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    1861 Charleston SERVANT Slave Hire Badge. Number 2478. A diamond-shaped tag with clipped corners and a hole at the top for suspension, 48mm x 48mm. The manufacturer was most likely local silversmith William Rouse (for the last time). The elements on the front are as follows (top to bottom): "CHARLESTON" in a crescent-shaped bar punch; an incuse "2478" in individual punches; "SERVANT" in a rectangular punch; and "1861" bar punched. The appearance of this badge is generally very fine save for the fact that it has been bent and not flattened out totally. Obviously a dug specimen, there is some verdigris and the patina is dark brown. The devices are all quite visible and strongly stamped. Many of these are found bent like this one. Since the badges were not reusable year-to-year, they were often folded or defaced before being discarded.

    1861 was a fateful year for Charleston. South Carolina had voted on December 20, 1860 to become the first state to secede from the Union asserting one of the causes to be the election of Lincoln, a man "whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery." In April, the Civil War was started with the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The slave system they were fighting to maintain was nearing an end.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2006
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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