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Office of Alston & Calhoun,
Attorneys and Counsellors at Law,
Corner Marietta and Broad Sts.

Atlanta, Ga. Septr 26th 1878

To His Excellency
Zebulon B. Vance
Raleigh
N.C.

Dear Sir,

The next General Assembly for the State will meet on the first Wednesday in November. I have been Elected to represent the County of DeKalb. I feel a very deep interest in improving our Penitentiary System, which is now being conducted under a contract to private parties at an annual hire of about $12 ea. The treatment of these poor people is as varied as the character of their overseers, & I earnestly desire to correct it by proposing a better system. Under our system over 9 per cent of the Convicts die annually. This is horrible & in fact I regard it a [nothing?] better than Capital punishment with slow torture added. Please send me the last annual report of your Principal Keepers & request that he accompany it with a clear & brief synopsis of the law possessing the punishment of penitentiary Convicts.
Your compliance with this request with really oblige,

Your Obt Servant,

R. A. Alston