Salem, North Carolina (possibly) North Carolina United States of America
LOA 26; WOA 2 1/2
Originally catalogued as a “slave whip” by the Wachovia Historical Society in the early 20th century, this object resembles paddles used to punish the enslaved in the eighteenth and ninteenth centuries. The paddle has a leather handle that extends into a flat section onto which another layer of leather is sewn. The paddle has sixty evenly-spaced holes. Scholarship suggests that the form of the paddle (as a wide leather paddle rather than a traditional whip made from a narrow strip of leather) reduced the scarring that resulted from the punishment of the enslaved (George Ryley Scott THE HISTORY OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, 1968:69) Similar paddles made from wood are illustrated in period prints.
See http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1255 for a similar object of corporal punishment in use.
HISTORY: The slave paddle descended locally, although the original owner’s name is not known.
Wachovia Historical Society Collection