Once part of the Middle Passage Museum benefactor's inventory, these authentic and extraordinarily RARE, adult slave shackles with original KEY have been de-accessioned from the personal collection of the museum's anonymous, Georgia benefactor who is cited below.
These iron, plantation-made, 19th century shackles were once used on a Georgia plantation in Jones County, Georgia. They remain all-original and untouched with fourteen hefty chain links, measuring a total of 19.75 inches in length. The key is original to the shackle set. It slides easily into the lock, but I am hesitant to force turn it to unlock the mechanism. I will leave that determination to the next owner.
An utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery.
The anonymous Middle Passage Museum benefactor from Georgia kept this particular shackle set aside from those items he had planned to donate to the Middle Passage Museum due to the skilled form and construction the shackles demonstrate. His collecting sojourn began many years ago--in the early 1950's-- before the collecting field of Black Americana ever became mainstream or even socially or politically acceptable.
Also currently offered for sale and priced separately is a set of 19th century, hand-made, extraordinarily small, child slave shackles from a plantation in Americus, Georgia. This set, as well, has been de-accessioned from the personal collection of the museum's Georgia benefactor. Additionally offered are a fabulous, 19th century set of Louisiana Slave Ship shackles, and an ultra-rare, 19th century, slave rattle shackle out of the Charleston, South Carolina area -- all very atypical and extraordinary finds! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find these sets of shackles.
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."