Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 3912

Territorial Penitentiary Wardens' administrative records

Some records may not be available for research from June 1-11, 2015 due to equipment upgrades. Please consider visiting beforehand or contacting the Research Center for more information.

Dates: 1855-1894.

2 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

An agency history is available.

Scope and Content

These records cover the administrations of Wardens Daniel Carn, Alexander McRae, J.A. Little, Albert P. Rockwood, and Frederick Kesler, and document the general administration of the penitentiary during Utah's territorial period. Included are prison record books which contain descriptions of prisoners, the findings and sentences of courts, a record of their confinement and a summary of their crimes. Journals and other financial records show the purchase of supplies and the proceeds realized from the labor of prisoners. Several reports and other documents contain good historical data about the penitentiary or record information about conditions there. These include a draft history written by Warden Rockwood in 1877, a questionnaire about prison conditions, and several reports written by Warden Kessler to the legislative assembly in the 1880s and 1890s. Other documents include warrants of confinement and the orders of release for individual prisoners, general correspondence, and some documents from a Justice of the Peace court about some specific cases.


Chronological by date.

Research Note

A diazo copy of the microfilm is available for loan. The best quality can be obtained through the film available only in the Research Center however.

Related Records

Warden's monthly statements from the Territorial Penitentiary, Series 10315, contains records created by the territorial warden related to administrative duties at the prison.

Prison commitment registers from the Department of Corrections. Inmate Services, Series 80388, contain prisoners' admission data beginning in 1875, continuing the record books of this series.

Custody History

The original papers and master reels of film are held by the LDS Church Archives; they provided the State Archives with microfilm reference copies during 1989.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Finding Aids

Indexes: Most of the financial journals have a subject and name index,.

Indexing Terms

  • Daniel Carn
  • J.A. Little
  • Frederick Kesler
  • Rockwood, Albert P
  • McRae, Alexander
  • Crime—Utah.
  • Prison administration—Utah—1855-1894.
  • Prison wardens—Utah.
  • Prisoners—Utah—1855-1894.

Container List

1 1 1 Record of United States prisoners, 1855-1866
1 1 2 Record of Territorial prisoners, 1855-1867
1 1 3 Record of Territorial prisoners, 1867-1874
1 1 4 Journal, Jan. 1862-Jan. 1864
1 1 5 Journal, Dec. 1863-Dec. 1867
1 2 1 Journal, Dec. 1867-Nov. 1871
1 2 2 Index to penitentiary ledgers, 1863
1 2 3 Warrants of confinement, 1854-1859
1 2 4 Warrants of confinement, 1860-1861
1 2 5 Warrants of confinement, 1862-1863
1 2 6 Warrants of confinement, 1864
1 2 7 Warrants of confinement, 1865-1866
2 2 8 Warrants of confinement, 1867-1868
2 2 9 Warrants of confinement, 1869-1870
2 2 10 Orders of release, 1856-1864
2 2 11 Orders of release, 1865-1866
2 3 1 Orders of release, 1867-1868
2 3 2 Orders of release, 1869
2 3 3 Correspondence, 1862-1869
2 3 4 Reports, orders, Justice's Court proceedings, depositions, 1860-1869
2 3 5 Financial papers, 1861-1864
2 3 6 Financial papers, 1865-1877
2 3 7 Record of the Utah Penitentiary, 1880-1885
2 3 8 Frederick Kesler papers, 1880-1894