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polis is supposed to have been on an elevated spot on
the lower side of Poetquessing creek. [Continued from page 181.]
These, with perhaps other places of note, would oc
casionally arrest the progress of the curious investigator, Passing over a lapse of nine years, during which the before the city itself-our fair and beautiful city, arose Dutch and Swedes were proceeding in their settlements, to his delighted eyes, out of the very bosom of the wilthe former as traders on the borders of the bay, the lat- derness. ter as husbandmen on the freshes of the river, while the And here with what intense curiosity would its origin sturdy Stuyvesant was stoutly maintaining his rights, a be observed, and its progressive details be pursued. new era would commence about the year 1664, when First, would appear the shore, so soon to be transformSir Robert Jarr sailed up the river and took possession ed by the magic of civilization, stretched out in rude of the fort at Newcastle; and here the antiquary would magnificence, its “groves of tall pines” in their dark be delighted to retrace and review the memorials of the eve green; and its overhanging woods reflected, in their middle age of this ancient place, now called by the En- gorgeous autumn livery, from the noble stream that glish Delaware Town. The spot where William Penn laved its banks. The dense forest here and there pene was first to place his foot upon American ground; with trated and broken by the arts of cultivation; and clustits venerable house of worship, noticed by the Founder ers of humble cabins seen mingling with its various folion his arrival, its old court house, and other objects of age. On the north the town of the Shackamazons, near interest, as they then appeared.
the stream, perhaps of their name; a little below, the While in the neighbourhood the industrious investi- modest mansion of the friend almost hidden by the gator would not fail to visit the site of old Christiana, spreading branches of The Elm about to become so celeand although every trace of the primitive buildings were brated. Perhaps an Indian village on the little stream gone, endeavour to find some relique of the bulwark or of Coaquenaku. Below the Wicacna, Swedeshill, crestvaulted magazine described by Kalın in 1748. The old ed with tall forests, and, on its brow, the scattered hamSwedish Church mentioned by W.Penn, would engage lets of the Swedes, the antique hall of the sons of Suen, his attention, on part of the domain of which Wilming- and the primitive Swedish church in the form and equipton was founded in 1733.
ment of a military blockhouse. Old Upland would next invite inquiry, as the first Such might have been the scene, when the eventful resting place of the first English settlers. The first landing near Wicacoa, in 1682, imparted to it a new and seat of the provincial government under Penn, and where animated aspect. the "great law” was proclaimed in 1682; with its meet Then, as the good ship Welcome rides gallantly at her ing house, and hall of legislation, its “Essex House,” anchorage, and her boats are busily passing to and fro, the hospitable mansion of Wade, where the Founder of parties of the natives may be seen, coming round the Pennsylvania resided, and the mill erected under his im- headlands in their canoes, landing in the coves, or windmediate eye.
ing down the hills in their lengthened line of march.At Helsinburg and Salem, if the antiquary should not The pious emigrants have now returned thanks to their think it profitable to seek the lost capital of New-Albion Heavenly Pilot, and are dispersed about in anxious or the still greater antiquities hinted at by Kalm, he groups of men and women and children-traversing the could not but discover some objects worthy of attention sandy beach, climbing the steep bank, or piercing the in the town founded by Fenwick so early as 1675, the tangled thicket. English, Swedes, Hollanders, Welsh, first place settled by the English in West Jersey. Indians, in all their variety of costume and character, are
Above, on the same shore, Swedesbro', formerly Rac seen mingled with the English strangers, busily assisting coon, a place frequently visited by Kalm for the purpose them in every mode of preparation to meet the novel of inquiry, was some of the earliest settlements of the exigency. Conveying their effects from the lighters, or Swedes, who, of course, had their church.. It was here, arranging them on the beach, or the bank; in building too, that the English settlers, before Penn, passing up the fire, or felling the tree, or collecting the branches, to Burlington, stopped for rest and refreshment. or the bark, or the sod; in scooping out the cave, or
Little Gloucester would receive its passing tribute of constructing the light Indian shanta. Perhaps a boat respect, as the first spot settled on our river; if not for from Jersey is just touching the strand, while outstretchhaving been the only fashionable watering place known ed arms and streaming eyes, bespeak the meeting of to the ancient Philadelphians, and as such eulogized by long severed friends or relatives; and in more than one the historian, and sung by the poet.
retira! spot along the shore, affectionate and faithful Burlington, formerly Bridlington, but originally New hearts are mutually pouring forth feelings which time Beverly, founded on the island of the Indian King Chy- and absence have failed to weaken, or to chill. If the goes, a short time after Salem, would claim attention form of William Penn be required, to give completion with its antiquities, as mentioned by Thomas; its “stately to the picture, the Founder may be seen as followed by house; and great market place, with a hall over head his companions of the voyage, he is conducted by the for the sessions, its bridges London and York, and its pa- hospitable Swedes towards the hamlets on the hill; or laces built by the gentry.”
as he rests on its side, beneath an aged sycamore, surOn the opposite side of the river near the “lower rounded by a group of curious and delighted natives. falls,” the inquirer would look with anxiety for the remains of those venerable buildings used for the purpose of worship by the Friends, before Pennsylvania was PENNSYLVANIA CANAL AND RAIL ROAD and perhaps before the most ancient of the houses of this
BILL. character, at Shackamazon and Upland. Returning down the shore, Pennsbury Place would
Passed March 1828. excite to sedulous research; it was the residence of Wm. Penn, begun under the direction of his relative Mark An act relative to the Pennsylvania canal, and to proham, before the governor's arrival.
vide for the commencement of a rail road to be conIn its lofty halls he often gave audience to the princes structed at the expense of the state; and to be styled the of the land, having here concluded no less than nineteen Pennsylvania rail road. treaties with the natives. The mansion house is said to Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of have been a great and stately pile, built of materials Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, brought from Europe. If tradition be credited it was at in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the Pennsbury Manor, on a stream called Pennsbury, Phila- authority of the same, that the board of canal commisdelphia, agreeably to the founder's fir.t design, was to sioners are hereby authorised and required, in behalf of have been built. Another site for the intended metro- this commonwealth, as speedily as may be, to locate and
act for making canals, locks and other works ne- and estimates to be made, along the valley of the Mononry thereto, from the commencement of the Penn- gahela, from Pittsburg to the Virginia state line, and mia canal, at or near the mouth of the river Swatara from the borough of Columbia to the mouth of the CoColumbia, in Lancaster county, from Lewistown to nestoga river in Lancaster county, with a view of ascer.
highest point "expedient and” practicable for a ca- taining the most eligible mode of effecting a navigable A on the Juniata, from a point at or near Northumber-communication, either by a canal or slack water navigaTand to the Bald Eagle; on the West Branch from North- tion; and also examinations, surveys and estimates, from umberland to the New York state line; on the north “Huntingdon through Woodcock valley and Bedford, branch from a point at or near Taylor's ferry to Easton, by the head waters of the Allegheny to Johnstown in and from Blairsville to the highest point“ expedient Cambria county," with a view of connecting those and" practicable for a canal on the Conemaugh; pro- streams, either by a canal or rail road, “also examina. vided that ten miles of the canal from Swatara to Colum- tions, surveys and estimates from Lewistown by the Ki. bia, not more than twenty-five, nor less than twenty shacoquillas creek, and through the valley of that name, miles on the West Branch, and not more than forty-five to the town of Huntingdon, with a view to ascertain the miles nor less than fifteen miles of each of the other sec- best ground on which to locate the Pennsylvania canal,” tions aforesaid, shall be put under contract during the and also surveys, examinations and estimates from some present year; and provided further, that so much of the points on the Schuylkill canal, to a point or points on the feeder from French creek to the summit level at Con- Susquehanna river, between Catawissa and Sunbury, neaut lake, as is necessary to the completion of the same with a view of connecting those points by a rail road; shall be put under contract within the present year.
and that the canal commissioners are authorised and reSect. 2. And be it further enacted by the authority quired, to cause examinations, surveys and estimates to aforesaid, that the board of canal commissioners are be made, from the west end of the borough of York hereby authorised and required, previous to the location through Gettysburg to Chambersburg, “and also from of that part of the canal, from a point at or near North- a point at or near the west end of Harrisburg bridge, umberland “to the Bald Eagle” on the West Branch, to through or near Carlisle to Chambersburg,” for the purcause a survey and explanation by an engineer" on the pose of constructing a rail road," and the said commiswest side of the West Branch, from a point at or near sioners shall also cause to be made the examinations and Northumberland to the Bald Eagle, and the said board, surveys between the Lehigh and the North branch of after taking into view the relative advantages, facility, the Susquehanna, provided for, in, and by the third seecost of construction and interests of the commonwealth, tion of an act, approved the eleventh day of April
, eighshall decide whether the canal shall be located on the teen hundred and twenty-seven, entitled, “an act to eastern or western side of the said West Branch of the provide for the further extension of the Pennsylvania caSusquehanna.
nal,” and the said commissioners shall report in like Sect. 3. And be it further enacted by the authority manner as is directed by law, in relation to other routes, aforesaid, that the canal commissioners shall cause fur- “Provided, That in contemplation of a slack water navither examinations to be made between Easton and Car- gation on the Monongahela, the commissioners' report penter's Point on the Delaware river, with a view of shall contain, in addition to the other proper and necesconstructing a canal of smaller dimensions, with locks sary matters, precise accounts of the number of damns of nine feet width, and “make report to the next session and locks, necessary to be erected, their respective dithe result of said examinations, stating whether the canal mensions, their localities, the materials of which they is practicable or not, and at what total expense, desig- should be constructed, and the plan, manner and estinating the estimates of the expense of cach mile, sepa- mated expense of the same, separately; and further the rately, and giving the items, and also stating the dimen- plan shall be so arranged if practicable, as to preserve sions of the canal and works so estimated, and” the said from injury the mill works and water power now in use canal shall be located, but no part of it put under con on said river. The report to be made to the next sestract during the present year.
sion of the legislature.” Sect. 4. And be it further enacted by the authority Section 7. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the board of canal commissioners are au- aforesaid; That the canal commissioners shall cause furthorised and required, to locate by the most eligible ther examinations, surveys and levels to be made, along route, a rail road across the Allegheny mountain, with a the valley of the Allegheny river, from the mouth of the view of connecting the Juniata and Conemaugh sections Kiskeminetas to the mouth of French creek, and shall of the Pennsylvania canal, and they are further autho- report to the next general assembly upon the practicarised to make such contracts as will secure the comple- bility and estimate i cost of making a canal between the tion of said rail road, as early as the completion of the said points, also upon the practicability and the "estisaid sections of canal.
mated” cost of improving the navigation of said river Sect. 5. And be it further enacted by the authority “for steam boats,” by dams and locks, between the said aforesaid, that the canal commissioners are authorised and points, “also upon the practicability and the estimated required to locate upon the most eligible route, a rail cost of improving by dams and locks, the navigation of road from the city of Philadelphia through the city of the said river, for common canal boats, between the said Lancaster to Columbia, on the Susquehanna, and from points,” and also upon the practicability and” estimatthence to the west end of the borough of York, in the ed, cost of making a navigable communication between county of York, "such part of which cast of the Susque- the said points, partly by canal, and partly by dams and hanna, shall be put under contract within the present locks, And that the canal commissioners are authorised year, as the canal commissioners may deem expedient, and required to cause further examinations, surveys and with a view to its completion within two years, or as soon estimates, to be made of the Ohio river, from Pittsburg, thereafter as practicable:” provided, That if the canal to or near the mouth of Beaver creek, for the purpose commissioners shall deem it most expedient to locate of ascertaining whether the navigation of said river can the said rail road, where the same shall pass through the be improved at a less expense than by constructing a cacity of Lancaster, north of James street, the privilege is nal the whole distance between said points, and to rehereby granted to the corporation of the city of Lancas- port to the next legislature the practicability and cost of terto intersect the same by a lateral rail road through the the same. said city, from the said Pennsylvania rail road to Cones Sect. 8. And be it further enacted by the authority toga river, in such manner as may be approved by the aforesaid, that the canal commissioners be, and they are board of canal commissioners, and not otherwise. hereby required, during the ensuing year, and previous
Section 6. And be it further enacted by the authority to final location and letting under contract, to call upon aforesaid, That the canal commissioners are authorised, and receivė, or cause to be called upon and received, and required, to cause examinations, surveys, “levels” from all and every person or persons, as far as may be
CANAL AND RAIL ROAD BILL.
practicable, who are, or who may be owners of lands, and rail road routes, “and of rivers with a view of slack lots, or buildings, along or near the several proposed water navigation," directed by law-and all such sums lines of canals and rail roads, as provided to be made, shall be drawn and accounted for, as is provided by law, or examined by the provisions of this act, acquitta ces provided that the monies necessary for such surveys shají or releases, in whole or in part from any claim to da- be drawn by warrant of the governor, on the treasurer mages which might accrue in consequence of the con- of the canal commissioners, in favour of the board, instruction of any part of the contemplated works, and for stead of the treasurer of the commonwealth. And promaterials that may be taken to carry on the construction vided that the fifth section of the act of the 25th Feb. of the same, and in all cases, where the demands for da- | 1826, shall not be construed to prevent the settlement mages are great or exorbitant, or where there is good of an account by any acting commissioner or superinreason to believe, that such demands will be great or tendant, for a less sum than $50,000, at any one time.exorbitant, it shall be the duty of the board of canal com And provided also, that such acting commissioners and missioners to direct an inquiry and examination to ascer- superintendants, may receive from the treasurer of the tain if there is any other practicable route which would board, in addition to the original sum of $50,000, a furequally subserve the public advantage; and if so, that ther sum equal to the amount for which such settlements route shall be preferred, on which the damages will pro- may have been made. “And provided further, that it bably be the least: provided, that in all such decisions, shall not be lawful to apply any part of the monies apdue regard shall be had to distance, cost, permanency, propriated in, or to be borrowed, in pursuance of this facility of transportation, and all other considerations af- act, to the payment in part, or in whole, of any charge fecting the public interest: And provided, that the mere or demand made, or to be made, by any person or perauthority to locate, shall not be construed as giving au- sons whomsoever, for any real or alleged patent right, thority to let under contract.
for the material commonly called water-lime, or hydrauSect. 9. And be it further enacted by the authority lic cement; or for any real or alleged patent right for any aforesaid, that the governor be, and he is hereby autho- substitute therefor-nor shall it be lawful under any cirrised to borrow, on the credit of the commonwealth, a cumstances whatever, to pay on behalf of the State, a sum or sums, in the whole not exceeding two millions of price for any such material as aforesaid; or for any work dollars, and the sum or sums so borrowed, shall be paid or works containing the same, which shall have been, to, and vested in the commissioners of the internal im- or may be enhanced, in consequence of any such patent; provement fund, to be applied by them, in the manner, or of any charge or demand made, or to be made, by rcaand for the purpose hereinafter directed: provided, that son or in pursuance thereof—and the canal commissionno engagement or contract shall be entered into, which ers are hereby authorised and directed, on behalf of the shall preclude the commonwealth from reimbursing any State, to protect all makers, venders, and users, of hysum or sums thus borrowed, at any time after the expi-draulic cement or water-lime, which shall be made for, ration of twenty-five years from the first day of Decem- or sold and used in the construction of the Pennsylvania ber next; "and in case offers shall not be made within canals and rail roads; and it shall be their duty, and they the time specified by the governor for receiving the are hereby authorised, to call upon the attorney general same, for loaning the whole sum proposed at any one of this state, and also to employ other counsel, if need time to be borrowed, at an interest not exceeding five p. be, to defend all suits at law which may be bronght cent. per annum; then such proposals as may have been against the said makers, venders, or users, of hydraulic made for loaning at an interest not exceeding five p. c. cement or water lime, on the Pennsylvania canals and per annum, sums of one thousand dollars or more, but rail roads, by any such patentee or patentees, or any less in the aggregate than the whole amount proposed to other person or persons for their use." be borrowed, shall be considered as accepted, and such Sect. 12. And be it further enacted by the authority persons notified accordingly."
aforesaid, That the money accruing from premiums and Sect. 10. And be it further enacted by the authority loans hereafter to be received into the treasury, as well aforesaid, that the governor be, and he is hereby autho- as the amount already received from that source, shall be rised to cause to be constituted, certificates of stock, paid by the State treasurer to the commissioners of the signed by the Auditor General, and countersigned by internal improvement'fund; and the same shall be therethe State Treasurer, setting forth that they pertain to the in vested in aid of the ordinary operations of said fund, canal loan, for the sums so borrowed by virtue of this provided however no payment of the sums heretofore act, or for any part thereof, bearing an interest not ex. received into the treasury on account of premiums on ceeding five per cent. per annum, and reimbursable as loans, shall be made untii, in the opinion of the commisaforesaid, which stock thus created, shall be transferable sioners, the state of the treasury shall warrant it, and the on the books of the Auditor General, or at the Bank of situation of the fund shall require it. Pennsylvania, by the owner or owners of the same, bis, Sect. 13. And be it further enacted by the authority her, or their attorney, and new certificates of the same aforesaid, That the amount of money heretofore paid by shall be issued by the Auditor General and State Trea- the commissioners of the internal improvement fund, to surer, to the new holders; and it is hereby further de- engineers and the secretary of the board of canal comclared, that it shall be deemed to be a good execution of missioners under the provisions of the second section of the said power, to borrow for the governor of this com- the act, entitled “A further supplement to an act cnti. monwealth, to cause the said certificates of stock, or tled, an act to appoint a board of canal commissioners, any part thereof, for any amount not less than one thou- passed the 16th day of April, 1827,” shall immediately sand dollars as may be judged best adapted for the pur- after the passage of this act be paid over by the treasurer pose to be sold; and the faith of the commonwealth is of the board of canal commissioners, to the commission. hereby pledged to establish a sufficient revenue for makers of the internal improvement fund; and that so much ing up any deficiency that may hereafter take place in of the second section of the act above recited, as directs the funds appropriated for paying the said interest. the mode of paying the enginecrs and assistants target
Sect. 11. And be it further enacted by the authority men, and secretary of the board of canal commissioners, aforesaid, That it shall be the duty of the commissioners
, to be paid by the treasurer of the internal improvement of the internal improvement fund, to cause to be paid fund be, and the same is bereby repealed. out of the monies borrowed in pursuance of this act, such Sect. 14. And be it further enacted by the authority sum or sums as shall be necessary for the completion of aforesaid, That the State treasurer be, and he is hereby those divisions of the Pennsylvania canal already locat- directed to pay to the conmissioners of the internal imed; as well as such other sum or sums as may be neces provement fund, any sum of money from the balance in sary for the canals, i ail roads, and public works, author the treasury, not otherwise appropriated, which in the ised to be constructed by this act; and also such
other opinion of the said conimissioners can be done without sum or sums as may be required for the survey of canal i embarrassing the ordinary operations thereof, in antici
PENAL CODE AND PENITENTIARY SYSTEM.
pation of the loan provided for in this act, to be applied Printing
366 50 as is directed by the “eleventh” section; and as soon as Fire-proof buildings
531 9. said loan, or any part thereof, shall have been made, and Fisheries—prevention of illicit fishing,
6 73 the money arising therefrom, in sufficient amounts, shall School fund, 20 per cent. of taxes paid in 25,546 06 have been received into the said fund, the amount of mo. County court house and altering, &c.
589 89 ney, so as aforesaid taken from the treasury, shall be re- Prisons-House of Correction 13,278 71 paid thereto by the commissioners of the said fund.
1,108 11 “Sect. 15. And be it further enacted, by the author
890 20 ity aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the
5,095 17 board of canal commissioners so soon as any part of the
19,872 19 Pennsylvania canal shall be in a state for navigation, to Auditors
750 50 appoint such and so many collectors of tolls, for the pas- Fuel and candles
252 34 sage of boats and vessels through and along the same, Elections
1,438 54 and in such places as they may think proper; and that Public Roads
24,082 37 it shall and may be lawful, to and for such toll collectors Assessment
2,793 40 and their deputies, to demand and receive of and from County Treasurer's salary
1,200 00 the persons having the charge of all boats and vessels, Agricultural Society
650 00 and rafts of timber, boards, planks and scantling, pass-Commonwealth costs suit
294 17 ing through the said canal and locks thereto belonging, Interest
301 41 such tolls as the said board of canal commissioners may Commissioners Salaries
2,817 00 order and direct, and the tolls thus received, shall be Clerks do
1,650 00 paid over by the said collectors quarterly, to the com- Solicitor
300 00 missioners of the internal improvement fund, and shall Coroner-Inquests, coffins, &c.
2,458 77 be therein vested in aid of the ordinary operations of Forfeited recognizances
161 35 said fund; and the canal commissioners are hereby au- Ward election expenses
177 75 thorised to purchase as much ground as shall be by them County lumber yard lot
2.037 07 deemed necessary for the suite of toll houses, and for Incidental expenses
448 51 the accommodation of the toll keepers along the several Sundries
206 05 routes of the Pennsylvania canals and rail roads: Pro- Painting
252 00 vided, that there shall not be attached to any toll house as aforesaid, a greater quantity than one acre of ground.
158,337 87 “Sect. 16. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That so much of any act as requires the
Balance in the Treasury $6,744 15. contracts made by the canal commissioners to be filed in the treasury office, be, and the same is, hereby, repeal.
PENAL CODE. ed; and all contracts hereafter to be made, shall be filed in the office of the auditor general; and the contracts
We this week commence the publication of the report now filed in the treasury office, shall be transferred to of the commissioners on the Penal Code and Penitentiathe office of the auditor general.
Sect. 17. And be it further enacted, by the authority ry System; a subject on which the public mind appears aforesaid, That all the provisions of the acts relative to to be divided. These commissioners have discussed one the Pennsylvania canal as are not inconsistent with this side of the question; and those for forming a code adaptact shall be in force, so far as they are applicable to the ed to the proposed penitentiary system, have advocated subject matter of this act.
“Sect. 18. And be it further enacted, by the authori- the other; their report will be published after the pretv aforesaid, That no canal commissioner or engineer in sent one shall have been finished. We regret the length their employ, or member of either branch of the legisla- of these public documents, yet we believe the subject is ture, shall directly or indirectly, himself or by any other one of great importance to the citizens of this state, and person in trust for him, or for his use, undertake, exe: upon which, before either system is adopted, the public cute, hold or enjoy, in the whole or in part, any hereafter to be made or entered into, for the construc- should be well informed. It is not probable, from the tion of any of the public works authorised in this act, or advanced stage of the session, that either report will be for any part of such works; and any person offending acted upon by the legislature until next winter; sufficiagainst the provisions of this section, sball, upon convic- ent time will, therefore, be allowed to weigh all the artion before any court having competent jurisdiction in the case, be adjudged guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall guments on both sides, and to prepare the minds of the be fined in a sum not exceeding two hundred dollars, members for a decisive vote. After all, we are inclined and such contract shall be absolutely void.
to believe that experienee is the best test of any system,
and, as much money has been expended in erecting EXPENDITURES
buildings suitable for making the experiment of solitary OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY-1827. confinement, we must confess we should be glad to see (Compiled from the Accounts lately published.]
that experiment fairly made. Among the warmest adHouse of Refuge; per act of Assembly
vocates for it, are men, who, prompted by benevolent
$5,000 00 Loans
22,260 00 feelings, have reflected much upon the subject, and been Courts-Orphans
for many years actively engaged in the management of Common Pleas
institutions, in which they have had opportunities of obMayor's
8,648 46 Supreme
serving the defects of the present mode of punishment, Oyer and Termniner
and whose opinions, therefore, ought to have much Quarter Sessions 7,932 86
weight. Yet we must say, that our own mind is not fully District
made up upon the subject; there are strong arguments
29,244 15 Bridges Frankford
and imposing facts adduced on both sides, and as we County
said before, we should be glad to hare the system of so12,649 13 / litary confinement tested by experience; the other sys
PENAL CODE AND PENITENTIARY SYSTEM
tem has so far failed to produce the desired effect; it is 1. Capital punishments.
3. Branding or other marking.
6. Simple imprisonment.
7. Imprisonment with labour, but without separation REPORT
of the prisoners. ON PUNISHMENTS & PRISON DISCIPLINE.
8. Solitary confinement, without labour of any kind. To the honourable the Senate and House of Representatives 9. Solitary confinement, with labour performed in so. of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
10. Solitary confinement at night, with joint and clas-
We are not aware that any modes of punishment have observations as might be necessary to a proper determi. under one or other of these divisions. A brief examinanation upon the important subject with which we were tion of the first six, thus enumerated, will, we conceive, charged, we now respectfully lay before the legislature be amply sufficient for our purpose. an exposition of the principles, upon which we havc procecded, in respect to that branch of our duties, which monwealth has been too long, and two distinctly ex.
1. Upon capital punishments the opinion of this comrelates to punishments and prison discipline. We have pressed, to permit us to suppose that a suggestion of prepared a more elaborate and detailed report than per applying them to any other, than the single case of wil. haps the resolutions of the legislature seemed to require, ful and malicious murder, could meet with any favour because we are anxious to satisfy the public mind, that from the legislature. The enlightened and benevolent sufficient pains have been taken to arrive at correct con- founder of Pennsylvania set a memorable example to the clusions on a subject so immediately affecting the pri- nations in the Great law; which rejected the severity of mary interests of the commonwealth; and that, although the English system, and carefully limited the punishwe may have erred in our recommendations, they have ment of death to the crime for which it is now inflicted. not been the result of careless or prejudiced examina- Neither the experience of that generation nor of the tion. We have felt sensibly the weight of our responsi- present, appears to us to justify any alteration of this bility, and the arduous character of our duties. A ques-humane code. It is well settled that the certainty of tion upon which the attention of many civilized nations punishment operates with at least as decisive effect as is at this moment turned, and which has remarkably di- the severity of it; and the experience of other nations vided public opinion among ourselves, was not to be set- has proved that the multiplication of capital punishments tled, so far as depended upon us, without a careful re- has never stayed the progress of crime, however it may search into facts and experience, a patient examination have thinned for a time the number of offenders. But and comparison of testimony, and an anxious considera- the mere severity of a penal code is known often to de: tion of theories and arguments
. Impressed with this feat its operation; because those who are charged with conviction, we have earnestly sought after information administering the laws prefer even a violation of their from every quarter of our own country, and of Europe; official duty to the sacrifice of human lives; and thus we have personally examined several of the penitentia- offenders escape without any punishment, to renew their ries in the United States; and we have consulted
all the assaults upon society. Reason and experience therefore, publications to which we could obtain access.
The resolutions directing the appointment of a commission, the present system respecting capital punishments.
we conceive, unite in recommending an adherence to required our report to be made to the succeeding legis
2. Mutilation of the person of offenders, the barbalature. Our anxiety to submit as full and matured a report as possible induced us to ask of the last legislature diated by most civilized nations. Beyond the mere per
rous punishment of a barbarous age, is deservedly repu. an extension of time; which was promptly granted; and sonal suffering of the individual subject, it answers no we trust, has not been unprofitably employed. Whatever may be the final decision of the legislature on this tion is little to be hoped for, while the impression on the
one purpose of penal infliction. Reformation or correc. interesting subject, we shall have the satisfaction of reflecting that we entered upon the discharge of our du- public mind, produced
by the spectacle, is one rather
of sympathy with the offender, or of disgust at the pun. ties with a single eye to the public welfare, and have ishment, than of horror or aversion from the
crime. If spared neither labour nor expense to perform those du- the mutilation is carried so far as to deprive the criminal ties to the best advantage for the commonwealth.
of a portion of his limbs, society suffers, in addition, by The just and enlightened spirit of modern times has es- the necessary support of him during the remainder of tablished a philosophy of punishments, by the rules of his life. Little need therefore be said in opposition to which all systems must be erected, and according to mutilation, as a mode of punishment. whose principles all suggestions must be shaped. It is a 3. The punishment of branding, or other marking of cardinal maxim of this philosophy, that punishments the persons of criminals, has, we believe, never been apmust be so inflicted, as to produce the most direct and plied to the higher species of offences, and has generalimmediate correction of tlle offender, with the greatest ly formed an addition to other punishments, rather than possible effect upon the mass of society. Whatever constituted the whole infliction. The observations to goes beyond, or falls short of this object, is an act of op- which it is liable are similar to those which we have ad. pression to the individual, or of injustice towards the vanced in relation to mutilation. The experience of public, and produces corresponding evils in society, other states and countries has been found, we believe, which all prudent legislators are desirous to avoid. Keep-decidedly unfavourable to it. To fix a mark of public ing in view this fundamental rule, we shall endeavour, disgrace upon an individual, which must remain in all by an exanination and comparison of the several modes its deformity to the close of his miserable life, is perpet, of penal discipline, to arrive at such conclusions res- ually to cut him off from the sources of amendment, and pecting their practical operation, as may assist the legis- the means of subsistence. Whatever, under other cirlature in determining upon the most judicious and expe- cumstances, might be his wishes for reform, he must dient of the several plans suggested to them.
move among his fellow beings as a diseased outlaw, a The principal varieties of punishment adopted by go-moral leper; alike detested by the public, and detestvernments in ancient or modern times, or suggested by ing the laws of his country. Once enrolled by this badge political or philosophical reasons, may be classed under among the class of criminals, no alternative seems left to the following heads.
him by society, but to pursue the calling, and acquire