Officials removing whipping post near Georgetown Circle
GEORGETOWN, Del. – The whipping post on the grounds of the Old Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown will be taken down on Wednesday morning.
State officials say the decision was made in response to calls from the community as well as “in recognition of the violence and racial discrimination that its display represents to many Delawareans.” According to historians, the post was disproportionately used for public corporal punishment involving the Black community. People sentenced to whipping could be lashed up to 40 times for a single offense. The post was last used in 1952 but was installed outside the courthouse in 1993 and state historical experts say its removal is long overdue.
“There are people alive in Sussex County who remember seeing individuals whipped at the whipping post and that is something one never forgets, the post traumatic stress of such spectacle punishment is finally being remediated at long last,” says Dr. David Young, the executive director of the Delaware Historical Society.
The whipping post is property of the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and will be put into a storage facility. 47 ABC asked the town of Georgetown if they had a comment on its removal and they say, “We see this as a continuation of improving our community and some things belong in a museum and this might be one of those things.”