These 19th century leg-irons were used to restrain the enslaved. The metal bar is turned and withdrawn and the two horseshoe-shaped rings fitted around the ankles. The bar is then replaced, turned, and locked into position. Sometimes two captives were chained in pairs with the leg-irons on board ship to limit their movement below deck. These leg-irons are made of rough solid iron and very heavy. They would rub the skin causing it to chaff, bruise and bleed.
There are a number of eye-witness accounts of the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade and the infamous 'Middle Passage',...Read more...