The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 410
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas convicts leased to the Henderson-Tompkins Farm in Milam County work
on a levee under the watchful eyes of armed guards, c. 191o. Thomas S.
Henderson served as president of the University of Texas Board of Regents.
Photograph courtesy the Thomas S. Henderson Papers, Center for American History,
University of Texas at Austin, CN z15 6.
allegation "that on the Ramsey Farm they were going to whip fifteen
men and that they waited until I came." Since Ramsey had not promptly
denied the charge, the Colquitt camp suggested that the rumor was like-
ly true. In response, the former chairman of the Texas Prison Board
defensively and somewhat crudely retorted:
That story is about as dirty a lie as a dirty liar ever told in Texas in a dirty week.
Never in my life did I see a man whipped in a penitentiary. I was never, so far as
I believe, within 2oo miles of the place where a man was whipped. I was never on
the Ramsey Farm but one time in my life.'"
Ramsey raised additional questions concerning his diligence as an
administrator when he attempted to counter Colquitt's reports of convict
tribulations at the Texas State Railroad. "I was never on the road, never
about it, I never gave consent or ever gave anybody any authority to whip
anyone." Calling his listeners attention to Colquitt, Ramsey restated: "The
Governor said again, that we in building the state railroad left a great trail
of blood that-blood drawn from the helpless convicts, every foot of the
right away of that railroad." Although Ramsey, perhaps quite plausibly,
" "Speech of Judge W. F. Ramsey at Taylor, Texas on June 2o, 1912," box 2E 177, Colquitt
Papers (quotations). The charges stemmed from an account in the Hallettsville Rlebel, a Socialist
Party organ. See Broadside: 'Judge Ramsey Points to the Facts and Shows Up Colquitt's Real
Penitentiary Record," TXC-D Colquitt Papers; and Broadside: "Judge Ramsey Makes Answer to
False Charges," TXC 10o6, Colquitt Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/478/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.