North Carolina's State Prison was typical of American prisons in the 19th century, but with an important difference. North Carolina put most of its inmates outside prison walls to work on road camps and prison farms for the purpose of getting useful work out of them. Opened in 1870, the prison in Raleigh housed only a fraction of the prisoners. Those inmates were for the most part too old, too sick, or too feeble to handle anything other than light institutional work details. This book explores all three components of North Carolina's early prison system, including its use of prison chain gangs, and clarifies how a penitentiary differs from a reformatory, correctional institution, or community-based facility.