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and the discharge of my duties, I am free to acknowledge it has been mainly owing to your generous care and timely counsel, and the aid and assistance I have received at the hands of the officers and guards of the prison, generally.



Physician's Report.

To the Inspectors of the Michigan State Prison:

I have the honor to submit the following report of the Hospital department of this Prison for the year ending the 30th of November, 1851.

I took charge of the Hospital on the 1st of June last, and found quite a number sick, mostly of chronic affections, three of which number have since died. There has been one death from congestion of the lungs, making the total number of deaths four. The whole number of applications for admission into the Hospital has been three hundred and thirty, of which two hundred and thirty

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The diarrhoea and dysentary assumed an epedemic form, and affeeted nearly all convicts within the Prison-many severely, while others evinced only the premonitory symptoms, which were relieved by a single prescription.

Many of the cases of sickness in the Prison were convicts who contracted diseases in the jails in which they were confined before they were sent here.

G. W. GORHAM, Physician.

Chaplain's Report.

To the Board of Inspectors of the Michigan State Prison:

GENTLEMEN-I herewith submit to you a report of the moral and religious condition of the prison, and the state of the library, connected therewith, at the present time.

When I entered upon the duties of moral and religious instructor, some two years since, I had but little hope that my labors would be of any substantial or permanent benefit to the convicts-entertaining in common with the majority of mankind, the belief that men so depraved and fallen as the inmates of a State prison are supposed to be, could not be thoroughly reformed and raised to the dignity of free and useful citizens. Experience has taught me the error of such an opinion; and I am convinced that the Gospel of the Son of God, stooping to humanity in its lowest estate, has power to elevate and ennoble it. Reformation, in order to be lasting, must have its origin in the heart-must spring from the infusion of correct moral and religious sentiments. The hope of pardon, or the desire to obtain some indulgence, may influence a prisoner to external reformation, and sometimes lead him to put on the semblance of piety; but disappoint. ment in every such case removes the mask and reveals his true moral condition. Familiarity with such cases has enabled me generally to distinguish between the true and the false.

I am happy in being able to state that an increased sensibility is manifested among the convicts-a growing susceptibility to religious impressions-a desire for personal religious conversation and instruction, and a strong determination on the part of many to reform their lives. I think it must be evident to all who attend upon our public religious services that there is an increasing solemnity pervading the minds of the prisoners-a close and earnest attention to the preaching of the gospel, and an order and stillness during divine worship, at times so marked as to escape the notice of no one. I am therefore much encouraged in my labors, and stimulated by such evidences of success, to make still greater exertions in behalf of these unfortunate

Never since my connection with the prison, and perhaps never

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since its establishment, has there been witnessed such general contentment as prevails among the prisoners at the present time. It may not be departing from the objects of this report, if I refer briefly to what I believe to be the causes which have led to so desirable a result.

The prohibiting to the prisoners of the use of all secular and political newspapers, has had a manifest influence in producing among them quiet and contentment.

I hold it to be one of the principal designs of imprisonment, to cut off the prisoner from all con/merce with the world. He is immured, shut up within walls-buried in the eye of the law, until his sentence expires; and whatever tends to keep up an intercourse with the world thwarts the designs of his imprisonment. It is not, however, upon this ground chiefly, that I base my opposition to such reading, but upon the positive evils which result therefrom, to the convicts themselves. It produces a restless and excited state of the mental faculties. They know in part, and are anxious, and resort to all possible expedients to obtain fuller information upon subjects of which their papers give only some hints.

This unquiet and perturbed state of the mind is entirely unsuited to calm and serious reflection, and disqualifies them for a proper improvement of their religious advantages, and a profitable perusal of the excellent books of which the prison library is composed.

Another cause which has contributed to bring about this genera] contentment, is a growing conviction that all efforts on their part, or on the part of their friends, to obtain their release before the expiration of their sentence, will be of no avail. Instances may arise when it would be proper for a sentence to be interrupted by Executive interference. I speak, however, of a general principle, and of it only, because of the important bearing which the subject has upon the entire welfare of the prisoner. Let the mind of every man convicted of crime, and sentenced to the penitentiary, be impressed with the firm belief that when the gate of the prison closes upon him, it will only be opened to him again when he shall have served out the term for which he was sentenced-not to speak of the influence which such a conviction would have upon the commission of crime-multitudes of evils now connected with prison discipline would be effectually re

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