Prisoners in Hats

Mugshots were still new at the turn of the century. The people pictured here were criminals but their names, deeds, and victims are forgotten. Their photos appear quaint, and could never be mistaken for those of modern inmates.

One interesting practice of this era was to allow prisoners to be officially photographed wearing hats. The hats tell us a lot about these prisoners: their occupation, their status, how much they cared about their appearance. Perhaps it was a wise trend. An escapee could cut or color his hair, for instance, but if he was a farmer chances are, he could be recaptured on a farm.

The following mugshots were taken at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary:

Ben Porter

John L. McMonigle

Mary Grayson, 19 years old in the year 1900 Convicted of larceny

Francisco Salinas, age 39. Smuggler

B.M. Burris


Caesar Franklin, undated, Leavenworth

Leslie Isis, 1912 Leavenworth


This fellow’s name was Julius Ceasar:

Julius Caesar, 1905, Leavenworth


Prisoner at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary

Sharper Grayson


One thought on “Prisoners in Hats

  1. Pingback: The Lucky Ones (the final installment of Mugshot March) – old spirituals

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