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    1860 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 2679. A slightly convex diamond-shaped tag with clipped corners and a hole for suspension, 50mm x 50mm. Manufactured by silversmith William M. Rouse. The elements on the obverse are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch ("E" slightly weak); "1860" bar punched; "SERVANT" in a rectangular bar punch; and an incuse "2679" in individual punches. The surface is just a bit rough and exhibits a medium to dark brown patina.

    1860 was a year in which the badge laws came under much debate. With the secession crisis looming in the horizon, many whites protested against having to compete against slave labor especially in the skilled occupations such as Mechanic. By this point in the system, many slaves were acting as their own "agents" negotiating deals for their labors without even involving their masters. Eventually the state of South Carolina turned it over to the city of Charleston, which basically let the process continue as it had been. 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: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 640

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