@mastersthesis{ gilmore1930,
    author = {Henry Williams Gilmore},
    title = {The Convict Lease System in Arkansas},
    school = {Arkansas State Teachers College},
    year = 1930,

Notes by Ashley E.

  • Part II (of V parts) of the thesis “presents the management of the penitentiary under the lessee, Colonel Zeb Ward, 1873-1883.” (Gilmore 1) It’s pages 13-29 of the thesis.
  • Ward was Mr. Peck’s partner from November 13, 18733 (15), and Peck transferred the lease to him on February 15, 1875. (17)
  • Ward had enough of a negative reputation that prisoners would supposedly try to get longer sentences to avoid being sent to the AR penitentiary: “The life of a convict was so hard under the Ward regime that federal prisoners who had been given short sentences by the district judge would ask for longer sentences in order that they might serve their terms in a Federal prison rather than in the Arkansas penitentiary.” (Gilmore 28)
  • Both he and his son Will characterized as “mean men.” Ward, nevertheless, had great power and influence in AR. (This from personal interviews)
  • Relevant Primary Sources from Gilmore include Gazette, Oct. 14, 1875; Reports of the Board of Commissioners for the Management of the Penitentiary (Little Rock, 1876) 1-3. (This is possibly the Report, not able to find an 1876 version though; anyway, I made a pdf of pages 1-3 of the 1875 version (which seem directly relevant).) The Daily Herald. Jan 27, 1876; Laws of Arkansas, 1883, 171-2. Gazette Dec. 29, 1894; Oct. 25, 1890 (quoting Louisville Evening Post, Oct. 22, 1890); Apr 17, 1880; Oct. 13, 1875; Oct 14, 1875; Sept 3, 1875; Democrat, Apr. 16, 1880; Southern Standard, Jan 4, 1895(or 1885?); The Evening Star, Jan 17, 1876; Jan. 21, 1876; Feb 19, 1876; Tennessee, Senate Journal of the First Extra Session of the Thirty Seventh General Assembly, 1872, 80-81