Mansfield Daily Shield. It is hard to process the thinking that could lead a person to actually use a live human baby as bait for an alligator. News reports identified the hard drive's source as a computer repair shop owner in Delaware. U.S. President Donald Trump touted the “antibody cocktail” as a COVID-19 “cure” that he intended to make available to the American public. And, just as clearly, the pickaninnies-as-bait trope must have been fabricated by out-of-town editors with no qualms about exploiting racist stereotypes to sell the story. Their jaws generate up to 3,700 pounds per square inch, or 16,460 newtons, of bite pressure at a time. “Baits Alligators with Pickaninnies.” We checked this conclusion with folkorist and African American studies professor Patricia Turner, who has probably done more research on the “alligator bait” motif than anyone else in the world, and asked her if she had ever come across information suggesting that the phenomenon might be real. In the article two “small colored children happened to drift through the reptile house among the throng of visitors” and they were “pressed into service.” The alligators “wobbled out as quick as they could after the ebony mites, who darted around the tank just as the pursuing monsters fell with grunts of chagrin into the water.” The alligators were “coaxed” into their summer quarters by “plump little Africans” (“Baits Alligators”). These black babies were stolen, caged and fed to alligators whole!    12 September 1923. What the f**k? What Is the Bite Pressure of an Alligator. Equally incredible are articles we came across during our research reporting that infants have been similarly used as “crocodile bait” in countries other than the United States. “Where did we get these babies for bait? ", We pay for your stories! Shut yo’ eye bye and bye, “The baby wasn’t baited on a hook like a minnow or a fish worm, but simply secured on the river bank so that it couldn’t creep or toddle away or tumble into the river. 15 February 2015. All the fellow who wanted to go crocodiling had to do was to noise abroad his intention and it wasn’t long before native women would flock in with their babies to be rented out for bait. “Use Pickaninnies for Alligator Bait.” Some babies don’t like their being made crocodile bait of, but that fact increased their value to the sportsmen, for then they yelled and made a great noise, which was just what the crocodiles were waiting to hear, and they’d come hurrying from all directions to have a chance at the babies. Were Black Children Used as Alligator Bait in the American South. A 31 October 1899 article in the Youngstown Vindicator purported to draw comparisons between how alligators were hunted in the American South and how crocodiles were hunted in Asia and Africa: The alligator is like the crocodile in this respect. Baby alligators usually have about sixty to eighty teeth at a time to eat their favorite type of snails, worms, birds, fish and insects. He seemed pretty enthusiastic at first - and even tried to bait the reptile into biting his tongue - but soon came to regret his decision. In the article T.W. “Babies for Bait.” We cannot demonstrate that no infant anywhere, irrespective of color or creed, was ever used as reptile bait. But we did find an item in the Times, one that was published on the same date (13 June 1908), describing the transfer of the same number of alligators (25) from their winter to their summer housing in New York’s Bronx Zoological Garden. The Internet is a wonderful tool for learning, but sometimes the most important lesson it teaches us is that we can’t take the information we find there for granted. There is no mention whatsoever of “bait”: Visitors to the Bronx Zoological Garden yesterday afternoon had the good fortune to witness the sport that accompanies an alligator hunt without going to the swamps of Florida when the alligators were taken from the reptile house to their Summer quarters in the open pond. The article describes the process of placing the babies near the alligator’s haunts, with the hunters hidden behind the brush with their rifles. yo’s mammy little alligator bait. We are unable to prove the negative, of course. G.W. One proved to be a fictionalization of a New York Times report that never once mentioned “pickaninnies,” while the other is best characterized as racist satire. The man filming the bizarre stunts egged him on by saying: "Jonathan let him bite your finger, go for the snout. “I have not seen any evidence to suggest that it was true,” she said, adding that it would have been all the more unlikely during the era of slavery, when a black child would have been a much more valuable commodity than an alligator. A nice, fat baby is tied by the leg to a stake near some pond or lagoon where crocodiles abound. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002. A 2014 article in the Miami New Times agreed that these claims are supported by good research: It has been pretty well documented recently that, during slavery and into the 20th Century, black babies were used as alligator bait in North and Central Florida.    31 October 1899. listen to me tell yo’, The little babes serve as a bait to bring the animals on the banks, and by this means it is possible to get many animals which could not be reached in any other way. “Alligators in Summer Home.” “The Pickaninny Caricature.” Humans, in comparison to alligators, produce approximately 890 newtons of bite force, or 150 to 200 psi, when biting into meat, such as chicken, steak or pork. The ruling price per head for the young heathen was about six cents for the day….”. "Holy f**k he's got my f*****g sack dude," he saaid trying to free himself from its vice-like grip. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. The bite strength of alligators exceeds the power of bites produced by humans and many other animals. It's no secret that cats love sitting on your laptop, but the reason remains a mystery. These creatures exude a tremendous amount of power with each snap of their jaws, which is enough to instantly kill their prey. As the camera panned to his face, he said: "Just let him f*****g be dude. We found many other instances of the adaptation of this story (which, despite appearances, almost certainly originated in the United States), some versions dating back to 1888. It’s the same incident, clearly. A few weeks after Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping. “Jew Persecutions.” Carnivorous land mammals, such as lions, tigers and hyenas, produce approximately 1,000 psi when they close their jaws on prey, which translates to around 4,450 newtons. The baby is then taken to the shore of some pond or river, where it is attached to a stake by means of a stout cord that has been tied around its waist, while the hunter conceals himself in the brushes or swamp grass near the place. Dangling them near the mouths of hungry 700 pound alligators! The passage accurately quotes a story that appeared in the Washington Times (and many other papers across the country) on 13 June 1908: One ought not to take its veracity for granted, however, not least because it is studded with such “facts” as the following: It was a keeper’s idea to bait the saurians with pickaninnies, knowing as he did their epicurean fondness for the black man. It was still making the rounds 10 years later. But neither has anyone proved to date that infants were, in fact, used in such a manner. “Alligator Bait.” Even Time magazine was suckered into synopsizing the tale. mam will whip yo’ if yo’ cry, He likes to eat babies, not his own awkward offspring, but nice human babies, fat and dimpled. The alligator hunters kidnapped black infants, skinned them alive, and tied their neck to a string and dropped them into a swamp! 679215 Registered office: 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF. The bite pressure of alligators is slightly different depending on the specific species, but saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bites. When a saurian approaches his prey, he is shot by the riflemen.”, The Louisville Herald: “Florida alligator hunters do not ever miss their target”, The price reported as being paid colored mothers for the services of their babies as bait was “$2.00 a hunt.”, Neither of the two “news” stories thus far put forward as “evidence” of black children being used as alligator bait — the first published in 1908, the second in 1923 — is credible. Equipped with poles and ropes, Head Keeper Snyder, assisted by Keeper Toomey and some men drawing moving cages, approached the reptile house at 2 o’clock and commenced their task. mammy’s little piccaninny’s gwine to get a present mighty soon, Froude, James Anthony and Tulloch, John. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? The bite strength of alligators exceeds the power of bites produced by humans and many other animals. “The infants are allowed to play in shallow water while expert riflemen watch from concealment nearby. We pay for videos too. Pilgrim, David. Another oft-cited article details an incident that supposedly happened in a place called Chipley, Florida in 1923. “Alligators commit errors of diet.”. “On a Historical Hunt for Crocs and Baby Bait.” News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. For other inquiries, Contact Us. Email us at or call 0207 782 4368. 2012. For example, a story in the 10 August 1894 edition of the Mansfield Daily Shield purported to chronicle the exploits of a British officer hunting crocodiles in India: “We used to have great sport in India going out after crocodiles with Hindoo babies for bait,” said an ex-army officer of the British army. The entire article, which goes on at some length, is based on the testimony of a single individual: an unnamed ex-British army officer who claimed not only that he bagged 100 crocodiles by using the same “Hindoo infant” as bait again and again, but also that when he tried to accomplish a similar feat in Florida, he was rebuffed by the local mothers: “I was in Florida a year or so ago and tried to hire a baby to experiment with for alligators after the method in India, but folks who owned babies down there didn’t seem to enter into the spirit of the sport, and I couldn’t get one.