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Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency

The Images: Individuals with Cotton

Always on the left of the note, this appears on the Texas, Washington County, $3 (no date)

, the Southern Railroad Company, $5 (1862)  from Vicksburg, Mississippi, notes issued by Louisiana merchant John Bishop (1860s)  and Josiah Morris Banker (1862)  of Montgomery, Alabama.

This image can be found on the Arkansas Treasury Warrant, $10 (1862)

. It appears with a red “V” overprint on the Louisiana, St. John the Baptist Parish, $5 (1862) .

This image appears only on the denominations of the
Louisiana, Red River Packet Company, $2 (1861)


This unique vignette is featured only on the New Orleans Bank of Improvement, $50 (1840)


Note the seed coming from the slave’s hand. It is unknown whether he is sowing for a plantation owner or himself using seeds brought over from Africa. New Orleans was the leading slave importing port in America and many seeds were introduced from salves’ native lands.

Virginia, Traders Bank of Richmond, $20 (UNC)

A realistic variation of this stylized image found on the T-29

 note illustrates the following notes:

Alabama, Eastern Bank $10

Bank of South Carolina, $20 (1857)

North Carolina, Bank of Lexington, $5 (1861)

Georgia, Bank of Greensborough, $2 (1858)

Georgia, Bank of Commerce, $1 (1861)

State of Mississippi, 50 cents (1864)