The Civil War in Missouri

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Instrument of Torture Used by Slaveholders

From Harper's Weekly, 1862
MHM Library

Harper’s Weekly published this image of an escaped slave in Missouri seeking refuge with Union troops during the war. Writing from Montgomery City, a soldier described the device as “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.” The slave had been wearing 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.”