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Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency

The Images: Individuals with Cotton

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Always on the left of the note, this appears on the Texas, Washington County, $3 (no date) [singlepic id=332 w=auto h=16 float=inline] , the Southern Railroad Company, $5 (1862) [singlepic id=305 w=auto h=16 float=inline] from Vicksburg, Mississippi, notes issued by Louisiana merchant John Bishop (1860s) [singlepic id=282 w=auto h=16 float=inline] and Josiah Morris Banker (1862) [singlepic id=348 w=auto h=16 float=inline] of Montgomery, Alabama.

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This image can be found on the Arkansas Treasury Warrant, $10 (1862) [singlepic id=252 w=auto h=16 float=inline]. It appears with a red “V” overprint on the Louisiana, St. John the Baptist Parish, $5 (1862) [singlepic id=289 w=auto h=16 float=inline].

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This image appears only on the denominations of the
Louisiana, Red River Packet Company, $2 (1861) [singlepic id=288 w=auto h=16 float=inline].

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This unique vignette is featured only on the New Orleans Bank of Improvement, $50 (1840) [singlepic id=287 w=auto h=16 float=inline].

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.

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Virginia, Traders Bank of Richmond, $20 (UNC) [singlepic id=334 w=auto h=16 float=inline]

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A realistic variation of this stylized image found on the T-29 [singlepic id=340 w=auto h=16 float=inline] note illustrates the following notes:

Alabama, Eastern Bank $10 [singlepic id=245 w=auto h=16 float=inline]

Bank of South Carolina, $20 (1857) [singlepic id=318 w=auto h=16 float=inline]

North Carolina, Bank of Lexington, $5 (1861) [singlepic id=310 w=auto h=16 float=inline]

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Georgia, Bank of Greensborough, $2 (1858)

Georgia, Bank of Commerce, $1 (1861) [singlepic id=272 w=auto h=16 float=inline]

[singlepic id=189 h=175 float=left]

State of Mississippi, 50 cents (1864) [singlepic id=303 w=auto h=16 float=inline]