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the street. Mr. Bradford got up also, turned his back on the judge, and made a heavy blow, swelling blow-like, through the room.” There is here evidence enough to make one shudder at the deeds of the “Alleviators,” and their agent Mr. Wood. Let a man be as good and as virtuous as possible, and at the same time poor, where there is a Bastile in full operation, he is not safe from becoming one of its victims; nay, he is in the greater danger for being honest; the thieves and murderers having got the upper hand, as exemplified in this very Penitentiary; for, who will dispute that, if justice had been done, Wood would have undergone the extra-judicial punishment, and have suffered as Plimly and Maccumsey had done? or who will say that he ought not to suffer for murder in the ordinary manner * Therefore, while our limbs are free from the tranquilliser, and the horrid gag, and while our eyes are free from the hood under which we know not how soon we may be conducted to the dark and solitary cell, while we are free from these things, is the time to contend against the inhuman wretches. I have not given a quarter of the evidence that the witnesses named, laid before the committee, and which went to prove the vile deeds done in this prison; and not a twentieth part of the evidence given in the whole. There were sixty-five witnesses examined, and every charge was proved to the fullest extent, without a single set-off, or drawback, during the examination, which commenced on the 16th December, and finished on the 22d of January following. Licentious and immoral practices were proved to exist among the officers, agents, and females to such an extent that it could be equalled by nothing but the proceedings of the commonest of brothels. I commenced, by giving the evidence, touching the lewd conduct of Mrs. Blundin, Wood, and others, but I found it to be of such an abominable nature that I could not suffer it to appear in these letters. As to embezzlement, that was carried on by wholesale, and had become so common that little or no precaution seems to have been taken about it. The whole of Mrs. Blundin’s relations outside as well as inside the prison, were nearly altogether kept out of the public stores. She kept boarders in the prison, and furnished her table at the public expense, and all this with the perfect knowledge of her paramour Wood. She used to send provisions to the brothels in the city, and to her friends in other parts of the country. Wood did not only countenance all this, but he plundered the stores himself, and applied them to the use of his farm, and partnership concern to which he belonged. The law for regulating this prison says, that “no warden, underkeeper, or overseer, shall at any time be concerned or employed in any other business, and if he shall become so concerned, he shall be dismissed from office.” And yet it was proved that Wood and others had a farm, D

and that many of the prison stores went for the use of that farm; that he was also in partnership with a man in the marble-cutting business, and that more of the stores went for that establishment. Upon the whole, I will venture to say, that no gaol in the world ever exhibited such cruelty, peculation, obscenity, and the like, as did this place which the “Alleviators’ told us was to promote the happiness of their fellow beings. There were two Commissioners, Messrs. Crawford and Russell, sent by the British Government some time since, to explore this den, and I am sorry to learn that their report is intended to induce their employers to change their system for this of the American “Alleviators,' alias quakers. There are no men on earth, I am convinced, that can plan dungeons and gags to such a pitch of perfection as can the new era quakers. They are at the bottom of every thing that is infernal; they encourage all sorts of villany that have a tendency to cheat, to harass, to plunder the people; and for them no apology can now be found. When Barclay apologised for them, he said, “they would not counterfeit or dissemble; that they were sober, mortified, self-denying Christians; that they walked in the strait way that leads to life, and took up the cross of Christ, to die with him to the lust and perishing vanities of this world.” Of course I am speaking of the American Quakers, and of them as a body. This race of dungeon builders and gag makers surely never can have descended from the Barclay stock. There is nothing in his excellent book but what condemns this race, and leaves them without hope, if they die in their worse than heathen iniquities. To say nothing of their cruel and murdering propensities, would Barclay or Penn have approved of the pompous ceremony of laying a corner-stone, even of a building that was truly intended for a good and humane purpose, and much less to bury their names, engraved on a plate of metal, under, or in, the corner-stone of a place that cannot be otherwise, look at it how you will, than a disgrace to the nation? I have not.—never had, nor ever shall have any respect for a man that has a taste for planning dungeons, or inventing instruments of torture, even for beasts, to say nothing of man. To be sure the deposited names are not quite all the names of quakers; there is one Bradford, he that interrupted the witness, and gave such a “heavy swelling blow:” this dignified character graces another persuasion, and preaches occasionally: he is a lawyer by profession: he defended the mechanics' bank against my demand upon it for payment of its notes. He is about the size of Sir John Falstaff, and, with a great deal of impudence, and silly pomposity, he every now and then gives a sort of porpoise snort or blow, which the witness justly called a heavy

swelling blow, and I know of no better name for him hereafter to be known by than Blowing Bradford. I have now to state that which I consider to be very alarming indeed. It is, that with all these horrid proofs before them, the legislative assembly actually “acquitted the persons implicated from all criminal intentions!!!” and compared Wood “to the celebrated Howard, who visited the prisons of foreign countries, without any other compensation or reward than the luxury of doing good.” I call this very alarming, because, if we consider that that assembly represented the people, then we come to the conclusion that we live in a community where murder, robbing, obscenity, and the rest may be practised without being considered criminal. Mr. McElwee, one of our representatives, and again I say, one of the committee who investigated these charges, tells us, when speaking of the report, that the barbarous ducking of Plimly, and the murder of Maccumsey are admitted; but, said he, “the sponge is applied to the indictment, and the acquittal of the persons implicated from all criminal intention is gravely pronounced, though it was in evidence from the journal in the hand-writing of Mr. Wood, that he himself had ordered the application of the gag and that Maccumsey died under its tortures.” And again, this excellent member, and truly good man, who deserves the warmest thanks of every one for his steady perseverance against the designs to cloak and hide these things from the public view, in answer to the committee who wish to make it out that a common fit of apoplexy terminated the life of Maccumsey, observes “the committee, not content with the publication of this logical madness, suggest that which is not sustained by any part of the testimony. They say in a short time after it (the gag) was put on, it was discovered that he was become insensible, and it was taken off; but every effort to revive him proved ineffectual, and he died. Now the truth is, the gag was put on by order of Mr. Wood, and was not taken off until vitality was extinguished; and such is the uncontroverted testimony of all the witnesses; and yet the committee would induce us to believe that he was alive when the instrument of death was removed : Is there no tongue to tell the world the shame of those who were appointed by freemen to watch and guard their laws, their liberties and their morals f “The committee say that they have much satisfaction, therefore, in dismissing the consideration of this grave charge (the murder) with a full acquittal of the persons implicated from all criminal intention on their part in reference to it. “The unvarnished truth is this, the gag was put on by order of the warden; the man died by reason of the application; the punishment was unlawful, and, therefore, he was murdered. The intention to kill does not rob the crime of its essence, it only diminishes the punishment. If a man in the commission of an unlawful act produces the death of a human being, this is homicide. If death is the necessary consequence of the act, and done with the intention which is inferred of producing that result, it is malice prepense, and the punishment is death. If death was not intended, it is a murder in the second degree, and imprisonment for life in a solitary cell with labour is the penalty. This is the law of the land.” It appears that the committee decided against the right to inquire into the private conduct and morals of individuals employed about the Penitentiary, on which Mr. McElwee remarks, that “the counsel for Mr. Blundin objected to any evidence of Mrs. Blundin's visiting houses of ill fame out of the walls of the Penitentiary, &c. and this objection was sustained by the committee!!! “It will be observed that this woman was the matron appointed by the warden, and the decision of the committee is in keeping with the afore-mentioned perilous protest. If such principles are to be established, and become the law of the land; if common harlots are to be heads of female departments of public institutions; away then with your restrictive laws; insult and mock us no longer with vain legislation on vice and immorality; throw open wide the flood-gates of licentiousness, profligacy, and debauchery; stamp with the curse of public reprobation justice, truth, and virtue.—Such a consummation is the inevitable result of the principles avowed in this protest, if adopted by this community; and such another protest I hope most sincerely may never dishonour the records of my native State.” Lawyer Bradford, alluded to above, who was called as a witness on the occasion, was permitted to give his evidence in writing, for the purpose, no doubt, of shielding him from cross-examination. From his evidence, if evidence it may be called, it appears that for twenty-five years he had been studying the art of cruelty, and he boasts of having brought it to such perfection, that one of his convicts who had been in the British navy; in several prisons; been whipped; starved; and loaded with irons; had yet never before met with any-thing equal to the torture of the “American System;’ the author of which seems to have been in ecstacy, when the poor wretch, in agony, exclaimed, “What can I do / /* It was all important to have for a warden a man of character, and to obtain the services of such a man, the pious lawyer considered it necessary to fix the salary above the usual standard, and voted for it being 1500 dollars per annum, not having at that time the least idea that his benevolent friend would be the warden. It was other indivi. duals, that took such a deep interest in the system, and that insisted upon having Wood; who at first absolutely declined, but, by the influence of religious Bradford, he was made to promise to take the matter into consideration, and shortly after, the virtuous Bradford received the letter dated 6th month, 29th, 1829, which contained the joyful tidings that the man of character had graciously accepted the new standard salary of 1500 dollars per annum.—Wood never sought the office; be sure to bear that in mind, and that when these charges were made against him, it was by persuasion only that he continued to hold it. We had a very narrow escape then from losing the devotion, zeal, and above all, the benevolence of this wonderful character, whose conduct met the entire approbation of his freind, the upright and perfect lawwer. The two friends talked of appointing a matron; but finding that the busy meddling law forbid that great convenience, they had to devise ways and means to overcome this obstacle; which their ever fertile brains accomplished by dropping the word “matron,” and substituting for it the words “female overseer.” This done, Wood was directed to make the appointment, and he introduced his old acquaintance, the celebrated Mrs. Blundin, from Morestown, as “female overseer,” who answered every purpose required of her, until Mr. Coxe heard certain rumours respecting the characters of her and the warden. Bradford says, he “ inquired into the truth of the rumours, and was satisfied, that so far as regarded the warden, they were without foundation in truth.” Nevertheless, he was induced to notice her conduct and behaviour more particularly. He saw her at the “religious exercises,” and, in his numerous visits, he saw her generally; her conduct was modest, chaste, and correct. As to her husband, he was a perfect model of excellence, though this is the man who struck poor Maccumsey so repeatedly under the chim and that drove his knees into his back while tightening his jacket. He heard of the gag once, but never heard of the ducking until the investigation. He knew of one instance of starvation; it lasted, to the best of his recollection, three days; the warden said four days; and the prisoner said six days. He saw Maccumsey with the gag on; did not see his body after death, but was satisfied with the doctor's certificate He never heard, till the complaint was made to the attorney-general, that Maccumsey’s death was occasioned by the gag. This man seems to have always been in the third heaven, and never able to see, or hear, anything that did not square with chastity, modesty, and purity. One thing only he had to regret, and that was that “the system” should be shorn of its brightest beams, by the legislature, in their wisdom, refusing to grant a suitable compensation for the service of a minister of the Gos

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