Posted by on Dec 9, 2011 in Crime | 0 comments

Inmates of the TN State Penitentiary, 1831-1850

The Tennessee State Penitentiary opened in 1831. Prior to that offenders were held in county jails. Surviving records of the Penitentiary are housed at the State Library and Archives as Record Group 25. The following list of inmates is found in ledger volume 86 of those records. The ledger also includes the date received in the Penitentiary, the prisoner’s state of birth, and the date discharged. Copies of entries are available upon request by mail (listed under “State Penitentiary and Record Groups”).

The detailed abstracts from these records were compiled in one book by Chuck Sherrill, Tennessee Convicts, Early Records of the State Penitentiary (Mt. Juliet, Tennessee: privately published, 1997).   The index is available online.

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