Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 041
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For a great number of offenses criminals are sentenced to be confined at labor for different
periods of time, and the State has provided prisons at several places for the security of these
offenders against law
.1 The principal of these are the three State Prisons, an Asylum for Insane
Convicts, two Houses of Refuge, and several penitentiaries and jails.

The Auburn State Prison is located upon a lot of 10 acres near the center of the city of
Auburn. It consists of the prison proper, containing 800 cells and a large number of workshops,
all surrounded by a high and strong wall. The Sing1 Sing' State Prison is located upon
a lot of 130 acres upon the Hudson, in the village of Sing Sing. It contains a prison for males and
another for females, the latter the only one in the State. It has an aggregate of 1,000 cells and a
great variety of workshops
.2 The Clinton State Prison is situated upon a lot of 250
acres in the town of Dannemora. About 25 acres are inclosed within the walls of the prison. It
contains workshops, forges, and furnaces, and has an aggregate of 396 cells

The general supervision of the State Prisons is intrusted to a Board of 3 Inspectors, one of
whom is elected each year for a term of three years
.4 They appoint all the officers of the several
prisons and renew them at pleasure
.3 The discipline of the several prisons is rigid and uniform,
and all convicts are treated alike, irrespective of their former standing in society or of the crimes
of which they are convicted. The rules for the general conduct of prisoners are rigidly enforced.
In the administration of discipline a leading object is to secure the reform of the criminal and his
return to society with regular and industrious habits and correct moral principles
.4 All convicts
in health are required to labor in shops by day, under rigid supervision, and without exchanging
words or looks with each other or with those who may visit the prison. They observe strict
silence upon all occasions when not addressed by some person allowed the privilege. In passing
to and from the cells, shops, and dining rooms, they march in close single columns, with their

the prison. He receives a salary of $1,250 to $1,500, and is re¬
quired to give a bond of $2p,000.

2. A Principal Keeper, who has charge of police regulations
and discipline of the prison, and must live upon the premises.
He keeps a journal of every infraction of rules, records, punish¬
ments, complaints, &c., and reports monthly to the Inspectors.

3. Keepers under the direction of the Principal are appointed,
not to exceed 1 for every 25 prisoners. Salary, $-.

4. A Clerk, who records all commitments and discharges,
keeps the accounts, and reports annually to the Secretary of
State. Salary, $1,000 at Sing Sing and $900 at the other prisons.

5. The Chaplain visits prisoners in their cells, devotes a stated
time each Sabbath to religious services, keeps the prison library,
and allows the use of books, under proper regulations, and is
expected to counsel and assist convicts in the formation of
settled resolutions for reform upon leaving the prison. Through
him they may obtain whatever is allowed of correspondence
with friends. Salary, $900.

6. A Physician and Surgeon, who has charge of the Hospital
and attends at all times when his services are required. Salary,
$700 at Sing Sing and $600 at the other prisons.

7. Instructors, of which there are 2 each at Auburn and Sing
Sing, 1 at Clinton, and 1 at the Female Prison, who give all ne¬
cessary instruction to the prisoners in their several occupations.

8. A Store Keeper, who has general charge of the provisions
and clothing and other property belonging to the prison.

9. A Guard,, under the command of a sergeant, who are
stationed in the prison and upon the walls to prevent escapes.
The number of privates is 20 at Auburn, 25 at Clinton, and 30
at Sing Sing. They are armed and equipped from the State
arsenals, and are held legally justified if they shoot down
prisoners attempting to escape.

10. A Matron, who has charge of the Female Prison. Assistant
matrons are appointed, not to exceed 1 for every 25 prisoners.

6 Solitary confinement without labor was tried at Auburn in
1821, but with the most unhappy results, and in' 1823 the
present system was adopted upon the suggestion of Capt. Elam
Lynds and John D. Cray. Capt. Lynds deserves particular
notice from the energy and firmness with which he brought
his favorite system into successful operation and to a degree of
perfection scarcely conceivable to one who had not witnessed it.
This plan has been adopted in many prisons and has received
the name of the “ Auburn System.” The labor not required in
the domestic affairs of these prisons is hired upon contract to
manufacturers, who put up the requisite machinery and employ
agents and foremen to superintend the work. Willful violation
of the rules is punished by the lash, ball and chain, yoke,
strait jacket, shower bath, dark cell, and similar means.



By an act of March 26,1796, John Watts, Matthew Clarkson,

Isaac Sloatenburgh, Thomas Eddy, and John Murray, jr. were
appointed commissioners to build a State prison in New York
City. This prison, styled
“Newgate,” was located on a lot of 9
acres on the Hudson, at the foot of Amos St. with its principal
front on Greenwich St. It was 204 feet long, and from each
end a wing extended to the river. It had 54 rooms, each for 8
persons, and cost $208,846. It was opened Nov. 25, 1797, and
continued in use until May, 1828, when it was sold. Convicts
were employed in shoe and nail making and other work in
leather and iron, and as carpenters, tailors, weavers, spinners,
and gardeners. A second prison was ordered, in 1796, to be
built at Albany, but the act was repealed in 1797. The limited
accommodations and wretched moral influences of the New
York prison led to the ordering of another prison, in 1816, which
was located at Auburn. The south wing was completed in
1818, and in 1819 the north wing was ordered to be fitted up
with single cells. The prison was enlarged in 1824.


Clinton Prison was built, in 1844-45, under the direction of
Ransom Cook, with the design of employing convicts in iron
mining and manufacture.


The officers of each prison consist of the following:—


1. An Agent, or Warden, who is the principal fiscal officer of


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