On July 1, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs removed a whipping post from public display on the grounds of the Old Sussex County Courthouse near the Circle in Georgetown.
What We Know:
- The post had been there since 1993. “Finally, Delaware is removing its last ‘Red Hannah,’ the whipping post, from the public’s view,” said Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, vice-chair of the Delaware Heritage Commission.
- Delaware was the last state to abolish the whipping post, last used in Delaware in 1952.
- The post was used as punishment to people of color who were involved in a variety of crimes throughout history, dating back to the 20th century.
- The removal of the post is a part of the protests calling for change and an end to systemic injustice fueled by the death of George Floyd and countless Black lives lost over the years.
- The post is being placed in the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA) storage facility with other historical objects and artifacts. “It is appropriate for an item like this to be preserved in the state’s collections, so that future generations may view it and attempt to understand the full context of its historical significance,” said HCA Director Tim Slavin.
HCA intends to work with people in the African American community who are knowledgable and educated on the topic in Delaware to explore plans for future display in a museum setting.