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not one of solitary, but of separate, imprisonment,* they are welcome to the appellation. Indeed, as the inmates of the Bastile and the Spielberg, of the Inquisition at Madrid and the Leads at Venice, were necessarily visited each day by the persons who brought them their allowance of food and water, it is pretty evident that solitary imprisonment, as it is understood by the advocates of the separate system, was not permitted in these institutions, nor do we see how it is practicable anywhere.

But whatever name be given to the system, let us see what its effects are on the minds of the prisoners. New cases of Insanity in the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsyl

vania, in each year, since 1836.

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“ Now since it appears, that where the color is distinguished, the number of whites and the number of blacks becoming insane

*“The system is called the solitary system by some who have written against it, and who have portrayed their objections in glowing colors. It is not a solitary system ; and therefore such objections, and whatever deductions have been made therefrom, are groundless. The prisoners are separated from each other at all times. They never see one another. From the moment they come into prison they are separated and alone only as regards their fellow

w.prisoners. The system is properly called, therefore, the separate system.' Seventeenth Annual Report of the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania, p. 7.

No statement.

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in the institution are almost exactly equal, it is the natural and necessary presumption, that the same proportion exists, where the color is not distinguished ; and of course, half of this undistinguished number 46 should be added to each. To the 31 known to be white let us add, then, the 23 necessarily believed to be so, and we have 54 cases of insanity in an average white population, as appears from table (B.), of 229.

“ This for nine years is six each year, or 26.20 new cases of insanity, annually, for every thousand people. Even if we suppose that there was actually no case of insanity in 1842, and base our calculation on ten years, it would only reduce the average number of new cases among whites from 26.20 to 23.58 in a thou. sand, which does not at all affect the argument, for there ought not to be more than one in a thousand. The former number is no doubt correct.

pp. 106, 107. In the report of the physician of the Charlestown prison for 1838, it is said that during the year one man had become insane, and “that this is only the second case of insanity which has occurred in this penitentiary during the last ten years. During the ten years since 1836, there have been seven cases of insanity in this prison, five of them being insane when admitted.

“It appears, then, that only two cases of insanity have originated in the prison at Charlestown during ten years past, which is one in 1474, less than one in a thousand, accurately .68 in 1000 ; so that the cases of insanity thus originating among the white prisoners alone in Philadelphia have been almost thirtysix times as many as among all the prisoners, white and black, at Charlestown.”

pp. 109, 110. According to the census of 1840, one person out of every 580 of the whole population of Massachusetts is insane, while in Pennsylvania the number is only one to every 808. But this census is not trustworthy, and there is no good reason to believe that the tendency of the free population to insanity is greater in the one State than the other. As to the number of new cases of insanity which occur every year in the community at large in Massachusetts, Mr. Gray shows good reason to believe that 1 in 2000 " is the lowest rate that can justly be assumed, as 1 in 1000 is certainly the highest. The rate in the prison at Charlestown is 1 in 1474, which is so nearly midway between the two extremes, that it is very safe to assume that it is no larger than the ordinary rate with

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out the walls. In other words,

In other words, imprisonment upon this system has no tendency to produce insanity.

But what shall we say of the Pennsylvania system, which produces annually among the white convicts twenty-six new cases of insanity for

thousand persons, or one in

every thirty-eight?

“ At the same rate, there would be nearly 21,000 new cases of insanity annually in Massachusetts, and about 3,144 in Boston, a number far exceeding that of the deaths. What would become of us, if our weekly list of deaths were accompanied by a still longer list of insanities, and it were known that this was not a rare calamity, but the ordinary course of events here ? This city would be at once depopulated. Yes, even Boston. Its inhabitants would flee from it as from the seat of a pestilence.”

p. 113.

Yet Mr. Gray, with his usual scrupulous avoidance of all those cases which some have endeavoured to account for by unfortunate circumstances alleged to be peculiar to the prison at Philadelphia, has taken no notice of the new cases of insanity among the black convicts, which, as the table shows, are 55 in number on an average annual population of 135. This, for nine years, is more than six for each year ; it exceeds 45 in 1000, or one in every 22. According to the last census, Pennsylvania has a free black population of 47,854, which would give, if insanity prevailed among them at this rate, 2,175 new cases every year.

The whole number of insane and idiotic colored persons in the State, in 1840, was shown by the census of that year to be 187 ; and whatever


be the faults of this census, no one who has examined it will think that it attributes too little insanity to the free blacks. Its correctness has been most frequently impeached on the very ground that it attributed to them too much ; the statements it contains in this respect are admitted on all hands to be incredibly large.

But half of the evil is not told yet, though the remainder of it cannot be stated or estimated in figures. We commend the following passage from Mr. Gray's book to the serious attention of every student of the subject, for it points out in concise but vigorous language a consideration of great importance, which has been too frequently overlooked.

“ But the tables above given, appalling as they are, do not afford the full measure of this evil ; for it is most important to remark that they contain no cases but those of actual death or insanity. No case of debility or disease, bodily or mental, is entered here, until it reach that last extremity. Now is it possible to believe that there are no such cases, that all those who have not attained this fatal consummation are full of health and vigor, and able to go forth and battle manfully with the world ? It cannot be. Many more must be treading the dark and downward path, who are yet more or less distant from its end. It is the natural, nay, it is the necessary presumption, that a mode of treatment which utterly destroys the health and reason of so many cannot leave those of others entirely unimpaired. Is it consistent with justice or humanity to inflict a punishment which has this tendency ? ” — pp. 113, 114.

Here is the reason why the Pennsylvania system has been thought to operate so favorably towards the reformation of the criminal. “After the terrible effects of long-continued solitude have shattered his nervous system and benumbed his faculties, till he is trembling on the verge of insanity, he appears subdued, siinple, and childish ; he weeps at the slightest cause, and is ready to promise amendment, or any thing else that is asked of him. Beaumont and De Tocqueville, in visiting one of the prisoners, No. 61, in the prison at Philadelphia, observed that he could not speak long without being agitated and shedding tears; and that they had made the same remark of all whom they had previously seen. New Jersey is now the only State in the Union besides Pennsylvania which has a prison conducted on the plan of solitary labor by day; and the physician of the prisoners, after only two years' experience of the system, speaks thus of its effect upon them. In many

instances there is remarked that weakness of intel. lect which results from an unexercised mind. The nervous system must with the other parts of the body from the causes already mentioned. If the prisoner's mind, on his admission into the cell, has not been of a reflective character, and capable of exercising itself on abstract subjects, imbecility is soon manifested, which leads him to amuse himself in the most child. like employments. If this confinement were continued for many years, such individuals would, no doubt, become permanently injured in their faculties."

A year afterwards he speaks yet more plainly and decidedly of this terrible effect of the system.

“ Among the prisoners there are many who exhibit a childlike simplicity, which shows them to be less acute than when they entered. In all who have been more than a year in the prison, some of these effects have been observed. Continue the confinement for a longer time, and give them no other exercise of the mental faculties than this kind of imprisonment affords, and the most accomplished rogue will lose his capacity for depredating with success upon the community.

Certainly, it is possible to effect an apparently moral reformation of the convict by reducing him to a state of mental imbecility ; even if this prostration of the intellect be not accompanied by a real change of heart, still the wretched man will be incapable of returning to his former practices with success, and society will thus be protected from crime. So a raving maniac may be stunned by heavy blows on the head, or stupefied by large doses of opium, and thus be reduced to quiet; yet this is not the way to cure, but to kill him. The moral torture of long-continued solitude, the ceaseless blows it inflicts till reason totters on her throne, may be less savage in appearance, but are far more terrible in reality, than any attempt to subdue a madman by brute force. Rather than subject the vilest criminal to the influence of such a system, our fervent prayer would be that he might continue through life to sin, preserving only the slender chance of a death-bed repentance.

There is one other point relating to the management of the prison at Philadelphia to which it is our duty to allude, though we should much prefer to say nothing about it. There is too good reason to believe that the official statements which have been published respecting the effects of the system there pursued on the minds of the prisoners, afflicting as they are, do not contain the whole truth. In the table already cited, our readers have seen that no cases of insanity are reported for 1842 ; the part of the Philadelphia Physician's Report for 1842, which should relate to insanity, appears to have been suppressed without explanation." There are asterisks in this Report, indicating that something has been suppressed, and all the other usual matters are discussed in it except insanity, which is justly made a prominent topic in the preceding and subsequent Reports. The language in the Report for the following year, also, leads almost irresistibly to the inference that some of the "old ” cases, of which it speaks, originated in 1842. In the Seventeenth Annual Report, the

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