Page 7 - WPA Book
P. 7
Works Project Administration – Articles from Rockingham County

ANTIQUES

1. SUBJECT:
Relic in Drug Store of Dr. J.N. Dickenson

2. LOCATION:

3. DATE:

4. OWNERS:
Dr. J.N. Dickenson, present owner.

5. DESCRIPTION:
This relic is a handmade iron shackle, which was used to shackle or bind the feet together of unruly, disobedient
slaves before the War Between the States. It is made clamp-shaped with a rivet-like hinge at one end, and opens
like a pair of tongs. A slot and V in opposite end and fastened by a padlock on the other end. This was locked
on the lower limbs above the ankles, which prevented walking and was severe punishment.

Some masters used the “Black Snake” whip in addition to the shackles.

Dr. Dickenson plans to donate this shackle to the Williamsburg foundation later on, with a brief history of same.

6. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
None.

7. ART:
None.

8. SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
Informant: Dr. J.N. Dickenson.
Personal inspection.

August 6, 1939 W.A. Byerly
Bridgewater, VA

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