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and revisited all the counties of England; solely employed, in all these places, in collecting every particular relative to the management of prisons; and published the fruit of these researches in 1777, in a quarto volume, entitled, “The State of the Prisons in England and Wales, with Preliminary Observations, and an Account of some Foreign Prisons.” It was dedicated to the House of Commons, and enriched with a number of illustrative plates.
Continuation. This expensive publication was, in a manner, presented by him to his country; for, besides a very liberal donation of copies to individuals, he insisted upon fixing so low a price upon those for sale, that the purchaser received gratuitously, at least, the whole value of the plates, a practice that he followed in all his publications. As soon as it appeared, the world was astonished at the mass of valuable materials accumulated by a private unaided individual, through a course of prodigious labour, and at the constant hazard of life, in consequence of the infectious diseases prevalent in the scenes of his inquiries. The cool good sense and moderation of his narrative, contrasted with that enthusiastic ardour which must have impelled him to his undertaking, were not less admired; and he was immediately regarded as one of the most extraordinary characters of the age, and the leader in all plans for meliorating the condition of that wretched part of the community for whom he interested himself. He had no object more at heart than the correction of their vices, which he thought might be affected by gentle but strict discipline, accompanied with that degree of personal comfort which was compatible with confinement; and to
this end the greater part of his observations was directed. The House of Commons having laudably seconded his zeal by bringing in a Bill for the establishment of houses of correction, according to his ideas, he thought himself obliged to new exertions, in order to give all possible perfection to this design. He therefore, in 1778, repeated his visit to the continent, in which he included Italy, as well as the nearer countries. After his return in 1779, he made another complete survey of the prisons of England and Wales, and those of Scotland and Ireland. In these tours he comprehended another object of importance to humanity, that of hospitals. He every where observed, and carefully noted down, their structure and regulations, and procured plans and draughts, where he thought they might suggest something useful for imitation. These researches furnished him with a large and interesting “ Appendix” to his former work, printed in 1780.
At the same time he published an edition, in large octavo, of his “ State of the Prisons,” containing the additional matter of his Appendix.
Continuation. In the year 1781, he pursued his usual inquiries in a tour through the northern parts of Europe, comprising Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Poland; and employed the next year in surveying the prisons of England. In the year 1783, he completed his survey of all the civilized parts of Europe, with that of Spain and Portugal; and, upon his return, he again travelled through the three British kingdoms.
Materials had now accumulated upon his hands sufficient for another Appendix, which he printed in 1784. Though Mr. Howard had almost exhausted the objects which first engaged his researches, yet the habits he had acquired could not allow him to resign himself to repose,
any thing remained in which he thought his further labours might serve the interests of humanity. The progress of contagion in prisons and hospitals had led him to consider all the means used for checking it; and he expected to find these practised in their fullest extent, in the prevention of that most fatal of contagious diseases
-the plague. He also knew that the regulations for quarrantine in this country were frivolous, and usually evaded; he therefore thought an examination of all the principal lazarettos in Europe would produce much valuable information; and, as personal hazard never, in his estimation, stood in competition with a matter of duty, he did not hesitate to expose himself to all the dangers that might attend on so near an approach to the most dreadful pestilence. He set out on this new expedition towards the end of 1785, unaccompanied by a servant; since he did not think it justifiable to expose, to similar dangers, any one not actuated by the same motives. He took his way by the south of France, through Italy, to Malta, Zante, Smyrna, and Constantinople.
From the latter capital he returned to Smyrna, where he knew the plague then to prevail, for the purpose of going to Venice with a foul bill of health, that he might be subjected to all the rigour of a quarrantine in the lazaretto, and by consequence become acquainted with its rules.
Continuation. How the noisy deeds of military heroes shrink into nothing, compared with such a cool and deliberate daring!-On his return by Vienna, the Emperor Joseph expressed a desire of seeing him; for Mr. Howard was now a known and respected character throughout Europe. The interview passed as between an enlightened sovereign, desirous of information, and a plain independant gentleman, above the awe of rank, or the vanity of being noticed. During his absence on this journey, the admiration of his countrymen suggested a design of doing him honour, which proved highly oppressive to his feelings. A subscription was entered into for the purpose of erecting a statue, and it was soon filled with names of the first distinction. As soon
as he was informed of the scheme, he expressed such a decided aversion to what he termed being “dragged out in public,” that it was reluctantly abandoned. He returned in 1787, when all the county-gaols, most of the bridewells, hospitals, and prison-hulks, of England, were again visited by him. In the year 1789, he produced a work, entitled “ An Account of the principal Lazarettos in Europe, with various Papers relative to the Plague; together with some further Observations on some Foreign Prisons and Hospitals,” &c. He again quitted England in 1789, and proceeded through Germany to Petersburgh and Moscow. He found every-where the prisons and hospitals thrown open to him, as to the general censor of that part of the police, whose authority was recognized in every civilized country ;-such is the force of pure and exalted virtue!
He next proceeded to the new Russian settlements on the Black Sea, and took his station at the town of Cherson. At this place a fever of a malignant kind prevailed, among whose victims was a young lady, whom he had been requested to visit; for he had been so conversant with infectious diseases, that he was thought to possess medical skill in those cases.
From her he probably received a
contagion, which carried him off on January the 20th, 1790, about the age of sixty-three. He was buried in the neighbourhood of Cherson, and all honours were paid to his memory by Prince Potemkin.
Continuation. The bare recital of what MR. HOWARD did in the cause of humanity is sufficient to place him among the greatest benefactors of mankind, as well as one of the most extraordinary characters recorded in biography. He was singularly well calculated for the task he undertook. Accustomed to the most rigorous temperance, so as to discard from his diet animal food and fermented liquors, he found no difficulty to live in the poorest countries. in all other respects his mind was equally master of his body, and he incurred hardships of every kind without repugnance. In temper he was calm and composed, but firm and resolute; and proof against every thing that might divert him from his purpose.
Economical in private expences, he knew no bounds in his ,xpenditure on objects of public utility, and regarded money only as an instrument of beneficence. In honour, integrity, and attachment to moral principles, he was not surpassed by any human being. His talents were rather of the useful than the shining kind, but peculiarly adapted for that collection of facts and observations in which he employed himself. The testimony of public respect, which he refused when living, has been conferred upon his memory; and his statue was one of the first that was placed in the cathedral of St. Paul -AIKIN.