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Visit to the Eastern Penitentiary of Philadelphia.-Statistics of Crime among its In-
mates.-Chief Sources of Crime, Ignorance and Intemperance.-English Origin of
the Pennsy!vania System.- Prisons of Gloucester, Glasgow, and Philadelphia. - Eng.
lish, Prussian, Belgian, and French Testimony - Report of Mr. Crawford on the
Penitentiary System. - Objections answered by American Authorities.- Report to the
State Legislature of Pennsylvania.-Corrupt Picture of Society ten Years ago:-
Contrast of present Tranquillity and Order.-Superior Morality of the City of Phil.
adelphia.- Public Discussion of the Subject in Massachusetts.- Opinions of the Le-
gislature of Ohio.-Questions of Religious Instruction in Prisons:- Defects of this
at Auburn and Singsing.- Superiority of this at the Philadelphia Prison. - Advan-
tages of voluntary over coerced Reform.- Opinion of Mr. Surgeon, an English Wri-
ter.--Question of comparative Expense in the Systems.-Disadvantages of Prison.
ers' Intercourse at Auburn-Advantages of Prisoners' Seclusion at Philadelphia. -
Concluding Testimonies of De Tocqueville and Crawford .
HISTORICAL, STATISTICAL, AND DESCRIPTIVE.
Motives for visiting the United States.-Intercourse with various Classes of Society.
Extensive geographical Range of the Country traversed.-Names of the several States and Territories examined.-Form of Narrative adopted in Description-His. torical and statistical Sketches blended with this.-General Topics chiefly dwelt on in Cities and States. —Pictures of Manners and Customs in public and private Life.
AFTER a long course of travels over a great portion of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and of voyages in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean, spreading over more than thirty years of a varied and active life, I had a strong desire to add to the knowl. edge thus acquired of the countries of the Old World by examining for myself the most favoured portion of the New. I had once visited the United States, about thirty years ago, just after the period when the gifted poet,
Thomas Moore, had passed through the country; and I had the pleasure to mingle in many of the circles that he had en. livened by his wit and enchanted by his verse: but from that period, 1808, up to 1837, all my wanderings had been in the Eastern hemisphere, and the Western had continued, to me at least, to be " a sealed fountain," of whose waters I longed the more ardently to drink.
At the close of my Parliamentary labours in 1837—when the great object of my public life had been successfully accomplished by the abolition of the East India Company's monopoly, and the opening of the vast and populous regions of the East to British enterprise I availed myself of my retirement to make a second visit to America, with the intention of devoting at least three years to a careful exam. ination of all the most prominent and interesting objects of nature and art that the country contained, as well as investi. gating the nature of its institutions, the structure of its society, and the character and manners of its people.
In all the works I had hitherto read in the shape of trav. els through the United States, there appeared defects or omissions, which a more patient, more diligent, and more impartial examination of the country and its inhabitants might supply. In some of the English writers there was an evident determination to seek only for blemishes, and to turn even the virtues into ridicule. In others there was a strong political bias, hostile to everything connected with the very name of a republic; causing them to see everything, therefore, through a jaundiced medium. In some, again, there was an elaboration of disquisition on a few prominent features of the national character and national institutions, with a contemptuous neglect of minuter but not less important details; and in others, a substitution of fictitious and imaginary stories for facts, which, however it might display the talent of the writers for invention and broadly exaggerated humour, could only mislead the reader as to the real state of society among the people so unjustifiably misrepre. sented and caricatured.
Without assuming to myself the possession of greater abilities for this task than those who have gone before me, I venture to believe that I have at least enjoyed superior advantages to most of my predecessors; and to these alone I am anxious to draw the attention of the reader, as he will see in them abundant reasons why I should be likely to escape many, at least, of the defects and omissions pointed out in others. It is an advantage which the latest traveller in any country enjoys, that the errors of his pioneers serve as so many beacons and landmarks, by which he may be at once warned and guided in his path. But, in addition to this, there were several special privileges which I had the good fortune to enjoy, and by which I endeavoured, at least, to profit on every occasion, to acquire as extensive and accurate information as I could on all the subjects of my inquiry.
Having designed from the first to make some stay in all the principal cities and towns of the country, I proposed to occupy the mornings in active examination of all the objects accessible to my research, and to devote the evenings to the delivery of my courses of Lectures on the Scriptural and classical regions of the East; so that the acquisition of knowledge as to the New World for my own delight, and the diffusion of information respecting the Old World for the gratification of others, blended happily together; and the latter occupation assisted the former in a greater degree than I could have anticipated or thought possible. In every town the delivery of my Lectures brought around me, in the shortest space of time, all the most intellectual portion of society: and as these sought my acquaintance by introduc.