skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 156864 Find in a Library
Title: Dannemora: The Birth and Death of a Frontier Prison
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:57  Issue:5  Dated:(August 1995)  Pages:130-132,134,136-139,163
Author(s): T Glynn
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 9
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Dannemora Prison in Clinton County (N.Y.) was established in the 1840's to produce a product that would not compete with products produced by nonconvict labor.
Abstract: In 1842, the New York legislature appointed Ransom Cook, who had experience in iron but not in prison, to examine the State's mineral regions and obtain proposals for the sale of mines to employ convicts. Cook supervised the construction and became not only the warden but also the surveyor, mining engineer, mine manager, contractor, and prison manager. Cook traveled to the Auburn and Sing Sing prisons and personally chose the convicts he would take to build their own jail. Cook kept meticulous records. He believed that correctional personnel should have tact, kindness, intelligence, firmness, and self-possession. He believed strongly in books and established a prison library. However, he was soon replaced due to political changes. Subsequent wardens kept few records. The dominant feature of Clinton prison became its self-generated procedures and the establishment of rules and regulations. The mining plan failed financially, and escapes were frequent. The manufacture of iron and nails at the prison ceased in 1877. In 1884 and 1885, the wooden stockade was replaced with a stone wall. The prison's first electrocution took place in 1895. Photograph
Main Term(s): History of corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional industries; Corrections management; New York
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.