an hour and a half, leaving the rest of the time to three speakers who replied.1
The speech is like his later one, though going more into details on some points, and being quite severe on the meagre quality of the Society
's reports, particularly the last one, which he thought ‘a small month's work.’
‘Between its flimsy covers is all
that we have done.
Our three thousand dollars have been wrapped here as in a napkin.’
This he said in a derisive tone, laying stress on the ‘all,’ and flapping the leaves of the report over his head.
He then emphasized the complaints made against the reports in various quarters in this country and abroad, and reminded Dwight
of those which he had encountered within the year at the Frankfort Congress
and elsewhere in Europe
made another speech, occupying two hours, on June 18, in which he reviewed the debate.2
It repeated much that he had already said.
The report, as written out by him, probably does not follow very closely his argument on that evening, but includes the remarks on different evenings which he particularly desired to have preserved.
He did not undertake the defence of the Pennsylvania
system, and disclaimed the desire to have the Society commit itself to that or any system; and the chief point of his contention was that the Society had not treated the system with candor and justice.
He contended that the reports had confounded it with the more rigid system of absolute solitude, which was discarded in Pennsylvania
in 1829, and in other States at about the same time; that the report for 1838 had applied the opinions of Lafayette
and the historian Roscoe
, condemning the discarded system, to the separate system, which had not come into existence when those opinions were expressed; and that the reports, while careful to give prominence to every opinion unfriendly to the separate system, had suppressed all reference to opinions in its favor, and particularly to the approval of it by European
commissions and European
writers and publicists, and to its adoption by European
governments in the construction of prisons.
In this and other speeches Sumner