Hanging by the Ribs Punishment, Surinam, 1770s


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This record was last updated on 08 Mar 2011

Image Reference
NW0206

Source
John Gabriel Stedman, Narrative, of a Five Years' Expedition, against the revolted Negroes of Surinam . . . from the year 1772, to 1777 (London, 1796), vol. 1, facing p. 167. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Comments
Caption, "A Negro hung alive by the ribs to a gallows"; background shows skulls (presumably of beheaded slaves) on posts. This illustration was based on a 1773 eyewitness description. An incision was made in the victim's ribs and a hook placed in the hole. In this case, the victim stayed alive for 3 days until clubbed to death by the sentry guarding him who he had insulted. This and other engravings are found in the autobiographical narrative of Stedman, a young Dutchman who joined a military force against rebellions of the enslaved in the Dutch colony. The engravings are based on Stedman’s own drawings and were done by professional engravers. For the definitive modern edition of the original 1790 Stedman manuscript, which includes this and other illustrations see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988).