The Trail of the Dead Years SIGNED 1932 by Earl Ellicott Dudding - Personal Narrative - Prison Reform - Criminology - Penal System


Title: The Trail of the Dead Years

Author: Earl Ellicott Dudding; William Winfred Smith (edited by)

Description: Inscribed by Dudding on ffep (see note below). Boards in blue cloth with gilt lettering on spine and front cover. Spine ends a bit frayed. One inch sections on top and fore edges of front board have been chewed. Inner hinges cracked, but firm. Pages clean. About 60 photographs and a few other illustrations. Index. x, 342 pages. 9.25 x 6.25 inches. A scarce inscribed and signed copy.

Dudding's personal account of his conviction and imprisonment and his efforts, following his release, to reform the penal system and prison management for the benefit of the inmates and for their financially impacted families. He also puts forth his theories of criminality (including biochemical predilection for crime) and discusses topics like alcohol, prohibition, and birth control.

Earl Ellicott Dudding (1871-1973) was the head of the Prisoners Relief Society and which he founded in 1914. A wealthy merchant of West Virginia, he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1910 and sentenced to five years incarceration. He served three years of his sentence at the Moundsville Penitentiary, and having made his own first-hand study of prison conditions, as well as through the testimony of others, he established the Prisoners Relief Society in order to further prison reform in the United States. Includes the Official Directory of the Principal State and Federal Prisons and Penal Institutions in the U.S. (which includes state schools for girls and boys, convict farms--colored, industrial schools, workhouses, etc.).

The inscription reads, "This book is given / to my friend G R. Buskirk / in memory of Doctor / E. S. Buffington / E. E. Dudding / Oct 4 - 1933". Doctor Edward Stanard Buffington (1847-1929) was a close friend of the Dudding's. He is mentioned multiple times in the book, including where it is noted that he was the one who suggested the name Prisoners Relief Society. He was the son of Huntington's first mayor, and was himself mayor in 1879-1880. After serving in the Confederate Navy during the war, he studied medicine at Jefferson College in Philadelphia and graduated in 1872. He then practiced medicine in Huntington as a family doctor.

Binding: Hardcover
Condition: Good
Jacket Condition: None

Publisher: Prisoners Relief Society
Place: Huntington, West Virginia; Washington D.C.
Year: 1932

Keywords: prison reform, criminology, United States, prisons, penal system, prison life, personal narratives,

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