- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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Full resolution (TIFF) - On this page / på denna sida - New York, September 4

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has often struck me how chance, or a mysterious
foreknowledge, which, without human consciousness,
concerns itself with human affairs, gives
symbolic, or, as it were, prophetic appellations to
things, places, or persons who afterward accomplish
that which their appellations seem to have
predestined them to. This I found to be the case
with regard to the Five Points, the Old Brewery,
and the prison which nearly abuts upon this
region. The great prison of the city of New York
is called the Tombs, from the massive, monumental
style of building employed in it. The
prison itself is of granite and in the Eygptian
style—heavy, but magnificent. A massive lofty
granite wall like the wall of a fortress surrounds
the court, in which stands the prison-house like a
vast, regular, massive block of hewn granite.
When one stands within the magnificent portals
of this wall, one seems to stand within a gigantic
tomb. And so it is. It gives admittance to the
offscouring of the criminals of the great city. One
portion condemned and executed here, another
portion conveyed hence to Blackwell’s Island,
where is situated the House of Correction proper
for New York. Few are they who leave this
place free, who do not return hither to be more
severely punished or to die. The Old Brewery
furnishes unceasing food for the Tombs.

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