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Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency

The Images: Field Scenes

T-41 Confederate States of America, $100 (1862)

State of Alabama, $5 (1864)

Southern Bank of Kentucky, $5 (1853)

Michigan, Adrian Insurance Company, $1 (1853) (full note not pictured)

It is unusual to find a plantation related vignette on a Northern note. The Planters Bank of New York has one, for example. The Michigan vignette is significant in that the image is extended a full inch to the right making up one seventh of a seven inch wide note. It also has greater clarity of engraving than either the State of Alabama or the Southern Bank of Kentucky.

State of South Carolina, $50 (1857)

Tennessee, Bank of Chattanooga, $3 (1863)

State of Missouri, $50 Defense Bond (no date)

State of Mississippi, $100 Treasury Note

State of Florida, $1 (1864)

Georgia Savings Bank, $20 (1867)

Georgia, Farmers & Mechanics Bank, $2 (not pictured)

 The “mother” of several notes is the Central Bank of Alabama, $10 (1857) . This vignette covers eighty percent of left and top of the note.

Two “sub-vignettes” are seen in several other states:

Alabama, Selma, Marion & Memphis RR Co., $2 (1871)

Virginia, Traders Bank of Richmond, $50 (UNC)
Virginia, Town of Staunton, 25 cents (no date)
South Carolina, Corporation of Columbia, 5 cents (1861)
Louisiana, Geo. W. Gregor & Co., 100 cents (1860s)
State of Florida, $10 (1862) (not pictured)

A variation of the image, in which the woman’s face has been altered, can be found on a sight draft from 1877


North Carolina, Miners & Planters Bank, $10 (1860)

Georgia, Bank of Columbus, $20 (1856)