antedating chain gang (1813)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Sep 19 22:54:59 UTC 2007

At 9/19/2007 02:28 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>Two separate groups, right? Whites in debtor's prison released on
>their own recognizance, as they say on Law'n'Order, and a chain gang
>of blacks returned to their owners?

Certainly.  Debtors were not owned.  Nor were whites -- at least not
in the continental colonies; the islands might have been different --
viz. "Captain Blood", 1935, where Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland
each refers to (having bought and) owning the other (at different
times, of course).  [No Freudian subtext here.]


>On 9/19/07, Stephen Goranson <goranson at> wrote:
> > The few prisoners confined for debt at the jail in Roseau, in
> consequence of its
> > dilapidated state, were released under parole of honor to
> surrender, and the
> > chain gang of culprits is delivered over to their owners.
> >
> > Stephen Goranson

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