The coming of statehood to California in 1850 forced the authorities to face one immediately pressing issue: what to do with the many convicts who were pouring forth from the local county courtrooms in the wake of the great Gold Rush of 1848-49. Lawlessness was everywhere rampant, and something had to be done immediately.
The answer was found in establishing the first state prison at Quentin Point in Marin County, soon to be called San Quentin. Librarians Bonnie Petry and Michael Burgess have here gathered together several key documents dealing with the earliest years of the prison, including James Harold Wilkins' seminal work, "The Evolution of a State Prison," together with a list of early convict names, a bibliography of "San Quentiniana" (publications by the convicts themselves) by Herman K. Spector, and a new annotated bibliography of nonfiction resources about the prison compiled by Ms. Petry.
Complete with Introduction and Index.