Description[Crime]. Report of the Directors and Officers of the Texas Penitentiary, For the Years 1856, '57. Printed by order of the Legislature of the State of Texas. Austin: Printed by John Marshall & Co., State Printers, 1857. First edition. 8vo. Slim wrappers. 46 pages. Original printed wrappers. One corner of rear wrapper and spine ends chipped, occasional mild foxing. With "B. A. Shepherd, Presented by Genl. [John S.] Besser, February 2nd, 1858" written in ink on front cover; ink list on rear cover. Very good. Scarce. Biennial report of the state prison at Huntsville, containing Directors' Report, Financial Agent's Report (John S. Besser), Superintendent's Report (James Gillaspie), and Physician's Report for the state prison at Huntsville. With a detailed list of the 94 inmates, including their crimes and sentences, received in that two-year period. From the papers of B.A. Shepherd.
Benjamin Armistead Shepherd was born in Virginia on May 14, 1814. Due to the poor conditions of the land and a dwindling family fortune, he left Virginia in the 1830s and arrived in Galveston, Texas. He married Mary Dobson in 1841 and settled in the growing town of Houston. A personal friend of General Sam Houston (whom he had met at age 19), Shepherd established himself as a prominent landowner and one of the foremost citizens of Houston, involving himself in many entrepreneurial adventures before founding and serving as president of the First National Bank of Houston in 1866. In 1875, he arrived in the newly formed San Jacinto County where he organized the town of Shepherd along the proposed Houston, East, and West Texas Railway. He died in Houston in 1891.
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