You can dismiss the support request pop up for 4 weeks (28 days) if you want to be reminded again. Or you can dismiss until our next donations drive (typically at the beginning of October). Before you dismiss, please consider making a donation. Thanks!
One Time
$5/month (US)
$10/month (US)
Support II via AmazonSmile Internet Infidels Needs Your Support!
dismiss for   28 days   1 year   info
2017 Internet Infidels Fundraising Drive / $32,582.64 of $40,000.00
Support Us! By providing information which is nearly impossible to find elsewhere, the Secular Web has sought to level the playing field by offering arguments and evidence challenging supernatural beliefs. In an ocean of religious confusion, help us maintain a drop of sanity!
81.46%
 

The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer

Order books by and about Robert Ingersoll now.

Elmira Reformatory

Robert Green Ingersoll                        

CRUELTY IN THE ELMIRA REFORMATORY.

IN my judgment, no human being was ever made better, nobler, by being whipped or clubbed.

Mr. Brockway, according to his own testimony, is simply a savage. He belongs to the Dark Ages -- to the Inquisition, to the torture-chamber, and he needs reforming more than any prisoner under his control. To put any man within his power is in itself a crime. Mr. Brockway is a believer in cruelty -- an apostle of brutality. He beats and bruises flesh to satisfy his conscience -- his sense of duty. He wields the club himself because he enjoys the agony he inflicts.

When a poor wretch, having reached the limit of endurance, submits or becomes unconscious, he is regarded as reformed. During the remainder of his term he trembles and obeys. But he is not reformed. In his heart is the flame of hatred, the desire for revenge; and he returns to society far worse than when he entered the prison.

Mr. Brockway should either be removed or locked up, and the Elmira Reformatory should be superintended by some civilized man -- some man with brain enough to know, and heart enough to feel.

I do not believe that one brute, by whipping, beating and lacerating the flesh of another, can reform him. The lash will neither develop the brain nor cultivate the heart. There should be no bruising, no scarring of the body in families, in schools, in reformatories, or prisons. A civilized man does not believe in the methods of savagery. Brutality has been tried for thousands of years and through all these years it has been a failure.

Criminals have been flogged, mutilated and maimed, tortured in a thousand ways, and the only effect was to demoralize, harden and degrade society and increase the number of crimes. In the army and navy, soldiers and sailors were flogged to death, and everywhere by church and state the torture of the helpless was practiced and upheld.

Only a few years ago there were two hundred and twenty-three offenses punished with death in England. Those who wished to reform this savage code were denounced as the enemies of morality and law. They were regarded as weak and sentimental.

At last the English code was reformed through the efforts of men who had brain and heart. But it is a significant fact that no bishop of the Episcopal Church, sitting in the House of Lords, ever voted for the repeal of one of those savage laws. Possibly this fact throws light on the recent poetic and Christian declaration by Bishop Potter to the effect that "there are certain criminals who can only be made to realize through their hides the fact that the State has laws to which the individual must be obedient."

This orthodox remark has the true apostolic ring, and is in perfect accord with the history of the church. But it does not accord with the intelligence and philanthropy of our time. Let us develop the brain by education, the heart by kindness. Let us remember that criminals are produced by conditions, and let us do what we can to change the conditions and to reform the criminals.


Bank of Wisdom

The Bank of Wisdom is run by Emmett Fields out of his home in Kentucky. He painstakingly scanned in these works and put them on disks for others to have available. Mr. Fields makes these disks available for only the cost of the media.

Files made available from the Bank of Wisdom may be freely reproduced and given away, but may not be sold.

Bank of Wisdom

The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended --

The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America.

Bank of Wisdom,
Box 926,
Louisville, KY 40201

/library/historical/disclaimer.html
The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer
Top