Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 119 [09-23-1853]

              countred another Lake acquaintance.   An old man, Virginian born, but here
abiding, had been engaged in farming, but was now building houses, which
he showed me, adjacent to the spot on which we met.    Into his buggy,
with himself & little son, and to the State Prison.    A spacious, fine
building with trees & ornamental walks around, inside a large, ornamen-
ted open quadrangle, where some deer lay on the distant grass.   Twenty five
cents each being paid, with a guide we rambled all over the buildings, first
visiting the prisoners cells, (narrow, and in the thickness of the inner prison
walls,) then themselves at their various avocations.      In spacious work-
shops they were employed, some making planes, turning, doing saddlers,
work, weaving, making agricultural instruments, seythe handles, cradles,
or playing hammer and bellows in the smithy, making homes, & what not.
All were attired in prison costume, woolen trousers & shirt, striped horizon
tally with white and dark buff.   Some had repulsive faces, others only
common ones.   Some negroes were there.    Flogging is used, in case
of continuacy, or attempts to escape.       The briefest space for which a
prisoner is incarcerated is for one year, the longest, for Life.   They
are well fed, exceedingly so, for prisoners, judging from what was told
me.     At 5 1/2 P M each one is locked in his cell, � allowed during
winter a candle, and perchance books given out by the minister.    How
horribly must that thick lattice work of iron jar-to on a man�s ear, he
condemned for life; in the long darkling winter weather, with perchance
the black shadow of murder hanging over his soul!            Different capi-
talists have contracted for the prisoner�s labour; � they finding tools
& material.       One man, a New Yorker, Hayden by name is
spoken of as an immense capitalist, who years back started from his native
city with but a shilling in poke.           All this prison seems in excel-               
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