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Massachusetts State Prison

Massachusetts State Prison image
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Horacc Grcclcy gives the (ollowing account of i visit to this building. It shows a considerable lilernlity and bumanity in thosc who manage it. Wc wonder [tour institution at Jackson is condticted on a scale cqually liberal to the prisonore and beneficial to the Btate ? " It was Saturday afternoon when we visitcd the Prison, and tbero were two circumstanccs which interested us deeply. One was the eighl of the prisoners coming one ater another lo a window through wliich flicy received books Irom ihe hnnd of the F ibranan. The other was the meeting in the Chapel of the Prison Choir, composed of such prisnners as had learned to read mueic bofore their imprisonment. Tho leader had been a teacher of singing, and performcd his dudes with admirable skill. Two violins and a clarionct answered as a substitue for femóle voices, whilea bass-viol ekilfully playcd. imparted strcnglh to the fundamental part. Wc have rarely heard better jnusic even iu the most tasteful churches Ever eince wc wcre jtrivilegcd to witness the efTocts pvoduced by tho delightful harmony of the Hutchinson Family upon the prisonere at Sing Sing, our faiih in the power of nuisic to repress unholy passion and awaken the best fcelings of the heart had sieadily inercased, anri we wero ploased to learn that the Choir in the Charlestown Prison were allowed Saturday afternoone to prepare themselvee to perform thcir part in the Sunday services and at daily morning and evenmg devotions. The Warden and the Chaplain spoke in tho etronnest terme ol approval of this arrangement and of iis happy ertect8 upon hc wholc body of prisoners. We wish the Inspectors of prisons in our own State c"uld be persuade tn copy this excellent cxample. We are confi lont that such a meaeurc wouldcxerta hiphly ealutary influence and bc nttendcd by no evil whatevcr. Floggins in this Prison has almost entirely ceased. We think Mr. Robinson informed ue ihat the lash had been used only once in a period of six months. This iö in iiself a great triumph of Christianity over barbarism."