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Open circular iron shackle. In 1860 Robert McFarland, a blacksmith in Lexington, Missouri, cut this shackle from the leg of an escaped slave. The slave was an elderly man who had fled from a nearby farm after receiving horrible treatment at the hands of his owner. A neighbor brought the man to McFarland's shop and asked him to help remove the shackle, which was connected to a 5-foot chain and a 20-pound iron ball. After removing the device, McFarland threw the ball and chain into a well and buried the shackle near his foundry. When the family moved to Kansas in 1871, McFarland dug up the shackle and brought it with him. He donated it to the Kansas Historical Society in 1893.

Date: between 1855 and 1860

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Leg shackle - 1

Item Number: 315730
KSHS Identifier: 1893.4.0

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