Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislature, Joint Committee on the Penitentiary:

An Inventory of Joint Committee on the Penitentiary Records at the Texas State Archives, 1863



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. Joint Committee on the Penitentiary.
Title: Joint Committee on the Penitentiary records
Dates: 1863
Abstract: The Texas Joint Committee on the Penitentiary was created in February 1863 (9th Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session) to investigate the financial and mechanical operations of the state penitentiary in response to citizen charges of misconduct and malfeasance against prison officials. Records include correspondence, legislative resolutions forming the committee, a copy of a bill affecting prison operations, reports by the committee to the legislature on their progress, the committee's final report to the governor, and minutes that give a brief, daily summary of the committee's activities during its stay at Huntsville, all dating 1863. Correspondence includes citizen complaints and interchanges among the committee, penitentiary directors, and the prison officials under investigation. Depositions made by several prison officials in response to interrogatories asked by the committee are also included.
Quantity: 0.15 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

Texas Governor Francis R. Lubbock called for the creation of a Joint Committee on the Penitentiary in his message to the legislators at the start of the 9th Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session, in February 1863. The committee was to investigate the financial and mechanical operations of the state penitentiary. During this period of the Civil War, the state penitentiary had the only clothing mill in Texas and demand for its products exceeded supply. Citizens were upset and there were charges of misconduct and malfeasance against prison officials.

A concurrent resolution approved on February 13, 1863 agreed to form a joint committee to investigate these charges and the prison's operations. The committee went to the penitentiary at Huntsville in April 1863 to conduct its investigation on site. The committee interviewed the former and the current financial agent, the directors, the superintendent and other penitentiary officials. The committee's final report cleared the prison officials of any criminal wrongdoing and included their recommendations for prison operations.

(Sources include: the guide survey completed for this material.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The Texas Joint Committee on the Penitentiary was created in February 1863 (9th Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session) to investigate the financial and mechanical operations of the state penitentiary in response to citizen charges of misconduct and malfeasance against prison officials. Records include correspondence, legislative resolutions forming the committee, a copy of a bill affecting prison operations, reports by the committee to the legislature on their progress, the committee's final report to the governor, and minutes that give a brief, daily summary of the committee's activities during its stay at Huntsville, all dating 1863. Correspondence includes citizen complaints and interchanges among the committee, penitentiary directors, and the prison officials under investigation. Depositions made by several prison officials in response to interrogatories asked by the committee are also included.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged in chronological order by month by State Archives staff.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Texas State Penitentiary.
Huntsville Penitentiary.
Subjects:
Prisons--Texas.
Prison industries--Texas.
Prisons--Texas--Finance.
Prisons--Texas--Huntsville.
Prisons--Texas--Officials and employees.
Document Types:
Correspondence--Texas--Governmental investigations--1863.
Depositions--Texas--Governmental investigations--1863.
Legislative records--Texas--Governmental investigations--1863.
Minutes--Texas--Governmental investigations--1863.
Reports--Texas--Governmental investigations--1863.
Functions:
Administering governmental investigations.
Investigating corruption.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Records relating to the Penitentiary, 1846-1921, undated, 87.85 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee on Penitentiaries, Special Subcommittee to Visit State Penitentiary, Records, 1876, fractional
Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee to Investigate the Retrieve Prison Farm, Report, 1935, fractional
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee of Investigation into the Prison Commission and Lease of Blue Ridge Farm, Proceedings and testimony, 1919, 0.3 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Investigate the State Penitentiary System, Proceedings, 1925, 0.75 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Joint Committee to Visit the State Penitentiary, Records, 1887, fractional
Texas Legislature, Joint Penitentiary Investigating Committee, Records, 1920-1921, bulk 1921, 0.75 cubic ft.
Texas Legislature, Senate Penitentiary Investigating Committee, Reports and proceedings, 1915, 0.4 cubic ft.
Texas Prison Centralization Commission, Enabling legislation and report, 1929, fractional
Texas Governor O. B. Colquitt, Records, 1905-1915, bulk 1910-1915, 66.29 cubic ft. [Includes file for Board of Prison Commissioners, Penitentiary Investigatory Committee, 1913.]
Publications
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Journal of the House of Representatives of the state of Texas, 9th Legislature, 1st Called Session. Austin: Standard Office, 1863.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Journal of the House of Representatives of the state of Texas, 10th Legislature, Regular Session. Austin: Standard Office, 1865.
Texas. Legislature. Senate. Journal of the Senate of the state of Texas, 9th Legislature, 1st Called Session. Austin: Standard Office, 1863.
Texas. Legislature. Senate. Journal of the Senate of the state of Texas, 10th Legislature, Regular Session. Austin: Standard Office, 1864.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Joint Committee on the Penitentiary records, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1988/065

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by an unknown agency during the 20th century. An accession number was assigned on January 21, 1988.

Processing Information

Guide survey information compiled by Paul Beck, November 1987

Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project by Rebecca Romanchuk, March 2012


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Joint Committee on the Penitentiary records, 1863,
0.15 cubic ft.

Box
1988/065 February 1863
March 1863
April 1863
[2 folders]