Paddling a Slave, U.S. South, 1845

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Image Reference

Trial and imprisonment of Jonathan Walker, at Pensacola, Florida, for aiding slaves to escape from bondage (Boston, 1845). (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-90726)

Captioned "Common mode of whipping with the paddle," this illustration is from an anti-slavery tract. In his "The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South" (New York, 1972) John Blassingame describes punishments meted out by "cruel masters"; "black men," he writes, "were bent over barrels or tied down to stakes while paddles with holes in them broke blisters on their rumps" (p.163).