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which crosses it at right angles from north to south, and intersects the city into four quarters by a perfect cross. Mar. ket-street is 12,500 feet in length from river to river, and about 150 feet in breadth. Along the centre of it runs the covered ways for the public markets, one of which, from the Delaware westward, is a mile in length. The interior is ad. mirably arranged for the purpose, and well sheltered ; and in the space on each side is the railway, communicating between Baltimore and New-York through Philadelphia. The markets of this city are accounted the best in the United States for abundance, good quality, and cheapness in the supplies. They are opened at daylight; and so early are the hours of business here among all classes, that before eight o'clock in the morning the markets are almost all cleared.
The Navy-yard at Philadelphia, which is seated on the southern extremity of the city by Southwark and Greenwich, on the west bank of the Delaware, differs in nothing from those of New York and Washington, being provided with all the necessary conveniences and materials for building and equipping ships of the largest size, but not possessing, as in the British navy-yards, dry docks for repairs. One of the largest ships in the world has recently been built at this navy-yard, and named the Pennsylvania. She is pierced for 130 guns of the largest calibre, and is several hundred tons larger than the largest ship-of-war in any European navy. She had sailed for Norfolk before my arrival; but I have been assured by competent and impartial judges, that she was as beautiful in form and model as she was stupendous in size and strength, which I can readily believe, as no candid seaman would deny that, in their ships of war as well as in their merchant vessels, the Americans have evinced a decided superiority in taste to their British progenitors.
The appearance of the navy-yard on the approach to the city by the Delaware is very striking: the immense covered shed under which the Pennsylvania was built is still erect, looking like a gigantic magazine, being 270 feet long, 84 wide, and 103 feet high, and towering above all the other buildings, except the steeples of the city; while a sweep of the shore beyond, in a graceful concave curve, exhibits the long line of the city-wharves, with innumerable ships and smaller craft, as far as Kensington, the suburb which terminates the northern view in the distance,
PRISONS OF PHILADELPHIA.
Prisons of Reformation in Philadelphia. – Visit to the Prison of Moyamensing.–Stato
and Condition of this Establishment. - Statistics of Crime and Disease. -Personal inspection of the Convicts at their Labour.- Effects of Solitary Confinement without Labour.—Benefits of Solitary Confinement with Labour.-The Eastern Penitentiary or State Prison.-Statistics of Crime and Disease there.- Proportions of Natives and Foreigners, and white and coloured Races.-Churches of Philadelphia, old and new. - Religious Sects, and their comparative Numbers.- Establishments for Education, public and private. - Report on the State of Education in Pennsylvania.-Philosophical Society and Athenæum.-Historical Relics in the Athenæum.-Character of its Secretary, Mr. John Vaughan.-Characteristic Letter of Benjamin Franklin.-Tomb of Franklin in Philadelphia.--Epitaph.-Philadelphia Library:-Franklin Institute.Academy of Sciences. —New Museum.- Musical-fund Hall.-Public Concerts.Public Squares for Promenades.—Newspapers.- Periodicals.-Bookstores.
The prisons of Philadelphia are remarkable for their structure as edifices, and still more so for their excellence in arrangement, efficiency in discipline, and, above all, in their conduciveness to the reformation of the unhappy victims who become their inmates. There is perhaps nothing in all the institutions of the country in which the Americans manifest a greater superiority to the English than in their treatment of prisoners. It is matter of common observation in England that, owing to the congregated manner in which criminals live in the prisons at home, few ever come out without being made more immoral by contamination than when they went in, and none appear to come out less so. In this country, on the contrary, there are none who come out worse, but almost all are made better by their confinement in solitary cells, substituting habits of industry, order, cleanliness, and reflection for those of idleness, disorder, filth, and recklessness, and placing themselves in a fair way to recommence life anew in an honest and useful career. In a national point of view, perhaps, there is no object of greater importance than this; and I was therefore anxious to examine the prisons of Philadelphia, and investigate their system of discipline in detail.
The first that we visited was the county prison, in the suburb or quarter of Philadelphia called Moyamensing, to the south of the city. We had the advantage of being attended there by the architect who built it, Mr. Walker, and who was thoroughly conversant with all its arrangements. This building is of comparatively recent erection, and is made to contain the prisoners that were formerly confined in several jails within the city; it being the wise policy of
the present race to remove from the interior of the cities in America two descriptions of public works that ought never to have been placed amid congregated dwellings, namely, prisons for the confinement and reformation of criminals, and cemeteries for the burial of the dead; both of which are now fast removing to the suburbs and surrounding country.
The building is constructed in what is called the castellated style, and is extremely massive, with large gates, battlements, turrets, and tower. It is built of a fine bluish-gray
granite, admirably worked, with deep-set, pointed-arch windows, in oak frames, and long narrow slits in the turrets and tower, giving it the appearance of a baronial castle of the feudal ages; and, as a work of architecture, it is highly imposing. It was commenced in pursuance of an act of the State Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1831, and was completed in 1836, at a cost of 300,000 dollars, or about 60,000/ The sale, however, of the land on which the other prisons stood in the city, at the enhanced value of such property, with the disposal of their materials, and the saving in the co-operative management of three prisons combined in one, more than reimburses the whole outlay, and makes it a matter of actual profit, in a pecuniary sense, to the funds of the state.
The interior is so constructed as that each prisoner, whatever the nature of his offence or the term of his confine. ment, has a separate cell or room to himself. Long avenues or corridors, leading from a common centre, extending nearly 400 feet in a straight line, and being about 20 feet in breadth, have on each side three rows of these separate
rooms, in three separate stories, all marked and numbered for registry and inspection, to the extent of 204 cells in each corridor; each of the stories is approached by a long iron balcony, and iron bridges cross the corridor at intervals. We entered several of these apartments, and found each to be a vaulted room about twelve feet by ten, and about twelve feet high, with a large grated window for light and air, and apertures in the walls for draught ventilation. The rooms were all remarkable for their extreme cleanliness, and the total absence of any disagreeable smell, though there is a well-concealed closet in each room, but so constructed as to ensure its own purification; while water from the Fair Mount Waterworks, some miles off, is conveyed by pipes and a brass cock into each room. In each was a neat clean bedstead, with excellent bedding, a chair, table, with clean linen, a box for clothes, and a Bible.
Except the solitude, there was nothing that had the air of a prison about it; and tens of thousands of the peasantry and artisans of Britain live in far inferior apartments. The entrance into each cell is by a double door, the outer one being a solid mass of iron, with bolts and bars, and the inner one, separated from it by the thickness of the wall, about two feet, is an open grating-work of iron, through which the prisoner can at any time be seen by the inspector, and a small hatch, through which his food and other necessaries are conveyed to him. The temperature of the whole establishment is regulated by flues, so that no fires are necessary in any of the cells or corridors, while the whole is kept at a heat adapted to the health and labour of the individuals.
During the present year, 1838, a committee was appointed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania to examine into the condition of the Moyamensing Prison, and report their opinion to the state. The investigation appears to have been conducted with great impartiality and fairness, and the statistical information obtained by these inquiries was eminently useful and instructive. The substance of their report, in the accuracy of which the greatest confidence is placed, may be thus briefly stated :
“ The institution is under the control of a board of inspectors, consisting of twelve citizens, who are required to serve without any pecuniary compensation. They are appointed by the courts of the city and county, and are so arranged into classes as that one fourth of the number go out of office yearly. Three of their number, who are delegated monthly, act as visiting inspectors, whose duty it is to go to the prison at least once a week, and oftener if needful, and examine into its state and condition.
“There are also a superintendent and matron, who reside in the institution, and are prohibited from absenting themselves for a single night, unless with the consent of two inspectors, in writing; and the matron must also have the consent of the superintendent. The apartment occupied by the females is under the special charge of the matron. It is made the duty of the keepers to inspect the condition of the prisoners committed to their care at least twice a day, and oftener is practicable. The physician is required to visit the prison once a day, and prescribe for the sick, and once a month to see every convici, and report monthly in writing to the inspectors.
Agreeably to the act of April, 1835, persons convicted of any crime, the punishment of which would be imprisonment in the jail and penitentiary-house of Philadelphia for a period of time under two years, are required to be sent into this prison, to be kept in separate and solitary confinement at labour.
“The number of persons committed from June 1st, 1836, till December 31st of the same year, was 2576, exclusive of those received from the Arch-street prison. The whole number of commitments during the year 1837 was 4279. The total number of convictions, 366; the number discharged by the magistrates who issued the coinmitments, 1798; and the total number enlarged by the judges of the courts, attorney-general, inspectors, and other persons, and in due course of law, is 2048; deaths, 4.
“ Different kinds of mechanical pursuits are carried on in the prison : such as cordwaining in all its branches, manufacture of checks and plaids, the cabinet business, blacksmithing, &c. The manufactures are sold by an agent or commission merchant, who is directed to obtain the highest price. The proceeds of the articles sold are vested in the general fund, for the purpose of providing the raw material and tools used in manufacturing, and in case there is a surplus, it is applied towards defraying the annual expenditure of the prison. In order to encourage habits of industry, an account is kept with each prisoner at work, and when discharged, if he has accomplished more than was assigned him to do, the inspectors pay the prisoner one half of the value of the overwork. This practice, while it tends to stimulate the unfortunate convict to greater industry, at the same time furnishes him the means of subsistence for a short period aster, by pardon or expiration of the sen. tence, he obtains his liberty. It is certainly best that prisoners should not be set at large perfectly destitute, and thereby exposed to inducements to the commission of crime, which hunger and want of the necessary comforts may occason.
"It is found that, with but rare exceptions, the prisoners prefer employment, as a means of rendering the solitary confinement more tolerable; and as a consequence, the entire establishment, under the skilful management of its officers, exhibits an interesting scene of almost constant and systematic industry.
“It is true that prisoners, being received under the law into this prison for crimes of the inferior grades, are usually sentenced by the court for periods too short to enable those who have no trade to become very proficient; yet still it is found they can soon be taught so as to be useful. The statistics of the institution prove that a large proportion of those annually committed are either without any trades, or possessing a very imperfect knowledge of those they profess, and many cannot read or write.
" The object of the separate confinement being the reformation and instruction of the prisoners, the efforts of the officers of the institution are greatly aided by the humane exertions of some benevolent associations in the City of Philadelphia. Among these is the · Philadelphia