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Slave bill of sale and confederate money, 1849, 1861

By Mary A. Sego

Collection Overview

Title: Slave bill of sale and confederate money, 1849, 1861

Extent: 0.2 Cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Items have been placed in chronological order.

Date Acquired: 10/21/2010

Languages: English [eng]

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Slave bill of sale and Confederate money (1849-1861; 0.45 cubic feet) provide original examples of slave deeds and Confederate currency of this time period.  Both are in good, condition, considering the age.  There is also an image of Abraham Lincoln with the materials.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 mss. box

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation: MSP 85, Slave bill of sale and Confederate money, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries

Other Note:

This sale deed outlines the sale of a “mulatto slave, by one James Shaw Brander in the parish and city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana for and in consideration of the Sum of Eight Hundred and Fifty Dollars… paid by Dennis T. Donovan of the parish and city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana …a certain mulatto slave named David King about 26 years of age…” May 3, 1849.

Also included in this collection is a $20 Confederate bill.  After the Civil War broke out in 1861, the newly established Confederate government began to issue its own money as legal tender to the citizens of the South. The gamble was that if the South won the war, the money would be redeemable. The first note from the Government of the Confederate States of America was issued in April of 1861.  From then on, notes were issued on through 1864. Almost every Confederate note was painstakingly hand signed and numbered. It is not uncommon for these notes to have uneven, or rough borders since scissors or shears were used to hastily cut the sheets of notes apart.  The $20 Confederate bill in this collection has rough borders, such as this.

Counterfeiting became a major problem for the South.  The North played a big role in this action by printing counterfeit notes and distributing them in the South causing massive inflation.  As the end of the war got closer, Southern citizens lost all confidence in the Confederate currency.  Bartering and the black-market Northern "greenbacks" took over as main forms of exchange for goods and services.  By the end of the war, Confederate notes were totally worthless.

Box and Folder Listing