Lot 9: 8 Civil War slave-related "patriotic covers" (illustrated envelopes)

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PBA Galleries

2017-07-25 10:27:17

Lot 9

Heading: African-American, 1863-64 - Civil War. Title: Eight slave-related Civil War 'patriotic covers' (illustrated envelopes). Place Published: Various places. Date Published: n.d. Description: Group of 8 unused Civil War "patriotic covers" {envelopes}, each with slave-related engraved illustrations. Approximately 3 x 5.5". black-and-white graphics except for the last which has red, white and blue coloring. Of the 3000+ "patriotic covers" issued as graphic propaganda during the Civil War, only a handful picture African-Americans before and after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Black woman holding a bag marked "Treason". Captioned "We is de innocent root ob dis yere trubble, Mass' Jeff, but its gwine to take all us poor niggas' breff away to keep de wind in it." (J.R. Hawley, 164 Vine St. Cincinnati) Black woman and man, she doing laundry in a tub and hanging it on a line, he smoking a pipe. Captioned "Dinah. 'What is you gwing to fite for?' Pompey. 'Dat's what dis chile can't findo out, Massa says he don't know.'" Black man's face as center of nine-pointed star with abbreviations of the rebel states. Captioned, "I'SE CONTRABAND" Black man shining boots. Captioned "By golly, Massa Butler. I like dis better dan workin' in de field for old Sesesh massa." Black man holding a hoe, captioned "'Whar is Massa Jeff now, dat's what's de matter?' / The Latest Contraband of War" Monkey wearing glasses, staring at a book held upside down. Captioned "Jeff's a NEGRO-MAN,-SIR: he seeks to know the 'bitter end', and finds confusion and ruin only. Everything's wrong side up." Black man picking cotton. Captioned "One Of The Rebels" Union and Confederate troops firing at each other. Captioned: "Contraband brigade. Come and get your property." (New York Union Envelope Depot, 144 Broadway) The drawings of the African-American are typical racist stereotypes and the themes, if pro-Union (lampooning Confederate President Jefferson Davis) are decidedly derogatory of the "contraband" ex-slaves. "One Of The Rebels" was probably issued as a subtly pro-Southern patriotic, part of a series with the same caption which depicted pretty white women, a reminder that the rebel "enemy" included both innocent females and hapless slaves.. Condition: Very good.

Estimate: $300-$500

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