" The departure of the exiles for Siberia is a scene which should not be missed by the traveller: but, in order to let him enjoy it at his ease, one thing is necessary to be understood. The mere fact of transportation is not looked upon as a severe punishment; for the great body of the criminals consists of persons who have been accustomed all their lives to a compulsory servitude as severe as that which awaits them beyond the Ural mountains. Condemnation to the mines in Siberia is what they dread— and with great justice; for this is a substitution for capital punishment, and answers the same purpose, only extending the time occupied by the act of dying from a few minutes to a few years.
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855