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

J.K.P. Campbell, Monthly Report, September 1875

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J.K.P. Campbell, monthly report for September 1875

The Lessees have promised me again and again that they would put the
buildings in good repair, but they do not do it. I have called the attention
of the Director to this matter very often. The new cell building which we were
assured would be completed during 1874 is not yet half done and for the
past two months very little work has been done on this building. To judge the
the future by the past it will be a long time before it is completed. You will see
that we have 621 convicts within the walls, and only 278 cells[,] making 2 27/100 men
for each cell. [I]f we had the 137 cells which the new building would give us
it would be a great relief to the convicts.

The punishment of convicts now is as seldom as it was frequent when I
first entered on duty as Inspector and I am glad to say that only a few
men have been put in the stocks this month, and two or three put in the dark
cell for a short time. I consider this as doing well when you take into considera-
tion that many of the men are idle in the shops owing to the want of material[.]

The foregoing refers to the Prison Proper, and I will now give you such informa-
tion as I have received through the reports of Sergeants in regard to the convicts
at work outside the Walls[.]

You have [a] copy of my letter to Directors relating to Convicts on O&H R.R. I was
informed that Sheriff Norwell complied promptly with your requests. I left Henderson
on the 4th inst and Mr Bush & Hefflin reached them on the 6th inst and Norwell had
in the meantime bought ninety odd dollars [sic] worth of supplies, and Mr Hefflin refus-
ed him the money on behalf of the Lessees. I herewith inclose [sic] [a] copy of Sergt
Wests [sic] to show you how the men are now fed[.] The Lessee promised
the Directors they would send shoes & clothing to these men, but you will

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J.K.P. Campbell, Monthly Report, September 1875. Superintendent/Inspector, Reports, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

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