@Book{ walker1988,
	author = {Donald R. Walker},
	title = {Penology for Profit: A History of the Texas Prison System, 1867-1912},
	address = {College Station},
	publisher = {Texas A&M University Press},
	year = 1988,

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p. 17:

During the Civil War, the Texas penitentiary became an institution of critical importance to the state. The inmate population from January 1, 1860, to January 1, 1865, decreased from 182 to 165. The reduction in the number of inmates, however, did not have an adverse effect on production from the prison textile mills.

Prisoner-made cotton and woolen cloth constituted a major source of revenue for Texas during the war. For the period from December 1, 1861, to August 31, 1863, for example, Texas prison inmates produced 2,258,660 yards of cotton and 293,298 yards of wool. Selling both to the civilian population and to the Confederacy, the state earned a total of $1,174,439.07.

Later Walker discusses the first lease of the penitentiary to Ward, Dewey, and Company of Galveston, comprised of A. J. Ward, E. C. Dewey, and Nathan Patton. The company may have secured the lease because Patton, known locally as “The Fox,” had secured patronage as a Republican who also served as a customs collector for the port of Galveston. Ward also “served as the director of both the Port of Galveston and the Bolivar Point Wharf and Cotton Press Company” (29), and was a strong contender for the lease due to his “large experience with the same duties in other states” (29).