Fear, Force, and Leather: The Texas Prison System&rsquot;s First Hundred Years 1848-1948

State Penitentiary Commissioners to Governor George T. Wood, July 20, 1848

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Penitentiary commissioners to Governor Wood, July 1848

To his Excellency
George T. Wood
Governor of the State of Texas

The undersigned commissioners appointed
by you, in pursuance of the provisions of the act of
the Legislature of the State of Texas, entitled “an
act to establish a state penitentiary,” approved 13
March 1848—beg leave to report, that they met
together at La Grange on 26th day of June
last and proceeded to select a proper site whereon
to erect a state penitentiary.

That after a thorough examination of
the best localities, they agreed on this
selection of a site and selected the 5 acres on a
beautiful eminence in the town of Huntsville[,] the
county seat of the county of Walker. This site
for the buildings embraces the small trusts of
four acres and eight[-]tenths of an acre. They also
purchased near to the site selected a tract of ninety
four acres of timbered land. Making together
ninety eight and eight[-]tenths acres, for which
they agreed to give the aggregate consideration
of four hundred and ninety three dollars.
They also deemed it the interest of the state and
the Penitentiary to procure rock privileges,
which they have done, as will be seen by the
deeds accompanying this report. Also the
use of a hundred acres of white oak timber
standing convenient to the location.

The undersigned present herewith
a deed from Robt Smither for three and
two[-]tenths acres, a deed from Isaac [?]
McGary for one and six[-]tenths acres, em-
bracing the site for the buildings; also
a deed from Pleasant Gray for ninety

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State Penitentiary Commissioners to Governor George T. Wood, July 20, 1848. Correspondence Concerning the Penitentiary, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 19, 2011