Warden Solon Tenney

Warden Solon Tenney

Massachusetts Department of Correction, Massachusetts

End of Watch Monday, December 29, 1856

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Solon Tenney

Warden Solon Tenney was stabbed to death by a prisoner at the Charlestown State Prison.

The prisoner, a 20-year-old male, who was serving time in prison for assaulting a jail guard, was unhappy about the amount of meat he had been receiving at meal time. The man had made the knife in the prison shop. As Warden Tenney was making his rounds of the prison at approximately 3:30 pm the prisoenr ran up behind him and stabbed him in the neck. Warden Tenney was able to draw his revolver as he fell to the floor, but fired no shots. The guard on duty in the shop and two other prisoners restrained the inmate and placed him in irons.

Warden Tenney was taken to the prison hospital where he died from his wound.

The inmate later told an investigating coroner that he got the idea to stab Warden Tenney in the neck after another prisoner had stabbed Deputy Warden Galen Walker in the neck two weeks earlier.

The inmate was convicted of Warden Tenney's murder and sentenced to death. While awaiting his execution he died in prison on January 12th, 1858.

Warden Tenney had served in several correctional institutions over a 12-year period. He was survived by his wife of three weeks.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Warden Tenney, it has been 158 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for your 12 years of corrections service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

December 29, 2023

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