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-- THE ARCHIVE --


UNITED STATES
Reformatory CP - December 1890



Corpun file 23601

The Climax, Richmond, Kentucky, 24 December 1890, Supplement p.4

Old-style Spanking.

The Head of a Reformatory Introduces an Effectual Remedy for Insubordination.


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As is well known, Major Robert W. McClaughry, recently warden of the State penitentiary at Joliet, is now the successful warden of the State reformatory at Huntington, Pa. He has conceived and adopted a new system of punishment for such institutions which will doubtless provoke extended discussion at the next world's prison congress. One day, says the Chicago Blade, the sharp-eyed Major, detecting one of the inmates in violation of the rules of the shoe-shop, picked up a leather sole at hand and treated the astonished offender to a thorough and impressive spanking. The effect was so wholesome and touching that it came to the Major as an inspiration that he had stumbled across the ideal nineteenth century system of punishment.

He adopted the process at once, and is charmed with its success. For fear that exaggerated reports of the punishment might reach the public and accusations of undue severity follow, he concluded to confer with the highest authorities in relation to it. He interviewed the Governor of Pennsylvania and explained the plan and its workings to him. The Governor was convulsed with laughter and said "Major, I heartily congratulate you on having struck the keynote and I assure you that the good people of this commonwealth will sustain you in this 'war measure.' I promise you the backing of the National Guard if necessary in your poetical plan of spanking reformation into your rebellious subjects."

He then called upon the chairman of the State Board of Charities, an old-time Quaker, and explained the situation to him. The Quaker smiled broadly and said "Major, thee deserves thanks and should go on with thy noble work. It reminds me of my sainted mother, who has been in Heaven many a year. It was her favorite method of correction and I tell thee, Major, she did it well. It is proper and humane, and I approve of thee handsomely spanking the boys into submission and obedience."

The Major returned to his reformatory thoroughly convinced that his improved process of punishment would receive general approbation. So now the weekly spanking school is a feature of the institution and the Major's strong right arm wields the avenging leather. The result is quite beneficial and the infraction of the rules are [sic] less frequent and flagrant as the inmates have a wholesome dread of the shame, disgrace and stinging pain of the Major's orthodox spanks.

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