Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

Asylum for Discharged Female Convicts

The ladies of the Prison Association have been, for some time, engaged in the endeavor to procure funds for establishing this asylum. They have met, thus far, with little success; but, touched by the position of several women, who, on receiving their discharge, were anxiously waiting in hope there would be means provided to save them from return to their former suffering and polluted life, they have taken a house and begun their good work in faith that Heaven must take heed that such an enterprise may not fail, and touch the hearts of men to aid it.

They have taken a house and secured the superintendence of an excellent woman. There are already six women under her care. But this house is unprovided with furniture or the means of securing food for body and mind to these unfortunates during the brief novitiate which gives them so much to learn and unlearn.

The object is to lend a helping hand to the many who show a desire of reformation, but have hitherto been inevitably repelled into infamy by the lack of friends to procure them honest employment, and a temporary refuge till it can be procured. Efforts will be made to instruct them how to break up bad habits and begin a healthy course for body and mind.

The house has in it scarcely any thing; it is a true Lazarus establishment, asking for the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table.1 Old furniture would be acceptable; andn clothes, books that are no longer needed by their owners.

Such a statement we make in appealing to the poor, though they are, usually, the most generous. Not that they are, originally, better than the rich, but circumstances have fitted them to appreciate the misfortunes, the trials, the wrongs, that beset those a little lower down than themselves. But we have

____________________
1
A rich man denied Lazarus the crumbs that fell from his table; after their deaths the poor man goes to heaven and the rich man does not (Luke 16:19–25).
n
acceptable clothes [acceptable; and clothes

-134-

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