He commended Dwight
for what he had done in awakening an interest in prisons, and in pressing the reforms of flagrant evils in their construction and management; but there was a touch of irony in this tribute when he applied the term ‘indefatigable’ to the secretary, whom he was well known to have thought wanting in enterprise.
In urging the Society to confess and reform its errors, his language was toned by the political discussions in which he was then engaged.
‘ “Our country, right or wrong,” is a cry that rises from the hoarse conclaves of politics.
Let its spirit never intrude into any association like ours.
Let none of us say, “ Our Society, right or wrong.”
’ He concluded by moving the appointment of a committee to examine and review the former printed reports and course of the Society, and to consider if its action could in any way be varied or amended so that its usefulness might be extended.1 Bradford Sumner
, Dr. W. Channing
, Rev. Mr. Todd
, John Tappan
, and Dwight
in reply, and George S. Hillard
spoke briefly in his support.
The resolution was carried; and the president appointed as the committee, Bradford Sumner
, Charles Sumner
, Dr. Channing
, and Dwight
; and the president was added to it by the vote of the Society.
did not at the moment suppose he was designating the member first named as chairman, assuming instead that he would be chosen by the committee; and afterwards he expressed regret that he had omitted to name the mover first, and also that he had placed Dwight
, whose action was the subject of complaint, on the committee.
and Dr. Channing
, however, did not attend the meetings of the committee, leaving the acting committee to consist of the other three members, with Charles Sumner
was absent during the summer of 1846, to attend the International Penitentiary Congress
at Frankfort-on-the-Main; but his Boston
antagonists, though not present, more than matched him there.
advised Mr. Rathbone
, of Liverpool
, and Dr. Julius
, of Berlin
, of his coming; and the former in England
and the latter on the Continent were assiduous in distributing among the delegates the Liverpool edition of Sumner
's recent speech.
The president of the Congress
's friend, Professor Mittermaier
, of Heidelberg
It was a distinguished assembly, composed of men eminent in jurisprudence and science, or practically