Tortured Slave


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Original 1862 Portrait of:

A Tortured Slave 

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Tortured Slave

Tortured Slave

A Tortured Slave

You are viewing an original 1862 portrait of a tortured slave.  It is from an original 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, the most popular illustrated newspaper of the day.  Note that this is not a reprint, and I absolutely guarantee its authenticity.  This leaf is over 130 years old, and the date  is clearly marked on the front of the print. On the day this leaf was printed, Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States, and people were being held in bondage across this land.

This is an extremely rare and highly collectible piece of Black History.  The illustration in the lower right of the leaf shows a run away slave with a horrible iron torture device tightly clamped around his neck.  The man is shown running through the underbrush with a look of terror on his face.  The illustration is captioned, " Instrument of Torture Used by Slaveholders".  The instrument of Torture is a large steel collar with three long spikes protruding from it. The device would prevent a man from laying down to rest. Anyone subjected to this torture would be forced to stand in order to not be choked to death.

Making this an even more important piece, above the illustration is a fascinating story entitled, "Instrument of Torture Among Slaveholders".  The story includes grisly details of this cruel device.  The story reads, " . . . I send you a sketch of the instrument used by the secession slave masters of Missouri to punish their Negroes.  Not long since one of these wretched victims came within our lines with an instrument of this description round his neck.

It was securely riveted there, and required an hour's filing before it could be removed.  This proved to e a very painful operation to the poor contraband; for his neck was so snugly incased by the iron band, and the instrument was of such a peculiar shape, as to render the operation difficult t accomplish.  The Negro stated that he had worn it for two months.  The form of the instrument prevented him from lying down and taking his rest at night; and its weight and close fit rendered it very burdensome during the day.  It consisted of a heavy iron ring, fitting closely round the neck, from which extended three prongs each two feet in length, with a ring on the end. . . . He (the slaveholder) is now a prisoner held as a traitor to his country, and awaiting punishment due his crime; and if he does not receive it at earthly tribunal he certainly will at the tribunal of an outraged conscience."

WOW!- what incredible historical content.  Original material featuring significant slave content is becoming extremely difficult to find, and this is an outstanding example.  It is hard to understand how such cruelty could have ever existed in this country. This is an extremely rare piece, and one that will make a stunning display when framed and placed in your office or study.  It will become the center of attention wherever it is displayed.  I assure you that this leaf will not only be cherished by its new owner, but by generations to come.

Unlike newsprint of this century, these older, original pages do not yellow and fall apart.  The reason is that modern newspapers use an acid based process.   Remnant acid in the paper causes the paper to quickly yellow and deteriorate.   A different process was used in the mid-1800's which yielded an exceptional quality paper that will last for centuries. Special acid free mats should be used when you frame this piece to ensure that it will last another 150 years.  Acid free mats are available at most better frame shops.  If you have any questions related to handling or framing this piece feel free to email me. The print is approximately 10 3/4 X 16 inches.  I have been collecting Civil War Newspapers for over 10 years.  It is a fascinating hobby, and I find that these pieces really get noticed when framed and displayed.

The leaf is in good  condition. It has the rich sepia tone that you expect in original material from this period.  It has a tear in the lower left image, which was repaired ages ago with a piece of tape. The tape repair can be seen in the image above, and does not affect the image of the slave.  Several small margin tears have been repaired.  It is highly displayable, and I guarantee your satisfaction! 





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