in controversy among fair-minded men. It attempted no censure of Dwight
, except so far as, might be implied from its insistence on the duty of greater energy on the part of officers and members of the Society.
It refrained from reviewing former action and reports, while expressing the opinion that the Society should extricate itself from the position of advocacy it seemed to have taken.
It set forth the proper scope and method of the secretary's report, and enjoined on the members greater activity in the visitation of prisons and in the care for discharged convicts.
The resolutions submitted were of like spirit and substance, affirming that the Society ought not to be the pledged advocate of any system, but should treat fairly all systems; that it should recognize the directors of the Pennsylvania
system as conscientious and philanthropic fellow-laborers; that any expressions of disrespect in the Society
's reports or public meetings, which had given them pain, were sincerely regretted; and in conclusion called for greater efforts to extend the usefulness of the Society and for the consideration of a new plan of action.
Aside from the hostile feelings engendered by the discussion, such a paper could not have provoked controversy.
The annual public meeting for 1847 was held in Tremont Temple, May 25, at eleven in the morning. The public were eager to witness the renewal of the debate.
, formerly mayor of the city, was in the chair as president, having been chosen at the business meeting on the previous day as successor to Dr. Wayland
, who had declined a re-election.
's report being offered, Bradford Sumner
at once objected that it was not the report of the committee, but of only just half its members; but as it was concurred in by three out of four members who served upon it, the general sense of the meeting was against the objection, and it was withdrawn.1
The report and resolutions were then read, and the meeting adjourned to the evening of May 28.
A question between two prison systems, relating merely to the extent to which the separation of convicts should be carried, is rather one for specialists than for a popular assembly.
It was not at the time a practical question in Massachusetts
The issue in the Society was even narrower than a theoretic choice between the two systems, and as put by Sumner
was only one of candor and good faith in the treatment of two rival systems.
It has been