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    1860 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 2175. A slightly convex diamond-shaped tag with clipped and rounded corners and a hole for suspension, 46mm x 46mm. Manufactured by silversmith William M. Rouse. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch; "1860" bar punched; "SERVANT" in a rectangular bar punch; and an incuse "2175" in individual punches. The surface is slightly porous, and it exhibits a pleasing chocolate patina.

    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). There were an estimated 5196 badges manufactured with the 1860 date.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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