These leg irons were sawed off a runaway slave named Sandy Dorsey at the insistence of Abby Hopper Gibbons, a New Yorker who served as a nurse with the Federal Army at Point Lookout, Maryland, during the Civil War. Gibbons subsequently obtained passage on a northbound schooner for the slave.
Abby Hopper Gibbons was a Quaker and an abolitionist. Her house on West 29th Street was the first documented safe house for runaway slaves on Manhattan. It was burned in the Draft Riots of July 1863.
(Gift of Miss Rachel Hopper Powell)