noun: a line of slaves or animals fastened together
“The abolitionists understood the effect that depictions of an auction block, a slave coffleCarry Me Back
“There was the very real possibility that, if captured, families would be broken up, children separated from mothers, brothers from sisters, loved ones sold and marched south in slave coffles.” — From an article by John Kelly in The Washington Post, April 16, 2013
Did you know?
“Coffle” comes from the Arabic “qāfila,” which means “caravan” or “travelling company,” though in English it has been used more specifically to refer to a group of slaves or animals chained or strung together. One of the earliest known uses of “coffle” in English is found in the explorer Mungo Park’s 1799 Travels in the Interior of Africa. This was not the first time, however, that English had borrowed “qāfila.” About two hundred years earlier “cafila” started appearing in print as an Anglicization of the Arabic “qāfila” to indicate a caravan or company of travelers in the Middle East and India.