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    Slavery: Children's Shackles. While Southern slaveholders viewed slaves are mere chattal and property that could be disposed of at will, there was one vexing problem. Personal property was inanimate and tended to stay in one place. Slaves, however, were mobile and often ran off, seeking their freedom. Accordingly, security measures had to be taken to protect this valuable asset. This lot contains a graphic reminder of the cruelty of slavery; namely, a pair of hand-wrought leg shackles. What makes these all the more shocking is their intended wearers. Based on the circumference of the openings and other additional research, we believe these were used on children. The oddly-shaped hand-wrought devices contain lateral "pockets" that contain pieces of metal that rattle as the wearer moves about. Should the slave wander off, his or her location could easily be determined by the sound of the rattle. We assume one shackle was placed on each leg and a chain threaded through the attached rings and secured with a lock. These likely date from the late 18th or early 19th century.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,663

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