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

[t]he funds required for the monthly supply
of Leather, Lumber, Lights[,] Tobacco & Soap
and [i]f the funds are not appropriated for
these purposes, that will be the end of it.

I have also noted your suggestions
as to the employment of convicts as boss work
men. There is necessarily more or less stock
in each of the shops. To intrust [sic] which in the
hands of convicts would I think be bad economy
and at the same time incompatible with the
safekeeping of the prisoners. To place the carpenter
and blacksmith shops for instance in charge of
convicts with the communication which must
necessarily exist between them would doubtless
soon result in the arming of a large number
of the convicts with knives forged in the prison
which would enable them to do violence to
each other and perhaps to the employees.

I will send you estimates based upon
the wants of 490 prisoners[,] our present number[.]
[I]f 200 are sent to the Rail Road there will
be a balance in my hands from the appro-
priation for sussistance [sic] at the end of the
month, and I will also be able to reduce
the number of the guard.

I will strictly economize in every department.

It is important that there should

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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