To the Chief Post-Office Inspector,
Washington, D. C.
December 14, 1906 I received into this penitentiary one William B. Schwartz, sent from Indianapolis, Indiana by the United States District Court of Indiana to be imprisoned four years in this institution for counterfeiting. He was discharged on expiration of sentence December 25, 1909, and he returned to Indianapolis. Since that time he has tried to get into correspondence with a number of prisoners here who are supposed to have some money and to secure fees from them.
Not long ago, the Department of Justice had occasion to make investigation of some contraband correspondence that was going on between some of the guards of this prison and outside parties, connected with an attempt to smuggle morphine and other drugs in for the use of the prisoners. One of the prisoners in our charge is one named James Manuel, who has some money in the hands of banking institutions in Oklahoma from whence he was sent. One or two of the guards got him to sign checks on this bank account, which they succeeded in collecting and for which they brought in contraband articles to him. The investigation connected with these cases brought out the facts that a prisoner named James Albert Rhodes #6252 was carrying on this correspondence through a guard who was promptly dismissed.
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Rhodes’ active partner on the outside was a woman known as Nellie Dove, or Nellie Cain, who had been a partner with Rhodes in some counterfeiting operations in Colorado; had been convicted with him in the United States Court and had served a sentence of one year and a half, or such a matter, in the State Prison of Colorado as a United States Prisoner, while Rhodes was sent for the same offense for five years to this prison. As soon as she was released she sought to get into communication with Rhodes, with whom she is very much infatuated.
In investigating the case, we found among her papers the enclosed two letters, – one written to her on July 6th by William B. Schwartz from Indianapolis. This is the same Schwartz that was here in prison; also one written to her July 14th, both having for their object the release of “Bert”, who is Rhodes above mentioned. They We also found two letters written to James Manuel, and these two letters are signed by Schwartz under the name of Geo. Manuel. It seems that Schwartz had been carrying on a contraband correspondence with Manuel through one of the guards who were discharged, and also getting money out of Manuel in various ways, and it had probably occurred to Schwartz that Mrs. Dove would be a good hand to operate through, consequently you will notice in the enclosed letters that he is conferring with her about Manuel. She wrote another letter to Manuel and was making quite free with him in the correspondence line when she discovered that Manuel was a black negro, there-upon, her ardor somewhat cooled and the deal is substantially broken up; but it has occurred to me that a careful inspection by officers of your Department, assisted by these letters, might
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show that Schwartz in using the mails for fraudulent purposes, and put a stop to his career in that line, as it seems one penitentiary sentence has not been sufficient to cure him.
I submit them therefore for your consideration, asking that if you do not find anything in the matter worthy of further investigation, that you will return these letters to me as I wish to keep them in the files for possible future use. There is no doubt that Schwartz is a thorough paced scoundrel and will be using every opportunity to practice fraud wherever it will bring him money.
I will be glad to co-operate with your officers and furnish them any further evidence that we may come across in progress of the investigation which is now being made by the Department of Justice.
Letter from Warden R. W. McClaughry to Chief Post Office Inspector, 15 August 1910, William B. Schwartz, Prisoner no. 5476; Inmate Case Files, U. S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, 1895-1931, Record Group 129; National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri.
Funny comment: “her ardor somewhat cooled” !!
Uh-Oh is right: “it seems one penitentiary sentence has not been sufficient to cure him.” “there is no doubt that Schwartz is a thorough paced scoundrel and will be using every opportunity to practice fraud wherever it will bring him money.”
There’s gotta be a novel here!