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Convicts of Alabama – State Penitentiary November 1846

November 1846

(from -transcribed by Steven Jackson)

As a general rule of the early Alabama frontiersmen, the administration of justice was best left in the hands of the local citizens, or when available, with county officials. Even in the county seats, justice was swift and harsh, as the towns vindictively encouraged their sheriffs to stage hangings in the public square. These festive spectacles attracted large crowds from miles around, eager for the entertainment atmosphere created by the settlement’s merchants. Floggings, branding, and other mutilation and humiliation punitive events were also made public. Hanging offenses included murder, rape, robbery, burglary, stealing slaves, rustling livestock, counterfeiting, and treason.

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On January 26, 1839, under Governor Arthur P. Bagby, the State Legislature enacted a criminal code that authorized a state penitentiary system.
By August 21, 1839, after seeking a location that was central to Alabama, property for a prison was purchased adjacent to the Coosa River near Wetumpka. In October of that year, Governor Bagby laid the cornerstone of the Wetumpka State Penitentiary and by 1841 the 208 cell prison surrounded by walls twenty-five feet high was completed at a cost of $84,889. William Hogan was selected to be Alabama’s first prison warden.
The first inmate entered the Wetumpka State Penitentiary (WSP) in 1842 with a twenty-year sentence for harboring a runaway slave. WSP was called “The Walls of Alabama” or more diminutively as the “Walls.” Once established, the prison population during this period was composed of white immigrants (99%) and free blacks (1%). The laws of the time said that enslaved blacks had no freedom to infringe upon, and were thus punished extra legally by their owners for alleged offenses.

Names Of Convicts -Years – Age – Occupation – Nativity – County Conviction

Alamo, Emanuel 5 34 cigar maker Spain Mobile
Ady, John 2 30 Farmer Al Lawrence
Allison, James C. 5 24 Va Lauderdale
Andrew, John Life 35 laborer Sweden Mobile
Andrews, Thomas 10 21 sailor England Mobile
Archer, Augustus 10 26 school teacher Sc Montgomery
Archer, James 3 24 blacksmith Conn Lauderdale
Atkinson, Napolean B. 10 27 overseer Sc Sumter
Barnes, Samuel J. 3 19 Farmer Ga Covington
Barthage, Silas 3 25 boat hand Mass Mobile
Boggs, Joseph 2 18 laborer Ga Butler
Bolt, William 3 17 overseer Ga Macon
Borner, John 2 24 bricklayer Tenn Greene
Brumby, Augustus 7 36 Farmer Tenn Lauderdale
Burch, William S. 2 35 Farmer Nc Jackson
Butler, William 3 20 unknown Ga Fayette
Calaway, James 2 21 unknown Va Marshall
Carter, William Life 30 Farmer Ga Monroe
Castillo, John 1 39 Farmer Sc Walker
Causey, Solomon 4 33 school teacher NC Fayette
Chambers, John 3 28 tailor Scotland Dallas
Chesser, Willie 3 26 Farmer Sc Pike
Clarke, Columbus 5 38 Farmer Ga Barbour
Clayton, Charles 3 33 sailor England Mobile
Cody, Abner J. 8 33 merchant Al Mobile
Comley, Walter 5 22 unknown Penn Mobile
Cooper, David 5 22 Farmer Tenn Cherokee
Crawford, Henry 3 18 plasterer Tenn Talladega
Crawford, Michael 5 29 unknown Nc Pickens
Cunningham, Alexander 6 28 carpenter Ga Coffee
Davis, John 5 24 wheelright La Mobile
Davis, Wm 20 38 overseer Nc Russell
Dickenson, Ringstaff 4 20 Farmer Al Montgomery
Dixon, Joseph H. 3 26 Farmer Tenn Franklin
Doby, Wates 6 25 carpenter Ga Tuscaloosa
Douglas, Wm. C. 5 34 clerk NY Tuscaloosa
Duffee, Willie 5 30 overseer Ga Macon
Dykes, Isiah 4 52 overseer Sc Butler
Eaton, Charles 5 20 cabinet worker Ny Mobile… alias Mich’l Shields
Elison, Minerva Ann 2 19 unknown Tenn Benton
Etter, Henry Life 35 plasterer Penn Mobile
Eugene, Charles 6 22 circus rider France Montgomery
Farrar, Franklin 3 25 unknown Sc Morgan
Fernandez, Joseph 20 28 fisherman Spain Montgomery
Fernandez, Jospeh P. 5 35 fisherman Spain Mobile
Fisher, Henry 2 21 unknown Germany Sumter
Flake, Jackson 3 21 Farmer Tenn Lauderdale
Fluellen, John 2 18 boat hand Al Monroe
Foley, George P. 5 27 carpenter Ireland Mobile
Freeman, Wm 5 36 sailor Mass Mobile… alias Wm. F. Ryan
Gainey, Thomas T. 3 61 Mill right Sc Lowndes
Gee, Henry Life 41 carpenter Va Pickens
Gibson, Francis 2 25 sailor NY Mobile
Glaze, Thomas 4 36 unknown Sc Tuscaloosa
Graves, Stephen 2 60 Farmer Sc Pike
Grimes, James 3 33 Farmer Tenn Franklin
Guannatto, Cecilio 6 17 dishwasher Mexico Mobile
Guest, Moses 9 20 unknown Tenn Dekalb
Hamblin, Wm. M. 10 19 unknown Al Madison
Hammock, John 10 39 Farmer Ga Monroe
Hampton, Wade 5 38 Farmer Ky Benton
Harris, Anderson C. 4 26 Farmer Tenn Bibb
Harrison, Andrew 4 28 gold digger Sc Chambers
Hart, Joseph 10 33 blacksmith Tenn Morgan
Hart, Thomas 10 56 blacksmith Ky Morgan
Harvell, Moses 10 36 Laborer Miss Coffee
Hedsperth, William 3 16 unknown Nc Talladega
Hermanas, Edward 2 25 fisherman Spain Mobile
Hignett, James 2 18 sailor England Mobile
Hill, James W. 4 21 stage driver Ga Russell
Hogan, John 4 22 engineer Penn Tuscaloosa
Howell, James 20 43 Farmer Nc Henry
Howell, Lewis 8 39 Farmer Ky Marengo
Hunter, John 10 29 book keeper Va Mobile
Jennings, Thomas G. 3 25 unknown Ga Coose
Johnson, William L. 2 36 carpenter Va Madison
Johnston, Robert 3 24 stable keeper Ohio Mobile
Jones, Arthur 5 40 blacksmith Sc Russell
Jones, Hilman 4 18 Farmer Ga Henry
Jones, William P. 5 22 school teacher Sc Mobile… alias B.R. Cook
Kelly, Enoch 10 45 blacksmith Ga Clarke
Key, James M. 3 26 Mill right Sc Franklin
King, Calvin 5 37 bar keeper Nc Montgomery
Kirby, Nathan 5 23 school teacher Al Fayette
Kreps, Charles 4 20 painter Al Talladega
Kyle, Christopher H. 7 35 school teacher Nc Pike
Lindsey, Elisha J. 5 25 wagon maker Tenn Limestone
Looney, Absolem 4 33 tinker Tenn Jefferson
Love, Adam 20 29 Farmer Al Limestone
Lumley, William W. 2 27 groc. Keeper Ga Talladega
Lynch, Charles 3 1/2 26 unknown Canada Mobile
Lynch, Hugh 2 27 gardner Ireland Mobile
Madarias, Fletcher 3 18 Mill right Ga Talladega
Marshall, John 5 43 unknown Va Mobile
Martin, David S. 2 30 shoemaker Al Monroe
Martin, George 5 35 bricklayer Mass Mobile
Matthews, Henry 8 27 boat hand England Mobile
Mays, Daniel 4 44 Farmer Nc Perry
McDermott, Charles 15 27 boat hand Ireland Mobile
McNamara, Andrew 3 35 common labor Ireland Talladega
Mitchell, George T. 2 272 unknown Nc Sumter
Mooney, Jack 10 49 gun smith Nc Montgomery
Morgan, James 6 31 tailor Sc Barbour
Morgan, Perry 10 40 blacksmith Sc Morgan
Morine, Matthew 5 22 stone cutter Delaware Mobile
Mullynaux, Thomas 10 25 sailor England Mobile
O’Hara, Bartholomew 5 31 unknown Sc Montgomery
Painter, James 10 34 sailor England Mobile
Parker, Paten 10 39 Farmer Ga Pike
Pate, David R. 5 34 Farmer Tenn Lawrence
Pearson, Henry 10 31 miner Mass Morgan
Pollock, James W. 10 41 tinner Va Lauderdale
Porter, Richard 5 21 Farmer Al Fayette
Reams, Thomas 3 18 gambler Sc Chambers
Reynolds, John 2 23 clerk Scotland Mobile
Rives, George W. 5 27 lawyer Va Barbour Free Man of Color
Rollins, Madison A. 5 26 tailor Tenn Montgomery
Rush, Allen C. 2 23 Farmer Nc Chambers Free Man of Color
Scott, Homer 5 23 Farmer Ga Henry
Scott, John L. 7 22 Farmer Ga Dale
Seeglar, William 10 19 Farmer Sc Franklin
Shy, William 10 25 unknown Sc Montgomery
Skipper, Martha A. 2 23 unknown Ga Butler
Skipper, Simon M. 3 27 Laborer Nc Henry
Sloan, Richard 10 40 wagon maker Nc Talladega
Smith, James 3 21 unknown Tenn Tuscaloosa… alias John W. Renfro
Smith, Nicholas Life 27 tailor Sweden Mobile
Smith, Wm. C 4 17 Farmer Ga Benton
Sneedley, David B. 3 19 unknown Al Coosa
Stephens, Alexander 4 19 Farmer Nc Marshall
Stone, Moses 4 36 Farmer Vt Benton
Sullivan, Mark 15 54 unknown Ga Sumter
Tankersly, Oliver D. 5 24 Farmer Ga Perry
Tarbuton, John 10 23 stage driver Ga Mobile
Tarwater, Hiram 3 38 Farmer Tenn Marion
Taylor, James 8 27 boat hand England Mobile
Toy, Richard 2 26 bootmaker Ireland Mobile
Turner, James 3 32 sailor Sc Mobile
Walker, John Life 28 baker Sc Greene
Ward, Issac 3 64 farmer Sc Tuscaloosa
Webb, John 19 55 Farmer Sc Marshall
Wells, Charles J. 3 24 carpenter England Autauga
Wendall, Thomas 3 45 sailor Mass Mobile
Whisenant, Adam 5 51 Farmer Nc Dekalb
White, Peter 20 40 groc. Keeper Naples Montgomery
Whittington, Francis 10 53 Farmer Sc Wilcox
Williams, John 7 45 unknown Tenn Wilcox
Williams, Wm. F. 3 20 carpenter Nc Pike
Wilson, John 2 32 sailor Norway Mobile
Wilson, William 2 30 carpenter Va Wilcox



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One comment

  1. Where can I learn more about “James Turner, sailor, Mobile” ??

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