File Prison Board
Mount Airy, N. C.
December 14, 1918.
Hon. T. W. Bickett
My dear Governor:-
Replying to your favor of the 13th, I am very glad indeed to have this letter from you. I want to say frankly that this has been my opinion of the State Prison since I have been on the board. I will also state that I am of the opinion that there could be many a dollar saved by doing away with the central office in Raleigh in the State Prison. I furthermore believe that if this farm could be looked after more closely and our superintendent had the opportunity to stay with it, there could be a great deal of money made and saved by the operation. Of course, there are many things that will have to be considered in moving this central office, but it could be worked out, I think, very satisfactorily to yourself and to the State.
I am of the opinion that the farm in Halifax County is not considered by the State as valuable as it should be. I believe, furthermore, that this farm could be developed into a great asset to the State of North Carolina in working the convicts.
I would like to call your attention to the fact that I don’t think it would be any bad idea to consider buying a farm in the Piedmont section of Iredell or Cabarrus, and work the white labor in Western North Carolina. I am of the opinion that we could get better service and could make better citizens out of our white convicts if they were kept separate and worked separate on the farm, and not keep them all in one camp. I do believe that they are cared for the very best they possibly could be, considering the circumstances under which we are working. I only suggest the above for your consideration.
I am very glad indeed to have this opportunity of endorsing your letter, and I trust it can be carried out. In fact, I would like for you to meet with our Board at our next meeting, the 30th of this month. We would like to have your ideas of what you think would be best to carry out in the matter of the State Prison.
A. E. Smith