Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Unknown [Branding iron]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09727 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: s.l. Type: Object Date: 1800-1900 Pagination: 1 branding iron ; 54.25 x 11 x 5 cm. Order a Copy

One branding iron dated circa. 1800-1900. Features the initials B.C.C. The item was likely used on enslaved people.

Branding irons were used as punishment for escaped enslaved people who were caught. They were also used as a mark of ownership of an enslaved person.

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