Introduction

 

    A child of misfortune, a wretched outcast from my fellow-beings, driven with ignominy from social intercourse, cut off from human sympathy, immured in the gloomy walls of a prison, I spread my hands and lift my eyes to the Moral Governor of the Universe! If, as I have been taught to believe, a Being existeth, who searcheth the heart, and judgeth not as man judgeth, to Him I make my last appeal from the injustice and barbarity of society.

     And thou, the victim of despotism, oppression, or error, tenant of a dungeon, and successor to its present devoted inhabitant, should these sheets fall into thy possession, when the hand that wrote them moulders in the dust, and the spirt that dictated ceases to throb with indignant agony, read; and, if civil refinements have not taught thy heart to reflect the sentiment which cannot penetrate it, spare from the contemplation of thy own misery one hour, and devote it to the memory of a fellow-sufferer, who derives firmness from innocence, courage from despair; whose unconquerable spirit, bowed but not broken, seeks to beguile, by the retrospect of an unsullied life, the short interval, to which will succeed a welcome and never-ending repose.