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    Description

    1860 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 1237. A flat diamond-shaped tag with clipped corners and a hole at the top for suspension, 49mm x 49mm. Manufactured locally by William Rouse. The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch (CHAR weak/off the edge); "1860" bar punched; "SERVANT" in a rectangular punch; and an incuse "1237" in individual punches. Condition is good with corrosion causing several pinhole-sized holes. It is very dark in color and the surface is a bit rough. The elements are all legible however and the actual overall appearance is very presentable.

    The Mercury newspaper of December 23, 1859 quoted the statute regarding those applying "...for a Badge or Badges, shall take and subscribe before him the following oath to wit: 'I A.B. do solemnly swear (or affirm) that the negro or negroes (stating the name and number) is or are my property, and is or are of the ages respectively stated, or the property of C.D. (as the case may be), and that the employment of every such slave when working on hire, is to be no other than such as is now mentioned by me: so help me God.' And the City Treasurer shall grant no Badge unless such oath or affirmation be previously taken and subscribed before him by the person applying..." (Greene et al, Slave Badges and the Slave Hire System..., 148).


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2006
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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