PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
"...let me observe that it arises from the impression of a firm belief that it is Impossible for a free people to preserve their liberties & privileges with a regular & energetic Government, unless useful knowledge is generally diffused among them, & the principles of Virtue & religion included so as to obtain a governing influence upon the visible conduct & deportment of the inhabitants; and were these favors properly bestowed upon every rising generation...all Arbitrary & Despotic Government would vanish away."
After serving as President of the Continental Congress for two years, and his brief service as first President of the United States in Congress assembled, Samuel Huntington retired from public life with the intention of reestablishing his law practice. But the unstable political situation compelled him to return to public life. Whilst serving as governor of Connecticut, Huntington delivered this speech to the legislature. “New Gate” Prison was the first state prison in the United States. A humanitarian movement resulted in significant reforms, including limitations on corporal and capital punishments in favor of attempts to improve criminals' character and behavior, which had already been instituted in Connecticut. Here, Huntington seeks additions to the list of serious crimes deemed punishable by prison time. He also underscores the importance of state governmental commitment to the education of youths for the long-term viability of republican government.
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