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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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446. ARCHITECTURE, Plan of Prison.—
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446. ARCHITECTURE, Plan of Prison.—

With respect to the plan of a Prison, requested
[by the Virginia authorities] in 1785,
(being then in Paris), I had heard of a benevolent
society, in England, which had been indulged
by the government, in an experiment
of the effect of labor, in solitary confinement, on some of their criminals: which experiment
had succeeded beyond expectation. The same
idea had been suggested in France, and an
architect of Lyons had proposed a plan of a
well-contrived edifice, on the principle of solitary
confinement. I procured a copy, and as
it was too large for our purposes, I drew one
on a scale less extensive, but susceptible of
additions as they should be wanting. This I
sent to the directors, instead of a plan of a
common prison, in the hope that it would
suggest the idea of labor in solitary confinement,
instead of that on the public works,
which we had adopted in our Revised Code.
Its principle, accordingly, but not its exact
form, was adopted by Latrobe in carrying the
plan into execution, by the erection of what
is now called the Penitentiary, built under his
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 46. Ford ed., 64.