Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GILBERT, Linda, philanthropist, born in Rochester, New York, 13 May, 1847. She removed to Chicago, Illinois, with her parents when she was about four years old, and was educated at St. Mary's convent in that City. She became interested at an early age in efforts to improve the condition of prisons and prisoners, and has endeavored "to remove the conditions that produce crime, by a wholesome system of industry and culture." She has succeeded in placing in various prisons libraries of from 1,500 to 2,000 volumes each, and aggregating 30,000 volumes. In 1876 the "Gilbert library and prisoners' aid society" was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, and Miss Gilbert became president of its board of managers. The objects of the society are to improve prison discipline, to place libraries in every prison and jail in the country, to look after the prisoner's family if in need and worthy of aid, and to help convicts to lead upright lives after their discharge. Although lack of funds has prevented the society from doing any work since 1883, Miss Gilbert continues to labor as an individual. She has patented several devices, including a noiseless rail for railroads, and a wire clothes-pin, and has used these for the purpose of gaining money to carry on her philanthropic work. For the same purpose she has established "Linda Gilbert's Tax and Trade Record."
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