Religion: Alleviators' Anniversary

The keeper of Philadelphia's Walnut Street Jail was scandalized, sullenly consented to a religious service for his charges only because the sheriff commanded him to in writing. When Bishop William White and Dr. William Rogers arrived at the jail, they found a number of convicts huddled before an improvised pulpit, beside which stood a formidable cannon whose gunner had lighted a taper, ready to fire at the slightest sign of trouble.

That was in 1787, when Philadelphia convicts were commonly chained to barrows, forced to work in the streets. The Episcopal Church of...

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