January, 1876: Mississippi Legislature passes “Pig Law”

The law defining the theft of any property over $10 as grand larceny quadrupled the prison population.  The burgeoning convict leasing system was the main beneficiary and became a key to cheap labor throughout the state.

Image:  Woodcut from campaign literature published by supporters of T. M. Norwood, gubernatorial candidate in Georgia’s Democratic primary.  Norwood’s opponent is Alfred H. Colquitt, whom the leaflet accuses of exploiting prison labor. Georgia’s convict labor law is compared to those in Mississippi and other southern states.

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