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Register of the McComb (John D.) Scrapbook, 1881-1891
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: McComb (John D.) Scrapbook,
    Date (inclusive): 1881-1891
    Collection number: Mss278
    Creator: A. Lamont Smith
    Extent: 0.25 linear ft.
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], McComb (John D.) Scrapbook, Mss278, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

    Access Points

    personal name

    McComb, John D. (1830-1896)

    corporate name

    San Quentin Prison (Calif.) -History -Sources
    Folsom Prison (Calif.) -History -Sources


    Prison wardens -California
    Prisons -California -History
    Crime -California -History
    Criminology -California -History
    Prison administration -California -History
    Prison industries -California -History


    John D. McComb (1830-1896) came to California on the steamer Oregon (1849). He worked as a printer in San Francisco, being associated with the Alta California for eighteen years, the last five of which he was managing editor. He subsequently became manager of the State Printing Office. From 1861 McComb was also associated with the California National Guard and was ultimately appointed a Brigadier General (1875). Governor Perkins selected him as Warden for Folsom Prison in 1881. He served there until transferred to San Quentin (1887) by Governor Waterman. McComb retired in 1891.
    Folsom Prison, east of Sacramento, was erected between 1878 and 1880. McComb was the prison's second Warden. When he assumed the office, Folsom held 275 prisoners. The convicts perfomed daily labor on a 489 acre prison farm, area roads, sewers and forests. McComb also oversaw the erection of a dam and power house that furnished electricity for the prison (1882). San Quentin Prison, on San Francisco Bay, was founded in 1852. When McComb became Warden there the prison population was over one thousand and the principal employment of that population was the manufacture of jute grain sacks.

    Scope and Content

    The John McComb Scrapbook contains 145 pages of clippings on McComb's career, Folsom and San Quentin prisons and general criminology in California (1881-1891). There is a subject index. Topics include: "prison reform," "prison investigations," "prison finance," "prison farms," graft, laws, and crimes.