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By the Rev. HENRY WARE, Jr.







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r ~^ j '^7/ - >s> ■


Author of " Congo in search of his Master " ; " The Children**

Robinson, Crusoe " j and " The Story of the Life of Lafayette."

i jir- — a— »<—»" ■^■■' ~*\

* State »:'*?l Sw'-Jip to






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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1833, by Bnowir,
Shattuck, and Co., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of
the District of Massachnsetts.


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SEP / 1S06

It was natural to begin the Lives of Phi-
lanthropists with memoirs of Howard ; but it
was not at first our intention that a whole vol-
ume should be devoted to them. It was found
difficult, however, to compress the incidents of
his important career into less space, without
sacrificing something of the effect which ought
to be produced. For we were desirous not only
to inform our young readers who Howard was,
when he lived, and what he did, but to interest
them in his undertakings, and cause them, by
the contemplation of his example, to catch
something of his spirit. This could not be done
without going somewhat minutely into particu-
lars. General statements are unimpressive.
We are affected by details. We need to see
for ourselves the very scenes in which the
philanthropist was engaged, the very persons
whom he relieved, and the very minutiae of
the evils, however dreadful, which he sought to
remedy. Then only can we appreciate the

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value and extent of his labors ; and in order to
this it is necessary to dwell with some particu-
larity on the circumstances and progress of his

But we had in view a still further object.
Howard opened to the activity of Christian
benevolence a new field of exertion. He
penetrated into a region of suffering which
had been before unobserved, and taught men
to sympathize with a class of their fellow-
beings who had been cast out with abhorrence
and loathing from the pale of human regard.
He did much to effect a change in the feelings
of the community, and it was thought that he
had commenced a reform which would go on
until the evils in question should be wholly
removed. But after his death the interest
which had been excited, in a great measure
died away ; and although the British prisons
never again became the depositories of oppres-
sion and wretchedness which they had formerly
been, they by no means continued to improve.
There was wanting the devoted action of some
one disinterested mind to keep alive the lan-
guid attention of the community. Within a

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few years the work has been resumed. Mrs.
Fry has shown what wonderful things may be
effected by the resolute and persuasive spirit
of Christian love. Others have cooperated.
The British Prison Discipline Society has
labored well to maintain an oversight of the
gaols, and to extend information, and to excite
attention. Still, however, far less has been
accomplished than might have been during the
half-century since Howard began the reform ;
and there still needs that pains be taken to
extend an interest in this important department
of philanthropic exertion.

In our own country early attention Was paid
.to this subject. The penitentiary at Phila-
delphia! was for many years a model, and
more recently those of Auburn, Weathersfield,
Charlestown, &c, have been conducted on
admirable principles and with gratifying suc-
cess. It has come to be understood that, as
the object of imprisonment is security to the
community and the reformation of the offend-
er, no hardship is to be inflicted beyond the
confinement necessary to effect these ©pdsj
that, instead of oppression or neglect, the moat.

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scrupulous regard is to be had to the cleanli-
ness and health of the wretched beings ; and
that the utmost is to be done to promote their
reformation, by cutting them off from all cor-
rupting influences from one another and from
abroad, and by constant, affectionate, moral
and religious instruction. It has thus been
attempted, and in many cases with great suc-
cess, to change the character of prisons from
seminaries of corruption and crime, which
they undoubtedly are when ill conducted, to
schools of virtue and reform. Great praise
is due to the exertions of the Prison Dis-
cipline Society, and to those individuals of
both sexes who, as visitors, and Sunday-
school teachers, and chaplains, have aided
this benevolent work.

If it be true that " he who turns a sinner
from the error of his ways, shall save a soul
from death, and hide a multitude of sins," then
this is a most praiseworthy and important
enterprise. Yet it is far from having attracted
all the attention which it deserves. It has
received far too little of the patronage and
cooperation of the friends of society and reli-

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gion. Many remain unenlightened and unin-
terested on the subject. After all that has
been done and published during the last fifty
years, it is mortifying to know that only a few
years ago new prisons were erected in Boston,
without any regard to the improvements which
had been elsewhere adopted and proved to be
all-important. This could not have been,
had the public mind been properly attentive to
the subject. The same thing from the same
cause is likely to happen in other places, and
thus to render vain the toils of Howard and his
laborious followers. That it may not be so, in-
formation on the subject must be diffused as
widely as possible. The rising generation must
be imbued with it. They must be made to grow
up and to enter on life with a feeling, that, as
citizens and as Christians, they are to have a
concern for this wretched portion of society,
and to do something toward aiding their return
to virtue and to* God. We beg our young
readers to peruse the present volume with this
thought in their minds ; and when they have
acquainted themselves with the remarkable
things which it records, and have learned to ad-

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mire the good man whom it commemorates, let
them not suffer their interest in it to die away ;
let them remember that there are prisons and
sufferings in the midst of them; and that they
have it in their power in some degree to
imitate the excellence they admire, by their
sympathy, their prayers, their contributions, or
their personal services, according as their situa-
tion and opportunities may allow. They may
not become Howards ; but they may do some-
thing to prevent Howard's labors from being
in vain.

H. W.,Jr.
Cambridge, 16 Jane, 1833.

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Ihtroduction 1


Howard's Birth, Education, and Apprenticeship

— He travels into Foreign Countries — Hit
Marriage — Death of his Wife — 1727-1755. 7


Mr. Howard's Attempt to visit Portugal — His
Captivity — He returns to Emrlappl — Settles
at Cardington — His Second Marriage— Im-
provements at Cardington — Birth of a Son

— Death of his Wife — 1755 - 1766. . . 15


Mr. Howard's Situation — He makes an Excur-
sion to Holland — Anecdotes of his Child —
He goes abroad again — Letter written at home
—Return to England— 1765-1770. . . 89


Severe Illness of Mr. Howard — He visits the
Poor — His Mode of Life — His Conduct du-
ring a Schism — He is made High Sheriff —
1770-1773 45

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State of English Prisoners — Mr. Howard exam-
ined before the House of Commons — His Sec-
ond Tour of Inspection — He is a Candidate
for a Seat in Parliament — Resolves to see
Foreign Prisons— 1773-1775. ... 56


French Prisons — Letter from Brussels — Rasp
and Spin Houses in Holland — Return to Car-
dington — Second General Inspection of En-
glish Prisons — Review of Foreign Ones — Mr.
Howard publishes his Book on Prisons — 1775
-1777 72


Reflections on the Publication of Mr. Howard's
Book — Short Account of his Son — Anecdotes
of Howard when travelling — Second Foreign
Tour — Illness at the Hague — Letter from Ber-
lin— Monks at Prague — 1777-1778. . . 90


Continuation of Mr. Howard's Tour through
Germany into Italy — Naples — Leghorn — Mi-
lan — Liege — Torture — Prisoners of War —
Return to England — 1778 109


Effect of Benevolence — Howard at Cardington
— Another General Survey of British Prisons

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— Publication of the Appendix — He it appoint-
ed Supervisor — Resigns the Office — 1778-

1780 129


Travels in Denmark, Sweden, and Russia — Pun-
ishment of the Knoot — Seminary for Females

— Gold Medal — 1731 142


Journey to Moscow — Letter to Mr. Smith —
Warsaw — Anecdote of Mr. Howard and a
Prussian Courier — Arrival in England — A
Fourth General Inspection of British Prisons —
Dutch Prisoners of War at Shrewsbury — 1782. 167


Mr. Howard's Fifth Foreign Tour of Inspection

— Portuguese Convicts on Parole — Spain —
Prisons of the Inquisition — Letter from Pam-
plona — Paris — Illness at Lille — Return to
England — Visit to Ireland with his Son —
1783 174


Account of Young Howard — His being placed
at Edinburgh — Second Edition of the Appen-
dix published — Mr. Howard's Influence o?er
Prisoners — An alarming Visitor — He retires
to Cardington — Intimacy with Mr. Smith —
Inquiries of a Stranger — 1784, 1785. . 190

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John Howard, Junior — Howard's Attention turn-
ed to Lazarettos, and the Treatment of the
Plague — Adventure in Paris — Marseilles —
Toulon — 1785 206


Letter from Nice — Letter from Malta — Howard
goes to Smyrna — Constantinople — Returns
to Smyrna — Quarantine at Venice — Bad
state of the Lazaretto — Means of Purification
—1786. 222


Bad News from England — Howard leaves Ven-
ice for Trieste — Travels to Vienna — Interview
with the Emperor Joseph II. — Returns to Eng-
land — Stops the Project of a Monument —
Travels in the United Kingdom — Publishes his
Work on Lazarettos— 1786-1789. . . 241


Mr. Howard's Preparations for going abroad
again — Letter from Moscow — Cherson —
Mr. Howard's Sickness and Death — 1789, 1790. 257

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" What is the meaning of the word philan-
thropist ? " said a boy of twelve years of age, as he
turned over a book of engravings, and saw writ-
ten underneath one of them, John Howard, the

" It means," replied his father, " a man who
loves the whole human race well enough to de-
vote himself to their service, and is willing to
sacrifice his own ease and pleasure to their

" I should not think," continued the boy, " that
any one could love people he had never seen,
well enough to make great sacrifices for them."

" And yet, my son, when you heard, the other
day, of the dreadful sufferings of the inhabitants
of the # Cape Verde Islands, you pitied them very

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much, and were willing to contribute some of
your pocket-money to their relief; now, when you
grow up to be a man, if you should be convinced
that by going to those Islands, you would do the
people great good, and prevent their being again
in such a suffering condition, do you not think
you should be willing to give up the comfort of
"your own home, and make a voyage there ? "

" To be sure I should," said Harry, and his
eyes sparkled at the thought of being useful.

"Well, then, you would be a philanthropist,
that is, a lover of your fellow beings."

" I should be glad to do them good, father ; but
X should not love them as I do you, and mother,
and Lizzy."

" True, it is a different kind of love ; at your
age, it is perfectly natural and proper, that those
immediately around you, to whom you are in-
debted for your daily comforts and happiness,
should engage your warmest love; but as your
knowledge increases, and your mind enlarges, I ■
hope your affections will spread out, so as at last
to comprise the whole human family. The same
feeling which makes you now take pleasure in
giving up your own convenience to your sister's,
and makes you, in the midst of your own play,
run willingly on an errand for your mother^ will,

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by constant exercise, make you in time a faithful
friend, a good neighbour, a patriot, and a philan-
thropist. Each of those characters requires a
wider and wider extension of your love."

All the time his father was speaking, Harry
kept his eyes fixed upon the print of John How-
ard, and after examining it very attentively he
said, " He has a kind look, and a very earnest
look too."

" Ah," said his father, " it may well look kind
and earnest too, if it be a likeness of that extra-
ordinary man; for he was perhaps the greatest
philanthropist that ever lived, and his persever-
ance was equal to his love. You see he is called
" Howard, the Philanthropist," as if there were
none other like him, and truly there probably never
was his equal. He was a man of an independent
fortune, and might have lived at home and enjoy-
ed his ease among a circle of admiring friends
and grateful neighbours ; but after doing much
good in his own neighbourhood, and performing
all his duties to his own family, a wider field of
usefulness opened to him, and he devoted himself
wholly to it. He exposed himself to the greatest
dangers and privations, underwent such fatigue
as few could have endured, spent one hundred
and fifty thousand dollars, and travelled between

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fifty and sixty thousand miles, for the sole purpose
of relieving the distresses of his fellow beings all
over Europe ; and so earnest was he, in the pur-
suit of this good object, that he could not be turn-
ed aside by the extremes of heat or cold, by the
worst roads and meanest accommodations ; neither
plague, pestilence, nor famine could stop his pro-
gress ; on he went, devoting himself to the good
of others, till his life was sacrificed in the cause. ,,

" He was a philanthropist indeed ! " said Harry,
" I should like to know more about him, and
how it was that he could do good by travelling in
foreign countries. I thought that people travelled
to see sights and amuse themselves."

" So they do in general," said JVfr. M ,

" and John Howard first travelled in that way ;
but afterwards his foreign tours were undertaken
for the purpose of mitigating the sufferings of the
most wretched of mankind ; he devoted himself
to visiting prisons and hospitals, that he might
find out abuses, and point out the best means of
correcting them. He was the friend of those
whose misery was hid in dungeons, and whose
cries were heard only by their oppressors and fel-
low sufferers, till he nobly took up their cause,
and lived and died in their service. I consider
him the most remarkable example of disinterest.

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ed benevolence, and indefatigable perseverance,
that I ever heard of; and if you would like to read
his life, I will give you a short account of him,
containing all the most interesting particulars
that are to be found in larger biographies of him."
Henry thanked his father, and said he should
be very glad of the opportunity ; and the next
Sunday afternoon, his father gave him the follow-
ing narrative.

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Howard's birth, education and apprentice-


How it would have surprised a person, dealing
with Mr. Newnham, a grocer in the city of
London, if he had been told that the slender
youth serving behind the counter, as an appren-
tice, would become in after life so distinguished
a person, as to have a marble monument erected
to his memory in St. Paul's cathedral ! Greater
still would have been his surprise, if informed
that it would not be as a favored child of fortune,
either in the army or navy, that this lad was to
acquire fame ; that he was not to become celebrat-
ed in any of the learned professions ; but that,
with a very indifferent education, and with what
is called in England a very moderate fortune, he
would become by his active benevolence, by his
philanthropy, the mender of laws, the adviser of
statesmen and princes, the friend of the whole
human race, and the man whom the English
nation delighted to honor. Yes, that pale-faced

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boy, occupied about tea and sugar, in a London
grocer's shop had feelings and energies within
him, which, by constant exercise, became at last
so powerful, that they enabled him to strike out for
himself a new line of usefulness, and rendered
him <ohe of the most distinguished as well as one
of the best men of the last century.
' John Howard's father was an upholsterer and
dealer in carpets in the city of London. Having
acquired a considerable fortune, for a man in that
line, he retired from business, and lived at Clap-
ton in the 'parish of Hackney, one of those pleas-
ant villages, adjoining London, to which the
richer tradesmen like to remove from the noise,
dirt, and smoke of the great metropolis. * Here
John Howard was born, about the year 1727.
But as he was sent away very soon after his birth,
to be nursed by a cottager, who lived on a small
farm of his father's at Cardington, in Bedfordshire,
many persons have said that he was born there.
Cardington was afterwards celebrated as the
favorite residence of the philanthropist, but it
was not his birth-place.

He received his education at two different
boarding-schools ; the first he left, after spending
seven years at it, " without," as he says, " hav-
ing been fully taught any one thing." The sec-

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ond school he was at, was of a better kind ; but .
as he was destined to serve a seven years' appren-
ticeship to a trade, there is reason to believe that
he could not have continued there long. It was
however at this school, that he formed some of
his firmest and most lasting friendships.

Young Howard's next scene of action was the
shop of Mr. Newnham, the wholesale grocer. Here,
at the usual age, he was bound an apprentice, and .
a large premium was paid with him ; but he did
not serve out his time there, for on the death
of his father, he purchased what remained of it,
and so freed himself from the duties of a situation
that had always been distasteful to him. He and
his sister were the only heirs of his father's prop-
erty, and according to the custom of England, his
share was by far the largest. They, neither of
them, however were to come into full possession of
their fortunes, until they had attained the age of
twenty-four. Young Howard's character for pru-
dence and discretion was so well established, that
his guardians soon entrusted him with the princi-
pal management of the estate, he was ere long to
inherit. In consequence of the confidence thus
reposed in him, he undertook the repairs of the
family mansion at Clapton, and personally super-
intended the workmen.

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One anecdote only is preserved of John How-
ard at this period of his life ; and, as it shows the
early developement of his benevolent feelings, it
is worthy of note. In his frequent walks to Clap-
ton, he used to make a point of reaching the wall
of his garden just at the time he knew the baker's
cart would be passing ; there he would buy a
loaf of bread, and throw it over the wall into the
garden ; and when he afterwards saw the gar-
dener, he would good-humoredly say, "Harry,
look among the cabbages, and you will find some-
thing for your family." This anecdote used to
be told, long afterwards, with great pleasure, by
the old man who had thus been the object of
Howard's youthful kindness, and who lived to
see what great fruits such good seed could pro-

Little more is known of Howard at this time,
except that he went abroad and travelled in
France and Italy, for the purpose of improving his
health, gaining useful information, acquiring for-
eign languages, and seeing the objects of curiosity
most interesting to travellers. It is supposed that
during this tour, he purchased the valuable paint-
ings and other works of art, with which he after-
wards adorned his residence at Cardington.

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On his return to England, his health being still
delicate, he took lodgings in Stoke Newington,
a very healthy village near London, and there he
employed himself rationally and usefully in the
improvement of his mind, endeavouring by self-
instruction to make up for the deficiencies of his
early education. Among other pursuits, he stud-
ied some of the easier branches of natural philos-

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