Video: Black Babies During Slavery and Early 1900s Used as Alligator Bait

Written by Jae Jones

Here is a shocking fact that really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but if you are like most people it will probably leave you feeling some type of way, babies during and the early 1900s were used as “baits for alligators”. There were many newspapers that ran headline advertisements for the use of little African babies as bait. Some Whites who told their story during that time, told a story of African babies coming out of the water happy and laughing. However, there is no proof that any child survived the ordeal. Most of the children used as bait were babies but there were some who were a year old as well.

Children were put out for the alligators while the hunters would wait behind the brush with their rifles, axes and other weapons to kill the gator. When the baby would attract the alligator, and the head would rise out the water, the hunters would shoot or axe the gator to death. Many women had their babies stolen from them during this time, the babies were often carried down to a part of the swamp and put in a big cage with other babies.  The children were often used over and over again until they were finally ate by the gator. There are some stories that say the babies were returned to their mother’s and a renters fee of $2 was paid if the gator was caught and killed. However, there is no proof of that happening.  Watch the video and explore the newspaper clippings linked below.

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Video by: YouTube

Babies used as alligator bait in state of Florida (1923, October 11) Atlanta Independent, p.1

Baits alligators with picaninnies (1908, June 13). Washington Times, p.2

Miami News Times



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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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