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sence of 'fire-escapes. Children occupy the third and fourth floors,
and have but one means of exit, and should this be cut off, during a
fire, the consequences would be indeed terrible.

Indigent Widows* and Single Woinen*8 Society.
Cherry, below Eighteenth street, Philadelphia.

Visited November 3, 1886, by Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

This old and honored institution is about to vacate the building so
long occupied by it, and move into a larger and more elaborate one,
now building, on Chestnut street, near Thirty-eighth, West Philadel-
phia. It has been one of Philadelphia's best charities in the past, and
will, doubtless, continue so to be under its new auspices. The board
of managers is composed of excellent women, who have had large
experience in caring for these indigent people, and faithfully do they
discharge their trust. When visited, every portion of the house was
in thorough order, and well fitted to afford a most attractive home for
those privileged to be admitted to it.

Children*s Home, Franklin County. *

Situated at Chambersburg.

Visited December 2, 1886, by Messrs. Garrett, O'Neal, and Lee,
Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

Eighteen (18) children were in this home when it was visited. It was
not a suitable building for the purpose, and the managers were en-
quiring for another house, where they could more satisfactorily look
after the children committed to their care. Those children not allowed
to remain in the poor-house are sent to this home, the county paying
$1 75 per week for each one whilst here.

Home tbr A^red Protestants.

WiikiDBburg, Allegheny oounty.

Visited December 10, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal and Mr. Shidle, Com-
missioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

This home is situated about seven miles from Pittsburgli, and is in
all respects a good institution. It is intended to provide a home for
aged men, and, when married, their wives also are admitted. It is
situated in the country, with fine shade trees surrounding the house,
and the appearance is altogether attractive. The house was very
clean, and showed every evidence of good management. It should
have fire-escapes.

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Leg. Doc] Charitable Institutions. xeiii

Home Ibr Aged Protestant Women.

WUkinBbarg, Allegheny county.

Visited December 10, 1886, by Dr. O'neal and Mr. Shidle, Commis-
eioriers, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

This home, like its neighbor, the Home for Aged Protestants, is an
admirably conducted institution, about seven miles from Pittsburgh.
It has accommodations for 75, but was not quite full when vis-
ited. Homes for the aged appeal with special force to the feelings
and it is pleasant to visit institutions like this one, where every com-
fort is provided to cheer the declining years of those who have led
respectable lives. It should have fire-escapes on the building, and
with this addition would be in all respects admirable.

Chnreb Home.

Fortieth and Penn avenue, Pituburgh.

Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and
Mr. Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, Cfeneral Agent.

At the time of our visit there were 76 children and 10 aged
women in this institution. The managers desire to provide a christian
home for those who, without their aid, would be obliged to seek shelter
in the poor-house. They give many hours to anxious thought about
the interests of their institution, but are sadly hindered in their work
by the ]foor condition of the old building in which they are accommo-
dated. Much can be done to make the house better than it now is,
but it would be advisable to have an entirely new building, constructed
for the special purpose for which it is to be used. There was, in
many cases, a want of cleanliness, especially noticeable in the out-
houses, which could have been prevented by a more free use of soap
and water. Portions of the buildings could, with a little time and
attention, have been made more attractive than they are. We be-
lieve that it is only necessary to mention these matters to secure
their correction, and to secure us a home about which nothing but
praise can be said.

liittle Sisters of the Poor.
Rebecca and Penn avenue% Pittsburgh.

Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and Mr.
Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

A visit to an institution conducted by this order is better than a
sermon. No one can leave any one of their houses without feeling
improved for having been to it, and seeing for himself what it is pos-
sible to do in the matter of making provision for the old and feeble
classes. We have at this institution 100 inmates, and each one has
every want supplied in the most satisfactory manner. Every portion
of the house is in perfect order, and nothing can be found which would
justify other than warm praise.

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xciv Board of Public Charities. [No. 6,

Home for Incurables.

Butler avenue and Fifty-fifth street, Pittsburgh.

Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and Mr.
Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

This fine building has accommodations for 75 invalids. It had,
when visited, on its roll only 23 of them. Each one has a separate
room well and attractively furnished. It is more like a home than a
hospital, and has, in its construction, anticipated every want that
could be imagined for the comfort and well being of those who are
admitted to it. A competent board, composed of some of the most
public spirited and judicious women of Pittsburgh, manage its affairs,
and have, in all respects, a well conducted and interesting institution.

liittle Sietors of the Poor.

80 Washington street, AUegbeny City.

Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and Mr.
Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

Everything written in commendation of the other homes conducted
by this order applies equally well in this instance. The building is
not as well fitted for the purposes as those elsewhere in the State, but
all things are conducted upon the same system and with admirable re-

Protestants Orphans* Asylum of Pittsburgh and Allegheny.

Ridge and Grant avenues, Allegheny City.

Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and Mr.
Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.

This fine institution was in some respects in even better condition
than it was when last year visited. The number of children has been
decreased so that only 203 were on the roll at the time. Overcrowd-
ing is one of the defects of many of the children's homes, and we are
glad to see that in this case it is to be avoided. If the suggestion, made
at the last visit were adopted, and the roof raised so that the third
floor rooms could be better ventilated and made more comfortable
the house would be much improved, and we hope soon to know that
this has been ordered. It is an excellent institution.

Home fbr Colored Children.

No. 2 Mulberry street, Allegheny City.
Visited December 11, 1886, by Dr. O'Neal, Mr. Sawyer, and Mr.
Shidle, Commissioners, and Mr. Biddle, General Agent.
The new addition, building at the time of our last visit, has been

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Leo. Doc] Ouaritablb Institutions. xcv

finished and is now occupied. It adds much to the capacity as well
as comfort of the home. When visited, it had 46 inmates, all of whom
were robust in health and provided with everything necessary for
their well being. The board of managers are interested in their home
and devote much of their time to its care. When this is the case, the
house is apt to be well kept and the children properly clothed and
fed. We found everytliing in most satisfactory condition, and felt
that the appropriation asked for from the State would be wisely ap-
plied if granted.

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xcvi Board of Public Charities. [l^o. G,



7o the Board of Stats Comrnissioners of Public Charities:

Gentlemen : The visitors of Philadelphia county respectfully sub-
rait their report for the year ending November 15, 1886.

state Penitentiary for tbe Bastern District of Pennsj'lvania, at Philadelphia.

Fairmount and Corinthian avenues.

Visited three times.

This prison has been used for the reception of convicts fifty six years,
and its administration during that long period has been a credit to the
Commonwealth. It is refreshing, after so many instances of mal-ad-
rainistration in large public institutions^ to turn to one where political
considerations do not enter into the question of appointments, where
faithful service is the one requisite for promotion, and where the
warden is in absolute control of the appointment of his subordinates,
being himself responsible to the inspectors for the discipline and
management of the prison.

The qualifications necessary to the warden of a prison are extremely
high. In the language of Rev. Fredeiic H. Wines: ''He must be a
firm man ; a judicious man ; a prudent man ; a humane man ; a man
of good sense; of integrity of character; of acute and thorough con-
scientiousness." These requisites we believe are to be found in a high
degree in the present warden of the Eastern Penitentiary, and the
inspectors of this prison have explained, in their report for 1884, the
method by which they have secured his services. The report says :
" The chief executive, the warden, has been employed in every de-
partment of administration. Twenty-five years ago he first came into
the penitentiary as a carpenter — ^then advanced through all grades,
was acting warden for some months, on two occasions, and unani-
mously elected warden in April, 1871. This was not an exceptional
case." The warden appoints as his subordinates, those who are masters
of trades, under thirty-five years of age, and having high evidence of
capacity, honesty, and self-control. For every five years of faithful
service an increase of pay is given. There are daily evening classes
for the study of the varied duties of the overseers, the first prison in
the world, we believe, to inaugurate such classes. The good accom-
plished by thus keeping before the officials of all grades the high char-
acter of their duties, cannot be estimated.

But we desire particularly to mention one great excellence in the

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Leg. Doc] /Report of County Visitors. xcvii

management of this prison, which distinguishes it almost more than
anything else from other prisons, and that is the constant and forcible
manner in wMch the inspectors repudiate all considerations of pecu-
niary gain from the labor of the prisoners. This we consider a most
important point. We have read of prisons elsewhere where the labor
of the prisoners was hired out to the highest bidder, and the wardens,
holding their office during the continuance in power of the political
part}^ to which they happen to belong, aimed chiefly, for the credit of
themselves and of their party, to make large returns of pecuniary
profit to the State. In the language of the report of the inspectors
of the Eastern Penitentiary for 1884 :

" The utterly illogical test of the cheapest system of convict pun-
ishment must yield to the better opinion of earnest and disinter-
ested men, who critically investigate the subject. * * * To make
a penitentiary a manufactory, in which all alike are worked together
as part of the machinery of production, is incarceration with labor.
The individual is lost sight of; the man is unknown. As a part of a
machine he is recognized. Punishment is thus forced toil. Slavery to
the State for a term of years is the principle on which punishment is
established and regulated. The State gains a few dollars ; the man
loses his individuality — all self-respect, hope of reform, ambition, or
encouragement to live an honest life." •

In contrast with this we quote the following advertisement from the
Philadelphia Times of August 26, 1886 :


" Until noon, September 15, 1886, sealed proposals will be received
at the office of the warden of the Indiana State Prison South, at Jef-
fersonville, Indiana, for the hire of the labor of three hundr ed and
fifty convicts, for a period not exceeding five years, three hundred of
which are now employed in the manufacture of shelf hardware, thirty
on brooms, and twenty on saddle-trees. On shelf hardware are one
hundred and twenty-five in foundry work. The labor may be em-
ployed in any branch of manufacturing except that of boots and

*^ The right to reject any and all proposals is hereby reserved.

*' For further particulars address the undersigned.

"A. J. Howard,

" Warden.

" By order of the directors.

July 17, 1886:'

The effect on the treatment of prisoners under the two systems is

marked. In the Eastern Penitentiary no punishments are inflicted

by the warden or ^ny other offu^ial. The violation of the rules of the

prison, which are fully explained to every convict, carries with it its

G — Charities.

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xcviii Board of Public Charities. [No. 6,

own punishment — the deprivation of privileges, among them being
the privilege of work, of light at night, etc. In the report of the pro-
ceedings of a conference of officers of prisons and reformatories, held
at Chicago, December, 1884, the warden of the Eastern Penitentiary
of Pennsylvania, chairman of the conference, said : * " In the prison
I am engaged in, the greatest punishment is to deprive a man of the
opportunity to labor."

We quote, in comparison with this, from statement the of Warden
Bru8h,of Sing Sing Prison, N. Y.f '' Five years ago,when I took charge
of Sing Sing Prison, I knew very little of prison vnattersP (We ask
attention to the difference in the method of appointments between
this prison and the Eastern Penitentiary, of Pennsylvania.) And
then, after further discussion, Warden Brush exhibited a " model of
his apparatus " for ensuring the good behavior of his convicts. In a
few words, it is an instrument of torture, so severe, that the warden
himself says of it: "One minute is the longest we have ever used this
appliance, and we have used it with the best results." In answer to
the question : " How many men do you hang up in this way during
the year ?" Warden Brush answered : " Our punishments run from
three to eight a week," but added, that but upon few of those was
the extreme of the punishment used. In his own words : " The man
is walked up to it (the instrument of torture) and looks at it. A look
is about all he wants. But if a look is not sufficient," — and then
follows a description, in detail, of his newly invented and patented
instrument of torture. In contrast with this, we place the remarka-
ble statement in the report of the inspectors of the Eastern Peniten-
tiary for 1885, that during the preceding year, but one prisoner was
denied the benefit of commutation of the term of service for bad
conduct. We cannot conceive of any stronger testimony to the
efficiency of the management of the Eastern Penitentiary.

The statistics of this prison are already in the hands of the Board
of Public Charities, and it may seem superfluous in this committee to
attempt a repetition of them. We desire, however, to call attention
to the repeated recommendation of the inspectors, that trade schools
for the neglected class of children be established by the State, and
the principle be enforced that the citizens of the State be taxed for
the prevention of crime, and not merely for its punishment

The statistics presented annually by the authorities of the Eastern
Penitentiary are very forcible. The report of 1885 shows that of 564
convicts received during the year, only 79 were illiterate — all the
others being able to read and write — ^while 459 had never learned a
trade; 105 beingin possession of trades. Of the 564 received, only
49 had not attended Sunday-school. The inspectors may well say,
(page 15, report of 1885,) that the number which is yearly registered

*Page 100 of Report of Prooeedinga.
fSee page 126, Report of Proceedings.

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Leg. Doc] Report of County Visitors. xcix

in the penitentiary as never having learned a trade is " almost phenom-
enal." The report further says: "Of the number received inl884,viz:
461 males, 361 never learned a trade, and 153 were idle when arrested."

A study of the statistics of this prison will show that the prevalent
impression that intemperance is the most fruitful cause of crime is
erroneous. There are crimes — as burglary, forgery, and professional
thievery — the practice of which is inconsistent with indulgence in
strong drink, and it is well to understand that, if there were no such
thing as drunkenness, such an institution as the Eastern Penitentiary
would lose but few of its inmates. In the recent Conference of Char-
ities and Correction, held at Saint Paul, Minnesota, in July of this
year, Rev. F. H. Wines called attention to this fact in some very for-
cible remarks.

In the Eastern Penitentiary every convict is taught a trade — not a
part of a trade, as in contract-labor prisons. A task is given to each
one. All that is made over the task assigned is divided between the
county from which the prisoner comes and the prisoner. The pris-
oner, near the time of her discharge, expressed to us her satisfaction
at having made enough by overwork to pay her way for a time after
leaving the prison. During the year 1884, $8,428 19 were made by
the prisoners for themselves and families by overwork, and we give,
as interesting, the statement of the expenditures of the above sums :

For use of families of prisoners, $2,730 75

To prisoners on discharge, • • •. 4,272 19

For use of prisoners — underwear, etc., 1,425 25


In view of the facts presented, we earnestly call the attention of the
Board of Public Charities, and, through them, of the Legislature of
the State, to the recommendations of the inspectors of the Eastern
Penitentiary, contained in pages 14-20 of the report for 1885.

The health of the prisoners in the Eastern Penitentiary is good. In
considering the statistics we must remember that, in 1885, of 564 con-
victs received, 211 were in impaired physical health, and 168 in im-
paired mental condition. From the report of the physician of the
prison for 1885, we quote : ^' It is well known to all that there exist
many diseases acknowledged entirely incurable, such as consumption,
organic heart disease, etc. I ask you to notice that every death in
this prison for the last ten years has been from one of these diseases.
We entered the year 1885 with 305 convicts afflicted with chronic dis-
eases, viz: Consumption, heart disease, Bright's disease, etc. To
these were added 97 convicts received so diseased during the year."

The death record for 1884 was twenty, a rate of 1.28 per cent, of the
population. In 1885, the death rate was the same as that for the city
of Philadelphia, and of 34, the total number of deaths, 29 entered the

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c Board of Public Charities. [No. 6,

penitentiary with impaired health. Great care is taken of the pris-
oners with consumptive tendencies in the way of a special dietary,
special out-door privileges, etc., and the warden showed us a beauti-
ful flower garden and green- house kept up for the benefit of this class
of prisoners, which pays for itself in the sale of flowers.

The food is wholesome and nutritious. For breakfast, bread and
coff'ee ; for dinner, soup and meat, with raw tomatoes when in season,
also sweet potatoes, rice, cheese, etc. The food is carried to each
prisoner in his cell, and its excellence excites the gratitude of the con-
victs themselves, who feel that they are treated, as one of them ex-
pressed it, " like human beings, and not like dogs."

Ignorant convicts are taught to read and write, and there is a
library connected with the prison containing nearly 8,000 volumes. A
catalogue is given to each prisoner, from which he selects the books
he wants. A prisoner had in his cell at the time of one of our visits
one of Dickens' novels and Adam Smith's " Wealth of Nations."
During the year 1885, the circulation of books amounted to 53,295 vol-
umes. Religious services are held every Sunday, and the Rev. J. T.
Ashton, the moral instructor, is constant in his ministrations to the

We cannot but believe that the general treatment of prisoners in
the Eastern Penitentiary must tend to reform those inmates who do
not belong to the crime class. The separation of prisoners prevents
any contamination from association, and, while the close confinement
may seem severe, it has great advantages, particularly in the case of
young ofl'enders, who, in prisons on the congregated plan, are thrown
among the most hardened criminals, the association with whom must
have a demoralizing eff'ect. The authorities of the Eastern Peniten-
tiary claim that seventy-five per cent, of their inmatas who are con-
victed for the first offense are never heard of after their discharge.

Our special duty being to visit the female prisoners, we report that
on September 11, 1886, there were 24 prisoners in this department,
for crimes varying from larceny to murder. We repeat our recom-
mendation of last year, that a separate prison for women be estab-
lished. The necessity for this is very urgent, and we hope that your
Board will urge upon the Legislature at its next session, the import-
ance of this suggestion. But, while the present system is in operation,
we can bear witness gladly to the care and attention bestowed on the
female convicts in the Eastern Penitentiary. The matron is well
qualified for her duties, and, under the supervision of the warden,
combines a firm administration of the rules with great personal kind-
ness to the prisoners. The work assigned to the women is sewing for
the institution and finishing of stockings woven by machinery. One
woman, whose term had nearly expired, told us that she made for
herself 60 cents every week by over- work. There are many questions

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Leg. Doc] Report of County Visitors. ci

connected with the subject of prisons on which we cannot now enter,
but whieh have been from time to time fully discussed in the reports
of the inspectors of the Eastern Penitentiary. Among them is the
discrimination that ought to be made in the punishment of the young
and of those who belong to the crime class. We quote from the
report of 1885 the following: "So long as it is believed that time is
an element in punishment, the hope of the restoration to honest lives
in a large number of first convictions is very doubtful. Experience
justifies the belief that if, under prudent legislation, the prison author-
ities should be authorized to discharge from punishment such convicts
who demonstrate that the punishment has efi'ecetd its only purpose,
good results would be attained." Other modifications might be urged
in the system known as the *' Pennsylvania system " of convict pun-
ishment. But, whatever defects may belong to it, we claim for the
Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania that, in its freedom from politi-
cal control, in its thorough organization, in its aim for the welfare of
the individual prisoner, shown by its careful study into the peculiari-
ties of every convict, in its avowed disregard of pecuniary profit from
the labor of its inmates, and in the remarkable exhibit of order and
healthfulness within its walls, it ranks as one of the great penal insti-
tutions of the world.

Philadelphia County Prison.

Passyunk avenue and Reed street.

Visited October 30.

Visitation was confined to the department for women. In it, as
heretofore, order, cleanliness, and good discipline prevailed.

The evils set forth at length in the last report still exist, and must
so long as the present system in prison constitution and management

The visitors note, with great satisfaction, the appointment during
the year of the police matrons at four station houses in the city of

House of Correction, Employment and Reformation.

Visited October 23.

The same good order and cleanliness pervaded the institution as
upon former visits. The building is well ventilated, and the sanitary
arrangements excellent. We can only reiterate what was stated in
the report of last year and again call attention to the loose manner in
which commitments are made to this institution.

From January 14, 1885 to October 23, 1886, there were committed
and sent up to the House of Correction 1,580 men and women, who

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