• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors• New and improved versionIn the following pages I have aimed at usefulness rather than originality, and have therefore availed myself of the labors of others, whenever they would serve my purpose. Some of the topics discussed are treated in a different mariner from what I have seen elsewhere, while upon others I have but condensed or amplified, or rearranged the arguments of my predecessors. My object was to give the main reasons against the gallows within the compass of a work, better suited by its size and price for general circulation, than the volumes which have already appeared on this side of the question, yet somewhat more at large than they are stated in the few cheaper works which have been published. Many who do not feel interest enough in the subject to buy and read so large a book, for instance, as O'Sullivan's admirable Report to the New York Legislature, or the Essays of Charles Spear, will read a pamphlet like this, if it be only to see what can be said against the law of blood for blood, and may find here enough to awaken a desire to inquire farther and examine more thoroughly. If it shall thus be the means of helping on in a humble way the progress of that humane reform whose principles it advocates; and of hastening, however little, the coming of that time, when the penal statutes of a Christian and civilized people, shall have ceased to be written in blood, I shall be richly repaid for the time and labor spent upon this task.For aid in its performance, I am indebted chiefly to the works of O'Sullivan and Spear, the brief but able Essays of Dr. H. S. Patterson, the little volume of Presbuteros, (understood to be a Presbyterian clergyman in the state of New York,) and some British publications filled with facts and statistics, many of them deeply interesting and of great importance. The two works of G. B. Cheever in defense of the gallows, written with an ability worthy of a better cause, have also given me some assistance, as the reader will not unfrequently perceive.
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