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

Thaddeus C. Bell to Morgan C. Hamilton, June 10, 1867

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Thaddeus C. Bell to Morgan C. Hamilton, June 1867

With regard to lumber I would say that without
lumber our carpenter and wagon shop will be
closed. There is not much profit in continuing
them it is true, but still with proper man-
agement I think they can be made to pay some
they beside giving employment to some of the
men who otherwise would have to be locked
up in their cells.

There seems to be no provision for lights[,]
Tobacco or soap. The matter of lights I regard as
a necessity. Tobacco I might say is about the
only luxury the convicts enjoy. It has always been
issued to them, being provided for by the By Laws
of the Institution.

Soap is also a necessity. I note your remarks
upon its manufacture here. It is reasonable to
suppose that we would have an abundance of ashes
from our furnace and fire places to make all the
soap we need, but such is not the case. We burn
Pine wood and it makes no ashes in the furnace[.]
The particles being light are carried off with the
draft. The ashes from our fire places being from
pine are of but little value for making soap[.]
I tryed [sic] last year to manufacture soap but
did not accomplished any thing valuable. I will
try again if any thing can be done in that
direction. While I do not intend to disburse
one dollar except in accordance with your
instructions, I will send you an estimate of

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Thaddeus C. Bell to Morgan C. Hamilton, June 10, 1867. Assistant Superintendent/Inspector, Reports, Records Relating to the Penitentiary, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: August 17, 2011