Sale 343

Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War


Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 3001

Charleston, S.C. "SERVANT" Slave Identification Tag, 1828, copper, c. 51 x 51 mm, full, clearly punched text reads "Charleston/ 1828/ SERVANT/ No. 1527", "LAFAR" maker's mark punched on reverse, round hole at top for suspending around the neck; natural brown patina and green verdigris, Fine and rare.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000

A MOST DESIRABLE AND RARE SLAVERY ARTIFACT.

Although the practice of hiring out slaves was widespread, Charleston was the only town which required that these slaves wear tags and that the owners be licensed for them.

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Lot 3002
  Withdrawn
Lot 3003

Promissory Note for Hire of Slave, 1853, manuscript, c. 6½" x 4½", "for the hire of Peter a man and to furnish said negro with three suits of clothes…hat, blanket and shoes." Fine.
Estimate $100 - 150
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Lot 3004

Slave "Gordon" Carte de Visite Photograph, sepia image of the profile and horribly scarred back of a young black male slave who had bull-whipped after being captured trying to escape; Very Fine and exceedingly rare, especially in this choice condition. Only about seven are known to exist.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000

A RARE CARTE DE VISTE BEARING AN ICONIC SLAVERY PHOTOGRAPH.

Known only as Gordon, this young man escaped from his masters by rubbing his body with onion to hide his scent from tracking dogs. He made it across Union lines where Northern abolitionists had this photograph taken to publicize the horrors of slavery. When the image was reproduced in
Harper's, it bore the caption "Gordon Under Medical Inspection." The photo was the basis for a drawing used to illustrate an article entitled "A Typical Negro" in the July 4, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly (see next lot). Although a well-known image in its day, it is rarely encountered today in CDV format.
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Lot 3005

Harper's Weekly, July 4, 1863, 16 pages, tabloid; the complete issue featuring, on page 13, a drawing based on the preceding CDV photo of Slave "Gordon"; the illustration is one of three of Gordon used to illustrate the article, "A Typical Negro". The other two show Gordon as he looked upon arrival "into our linesat Baton Rouge" and "In his uniform as a U.S. Soldier". The front page of the paper features a drawing depicting the "Execution, By Hanging, of Two Rebel Spies, Williams and Peters…June 9, 1863"; pages separated with some tears and light damp stains, still Very Good; an important Civil War document.
Estimate $300 - 400
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Lot 3006

Estate Distribution - Bequest of Slaves, 1861 handwritten list of bequests from the estate of Levi McGraw including "one negro woman Betsy" valued at $531 and "one negro Boy Isaac" valued at $800. Fine.
Estimate $150 - 200
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Lot 3007

Slave Agents, 1856 letter soliciting "…a good permanent home for my servant Girl Lizzie, a yellow girl about 14 years. I want her employer to deal strictly with her; to require her to be obedient and respectful…for 6 or 12 months (not for life)…", the sender forwarded the letter on behalf of his uncle. Two one-inch pieces separated, one affecting the text, Fine. A "yellow" girl would have been one-quarter or one-eighth black.
Estimate $150 - 200
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Lot 3008

Married Slaves, 1841 folded letter from Natchez, Miss. to Henderson, Ky., well-written missive from a preacher who is just relocating to Mississippi from Kentucky and is in need of a carriage driver for his ailing wife, "…our own man Gabriel, the only competent one we own, is married & we cannot separate him from his wife…" [who is owned by another man in Kentucky]; the preacher is attempting, through the addressee, to buy Gabriel's wife for $700. Address leaf postmarked blue Natchez c.d.s. with manuscript "25" rate, Very Fine.
Estimate $200 - 300
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Lot 3009

Bill of Sale for Three Slaves, 1849 manuscript document, c. 7¼" x 4", Shelby, Ky., "…Ed, Tiller, & George Washington for the sum of Eleven hundred dollars", docketed on reverse "Bill of sale of Nigroes Ed Matilda & George", sold by one Rowtell Rice to John Lee (a cousin of Robert E. Lee). Fine.
Estimate $100 - 150
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Lot 3010
Iron Slave Shackles - Child Size, 3" x 2.75" half-moon iron shackles with 9" long connecting links, 3.5" long locking mechanism on one shackle but key missing; patined rust brown, Fine and rare.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500

A RARE PAIR OF CHILD SHACKLES SHOWING THE TRUE GRAVITY OF SLAVERY.

The small size of these shackles suggests that they were used for a small child or perhaps as wrist shackles for adults.

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Lot 3011

Hunting Fugitive Slaves, 1839 two-page letter from Juliet, Ill. [the original name of Joliet] to St. Louis regarding men who have come from St. Louis to enforce a claim for "a Negro Slave" and, allegedly to return him to his owner in St. Louis. The sender writes about "abbolisionists" having the men tried unsuccessfully for kidnapping, but nonetheless asserts that "…the gentlemen who have taken the Negro are Kidnapers [sic] and never will take him to St. Louis but will take him to some other point and sell him and put the money in their own pocketts [sic]". Address leaf postmarked red Juliet c.d.s. with manuscript "18" rate. some separation, otherwise Very Fine and most interesting.
Estimate $500 - 750
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Lot 3012

Fugitive Slaves, 1853 folded letter datelined Rockingham, N.C. to Lynchburg, Va. regarding a fugitive slave girl who was captured and jailed and eventually resold. The letter cites prices for these girls varying from $150 to $900; address leaf bears manuscript postmarks "Troublesome, N.C., July 30" and "Paid 3"; Fine. Runaway slaves were normally arrested and returned under the Fugitive Slave Act.
Estimate $100 - 150
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Lot 3013

Certificate of Manumission, 1845 manuscript document headed Galena, Ill. certifying that the bearer, one "Victoria Barbeau otherwise known as Mary Gray, a mulatto woman…and her son named Augustus…are free persons", it goes on to list her service record and ends with "…this certificate is given to her to prevent molestation or interruption as a supposed slave or person bound to service. (signed) Chas. S. Hempstead". Very Fine.
Estimate $200 - 300
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