LAMARTINE Alphonse de (1790-1869).

Lot 122
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LAMARTINE Alphonse de (1790-1869).
2 autograph MANUSCRIPTS, the 2nd signed "Lamartine," Notes on the Penitentiary System, 1851; 28 and 42 pages in-4 on blue paper, in autograph folders. Two articles on the reform of the penitentiary system, which seem to be unpublished. These two articles were intended for his journal Le Conseiller du Peuple, as indicated by the autograph notes on the folders containing them: "Conseiller du Peuple. Penitentiary system. to be revised and printed August 1st after having revised it and before the 2nd which is ready and revised. Lamartine. In all 2 Councillors"; and on the 2nd: "necessity of penal colonies. Councillor of the People ready August 1, 1851. 2nd part if to pass the first part not revised and to be revised". The first article is entitled Notes on the penitentiary system (the end misses, and some passages are left in blank in the expectation of data): "MM. The government organ in that of one of the most imperious social necessities poses us a question of urgency: the reform of the prisons". Lamartine insists "on the increasing and inefficient figure of our penality. A criminality which in twenty-five years rises for the only capital of France from 2500 to 15600 condemnations [...] The crime overflows in France. It plays with repression; it is envenomed by the very punishment, it disciplines its armies in the prisons, it recruits in the jails, it makes of your reformatories an arsenal from which it will draw forces and instruments for new crimes" .... Lamartine summarizes the American systems, dwelling on the Pennsylvania system; he rejects the whipping regime "society would be guilty if it assimilated in advance and temporarily in its penitentiary system the accused to the convicted"... Advocating the "beautiful material system of discipline and work for the prisoners", he concludes by seeing in the new legislation on the penitentiary system "a preliminary pledge to the abolition of the death penalty"... The 2nd part, entitled: Notes on the reform of prisons and on the necessity of a place of deportation, is dated at the end of July 29, 1851. "It is impossible to deal with the reform of the prisons and the introduction of a penitentiary regime without touching the idea of penitentiary colonies"... Lamartine concludes: "It will be to have done something to have converted on all the points of France these canteens of corruption where the perverts pervert themselves, in houses of silence, work and prayer where the guilty ones regenerate and where the public safety will be consolidated. It will be to have done even more than to have created not this acerbic and inflexible system of political deportation which replaces the scaffold by despair, but these penitentiary colonizations where the man regenerates himself by work, renews himself by the separation from himself, and sows on another hemisphere the seeds of a race taken out of vice and crime but re-soaked in the distance, in the oblivion and in the virtue ". An extract of a printed intervention of the president of the bar Marie is joined in a folder annotated by Lamartine: "Prisons objections Mr Marie lawyer". Provenance: archives of Saint-Point.
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