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

D.M. Short to Governor Oran M. Roberts, July 19, 1879

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D.M. Short to Governor Roberts, July 1879


In reference to and because of these abuses Sergeant
Randall on the report of Commissioner Gaines was discharged
by the lessees[.] [E]fforts are already being made to ar-
raign Ex Sargeant [sic] before the bar of public justice.
Sergeant McLeroy succeded [sic] Randall about the 25th
of December AD 1878[.] [D]uring his administration two cases
of death occurred among the convicts[,] both from dis-
ease[.] His administration seems to have been mild
and almost unobjectionable[.] [T]he convicts were
feed [sic][,] well clothed[,] well cared for in sickness and
in health[,] never overworked[,] and after a term of
four months [McLeroy] lost his sitution [sic] by a single act of
disobedience to the Instructions of his superiors[,]
to wit whipping a convict contrary the rules. In jus-
tice to this officer he was afterwards reinstated and
now has charge of another camp.

Sergeant Kelly succeed-
ed McLeroy in the month of April and still continues
in charge of the camp near Mineola[.] [I]t is situted [sic] about
two miles from the town on a high[,] dry and healthy
location with good springs and a bold running branch
in its vicinity. Has 64 convicts—the prison building is
46 ft. long and about 22 wide with an [sic] copper and
lower tier of bunks[,] is well ventilated and as commo=
dious as it well could be under the circumstances—
and though not as neat and clean as a parlor yet with
all the surroundings could not well be improved upon.

The camp was visited by Major Goree, Senator Buchanon[,] Deputy Sheriffs
Peguer [?] & McDaniel and the convicts were generally interviewed


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D.M. Short to Governor Oran M. Roberts, July 19, 1879. Assistant Superintendent/Inspector, Reports, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: February 10, 2016