poor to 
the state of the case, and the lunatics were accordingly removed from the Gaol, 
and placed in the Alms-House. But though this arrangement certainly improved 
the condition of the poor lunatics, the occupation of the Alms-House, at all times 
over-crowded by persons of that description, was found exceedingly inconvenient, 
and attended with very unpleasant consequences. To obviate these inconve¬ 
niences, it was determined that an application should be made to the board of 
health, for leave to fit up and use the unoccupied apartments in the Cholera Hos¬ 
pital for a temporary Asylum. Permission having been given, the lower part of 
the building has been divided into two sides, one for the males, and the other for 
the females. For the purpose of separating, as much as possible, the more violent 
from those who appear inclined to conduct themselves in a moderate way, these 
sides have been subdivided—the male side into a day-room, (if a mere passage 
can be so called,) and five sleeping-rooms ; the female side into a similar day- 
room, and four sleeping-rooms. These divisions have been effected by mere tem¬ 
porary partitions, and though greatly superior to any thing which those unfortunate 
persons have ever before enjoyed, the place is altogether insufficient, either for 
their comfortable residence, their safe keeping, or their proper treatment. 

“ This Asylum has now been eight months in operation, and twenty-four pa¬ 
tients have been admitted into it. Of these, nine have been discharged cured, 
one has died, and there are now fourteen remaining. Of these fourteen, six are 
idiots,—two of them reduced to that state by the frequent recurrence of epileptic 
fits,—one was born so, and the other three have been in that state for some years, 
though without any assignable cause, so far as I have been able to ascertain from 
their friends. The restoration of any of these six is, I think, hopeless; but, were 
there any occupation for them, their services might be turned to very good ac- 


/ 


m PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 36 

count: so far £^3 mere manual labor is concerned, they would be nearly as efficient 
as if their intellect were not impaired. Of the remaining eight, five will, I think, 
recover ;■ the recovery of the other three is, to all appearance, very doubtful. 

“ Adopting the system of classification in practice at the Glasgow Royal Asy¬ 
lum for Lunatics, the number and description of the cases admitted, and the result 
of the treatment, will appear as follows :— 


Classification of 

Cases 

when admitted. 

1 

How dismissed. 

State of the 
remaining . 

Totals of the 

several 

Classifications. 

Cured. 

Relieved. 

By desire. 

Unfit. 

Died. 

Improved. 

Continuing^ 

the same. 

Maniacs,. 

6 

0 

0 

0 

0 

3 

4 

13 

Maniacs furious,. 

1 

0 

0 

0 

I 

0 

1 

3 

Melancholics,. 

2 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

2 

Melancholics irascible, ... 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

Imbecile,. 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

1 

4 

5 

Fatuous,. 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

1 

1 

Total,. 

9 

0 

0 

0 

1 

4 

8 

24 


“ Two of the above were re-admitted after a relapse. Of the above twenty- 
four, seven were old cases, and seventeen recent cases, with the following result 


of cures:— 

7 old cases, with one cure, about.14£ per cent. 

17 recent, 8 cures, about.50 “ 


“ Of the twenty-four, seven are natives of the province, and seventeen are emi¬ 
grants, chiefly Irish. All of them are paupers except one, for whose board five 
shillings a week is charged. Twenty of them are resident in the city, three in 
that part of the parish of Lancaster which borders on Carleton, and one from 
South Bay in the same parish. 

“ With regard to the conduct of the lunatics, they have generally, after a short 
residence in the Asylum, been tolerably quiet; but some of them, from the want 
of proper accommodation and constant occupation, have required restraint; and 
one of them is so troublesome, that we are obliged to keep him fastened by a 
chain attached to a belt round his waist. It is deeply to be regretted that we 
should be obliged to have recourse to so unpleasant a mode of restraint; but the 
man’s disposition is so restless, and, from want of employment or occupation of 
any sort, he is so exceedingly mischievous, that it is impossible to leave him at 
large. 

“ As to the causes of the disease, as far as I have been able to ascertain, it ap¬ 
pears that sudden fright has been the most frequent cause of the aberration of 
mind among the females. The falling overboard of a fellow-passenger produced 
it in one case, and other accidents of a like alarming nature were followed by the 
same results in others. And among the males, with the exception of the idiots, 
the affection appears to have originated very generally from the abuse of spirituous 
liquors—a fruitful cause of insanity, which will be very likely, in this country, to 
keep a Lunatic Asylum well filled with patients. 

“ By the establishment of this Asylum, temporary and incomplete as it is, I am 
happy to say that the condition and treatment of the unfortunate lunatics have 
been very materially improved. They are now at least clean and comfortable. 
Of course we labor under all the serious difficulties and inconveniences which are 
every where found to arise from want of space and constant employment for 
them—two very essential things in the management of the insane. 

“ Of late the applications for admission have been increasing, and we have been 
compelled to reject several from persons who could a,nd would have paid for the 
board of the patients. Indeed there is every reason to fear that the Asylum will 
be overrun by the pauper lunatics of the city before the Provincial Institution 
can be put into operation. 

“ I have the honor to be, gentlemen, 

“Your obedient servant, 

“ GEORGE P. PETERS. 

“ 7b the Commissioners of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum." 









































37 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 . 


121 


2. STATE PRISONS. 

Maine State Prison. 

Provision has not. yet been made for the erection of a new Peniten¬ 
tiary in Maine. The governor thus notices the old Prison, in his last 
message to the legislature :— 

“ The character and operations of the State Penitentiary should always be kept 
before the public eye. The subject is important, if it were only on account of the 
charge made upon the public finances for maintaining the institution. The Prison 
was erected in 18*23. The sum expended in the purchase of the site, in the erec¬ 
tion and repair of buildings, and other operations connected with the Prison, in 
addition to the sum arising from the labor of the convicts, has amounted to one 
hundred and twenty-three thousand four hundred and eighty-nine dollars and 
twelve cents. During the last ten years only, the sums paid from the treasury, 
on account of the Prison, if averaged upon the whole number of convicts, cannot 
have been less than at the rate of two dollars per week upon each convict. A 
considerable portion of this expense has been laid out upon the buildings. Other 
calls upon the treasury may shortly bq expected for the same purpose. With all 
these improvements, it cannot be doubted that the buildings are highly unsuitable 
for the proper purposes of a Penitentiary. They seem to have been constructed 
with a view to inflict the greatest punishment at the shortest time, and at the 
least expense. That plan has been abandoned, but no change has been made in 
the cold, damp, unventilated cell. Even if it be conceded that Thomaston is the 
most suitable location for the Prison, it is certainly a question worthy of your 
consideration, whether it may not be necessary to remodel the principal building, 
in order to effect the objects which Prison discipline is designed to accomplish.” 

State Prison in New Hampshire. 

The affairs of this institution appear to be in an unsettled and un¬ 
satisfactory state. There is much complaint in the public journals; 
and so it has been, most of the time, since Capt. Moses C. Pilsbury 
left it many years ago. A new Prison has been built, admitting of a 
complete separation of the convicts at night; the health of the institu¬ 
tion is good, and crime does not increase : but the pecuniary affairs 
of the institution have not been satisfactory. 


State Prison in Vermont. 


The number of convicts, at the commencement of the last year, 
was 115; at the close of the year, 110; May 24, 1837, 102. 

The number committed last year was 36; the year before, 55. 

The number discharged was 30 by expiration of sentence, 9 by 
pardon, 1 by death, and 0- by escape. The number discharged the 
year before, was 28 by expiration of sentence, 8 by pardon, 2 by death, 
and 2 by escape. 

The number of recommitments was 7 last year, and 10 the year 
before. 

The earnings of the convicts last year are said by the keeper, Mr. 
William Gay, to have been sufficient to defray the expenses of the 
Prison, and to have been so reported to the legislature. 


K 


122 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY* 


38 


The moral and religious instruction is by public worship on the 
Sabbath, by a Sabbath school of 30 to 40 scholars, by prayers during 
the week. Rev. R. L. Harvey, chaplain. 

This institution does not publish an annual report, which has be¬ 
come almost the universal practice of similar institutions. 

State Prison at Charlestown, Mass. 

A year of greater prosperity than ever has attended this institution. 

The number of convicts at the commencement of the year was 
270; the number at the close, 278. The average number for 17 
years past has been 282. The number committed to Prison in 1834 
was 119; in 1835, 116; in 1836,97. There is therefore apparent 
from the records of the State Prison in Massachusetts no positive in¬ 
crease of crime, but rather a diminution. 

This is not because the number of pardons was greater last year 
than in other years; for the number pardoned last year was only 7, 
while the average number of pardons in the last 17 years has been 14. 

Of 279 in Prison last year, only 4 died, which is 1 in 69; while the 
average number of deaths in 17 years past has been 1 in 56. 

Of the whole number committed last year, only 7 were recommit¬ 
tals; while the average number of recommittals in the last 17 years 
has been 16. 

The earnings of the Prison last year, above all expenses, were 
$13,428 25 ; while the average earnings in 4 preceding years, above 
all expenses, was only $6,371 04; and the average loss, above all 
earnings, in 5 years preceding 1832, was $6,706 73. The Prison is 
therefore steadily improving in industry, economy, and good manage¬ 
ment. m 

A committee of the legislature, during the last year, after a patient 
investigation, made the following report:— 

“ In Senate, Jlpril 5, 1837. 

“ The joint standing committee on Prisons, to whom was referred the order of 
the two houses, of the 11th of February last, ‘instructing them to inquire con¬ 
cerning the internal management of the State Prison, the discipline, the quantity 
and quality of rations furnished the prisoners, and the safe-keeping of the same,’ 
respectfully report, 

“ That, since the adoption of this order, your committee have carefully attended 
to the duty assigned them. We have had many meetings at the Prison, and have 
examined every person from whom we could expect to obtain any information, on 
either of the subjects referred to us for inquiry. Inspectors, warden, chaplain, 
physician, contractors, their agents, and almost every subordinate officer, officers 
who have voluntarily left the Prison, and others who have been discharged from 
it, have testified before us. We would further remark, in justice to all those con¬ 
cerned in the management of the institution, that every facility was afforded us 
during this inquiry, and that they exhibited a laudable energy and determination 
that the whole subject should undergo a thorough investigation. 

“ For some time prior to the commencement of the present meeting of the legisla¬ 
ture, reports were in circulation derogatory to the character of the immediate gov¬ 
ernment of the Prison, on the subjects alluded to in the order; and anonymous 
letters of like import have been addressed to gentlemen supposed to be interested 
in its prosperity. These considerations rendered it necessary that a searching 
investigation should take place. 

“In relation to the internal management and discipline of the Prison, your com¬ 
mittee have abundant reason to be satisfied, and we are not aware of any improve¬ 
ment we can suggest therein, which would be productive of any beneficial results. 


39 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1S37. 


1‘23 


“ In our opinion, the discipline cannot be relaxed, nor would greater severity 
be productive of permanent good. The convicts are not restrained, or governed, 
by mere force; nor is there any disposition, that we could discover, on the part 
of the principal officers, to inflict corporeal punishment, but in extreme cases, and 
very seldom with any degree of severity. A healthful discipline is maintained 
by moral and religious influence, and not by stripes or solitary confinement. 
The inmates are treated with humanity and kindness, and are generally indus¬ 
trious, obedient, and civil in their deportment. We have examined them with 
great care, and have noticed very few whose countenances indicate malignity or 
bad passions. There is, in every department, an apparent quiet and serious look; 
and their constant industry and healthful appearance are subjects of remark by 
every stranger who visits the place. The government seem to have discovered 
the true principles of discipline, and to apply them with success. 

“ There is always great reluctance to resort to corporeal punishment when it 
can possibly be avoided ; but, nevertheless, the arm of the government is strength¬ 
ened by possessing this power, the prisoners knowing that the warden can, in the 
last resort, inflict this punishment, if deemed expedient; and this is as it should 
be. The chief executive officer of such an institution must possess this power; 
and this investigation has satisfied us that it has not been abused. 

“ Some of the subordinate officers seem to have entertained an opinion that the 
warden was bound to inflict punishment whenever they reported a convict for any 
misdemeanor. Such views, in our opinion, ought not to be sustained for a mo¬ 
ment. When the subordinate officer has reported to the warden, his duty is com¬ 
pleted. It is for the warden to decide the measure of punishment to be inflicted; 
the reporting officer has no concern with that part of the duty. If the officer has 
humane feelings, and correct principles, and does not act from a desire of revenge, 
and has a proper respect for, and confidence in. his superior officer, instead of 
complaining that more severe punishment has not been inflicted, he will rejoice 
that order and discipline can be maintained without severity. 

“ The warden cannot consult with his subordinate officers in regard to punish¬ 
ment, nor be controlled by them on that, or any other subject, concerning the 
management or discipline of the Prison. The board of inspectors are his council. 

“The next subject is the safe-keeping of the prisoners; and upon this little 
need be said. We believe as few escapes happen here as at any other Prison, 
with a like number of convicts. There are very few Prisons ■where escapes do 
not occur. In September last, seven prisoners made their escape from the hospi¬ 
tal, one of whom was retaken, and is now in Prison. In the last report, the in¬ 
spectors say that no blame attaches to the warden, or his deputy, concerning this 
escape, and, under the present arrangement, a similar occurrence is not to be ap¬ 
prehended. Nothing seems necessary, at present, to make the Prison secure. 

“ In regard to rations, we have had recourse to all the testimony before men¬ 
tioned, and also to documentary evidence concerning rations in other Peniten¬ 
tiaries and Poor-Houses, and also to the opinions of persons of skill and experience 
in similar institutions. From the testimony, we have no doubt that a small part 
of a day’s ration of meat has sometimes, but not often, in warm weather, been 
tainted ; but it did not appear that the whole, or a large part, of a day’s ration 
was in this state. 

“ All articles of food are inspected at the Prison, and we have found no instance 
where the contractor has refused to exchange meat, or other articles of food, when 
requested so to do. If, therefore, any meat, or other articles of food, have been 
received in a tainted or improper state, it probably occurred in the hurry of busi¬ 
ness, when the receiving officer did not at the time examine the several articles 
with all that care and attention which is necessary, where so many persons are 
liable to suffer from the most trifling neglect. 

“ We believe no complaint, deserving notice, has occurred in regard to any of 
the food, excepting beef and pork,—and no complaint relating to these articles 
more frequent than must happen in institutions with an average number of 280 
inmates. We are satisfied that the warden has exercised constant care and vigi¬ 
lance in regard to the rations. The testimony showed that the prisoners have all 
the food, and as much of every kind, as the law allows, or their health or comfort 
requires. We have ascertained the quantity of food allowed daily to the inmates 
of other Penitentiaries, and are satisfied that the allowance at our State Prison is 
as liberal as at any other Prison in the country, and more so than at most of them. 
We have seen, examined, and ate of the rations. They are good in quality, and 


124 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


40 


sufficient in quantity. The work done by the convicts, their stout and rugged 
appearance, their constant industry, and general good health, are sure indications 
that their food is sufficient, both in quantity and quality, and well adapted to their 
wants and situation, and we are satisfied that it would not be wise or sale to make 
any change in regard to it. 

“ We have thus disposed of the several subjects mentioned in the order. As 
the warden is the chief officer of the Prison, it may be proper to express our opin¬ 
ion in relation to him. We consider him an intelligent, faithful, and able officer, 
devoting his whole time to the performance of his numerous and most arduous 
duties. One cause of complaint of the subordinate officers was, that the warden 
had used his influence against an increase of their salaries. There was, however, 
no testimony showing that he opposed the measure, or took any strong interest in 
regard to it. The inspectors had doubts on the subject, and the legislature itself 
entertained similar doubts, as appears by the condition annexed to the resolve of 
the last session in relation to the salaries.—In the prosecution of this inquiry, 
there was a feeble attempt made to show that the able and faithful chaplain of the 
Prison had been remiss in his duties; the investigation of this charge, however, 
terminated in the complete vindication of his character. 

“ However unjust are the various rumors, insinuations, and accusations, which 
have been spread abroad concerning the management of the institution, we have 
no doubt this investigation will ultimately prove beneficial. In the opinion of 
your committee, every charge has terminated in a complete vindication of the 
measures adopted, from time to time, by the principal officers of the Prison, to 
promote its usefulness. We will only add, that the annual reports of the officers 
of the Prison have been fully sustained in this examination. 

“ All which is respectfully submitted by the unanimous order of the com¬ 
mittee. 

“NATHAN GURNEY, Chairman," 

New Penitentiary in Rhode Island. 

A letter from the governor, dated June 7, says, 

“ There is no new arrangement in contemplation in reference to the Rhode 
Island Penitentiary. The present site will not be abandoned, and the commis¬ 
sioners are attentive to their duty, so that we may see our experiment in the full 
tide of experiment before the lapse of another year.’’ 


State Prison at Wethersfield, Conn. 

Another year of great prosperity has passed over this institution. 

Although the number of prisoners has increased from 201 to 207„ 
there were 9 less committed the last year than the year before, and 18 
less than the year before that, and 9 less than the average since the 
Prison was established. 

From an average of 204 prisoners, there was but one death. There 
was but one death in this Prison in each of the years 1828 and ’34. 
In 1829, there was no death. The average number of deaths for nine 
years has been three only; the average number of prisoners, 184; 
giving a bill of mortality considerably less than two per cent., or 1 to 
61. The last year, therefore, has been much more healthy than the 
average, although the whole history of the Prison shows remarkable 
health. 

The number of recommittals last year has been less than the average 
number for several previous years, and good news is heard from the 
discharged. The chaplain says, 

“ The number discharged is about fifty a year ; the whole number discharged 
about 400. Of this number, I should think I had, in one way and another, heard 


4i 


TWELFTH REPORT —1S37. 


125 

from about one fourth, without making any particular inquiry 7 , exclusive of those 
who have made themselves notorious by a repetition of their criminal offences. 
Except the class last mentioned, I do not recollect more than three or four whose 
conduct is not represented as being better than it was before their imprisonment.” 

The earnings of the Prison last year, above the expenses, were 
67,438 91 ; the total amount of earnings, above expenses, in 9J years 
from the commencement, 651,333 63; the total amount of expenses 
above earnings, of the old Prison, the same length of time, 880,500; 
making a difference to the state of 8131,833 63. 

We have received from the warden and chaplain communications 
of great value for the Report. 

Extract of a Letter from the Warden to one of the Inspectors. 

“ Conn. State Prison, Wethersfield , April 12, 1337. 

u Dear sir, 

“ The following statement, which will form part of our report to be laid 
before the next general assembly, will enable you to give his excellency such in¬ 
formation as he may be desirous of knowing, should he wish to mention the 
Prison, and its prosperity 7 , in his annual communication to the legislature. 

“The whole amount of income, for the year ending March 31,1837, 


is.6*22,751 88 

The whole amount of expenses is... 15.312 92 

Balance gained to the institution, .. $7,438 94 


General Review of the Financial Operations of the Institution since its Commence¬ 
ment, October 1, 1827. 

Avails of the establishment, after defraying every expense of its 


support and management, 

From October 1, 1827, to March 31, 1828,. 1,017 16 

For the year ending March 31, 1829,. 3,229 41 

“ “ “ “ March 31, 1830,. 5.06S 94 

“ “ “ “ March 31. 1831,. 7,824 02 

“ “ “ “ March 31, 1832,. 8,713 53 

“ « « “ March 31, 1833,.$2,277 22 

Loss from March 31 to June 6, 1833,... 768 78 

- 1,508 44 

Gain from June 6 to March 31, 1834,. 4,758 87 

For the year ending March 31, 1835,. 5,268 83 

“ “ “ “ March 31, 1836,. 6,505 49 

“ “ “ “ March 31, 1837,. 7,438 94 


Total amount of profits since October 1, 1827,...$51,333 63 


Cash paid into the state treasury, (balance,).$15,651 81 

“ “ for new Prison, erected 1835,. 3,320 91 

Property on hand March 31, 1837,. 10,321 41 

Due on notes, “ “ 5,349 22 

Due on book acc’t., “ “ 8^594 05 

Cash on hand, “ “ 8,096 23 


$51,333 63 

Cost of the Prison, together with its alterations and im¬ 
provements, including 17 acres and 30 rods of land 

attached to it, .. $42,281 27 

Cost of new Prison, erected 1835,. 3,320 91 

45,602 18 

Balance in favor of the Prison, after paying for itself, and every 

expense of its support and management,.$5,731 45 


4 * K 2 







































126 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


42 


“ It will be seen, by contrasting the nine and one half years that this Prison had 
been in operation with the nine and one half years previous to October 1, 1827, of 
the Newgate Prison, that it makes a difference or saving to the state, for the sup¬ 
port of their convicts during that time, of one hundred and thirty-one thousand, 
eight hundred and thirty-three dollars, and sixty-three cents, viz. 

It cost the state, over and above all their earnings, to support the 

Newgate Prison, for 9^ years previous to October 1, 1827, about. .$80,500 00 
Add to the above sum the amount of profits of this institution for 


the same space of time,. 51,333 03 


' $131,833 63 


There were in confinement, March 31, 1836,.201 convicts. 

Received during the past year,.57 

258 

Discharged by expiration of sentence,. 44 

“ “ general assembly,. 6 

Died,. 1 

Escaped,. 0 

51 

\ -- 

In confinement, March 31, 1837,.207 


“ Of the 57 convicts received, one quarter part could neither read nor write. 42 
of the 57 admit themselves to have been intemperate. There were nine less 
committed the past year, than the year previous, and 18 less than the year before 
that, and six less than the average number of annual commitments since the 
Prison has been located in this place. 

“ Subjects liable to be recommitted have been increasing at the rate of about 50 
a year, yet the number recommitted the last year has been less than the average 
annual number for several years previous. 

“It will be seen, that we have on hand eio-Jit thousand dollars. Six thousand of 
this sum will be applied immediately in building additional buildings, and making- 
other improvements which were authorized at the last sitting of the legislature. 
Contracts have been made, and the work will be in a state of forwardness in a 
few days 

“ I suppose you are aware that there are now confined in this Prison several 
who have been sent here by the legislature, who were under sentence of death. 
They are put to work, and classed with the other convicts, however slight may 
have been their crime. It appears to me there should be a difference in the pun¬ 
ishment of a murderer and the youth who may have been sent here for stealing, 
and perhaps for the very first offence. 

“ Very respectfully, 

“ Your friend and obedient servant, 

“ A. PILSBURY, Warden ” 


“ The Chaplain of the Connecticut State Prison respectfully reports ,— 


“ That crime, committed in this state the past year, in which the perpetrators 
have been detected, has caused 57 individuals, nearly related to 362 others, to be 
sent to the State Prison, at an expense to the state, for their apprehension and 
conviction, of more than $5000, and to suffer, themselves, in the aggregate, the 
loss of more than 200 years’ precious time. To these 57 convicts the following 


table refers:— 

Could read and write,.27 

Could read, but not write,.16 

Could neither read nor write,.14 

Colored,.17 

Females,. 3 

Acquainted with trades,. 9 

Intemperate,.42 

Criminals against persons,.14 

Criminals against property,.43 

Oldest, GO years of age. 

Youngest, 16 years of age. 

Sentenced for life,.2 


Sentenced for the shortest term of 1 year, 5 


Convicted in New Haven County,.15 

“ New London County,.14 

“ Fairfield County,.10 

“ Hartford County,. 9 

“ Litchfield County,.6 

“ Tolland County,.2 

“ Middlesex County,. 1 

Born in Connecticut,.30 

“ other states,.18 

Foreigners,. 9 

Recommitted,. 5 





































43 


TWELFTH REPORT— 1837. 


127 


44 The whole number now in Prison is 207. But one death has occurred the year 
past. Nine less were committed to Prison last year than the year before, 13 less 
than two years before the last, and (S less than the average number of annual 
commitments since the Prison has been located in this place. Subjects liable to be 
recommitted have been increasing at the rate of about 50 a year; yet the number 
recommitted last year was less than the average annual number for several years 
previous. All committed to Prison last year, who could read, have been requested 
to spell the two monosyllables 4 read ’ and 4 write.’ Only 11, out of the 43 who 
could read, were able to spell these two words correctly. One of the best readers 
could not tell whether the book of Matthew was in the Old or New’ Testament; 
and one, possessing more general intelligence than any other sent to Prison last 
year, has read the Bible more, and heard it explained more, the last 10 months, 
than in all his life before. 

44 Concerning the Bible—a cursory reader of this book would scarcely imagine 
that its statements have so wide and pertinent application to persons in Prison, as 
they are found to possess. It tells them of others who have been 4 shut up so 
that they could not come forth ; ’ teaches them how afflictions may be improved 
for one's good, how victory may be obtained over evil propensities, and where a 
Friend may be found, that 4 sticketh closer than a brother.’ Convicts are often 
surprised to find so many of their own feelings and doings so exactly described 
by writers who lived thousands of years ago. There is scarcely any wickedness 
described in the 1st chapter of Romans, which some convicts have not known 
individuals of the present generation to be guilty of. 

44 Were one to mark the appearance of a company of criminals, where more than 
half are thieves and burglars, while they listen to such a portion of Scripture as 
the 21st verse of the 7th chapter of Joshua, where it is said concerning Achan, 
that he first saw the goodly Babylonish garment, and silver, and wedge of gold, 
and then coveted, and took, and hid them in the earth,—he would hardly fail to 
perceive that most of the hearers deeply felt that this ancient account of stealing 
was true to the life. These words, 4 Let him that stole steal no more,’ were 
read by one who had been sent to Prison for stealing. After reading them, he 
made the following comment:— 4 These are certainly very good words. I never 
read them before. If I had only done as they say, I should have never come 
here.’ 

44 The voice of counsel and warning, as uttered in the Proverbs of Solomon, is 
often referred to by criminals, as being just what they ought to have regarded 
when at liberty; especially what it speaks respecting the enticements of sinners, 
the effects of strong drink, and the way and end of the strange woman. 

44 A few days ago, the following verse was read at the morning service in the 
hall:— 4 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, 
yet thou must do it again.’ Prov. xix. 19. Among the hearers was a young man, 
who, in great wrath, had struck another so that he died, and was that day to be 
discharged from Prison. Soon as he was discharged, he came to my room, and 
said, 4 Did you mean what you read in the hall this morning for me P ’ 4 Not 

exclusively.’ — 4 Didn’t you read that because you knew I was going out to-day ? ’ 
4 No.’ — 4 Didn’t you think of me while you were reading?’ 4 Not at all.’ — 
4 Well, I really thought you did, it suits my case so exactly. Great wrath has 
caused me to suffer punishment, and now I am delivered ; but I don’t mean it 
shall ever be necessary to deliver me again. As long as I live, I shall not forget 
the words you read this morning, nor where I last heard them.’ 

44 4 Will you please, sir, preach from this text next time ? ’ was lately a convict’s 
request. — 4 What text?’ 4 This here in Hosea, the 4th chapter and 11th verse, 
where it says, 44 Whoredom, and wine, and new wine, take away the heart.” ’ 
— 4 Why do you wish to have that text preached from ?’ 4 Because, sir, they are 

what brought me here, and I guess most all the rest of us.’ This man guessed 
right. Scarcely a man can be fourd in Prison, w’ho was not in the habit, when 
at liberty, of going to those who put the bottle to their neighbor’s mouth, or to 
those whose feet go down to death. Sometimes particular places may be pointed 
out, where, under the blighting influence referred to, criminals are multiplied as 
it were by wholesale. In a period of five years, about 40 colored persons have 
been sent to this Prison, who had been convicted of crime in New Haven. 
Nearly all these individuals have referred to their nocturnal visits to a den of 
infamy kept in that city, as being closely connected with the crime for which 
they were convicted. The following testimony from Dr. Lieber is in point:— 4 1 


m 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


44 


have taken pains,’ he says, 1 to ascertain the character of a number of convicts; 
and, as far as my experience has gone, it shows me that there is, almost without 
exception, some unprincipled or abandoned woman, who played a prominent part, 
in the life of every convict; be it a worthless mother, who poisons by her corrupt 
example the souls of her children,—or a slothful, intemperate wife, who disgusts 
her husband with his home,—or a prostitute, whose wants must be satisfied by 
theft,—or a receiver of plunder,—or a spy of opportunities for robberies.’ 

“ Men sleep more, dream more, have stronger craving for food, and time past 
seems to them shorter, and time to come longer, in Prison, than when at liberty. 
— Many hasten their ruin by buying lottery tickets, but rarely is one known to 
commit crime when he has money in a Savings’ Bank. It is always found that 
open acts of crime are preceded by smaller and secret offences; and seldom is one 
convicted for crime, whose life had been regular till he was 18 or 20 years old. 
Even hardened criminals cannot easily commit crime, while thoughts of their Crea¬ 
tor are in their minds ; and sometimes these thoughts prevent them from perpetra¬ 
ting crimes which they had previously planned. It is rare to find an unreformed 
convict who manifests either sympathy or affection for his companions in confine¬ 
ment, or one of any character who does not show signs of deep feeling when 
conversed with about his mother. Some in Prison make singular development 
of the social principle. They can hardly be prevailed upon to kill, or even to 
frighten, the rats or mice that happen to come into their cells. They are pleased 
with their company, love to look on their bright eyes, and see them jump about 
the cell. By a peculiar noise which they make, they call them to the mouth of 
the ventilators, and there divide their food with them. Yet these same men, 
who, under their circumstances, seem thus kind and affectionate to animals, have 
so little true benevolence, that, if at liberty, there is reason to fear they would 
not respect the property, if they did the person, of their fellow-men. 

“ Some pass their lonely hours in singing to themselves without audible sound. 
They can judge of the measure, harmony, and melody, of a piece of music, and 
highly relish its performance, by merely causing imaginary sounds to pass 
through their minds. They lie awake at night, enjoying sweet strains of silent 
melody/ Others often employ their thoughts, when alone, in framing speeches 
on different subjects, according to their particular turn of mind, and esteem it a 
favor to be allowed to rehearse their productions. Here and there one has power 
to indulge his thoughts with tolerable correctness in poetic flights. 

“ Much the greater portion of convicts, however, are not only ignorant, but 
exceedingly grovelling and sensual. Their prevailing sentiments are the sexual, 
and these are extremely gross. Some so yield themselves to the influence of 
these sentiments, that their bodies become emaciated, their minds almost idiotic, 
and their souls deeply polluted. They spend hours together, in the silence and 
solitude of their cells, forming in their minds pictures of these acts of sin and 
crime, to which they have been, and still are, most inclined; then fall in love 
with these pictures, keep them long and steadily before the mind’s eye, turn 
them over and over, look at them in every point of view, and by this mental 
process render themselves more and more ripe for outward acts of transgression 
as soon as they gain their liberty. So deep and lasting is the influence which 
antecedent thought and feeling have upon future outward action, that it may be 
predicted with considerable certainty what course of conduct a convict will 
pursue after he leaves Prison, if it can be ascertained what were his prevailing 
feelings and thoughts while in confinement. Long observation has shown, that a 
bad man, if left to himself, is not likely to grow better. The worse he is, the 
more abundant are the elements lodged in his own bosom for making himself still 
worse. Bad feelings cause bad thoughts; and bad thoughts, in their turn, 
strengthen bad feelings. As the spider weaves its web from its own bowels, so 
will many criminals, if means are not used to prevent it, weave schemes of future 
villany from the prevailing and most agreeable exercises of their own souls. It 
is encouraging to know that something may be done to prevent this ruinous 


* When asked where the tune seems to be when singing in silence, the singer puts his 
hand on the occipital bone, just as naturally as he puts his hand on the forehead to denote 
the place of thought, or upon the breast to point out the dwelling-place of love. The last 
man who, on being questioned, discovered that tune and thought did not seem to be in the 
same place, exclaimed, ‘Well, that is curious !—that is deeper than I ever studied before 
into natural philosophy 



45 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


129 


operation of mind. Efforts to this end have been made here the past year. Each 
individual lias been frequently visited and conversed with alone in his cell. Such 
as could not read have been encouraged and assisted to employ their thoughts in 
learning to read. Others have been advised to read good books, and commit 
portions of Scripture to memory. The religious service, morning and evening, 
in the ball, seems well adapted to give profitable employment to the faculties of 
the mind. The brevity of this service is such as not to weary the body, nor 
overburden the memory, while its frequency serves to make a repeated impression 
on the mind before a previous impression is effaced. In prayer the mind is 
directed to perfect purity. In reading the Scriptures, principles of the divine 
government, and relations which the creature sustains to the Creator, are brought 
to view, which afford wide scope for valuable and interesting thought. What is 
heard in the morning may be reflected on through the day ; and what is heard at 
evening may be revolved in the mind, so as to make good impression on the heart, 
during the wakeful hours of night. Frequent inquiries concerning what had 
been heard at these times, evince that truth is not always listened to with 
indifference. 

“ The religious services, too, in the chapel, on Sunday, seem calculated to have 
a salutary tendency. Singing, which all appear delighted to listen to, tends to 
soothe the feelings, and soften the heart. When the whirlwind of passion is 
hushed, and eye meets eye, and heart speaks to heart, and the power of sympathy 
is felt, and the fountain of tears is broken up, moral motives can scarcely fail of 
resting with weight on the soul. Where, in a moral sense, liberty is proclaimed 
to the captives, and the opening of the Prison to them that are bound, principles 
of truth are presented, which, just so far as they are received and acted upon, are 
sure to transform the most dangerous convict into a safe citizen. How many 
have been thus transformed can never be satisfactorily known, until such special 
inquiry as has here never yet been made, shall have been put forth respecting the 
conduct of convicts after their discharge from Prison. Several have been heard 
from the past year, who were once here, and were represented as doing well. 
An individual, who died last July, after having been in this vicinity since his 
discharge from Prison, three years ago, seemed to be truly reformed. When he 
was sent here, in 1831, he was uncommonly hard-hearted and ignorant. He had 
participated in sin in almost every form, had scarcely ever heard a sermon 
preached, and did not know a single letter of the alphabet. While in Prison, he 
learned to read and write, and found a new channel for his thoughts and feelings 
to flow in. After he left Prison, it is not known that he at any time yielded to 
the influence of his former companions, habits, or practices. He made a public 
profession of religion; and those who employed him, marked his conduct, and 
knew him best, think his deportment was such as in a high degree to adorn his 
profession. 

t( Perhaps, at this moment, philanthropists in Europe are looking with as lively, 
interest on the moral influence of our Penitentiary system, as are the citizens of 
our own beloved country. The second mission, now in this country, sent out by 
the French government to examine our Prisons, are carefully seeking answers 
to this interesting question, handed them by their secretary of state before they 
left home—‘ What effect has the American Penitentiary System on the spiritual 
nature of criminals ? ’ 

GERRISH BARRETT.’” 

u Wethersfield, March 31,1837.” 

Extract of a Letter from the Chaplain to one of the Directors. 

i* 

u Wethersfield, April 25, 1837. 

11 Concerning the reformation of convicts, there seems to be two extremes which 
it were well to avoid. One extreme is reached by those who regard a man, who 
is bad enough to get to Prison, so much unlike the rest of his race, as to be be¬ 
yond all hope of reform ; or who will not allow any thing to pass for a mark of 
reform in a poor, ignorant convict, who has been all his life a slave to sin, which 
does not, in every particular, even in outward deportment, come up to the stan¬ 
dard by which he would estimate the character of a decided and consistent Chris^ 
tian, who had always been highly intellectual, sweet-tempered, and moral. The 
other extreme is reached when well-meaning men, in the fulness of their beney- 


130 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


46 


©lent feeling it may be, give full credence to all that a convict utters concerning 
his moral character. 

“ The truth seems to lie between these extremes 

‘ Media via tutissiina est 5 

“ Convicts are men, and differ in moral character like other men. Some give 
good evidence of being reformed—some doubtful evidence—and some, most mis¬ 
erable, seem to have wandered beyond the precincts of hope. 

“ Perhaps we ought to consider reformation as taking place in different de¬ 
grees : — 

“ (a.) A man may put away indolence, form habits of industry, and learn a trade, 
so that, in respect to his former practice of stealing, show himself to be entirely 
reformed after he has left Prison. I have known several men leave this Prison 
with trades learnt here, by working at which I suppose they might easily clear 
from tlnee to six hundred dollars a year. Such men might easily see that, as a 
mere matter of policy, it were better for them to work than to steal; and 1 have 
no doubt that some have desisted from criminal practices from no higher motives. 

li (//.) Fear of being again torn from iheir families and friends, and kept alone 
at night, and hard at work by day without remuneration, may operate to prevent 
some from repeating their criminal acts. 

“ (c.) Pride may be so humbled, and the stubborn will so subdued, by the strong- 
force of Prison discipline, as to remove powerful incentives to crime. 

“ (d.) Propensity to crime may grow weaker while in confinement.. 

“ (e.) Former places of temptation may not be visited, and corrupting compan¬ 
ions may not be found again. 

“ (/.) Conscience may lose, in a measure, its searing, and dethroned reason 
assert ber right to rule the body, and thus crime be prevented in future. 

“ ( g .) Or that radical, permanent reformation may take place, which results 
from those exercises in a convict’s soul which lead him to love what is right be¬ 
cause it is right, and to hate what is wrong because it is wrong. 

u The number discharged from this Prison does not greatly vary from 400. Of 
this number I should think I had, in one way and another, without making very 
particular inquiry, heard from about one quarter, exclusive of those who have 
made themselves notorious by a repetition of their criminal offences. Excepting 
the class last mentioned, I do not recollect more than three or four whose conduct 
is not represented as being better than it was before their imprisonment. 

“ The following is a specimen of the intelligence received from those who have 
been heard from since tbeir discharge from Prison :— 

“ (a.) Well married to one who knew of his having been in Prison. 

“ ( b .) Employed in a book-store in Hartford. 

“ (c.) Perhaps 15 or 20 have been solicited to go and labor for those who knew 
what their character and conduct had been in Prison. 

“ ( d .) Two, once dangerous from the effects of rum and anger, now temperate 
and harmless. 

“ ( e.) A professor of religion in the Episcopal church, and teacher in the Sun¬ 
day school. 

“ (/.) Two trusted with property to sell for others. 

“ («-.) Made profession of religion in Methodist church—a consistent, useful 
member. 

“ (//.) Member of Temperance Society—quite respectable. 

“ (i.) Heard from this week. He is teaching school—doing well. 

“ (j.) Wrote me a letter a few months ago, enclosing advertisement of a shoe- 
store which he had opened in New Haven. 

“ (k ) Several, once intemperate, now sober and industrious. 

“ (/.) Several, who used to quarrel with and abuse their families, now quiet and 
peaceable. 

“ ( m .) Several, who seldom attended church, now go regularly.” 

A paragraph from the last report of the directors will close this 
notice of the State Prison in Connecticut:— 

11 When, in connection with this prosperous condition of the financial affairs of 
the Prison, we consider that it has proved a secure place of confinement for crim¬ 
inals—not one having escaped,—that in general they have enjoyed good health, 


4? 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


131 


—that many of them have here first learned to read and write,—that they have 
been here taught useful trades,—that when sick they have had the comforts of an 
excellent Hospital, with good medical and other attendants,—and constantly had 
the advice and services of a minister of the gospel—we are at first inclined to 
regard our Penitentiary system as nearly perfect. But we should be careful not 
to be so confident of this, as to become blinded to the merits of other systems, and 
neglect to engraft their excellences upon our own.” 


State Prison at Sing Sing, N. Y. 

V 

This institution, also, has had a year of unusual prosperity. 

The number of prisoners, at the commencement of the year, was 
796; at the close, 726; showing a diminution of 70; although the 
Prison district has remained unaltered, and the population of the 
district, including the city of New York, has rapidly increased. 
Moreover, a similar diminution took place in the preceding year, 
from 843, at the commencement, to 796, at the close. As long ago 
as 1831, the number was 980, and it was then expected, and so said 
by the inspectors, that the number would soon amount to 1200, and 
1200 cells were accordingly built. The number of commitments, 
too, shows the diminution of crime. The number committed in 1832 
was 289; in 1835, 213; in 1836, 182. Crime, therefore, appears to 
be diminishing, according to the records of the Sing Sing Prison. 

The number of deaths, the last year, out of an average of 761 pris¬ 
oners, was only 11, or 1 to 69; while in the preceding year, it was 1 
to 26; and in 1833, 1 to 33, nearly. The health, therefore, of this 
Prison appears to be improving. 

The earnings of the Prison, above all expenses, amounted to 
$22,473 81, besides the sum of $9,556 40, expended for transpor¬ 
tation of convicts, for building materials, and for the support of the 
female convicts at Bellevue. This amount of earning above expenses 
does not vary materially from the last year’s results. It was then, 
and is now, exceedingly creditable to the economy, industry, and good 
management of the institution. 

Of the surplus earnings there have been expended on work done 
for the State Hall, erecting in Albany, $15,207 80, and on the Prison 
for female convicts at Sing Sing, $7,150. 

There is, besides, cash in the hands of the agent, consisting of the 
surplus earnings of this and former years, $27,404 55. 

The chaplain urges, in his report to the legislature, the importance 
of provision by law, which shall authorize the agent to employ a sub¬ 
ordinate officer as a school teacher, because there are more than one 
hundred convicts who cannot read; and also the importance of some 
provision, by benevolence or law, for the encouragement and counte¬ 
nance of reformed convicts on their discharge. 

New Female Penitentiary at Sing Sing, N. Y. 

The agent of the Sing Sing Prison, who is authorized to erect this 
new Prison, on the farm belonging to the state, in the immediate 


132 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


48 


vicinity of the Sing Sing Prison for males, says, in his last report to 
the legislature,— 

“ We have expended, during the past year, a large amount in labor in the erec¬ 
tion of a Prison for females; having employed an average of about fifty men per 
day, during the year, in cutting stone, quarrying, carting, &c., and on the build¬ 
ings, which, together with the superintendent’s salary, if the same had been em¬ 
ployed on works for sale, or on contract, would have produced the Prison $7,150. 
The number of convicts continue to decrease in about the same ratio as they have 
done for several years past, which has prevented us from putting as many men at 
work on the female Prison as we otherwise should have done. We have, how¬ 
ever, the seventy-two cells finished, and probably shall be able to get up the out¬ 
side walls and roof on. by first of June next.” 

State Prison at Auburn, N. Y. 

A good degree of prosperity has attended this institution during the 
past year. 

The number of prisoners, at the commencement, was 659; at the 
close, 652. This is a less number than the Prison contained in 1832 
and 1833. Besides, the number of commitments is less than in former 
years,—in 1833, 193; in 1834, 188; in 1835, 228; in 1836, 183. 
The records show, therefore, that crime is diminishing in the Auburn 
Prison district, although the population has greatly increased. 

It is not because more have been discharged by pardon, that the 
number of prisoners is less; for there were discharged by pardon, in 
1833, 59; in 1834, 49; in 1835, 54; in 1836, 45. 

The number of recommittals, the last year, was 14, which is the 
same as the year before, but 3 less than the number of recommittals 
in each of the years 1833 and 1834. 

The number of females committed last year was only 7; it has been 
8 annually, on an average, for 9 years preceding. 

The deaths, the last year, have been 18, which is nearly 3 per cent., 
while the average annual mortality, for 12 years preceding, has been 
only 1| per cent. The health of the institution, therefore, has not 
been as good the past year as usual. No cause is assigned for the 
difference by the physician. 

The earnings of the Prison, above all expenses, were $2,415 90. 
This is an improvement on the year preceding of a few hundred dol¬ 
lars; and it would appear a still greater improvement, if a new law 
had not more fully taken effect, requiring the agent to pay the sheriff 
for the transportation of convicts—an item of expense which has 
amounted, since the first of June, 1835, to $9,442 28. This item of 
expense, however, is one which has been many years defrayed from 
the Prison funds at Charlestown, Mass., although it has not been gen¬ 
erally defrayed from the Prison funds in other states; and there seems 
to be no special reason why this expense should be charged to the 
Prison, except that several of the new Penitentiaries have large and 
increasing surplus earnings, which ought not to accumulate at thfe 
Prison. 

There may be another good reason If it is done at the expense of 
the Prison, the best mode of doing it may be discovered, and much 
expense thus saved to the commonwealth. In Massachusetts, where 


49 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


133 


it has been done by the Prison many years, one man is constantly 
employed, who goes himself, with his own horses and wagon, to all 
the Jails in the state, and transports the convicts to the State Prison. 
The expense, last year, of transporting the convicts to Charlestown, 
the whole number being 97, was only 8781 04. At Auburn, where 
they were transported by the sheriffs, and the whole number was 183, 
less than twice the number at Charlestown, the expense appears to 
have been about 87,057 64. If, therefore, this expense is to be de¬ 
frayed by Prison earnings, it would be clearly more proper that the 
labor should be done by Prison management, and with Prison econo¬ 
my, as at Charlestown. One man, who is used to it, makes nothing 
of transporting two or three convicts alone, unattended by a guard, 
100 or 150 miles, from the county Jail to the State Prison; while an 
inexperienced high sheriff might think it necessary to take one or two 
deputies with him, to transport the same number. 

The chaplain of the State Prison at Auburn has, as usual, made a 
very valuable report to the legislature concerning his department, 
which is accompanied with a highly valuable statistical table, made 
from the records for twenty years, which must have cost him great 
labor. It is worth to the world all it cost the chaplain. We shall 
publish it entire in the Appendix.* A similar table from all the Prisons 
would be invaluable. Some of the results of Mr. Smith’s personal 
examination of prisoners are scarcely less valuable than the table which 
he has prepared from the records. They go to show the connection 
between ignorance, intemperance, want of steady home, and crime. 
Of 975 convicts personally examined by Mr. Smith, 4 had collegiate 
education, 11 academical; 260 could read, write, and cipher; 218 
could read and write only ; 219 could read only ; and 263 could not 
read the Bible. Of the same number, 362 were excessively intem¬ 
perate, and 374 moderately intemperate, i. e. 736 intemperate; 219 
temperate drinkers, and only 20 total abstinents; 589 were under the 
influence of strong drink at the time of committing crimes ; 367 had 
intemperate parents or guardians; 347 lost or left parents before 16 
years of age; 254 had followed the canals; 123 had been sailors; 99 
had been soldiers ; 317 had been gamblers ; 46 had attended Sunday 
school previous to conviction ; 42 had been habitual, daily readers of 
the Bible; 105 had committed the decalogue to memory; 20 had 
been conscientious observers of the Sabbath; 504 had been married, 
471 unmarried ; and 158 had lost their wives. 

The table from the records, prepared by Mr. Smith, shows, for the 
whole period of 20 years, from the time the Prison went into opera¬ 
tion, the number of convictions each year, the crimes, the sex, the 
color, the recommittals, the nativity, the age, the discharges, the par¬ 
dons, the deaths, the escapes. 

We regret to learn that Mr. Smith’s labors have been, in a degree, 
diminished by an affection of the lungs. The services, however, in 
the chapel and in the Sabbath school, have been regularly attended; 
and he says,— 


5 


* See Appendix. 


L 



134 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


50 


“ I have no reason to doubt that these means for enlightening and reclaiming 
the convicts have been attended with a measure of success equal to that which 
has distinguished this institution in years that are past.” 

He closes his report with an important remark, viz.— 

“ It will be seen that the whole number discharged from the Prison, exclusive 
of the deaths, is 2,183, and the second convictions 153, which leaves the reconvic¬ 
tions less by a large fraction than 1 out of 14. Such a result as this might well 
be a source of gratification, rather than of discouragement, to the friends of the 
Auburn system, especially when it is recollected that, in some of the old Prisons, 
the reconvictions, as stated in a late Report of the Prison Discipline Society, were 
1 to 4, 1 to 3, and even 1 to 2.” 


Female Penitentiary at Auburn, N. Y. 

This institution, required by law to be built as soon as the surplus 
funds of the Prison will justify it, has not yet been commenced. The 
agent says, in his report to the legislature, dated December, 1836,— 

“ In April, 1835, the legislature passed an act, making it the duty of the agent 
of each of the State Prisons in this state, to erect, on the grounds belonging to 
such Prison, buildings for the female convicts for such Prison district, and requi¬ 
ring the expense of such erections to be defrayed out of the surplus funds of such 
Prisons respectively. A compliance with the requirements of that law, by the 
agent of this Prison, was rendered wholly impracticable by the effect of another 
law, passed during the same session of the legislature, requiring the agent of the 
respective Prisons to pay to the sheriff or deputies, for transporting convicts to 
the Prisons, the fees to which they are by law entitled. The effect of this law 
was the almost entire absorption of the remains of the product from the earnings 
of the convicts, after providing for the legitimate maintenance and support of the 
Prison ; so that the surplus fund, instead of accumulating, with the prospect of 
ultimately enlarging to an amount sufficient for the construction of these author¬ 
ized and necessary additions and improvements, is actually diminishing, and the 
sum now on hand is scarcely sufficient to cover the prospective but certain increase 
of expenses, during the current year, for general support, arising from the ad¬ 
vanced prices of every article of human consumption. 

“ The necessity for the immediate erection of a building for the female convicts 
is obviated by an arrangement made last year in that department, by which they 
are confined in separate cells at night, the prominent regulations in regard to 
silence are better and more easily enforced, their condition generally far more 
comfortable, and their government less difficult to be administered, and more ef¬ 
fective in producing reformation.” 

New Penitentiary in Philadelphia. 

Another year’s experience has been had of this new system of 
Prison discipline, which consists in solitary confinement day and 
night. Its bill of mortality, its reconvictions, and its pecuniary re¬ 
sults, are not favorable. 

The average annual mortality in the new Penitentiary in Philadel¬ 
phia, for 7 years, is 3 per cent. 

The average annual mortality of the Auburn Prison, for 13 years, 
has been less than 2 per cent. 

A committee of the senate of Pennsylvania, during the last session 
appointed to visit and inquire into the condition and circumstances of 
the Eastern Penitentiary, reported on the subject of health, as fol¬ 
lows :— 


51 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


135 


11 In the Prisons at Columbus, Ohio ; at Wethersfield, Conn.; at Charlestown, 
Mass.; at Sing Sing, and at Auburn, N. Y.; and at several other Prisons and 
Penitentiaries, solitary confinement in cells is alternated with labor in the open 
air during a large portion of each day. A comparison of the bills of mortality of 
the Eastern Penitentiary with these several institutions, will show conclusively 
that the unbroken solitude of the Pennsylvania discipline does not injuriously 
affect the health of the convicts. At the Eastern Penitentiary, the deaths are two 
five tenths per cent.; at the Sing Sing Prison, four per cent.; at Auburn, two 
per cent., and so on ;—setting the question beyond the possibility of doubt, that as 
great a measure of health is preserved in the Pennsylvania Prisons, as in other 
similar institutions in the United States or elsewhere. 1 ’ 

Let us compare this report with the facts in the case, and see what 
is truth:— 

At Columbus, Ohio, in 1835, the average number of prisoners was 
231; the deaths, 6, which is 1 in 38. At Wethersfield, Conn., in 1835 
and ’36, the average number of prisoners being 204, the deaths were 
8, which is 1 in 25; while the average mortality of the 7 preceding 
years was 1 in 76;—and in the years 1836 and ’37, the average num¬ 
ber of prisoners being 204, there was but 1 death. For the whole 
period of time since the Prison was established, the average number 
of prisoners has been 184, and the average number of deaths, 3, or 
1 to 61. 

In Charlestown, Mass., in 1835, the average number of prisoners 
was 279; the deaths, 3, i. e. 1 in 53. In 11 previous years, the mortal¬ 
ity was 1 in 45. In 1836, the number of prisoners was 277; the 
deaths, 4, or 1 in 69. The average number of deaths in 17 years has 
been 1 in 56. 

At Sing Sing, N. Y., the average number of prisoners in 1835, was 
819; the deaths, 31, i. e. 1 in 26, which, for that year, was nearly 4 
per cent. 

At Auburn, N. Y., in 1835, the average number of prisoners was 
654; the deaths, 10, i. e. 1 in 65; while the average annual mortality 
for 12 years preceding was 1§ per cent., and in 10 years previous to 
1835, 1 in 56. 

Now, from all the facts above stated, there are only two, and those 
relating to Prisons for single years, which give the shadow of truth to 
the statement of the committee of the senate of Pennsylvania; while 
all the facts from all the other Prisons named by them are in direct 
contradiction to the statement which they make. 

They also make the same general statement concerning “ several 
other Prisons ” on the Auburn plan, without naming them. 

Let us begin with them, and see whether there can be any more 
truth in this part of the declaration. 

At the State Prison in Concord, N. H., the number of prisoners, in 
1835, was 82; the deaths, 1, or 1 in 82. 

At the State Prison in Windsor, Vt., the number of prisoners, in 
1835, was 120; the deaths, 2, or 1 in 60. 

In the Baltimore Penitentiary, the average number of prisoners, in 
1835, was 390; the deaths, 11, or 1 in 35. 

In the Penitentiary in Washington city, the number of prisoners, in 
1835, was 64 ; and there was no death, and there has been only one 
death since the institution was established, several years preceding. 



136 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


52 


In the new Penitentiary in Tennessee, the number of prisoners, in 
1835, was 92, This institution had been twice visited with cholera, 
of which 28 died. With the exception of these, only 2 died from its 
commencement. 

What several other Prisons on the Auburn plan, except these, could 
the committee mean? and, in the facts from them, what shadow of 
truth can be found to support their declaration, with the exception of 
one from Baltimore? 

How could they make the declaration, that 

“ A comparison of the bills of mortality of the Eastern Penitentiary with these 
several institutions, will show conclusively, that the unbroken solitude of the 
Pennsylvania discipline does not injuriously affect the health of the convicts;— 
setting the question beyond the possibility of doubt, that as great a measure of 
health is preserved in the Pennsylvania Prisons, as in other similar institutions in 


the United States ” ? 

At Columbus, Ohio, in 1835, . 1 in 38. 

At Wethersfield, Conn., for the whole term, 10 years, . . 1 in 61. 

At Charlestown, Mass., for 17 years, ..1 in 56. 

At Sing Sing, for a single year,.1 in 26. 

At Auburn, for 10 years,.1 in 56. 

At Concord, N. H., in 1835, .. 1 in 81. 

At Windsor, Vt., in 1835,. 1 in 60. 

In Baltimore, in 1835,. 1 in 35. 

In Washington city, in several years,.1 death. 


In Nashville, Tenn., except from cholera, several years, . 2 deaths. 

In the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia, from the com¬ 
mencement to the close of the year 1836, 7 years, ... 1 in 33. 

The average mortality of eight Prisons on the Auburn 

plan, 2 per cent., or..1 in 51. 

The average mortality of the new Penitentiary in Phila¬ 
delphia, for 7 years, 3 per cent., or.1 in 33. 

The recommittals in Philadelphia, compared with the whole num¬ 
ber discharged, have been 1 to 12. 

The recommittals at Auburn, of those who have been discharged 
since the present system was introduced, in 1834, have been only 1 to 
14. It is therefore less reformatory than the Auburn system. 

The earnings fall short of the expenses in the Philadelphia system. 

The earnings exceed the expenses in nearly all the Prisons on the 
Auburn plan. 

Moreover, the great point on which the friends of the Pennsylvania 
system have claimed superiority, is not tenable. The warden of the 
new Penitentiary in Philadelphia says, in his first report to the board 
of inspectors,— 

“ To effect the great objects of Penitentiary discipline, it is indispensable to prevent 
all intercourse among the prisoners. I feel, therefore, much pleasure in adding , 
that experience has convinced me that the structure and discipline of this Peniten¬ 
tiary have completely accomplished this great desideratum. Conversation and ac¬ 
quaintance are physically impracticable to its inmates .” 

And now it is found, according to the testimony of an officer who 
has been about two years connected with the institution at Pittsburg, 












53 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


137 


rebuilt on the Philadelphia plan at a great expense, that there are va¬ 
rious modes of communication between the prisoners.* 

Notwithstanding the proofs of the possibility and frequency of com¬ 
munication between the prisoners, the inspectors of the new Peniten¬ 
tiary in Philadelphia, in their last report to the legislature of Penn¬ 
sylvania, make extracts from the reports of Messrs. Beaumont and 
Tocqueville commendatory of their system, in this very respect, in 
which its friends claimed for it this great physical advantage, now 
perfectly known not to be secured. The convicts can communicate 
from cell to cell. 

In the quotation from the report of the French commissioners, just 
made, and republished by the inspectors, but not corrected by them, 
they call it “ absolute solitude .” 


* The letter is as follows which contains this testimony :— 


“ Boston, December 2, 1836. 


“ Dear Sir, 

“ In answer to your request, I make the following statement:— 

“I was an officer in the Western Penitentiary at Pittsburg, connected with the recon¬ 
struction of the cells, from April, 1833, to August, 1835, and had an opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with the whole plan, both in its construction and practical operation. Having 
daily intercourse with the warden, there was rarely any thing of moment transpired in the 
Prison, which did not come to my knowledge. Until the convicts were introduced into their 
cells, every one connected with the Prison esteemed the new system as approaching to per¬ 
fection 5 but the experiment proved, I believe, to the satisfaction of all, thai the attempt to 
prevent communication of sound was a complete failure. For myself, I consider it & phys¬ 
ical impossibility so to construct a range of cells, as to answer the purpose of constant confine¬ 
ment, with suitable apparatus for ventilation, heating, and cleanliness, without affording 
facilities for conversation between the prisoners - , and I believe this to have been the opinion 
of the warden and overseers, at the time I was connected with that Prison. For ventilation, 
there must be an opportunity for the air to pass into the cells, and to escape; and where air 
will pass, sound will pass. The prisoners in the Western Penitentiary were in the habit of 
conversing through the ventilators ; and this could not be discovered by the overseers, unless 
they were watching outside of the cells, as the sound would not communicate to the obser¬ 
vatory or the hall, where the overseers are stationed. An amusing incident happened, on 
one occasion, which will serve to illustrate the many ways of communication, which the 
ingenuity of men thus situated will contrive. A rat or mouse had been domesticated by a 
prisoner in one of the cells in the lower story. He was allowed to amuse himself in this 
way, as no harm was likely to result from it; but, very much to the surprise of the over¬ 
seers, the rat or mouse was found in the upper cell. It was afterwards ascertained that the 
prisoner in the upper cell had attached a weight to a string, and thrown it into the pipe, 
which is placed in the top of the cell to carry off foul air. This pipe communicates with the 
one that goes out of the lower cell 3 and the weight dropped down below. The prisoner in 
the lower cell lied the string to the rat, and thus he was drawn up to the second story. 

“Again, for cleanliness, there must be some contrivance for carrying off filth; and this 
furnishes another medium for communicating sound. In this Prison, large water-pipes run 
through the whole range of cells. These are designed to be kept full of water, and dis¬ 
charged once in twenty-four hours. But it is scarcely possible to keep a stop-cock so tight 
as to prevent a little leakage. If there is any sand in the water, it will prevent it from shut¬ 
ting close. The consequence is, that the pipes are never kept quite full of water, and thus a 
free communication for sound is left, through a whole range of cells. But, if this could be 
obviated, the prisoners will converse during the letting off of the water. 

“ Again, there must be some arrangement for communicating heat to all the cells from a 
common source; and wherever heat can pass, sound will pass. Here the cells are warmed 
by steam, which passes in pipes through the whole range. The expansion created by heat 
opens a crevice, where the pipe passes through the wall, sufficient to admit of the passage 
of sound. Convicts have been known to place a tin basin upon this pipe, and to hold the 
opposite end in their teeth, standing near the wall, in adjoining cells, and thus converse ycith 
comparative ease. It has been attempted to prevent this, in the last block that has been 
built, by wrapping the pipes in cloth, where they pass through the wall; but it is probable 
the heat will soon destroy the elasticity of the cloth, and leave the evil worse than before. 

“ If this communication can be of any use to the cause of Prison discipline, you are at 
liberty to make such use of it as you think proper. 

“ Very respectfully, yours, 

“HARVEY NEWCOMB.’' 


L 2 


5* 




13S 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


54 


And again, “ nothing distracts in Philadelphia the mind of the 
convicts from their meditations/’ 

In the quotations made, in the same way, from Mr. Crawford’s re- 
port, the inspectors let the same error pass uncorrected. The quota¬ 
tions are as follows:—“In the silence of the cell, contamination 
cannot be received or imparted.” And again, “ Day after day with 
no companion but his thoughts.” 

Now, if the inspectors had stated, after making these extracts, that 
these gentlemen were mistaken, in supposing that there is no commu¬ 
nication between the convicts; that they can and do communicate, 
which a recent French commissioner has found out, after coming 
across the Atlantic; it would have been a simple declaration, which 
truth requires, and concerning which it was time, in their third or 
fourth report, without waiting till the eighth, to state the simple fact. 
The opposite had been stated and published to the world, in their own 
documents, six years ago, in the first report of the warden. Why, 
then, make extracts in the eighth, showing that the error has gone the 
world over, without the slightest allusion, in any part of the report, to 
the fact that it is not true that there can be, and is, communication 
between the prisoners in the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia ? * 


New Penitentiary at Pittsburg, Penn, 

This Prison has been finished at an immense expense, and occupied 
about two years, on the plan of the new Penitentiary in Philadelphia. 

The number of prisoners, at the commencement of the last year, 
was 124; at the close, 114. Crime appears, therefore, to be dimin¬ 
ishing in Western Pennsylvania. 

The number of deaths was 3, which are attributed by the physician 
to the varioloid, which had been introduced into the Prison, and not 
to the ordinary causes of disease. The physician says,— 

“ In looking over my report for 1835, I find that I have expressed myself in 
strong terms, as to the impossibility of carrying out the design of the legislature 
in their law of April, 1829, relative to solitary confinement, without serious detri¬ 
ment to the health of the prisoners. From the experience of the year 1830, I am 
inclined to think that I placed too much stress on solitary confinement, and too 
little on the dampness of the cells which prevailed for more than one half of the 
year 1835.” 

The earnings of the Prison at Pittsburg are like those of the Prison 
in Philadelphia; nobody seems to know how they compare with the ex¬ 
penses. A committee of the legislature, appointed to examine, say in 
their report, dated March 14, 1837, at Harrisburg,— 

“ From the confused state of the accounts of the institution, it was impossible 
for the committee to ascertain the amount of productive labor done by the pris¬ 
oners, and how near the amount comes to supporting them.” 

The great point of preventing evil communication, which the archi¬ 
tect said he had effectually secured by the construction of the cells at 
Pittsburg, the committee of the legislature, in a strong commendation 


* See Hon. John R. Adan’s speech, in the Appendix. 



55 


TWELFTH REPORT— 1837. 


139 


of the Pennsylvania system, in the early part of their report, (p. 3,) 
abundantly confirm. They say,— 

(l It is the boast of Pennsylvania, that she has devised and carried into effect a 
system of Prison discipline which admirably combines the two great objects of 
punishment and reform. That this is effectually done by the system of solitary 
confinement, the committee are renewedly convinced by the result of their inves¬ 
tigations. The total deprivation of liberty, the hopeless impossibility of inter¬ 
course with the world, or even with his fellow-partners in crime ; the lonely and 
still solitude of his narrow cell, where no new object occurs on which to rest his 
eye, or to fix and amuse his mind ;—all combine to render his state of existence 
tiresome and gloomy in the extreme*” 

Now, in the very same report, on the same subject, of the same date, 
signed by the same names, (p. 4,) what is most extraordinary, in com¬ 
parison with the above, is the following:— 

“ With the most anxious regard for its complete triumph, [i. e. of the Pennsyl¬ 
vania system,] they made a protracted and scrutinizing inquiry, and take great 
pleasure in submitting, in as few words as possible, the result of their researches. 

“ The inspectors, warden, assistants, and prisoners, concurred in their state¬ 
ments upon the subjects of inquiry; and it was evident from information received 
from them, that the defects of the construction of the Prison, prevent, in a great 
measure, the possibility of strict solitary confinement, and admit of almost unlim¬ 
ited communion between the inmates of adjoining cells. 

“ Prisoners were in no instance (when the committee asked the question) igno¬ 
rant of the name, crime, sentence, time of liberation, &c., and in some instances 
able to give other information which appeared highly improper for them to 
possess, because it should only appropriately be known to the officers of the 
institution.” 

The committee then proceeded to show how this communication 
takes place. 

The system, therefore, is proved less healthy, less reformatory, more 
expensive, and now, after all, that evil communication can and does 
freely take place between the prisoners in their cells. 


New Penitentiary in Lower Canada. 


We publish the following notice a little out of order, because it is 
so much to the purpose in this place. 

It was mentioned in the Tenth Report of this Society, that the 
commissioners appointed by this province on the subject, had reported 
in favor of the Pennsylvania system. This report has since been re¬ 
versed by a special committee of parliament, who have reported in 
favor of the Auburn system. They come to this result for the follow¬ 
ing reasons:— 

1. Because they have no evidence that the Auburn is not as reform¬ 
atory in its character as the Pennsylvania system. 

2. Because they have conclusive evidence that it is more healthy. 

3. Because they believe the Pennsylvania system is injurious to the 
mind. 

4. Because of the great difference in the expense of their construc¬ 
tion. They say the cell 


In Philadelphia cost $1,648 45 
At Pittsburg, ..... 978 95 
At Charlestown, Mass,, 286 66 


The four last being on the Auburn plan, 


At Sing Sing, ...... 200 00 

At Wethersfield,. 150 86 

In Baltimore, ...... 146 32 




140 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


56 


5. Because the Pennsylvania system becomes a burthen to the 
state which adopts it, in regard to its current expenses, while the 
Auburn system is a source of revenue. 

6. Because it has been adopted by the legislature of Upper Canada, 
and, as they say, very recently by the parliament of Great Britian. 

In view of these reasons, the committee say, they have the honor 
of recommending the Auburn system for adoption. 

The above is an abstract of the report, which may be seen at length 
in the Appendix. 


New Penitentiary in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The number of prisoners in this institution has diminished from 
404 to 396. The number committed has diminished from 144, which 
was the number committed in 1835, and from 119, the average 
number committed for seven years, to 104, the number committed in 
1836. The mortality, last year, from an average of 400 prisoners, 
was only 6, i. e. 1£ per cent., showing excellent health. The 
earnings, above expenses, were $10,622 21, besides $6,333 52 paid 
on loans for money borrowed to erect buildings: making a net gain 
of $16,955 73. 

The expenditure on the new buildings for shops has amounted to 
$44,494; the sum required to complete them is about $5,506. The 
shops, when done, will be very good. 

The moral and religious instruction is this year noticed by the 
directors in their valuable report 

11 Divine worship among the prisoners has seldom been intermitted upon the 
Sabbath, for several years past, and the rudiments of learning have been taught 
upon that day with equal regularity. The religious services are performed 
through the voluntary kindness of the different clergy of the city, but more 
especially those of the Methodist Episcopal church. Several of the other de¬ 
nominations, likewise, frequently attend, to impart religious instruction and 
consolation. The Sunday school is continued, and has been for several years, by 
voluntary superintendents and teachers (C. Keener, R. Armstrong, T. Hill, 
J. Loane, and A. George, Jun.), with a zealous diligence and punctuality, which 
evince motives of the most disinterested philanthropy. The perseverance and 
regularity with which their charitable services are performed, afford the best 
assurance of their beneficial effects.” 

New Penitentiary in Washington, D. C. 

The number of prisoners in this institution, at the commencement 
of the last year, was 64; at the close 73; showing an increase of 9, 
although the number committed was 10 less than the year before. 

Of the whole number, 42 are colored, of whom 7 are females. 
More than one half the males, and all the females, are colored. 

Out of an average of 68 prisoners, not one died. There has never 
been but one death in this institution; showing most extraordinary 
health. 

The number of recommittals was 6 out of 25. Although this is 3 
less than last year, it is a bad result. 


I 


57 TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 141 

The earnings fall short of the expenses many thousand dollars. 
The sum appropriated from the United States treasury, last year and 
year before, for the support of this institution, was $22,084 73, of 
which $6,084 61 remained in the treasury unexpended, and $559 88 
in the hands of the warden. The amount received for manufactured 
articles amounted to only $3,543 37. The latter sum ought to be 
greatly increased, and the former, in the same proportion, diminished. 
Although the inspectors say that “ the labor of convicts more than pays 
the expense of food and clothing, and the earnings of this year exceed 
the earnings of last year $1,159 28,” still this is not coming up to the 
mark of the new Penitentiaries on the Auburn plan. They generally 
support themselves. Some of them do much more; but none of them 
are in a condition of greater order, cleanliness, and health, than that 
in Washington; none can boast a warden of more gentlemanly man¬ 
ners, of more estimable moral and religious character, in the public 
estimation, or of more skill and authority in the government of a 
Prison. Can he not add to the Prison under his care the important 
character of a self-supporting institution ? 

The moral and religious influence of the Sabbath school and 
preached gospel appear to be highly satisfactory to the chaplain, 
warden, and inspectors. We should be better satisfied, in this respect, 
if the recommittals were less numerous. 

The inspectors say,— 

“ Believing that the reformation of the prisoners was more an object with the 
government, than any profit which might be derived from their labor, the in¬ 
spectors have acted mainly on that principle. If this great object has not been so 
fully accomplished as could have been desired, still we hope and believe, that 
most of those who have left the institution were improved both in morals and 
industry.” 

The warden says,— 

“ Religious and moral instruction, by preaching and the Sabbath school, is 
continued to the prisoners once or more every week. My confidence in the 
usefulness of this department, I am proud to say, is not only undiminished, but 
is likely to grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength. The exer¬ 
cises have been attended with the happiest consequences, both by the instruction 
of the school and the revelation of evangelical truth. There are about twenty 
whose rapid advances in the spelling-book have been truly surprising, and two 
that have given hopeful assurances of an interest in the Divine Savior. And 
these facts, important as they are, do not alone demonstrate the usefulness of this 
branch of our system. It sheds a benignant influence upon the very order of the 
Prison; diverting the minds of the prisoners from schemes of danger, or a 
repining under their misfortunes, to nobler and more profitable thoughts; and 
not unfrequently bringing them to the sober resolution , 1 to cease to do evil,’ and 
4 learn to do well.’ ” 

The chaplain says,— 

“ My success has greatly exceeded my expectations.” 


New Penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio. 

A very favorable report, in some respects, has been received, the 
last year, from this institution; in other respects, a very unfavorable 
one. 


142 PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 58 

The earnings of the institution amounted to.$33,906 12J 

The expenses, including the cost of conviction and 

transportation of prisoners,.. 30,178 32 

Showing a net gain to the state, of.$3,727 80|r 


In this estimate of earnings, the work done for the state on the new 
Penitentiary, and on the State Lunatic Asylum now building at Co¬ 
lumbus, is estimated at 50 cents per day. On this estimate, it is far 
more economical, in the opinion of the inspectors, than to hire this 
labor at the then advanced prices. It is delightful to see the labor of 
convicts turned to the economical advancement of important public 
institutions, as in New York and Ohio. The Penitentiaries , both for 
males and females, at Sing Sing, and the State Hall in Albany, N. Y., 
as ivell as the new Penitentiary and the new Lunatic Asylum at Colum¬ 
bus, Ohio, are principally the work of convicts. In this respect, the 
last report of the Ohio Penitentiary is highly satisfactory. The west 
wing of the new Penitentiary at Columbus, which will accommodate, 
together with the east wing now occupied, 700 convicts, is nearly 
finished. One half of all the convicts have been employed in finishing 
this building, and preparing materials for the Lunatic Asylum. The 
estimated value of their labor on these noble public edifices is 
$14,043 00. The inspectors have no hesitation in saying, that the 
same labor would have cost the state, in any other mode of procuring 
it, $20,000. It is pleasant to see such results, in a pecuniary point of 
view, attending the new Penitentiary in the new and growing state of 
Ohio. 

But, in another respect, there is something more painful than this 
is pleasing. The legislature of Ohio once passed a law, providing a 
chaplain for this institution. About two years since, that good law 
was repealed. The inspectors, in their next report, expostulated with 
the legislature, and prayed for a reconsideration of this vote, urging 
the experience of all the new Penitentiaries in favor of this important 
provision of law. Still it was not done. The inspectors congratulated 
themselves with the expectation that a benevolent and Christian public 
would supply the deficiency, till the vote was reconsidered. In this, 
also, their expectations were disappointed; and this new, and in many 
respects noble state institution has remained to this time without a 
chaplain. The benevolent say it is the business of the state, and for 
the honor of the state, as well as for the security of its property, by the 
reformation of its criminal population, it should be done by the state. 
So all men will say, who have attended to the history of the Peniten¬ 
tiary system in the United States. We must believe that Ohio will 
honor itself by a provision of law for the support of a chaplain in this 
institution. If we did nci believe it, we would beg the means, from 
door to door, of providing support for such an officer. The inspectors 
say, that, 

u From personal inquiries of many of the inmates of the Prison, we find them, 
with very few exceptions, desirous to receive moral and religious instruction. 
One individual expressed a willingness to compensate for such instruction by re¬ 
maining in the service of the institution two months after the expiration of his 
sentence ; and many inquired, apparently with great anxiety, whether such in¬ 
struction will probably be afforded them. And we cannot,” say the inspectors, 





59 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


143 


** forbear to inquire, Will it not be afforded them ? It strikes us,” they add, “ as 
possible, and indeed probable, that the diseased state of mind which has induced 
suicide in two instances, within the last year, might have been prevented or cured 
by the kind attention and persuasion of a pious instructor. Our state is now 
becoming distinguished for the many benevolent institutions which it establishes 
and cherishes; and is it consistent with her high standing, when millions are 
poured into the treasury, to withhold the mere pittance required for the support 
of a teacher to guide these wretched men into the paths of virtue, and urge upon 
them all the considerations of the Christian religion to lead them to repentance 
and reformation ? ” 

The deaths in this.-institution, the last year, including the two cases 
of suicide mentioned above, out of 290 prisoners, were 11, or about 
4 per cent., which is a very unfavorable bill of mortality. How much 
of this is owing to doing violence to the nature of man, in keeping him 
shut up in a solitary cell on the Sabbath, and not suffering him to 
come forth, and enjoy the soothing and healing influences of the Sab¬ 
bath school, the sanctuary, and the public worship of Almighty God, 
no man can tell. The solitary cell of a Prison is a deadly place to put 
a man in to spend his Sabbaths. Legislators of Ohio,—ye fathers, 
ye brothers, ye sons,—will you place men , sustaining these relations, 
week after week, month after month, and year after year, in solitary 
cells to spend their Sabbaths? Will you place mothers, sisters, daugh¬ 
ters, in solitary cells to spend their Sabbaths? Will you do it? If you 
will, may the Almighty avert from you the dreadful affliction of having 
members of your own families placed in these circumstances! May 
you never know, by your own experience, what it is! May you never 
be driven to suicide by it! May you never have your flesh and blood 
dried up by the slow and consuming effects of unmitigated solitude 
and despair! 

The reformatory effects of this institution are spoken of with great 
distrust by the inspectors, in consequence of the want of moral and 
religious instruction. 

The proportion of recommittals is not stated in the report, which 
we regret, as every Prison report is very incomplete without it, for it 
furnishes the surest test by which to judge of the reformatory tendency 
of the system. 

Thus we have shown in what respects the report of the New Peni¬ 
tentiary in Ohio is very favorable, and in what it is unfavorable. 


New Penitentiary in Upper Canada. 

By special vote of the inspectors, the warden of this institution has 
furnished this Society a manuscript copy of its last report, no printed 
report having been published. For this marked attention they have 
our sincere thanks. 

The number of prisoners received, the last year, was 46, of whom 
2 were females, and 2 colored. The number previously received 
was 62. 

Whether there were any recommittals, or any deaths, is not men¬ 
tioned in the report of the inspectors. 

.£5,000 were appropriated, last year, to support the institution and 


144 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


60 


finish the buildings. But little was done, however, towards the com¬ 
pletion of the buildings, in consequence of the delay of the grant till 
near the close of the year. 

No chaplain has been yet appointed, although the law provides for 
one, and the inspectors are exceedingly anxious to find a man of suit¬ 
able qualifications. Until a chaplain is appointed, the warden and 
deputy-warden devote much attention to the instruction of the pris¬ 
oners ; and a part of two hours, every day, is occupied by the illiterate 
in learning to read. The inspectors speak of this as an excellent 
peculiarity of their system. It is so. 

And there appears to have been peculiar pains taken to ascertain 
the early habits, the degree of education, of intemperance, of Sabbath¬ 
breaking, of idleness, among the prisoners, before their arrest and 
conviction. We hope the report will be hereafter printed and pub¬ 
lished. 

We have now finished the notice which we proposed to take, in this 
Report, of the new Penitentiaries. 


3. COUNTY PRISONS AND HOUSES OF CORRECTION. 


Leverett Street Jail, Boston. 

This old Jail remains, without provision for its removal, owing, we 
believe, principally to the hardness of the times, and not to a convic¬ 
tion in any mind, that it is what it should be—a place of separation, 
silence, and supervision, where evil communication is prevented, and 
the prisoners, while in confinement, are subject to a salutary disci¬ 
pline. It was unhappily built, after the model of the old Prisons, at a 
great expense, just before the modern improvements in the construc¬ 
tion and discipline of Prisons were introduced; and the city of Boston 
has not yet arrived at that point of time, when it could conveniently 
rebuild it, and make it what it should be. One committee after 
another, of the city government, in successive years, has reported in 
favor of such a change ; and we doubt not, from the general charac¬ 
ter of the city, as well as from the analogy of all our past experience 
in this department of benevolent exertion, that the time is not distant 
when this good work will be done. 

The course of the city government is seen in the following docu¬ 
ments :— 

1. Report and Resolves of July 21, 1836. 

“In Common Council, July 21,1836. 

“ Mr. Edmands, in behalf of the joint committee on the subject of removing 
the location of the Jail, &c., submitted the following report and resolutions, which 
were read, and the resolutions passed to a second reading. The report, resolu¬ 
tions, and accompanying documents, were then ordered to be printed for the use 
of the council. 

RICHARD G. WAIT, Clerk C. C. 


Attest, 


61 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


145 


“ The committee appointed to examine the Court House, old House of Correc¬ 
tion, Jail and land belonging to the same, situated on Leverett Street, and to 
report if in their opinion it is advisable to sell, alter, or dispose of the whole, or 
any part, of the same, have considered the subject, and report,— 

“ That the building now used for a Jail was erected, as it is well known, be¬ 
fore the public attention had been arrested by the startling but incontrovertible 
statements made in regard to the enormous evils connected with the Prisons of 
our land. It is constructed according to the notions in regard to Prison discipline 
which then prevailed. But reason, united with experience, has since that time 
demonstrated that another mode of construction is indispensable, if we would pre¬ 
serve our Prisons from being seminaries of vice, and render them what they ought 
to be— schools of reform. 

“It is of the first importance to notice that the inmates of the Jail can, and ha¬ 
bitually do, have intercourse with each other by conversation. This evil cannot 
be suppressed by any vigilance of the officers; and the nature and tendency of 
these communications need not be here dwelt upon. When it is considered, 
that, in a Prison like this, there are confined, for various terms, males and females, 
—debtors and criminals,—novitiates and proficients,—those who are convicted, 
and those who are only suspected,—the evils which are likely to flow from an 
•intercourse such as has been alluded to, will be felt by all who will reflect. Is it 
matter of wonder if some, who might be reclaimed under another system, are, 
under this system, lost forever? Facts are not wanting fully to establish the posi¬ 
tion, that some, who have been confined for a first offence in early life, have come 
forth established in the knowledge of iniquity, and resolutely determined in its 
pursuit all their days. Your committee forbear to press the subject in this form 
any further; they are fully persuaded that the experiment which has been made 
at the House of Correction, and which experiment is now being carried out by the 
extension, under the authority of the city government, of that establishment, has 
fully answered public expectation, and set the matter at rest, that economy , hu¬ 
manity, and morality, demand an alteration in the construction of Boston Jail. In 
repeated visits, we have found nothing of which to complain in regard to the con¬ 
dition of the apartments, or the conduct of the officers connected with this Prison; 
and every facility has been freely afforded, in visiting and examining the Prison, 
which we could desire. 

u Your committee having fully settled in their own minds the necessity of hav¬ 
ing a Prison of a different construction, it remains for them to state their opinion 
as to its proper location. Shall it be in Leverett Street, or elsewhere ? The land 
in Leverett Street has become very valuable, near the centre of business, amid a 
crowded population; it comprises about forty-three thousand feet, as appears by 
the plan, and would now find a ready sale at a good price. There are, as your 
committee believe, great advantages in having all the buildings of this nature, 
belonging to the city, near to each other; and they are of opinion that the land 
on Leverett Street should be sold, together with the dwelling-house and Court 
House, and that there should be erected at South Boston a new Jail and a keeper’s 
Louse. The materials of the present Jail and old House of Correction could be 
removed and used in the new Jail. The labor of the prisoners in the House of 
Correction might be made available in such an operation to good effect and with 
economy. The estimate which has been made states the expense of the necessary 
buildings at about twenty-four thousand dollars. 

“ After deducting this sum from the sum which it is presumed the estate on 
Leverett Street would command, there would, it is believed, remain a sum suffi¬ 
cient to pay the expense of erecting a City Hall on the site of the Court House 
about to be vacated on Court Square, provided the city council should determine 
to rear such a building, which the experience of every day shows the need of for 
the accommodation of the public, and the securitj' of the records of the county and 
the city. 

“ If the House of Correction and Jail were both at South Boston, full employ¬ 
ment might be afforded for the labors of a chaplain in these two institutions. 
Such labors are needed. Among such numbers as will from time to time become 
inmates of these establishments, there will doubtless always be some of whom the 
best results might be looked for from the labors, admonition, and advice of a ju¬ 
dicious, pious, prudent man. Your committee beg to press this subject upon the 
notice of the council, as a subject less regarded hitherto by far than its importance 
requires, whether we consider the well-being of the community or of the prisoner. 

6 M 


14G 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


62 


With the distracted to soothe, the ignorant to instruct, the penitent to guide, the 
hardened to reprove, and the dying to console, an ample field is spread out before 
the man of prayer, patience, and philanthropy. Such men should be sought out 
and employed at all Prisons, but especially in Prisons such as these, where there 
are to be found many, who though but young in years, yet are they already de¬ 
scending the declivities of perdition. 

“ The judges of the Municipal Court and of the Police Court, tpgether with the 
sheriff, have been consulted in regard to the removal of the Jail. Some difference 
as to what may be found to be the practical evils of removal exists among these 
gentlemen. A paper from the sheriff, and a letter from the Hon. Judge Thacher, 
accompany this report, and will serve to explain their views. 

“ On the whole, your committee will not deny that perhaps there are some ob¬ 
stacles which may impede for a time this enterprise; there may be even some not 
now discovered by any one; but the object we propose is good, it is of great im¬ 
portance, and will receive the favorable consideration of every humane and patri¬ 
otic man. With such aid all obstacles may be removed, every difficulty will 
vanish; and we will not resist the conviction that another year shall not pass 
without its commencement,and we hope its completion. With these views, your 
committee respectfully ask leave to recommend the adoption of the subjoined 
resolutions. 

' “ For the committee, 

“ SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG, Chairman. 

11 July 21, 1836. 

u Resolved, That it is incumbent upon the city government to provide a Jail so 
constructed that each prisoner may be separately accommodated. 

11 Resolved, That it is expedient to build such a Jail on the city’s land at South 
‘Boston. 

“j Resolved, That it is expedient to dispose of the estate on Leverett Street, as 
soon as the new Jail can be prepared. 

“ Resolved, That it is the duty of the city government to provide for the regular 
daily performance of chaplain’s services at the House of Correction and Jail, 
whenever they shall be so situated as to allow of it.” 

2. Extract from the present Mayor's Inaugural Address. 

11 The next subject to which I think it desirable your attention should be drawn, 
is one which was discussed in the last city council, viz. the removal of the present 
Jail in Leverett Street. There can be little doubt that this measure would be 
expedient, on principles of economy, as the estate on Leverett Street might prob¬ 
ably be sold for more than a new Jail would cost. But it is also recommended by 
considerations derived from the uses to which the County Jail is applicable, and 
the improvements in the construction of such buildings, which have been adopted 
since the erection of those buildings on Leverett Street. With a Jail constructed 
on a plan embracing all the improvements which recent times can furnish, the 
system of imprisonment, and of correctional discipline in use among us, would, in 
theory, be nearly perfect. For offenders of the worst character, the State Prison 
affords a proper place of punishment; for those of inferior degrees of guilt, the 
House of Correction offers a suitable degree and duration of penitentiary disci¬ 
pline ; and for the youthful offender, the House of Reformation provides that edu¬ 
cation, and correctional yet paternal discipline, which is the best security against 
future delinquency. If a better place of confinement were provided, therefore, 
for persons arrested but not convicted, and for the few others who, under existing 
laws, are so unfortunate as to be deprived of their personal liberty.—a place com¬ 
bining the necessary security with that degree of comfort which the forlorn situa¬ 
tion of those whose innocence is to be presumed till their guilt is proved, seems to 
require,—there would be little more to ask in relation to the subject.” 

3. Report and Resolves of February 20, 1837. 

11 Boston, City Council, February 20, 1837. 

“ The joint committee to whom were referred the subject of the land and build¬ 
ings belonging to the city on Leverett Street, and the report and resolutions now 
on file relative to said subject, having considered the matter, ask leave to report,— 


63 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


147 


“ That they have weighed, as carefully as they were able, the several arguments 
and suggestions which have been used both for and against the removal of the 
Jail from Leverett Street to Bellevue;* and, after the best consideration in their 
power, they have been unable to regard the additional inconvenience, risk, or ex¬ 
pense, attending the conveyance of prisoners to Bellevue, as a counterbalance to 
the evils arising from the uninterrupted communication of the prisoners in the 
present Jail, the impure air, the cold, the heat, to which they are either constantly 
or occasionally subjected. The committee cannot but consider it also as a great 
desideratum in a Jail, that an opportunity should be afforded for employment, if 
desired by the prisoner, for religious exercises on the Sabbath at least, and for 
s?iitable care of the sick. In the present Jail, all these, if not impossible, are so 
difficult to be obtained, as to render it in the highest degree expedient, in the 
opinion of the committee, that a new building should be erected for the purpose. 
They concur entirely with the views so strongly expressed on these points in the 
report of the committee of the city council of last year, who had the subject under 
consideration. 

“ The expense of the proposed alteration has been also carefully considered by 
the committee, and they have reason to believe that it would be a judicious meas¬ 
ure, in point of economy, as well as the proper accommodation of the persons 
confined. It seems to them probable that the estate and buildings on Leverett 
Street could be sold for a sum not less than $60,000, while a new Jail, with all the 
accommodations which your committee deem necessary, could be erected for 
something less, perhaps, than $40,000 ; and if the labor of the convicts in the 
House of Correction can be applied, it will come far short of this sum. As the 
committee, however, have experienced the uncertainty of previous estimates, 
even when carefully made, they have thought it prudent to name a larger sum in 
the order which they propose to the city council. 

“ In conformity with these views, and to bring the subject directly to the de¬ 
cision of the city council, the committee offer the following orderg. 

• il For the committee, 

1 SAML. A. ELIOT. 

11 Ordered , That-be a committee with full power to sell the 

land and buildings belonging to the city on Leverett Street on such terms and 
conditions as may seem to them expedient. 

“ Ordered , That the same committee be instructed to erect a suitable building 
for a Jail, and a house for the jailer, in conformity with the views expressed in 
this report, and in that of the committee of last year, on some convenient part of 
the land belonging to the city, now called Bellevue; Provided the expense of such 
building shall not exceed the sum of forty-five thousand dollars. 

“ Ordered, That provision be made for this expenditure in the appropriation bill 
for the next financial year.” 


House of Correction at South Boston. 


The following communication from the obliging superintendent 
brings down the history of the establishment to the present time. 
The statistics here furnished, compared with those contained in the 
communication of the same gentleman, in the Eleventh Report of 
the Prison Discipline Society, make a very perfect history from the 
records, from the commencement to the present time. 


i'. 


Sir, 


“ In compliance with 
statements:— 


“ South Boston, June 5,1837. 
your request, I beg leave to submit the following 


\ 

The name given by the board of aldermen, at their last meeting, to the lands of the city 
at South Boston. J 





148 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


64 


“Number of Prisoners in Confinement May 1, 1837. 


White males,.145 

Colored males,. 13 

Total number males,.158 


White females,. 59 1 

Colored females,. 10 

Total number females,. 


69 


u 


Whole number of prisoners in confinement,.227 

Number of Commitments during the year ending May 1, 1837. 


White males— 

Committed by M. C.23 

“ “ P. C.335 

Colored males— 

Committed by M. C. 3 

“ “ P. C.22 


Total number males,.383 


White females— 

Committed by M. C. 9 

“ “ P. C.165 

Colored females— 

Committed by M. C. ... 1 

“ P. C. 21 


a 


Total number females,.196 


Total number committed,.579 


First time, 

Second “ 

Third “ 

Fourth “ 

Fifth “ . 6 

Sixth “ ........ 6.6 

Seventh “ .4.3 


Males. Females. 

. 2 _ 1 

. 1 . 2 

,_4.12 

84 87 

84 

Total number recommitments, .171 


u Number of Recommitments in the year ending May 1, 1837. 

Males. Females. 

26.26 

19.16 

9.. 8 

7.8 

5 


Eighth time,. 

Ninth “. 

Ten or more times, 


“ Foreigners committed during the year, 284; Americans, 295; total, 579. 

11 Number of Deaths, 7, persons aged and infirm, with worn-down constitutions. 


11 Causes of Commitment of those remaining May 1, 1837. 


11 Males. —Common and notorious 
thieves, 2; felonious assault, 1; assault, 

1; assault on a child ten years old, and 
attempt to commit rape, 1; adultery, 1; 
larceny, 49; larceny in a dwelling- 
house, 6; common drunkards, 64 ; com¬ 
mon drunkards and vagabonds, 5 ; vaga¬ 
bonds, 11 ; lascivious and common 
drunkard, 1; resisting constable, 3; 
forgery, 1; escaping from the House 
of Correction, 2; lunatic, 10.—Total 
number males, 158. 

“ The Prisoners remaining May 1, 

“Males. —Cutting stone, 40; black¬ 
smiths, 6; workmen in brass and nail 
foundery, 16; hat-shop, 8; tailors, 2; 
shoemakers, 4 ; bakers, 2; stone-cutters, 
masons, blacksmiths, &c. employed on 
the West Wing Prison, 20; carpenters 
and laborers at the House of Reforma¬ 
tion, 20; invalids through age or sick¬ 
ness, unable to perform hard labor, 


“ Females. —Passing counterfeit mon¬ 
ey, 1 ; larceny in a dwelling-house, 1; 
larceny, 15; wanton and lascivious, 10 ; 
common drunkards and vagabonds, 3; 
night-walkers, 3; common drunkards 
and night-walkers, 5; keeping a brothel, 
2; vagabond, 1; common drunkards, 
23; escaping from the House of Cor¬ 
rection, 1; lunatics, 4.—Total number 
females, 69. 


1837, were employed as foil ores :— 

being employed in garden, picking wool, 
attending Prison, yard, lunatics, and 
hospital, 23; lunatics and idiots, 12; 
sick in hospital, 5.—Total, 158. 

“ The females were employed in 
making jackets, pantaloons, and shirts, 
on contract, Prison garments, cooking 
for Prison, domestics in master’s house, 
and binding hats and shoes. 


“ By comparing this with former reports, it will be seen that the number of 
foreigners sentenced is still increasing, while that of Americans is diminishing. 












































65 


TWELFTH REPORT-— 1837. 


149 


The decrease of Americans would be still greater, were it not for the law which 
authorizes the committing of lunatics to the House of Correction. 

11 1 am yours, respectfully, 

“CHAS. ROBBINS, 

“ Master of the House of Correction." 

The following remarks on this house, from a committee of the city 
government, signed by Moses Grant, chairman, in December, 1836, 
are, in our opinion, perfectly just, and entitled to great considera¬ 
tion :— 

u House of Correction .—The good order, cleanliness, admirable discipline, and 
industry, so much improved in past years in this establishment, continue the 
same. The accommodations are insufficient for the number of prisoners confined 
there, and the west wing, now vacated by the juvenile delinquents, ought to be 
fitted with all convenient despatch, to conform to the east wing; arrangements 
for which have already been made. 

“ While your committee are aware that the prospect of moral reformation with 
many of the unhappy persons who are here in confinement is unpromising, yet 
they are impressed with the solemn duty of affording to such the best means of 
instruction and reformation to a greater extent than is now the case. Many of 
the prisoners are young, some have sentences for years, and all would be more or 
less benefited by daily religious exercises, judicious moral instruction, and kind 
counsel. The benefit of such a course will not be doubted by any who are 
acquainted with the labors of the chaplain of the Prison at Charlestown, where 
reformation would seem less promising. The able superintendent of the House 
of Correction is of opinion, that nothing is more wanting in the institution, than 
a resident chaplain and instructor ; and so convinced are your committee of the 
soundness of his view, that they hope provision will soon be made for such a 
person, to give his whole time to the Welfare of the inmates.” 

We are happy to add, that the new block of 200 cells in the west 
wing is now, May, 1837, hastening to its completion. 


House of Correction for Middlesex Co., Mass., at East 

Cambridge. 

This is a wretched place,—almost as bad as the old State Prison, 
with its crowded night-rooms, and immense and unrestrained evil 
communication at night, from the very nature of the case, from the 
construction of the building, and the number of inmates, old and 
young, men and women,—perfectly known and felt to be, by the 
keeper, the sheriff, and the county commissioners, an intolerable 
nuisance, to be endured no longer than is necessary to erect a new 
building, without which it is impossible to remedy the evil. The 
county commissioners have procured a very perfect plan of a new 
building, and have resolved to build with all possible despatch. It is 
earnestly hoped, that the want of means will not delay the building 
operations till another season. It will be perfectly understood, that 
no blame is attached to the sheriff and keeper in the above remarks. 
The fault is in the buildings, which admit of no remedy. 

House of Correction and County Prison at Worcester, 

Mass. 

These institutions being combined, and the old Jail demolished, 
the town and county of Worcester have reason to be well satisfied 
6* M2 



150 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


66 


with the results of experience, under this new and economical 
arrangement. It is a vast improvement from the state of things 
which pained the eye, and some of the other senses, in the old Jail in 
that beautiful village, a few years ago. The number of inmates, 
since the union, is not much greater than it was in each establishment 
before they were united. Besides, cleanliness, supervision, silence, 
industry, economy, and, in general, good management, characterize 
the plan at present; which could not be said of the old Jail. But, 
notwithstanding the above, which is intended, as far as it goes, for 
strong commendation, there is room for improvement in regard to 
moral and religious instruction. This is felt by the keeper : and we 
think we are not mistaken in saying that he would be glad of assist¬ 
ance in this department from the humane and good among the clergy 
and others in Worcester, particularly on the Sabbath, in extending 
the blessings of the gospel to the inmates of the Prison under his 
care. Let the benevolent and faithful friends of the Savior, in that 
beautiful village, make the experiment of trying to do good at the 
Jail and House of Correction, on the Sabbath, and see if the keeper 
does not soon open the door and prepare the way. 

House of Correction in New Bedford, Mass. 

We have, favorable accounts of the improvements in regard to 
cleanliness and discipline which have taken place in this establish¬ 
ment, under the new jailer, since a bad name was given to it in a 
former Report of this Society. We are much more happy in making 
a trifling contribution to sustain the general reputation which it now 
enjoys, than we ever were in exposing and giving public notoriety to 
the abuses which existed in former years. We have still no evidence 
that there is not room for improvement in regard to moral and religious 
instruction, and that the keeper would not cheerfully open the doors 
for Christians and ministers, on the Sabbath, to come in freely, for 
the purpose of doing good to the prisoner. We have received some 
pledges on this subject, which we hope will be, if they have not 
already been, fully redeemed. No one, concerning whom it can be 
said with truth, will be unwilling to hear the Savior say, in the day 
of judgment, “I was in Prison, and ye visited me.” 

New County Prison in Hartford, Conn. 

By the politeness of Alfred Smith, Esq., to whom the county of 
Hartford, the state of Connecticut, and the public generally, are 
under great obligations, for the attention and time which he has 
devoted to the object of having a good model County Prison con¬ 
structed in the city of Hartford, we have been favored with a drawing 
of this Prison, and a description, from which one like it may be built, 
and a communication, containing much valuable information concern¬ 
ing the history of crime, imprisonment for debt, and Prison discipline, 
in the county of Hartford, during the last eight years. The com¬ 
munication from Mr. Smith here follows; and the plan and description 


67 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


151 


of the new Prison may be found in the Appendix. We consider this 
the best model County Prison in the country. 

11 Hartford, 2d March , 1837. 

“ Dear sir, 

11 From June, 1827, to March, 1835, 386 prisoners were confined in 
the County Jail here, the major part being persons detained for trial, the residue 
under sentence for minor offences. The average was 50 persons a year, confined 
for crime, or to be tried for crime. The time of confinement varied from a few 
days to two or three and, rarely, six months. The average was four and a half 
weeks to each of the 386 prisoners. Part of them were discharged on the 
expiration of their sentence, part were not brought to trial, or were acquitted, two 
were executed, and the rest sent to the State Prison at Wethersfield. 

“ The number of debtors brought to Jail, during the same period of seven years 
and nine months, was 1121, but few of whom were confined within the Prison, 
most of them being bailed out, and living and lodging, as our laws permit, any 
where in the city, at their pleasure. 

At times, the number in Prison is very small. Often, it is from 6 to 10 or 12, 
rarely 15 or 20; and once only, (in 1834,) 30 prisoners were confined in this Jail at 
the same time. 

“ Amongst the prisoners are old and young, male and female, white and colored, 
petty trespassers and pilferers, and adroit and daring villains, incendiaries, house¬ 
breakers, counterfeiters, murderers, &c. Some were insane, others weak almost 
to idiocy. This state has no Hospital for the confinement of persons acquitted on 
the ground of insanity, and such persons can only be sent to the County Jails. 

“ The old Jail had a tavern under the same roof. The building formed a 
corner, by two public streets, and was without any enclosure ; contained seven 
Prison rooms, large and small, which were approached by dark and crooked 
passages, and which enabled Teller and Caesar (confined for murder) to lock in 
the keeper and Iris guard, to get from the Prison into the house • and, but for a 
timely rally of the neighborhood, they would have escaped. 

“ The old Prison was warmed by stoves in the rooms, and was formerly burnt. 
An insane female prisoner, excited by some mockery of persons outside, kindled 
the fire and perished in the flames. 

u By means of strings let down from the Prison windows, files, saws, and other 
tilings, could be, and often were, conveyed to prisoners. 

“ Your acquaintance with Prisons will enable you to perceive, at a glance, the 
means by which the defects of the old Prison are avoided or remedied. The 
County Jail has no guard or night-watch, like a State Prison. The grated door 
and window (i and m) are intended to enable the keeper or his assistant to 
inspect the Prison, and hear any noise therein, by night and day, and whether in 
his office or bedroom, -without being obliged to enter the Prison. The cells are 
large enough to work in, and light enough. The area would be a safe place to 
employ some of the prisoners, who might be overlooked from the office. In a 
County Jail, a keeper, with some mechanical trade, could employ his time 
profitably, and might use his office to work in. 

“ The new Prison lot contains about two acres, bounded south and west by 
Little River, north by a highway, east by private property. The house fronts 
towards the north, is set back 3o feet from the road, and there is room for ample 
Prison yards, should such be required. 

“ Double doors, from paving to ceiling, are to be put across the north area, 
between m and n, and single doors across the south area, to close and serve as 
partitions in winter, and throw entirely open in summer. Their use is to save 
fuel and warming, when only one side of the Prison is occupied, as there are 
generally fewer than 16 prisoners confined at once. 

“ The Prison rooms in the house part ( t , u, v ) are intended for debtors, or 
females, or sick, or insane, as occasion may require. 

“ You inquire if any improvements have occurred to me. No material ones in 
the plan, for this county and location. I think it would be more convenient to 
have the Prison windows rise and fall by weights, instead of opening in halves 
from top to bottom, although the latter opens twice as much of the area to the 
open air. — Some might prefer to place the first floor of the cells on a level with 
the floor of the keeper’s office,—thus giving all the stairs to the second story of 
cells. Something may depend on the site. In our case, it diminished the ex- 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


152 


68 


pense, to keep the floors down; and perhaps the keeper has both stories of cells 
more perfectly under his observation, as they are here arranged, than if the first 
floor of the cells were brought up to the level of the keeper’s office floor. 

“ The cells are of brick, with stone caps and sills. A rabbit is formed for the 
door by throwing eight inches, of the twenty of brick-work, forward two inches. 
The cell doors shut twelve inches within the face of the wall, and open outward. 
I should prefer stone jambs, and think that the expense need not be much 
increased. I enclose a form of stone jambs, which can be varied so as to make 
the front of the cells nearly as strong as solid stone-work; and a grated door of 
equal dimensions would admit eight or ten per cent, more light, if fitted to a 
rabbit cut in stone jambs, than where they project, like ours, two inches. 

“ The new Jail and County House were erected by Contract, at an agreed price 
of rather less than 10,300 dollars, exclusive of Prison irons. The weight and 
cost of these is not yet entirely ascertained. They will probably amount, in¬ 
cluding doors, grates, sliding-bars, levers, locks, bedsteads, &c., to about 4,000 
dollars more; besides which, there are wells, vaults, furniture, &c. 

“ I enclose the drawing and description* which you requested, and expect soon 
to convey them by a private hand. You can use the whole or part, and if any 
thing material is omitted, I will endeavor to supply it, when pointed out. 

“ With great respect and regard, 

“Your obedient servant, 

“ALFRED SMITH.” 


New County Prison in Philadelphia. 

We are sorry to find the following account of abuses in this new 
institution, published in an official document from a committee of the 
legislature, February 14, 1837—Mr. M’Cleland, chairman —sorry, 
that the abuses exist; glad, that the committee had the independence 
to publish them. 

“ It was also made a part of the duty of your committee to visit the Moyamen- 
sing, or, to speak more properly, the Philadelphia County Prison. This duty 
your committee have likewise performed, and gave to this institution all the at¬ 
tention and time which their various duties allowed. Your committee can say 
that, after a careful personal inspection and examination of the discipline and 
economy of the Prison, they were unable to discover any thing which required 
or called for amendment. Every regulation of the Prison and prisoners appears 
to be reduced to a perfect system and order. Your committee took occasion, both 
in the presence and absence of the officers of the Prison, to inquire freely of the 
prisoners and convicts, as to their mode of treatment, both in sickness and health, 
and have the pleasure to report, that they agreed, with a unanimity scarcely to be 
expected, that in no situation had they any right to complain. To this general 
reply, truth compels your committee to mention one exception. At the extreme 
end of one of the corridors, your committee were introduced into what was called 
the dungeon , or a place for the correction of the refractory prisoners and convicts. 
In this place they found a negro boy, apparently about the age of seventeen, who, 
your committee believe, was an untried prisoner, and was Confined on a charge 
of larceny. This prisoner was loud in his complaints—said he was chained to the 
floor, had no means of exercising himself, and that the dungeon was so cold that 
his feet were frozen: this he asserted so often, that your committee directed his 
feet to be exposed, when it was discovered that, although not literally frozen, yet 
they were so very cold as to render his situation in this respect quite painful. 
The officers of the Prison, in reply to this, said that it was in his power to raise 
the temperature of the dungeon at any time, so as to make it comfortable. This 
no doubt was the case; but your committee are not certain that this boy knew of 
the mode by which this was effected. He further said he had not been visited by 
any one for two days : this, however, was denied by the physician of the Prison, 
who asserted he had recently been to see him. Your committee could say, then, 
that, with this one exception, they were perfectly satisfied with the manner in 


* See Appendix for plan and description. 



69 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


153 


which the prisoners and convicts were treated; and, in regard to this case, your 
committee would wish to be understood as expressing no opinion. The whole 
story of the prisoner was contradicted by the officers, who said he was so obstinate 
and refractory as to occasion them much trouble, and had compelled them to 
resort to punishment. 

“ When the resolution directing the appointment of your committee was before 
the house, it was asserted by gentlemen conversant with the manner in which 
commitments were ffiade to this Prison, that great abuses existed and were daily 
practised in this respect; that persons were committed there, not for the punish¬ 
ment of crime, but for the purpose of extracting from them or their friends the 
commitment fees, and were in all cases released upon paying or securing the pay¬ 
ment of these fees. The mere examination of the commitments furnishes sufficient 
evidence of the correctness of this charge, independent of the fact, that the officers 
of the Prison, and others conversant with the matter, (with whom your committee 
consulted,) admitted the same to be true. 

“ It will be seen from a letter written by Dr. Peltz, physician to the Prison, 
that, from the 1st of June, till the 25th of December, 1836, there were committed 
to Prison, and discharged, as untried prisoners and vagrants, to the number of 
2,343 prisoners. There is certainly something wrong in this, but your committee 
are not prepared at present to suggest the remedy.” 


4. HOUSES OF REFUGE FOR JUVENILE DELINQUENTS, AND 

THE FARM SCHOOL. 

House of Reformation at South Boston. 

The new and beautiful building for the accommodation of this insti¬ 
tution, was finished and occupied in December, 1836. The directors 
have unanimously voted to extend its benefits to colored children as 
well as others. 

The number of inmates, on the 29th of May, according to a com¬ 
munication obligingly furnished by the superintendent, Mr. Francis 
C. Whiston, (no report having yet been published, which we sincerely 
hope will not be true another year,) was 70 boys, and 18 girls—a larger 
number than have been in the house since 1S33. 

The age of the Boys was as follows :—between 8 and 10, 3 ; be¬ 
tween 10 and 12, 10 ; between 12 and 14, 20 ; between 14 and 16, 
24 ; between 16 and 18, 11 ; between 18 and 21, 2; total, 70. 

Their nativity :—born in the United States, 52; in the British 
Provinces, 8; in Ireland, 9 ; in England, 1 ; total, 70. 

They were committed , by the Police Court, 66; by the Municipal 
Court, 4 ; total, 70. 

Their crimes : — larceny, 33 ; stubbornness and disobedience, 21 ; 
vagrancy, 15; common drunkenness, 1 ; total, 70. 

The number committed in the year ending May 25, 1837, was 35 ; 
of whom 29 were from the Police Court, and 6 from jhe Municipal 
Court. There were apprenticed, during the same period, to farmers, 
S ; to various mechanical trades, 7 ; to sea-faring life, 4 ; placed with 
friends on trial, or conditionally discharged, 7; escaped from the 
house, and not yet apprehended, 2 ; deceased, 1. 

The Girls were all between the ages of 10 and 18 ; all born in the 
United States, exceptS; all committed by the Police Court, except 1 , 
—for larceny, 4; stubbornness and disobedience, 8; wanton and las- 


154 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


TO 


civious conduct, 3; vagrancy, 2; obtaining property by false pre¬ 
tence, 1. There were received in the year ending May 25, 1837, 5; 
discharged of age, 4; placed in families as domestics, 6. 

The health of the institution, during the year, has been, with a few 
slight exceptions, uniformly good. The single death was of a boy 
constitutionally consumptive, of consumption. 

The moral and religious instruction has been attended with more im¬ 
portant and obvious benefit, than for many years. 

We repeat our hope and expectation, that this institution will now. 
like kindred institutions, publish in detail an Annual Report. We 
deem it of great importance to the institution and to the world. 


Boston Farm School. 


The following account of a visit to the Farm School may be as 
satisfactory to the friends of this Society as any thing which could be 
prepared. It was first published in the Daily Advertiser. We repub¬ 
lish it, because it contains so full an account of the institution, and 
we know it to be true. The school is on a beautiful island, of 120 
acres, in the Boston harbor, about four miles from the State House, 
and in full view from it, in a south-easterly direction. 

“ I visited the Farm School, in April, 1837, in company with the president of 
the institution, and several of the directors. 

“ School-room. We found the boys in the school-room, except six who were 
employed in house-work. The school-room is in the second story of the east 
wing. It occupies the whole story, and therefore can be well lighted and aired. 
It has three windows on each of three sides, in each of which are two sashes of 
sixteen lights of 8 by 12 glass, opening both at the top and bottom, so that the 
construction of the room is as favorable as could be desired in regard to light and 
air, except that there should have been—what there are not—permanent ventila¬ 
tors. For want of these, the air was not good when we entered the room, and did 
not become so till a number of windows had been opened both at the top and bot¬ 
tom. This may be thought a small matter, but not so when 106 boys, with their 
teachers,'have it for the breath of life from six to eight hours per day. The di¬ 
mensions of the school-room are altogether favorable, i. e. about 60 feet in length, 
36 feet in width, and 12 feet in height, which space, being lighted by nine large 
windows, three on each of three sides, makes a school-room, in all respects except 
in regard to the permanent ventilators, of the best description. Nothing better 
could be asked if this improvement was made. The number of boys in the school¬ 
room, at the time of our visit, was 106. 

“Their dress was a good, strong, warm, mixed cloth, with shoes and stockings, 
a large apron, and a white collar tied with a black riband. This was said to be 
the common week-day dress, with the addition of the collar and riband. It was 
uniform, suitable in quality, and in good order. This clothing, including the 
shoes, was mostly made by the boys. 

“ Their health appears to be excellent; no boy being in the hospital at the time 
of our visit, and no one having been there since November last. The personal 
appearance of the boys was good : their eyes, skin, and soundness of body, indi¬ 
cated good fare. 

11 Their deportment showed that they were well governed. It was remarked, 
after the visitors had been two hours in the school-room, that no one of them saw 
a boy whisper to another boy during the examination of the classes. It was per¬ 
fectly evident that the boys at the Farm School had learnt to obey and behave 
with propriety. I do not recollect that even a look was required from the teacher 
to secure good behavior for the time being. Correct deportment was a matter of 
habit. The examination of the five classes of 106 boys, in reading, spelling, arith¬ 
metic, geography, singing, and speaking, was exceedingly prompt and satisfac- 


71 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


155 


tory. The teacher, Mr. Hyde, has done a great and good work in the school 
during the last six months. 

“ The division of time, during the winter, has been nearly as follows :—Rise at 
sunrise, and go to bed at 8 o’clock. Attend prayers half an hour after rising, and 
before going to bed. Attend school from 9 to 12, from 2 to 5, and from dark 
till prayer-time. Get their meals and play the rest of the time, except a class of 
boys who make the clothing and shoes, and help to do the house-work. There 
has not been much work done during the winter season. Among farmers, the 
winter season is the time for school; so it is at the Farm School. If the boys shall 
do as well on the Farm in the summer as they have done in the school during the 
winter, Capt. Chandler will not want much hired help. The superintendent has 
not put in the plough yet, but the boys showed us how they would sow the seed 
broadcast as soon as the ground was ready, which was a cheerful close of the 
examination. 

“The dining-room is directly under the school-room, of the same dimensions, 
i. e. about GO feet by 36, less height by 3 feet—occupying the whole wing in the 
first story, lighted by nine large windows, three on each of the three sides, and 
therefore sufficiently well lighted and aired. 

“The furniture , and the arrangement of it in the dining-room, were not so neat, 
simple, and uniform, as they ought to be, to give every thing the appearance and 
beauty of order. In this respect, it does not appear as advantageously as the 
school- room. Very much depends, in such an institution, upon the fixtures and 
furniture, in giving the appearance of order, the movements of order, and the fa¬ 
vorable results of order in forming the character. Successive rows of tables, of 
the same height, length, and color, arranged across the room opposite the entrance, 
with seats on one side only, so that the boys should all face the door, with a space 
to move up and down in the centre and on each side-wall, would add very much 
to the order and beauty of the dining-room. 

“The sleeping-room is in the third story, directly over the school-room, of the 
same dimensions with the school-room and dining-room, 60 feet by 36, and as high 
as the school-room, occupying the whole wing, and lighted by nine large win¬ 
dows, three on each of the three sides, so that nothing could be better adapted to 
the purpose for which it is used. That it was not cut up into rooms 15 or 20 feet 
square, like many public buildings for similar purposes, and thus ruined, is a very 
pleasant circumstance. The furniture of the sleeping-room, like that of the 
school-room, and unlike that of the dining-room, is neat, simple, uniform, and 
convenient. There are double berths, arranged back to back, two in height, and 
in direct lines, extending from west to east nearly the whole length of the room. 
On the right and left of the entrance, at the extreme end of the room, opposite the 
door, is the supervisor’s bed: of course the boys are arranged on his right and left, 
in the same room; and were it not for the board partition in the back and at the 
head of the berths, which are solid, he would have complete supervision of all the 
boys in the room. To secure this important advantage, the boards should be re¬ 
moved between the berths, except so far as they are necessary to separate and 
support the beds, and then the whole scene would be exposed to the observation 
of the supervisor from his bed. If it were elevated a few feet from where it now 
stands, he could cast his eye over all the boys in the room after they had gone to 
bed. It is better to prevent mischief by watchfulness, than to cure it after the 
soul is polluted, or hazard incurable evils for want of watchfulness or power to 
exercise it. These board partitions, as they now are, may serve as a screen from 
observation for those disposed to evil: they are therefore worse than useless. 
With this single alteration, the sleeping-room and its furniture are what they 
should be : the beds, clothing and covering, appeared to be good. 

“The play-ground at the Farm School is as extensive as the island, 120 acres, 
where the boys are allowed to exercise with no other restraint than to do no mis¬ 
chief, and to conduct with propriety. Very seldom is there any occasion for pun¬ 
ishment for improper words or actions. While the boys are at play, they are their 
own masters. The monitor on the play-ground is not a tale-bearer, but a faithful 
witness, and is regarded so by his companions, who dislike any improper conduct. 
His testimony is the voluntary contribution of the company, in return for the un¬ 
restrained freedom of their amusements. They have a beautiful play-ground, and 
they appear to enjoy it. 

“The moral discipline consists in morning and evening prayers; acknowledging 
God before and after each meal; Sabbath-school instruction in the forenoon, and 


156 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


72 


public worship in the afternoon, of the Sabbath; and a steady government, at all 
times, based on affection and authority , in favor of right. The proof that the 
moral discipline is good, is the prompt and cheerful obedience and good behavior 
of the boys. 


“ The expense account is as follows :— 

“ 1st. Food for 110 boys, per week,.$64 43 

“ The superintendent writes—‘ We are able to ascertain the exact quantity, as 
every article is either weighed or measured before using.’ 

“ 2d. Clothing of each boy, per year, abou^t $11. This estimate, the superin¬ 
tendent says, is high. 

u 3d. Salary of officers :— 

“ Superintendent and family, per week,.$19 17 

“ School-master, “ “ “ “ 8 65 

“ Three females, at $1 75, “ “ 5 25 

“ Two men, at $15 each per month,. 7 00 

u One tailor, at $2 per week,. 2 00 

“ One assistant, at $6 per month,. 1 50 

$43 57 

“ Board of the above officers, equal to 15 adults, at $2 per 

week,.$ 30 00 


“ 4th. Fuel, soap, wear and tear, bedding, &c.:— 

“ Fuel, per year, for the whole establishment,..$300 00 

“ Soap, “ “ “ « « “ . 75 00 

“ Wear and tear of bedding for each boy,. 1 00 

11 Wear and tear of furniture,. 50 


“ Total expense, per week, for each boy :—food, 58 cts.; clothing, 21 cts.; fuel, 
5 cts.; bedding, 2 cts.; furniture, let.; soap, 1^ cts.; officers and hired help, 
pay and board, 67 cts.; use of books, 2 cts.—Total expense, exclusive of the in¬ 
come of the Farm, for each boy, per week, $1 58. Deduct from this the expense 
of officers and hired help, 67 cts., and we have the expense of each boy’s food, 
clothing, &c., 91 cts., exclusive of the income of the Farm. 


“ The income of the Farm , last year, estimating the articles of produce as they 
are estimated above, so far as they were consumed by the boys:—pork, $145; 
potatoes, $338 ; cabbages, $130 ; beets, $19 25; turnips, $26; milk, $436; bar¬ 


ley, $208; beef, $156 ; corn, $52.—Total amount of produce consumed by the 

boys,...$1,511 70 

“ Amount of produce consumed by the family, estimating the value at 

one half what is charged for boarding the same,. 780 00 

“ Amount of produce raised on the Farm, sold and to be sold,. 1,235 00 


Giving the total amount of produce raised on the Farm the last 
season,.$3,526 70 


“ The produce of the Farm, therefore, on the above estimate, reduces 


the total expense of supporting each boy 62 cents per week, and 
leaves the actual expense of supporting each, after deducting the 
income of the Farm, 96 cts. per week, or, for 110 boys, per year,.$5,491 20 


“ The above statement of the expense account of the Farm School is carefully 
made from the superintendent’s Monthly Report for the month ending March 31, 
1837, ordered on file by the directors. The only variation is this :—In the above 
statement, the expense of each boy’s food and clothing, exclusive of the income 
of the Farm, is stated to be 91 cents, which agrees with all the previous state¬ 
ments; while, in the superintendent’s report, it is stated at 89 cents, which is 
presumed to be an error in casting, as it does not agree with what has gone be¬ 
fore. Whether the superintendent has compared the results according to this 
statement with the results from the treasurer’s books, so as to confirm the accu¬ 
racy of them in this way, we do not know. If they cannot be thus confirmed, 
they should not have been submitted to the board as correct. The friends of the 
institution have a right to presume that this statement can be proved by the treas- 
























73 TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 157 

urer’s books. If so, the expense account looks very favorable, both in regard to 
the economy of living and the income of the Farm. 

“ In proof that the superintendent does not fear that any conclusions too favor¬ 
able to the institution will be drawn from the above statement, he adds, near the 
close of his Monthly Report to the directors :—‘ I feel sanguine that the whole 
expense for the present season will not exceed 75 cents per head, per week, for 
the present number of boys ; and I verily believe, that, if we had 250, the expense 
would not exceed 50 cents per week, including the income of the Farm. 1 think 
I can offer good and sufficient reasons, that the annual expense will lessen in that 
ratio, until this becomes a self-supporting institution, as I have always predicted 
from the beginning. Four or five years from now, you will have your own 
teachers, assistants, help, in doors and out, of your own raising; and the Farm 
will be much more productive than at present, according to the common course 
of things.’ 

“ Who will not say, ‘ Success to the Farm School ’ ? ” 


House of Refuge in New York. 

The number of inmates in this house, on the 1st of January, 1836, 
was 243, of whom 47 were colored children. The number received, 
during the year, was 214, of whom 38 were colored children. The 
whole number, therefore, who enjoyed its benefits, was 457. The 
number disposed of was 248; leaving the number in the house on the 
1st of January, 1837, 209. Those disposed of were apprenticed to 
farmers, 63; to service at sea, 37; house-service, 61 ; various trades, 
54; sent to the Alms-House, 6; escaped, 6; returned to friends, 15; 
of age, 3; returned to the Sessions, 1; died, 2; total, 248. 

The health of the institution, as usual, has been remarkably good, 
only 2 having died, out of an average of 226. The whole number 
of children received since the house was opened, in 1824, has been 
eighteen hundred and sixty-nine; and, although the average number 
of inmates has not greatly varied from 200, for the whole term of 12 
years, there were, in 1825, deaths, 0; in 1826, deaths, 0; in 1S27, 
deaths, 0; in 1828, deaths, 1, by suicide; in 1829, deaths, 0; in 
1830, deaths, 1; in 1831, deaths, 0; in 1832, deaths, 3, when 47 
of the inmates were suddenly and violently attacked with Asiatic 
cholera, and recovered, except 3; in 1833, deaths, 0; in 1834, deaths, 
unknown; in 1835, deaths, 3; in 1836, deaths, 2;—i. e. out of 1869 
received, and provided for constantly, at the rate of about 200, only 
10 deaths in a period of 12 years, with the exception of unknown 
deaths in 1834. What has benevolence done, in the city of New 
York, to preserve the lives of juvenile delinquents, besides all the 
other good results of the House of Refuge? 

The age of 191 children last received was, of 10 years and under, 
17; from 10 to 16 years, 147; 16 and 17 years, 33; total, 191. 

Their nativity was, of American parentage, 52; of Irish, 70; of 
English, 22; of German, 7; of French, 2; of Scotch, 1; of colored, 
37; total, 191. 

Their residence was, in the city of New York, 161; in other coun¬ 
ties of the state, 30, of whom 10 were from Albany county. 

The authority by which they were committed was, by the New 
York Police, 131; by the commissioners of the Alms-House, 11; by 
7 N 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


158 


74 


Special Sessions of the city, 13; by General Sessions of ditto, 6; by 
the Sessions of 11 different counties, 30. 

The school reports and workshop reports indicate the same system 
and success as formerly with instruction and labor. 


The expenses, for clothing, $2,166 70 ; 

Provisions and groceries, 6,571 46; 

Furniture, beds, and bedding, 705 69; 

Coal, wood, oil, stoves, &.c. 1,145 54; 

Hard and soft soap, and starch, 101 45; 

School expenses, books, station¬ 
ery, &lc. 82 97; 

Hospital expenses, medicines, &,c. 87 46; 

Salaries of officers, 3,895 40; 

Expenses of boys’ outfits, insur¬ 
ance against fire, printing an¬ 
nual report, account-books, 

&,c. 414 75; 

Horse, cows, &c. 866 91; 

Repairs, &lc. 1,557 81 ; 

$17,596 14; 


or, for each inmate, $9 58 

or, “ “ 

ti 

29 07 

or, “ “ 

tt 

3 11 

or, “ “ 

tt 

5 02 

or, “ ~ “ 

tt 

45 

or, “ “ 

tt 

36 

or, “ “ 

tt 

38 

or, “ “ 

it 

17 23 


or, 

U 

(( 

u 

1 83 

or, 

U 

(( 

ti 

3 83 

or, 

(( 

a 

tt 

6 89 

or, 

(( 

u 

ti 

$77 75 


The earnings of the boys amounted to $4,792 83; leaving a 
balance against the institution, for current expenses, of $12,804 31, 
and making the current expenses of each inmate $56 61, annually, 
or $1 08 per week. 

It is with extreme regret that we are obliged to record the fact, 
that the new building, erected at an expense, last year, of $14,331 55, 
for the accommodation of the colored inmates of the house, was 
burnt on the night of the fifth of May, 1836; that it was the work 
of a female incendiary, an inmate of the house, who is now suffering 
the punishment of her crime, in the State Prison. There was an 
insurance on the building of $5,000. 

It is with still deeper regret that we record the fact, that Mr. N. C. 
Hart, the father of the Refuge, who has been its Christian superin¬ 
tendent since 1826, has been obliged to retire, in consequence of ill 
health. The “ blessing of many ready to perish” is with him. The 
boys and girls in the house were all sons and daughters, in the heart 
and language of this kind father. May his “sons be as plants grown 
up in their youth,” and his “ daughters as corner-stones polished after 
the similitude of a palace.” We wish him as much happiness as he 
has faithfully endeavored to secure for others. 


House of Refuge in Philadelphia. 

The number of inmates in this institution has diminished, the last 
year, from an average of 149, to 123. The average number, in 1835, 
was 173. There is a diminution both in numbers confined, and in 
commitments. 96 only were received last year; 123 in 1836; 125 in 
1835: average number received annually, since 1828, 116. 

There were discharged by indenture, 54; sent to sea, 22; returned 




75 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


159 


to friends, 28 ; of age, 13; improper subjects, 8; sent to the Alms- 
House, 2; died, 1 ; escaped, 14 ; total, 142. 

The health of the institution, it will be seen, has been excellent, 1 
death only having occurred, out of an average of 142 inmates. 

The unusually large number ol escapes , i. e. 14, is accounted for, in 
a great measure, in the report, by the absence of the superintendent. 
This does not appear to be very satisfactory, especially as there has 
been a much larger number of escapes since the report was published. 
Is there not something radically wrong in the supervision and manage¬ 
ment of this institution ? If not, why is it that so many escape. We 
do not recollect any parallel, in the history of Prisons and Houses ot 
Refuge, to the number of escapes within the last year and a hall Irom 
the Refuge in Philadelphia, except in the old Prison at Lamberton, 
New Jersey, where, in 1830, it was stated, in a report to the legisla¬ 
ture, that more than one twelfth part of all who had been committed 
to the Prison had escaped. 

The average age of the boys is 13^ ; of the girls, 14^. 

The expenses of the institution, for provisions, clothing, fuel, medi¬ 
cine, salaries, stationery, repairs to buildings, and introducing Schuyl¬ 
kill water into the house, were . ..815,192 26 

The receipts for boys’ labor, and for sundry articles 
sold at the Refuge, . 3,283 02 


Leaving a balance against the institution of 


811,716 98 


Which makes the average expense of supporting each boy, $S2 51 a 
year, or 81 50 per week. 

The report of the ladies’ committee, concerning the female depart¬ 
ment ; the reports from the shops, by the superintendent of the work 
done by the boys,—of the teachers, concerning the progress in knowl¬ 
edge, both of the boys and girls in the schools,—are very favorable. 

The letters in the appendix, from persons with whom former inmates 
have been apprenticed, are exceedingly encouraging to the friends of 
the institution. 


5. IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT. 

Remaining abuses in Massachusetts. —The exception under the law 
abolishing imprisonment for debt, in Massachusetts, in regard to tran¬ 
sient persons, allows of great injustice on the part of those who are 
disposed to exercise it towards poor sailors. Of all the commitments 
for debt to the Jail in the city of Boston, amounting to 564, for the 
year ending May 22, 1837, one hundred and sixty were mariners. Of 
these mariners, six were imprisoned by one man ; eight by one woman; 
and twenty-two, or more than one twenty-sixth part of the whole, by 
one colored man. If public justice requires that this one colored man 
should possess and exercise so much power over the bodies of poor 
sailors, what does it require to be done with those who put the bottle 
to the mouth of the poor sailor, and furnish him with the means ot 
other unlawful indulgence ? 

w 






160 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


76 


Imprisonment for debt ivas abolished in Connecticut, on Friday , June 
9, 1837, by a vote of 164 to 16.—The following facts show the effect 
of a vote by yeas and nays, and are particularly valuable to be record¬ 
ed, in this case, as indicating the controlling power of public opinion. 
They also show what public opinion is, on this important subject. 

In the morning, the bill abolishing imprisonment for debt was 
brought up in the house of representatives of Connecticut, upon its 
third reading. It is said one third of the members were out of their 
seats; and the opponents of the bill carried a vote, by 78 to 73, to post¬ 
pone the same until the next session. In the afternoon, it was trans¬ 
mitted to the senate, which body passed the bill, and returned it to the 
house. A short but spirited debate was had upon it. On motion, the 
vote, when taken, was taken by yeas and nays. The result was ONE 
HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FOUR in the affirmative, and sixteen 
in the NEGATIVE. The bill as thus passed is here inserted.* 


* “ AN ACT to Abolish Imprisonment for Debt. 

u Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the senate, and house of representatives in general assembly 
convened, That no person or persons shall be arrested, held to bail, or imprisoned, on any 
civil process, in any suit, action, or proceeding, whether the same be mesne or final process, 
and by writ, execution, or otherwise, issued or instituted, or to be issued or instituted, for the 
recovery of any money due or to be due upon any judgment or decree, either at law or in 
chancery, founded upon contract, or due, or to be due upon any contract express or implied, 
or for the recovery of any damages for the breach or non-performance of any contract ; any 
law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding. 

“ Sec. 2. The preceding section shall not extend to any person who shall not have been 
a resident of this state for at least three months next preceding the commencement of a suit 
against him ; nor to proceedings as for contempts to enforce civil remedies ; nor to actions 
for fines or penalties, or on promises to marry, or for moneys collected by any public officer, 
or for any misconduct or neglect in office, or in any professional employment, or where exe¬ 
cution issues on a judgment in which the defendant is convicted of a wilful and malicious 
trespass, and the said conviction is so certified by the court trying the same. 

“ Sec. 3. In all cases where, by the preceding provisions of this act, a defendant cannot 
be arrested or imprisoned, it shall be lawful for the plaintiff, on commencing, or who shall 
have commenced, a suit against such defendant, or who shall have obtained a judgment or 
decree against him, in any court of record, to apply to the authority issuing the writ, or to 
any judge of the court in which such suit is brought, for a warrant to arrest the defendant 
in such suit. 

“ Sec. 4. No such warrant shall issue, unless satisfactory evidence be adduced to such au¬ 
thority, or judge, by the affidavit of the plaintiff, or of some other person or persons, that 
there is a debt or demand due to the plaintiff from the defendant, amounting to more than 
five dollars, and specifying the nature and amount thereof, as near as may be, for which the 
defendant, according to the provision of this act, cannot be arrested or imprisoned; and 
establishing one or more of the following particulars : 1st, That the defendant is about to 
remove any of his property out of this state, with intent to defraud his creditors ; or, 2d, 
That the defendant has property or rights in action, which he fraudulently conceals, or 
that he has rights in action, or some interest in any public or corporate stock, money, 
or evidences of debt, which he unjustly refuses to apply to the payment of any judg¬ 
ment or decree which shall have been rendered against him, belonging to the com¬ 
plainant ; or of any claim for debt or damages arising from contract, express or implied, 
belonging to the plaintiff: or, 3d, That he has assigned, removed, or disposed of, or is about 
to dispose of, any of his property, with the intent to defraud his creditors ; or, 4th, That the 
defendant fraudulently contracted the debt, or incurred the obligation, respecting which such 
suit is brought; or, 5th. That ihe defendant is about to remove from this state. 

“ Sf.c. 5. Upon such proof being made, to the satisfaction of the authority or judge to 
whom the application shall be addressed, he shall issue a warrant, in behalf of the creditor, 
directed to any sheriff or sherff’s deputy within the county, or to any constable or consta¬ 
bles of any town or towns in this state, therein briefly setting forth the complaint, and com¬ 
manding the officer to whom the same shall be directed, to arrest the person ngmed in such 
warrant, and bring him before such authority or judge without delay. 

“Sf.c. 6 . The officer to whom such warrant shall be delivered, shall execute the same, 
by arresting the person named therein, and bringing him before the authority or judge issu- 

*ftf 



77 


TWELFTH REPORT -1837. 


161 


6. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. 

The legislature of New Hampshire has still farther reduced the 
crimes for which men may be punished with death. Nothing but 
murder in the first degree can now be punished with death in New 
Hampshire, unless it be treason. 

The legislature of Massachusetts has not altered the laws in regard 
to capital infliction, although the subject has been agitated for several 
years. It is, however, we think, apparent, from a careful observation 
of the votes which have been taken, on different questions pertaining 
to this subject, in the legislature of Massachusetts, within three years, 
that the punishment of death for two or three crimes now on the list 
of those punished with death, will, ere long, be abolished. 

In England, the subject is one of much interest at the present time, 
and the probability is, that the criminal code of Great Britain will 
soon be brought to a very close conformity to the criminal code of 
Massachusetts. The following facts, gathered from a speech, in the 
British parliament, by Lord John Russell, show how few are executed, 


ing such warrant, and shall keep him in custody until he shall be duly discharged or commit¬ 
ted, as hereinafter provided. 

“ Sf.c. 7. On the appearance of the person so arrested before the authority or judge 
issuing such warrant, he may controvert any of the facts and circumstances on which such 
warrant issued, and may, at his option, verify his allegations by his own affidavit; and in 
case of his so verifying the same, the complainant may examine such defendant on oath, 
touching any fact or circumstance material to the inquiry, and the answers of the defendant, 
on such examination, shall be reduced to writing, and subscribed by him, and the authority 
or judge conducting such inquiry shall also receive such other proof as the parties may 
offer, either at the time of such first appearance, or at such other time as such hearing shail 
be adjourned to; and in case of an adjournment,‘such authority or judge may take a re¬ 
cognizance, with surety, at his discretion, from the defendant, for his appearance at the 
adjourned hearing. 

“ Sec. 8. If such authority or judge is satisfied that the allegations of the complainant are 
substantiated, and that the defendant has done or is about to do, any one of the acts specified 
in the 4th section of this act, he shall, by a commitment under his hand, direct that such 
defendant be committed to the Gaol of the county in which such hearing shall be had, to be 
there detained until he shall be discharged according to law ; and such defendant shall be 
committed and detained accordingly. 

“ Sec. 9. Such commitment shall not be granted, if the defendant shall either, 

“1st, Pay the debt or demand claimed, with the costs of the suit and of the proceedings 
against him; or, 

“ 2d, Give security, to the satisfaction of the authority or judge before whom the hearing 
shall be had, that the debt or demand of the plaintiff, with the cost of the suit and proceed¬ 
ings aforesaid, shall be paid within sixty days, with interest; or, 

“3d, If such defendant shall give bond to such plaintiff, with surety to the satisfaction of 
such authority, conditioned that he will not remove any of his property which he then has 
out of this state, with the intent to defraud his creditors, and that he will not sell or assign 
the same with such intent, until such debt be satisfied, or until sixty days after final judg¬ 
ment. 

“Sec. 10. That the provisions of this act shall not be so construed as to affect in any 
manner any process, mesne or final, issued or to be issued on anv cause of action, debt or 
demand, judgment or decree, existing on or before the 4th day of July, 1837. 


“STILLMAN K. WIGHTMAN, 

“ Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
“EBENEZER STODDARD, 

11 President of the Senate. 

“Approved, June 10. 1837. 

“ HENRY W. EDWARDS.” 


7 # 


N 2 



162 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


78 


compared with the number condemned to death, under the present 
law, as well as what change is proposed in this law. On the 19th of 
May, the house of commons was engaged upon the several bills intro¬ 
duced by Lord Russell, which propose to repeal the punishment of 
death in 21 out of 37 offences to which it is now applied. 

“ In 1835, the whole number of persons condemned to death was 523, and the 
whole number executed, only 34. In 183G, the number condemned, 494; the 
number executed, only 17. In 1835, there were 25 convictions for murder: one 
of the criminals thus convicted was pardoned in consequence of an informality in 
the indictment, three were transported for life, and 21 of the 25 were executed. 
But for the crime of burglary, while there were 193 convictions, there was only 
one execution. With respect to the crimenf shooting with intent to kill or maim, 
GO were convicted, and only two executed. Of the 523 convictions of 1835, 202 
were for robbery ; and there was not a single execution. 

“ It was the opinion of Lord Russell, that it was established by undeniable facts, 
that parliament might safely proceed to relax the severity of the criminal code. 
He thought there was a general wish in the community for a diminution of capital 
punishments. He stated that in France, Bavaria, and the United States, they 
were becoming less frequent; and quoted the opinion of the French minister of 
justice, that what the law of France had lost in severity, it had gained in cer¬ 
tainty. 

“ Lord Russell stated the offences which it was proposed by his bills to continue 
capital. The first was doing grievous bodily harm, with intent to kill; the second, 
burglary, accompanied with personal violence; the third, robbery from the person, 
with stabbing, maiming, or doing bodily harm with a dangerous instrument; the 
fourth, setting fire to buildings actually inhabited, or to any building adjoining 
thereto; the fifth, setting fire to, casting away, or destroying ships; the sixth, 
exhibiting false lights or signals, with the design of leading ships into distress ; 
the seventh, piracy accompanied with'cutting, stabbing, and attempting to mur¬ 
der. It was further the intention of his lordship to move to abolish the punish¬ 
ment of the pillory. Mr. Ewart and Mr. Hume expressed their approbation of the 
proposed movement to ameliorate the criminal code, and leave was given to bring 
in the bills.” 

We are indebted to the Atlas for this valuable summary of Lord 
Russell’s speech. 


We have now done our Report. It affords evidence, we think, that 
the subject of providing for poor lunatics is beginning to be under¬ 
stood and acted upon ; that the new Penitentiaries are answering the 
purpose for which they were designed; that the County Prisons and 
Houses of Correction are slowly becoming conformed to the good 
example of the new Penitentiaries; that the Houses of Refuge and 
Farm School are blessed institutions for the benefit of juvenile delin¬ 
quents ; that imprisonment for debt is gradually wearing away; and 
that the punishment of death will become less, before it is more com¬ 
mon. We believe these ends are all good, and hope to be sustained 
in promoting them. 

We thank the LORD for his preserving care and his constant aid, 
during the last twelve years. We thank our friends, particularly the 
citizens of Boston, for their countenance and support. We consecrate 
our lives renewedly to the service of Him without whose continual 
help we can do nothing, and from whom all good designs proceed. 



79 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 , 


163 


OFFICERS. 


PRESIDENT. 

*GEORGE BLISS, 
SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG. 


VICE PRESIDENTS. 


WILLIAM BARTLETT, 

* WILLIAM REED, 

LEONARD WOODS, 

WILLIAM JENKS. 

ELIJAH HEDD1NG, 
*EBENEZER PORTER, 
*BENJAMIN B. WISNER, 
MEREMIAH EVARTS, 

S. V. S. WILDER, 

JOHN TAPPAN, 

SAMUEL H. WALLEY, 

BROWN EMERSON, 
ALEXANDER HENRY, 
CHARLES CHAUNCEY, 
STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER, 
ALEXANDER FRIDGE, 
^ROBERT RALSTON, 

EDWARD D. GRIFFIN. 

HEMAN HUMPHREY, 
WARREN FAY, 

•SAMUEL GREEN, 

FRANCIS WAYLAND, 

JUSTIN EDWARDS. 

ALONZO POTTER, 

PETER O. THACHER, 
FRANCIS C. GRAY, 


EDWARD TUCKERMAN, 
LUTHER F. DIMMICK, 
EDWARD BEECHER, 

SIMON GREENLEAF, 

DANIEL SHARP, 

J. P. STONE, 

LUCIUS BOLLES, 

JOHN C. WARREN, 

HENRY J. RIPLEY, 

CHARLES LOWELL, 

JOHN S. PETERS, 

ROGER MINOT SHERMAN, 
THOMAS H. GALLAUDET, 
JOEL HAWES, 

JEREMIAH DAY, 

BENJAMIN SILLIMAN, 
ELEAZER LORD. 

JOHN M. MATTHEWS, 
WILLIAM JAY, 

THEODORE FRELINGHUYSEN, 
SAMUEL SOUTHARD, 

SAMUEL MILLER. 

ARCHIBALD ALEXANDER, 
HOWARD MALCOM, 

FRANCIS PARKMAN, 

ABBOTT LAWRENCE. 


CORRESPONDING MEMBERS. 


THOMAS BRADFORD, Jr. Philadelphia. 
JOEL SCOTT, Frankfort, Kentucky. 
SAMUEL HOARD, of London. 

DR. JULIUS, of Hamburgh. 

G. DE BEAUMONT, \ ofParis 
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE, S J 
SAMUEL L. DAVIS, Augusta, Georgia. 
REUEL WILLIAMS, Hcdlowell, Me. 

S. E. COUES, Portsmouth, N. H. 

J. C. HOLBROOK, Brattleboro' 1 , Vt. 
*THOMAS G. LEE, Charlestown, Mass. 


SAM’L B. WOODWARD, Worcester, Ms. 
THOMAS PADDOCK, St. Johns, N. B. 

J. McAULEY, Irp . tt ^ 

M. S. BIDWELL, S Toronto > U ' C ’ 

WM. H. ROCKWELL, Brattleboro’, Vt. 
LUTHER V. BELL. Charlestown, Mass. 
WM. SAM’L JOHNSON, New York City. 
P. D. VROOM, Somerville, N. J. 

S. F. McCRACKEN, ) „ , . 

WM. M. AWL, 5 Columbus ’ 0kl0 ' 


MANAGERS. 


R. S. STORRS, 
RUFUS ANDERSON, 
JAMES MEANS, 
DANIEL SAFFORD, 
JARED CURTIS, 
DAVID GREEN, 


SAMUEL A. ELIOT, 
HENRY HILL, 

SAMUEL LAWRENCE, 
NATHANIEL DANA, 
GEORGE COWLES, 
GEORGE W. BLAGDEN. 


CHARLES CLEVELAND, Treasurer. 
LOUIS DWIGHT, Secretary. 



164 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY* 


80 


LIFE DIRECTORS, 

BY THE PAYMENT OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND UPWARDS. 


Albany, N. Y. 

Van Rensselaer, Stephen 

Boston. 

Appleton, Samuel 
Armstrong, Samuel T. 
Bussey, Benjamin 
^Chamberlain, Richard 
*Cobb. Nathaniel R. 
Coolidge, Joseph 
Dwight. Edmund 
Eliot. Samuel A. 

Gray, Francis C. 

Greenleaf, Jonathan, by a 
Homes, Henry [Friend 

Hubbard, Samuel 
Jackson, Charles 
Jackson, James 
Jackson. Patrick T. 


Lawrence, Amos 
Lowell, Charles 
Lowell, John 
Munson, Israel 
Parkman, Francis 
Phillips, Jonathan 
^Phillips, William 
Prescott, William 
Shattuck, George C. 
Shaw, Robert G. 
Tappan, John 
Ticknor, George 
Tuckerman, Edward 
Ward, Artemas 
Wells, Charles 
White, Stephen 
Willis, Nathaniel 

Dedham, Mass. 
Burgess, Ebenezer 


Geneva, N. Y. 
Dwight, Henry 

Norwich, Conn. 
Greene, William P. 

Peterboro’, N. Y. 
Smith, Peter 

Rochester, N. Y. 
*Bissell, Josiah 

Salem, Mass. 
Peabody, Joseph 

Worcester, Mass. 
Abbott, J. S. C. 

Foster, Alfred Dwight 
Salisbur}', Stephen 
Waldo, Daniel 


LIFE MEMBERS, 

BY THE PAYMENT OF THIRTY DOLLARS AND UPWARDS. 


Albany, N. Y. 
Delavan, Edward C. 
Hopkins, Samuel M. 

Norton. John C. 

Andover, Mass. 
^Cornelius. Elias 
Edwards, Justin 
*Porter, Ebenezer 
Woods, Leonard 

Auburn, N. Y. 

Lewis, Levi, by Officers of 
the Prison 
Seymour, James S. 

Smith, B. C., by Officers of 
the Prison 

Baltimore, Md. 

M’Kim, W. D. 

Bath, N. H. 

Sutherland, David, by Ira 
Goodale 

Bedford, N. Y. 

*Jay, John 
Jay, William 

Beverly. 

Oliphant, David 

Boston. 

Adams, Nehemiah 
Amory, John 
Beecher, Edward 
Beecher, Lyman 
Blake, George 
*Bowdoin, James 
Brooks, Peter C. 


Chadwick, Ebenezer 
Clapp, Joshua 
Cobb, Richard 
*Codman, Catharine 
Codman, Elizabeth 
Codman, Charles R. 
Codman, Henry 
Cogswell, William 
Cushing, John P. 
Dana, Nathaniel 
Dorr, Samuel 
Edwards, Flenry 
*Eliot, William H. 
Gray, Horace 
Gray, John C. 

*Green, Samuel 
*Greene, Gardiner 
Greenwood, F. W. P. 
Hill, Henry 
Homer, George J. 
Jones, Anna P. 
*Jones, John Coffin 
Lawrence, Abbott 
Lawrence, Samuel 
Lawrence, William 
Lyman, Theodore 
Lyman, Theodore, Jr. 
Marvin, T. R. 
*M’Lean, Ann 
Munroe, Edmund 
Otis, Harrison Gray 
Parker, Daniel P. 
Parker, Ebenezer 
Parker, John 
Parkman, Francis 
Potter, Alonzo 
Rand, Asa 
Randall, John 
Reed, Benjamin T. 
Rice, Henry 


Ropes, William 
Safford, Daniel 
Stoddard, Charles 
Thorndike, Israel 
Vose, Thomas 
Wales, Thomas B. 
Warren, John C. 
Wigglesworth, Thomas 
Williams, John D. 
Winthrop, Thomas L. 
*Wisner, Benjamin B. 
Worthington, William 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Carrol, D. L. 

Cambridge, Mass. 
Farwell, Levi 
Greenleaf, Simon 
Holland, Frederic West 
Quincy, Josiah 

Canandaigua, N. Y. 
Eddy, Ansel G. 

Catskill, N. Y. 
Cooke, Thomas B. 

Day, Orrin 

Charleston, S. C. 
Corning, Jasper 

Charlestown, Mass. 
Curtis, Jared 

/ 

Coxackie, N. Y. 
Van Dyck, Abraham 

Danvers, Mass. 
Braman, Milton P. 
Cowles, George 








81 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 


165 


*Oakes, Caleb 

Douglass Farm, L. 1. 
Douglass,George, by the hand 
of Mrs. Joanna Bethune 

Dorchester, Mass. 
Codman, John 

Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Dunlop,- John 

Geneva, N. Y. 

*Axtell, Henry 

Gloucester, Mass. 
Jewett, David, by a Lady 

Hampton, N. H. 
Harris, Roswell 

Hartford, Conn. 
Hawes, Joel 
Spring', Samuel 

Haverhill, Mass. 
Keeley, George 
Phelps, Dudley 

Ipswich, Mass. 
Kimball, David 

Jamaica, L. I. 

Crane, Elias W. 

Marblehead, Mass. 
Hooper, Nathaniel 
*Reed, William 

Middletown, Conn. 
Crane, John B. 

Milton, Mass. 

Pucker, Nathaniel 

Newark, N. J. 
Hamilton, W. T. 

Newbury, Mass. 
Wright, Henry C. 

Newburyport, Mass. 
Banister. W'illiam B. 

Bartlett, William 
*Brown, Moses 
Dimmick, Luther F. 

Proudtit, John 

By a donation in books from 
Charles Whipple, to consti¬ 


tute the following persons 
Life Members: 

Davis, Mary A. 

Greenleaf. Mary C. 

Hodge, Mary D. 

Thompson, Sarah 

New Haven, Conn. 
Bacon, Leonard 
Brewster, James 
Fitch, Eleazer T. 

Salisbury, Abby 

New York City. 

Allen, Stephen 
Averill, Heman 
Bethune, G. W. 

Boorman, J. 

Brewster, Joseph 
Broadhead, Dr. 

^Chambers, William 
Cox, Samuel H. 

Crosby, W. B. 

Eastborn, Manton 
Falconer, Archibald 
Hedges, Timothy 
How, Fisher 
Mason, Cyrus W. 

Mathews, John M. 

M’Auley, Thomas 
Milnor, James 
Patton, William 
Perrit, Pelatiah 
Post, Joel 
*Rutgers, Henry 
Schroeder, J. F. 

Spring, Gardiner 
Stephens, J. C. 

Tappan, Arthur 
Varick, Richard 
Ward, Samuel 
Woolsey, William W. 

Peterboro’, N. Y. 
Smith, Gerrit 

Portsmouth, N. H. 
Coues, S. E. 

Philadelphia, Penn. 
Allen, Solomon 
Carey, Matthew 
Elmes, Thomas 
Ely, Ezra Stiles 
Henry, Alexander 
Livingston, Gilbert R. 
Skinner, Thomas H. 

Pittsfeld, Mass. 
Newton, Edward A. 


Plymouth, Mass. 
Robbins, Josiah 

Portland, Me. 
Tyler, Bennett 
Dwight, William T. 

Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 
Cuyler, Cornelius 

Providence, R. I. 
*Ives, Thomas P. 

Rahway, N. J. 
Squier, Job 

Salem, Mass. 
Cleveland, J. P. 

Emerson, Brown 
Phillips, Stephen C. 
Williams, William 
Worcester, Zervia F. 

Schenectady, N. Y. 
Smith, Peter 

Springfield, Mass. 
Osgood, Samuel 

Thomaston, Me. 
*Rose, Daniel 

Troy, N. Y. 
Tucker, Mark 

Utica, N. Y 
Lansing, D. C. 

Stocking, Samuel 
Varick, Abraham 

West Haverhill, Mass. 
Cross, Abijah 

Wethersfield, Conn. 
Barrett, Gerrish 
Pilsbury, Amos 

Williamstcnvn, Mass. 
Griffin, Edward D. 

Me. 

Hooker, Edward W. 

Worcester, Mass. 
Foster, Alfred Dwight 
Waldo, E. S. & R. 
Waldo, Daniel 
Salisbury, Stephen 





166 


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PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


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83 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 . 


167 


SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DONATIONS, 


From May 24, 1836, to May 27, 1837. 


Boston 

Adams, Chester 
Adan,John R. 

Adams, Z. B. 

' Adams. Win. 

A. B. 

Adams, Benjamin 
Adams, Abel 
Adan, John R. 

Adams, Charles 
Allen, Freeman 
Amory, Charles 
Amory, Win. 
Anderson, Rufus 
Andrews, E. A. 
Andrews, Ebenezer T. 
Andrews, James 
Andrews, Henry 
Apthorp, C. W. 
Armstrong, S. T. 
Balance from last acct. 
Ball, S. S. 

Barber, J. N. 

Bancroft, Jacob 
Bailey, Ebenezer 
Benson, F. A. 

Benson, John 

B. P. C. 

Bigelow, F. R. 

Bird, S. J. 

Blake, Samuel 
Blanchard, Joshua P. 
Blake, Ahny & Co. 
Board man, Win, H. 
Bond, Wm. 

Brewer, N. P. 

Brewer, W. A. 
Brewster, Osmyn 
Brewer, S. N. 

Brown, Charles 

Buinstead, Josiah F. 
Bumstead, Josiah 
Butler, James 
Burges*, Benjamin 
Bumstead, J. 

Baker, H. F. 

Baylies. Ed. 

Bates, Win. 

Baker, John & Son 
Bangs, Isaiah 
Barnard, Charles 
Bacon, Daniel C. 
Bartlett, Thomas 
Bartlett, Thomas 
Blake, Sarah 
Blake, George 
Blake, John S. 
Bowditch, N. I. 
Bowditch, N. 

Board man, Wm. H. 
Boyden, Dwight 
Brodhead, J. C. 
Brimmer Martin 
Brodhead, D. D. 
Brooks, Edward 
Brown, J. M. 

Bradlee, Joseph P. 
Ballard, Joseph 
Bates, B. E. 


2 00 

Babcock, Samuel H. 
Binney,John 

5 00 
2 00 

2 00 

Bolles, Matthew 

2 00 

2 00 

Capen, Nahum 

2 00 

2 00 

Cabot, Samuel 

10 00 

10 00 

Cartwright, C. W. 

Child, Thomas H. 

2 00 

2 50 

2 00 

5 00 

Chase, Theodore 

10 00 

5 00 

Chase, Webster & 

5 00 

3 00 

Channing, Walter 

2 00 

2 00 

Chandler, Abiel 

2 00 

20 00 

Chapman, Henry 

5 00 

5 00 

Child, Thomas 

2 00 

2 00 

Clark, Josiah 

2 00 

2 00 

Clapp, Joshua 

20 00 

2 00 

Cleveland, A. P. 

2 00 

2 00 

Cleveland, Stephen H. 

5 00 

5 00 

Colby, Gardner 

2 00 

1 00 

Coleman, Henry 

2 00 

10 00 

Cotton, J. H. Jr. 

2 00 

329 77 

Colby, Josiah 

2 00 

2 00 

Crocker, Uriel 

2 00 

2 00 

Crocker, S. E. 

2 50 

2 00 

Cummings, Daniel 

2 00 

2 00 

Cushing, Thomas P. 

2 00 

2 00 

Curtis, T. B. 

2 00 

2 00 

Curtis, C. P. 

2 00 

20 00 

Cushing, White & Co. 

5 00 

2 00 

Cutler, Pliny 

5 00 

2 00 

Curtis, Nathaniel, Jr. 

2 00 

5 00 

Carver, David 

2 00 

2 00 

Coleman, Henry 

2 00 

5 00 

Cod man, Henry 

10 00 

5 00 

Cotton, Joseph 

10 00 

2 00 

Cordis, T. 

10 00 

2 00 

Courtis, Pickering & Co. 

5 00 

2 00 

Contribution P. C. S. 

18 64 

2 00 

Davis, Thomas A. 

Dana, Luther 

5 00 

2 00 

2 00 

2 00 

Dana, Ephraim 

2 00 

10 00 

Davis, Samuel 

2 00 

6 00 

Daggett, H. 

2 00 

2 00 

Denny, Daniel 

2 00 

5 00 

Dearborn, Nathaniel 

1 00 

5 00 

Devens, Richard 

2 00 

2 00 

Di kinson, S. N. 

5 00 

2 00 

Dickinson, D. O. 

2 00 

1 00 

Dim mock, J. L. 

5 00 

5 00 

Doggett, John 

10 00 

5 00 

Dorr, Samuel 

Dow, Joseph, in books 

25 00 

5 00 

6 00 

5 00 

Driscoll, C. 

2 00 

10 00 

Dana, N. 

10 00 

10 00 

Davis, Isaac 

Daggett, Henry L. 

2 00 

10 00 

2 00 

10 00 

Eaton, John 

2 00 

3 00 

Eckley, David 

10 00 

5 00 

Edmands, J. W. 

10 00 

5 00 

Edwards, Henry 

15 00 

5 00 

Ellis, George 

5 00 

10 00 

Eliot, S. A. 

30 00 

5 00 

Ela, David 

2 00 

10 00 

Emerson, G. B. 

5 00 

5 00 

Emery, Ahby 

1 00 

10 00 

Erving, Edward S. 

2 00 

2 00 

Everett, Moses 

2 00 

5 00 

East s, Win. T. 

2 00 

3 00 

Everett, Charles 

2 00 

1 00 

Faxon, Nathaniel 

2 00 


I Fales, E. F. 2 00 

Fai banks, Stephen 2 00 

Fairfield, J. O. 2 00 

Felt, O. S. 2 00 

Fearing, Albert & Co. 2 00 

Fessenden, J. M. 2 00 

Fessenden, G. R. 2 00 

Fearing, A. C. 2 00 

Fisk &, Rice 2 00 

Fisk Sc Leland 2 00 

Flagg, Josiah H. 5 00 

Fletcher, Richard 2 00 

Foster, Charles S. 3 00 

Froth in gham, Samuel 5 00 
Francis, David 2 00 

Friend 5 00 

French, Jona., by J. F. Jr. 5 00 
Friend 2 00 

Friend 3 00 

Friend 1 00 

Friend 1 00 

Freeman, J. D. 1 00 

Friend 1 00 

Friend 5 00 

F ties, Dana Sc Co. 3 00 

Fen no, J. W. 5 00 

Ford, John 2 00 

Forlmsh, Jonathan 5 00 

Foster, John H. 2 00 

Forbes, R. B. 5 00 

Friend 5 00 

Gates, J. W. 2 00 

Gay, P. E. 2 00 

Gardner, John D. & Co. 5 00 
Gaffield, Thomas 2 00 

Gardner, John L. 2 00 

Gay, George H. 2 00 

G Ibert, Lemuel 2 00 

Gilbert, Samuel 2 00 

Gilbert, Timothy 2 00 

Goie, Watson 2 00 

Goodale, Joshua 1 00 

Goodrich, Samuel 2 00 

Gordon, G. W. - 2 00 

Grenough, Alfred 2 00 

Greele, P. 5 00 

Green. David 3 00 

Grant Sc Daniell 4 00 

Greene, Charles G. 2 00 

Gray, F. T. 2 00 

Grant & Daniell 10 00 

Gray, J. C. 20 00 

Greene, B. D. 10 00 

Gray, Thomas 2 00 

Grosvenor, L. P. 2 00 

Gould, Kendall Sc Lincoln 5 00 
Gurney, Nathan 2 00 

Haughton, James 2 00 

Hastings, J. S. 2 00 

Hancock, Wm. _ 1 00 

Harwood, Daniel 2 00 

Hayden,J. C. 2 00 

Hersey, Cornelius 2 00 

Hey wood & Norton 5 00 

H II, Jeremiah 5 00 

Hill, Jeremiah 2 00 

Higginson, J. C. 2 00 

Hilliard, Gray & Co. 5 00 

Hood, Charles 5 00 







I 

10? PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 84 


Homer, George 

2 00 

Homes & Homer 

30 00 

Hosmer, Zeiotes 

2 00 

Howe, HH.1I J. 

2 00 

Homer, George 

2 00 

Ilobart, Albert 

2 00 

Howe, Jabez €. 

2 00 

Howard, Benjamin 

2 00 

Howard, Abraham 

2 00 

How, J. C. 

2 00 

Holbrook, H. J. 

5 00 

Holbrook, Edward 

2 00 

Holman, Oliver 

2 00 

Hobart, Henry B. 

2 00 

Hooper, Robert 

5 00 

Haskell, A. W. 

2 00 

Hale, Moses L. 

2 00 

Hawes, Prince 

5 00 

Hallet, George W. 

5 00 

Harris, Nathaniel 

5 00 

Hurd, John 

5 00 

Haskell, Levi B. 

5 00 

Harvey, Peter 

10 00 

Harris, Charles 

2 00 

Hall, Henry 

3 00 

Harris, James 

3 00 

Haven, Franklin 

5 00 

Hales, Wm. 

5 00 

Hubbard, Samuel 

50 00 

Hubbard, Wm. J. 

2 00 

Humphrey, Wm. 

2 00 

Ingersoll, James 

5 00 

Inches, Misses 

10 00 

Jackson, Ward 

2 00 

Jarvis, Deming 

2 00 

Jackson, P. T. 

50 00 

Jackson, Charles 

20 00 

Jeffries, John 

5 00 

Jones, G. B. 

2 00 

Jones, J. A. 

2 00 

Jones, Eliphalet 

2 00 

Johnson, James 

5 00 

Johnson, Samuel 

2 00 

Jacobs, Benjamin, Jr. 

1 00 

Kettell, John 

2 00 

Kendall, II. R. 

2 00 

Kent, W. V. 

3 00 

Kent, John 

3 00 

Kittredge, Alva 

2 00 

Kimball, Jewett & Co. 

10 00 

Kuhn, George H. 

2 00 

Kuhn, George H. 

3 00 

Lane,Jonas H. 

2 00 

Lawrence, Samuel 

5 00 

Lawrence, Amos 

50 00 

Lambeit, Wm. G. 

5 00 

Lawrence, Samuel 

30 00 

Leach, James 

2 00 

Leeds, Joseph Lafayette 

2 00 

Leeds, Benjamin 

2 00 

Leland, Sherman 

2 00 

Livermore, Isaac 

2 00 

L ; ncoln, M. S. &. Co. 

5 00 

Lincoln. Ileman 

2 00 

Lifford, G. C. 

2 00 

Loring, Henry 

2 00 

Loring, Charles G. 

2 00 

Loring, James 

2 00 

Low, J. J. 

2 00 

Low, Francis 

2 00 

Lombard, Ammi C. 

2 00 

Lobdell, T. J. 

2 00 

Lowell, John 

30 00 

L. FI. 

5 00 

Lowell, John A, 

5 00 

Lowell, Charles R. 

10 00 

Lowell, F. C. 

10 00 

Lyman, George W. 

10 00 

Lyman, Charles 

10 00 

Lamb, Reuben A. 

5 00 

Lamb, George W. 

3 00 


Lamb, Thomas 

5 oo 

Lawrence, William 

10 00 

Leach, Crosby & Gilmore 

3 00 

Little, Charles C. 

2 00 

Lincoln, Heman 

2 00 

Lothrop, Samuel K. 

2 00 

Loring, Benjamin 

2 00 

Mackay, T. B. 

2 00 

Marsh, John 

2 00 

Mansfield, Isaac 

5 00 

M’Gregor &. Merriam 

5 00 

Means, James 

5 00 

Mears, Elijah 

2 00 

Melledge, James 

2 00 

Merry, R. D. C. 

2 00 

Mellen, Moses 

2 00 

Mead, Samuel O. 

2 00 

Merriam, Silas P. 

2 00 

Morse, Robert M. 

2 00 

Morse, Hazen 

1 00 

Motley, Edward 

3 00 

Morse. S. F. 

2 00 

Munroe, Edmund 

10 00 

Mason, Wm. P. 

5 00 

Marvin, T. R. 

2 00 

M’Gaw, John 

2 00 

M’Gregor, J. 

5 00 

Mason, Lowell 

5 00 

Manning, Charles 

2 00 

Mills, Louis 

2 00 

Mills, J. H. 

10 00 

Millard, Samuel 

2 00 

Miller, Edward 

5 00 

Newman, Henry 

4 00 

Newhall, Cheever 

3 00 

Newell, Montgomery 

2 00 

Newhall, Cheever 

3 00 

Newhall, Miss S. 

1 00 

Newhall, E. F. 

1 00 

Nickerson, Ebenezer 

5 00 

Noyes, Edward 

2 00 

Noyes, Daniel 

3 00 

Noyes, Daniel 

5 00 

Oakes, James 

2 00 

Oliver, H. J. 

2 00 

Osgood, Isaac 

2 00 

O., H. G. 

15 00 

Paige, James W. 

2 00 

Parker, M. S 

2 00 

Parker, Isaac 

3 00 

Palmer, A. C. 

2 00 

Park, A. C. 

2 00 

Palmer, Julius A. 

2 00 

Peters, Edward D. 

5 00 

Pierce, Josiah 

2 00 

Piper, Solomon 

5 00 

Phelps, S. 

2 00 

Phillips, Jonathan 

100 00 

Plurner, Avery 

2 00 

Pool, F. 

2 00 

Poor, Benjamin 

2 00 

Porter, Royal L. 

2 00 

Pray, Isaac C. 

5 00 

Preston, John 

10 00 

Pratt, Alfred H. 

2 00 

Pray,J. H. 

1 00 

Parker, Jno. 

10 00 

S. G. P. & J. C. P. & 


Mrs. H. $5 each 

15 00 

Pierpont, John 

2 00 

Perkins, Thomas H., Jr. 

10 00 

Perkins, Thomas H. 

10 00 

Perkins, James, Mrs. 

5 00 

Perkins, Benjamin 

2 00 

Prescott, William 

20 00 

Putnam, S. R. 

5 00 

Quincy, J., Jr. 

10 00 

Quincy, Martha, Miss 

50 

Reid, James 

2 00 

Reports sold to the State 


of Massachusetts 

187 50 


Reynolds, Wm. B. 

5 00 

Reports sold for New South 

Wales 

Reports sold to the State 

1 00 

of Maine 

15 00 

Rhoades, Ebenezer 

2 00 

R. W. 

5 00 

Rhoades, Ebenezer 

2 00 

Richards, J.L. 

2 00 

Rice Thaxter 

5 00 

Richardson & Burrage 

2 00 

Ropes, Hardy 

2 00 

Rogers. Wm. A. 

2 00 

Rogers, J. G. 

2 00 

Robinson, S. 

2 00 

Robbins, Charles 

2 00 

Robbins, Edward H 

5 00 

Rogers, W. M. 

2 00 

Rogers, John H. 

2 00 

Richards & Co. 

1 00 

Reports sold to S. II. W. 
Reports sold Hilliard & 

75 

Gray 

1 00 

Safford, Daniel 

20 00 

Safford, Henry 

2 00 

Salisbury, S. 

2 00 

Seaver, Norman 

5 00 

Sears, Joshua 

2 00 

Sheefe, Robert 

50 

Shaw, Paterson &. Co. 

5 00 

Shaw, R. G. 

20 00 

Simonds, Artemas 

5 00 

Simpson, M. H. 

5 00 

Sigourney, 11. 

10 00 

Skinner, Francis, & Co. 

10 00 

South Boston Iron Co. 

5 00 

Sprague, Phineas 

5 00 

Spaulding, Benjamin 

2 00 

Stoddard, Charles 

15 00 

Stone. Wm. W. 

5 00 

Stoddard, R. H. 

2 00 

Stimpson, H. & F. 

2 00 

Stoddard, L. T. 

5 00 

Stimpson, Wm. C. 

2 00 

Stow, Baron 

2 00 

Stearns, H. L. 

Stone, John S. 

2 00 

2 00 

Scudder, Charles 

2 00 

Smith, Blanchard & Co. 

3 00 

Smith, Henry 

2 00 

Sumner, Gen. 

10 00 

Sumner, Bradford 

2 00 

Sullivan, John 

2 00 

Sullivan, John W 

2 00 

Swett, Samuel 

2 00 

Sweetser, Samuel 

2 00 

Sweet, S. W. 

5 00 

Stimpson, Charles 

2 00 

Storer, Robert B. 

2 00 

Stevenson, Wm. 

2 00 

Tarbell, Thomas 

2 00 

Tappan,J. G. 

Tappan, L. W. 

5 00 

5 00 

Tappan, Benjamin 

5 00 

Tappan, Charles 

5 00 

Tenney, Samuel 

2 00 

Tenney, John N. 
Thompson, firm of Fes¬ 

2 00 

senden & Co. 

2 00 

Torrey, H. 

1 00 

Townsend, H. B. 

2 00 

Trott, George 

5 00 

Train, Enoch 

5 00 

Train, Samuel 

10 00 

Tinnnens, Henry 

10 00 

Tufts, James 

5 00 

Twomhly, Alex. H. 

2 00 

Underwood, Wm. 

5 00 

U., P. 

10 00 

Upham, Henry 

2 00 

Waterston, Robert 

2 00 




85 TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 169 


Walker, Ezra 

1 

00 

Watson, E. Miss 

2 

00 

Weld, A. D. 

5 

00 

Wells, Charles A. 

2 

00 

Whiton, J. M. 

2 

00 

Whittemore, G. 

3 

00 

White, Charles 
Wigglesworth, Thomas 

3 

00 

5 

00 

Wigglesworth, Edward 

2 

00 

Williams, S. S. 

2 

00 

Williams, Timothy 

2 

00 

Williams, John D. 

10 

00 

Williams, Moses 

5 

00 

Winchester, Edmund 

5 

00 

Williams, G. H. 

2 

00 

Williams, John 

3 

00 

Wolcott, J. H. 

5 

00 

Woodcock, Joseph 

2 

00 

Wells, Thomas B. 

2 

00 

Warren, John C. 

10 

00 

Walley, S. H. 

5 

00 

Wainwright, H. 

3 

00 

Walker, Ezra 

1 

00 

Wheelock, Gill 

Whitney, Joseph 

2 

00 

5 

00 

Whiston, F. C. 

2 

00 

Whitney, Paul 

5 

00 

Whittemore, George 

3 

00 

White, J. A. 

1 

00 

Whitney, Prentiss 

1 

00 

White, Joseph 

2 

00 

Whipple, James K. 

2 

00 

Winckley & Dickinson 

3 

00 

Williams, Elijah 

3 

00 

Willis, Nathaniel 

5 

00 

Whitney, Henry 

5 

00 

Winslow, Hubbard 

2 

00 

Wales, T. B. 

2 

00 

Welch, Francis 

5 

00 


8 


New York. 

Bethune, Joanna 5 00 

Betbune, Joanna 4 00 

Douglass Farm, L. Island, N. Y. 

Douglass, George 30 00 

Bedford, N. Y. 

Jay, William 25 00 

Fast Bridgewater . 

Reed, Nahum 1 00 

Washington, D. C. 
Clarke, Isaac 10 00 

Cambridge , Mass. 
Worcester, S. E. 2 00 

Palfrey, J. G. 2 00 

Ware, Henry, Jr. 2 00 

Norton, Andrews 10 00 

Far well, Levi 25 00 

Reading, Mass. 

Damon, John 3 00 


Newburyport, Mass. 

A Friend, in Mr. Dimmick’s 
Society, for Chaplains 5 00 


Stoughton , Mass. 

Park, Calvin 2 00 

Charlestown , Mass. 
M’Intire, E. P. 2 00 

Flint, Simeon 2 00 

Tufts, Amos 2 00 

Fay, Warren 2 00 

Doan, John 2 00 


Skelton, M. 2 00 

Lincoln, Charles 5 00 

Everett, Edward 5 00 

Hogins, Asa B. 2 00 

Milton, Mass. 

Tucker, Lewis 1 00 

Princeton , JV*. J. 

Miller, Samuel 2 00 

Carnahan, Dr. 2 00 

M’Lean, John 2 00 

Suffield, Conn. 

Sherman, David A. 2 00 

Conway, Mass. 

Avery, Joseph 2 00 

Auburn, N. Y. 

Lewis, Levi, by Officers of 
the Prison 30 00 

Hartford, Conn. 
Contribution in Rev. Dr. 

Hawes’s Church 58 67 

Do. in the North Ecclesi¬ 
astical Society, Rev.Mr. 
Bushnell’s 16 23 

New Haven , Conn. 
Hubbard, Thomas 3 00 

Wethersfield , Conn. 
Contribution 4 25 

Pilsbury, Amos 2 00 


o 





« 

APPENDIX. 


Speech of Hon. John R. Adan, at the Twelfth Annual 
Meeting of the Prison Discipline Society. 


“ Resolved , That the Report which has now 
been read, be accepted, and referred to the 
managers to be printed.” 

In offering this resolution, Mr. Adan said—I 
submit this resolution with much pleasure. No 
one can have heard, and no one will read, the 
Annual Report without deriving from it instruc¬ 
tion and satisfaction. Like all which have pre¬ 
ceded it, it bears many marks of indefatigable 
industry in obtaining, and of success in apply¬ 
ing, the information necessary to promote the 
improvement of public Prisons. That is the 
great object of this Society, and most diligently 
and faithfully has it been pursued. It is only 
twelve years since the Society was organized. 
Then, how much was to be done ! and now, 
how much has been achieved ! Within that 
brief space of time, most of the large Peniten¬ 
tiaries in this country have risen from a very 
low state to be the admiration of philanthro¬ 
pists. The Annual Reports of the Society are 
known and in use throughout Christendom. 
They have become text-books, furnishing a 
mass of information that cannot be had else¬ 
where ; and our Prisons have been so much im¬ 
proved, that nations, to which our fathers and 
ourselves have always gone for instruction, 
send their representatives and agents to profit 
by our knowledge and experience on this sub¬ 
ject. But all these facts should be only stimu¬ 
lants to exertion, not inducements to repose. 
Much has been done, but all is not done. We 
are laborers in a field where no one’s task can 
end but with his life. It must endure so long 
as there is poverty or crime in the land—so long 
as there are bad Prisons to be reformed, or good 
ones to be watched. Much must be done to 
discover and spread the truth, so that all may 
receive it, and much must be done to maintain 
things in a right position after we have placed 
them there. There is no Penitentiary so well 
conducted as not to need continual watching. 
Where they do well, praise and encourage them, 
and point out their excellences for imitation. 
Where they are badly conducted, denounce 
them, expose their defects in all their causes 
and all their consequences,—acting in each case 
without fear and without favor. 

I have been much interested in the statements 
contained in the Report concerning the Prisons 
of Pennsylvania. It is well known that, in the 
United States, there are two systems of Prison 
discipline. That called the Auburn system re¬ 
quires solitary confinement at meals and at 
night, classified labor during the day, and con¬ 
stant watching of the prisoners by day and by 
night, so far as may be needed to prevent con¬ 
versation among them. The Auburn system 
depends so much on good and faithful officers, 


that it is of the utmost importance always to 
secure their services. The Pennsylvania sys¬ 
tem relies less on the officers ; its chief depend¬ 
ence is on stone walls and iron doors ; it leaves 
the convicts to themselves, and requires them 
to be kept “ each in his narrow cell,” from the 
day he enters the Prison till he quits it. The 
Auburn system is that which prevails in New 
York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and else¬ 
where. The Pennsylvania system is confined 
to that state and New Jersey. 

There are advantages which we believe every 
man, of fair mind, must concede to our sys¬ 
tem :— 

First, —In the cost of buildings. To erect a 
Penitentiary on the Pennsylvania system costs 
six or seven times more than to build one, of 
the same capacity, on the Auburn system. 

Second, —The convicts in Pennsylvania work 
at their own discretion, and of course to little 
profit. Hence the cost of their maintenance is 
a most serious burden on the state. The sup¬ 
port of our Penitentiary is no charge to the state. 
The earnings of the convicts pay all the ex¬ 
penses of our Penitentiary, and much more. 
The net income to the state, the last year, was 
$13,428 25. Again, convicts enjoy better health 
under the Auburn than under the Pennsylvania 
system. This has been very clearly demon¬ 
strated in the Report of our secretary. And 
lastly, it is difficult to watch the prisoners in the 
Pennsylvania Prisons, or impart to them reli¬ 
gious or other instruction. 

But the friends of the Pennsylvania system 
say that the first object in every Penitentiary 
should be to prevent the possibility of any inter¬ 
course between the convicts ; that this object is 
perfectly obtained under their system, and is 
more than equivalent for all the advantages of 
the Auburn system. But on this point the par¬ 
ties have never agreed as to the fact of the pre¬ 
vention of intercourse among the convicts. We 
have always denied that this intercourse is im¬ 
possible, or even difficult. Our friends (espe¬ 
cially the secretary of the Society) have visited 
the Pennsylvania Prison at Philadelphia, and 
held conversation between cell and cell. Even 
after this, the same allegations were made as 
before by the friends of the Pennsylvania sys¬ 
tem. It is not surprising, then, that the gene¬ 
ral inquiry among those interested in the great 
subject of Prison discipline, should be, *' What 
is the truth ? ” In the Report of our secretary, 
sir, I believe we have the truth,—probably not 
the whole truth—but certainly nothing but the 
truth. I have examined the original documents 
on which the statements of our secretary are 
predicated, and I am satisfied that they support 
all his allegations. Perhaps, sir, this subject 
is of so much importance that I may be per- 





87 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837 . 


171 


mitted to pursue it farther, and with your per¬ 
mission I will read a few extracts from the doc¬ 
uments I have here. 

The Third Annual Report made to this Soci¬ 
ety, in 1828, warned the Pennsylvanians that 
they would be disappointed in their Penitentiary 
at Philadelphia. Our secretary there says, “In 
the plans of building, the great peculiarity, 
which the projectors sought, was solitary cells, 
in which it should be physically impossible for 
the convicts to communicate with each other 
from cell to cell. And the great principle which 
was to be acted upon, was solitary confinement 
day and night without labor. To secure the 
first object, a plan of buildings was adopted, 
broad, complicated, inconvenient, and expen¬ 
sive. Against this plan of building, we made 
the following objections in the Second Report: 
—The difficulty of preventing the prisoners 
from communicating with each other, either 
through the air chamber, or over the walls of 
the exercising yards ; the impossibility of in¬ 
specting the conduct of the prisoners in the 
cells, or in the exercising yards, either from the 
observatory in the centre of the large yard, or 
from the towers on the external walls; the 
difficulty of the keepers knowing it in cases of 
sudden sickness and distress among the prison¬ 
ers ; the difficulty of introducing labor, if it 
should be found necessary; the difficulty of 
communicating instruction ; and the expense. 
Since that Report was written, on a visit to 
Philadelphia, the experiment was made to as¬ 
certain whether the first point was gained, viz. 
cells so constructed that it should be impossible 
to converse from cell to cell. Having entered 
separate cells, and closed the doors opening into 
the exercising yards and the passage, we found, 
no difficulty in conversing'. After leaving the 
cells, we found no difficulty in conversing from 
one exercising yard to another when we were 
in adjoining yards, or from yard to yard with 
several intervening. Here, then, is a perfect 
failure in the first great object in this plan of 
building. It is neither impossible nor difficult 
for persons to converse from cell to cell, or from 
exercising yard to exercising yard.” 

This warning was given before the new 
Prison at Philadelphia was finished. It was 
in season to permit an entire change in the 
construction of the building. It had no effect. 

Lafayette, as we all know, passed a long time 
in Prison. He could advise with knowledge of 
the subject; and his advice was that Pennsyl¬ 
vania should adopt the Auburn system. After¬ 
wards, in 1826, he wrote thus—“ The people 
of Pennsylvania think that the system of soli¬ 
tary confinement is a new idea, a new discov¬ 
ery. Not so: it is only the revival of the sys¬ 
tem of the Bastile. The state of Pennsylvania, 
which has given to the world an example of 
humanity, and whose code of philanthropy has 
been quoted and canvassed by all Europe, is 
now about to proclaim to the world the ineffi¬ 
cacy of the system, and revive and restore the 
cruel mode of the most barbarous and unen¬ 
lightened age. I hope my friends of Pennsyl¬ 
vania will consider the effect this system had 
on the poor prisoners of the Bastile. I repaired 
to the scene on the second day of the demolition, 
and found all the prisoners had been deranged 
by their solitary confinement, except one. He 
had been a prisoner 25 years, and was led forth 
during the height of the tumultuous riot of the 
people whilst engaged in tearing down the 
building. He looked around with amazement, 
for he had seen nobody for that space of time ; 
and before night he was so much affected, that 
he became a confirmed maniac, from which sit¬ 
uation he never recovered.” 

Again, the commissioners of the Pennsylvania 


legislature, in their report in January, 1828, 
say,—“ Our belief in the value of solitary con¬ 
finement as a punishment for crime has grad¬ 
ually given way before the irresistible convic¬ 
tion which a thorough examination of the sub¬ 
ject has forced upon us; and, however the 
conclusion may be at variance with the senti¬ 
ments of a highly respectable portion of our 
fellow citizens, as well as with our own pre¬ 
conceived impressions, we shtmld be unfaithful to 
our trust and to our consciences if we hesitated 
for a moment to declare our deliberate opinion. 
If, therefore, the question were entirely open 
in this state,—if previous arrangements, of a 
nature too serious to be overlooked, did not 
interfere, we should earnestly recommend to 
the legislature the entire and absolute adoption 
of the system of solitary confinement at night, 
with joint labor in the daytime, on the plan of 
the Penitentiaries at Auburn, Sing Sing, and 
Wethersfield.” 

All this wise and conscientious advice, and 
all these friendly warnings, were disregarded. 
The system moved on upon the principle which 
Lafayette so much disapproved. 

Let us now look at the representations made 
by its friends, concerning its operation and 
effects. 

In the warden’s first report of the Philadel¬ 
phia Penitentiary, made in 1829, he says, (p. 
14,) “ To effect the great objects of Pe" tentiary 
discipline, it is indispensable to prevent all inter¬ 
course among the prisoners. I feel, therefore, 
much pleasure in adding that experience has 
convinced me that the structure and discipline 
of this Penitentiary have completely accomplished 
this great desideratum. Conversation and 
acquaintance are physically impracticable to its 
inmates.” 

In the second report of the same warden, for 
1830, he says,—“ It has been said that the pris¬ 
oners could, and therefore would, be likely to 
communicate from cell to cell. I believe it 
possible for a prisoner to halloo so loud that he 
may be heard. The keeper, however, has by 
far the best opportunity of hearing ; but we have 
never known an instance of their thus com¬ 
municating ; nor do I believe that any prisoner 
in the establishment knows who is in the next 
cell to him. Those who have been discharged 
have gone out unacquainted with those who 
have been inmates with them.” 

Again, in Smith’s Defence of the Pennsylva¬ 
nia System, published in 1833, at p. 82, the wri- 
tersays,—“It has been suggested that intercourse 
by means of conversation will also prevail in 
our Penitentiary ; that the prisoners will be 
enabled to effect this by means of the tubes con¬ 
veying heated air into their cells. The experi¬ 
ment of an attempted conversation by two par¬ 
ties in adjoining cells has been repeatedly tried. 
It was utterly impracticable.” 

Again, Governor Wolf, in his message to the 
legislature, in December, 1832, says,—“ The 
prisoners w-ork to more advantage; having no 
opportunity for conversation or amusement, 
they eagerly desire employment. Here all 
communication is cut off; no one knows his 
fellow prisoner; no acquaintance is formed ; no 
conversation takes place; the convict sees no 
one, and holds communion with no one, except 
such as will give him good advice.” 

The effect of these statements on the public 
mind has been to give to the Philadelphia Pen¬ 
itentiary and system of Prison discipline, a rep¬ 
utation they never deserved. It was in vain 
that the friends of the Auburn system again 
and again declared the statements incorrect, 
and made the declarations on their own personal 
examinations and knowledge. The parties 
being persons of high character, no decision 



172 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


88 


could be had between them. All that could be 
expected was to leave the matter in doubt. 
Legislative documents, furnished by Pennsyl¬ 
vania herself, have dissipated that doubt, and 
prove the friends of the Auburn system correct 
in their prophetic warnings and in their subse¬ 
quent statements. 

There are two Penitentiaries in Pennsylvania, 
viz., that in Philadelphia, called the Eastern 
Penitentiary, and the other in Pittsburg, called 
the Western Penitentiary. The Western Pen¬ 
itentiary was built after the completion of the 
other, and with all the advantages of experience 
in regard to it. Of the two Prisons, therefore, 
the Western should approach nearest to perfec¬ 
tion. 

I will now read an extract from a report to 
the legislature of Pennsylvania, made in March, 
1835, by a minority of a committee appointed 
to examine into abuses charged as existing in 
the economy and management of the Eastern 
Penitentiary. The report notices a defect in 
the construction of certain pipes, “ by means of 
which the convicts were enabled to communi¬ 
cate with each other. This defect was well 
nigh proving fatal to the institution ; inasmuch 
as a general insurrection had been concerted 
between the convicts, and was on the point of 
breaking out whe*i discovered by the vigilance 
of the warden, and frustrated by his energy and 
decision.” Thus much for the Eastern Peni¬ 
tentiary. 

We will now look at the Western Peniten¬ 
tiary, at Pittsburg. A committee of the house 
of representatives of Pennsylvania, in a report 
made in January, 1837, says,—“ It is the boast 
of Pennsylvania, that she has devised and car¬ 
ried into effect a system of Prison discipline, 
which so admirably combines the two great 
objects of punishment and reform. That this 
is effectually done by the system of solitary 
confinement, the committee are renewedly 
convinced by the result of their investigation. 
The total deprivation of liberty, the hopeless 
impossibility of intercourse with the world, or 
even with his fellow partners in crime, the 
lonely and still solitude of bis narrow cell, 
where no new object occurs on which to rest 
his eye or to fix and amuse his mind,—all com¬ 
bine to render his state of existence tiresome 
and gloomy in the extreme.” I read this ex¬ 
tract from the first page of the report. Certainly 
it. claims for the Pennsylvania system a com¬ 
plete triumph. On the very next page of the 
same report the same committee make the fol¬ 
lowing humiliating confession, alike fatal to 
their own previous declaration and to their 
boasted system :—“ A perusal of the report of 
the inspector of the Western Penitentiary, made 
to the legislature, March 4th, 1836, first informed 
the committee of the existence of evils in that 
institution, which, in the opinion of the in¬ 
spectors themselves, went far to destroy the 
boasted system of Prison discipline which had 
its origin in, and was, at much cost and trouble, 
carefully nurtured by Pennsylvania. The com¬ 
mittee were not a little surprised to learn from 
that report, that it was the serious belief of the 
inspectors that the system could not be carried 
into successful operation in the Penitentiary 
under their control, and that their hopes and 
expectations of success had been utterly disap¬ 
pointed. With the most anxious regard for its 
complete triumph, and for the purposes of rem¬ 
edying, if possible, the great and overwhelming 
difficulties by which it appeared to be surrounded, 
they made a protracted and scrutinizing inquiry, 
and take great pleasure in submitting, in as few 
words as possible, the result by [of] their re¬ 


searches. The inspectors, warden, assistants, 
and prisoners generally, concurred in their 
statements upon the subjects of inquiry ; and it 
was evident from information received from 
them, that the defects of the construction of the 
Prison prevent, in a great measure, the possibil¬ 
ity of strict solitary confinement, and admit of 
almost unlimited communication between the in¬ 
mates of adjoining cells. Prisoners were in no 
instance (when the committee asked the ques¬ 
tion) ignorant of the name, crime , sentence, time 
of liberation, &c., and in some instances, even 
able to give other information, which appeared 
highly improper for them to possess, because it 
should only appropriately be known to the of¬ 
ficers of the institution.” 

The impression left on my mind, after read¬ 
ing these documents, is that the fate of the 
Pennsylvania system of discipline is sealed. 
It would be more gratifying if we could be sat¬ 
isfied with it, and if it were all that is required 
for the punishment and reformation of criminals. 
But we must regard it and speak of it as it is, 
plainly and truly. The truth can never do any 
harm ; and it is high time that the truth should 
be known on this subject. Hitherto those dis¬ 
posed to erect Penitentiaries, have halted be¬ 
tween the Pennsylvania and the Auburn sys¬ 
tem,—not knowing which to adopt. I think 
they can hesitate no longer. Certainly the Au¬ 
burn system is the best in every respect, if it is 
not inferior in the prevention of intercourse 
among the convicts. The documents referred 
to prove that there is no such inferiority. 

As an inspector of the Massachusetts State 
Prison, I cannot close these remarks without 
acknowledging the many obligations that insti¬ 
tution is under to this Society and its much re¬ 
spected secretary. Some nine years ago, he 
found it a place of iniquity and pollution, where 
the evil one seemed to have established his 
throne, and to hold undisputed and undivided 
empire. It was so wretched a place, and the 
intercourse among the convicts was so unre¬ 
strained, that no convict could enter it so bad 
but that he might be made worse. 

Your secretary, aided by some friends of hu¬ 
manity, and encouraged by this Society, exposed 
the character of the institution ; and it was 
chiefly by his efforts, that the Prison was re¬ 
formed and made what it now is—a place which 
a Christian may visit with satisfaction. To 
this Society, and to the same gentleman, we are 
indebted for having a faithful chaplain, the full 
value of whose services cannot be appreciated, 
and whose influence among the convicts is as 
great as it is salutary. For a Long time this 
Society paid a large portion of the chaplain’s 
salary ; but our legislature became so well sat¬ 
isfied with the importance of having such an 
officer attached to the Prison, that they have 
raised his salary, pay the whole of it, and have 
refunded to this Society all its advances with 
interest. 

For all that this Society and its agent have 
done for our Prison, I return my sincere thanks. 
I know the extent of his labors, and the weight 
of his cares and responsibilities. May he be 
supported,—may he run and not faint,—nor be 
weary in well doing. He, and every one who 
labors in this good cause, has a great reward 
before him. He will have it in the approval of 
his own conscience,—in the reformation of bad 
men,—in the thanks and praise of good men. 
He will receive a still higher reward from Him, 
at whose dread tribunal no one will be asked 
what he has done for himself, but what he has 
done for others. 




89 


TWELFTH REPORT— 1S37. 


173 


Speech of Rev. Jared Curtis* Chaplain of the State Prison 
in Charlestown, at the Twelfth Anniversary of the Prison 
Discipline Society, May, 1837. 


“Resolved, That the restoration to virtue, and 
consequent happiness, of the inmates of our 
public Prisons and Penitentiaries, ought not to 
be considered as hopeless, but, by even 7 philan¬ 
thropist and Christian, should be made an ob¬ 
ject of untiring and strenuous effort,” 

The first topic, Mr. President, which presents 
itself, in this resolution, for our consideration, 
is this, that the restoration to virtue and to hap¬ 
piness, of the tenants of our Prisons, is not to be 
despaired of. 

And why, sir, need it be ? Does it follow, as 
a thing of course, because this unhappy class of 
our fellow-men are separated from society, and 
confined within the narrow limits of a Prison, 
that there are no motives, no means, no redeem¬ 
ing influences, which can be brought to bear on 
their consciences and their hearts, to awaken 
penitence and purify the spirit? Do granite 
walls, of necessity, exclude an atmosphere 
which is purifying and healthful ? Is all dark, 
and damp, and deadly ? 

I am aware, sir, that every thing which re¬ 
lates to Prisons and their guilty inmates, is, to 
multitudes, revolting; in them such themes 
create no interest; they awaken no sympathy. 
On all this moral desert, they can see no ver¬ 
dant spot. Other wastes may be made to bud, 
and blossom, and bear fruit; but within the 
precincts of a Prison-house, nothing is found to 
attract the eye of faith, to enkindle the dawn- 
ings of hope, or call forth the aspirations of the 
spirit. 

I thank God, sir, that it is not so with all. 
There are some, nay, there are many, in whose 
minds this subject wears a different aspect. 
Amid all the darkness, they can see the cor¬ 
uscations of light; and though there be much 
of discouragement, they are cheered and ani¬ 
mated by what has been accomplished, and by 
what is now doing. Instead of despairing, they 
gaze with admiration on the developments 
which, in the providence of God, are contin¬ 
ually showing themselves, in relation to these 
great objects cherished and pursued by this 
Society. 

But we are met, at the threshold, with the 
appalling fact, that prisoners are hard-hearted. 

I know, sir, that there are prisoners, and 
many too, who have hard hearts. It is, alas! 
but too commonly the case. Would it were 
not so. But I know also, from long and daily 
intercourse with this class of men, that there 
are those, and the number is not few, w r bo are 
no more hard-hearted than other men. They 
have hearts which can feel, affections which 
can be called forth, and sympathies which can 
be awakened, as well as others. The fountains 
of feeling can be made to gush out and to flow 
forth as freely and as bountifully from their 
bosoms, as from the bosoms of multitudes who 
have never breathed the atmosphere of a Prison. 
It is not every prisoner’s conscience that is 
“seared, as it were, with a hot iron.” With 
many, the very circumstance of their imprison¬ 
ment awakens a slumbering conscience. It 
becomes a faithful monitor; it speaks in whole¬ 
some, though in painful accents ; and the heart 
of such men is not hardened beyond the reach 
of effort and of hope. There are those in our 
Prisons, from families of respectability and 


w r orth, and who, though they have w T andered 
from virtue and from home, are not so hard¬ 
ened that they cannot feel. 

But prisoners are hard-hearted. 

And are prisoners, sir, the only hard-hearted 
men in the w orld ? And are men, because hard¬ 
hearted, to be given up in despair? Can Chris¬ 
tians feel thus? Will Christians talk thus? 
Are not the tenants of our Prisons the creatures 
of God? Are not their immortal spirits, with 
all their faculties and powers, derived from 
Him ? Are not these men the subjects of His 
moral government, and can He not reach them 
by any of the ten thousand influences which 
He causes to act on mind, in every part of his 
universe? Is “ the king’s heart in the hand of 
the Lord ? ” and is that of the prisoner so hard, 
so unyielding, that Omnipotence cannot soften 
and subdue it? Until you can shut out from the 
cell and the shop of the prisoner, the power and 
government of the Almighty, and disconnect 
this power from the attribute of his mercy, the 
case of the prisoner is not hopeless because he 
has a hard heart. 

Whose hand was it, sir, that traced on the 
palace-wall of the sacrilegious king of Babylon, 
those mysterious characters which marked his 
fearful destiny? Who gave thGse characters a 
pow 7 er to blanch a face never before pale, and 
to make even - joint and muscle of the hardened 
Belshazzar to tremble? And cannot the same 
hand and the same power be seen and felt 
w’ithin the cell of the prisoner,—bringing up 
before him, “in lines of living light,” his char¬ 
acter and his destiny, and making him to fear 
and tremble in view 7 of the wrath of an offended 
God ? 

And, sir, whose voice wms it, as the malig¬ 
nant and hard-hearted Saul of Tarsus was on 
his way to Damascus, “ breathing out threat¬ 
ening and slaughter” against the disciples of 
the Lord, that, from the third heaven, and from 
a blaze of glory “above the brightness of the 
sun,” suddenly broke on the ear of the blas¬ 
phemer, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou 
me?” Whose power was it which prostrated 
him on the earth, and forced from his lips the 
agonizing cry, “ Who art thou, Lord ? ” What 
transforming influence was that which brought 
this fiend-like persecutor, in the language of 
humble submission, with the chastened spirit 
of childlike obedience, to inquire, “Lord, 
what wilt thou have me to dor” And is the 
prisoner, though hard-hearted, placed where 
this same pow r er cannot prostrate him ? w 7 here 
the same voice cannot arrest his attention, and 
lead him to inquire, “Who art thou, Lord?” 
and where the same transforming influence 
cannot constrain him, in the attitude of a sup¬ 
pliant, and with the spirit of true discipleship, 
to ask of that Jesus whom he has persecuted, 
“ Lord, w hat wilt thou have me to do ? ” 

But, in addition to his being hard-hearted, w 7 e 
are told that the prisoner is polluted, and so 
polluted that he is beyond hope. And is this 
true, sir? Is the prisoner’s heart so darkened 
by stains of guiit, and are those stains so deeply 
struck, that, in all the universe of God, there 
can be brought to bear upon it no purifying 
process ? Has the faithless objector forgotten 
the nature and object of the Savior’s advent 
into our world ? Have the blood of the Lamb, 

02 



174 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


90 


and the influences of the Holy Spirit, no re¬ 
deeming power, no purifying efficacy? Once, 
this blood of Jesus Christ could cleanse from all 
sin. Is it not so now ? Until it can be shown, 
sir, that the purifying efficacy of this blood was 
never designed to wash away the stains which 
fasten on the hearts of those whose feet pass 
the threshold of a Prison, I shall never become 
faithless in regard to their sanctification and 
salvation. 

But the prisoner is not only hard-hearted and 
polluted, but he is also degraded, , and to such an 
extent that moral elevation is hopeless. 

Who, sir, is the man, who, in the face of all 
that God has done and is doing for the redemp¬ 
tion and recovery of our lost race, presumes to 
hazard the assertion, or even belief, that al¬ 
mighty Power and matchless Grace cannot and 
will not bring up the prisoner, deep sunk as he 
may be in “the horrible pit and the miry clay,” 
and elevate him to the dignity of a son of the 
“ Lord Almighty ? ” If the gospel can sanctify, 
it can also elevate ; for what is true dignity and 
moral elevation, but a conformity of character 
to the spirit and temper of Him who is the 
Savior of all who believe and obey ? 

Who, sir, can ever forget the poor, polluted, 
degraded “ prodigal 1 ” But, polluted as he was, 
and degraded as he was, tears of penitence, 
notwithstanding, were made to flow down his 
face ; confession of guilt burst from his broken 
heart; the arms of his father once more encir¬ 
cled him; he was welcomed to his long forsa¬ 
ken home ; his rags were taken off; a ring was 
put on his hand, and shoes on his feet ; the fat¬ 
ted calf was killed ; and there were joy and 
gladness in the habitation, for the dead was 
again alive, the lost was found :—and was there 
here no moral elevation? Was it nothing to 
cease to be the companion of swine, and to be¬ 
come, once more, a sharer in the society and 
blessings of his family and his home? and is 
the poor prodigal prisoner forever debarred from 
such a return ; from such a welcome to his 
heavenly Father’s family, and an elevation 
among the sons of God? No, sir. Blessed be 
God that we can, with joyful confidence, reply, 
No. 

In this confidence are we strengthened, sir, 
when we call to mind the interesting fact 
disclosed in the Volume of Inspiration, that 
“ There is joy in the presence of the angels of 
God over one sinner that repenteth.” And 
how cheering to the heart of the Christian phi¬ 
lanthropist, that the repentance and return to 
virtue of the most degraded and guilty tenant 
of a Prison, of a dungeon even, would awaken 
a new thrill of rapture in the breast of every 
happy and glorified spirit in heaven! And 
think you there have not been, and are not 
now, such raptures known and felt there ? I 
doubt not, sir, but the highest archangel in 
glory would esteem it an honor to be sent on 
an errand of mercy to the prisoner’s cell; that 
he would speed his way, with quickened wing, 
back to the realms of light, there to awaken 
new joy by the intelligence, that the tenant of 
that cell was now a penitent, broken-hearted 
child of God. 

Are we, then, to despair of the penitence 
and return to virtue of the degraded prisoner? 
Where, in His providence or in His word, has 
God authorized us to believe that all the chan¬ 
nels of mercy and of spiritual influence between 
heaven and the prisoner’s solitary abode, have 
been closed forever? Can the Holy Spirit find 
no pathway in which he can gain access to his 
habitation and his heart? 

It should be known, sir, that every cell of 
our reformed Prisons is furnished with the 
Word of God, which is “ the sword of the 


Spiritthat, morning and evening, the occu¬ 
pants of these cells assemble in their own 
sanctuaries for the worship of Almighty God ; 
that the Sabbath, with its hallowed light and 
sacred stillness, and with all those precious 
means of grace and instruction which it brings 
to others, brings the same also to them. And 
is there no rescue, no redemption for the pris¬ 
oner, because the Holy Spirit cannot find means 
and agencies by which he can successfully 
operate ? 

And again, Mr. President, I would ask, Is 
the ear of the Father of mercies open to the 
cries of every class of his guilty creatures on 
his footstool, with the exception of the pris¬ 
oner? and can his prayer find no admittance 
there? Has the sacrifice of the Redeemer, 
when presented and pleaded by the lonely and 
desolate occupant of a cell, no prevailing effica¬ 
cy? “Prayer ardent,” we are told, “opens 
heaven.” Does no such prayer go up from pris¬ 
oners, or in their behalf? How many praying 
Christians, from Sabbath to Sabbath, and from 
day to day, spread out before the “ mercy 
seat” the wants and woes of the prisoner. 
Not a few of these unhappy beings have pray¬ 
ing relatives and friends, who plead for them in 
their closets and at the family altar; and can 
we believe that the father’s and the mother’s 
prayer, the supplications of the pious wife, 
whose heart is ready to break as she agonizes 
for the husband of her youth, and the father of 
her children ; the warm-hearted entreaties of 
brothers and sisters for converting grace to be 
bestowed on an unhappy brother, and the 
pleadings of the child in behalf of a once kind 
but now degraded and miserable parent, shall 
bring down no gracious answer, and secure no 
blessings for those in whose behalf they plead? 
It cannot be. 

Shall the records of the past be overlooked or 
forgotten ? Shall what our eyes have seen be 
set down as a delusion? Shall it be said there 
can be no hope cherished for the prisoner, 
when, within a few short years, so many, in 
the judgment of Christian charity, have been 
restored to society, purified, industrious and 
happy ? Such, if I mistake not, I have myself 
seen; and others, of the same description, I 
hope still to see. I could take you to the habi¬ 
tations of some, within sight of my own dwell¬ 
ing, where, morning and evening, their fami¬ 
lies bow together around the family altar. 

But I must not pursue this train of thought 
any farther. Permit me now, briefly, to refer 
to the remaining part of the resolution, which 
is, substantially, based on the proposition which 
has been already considered— 

“ That, by every philanthropist and Christian, 
the restoration to virtue and happiness, of the 
inmates of our public Prisons and Penitentiaries, 
should be made an object of untiring and stren¬ 
uous effort.” 

And first, sir, the welfare and happiness of 
the community demand it. Look at the num¬ 
bers who throng our public Prisons. There 
are, literally, thousands who are subjected to 
the discipline of these institutions ; and vastly 
the greater portion of these thousands are again 
to mingle in society, and to exert an influence 
for weal or for woe on other thousands. Is it 
not, then, of unspeakable moment, that they 
be prepared to make this influence a salutary 
and a happy one, rather than that it should be 
fraught with pollution and death ? 

But again, sir, the moral reformation of this 
class of men is unspeakably important to them¬ 
selves as individuals. Who, without strong 
emotion, can contemplate a creature of God, 
intelligent, immortal, capable of that pure, ele¬ 
vated and growing happiness to which he was 



91 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


175 


originally destined,—degraded, vicious, wretch¬ 
ed ; and as he travels on in life, sinking deeper 
and deeper in degradation and wretchedness ? 
But look at him rescued from the chains that 
bound him, and brought up from the depths to 
which he had sunken, redeemed, disenthralled, 
purified, his heart cherishing whatever is “ hon¬ 
est, and lovely, and of good report.” Now he 
is happy ; and, O, what a contrast between the 
aims, and hopes, and joys of this redeemed 
one, and those which were felt when he was 
the slave of sin, and a mass of pollution ! Sir, a 
wicked man can never be happy. The princi¬ 
ples of the divine administration forbid it. The 
God of truth hath declared that “the wicked 
are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest.” 
“ There is no peace, saith my God, to the 
wicked.” But it is not in this life, merely, 
that the redeemed prisoner is made happy. 
Follow him into eternity, and contemplate him 
as he rises higher and higher still, through 
ceaseless ages, in knowledge and in blessed¬ 
ness, and then say whether the recovery to 
virtue and to piety of a single degraded and 
guilty man be not, even as he himself is re¬ 
garded, an object devoutly and strenuously to be 
sought. But, sir, the prisoner stands not alone ; 
he has relatives and friends, and they are ma¬ 
ny ; and not a few of these many are estimable 
for whatever we esteem and love in human 
character. They, like others, have hearts that 
can bleed, or that can palpitate with joy. 
Their sensibilities are as tender, their affections 
as warm, their piety as ardent, as are to be 
found in the bosoms of others. They are 
fathers and mothers, they are brothers and sis¬ 
ters, they are wives and children; and, O, 
what multitudes, in our own beloved country, 
and even in our own state, sustain these rela¬ 
tions to the unhappy and guilty tenants of our 
Prisons ! There cannot be fewer than two 
thousand who stand thus connected with the 
inmates of our own State Prison. What, then, 
must be said in regard to the other portions of 
our widely-extended country! And what an 
aggregate of distress and agony is here ! What 
eye, but that of God, has seen the tears that 
have been shed, and surveyed the hearts that 
have been torn and broken, as the result of the 
follies and crimes of those they loved, and who 
are now suffering the degradation and confine¬ 
ment of a Prison ! 

Is it, then, of no importance, that the hearts 


of these friends should be made glad, and their 
pathway in life cheered by the return to virtue 
and to happiness of those so dear to them ? 
How many fathers would kill the “ fatted calf,” 
and make merry ! how many wives welcome 
back to their desolate home, hereafter to be the 
home of plenty and of peace, the husbands who 
had made them, of all women, the most mise¬ 
rable ! how many children, and how many 
brothers and sisters, would bless the hand that 
should bring back to them, objects once so dear, 
whom perhaps they had given over as lost, but 
now reformed, affectionate, and happy ! 

And have not these relatives and friends a 
claim on us for every effort and every exertion 
in our power, to make them happy, by reclaim¬ 
ing to virtue those with whom their happiness 
is so intimately connected ? 

But I am trespassing too far. I only ask, in 
connection with the remarks which have been 
made, to be permitted to read an extract from a 
letter recently received and directed to myself, 
written by a daughter to her father, who is now 
confined in the State Prison at Charlestown. 
This letter will serve to show what is the char¬ 
acter of some of the friends of the unhappy 
men who tenant our Prisons. 

[After the reading of the letter, which the chaplain does 
not think himself, at present, authorized to furnish for publi¬ 
cation, he proceeded as follows:] 

Such, Mr. President, is the letter of this 
daughter. It would be presumption in me, after 
witnessing the effect produced by it, to attempt 
any additional remarks. 

Its effect, as you may well suppose, on the 
mind of her unhappy father, when it was read 
to him, was most powerful. It will never be 
effaced. His whole frame shook with emotion, 
and his weeping was loud, and long, and ago¬ 
nizing. And is not the father of such a daugh¬ 
ter worth hoping and praying for? And are 
not other fathers and friends, who are in sim¬ 
ilar circumstances, also to be regarded with in¬ 
terest ? 

Sir, we will hope, we will pray, we will 
make efforts in their behalf. We may “ sow 
in tears,” but we shall “ reap in joy,” if we 
faint not. We may “ go forth with weeping 
yet, if we go “ bearing precious seed, we shall 
surely come again rejoicing, bringing our 
sheaves with us.” 


Speech of Governor Everett, at the Annual Meeting of the 
Prison Discipline Society, May 30 , 1837 . 


I rise, Mr. President, in compliance with the 
request made to me on behalf of the Society, 
that I would say a few words on this occasion. 
Much rather would I leave the exalted strain 
of devotional poetry which has just been sung, 
the prisoner’s hymn, as it might well be called ; 
much rather would I leave the statements of 
the reverend chaplain who has immediately 
preceded me, and particularly the touching let¬ 
ter with which he closed, to produce their effect 
upon the audience uninterrupted by any re¬ 
marks of mine ; but, having promised to take 
some humble part in these exercises, I must 
throw myself, for a short time, on your indul¬ 
gence, in submitting a few remarks on the fol¬ 
lowing resolution:— 

“ Resolved , That the improvements in Prison 


discipline are justly to be considered among the 
most interesting achievements of Christian phi¬ 
lanthropy in modern times ; that this Society is 
entitled to the thanks of every friend of human¬ 
ity for its successful efforts in the cause ; and 
that unabated exertions ought to be made still 
further to mitigate the severity of the penal law, 
as far as is consistent with the ends of public 
justice.” 

The resolution, sir, covers a part of the 
ground so ably occupied by the reverend chap¬ 
lain of the Prison, and the chairman of the 
board of inspectors, on my right, (Mr. Adan,) in 
his highly instructive address ; and to avoid 
repeating what has been so pertinently said by 
those gentlemen, I shall confine myself chiefly 
to principles of a general nature, but such as 





176 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY, 


m 


lie at the foundation of the Prison Discipline 
Society. 

Before I proceed, however, sir, I beg leave to 
say a word in reference to the condition of the 
State’s Prison at Charlestown. However large 
and diffusive our interest in the general cause 
of Prison discipline, we must naturally have 
peculiarly at heart the' institution in *ur im¬ 
mediate neighborhood. I listened with great 
satisfaction to the very handsome manner in 
which this institution was spoken of in the 
report of the secretary. No one is better quali¬ 
fied to give an opinion ; from no one is a favor¬ 
able opinion more valuable. I believe it is not 
improper for me to say, in this place, that all 
the opportunities I have had to become ac¬ 
quainted with the state and management of 
the Prison have led me to the same results. 
It is known to the public that a rigid and 
searching inquiry was instituted into the state 
of the Prison, last winter, by the legislature, 
and that their report was entirely satisfactory 
to its friends. I believe its management as 
near perfect as the imperfect nature of human 
things admits; and that its prosperous condi¬ 
tion, as set forth in the report of our secretary, 
is owing to the fidelity and intelligence, the 
mingled resolution and tenderness of the war¬ 
den, giving a character to the entire adminis¬ 
tration of the discipline by himself and his as¬ 
sociates ; to the devoted labors of the chaplain ; 
to the wisdom and vigilance of the board of 
inspectors, to whom the commonwealth is 
under great obligations, and whose respected 
chairman has already enchained the attention 
of the present audience. Considerable im¬ 
provements are much needed in some of the 
Prison buildings; but with the management of 
the institution the public have reason to be 
more than satisfied. 

The resolution I have had the honor to send 
to the chair, speaks of the improvements in 
Prison discipline as among the most interest¬ 
ing achievements of Christian benevolence in 
modern times. To justify this remark, we 
need but to reflect a moment on what Prisons 
Were before these reforms were introduced. 
I think it may be said, Without exaggeration, 
that, within the walls of many of them, the ca¬ 
pacity of the human victim to endure suffering 
was put to its severest test. What Prisons, in 
many places, must have been, cannot better be 
inferred than from the just remark which fell 
from the honorable chairman of the board of 
inspectors, in reference to the State’s Prison at 
Charlestown,—that, only nine years ago, that 
Prison, situated, as it is, in the very heart 
of Massachusetts, within the circle of the me¬ 
tropolis of New England,—the land of the pil¬ 
grims,—within the daily sight of so many intel¬ 
ligent, humane, and conscientious persons, was, 
nevertheless, a spot where the enemy of man¬ 
kind seemed to have erected his throne, and to 
rule with unresisted sway. If this was the 
condition of our Prison only nine years ago, 
what must Prisons have been, before the mod¬ 
ern reforms had any where been proposed, in 
foreign countries, less favored than our own in 
the general intelligence of the people, and un¬ 
der despotic governments, accustomed to regard 
the Prison mainly as an instrument of the po¬ 
lice or of political power? The best thing, 
perhaps, that could be said of the old Prisons 
Was, that they were not much relied on as 
places of punishment for the more ordinary 
crimes. Except for political offences, they 
were principally employed as places of deten¬ 
tion before trial; and, in this capacity, owing 
to the tardy pace of justice, they served, to a 
deplorable extent, as schools of corruption and 
vice. 


The researches and writings of Howard first 
awakened the attention of the civilized world 
to this subject. Suggestions were made by 
him, tending, perhaps, to most of the reforms 
which have since been adopted ; but no im¬ 
proved system was contrived, and little done 
by any government to effect an improvement 
in Prisons upon principle. About the same 
time, however, that the researches of Howard 
Were made, a strong disposition evinced itself, 
in many parts of Christendom, to mitigate the 
severity of the penal Code, to lessen the fre¬ 
quency of capital punishments, and to dispense 
with cruel inflictions on the person. This dis¬ 
position was encouraged in England by the 
practice of transporting convicts to penal colo¬ 
nies. All this formed a preparation in the 
public mind for the infinitely more important 
step in the march of improvement—that of con¬ 
verting Prisons into places of moral reform, 
into what is implied in the name of Peniten¬ 
tiaries. It has been Well said that Words are 
things: in this single Word, Penitentiary , ap¬ 
plied to Prisons, a great revolution, a physical 
and a moral revolution, was effected ;-~a physi¬ 
cal revolution, because the idea of a reform in 
the character of the convict, required that the 
place of confinement, instead of being, as it 
Was formerly, a pestiferous den of guilt and 
shame, (not more dangerous to morals than to 
life and health,) should become a comfortable 
abode for a human being. Accordingly, this 
is the first feature of the new system which 
strikes the observer ; and I appeal to you, Mr. 
Secretary, whose means of observation are so 
ample, whether, in the case of three fourths of 
the inmates of our improved State’s Prisons, they 
do not, probably, for the first time in their lives, 
on entering the walls, pass a night on a clean 
bed, in a Well-ventilated apartment, perfectly 
sheltered from the elements, cool in summer, 
and warm in winter, well clad, with plenty of 
wholesome food, and, if ill, kindly nursed and 
skilfully attended. All this has been effected 
without burdensome expense to the state ; on 
the contrary, at a vastly less expense, as was so 
happily illustrated by the secretary in the case 
of the Wethersfield Prison, than that at which 
the old Prisons were supported. It has been 
effected without impairing the security of Pris¬ 
ons as places of confinement; on the contrary, 
they become much more secure: and it has 
been effected, also, (what would seem at first 
paradoxical,) without diminishing the terror 
with which they were regarded as places of 
punishment. Thus, without sacrificing any 
other object, a vast amount of human suffering 
has been relieved by ameliorating the physical 
condition of Prisons. 

But the moral revolution was the great ob¬ 
ject. On this subject I wish to speak without 
exaggeration ; for over-statements are, perhaps, 
by a too sanguine benevolence, sometimes 
made. But if we would avoid extravagance 
on the one side, we must be reasonable in our 
expectations on the other. Let a parent or 
guardian undertake to reform a child or ward 
who, but for a year or two, has been led astray, 
and he will probably learn, from experience, 
how much can reasonably be expected from 
such persons as usually fill our Prisons. But a 
negative reformation, if I may so express my¬ 
self, must, at all events, for the time, take place 
in the Penitentiary. Its inmates are cut off 
from vicious courses ; they are withdrawn from 
the great producing sources of crime—intem¬ 
perance, want, and bad example ; they are em¬ 
ployed in steady labor; and they are subjected 
to every moral and religious influence which 
the nature of things admits. An external change 
of life takes place. If nothing better can be 



93 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


177 


said, the time passed in Prison is redeemed 
from farther progress in corruption, and all the 
external indications of an altered man are fre¬ 
quently exhibited. Whether the reform ex¬ 
tends to a radical change of the heart, He who 
searches the heart alone can say. I have no 
doubt it sometimes does. I have heard of such 
cases ; I think I have seen them. I have no 
doubt there are instances of entire reform, of 
total renovation of the character. But, after 
what has been said by the worthy chaplain of 
the Prison at Charlestown on this subject, I 
need not enlarge. 

This, then, is the glory of the modern Prison 
discipline: an awful waste of life, of human 
blood, has been prevented ; the tortures of the 
former modes of punishments are disused ; the 
aggravated corruption, which badly-managed 
Prisons unavoidably produced, is succeeded 
by a purifying moral influence, and, in numer¬ 
ous well-attested cases, character has been re¬ 
trieved. Human benevolence can make no 
nearer approach to an imitation of divine be¬ 
nevolence. It is good, good of the highest 
order. If, not thousands, if but a few fellow- 
men, who would have been left bleeding, 
scarred, and exasperated, from the scourge, the 
branding-iron, and the cropping-knife, have 
been stopped in their downward course ; if, not 
thousands, if a single accountable being, who 
would have been dragged from the gaol to the 
scaffold, and hurried from the scaffold, without 
a season of repentance, into the presence of 
his Maker, has, by the divine blessing on these 
means of reformation, been restored, it is worth 
all the time, labor, and money, which have 
been bestowed on the cause in Europe and 
America. Yes, sir, in the presence of this au¬ 
dience, and of the Being in whose house we 
are assembled, it may with truth be declared, 
that to redeem one such fellow-creature, body 
and soul, for time and for eternity, is a more 
noble achievement than any deed of human 
fame that was ever performed by statesman, 
monarch, or conqueror, since the world began. 

In these great triumphs of humanity the 
Prison Discipline Society has borne a conspic¬ 
uous part. The rapid progress of reform is 
coeval with it. It has served as a bond of 
union, and a medium of communication to the 
philanthropists of the country, and, in some 
respects, to those of other countries. Its Re¬ 
ports, as was well stated by the chairman of the 
inspectors, have been received abroad as text¬ 
books. Their annual appearance has been the 
great agency by which reform has been effect¬ 
ed. By it improvements have become known 
and held up to imitation, defects exposed to 
notice, facts recorded, experience ascertained, 
zeal encouraged. I look to them as the means 
of carrying on the great work of reform ; and 
they are so regarded, I am sure, by the benev¬ 
olent public. 

Nor is the merit of our country less acknowl¬ 
edged abroad, in reference to this great cause. 
The most enlightened European governments 
have sent commissions to examine the Prisons 
in the United States. France deserves particu¬ 
lar mention for the humane zeal she has ex¬ 
hibited. Not content with the mission of 
Messrs. De Beaumont and Tocquevijle, whose 
instructive report is well known to the public, 
the French government has, within a few 
months, sent another commission, of three in¬ 
telligent gentlemen, charged with an inquiry 7 
into every matter of practical detail, directed to 
make plans, measurements and drawings, and 
collect all the information necessary to con¬ 
struct and put in operation a Penitentiary on 
the American system. The Prussian govern¬ 
ment has also sent a commissioner, Dr. Julius, 


deeply x T ersed in the subject of Prison discipline, 
to examine the institutions of this country. 
Inquiries of this kind, candidly pursued and 
communicated, are of the most beneficial ten¬ 
dency. They diffuse abroad the knowledge of 
all that has been successfully attempted here 
for the improvement of Prisons ; w hile the com¬ 
ments of intelligent and candid foreigners af¬ 
ford us the best opportunity of becoming ac¬ 
quainted with those defects of our establish¬ 
ments and systems, to which national partiality 
might blind us. 

It is for this reason I particularly regret the 
prevailing tone of the report of Mr. William 
Crawford, to the British government, on the 
Penitentiaries of the United States. I am not 
disposed to detract from the credit to which I 
understand that gentleman is entitled for his 
efforts to improve the Prisons of his own coun¬ 
try ; I wish it had been accompanied with a 
less apparent wish to disparage ours ; com¬ 
mendation, on most points, is reluctantly be¬ 
stowed, censure promptly awarded, throughout 
his report. The peculiar merits of our Peni¬ 
tentiary discipline are no where placed in re¬ 
lief ; and great pains are taken to inculcate the 
idea, that the reforms in Prison discipline, 
practised in the United States, are of European 
origin: the Philadelphia system “was bor¬ 
rowed from Gloucester and Glasgow ;” and the 
Auburn discipline is that “ which has been, 
with a few periods of intermission, for many 
years pursued at the Maison de Force at 
Ghent.” A note adds to this information the 
further fact, that “ this strict discipline at Ghent 
has not of late been maintained.” On this 
singular state of facts Mr. Crawford insists 
upon calling it “ the Ghent discipline.” (Re¬ 
port, pages 18, 20.) 

Most certainly it is of little matter where a 
great moral reform has had its origin. Wher¬ 
ever it originated, most assuredly this system 
was first extensively and notoriously applied in 
the United States. I am not aware that, while 
it existed at Ghent alone, (if with any reason 
it can be said it ever did so exist,) it awoke 
general attention, or was any where imitated 
in Europe. I have never heard of commission¬ 
ers sent from all the civilized governments of 
Europe, to study it there. But, if our brethren 
in England prefer to claim for Europe the 
credit of this germ of reform, although never 
flourishing till transplanted to an American 
soil, rather than admit that it is here indige¬ 
nous, the point is not worth contesting. But 
the topic is not pleasing, and I pass to higher 
considerations. 

Wherever the credit of the past belongs, 
enough remains to be done to task all the 
powers and means of the friends of humanity. 
Let our only rivalry, as individuals or nations, 
be in this field. It was remarked by the first 
French commissioners, that “ the worst as well 
as the best Prisons are in America.” “ Among 
the worst,” may be admitted, however we re¬ 
gret the fact; “ the very worst,” I think, ought 
not to be insisted upon, for certainly I have 
read of Prisons abroad—nay, hax r e seen them— 
as bad as any thing can be this side of the 
great Prison. But we have Prisons among us, 
and in great numbers, bad enough. Let us 
aim at their reform. Let all our County Gaols 
and municipal Prisons be remodeled on the 
plan of our best Penitentiaries. No cause, not 
even a regard for economy, can be pleaded for 
neglect to do this ; for it is a proved fact, that a 
prison on the reformed plan can support itself, 
which no other Prison ever did. Some further 
improvements, no doubt, may be made even in 
our best institutions. The great reform of 
erecting Asylums for poor lunatics must be 






178 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


94 


carried through the Union: and imprisonment 
for debt is not yet wholly done away with;— 
even in this commonwealth, though nominally 
abolished by law, it exists to an extent incon¬ 
sistent with humanity and justice. But I need 
not go farther in this detail of those objects to 
which the zealous efforts of this Society should 
be directed. The report of the managers will 
present them in proper light to the country. 
The great object, above all others, must be to 
increase the power of the moral influences ap¬ 
plied to the subjects of Prison discipline, and 
thereby to multiply the cases of real reform. 
In this way alone can we hope to win over 
those parts of the community which have not 
yet been brought to admit the defects of the 
ancient penal code. It is but yesterday that. I 
read in the newspaper a detailed report of a 
case in one of our sister states, in which the 
old punishment of the pillory and the scourge 
was inflicted on a hardened offender. It was 
urged by the writer of the report, that Delaware 
must see proof that the modern discipline is a 
real improvement, (which she had not yet 
done,) before she abandoned the old punish¬ 
ments. These prejudices can be eradicated 
only by the slow, patient, but finally all-power¬ 
ful, teachings of experience. 

I am aware that this is not the most inviting 
department of benevolent labor. Its subjects 
may seem calculated rather to repel than to in¬ 
vite sympathy. But if the history of every 
convict were written by the pen of truth over 
the door of his cell, I believe the only emotion 
it would excite would be pity—profound pity. 
I never heard one of them, whether I gave full 
credit or not to his account of himself, with any 
other emotion. The greater part of them are 


always the children of friendless ignorance 
and early destitution. I agree with the chap¬ 
lain, that a portion of the convicts are men 
who have had early means of education ; but, 
with the great majority, the case is otherwise. 
And what should any of us have been, if, in our 
early years, instead of being faithfully watched, 
tenderly nursed, never trusted out of a pair of 
careful arms, it had been our lot, as it was that 
of many of these unfortunate beings, as soon as 
we were old enough to walk, to be driven with 
curses into the streets by the wretched authors 
of our being ? I speak to parents. Have you 
not, as you have walked through the work shops 
of a Prison, or seen its inmates, with the badges 
of their shame upon them, perhaps with guilt 
stamped upon their countenances, silently pa¬ 
cing to their cells,—have you not often reflected 
that these repulsive objects were once innocent, 
unconscious children, like your beloved ones? 
But, not favored like yours, at the season of life 
when the seeds of character are sown, return¬ 
ing from school every day with blooming 
cheeks, and, perhaps, the testimonials of dili¬ 
gence in their hands; not, like yours, safely 
gathered at night to a comfortable meal and a 
peaceful couch,—these poor creatures were 
never sent to any school but that of corrupting 
example in the streets by day, and at night in 
the dens of guilty excess and squalid want. 
But I forbear, sir ; I cannot, after the reverend 
chaplain, presume to tread this ground. 

It is not necessary. I speak in the hearing 
of Christian men and women, who do not need 
to be taught that the humblest and most de¬ 
graded of our race are our equals in the sight 
of Heaven. 


Report of the Special Committee of the Parliament of 

Lower Canada, 1836. 


The special committee appointed to take into 
consideration the report of the commissioners 
appointed in virtue of the act 4th Will. IV. cap. 
10, to proceed to the United States of America, 
to visit the principal Penitentiary Prisons there¬ 
in, to ascertain the several systems adopted in 
such Prisons, and the regulations made for the 
internal government and management thereof, 
and for other objects, and to whom was referred 
that part of the speech of his excellency the gov¬ 
ernor in chief, delivered at the opening of the 
present session, which relates to Prisons, to 
Prison discipline, and to the expediency of adopt¬ 
ing some more effectual methods than at pres¬ 
ent exist for repressing crime,—and also the 
message of his excellency of the 6 th February, 
1835, with the documents accompanying the 
same, relating to Prisons and Prison discipline, 
—after having carefully examined the same, 
have agreed to the following report:— 

Your committee, in the course of their labors 
on the important subject intrusted to their con¬ 
sideration, applied themselves particularly to 
what appeared to them to be the two principal 
objects which your honorable house had in 
view, that is to say, the adoption of a cheap 
and effective Penitentiary system, and the 
readiest means of carrying it into effect in this 
province. 

The great amount of crime in Lower Canada 
has its principal source in the absence of all 
discipline in the Prisons, and the faulty con¬ 
struction of the buildings in which the prisoners 


are confined in common, and more particularly 
in the inefficiency of the English code of pun¬ 
ishment introduced into this province. Very 
different indeed from the English criminal pro¬ 
cess which the glorious institution of the trial 
by jury has rendered the wisest and the most 
conformable to humanity and to the liberty of 
the citizen, the dispositions of the code of pun¬ 
ishments offer nothing but a mixture of super¬ 
stition and barbarity. 

When the community condemns any one of 
its members to punishment, the object cannot 
be to revenge the injury they have suffered at 
his hands. The sole object is to prevent the 
criminal from doing further mischief. They 
believe that this object may be attained either 
by expelling him forever from among them, or 
by secluding him for a limited time, during 
which they have reason to hope that he will 
repent and reform. They have, then, no right 
to exact any thing but perfect obedience to the 
expressed general will, which constitutes the 
law 5 and, in punishing those who have con¬ 
travened it, they can have no other intention 
than to accustom the criminal to such obedience. 
In the choice of the punishment to be inflicted, 
they ought, therefore, to confine themselves to 
such as, while they make a deep and salutary 
impression on the criminal and his fellows, shall 
be devoid of any character of cruelty. 

The mere privation of personal liberty has, for 
a long time, been considered as one of the pun¬ 
ishments most conducive to this end. The sys- 





95 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


179 


tem of confinement, as it has hitherto been fol¬ 
lowed throughout almost the whole of Europe, 
and as it still is in this province, has been proved 
beyond all doubt to be not only inefficient, but 
productive of fatal results. Far from tending to 
the repression of crime, it has only aided its 
progress in an alarming degree. 

The unhappy being whom misery or want, or 
the ardent passions of inexperienced youth, may 
have led to commit a criminal action, but whose 
heart is not yet shut against remorse, and whose 
sense of honor is not yet destroyed, enters the 
Prison shedding the tears of repentance, but 
leaves it with the hardened feelings of an old 
offender. 

When this was once understood, means were 
tried, at various periods, to remedy the evil; the 
term of imprisonment was extended, and the 
confinement rendered more severe ; the imagi¬ 
nation was stretched to invent punishments. 
It was believed that the heart could be reformed 
by torturing the body. These sad experiments, 
when they have not ended by causing insanity 
or suicide, have most frequently afforded the 
prisoner a pretext for afterwards revenging on 
society at large, the cruelties which a foolish 
legislation had inflicted on him. 

At length came the legislator of the United 
States, and, feeling the insufficiency of the sys¬ 
tem, searched the heart of the criminal, and, by 
finding the cause of his crime, found the means 
of effecting his reformation. Idleness had led 
him into excess, and excess into misery, misery 
into crime, and crime into Prison. To lead him 
back to his social duties, it was therefore neces¬ 
sary to give him habits of labor, and a taste for 
it; and the American philanthropist directed his 
attention to this object. The result, after sev¬ 
eral more or less fruitless essays, was the crea¬ 
tion of the two Penitentiary systems now in 
operation in the United States. 

These two systems have nothing in common, 
except the isolation of the prisoners during the 
night. During the day, one system subjects the 
criminal to labor in common with his fellows, 
and compels him to keep silence ; the other 
condemns him to solitary labor. The former 
is called the Auburn system , and the latter is 
known under the name of the Philadelphia sys¬ 
tem. 

Each of these systems has in the United 
States able and warm defenders. The partisans 
of the Philadelphia system, with the famous 
Livingston at their head, maintain that solitary 
labor is the only means by which the moral ref¬ 
ormation of the criminal can be effected. Their 
chief argument against the Auburn system is, 
that the desired reformation can never be effect¬ 
ed, because the criminals, laboring together, 
may have communication with each other, ei¬ 
ther by signs, or by breaking the silence, and 
may thus form connections which, after they 
are set at liberty, may become dangerous to 
society. This opinion is held by Mr. Crawford, 
the English commissioner, and appears to have 
served as the basis of the report of the commis¬ 
sioners from Lower Canada. 

On the other hand, Mr. Elam Lynds, the au¬ 
thor of the Auburn system, and the founder of 
the establishment at Sing Sing, opposes his 
practical knowledge, his long experience, and 
the success of his system, to the uncertain 
theories of Mr. Livingston. 

The possibility of the moral reformation of 
criminals of mature age, which is insisted upon 
by Mr. Livingston, Mr. Roberts Vaux, and Mr. 
Crawford, called in question by Messrs. De 
Beaumont and De Tocqueville, denied by seve¬ 
ral French writers, among others by Mr. Ernest 
De Blosserville, is treated as a chimera by Mr. 
Elam Lynds. 


Your committee would willingly have avoided 
hazarding an opinion upon a question of so much 
importance, and the solution of which, it would 
seem, remains yet to be found. It would be 
discouraging to reject the opinion of Mr. Living¬ 
ston, and perhaps unjust to refuse its due weight 
to that of Mr. Elam Lynds. 

Your committee, however, think it their duty 
to observe, that the favorable effect of complete 
solitude on the moral sense of the criminal does 
not appear to be yet proved. The conversations 
which the several commissioners have had with 
the prisoners in the Penitentiary at Cherry Hill, 
the assurances of the conversion of these un¬ 
happy beings, their repentant air, and their eu¬ 
logies of the discipline of the Prison, and of the 
humanity of their gaolers, are not conclusive 
proofs in favor of the system. Utterly isolated 
from society, deprived of the sight of any human 
being, condemned to the silence of the tomb, 
and his strength and means impotent against 
the walls of his cell, the prisoner may contract 
a dark misanthropy, and a profound and secret 
hatred against that society which persecutes 
him; but, seeing in the officers of the Prison 
only the arbiters of his destiny, he will conceal 
his true sentiments in the hope of obtaining his 
pardon, or of abridging the term of his sufferings. 
Implicit faith cannot, therefore, be given to his 
evidence. 

A comparative statement of the number of 
those who, after having been imprisoned in the 
Penitentiaries of the United States under the 
two systems, have again repeated their offences, 
would have enabled your committee to ascer¬ 
tain which of them was best calculated to give 
a hope of the moral reformation of the crim¬ 
inal. 

But it most frequently happens that the pris¬ 
oner who is discharged from a State Prison, 
emigrates to a distant state, where he may com¬ 
mit new crimes, and receive punishment for 
them, without any knowledge of the fact reach¬ 
ing the place of his former confinement. This 
circumstance, joined to the consideration of the 
few years during which the Pennsylvania sys¬ 
tem has been in operation, has made it impossi¬ 
ble for your committee to establish any differ¬ 
ence between the two systems, founded on any 
proof of the moral reformation of the prisoner. 

It became, therefore, the duty of your com¬ 
mittee to choose that one of the two systems 
which offered the best chance of effecting the 
legal reformation of the criminal ; and your com¬ 
mittee could not hesitate in giving the prefer¬ 
ence to the Auburn system, as best calculated 
to effect that object. 

As the prisoner at Cherry Hill has no means 
of doing evil, his peaceable and inoffensive 
conduct cannot be considered as a virtue ac¬ 
quired by the application of the system of solitary 
labor. 

Trie Auburn prisoner, on the contrary, labor¬ 
ing in common, may break the silence imposed 
upon him. This, however, according to the 
evidence of Messieurs De Beaumont and De 
Tocqueville, he scarcely ever does, and he thus 
contracts habits of obedience and submission, 
which he retains on his return to society. 

Other considerations of great importance have 
not a little contributed to determine the choice 
of your committee. The influence which the 
Philadelphia system may exercise over the mind 
and health of the prisoner, the necessarily great 
expense of carrying it into effect, and the cost 
of constructing the Penitentiaries, could not fail 
to fix the attention of your committee. 

By examining the documents in their posses¬ 
sion, the committee have ascertained beyond a 
doubt, that the mortality in the Penitentiary at 
Cherry Hill has been much greater than in 



180 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


96 


those in New England ; as your honorable 
house will be convinced from the following 
statement, drawn from the last report of the 
Boston Prison Discipline Society:— 

In the Charlestown Prison, in the 
state of Massachusetts, the mortal¬ 


ity, during the last eleven years, 

has been. 1 in 45 

At Auburn, in New York, during the 

last six years,.1 in 56 

At Wethersfield, in the state of Con¬ 
necticut, during the last seven 

years,. 1 in 76 

At the Cherry Hill Penitentiary, at 
Philadelphia, during the last frve 
years,. 1 in 33 


This very considerable difference in favor of 
the first three of the said Penitentiaries, in 
which the prisoners labor in common, cannot, 
in the opinion of your committee, be attributed 
to any other cause than the rigor of the solitary 
labor to which the prisoners are condemned in 
the latter. Cases of mental alienation have 
also been so frequent in the Philadelphia Peni¬ 
tentiary, although it has only existed since 
1829, that your committee must consider them 
to be the fatal results of constant isolation. It 
is true, indeed, that Dr. Baclie, the physician 
attending the Prison, pretends that the unhappy 
persons who thus lost their reason were predis¬ 
posed to insanity ; but the cases are too numer¬ 
ous, in proportion to the number of the prison¬ 
ers, to allow your committee to hold this expla¬ 
nation sufficient. Dr. Bache is, moreover, an 
enthusiast in favor of the Pennsylvania system, 
and this may, perhaps, account for his efforts to 
maintain the superiority of the system in the 
face of facts which prove its inefficiency. 

The observation of the physician at Auburn, 
that imprisonment, combined with solitary la¬ 
bor, predisposes to certain diseases ; that even 
the free workman, whose work obliges him to 
remain almost constantly in a stooping posture, 
is always exposed to organic injury to the 
stomach, the liver, and the lungs; and that 
there is therefore still stronger reason why this 
should be the effect on the prisoner who can 
take no exercise except in his cell, appears to 
your committee to be conclusive. 

If these considerations had been in them¬ 
selves insufficient, the difference between the 
comparative expense of constructing Peniten¬ 
tiaries to be governed by these systems respec¬ 
tively, could leave no doubt as to the preference 
to be given to the Auburn system. 

While at Cherry Hill the cost of each 

cell is.$1,648 85 

And at Pittsburg,. 978 95 

The cost of each cell at Charlestown 

was. 286 66 

At Sing Sing,. 200 00 

At Wethersfield,. 150 86 

At Baltimore,. 146 32 

These four last Penitentiaries are on the Au¬ 
burn system. 

With regard to the financial situation of the 
said establishments, the Auburn system has 
again a great advantage over the Philadelphia 
system. In all those Penitentiaries where the 
Auburn system is adopted, (such as at Charles¬ 
town, Thomaston, Wethersfield, Sing Sing, and 
Baltimore,) the proceeds of the labor of the 
prisoners much exceed the expense of their 
maintenance. 

No report is published on the financial state 
of the Penitentiary at Cherry Hill; but your 
committee think they may conclude that if it 
was prosperous, the directors would not have 
failed to give it publicity. It is, moreover, cer¬ 


tain, and the fact is acknowledged, that the 
proceeds of the labor of the prisoners fall short 
of the expenses of the establishment. 

Thus the Philadelphia system becomes a bur¬ 
then to the state which adopts it, while the 
Auburn system is a source of revenue. 

The expenses of constructing and keeping up 
Penitentiaries on the model of that of Philadel¬ 
phia, appeared so alarming to Mr. Crawford, 
that this commissioner, who was the zealous 
defender of the system of solitary labor, and 
who devotes a very great portion of his work 
to its eulogy, did not, nevertheless, think it 
right to recommend its adoption. He gives his 
decision in favor of the Wethersfield, where 
the same system is followed as at Auburn, with 
some difference in the discipline. 

Messrs. De Beaumont and De Tocqueville, 
also, give the preference to the Auburn system, 
and say that, to propose the adoption of the 
other, would be to throw an enormous burthen 
on the rest of society, which would scarcely be 
compensated by the most successful results of 
the system. 

The Auburn Penitentiary system has also 
been adopted by the legislature of Upper Cana¬ 
da, and, very recently, by the imperial parlia¬ 
ment of Great Britain. 

It has been said that the Auburn system ex¬ 
cited complaints on the part of the artisans and 
manufacturers of the United States, in conse¬ 
quence of the competition they have to sustain 
against the State Prisons. It does not appear 
from the evidence and documents accompany¬ 
ing the report of the Lower Canada commis¬ 
sioners, that these complaints are well founded. 
It would seem, on the contrary, that this is a 
merely imaginary grievance, got up among the 
New York workmen for political purposes and 
intentions. Besides, the diminution of the 
profits derived by a freeman from his art or 
trade, is amply compensated by the security 
which the imprisonment of the criminal affords 
to his person and property. And further, the 
maintenance of criminals in the Gaols, when 
they do not labor, is a burthen which society 
must inevitably bear, and if by their labor they 
can be made to provide means for their own 
maintenance, society is relieved from one tax 
which must otherwise be levied on the citi¬ 
zens. 

But, even if these complaints had some foun¬ 
dation in the manufacturing towns of the Unit¬ 
ed States, they could have none in an agricul¬ 
tural province like Lower Canada. 

Your committee have, therefore, the honor 
of recommending the Auburn system for the 
adoption of your honorable house. 

With regard to the readiest and least expen¬ 
sive means of carrying this system into ef¬ 
fect, your committee have thought it right to 
adopt the judicious suggestion of Mr. Power, an 
old officer at Auburn, who made the plan and 
superintended the construction and manage¬ 
ment of the Penitentiary of Upper Canada. 
The success of this new Penitentiary, and Mr. 
Power’s long experience, must give great weight 
to his opinion. In a letter which this gentle¬ 
man, from purely philanthropic motives, ad¬ 
dressed to the speaker of this house, on the 
Penitentiary system, he thus expresses him¬ 
self :—“ Indeed nothing more is necessary than 
for the legislature to authorize the courts (if 
the courts have not that authority already) to 
sentence convicts to hard labor for a term of 
years, and also to make an appropriation for 
the support of as many convicts as would prob¬ 
ably be convicted and sentenced the first year, 
with the payment of the necessary officers and 
overseers of the work j and then, with a little 














97 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


181 


preparation, the convicts may be received, put 
immediately to work, and be made to build 
their Prison with their own labor. In making 
this preparation, it is only necessary to pur¬ 
chase lumber sufficient for the purpose, and to 
erect a frame building, (which would serve, 
afterwards, for a workshop for the convicts,) in 
which temporary lodging-cells of plank could 
be made for the confinement of the convicts 
through the night, and also a fence of plank 
twelve feet high, to enclose a yard where they 
could labor through the day. 

“ This enclosure of plank, with the proper 
sentinels, w r ould be quite sufficient for the 
security of the convicts, and would last a 
number of years, within which (for the plank 
fence should enclose a piece of ground large 
enough for the purpose) all the necessary 
buildings, with a high stone wall to enclose the 
vard, could be made by the convicts’ labor. 
r rhis building, with the temporary cells, and 
also the plank fence around the yard, could, if 
commenced as soon as the spring opens, be 
very easily made ready by the first of June, so 
that all the convicts in the province could then 
be received, and put to profitable labor; after 
which time, the immense expense of hired la¬ 
bor in erecting the neeessary buildings for the 
Penitentiary, with the wall enclosing the yard, 
would be saved, and the enormous expense of 
transportation would be saved also. It would 
then only be necessary for the government to 
appropriate annually a sum sufficient to support 
the convicts, and to purchase the materials for 
building as fast as should be required. 

“After the buildings are completed, the earn¬ 
ings of the convicts, if the Prison is well man¬ 
aged, will support, and more than support, the 
institution, so that government will need be at 
no further expense. That this may be done, is 
demonstrated by those Penitentiaries in the 
States, which are built and managed on the 
Auburn system.” 

Your committee would have recommended 
the immediate adoption of a measure for the 
construction of a Penitentiary in the mode indi¬ 
cated by Mr. Power, if, among the plans in their 
possession, they had found one which was fit 
and proper. A copy of the plan of the Peniten¬ 
tiary, which, according to Mr. Power and sev¬ 
eral others, is a great improvement on that of 
Auburn, has been laid before your committee, 
with the report of the Lower Canada commis¬ 
sioners ; but your committee have not thought 
proper to adopt it, because the copy is imper¬ 
fect, and also because your committee have 
been sufficiently informed, that, since the erec¬ 
tion of this Penitentiary, some slight defects 
have been perceived in its construction. 

Your committee, therefore, believe that it 
would be expedient to appropriate a certain sum 
of money to cause one or more plans of Peni¬ 
tentiaries, with specifications and estimates, to 
be prepared, by offering a premium for the 
best. 

Without pronouncing any decisive opinion as 
to the place where the proposed Penitentiary 

9 


\ ought to be erected, your committee think it 
right to recommend that the example of the 
United States and Upper Canada should be fol¬ 
lowed, in selecting a healthy spot, accessible, 
if possible, by water, and not distant from the 
quarries and places where the necessary mate¬ 
rials could be procured. The choice of the 
place ought, in the opinion of your committee, 
to be left to three skilful and disinterested com¬ 
missioners, to be appointed by your honorable 
house, and enjoined to follow the preceding in¬ 
structions. This was the course followed by 
the legislature of Upper Canada, and produc¬ 
tive of the happiest results. 

With the view of ascertaining the cause and 
the progress of crime in this colony, your com¬ 
mittee have required and obtained from the 
sheriffs of Quebec, Montreal, and Three Rivers, 
statements of all the convictions since the year 
1830, showing the nature of each offence, the 
age and sex of the offenders, and a statement 
of the cases in which the offences had been re¬ 
peated. That of the sheriff of Quebec, which 
is made with more care and exactness than the 
others, presents the alarming number of 992 
cases, in which the offences have been repeated, 
since the said period. On examining these 
statements, which are annexed to this report, 
your honorable house will be convinced that 
this unhappy state of things can only be attrib¬ 
uted to the causes explained in the commence¬ 
ment of this report. In pointing out, as one of 
these causes, the want of discipline in the Pris¬ 
ons of this province, your committee must make 
an exception in favor of the Quebec Gaol. The 
order and propriety which are observed in 
this Prison, old and badly constructed as it is, 
the wise regulations under which it is man¬ 
aged, and the good health of the prisoners, are 
so many proofs of the ability and vigilance of 
the sheriff, and of the good conduct of the 
gaoler, to whom they are highly honorable. 

Your committee regret that the time which 
they have been compelled to devote to re¬ 
searches on the principal subject referred to 
them for consideration, has not allowed them 
to make a report on the utility of establishing in 
this province Houses of Refuge for Juvenile 
Delinquents, on the model of those in the 
United States. But they cannot too earnestly 
recommend these charitable and philanthropic 
institutions to the attention of your honorable 
house during the next session. 

Before they close their report, your commit¬ 
tee cannot deny themselves the pleasure of ren¬ 
dering a just tribute of praise to the zeal shown 
by the Lower Canada commissioners, in ac¬ 
quitting themselves of their mission, and to the 
care they have taken to collect a great number 
of reports, pamphlets, publications, and other 
documents, which have mainly served as the 
basis of the report of your committee. 

The whole, nevertheless, humbly submitted 
EDWARD E. RODIER, 

Chairman. 

March 12, 1836. 


P 




182 


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PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 98 












































































































Tables continued, concerning the Prison at Auburn. 


99 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


183 



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184 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


100 


State Prison at Charlestown, Mass. 


The following-table shows the Number of Convicts in Prison on the 30th of September in 
each year 3 the Number received, discharged, or escaped, and pardoned, and the Number of 
Deaths} also the Number of Recommitments—commencing from the 30th September, 1820. 


30th September. 

Number in Prison. 

Received. 

Discharged or escaped. 

Pardoned. 

Died. 

Recommitted , 

1820 

308 

71 

72 

25 

6 

16 

1821 

282 

87 

76 

32 

5 

16 

1822 

279 

91 

70 

14 

10 

21 

1823 

308 

107 

66 

6 

6 

20 

1824 

298 

86 

80 

10 

6 

13 

1825 

314 

96 

66 

13 

1 

27 

1826 

313 

81 

61 

14 

6 

24 

1827 

285 

80 

78 

27 

1 

14 

1828 

290 

104 

83 

14 

4 

13 

1829 

262 

79 

82 

19 

6 

15 

1830 

290 

115 

75 

7 

5 

19 

1831 

256 

71 

86 

12 

7 

14 

1832 

227 

76 

84 

10 

11 

15 

1833 

250 

119 

83 

7 

6 

15 

1834 

277 

119 

71 

17 

4 

16 

1835 

279 

116 

99 

13 

3 

13 

1836 

278 

97 

87 

7 

4 

7 


Mortality of Prisons. 


Time 

when. 

New Hamp. 

Vermont. 

Wethersfield, 
Conn. 

Charlestown, 

Mass. 

Philadelphia 
new Peniten. 

Auburn 

n. r. 

Pria. 

Deaths. 

Pris. 

Deaths. 

Pria. 

Deaths. 

Pris. 

Deaths. 

Pris. 

Deaths. 

Pris. 

Deaths 

1828 

• • 

• 

• • • 

2 

• • • 

1 

290 

4 

• • 

• 

571 

9 

1829 

43 

1 

• • • 

• 

134 

• 

262 

6 

• • 

• 

639 

5 

1830 

54 

• 

• • • 

1 

167 

4 

290 

5 

31 

1 

620 

18 

1831 

82 

• 

• • • 

• 

182 

4 

256 

7 

67 

4 

647 

14 

1832 

89 

1 

• • • 

1 

192 

2 

227 

11 

91 

4 

683 

12 

1833 

87 

• 

108 

1 

186 

3 

250 

6 

123 

1 

679 

11 

1834 

86 

• 

• • • 

*1 

189 

1 

277 

4 

183 

5 

679 

11 

1835 

90 

1 

125 

2 

197 

4 

279 

3 

266 

7 

654 

10 

1836 

82 

1 

120 

2 

204 

8 

278 

4 

360 

12 

648 

18 


Statistics of Lunatic Asylums. 


Asylum at Frankford,. 

Bloomingdale Asylum,. 

New York City,. 

New York State Hospital,. 

McLean Asylum, . 

Asylum at Worcester, Mass.,. 

Retreat at Hartford, Conn.,. 

Asylum at Lexington, Ky.,. 

South Carolina, at Columbia,. 

Lunatic Hospital in Baltimore,. 

Lunatic Hospital at Williamsburg, Va., 
Lunatic Hospital at Staunton, Va., ... 


When foimded. 

Cost. 

Quantity of 
land. 

Length of 
building. 

No. of patients 
received from 
beginning. 

K 

O 

s 

No. improved. 

No. died. 

No. remaining, 

Year. 

Dollars. 

Acres. 

Feet. 






1817 

49 760 

62 

320 

500 




108 

1821 

400/)00 

80 

211 

1,915 

828 

399 

146 

144 

1808 

56,000 

• • • • 

■ • • • 

1,553 

704 

239 

154 

• • • 

1836 

60,000 








1818 


25 

• • • • 

1,015 

362 

283 

89 

80 

1832 

50,000 

12 

• • • • 

491 

• • • 

• • • 

25 

138 

1824 




658 

346 


33 

62 

1824 

30,000 

502 

• • • • 

502 

• • • 

• • • 

190 

93 

1829 








54 

1797 








50 








60 









30 


* The average number of prisoners in Vermont has exceeded 100 since 1825. 






























































































TWELFTH REPORT-1837. 


185 



B 


'1 




F 1... 

.i.jiii] 




D 


NEW PENITENTIARY IN KINGSTON, UPPER CANADA. 

J entrance c °urt j c, Warden’s garden ; d, Female Prison yard; e. Female Prison; f. kitch- 
"k room above; portico ; h, Warden’s office; i, Clerk’s office ;V/, Warden’s house- k k 

iimrn fi h f° U t e ' k a l ’ store T rooms 3 keeper’s hall; o, o, area in rear of cells eight feet wide; 

,? nt ’ 8 / eet ) v,de 5 ?• Inspector’s avenue ; r, centre of rotunda ; s, vault; t,t,t t Work’ 
’ 11s for lunatics 5 v, v, lumber sheds; w, w, Inspector’s avenue from keeper’s hall. ’ ’ 

Scale 130 feet to an inch. 




















































































































































































































































































03 


TWELFTH REPORT- 1837. 


187 


NEW COUNTY PRISON, HARTFORD, CONN. 

The Hartford county new gaol, contains 32 cells, each 10 feet long, 5 wide, and 
Ibigh in the clear, and three prison rooms, each 16 feet square, and 8 hio-h. The 
:ont or house part is towards the north. ' 

^ ca ^ e 25 feet to an inch, a, keeper’s office ; b, bed room ; c, kitchen ; 
. e, family rooms ; s, store-room ; i, a close iron door ; i, an iron grated door, on a 
tan much like the cell-doors, but with grates of 1 ^ inch round iron, 3 inches apart, 
his door is placed two inches beyond the partition wall, so that the keeper can in¬ 
ject the north as well as the west area, without unlocking the grated door, m, is a 
ose iron door; m, is an iron grate, set in the wall, 28 inches by 30; n, an aperture 
inches high and 14 inches wide, to pass food from the kitchen into the prison This’ 
>emng is a cast iron box, with flanges at each side of the wall. The only openings 
the partition wall, which divides the house from the prison, are three, viz., at i, m 
id n. Each of them has an iron plate door, so strong and close as to keep out’fire 
id smoke from the prison, in case of the house being burnt. 

The outride walls of the prison are of brown Chatham wall stone, laid solid in 
ortar. The prison walls are 20 inches thick, and 18 feet high, and for warmth and 
yness are furred, lathed and plastered, 4 inches thick, making two feet. The out- 
de prison walls have 10 windows, each 4 panes wide by 8 high, of 10 by 12 o-Iass. 
he sash opens in halves horizontally. Each window has 7 perpendicular 
•ates, of 1£ inch round wrought iron, drilled 4 inches into stone window caps and 
fls, and further confined by passing through three cross bars of 4 by f inch iron, 
■e ends laid well into the wall. The height of the window sills above the outside 
' feet; above the brick paving of the areas, 6 feet. The cell walls are of brick 

asonry. The east and west areas are each 12 feet wide ; north area 6 £ feet, south 
ea 3 feet. 

The end and centre walls are 16 inches thick, side walls 20 inches, and cross (or 
vision) walls, 12 inches. The floor and ceiling of each cell consists of a sino-le 
ofton flagging stone, 4 inches thick, laid 3 inches into the brick walls, all round 
separate ventilator, 4 inches square, opens into the back side of each cell • open- 
g, m the first story, into the cells in two places, viz., one at the floor and one at 
ie ceiling; into the second story of cells the ventilator opens onlv at the ceiling. 
T- el s m the first story, (2, 3, 4, 5,) have their fronts interlaced with brick work 
id blocks of granite alternately, and have stronger doors than the rest The outside 
ison door is under the window, at o. Each cell has a bedstead of l inch round 
m, 6 .^ feet long, 2 £ wide at the head, and 2 feet at the foot, and turns on hinges 
t in the cross wall. The bedstead is hooked up by day, and let down at nio-ht 
pported upon the pme stool which serves for a seat in the day time. 

Section, from north to south, through the west tier of rooms in the house and 
c west area of the prison, shewing the elevation of the block of cells and north and 
uth areas, to the ceiling, a, is the keeper's office, t, u, v, are 3 prison rooms 16 
?t square. The inside walls are of 12 inch brick work. The outside walls of u 
d® spread as they nse through the joists to 26 inches thick; are lined, inside’ 
th brick well bound into the stone, presenting the four sides of plain brick wall’ 
rite-washed, but not lathed or plastered. Over head is a 2 inch oak planking well 
iked to the under side of the joists, and then lathed and plastered. The only’ door 
the rooms t, u, v, must be approached by going through the keeper’s office, t and 
have each one, and v, two half windows, containing 12 panes of 9 by 12 glass 
ae other half of these windows is covered inside by masonry, 16 inches thick, = com- 
lsed f ° 0 ^ ^J ^ 3 °f brick and granite, (6 inches thick of each.) The grates 
s of 2 4 and 3 inch round wrought iron, set 4 inches apart, one tier to each window 
f W * ndow ° yer th * out3lde door to keeper’s office, looking upon the stairs, is gra- 
* W1 “. 2 inc ^ round * r ° n ’ t0 Ke J e P persons outside from getting access to the stair- 

story of cells are 2 J feet wide, supported upon 
n arms laid 2 feet into the wall, of iron 2\ by 1 inch, and bent to receive the rail- 
g, wfuch is 3 feet high. 

Elevation — Perpendicular section and Horizontal section of a cell door. 

Imp t<? a R f00t ‘ v The d °° J r 18 j 6 fe6t hl = h ’ 2 & wide > and 2 inches thick in the 

me and cross-bars. Front and ends of the door-frame is of 2 by # inch iron ; back 

and/or? ^ 4 ' C T + l barS ? inch ‘ Eleven round g rat es of 13-16 iron.’ The 
and rods are passed through holes drilled in the cross-blrs, and have shoulders of 

6 inch a L each end, inside of the frame which they pass through, and are strongly 






188 


PRISON DISCIPLINE SOCIETY. 


104 


riveted on the outside in countersunk mortices, as are also the tenons of the cross¬ 
bars. Lock-plate 6^ inches wide by ^ thick, dovetailed at each end into the frame, 
and fastened to it by countersunk rivets. The lock-plate is flush with two cross¬ 
bars, and forms with them a surface of inches wide, to receive a lock 6| inches 
wide. The opening at bottom of the door is formed by a frame of 2 by § inch iron, 
with two tenons at bottom, and three rods riveted to it at top, and is 6 by 9 inches 
in the clear. The door turns on a round pivot, 2 inches in diameter, in a cast iron 
box which is leaded into the stone door-sill. A like pivot at top passes up into a hole 
drilled in the door-cap, and through a round hole drilled in an iron bar of 4 inches 
by |, let in flush with the under side of the door cap, and laid 16 inches into the 
wall. The amount of clear space through this door, for the admission of light, heat 
and air is 18 inches in width, by five feet two in length. The doors of the cells 2,3, 
4 and 5 have frames 2 inches by 1, the backside ; 2 by f front and ends; cross-bars 
2 by 11 round rods, 1 inch in diameter, and lock-plate § thick: also iron plate 
doors, above and below the lock-plate, made to shut close and to open in halves. 

Fastenings. Locks 10 by 6| inches, with bolts 2^ by 1 inch, and 3 tumblers. 
Also 4 sliding bars of 1| by § inch iron, laid in the wall, and throwing stout studs 
(at /,) upon the upper front corners of the doors. The sliding bars move by levers 
at the north end of the block of cells, with a strong padlock fastening to each of the 
four levers. The lock staples are cast iron boxes, opening (only) towards the lock- 
bolt, 3 inches high by 14 wide. The v 'shank and flange of the staple extend 12 inches 
into the wall. 

■ fl gS 





KENTUCKY ASYLUM FOR POOR AND OTHER LUNATICS. 

Left wing for males ; right wing for females ; a , front entrance ; b , 
b, doors to men’s yards ; c, lobby ; d, d , passage ; e, e, staircases ; /, 1 
f, sleeping rooms ; g, g , superintendent’s rooms ; h, eating room ; i, 
room for medicine ; j,j, doors to women’s yards. 

Scale 20 yards to an inch. 


isi