Raynors HCA 2018-03
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/15/2018
Music Sheet, 10-1/2” x 13-1/2,” “The Contraband Schottische, Composed and dedicated to Maj. Gen. B.F. Butler,” Philadelphia, 1861, 6pp., VG. Front cover lithograph depicts four escaping slaves being pursued by the plantation owner who is holding a whip. The important historical context of this piece concerns the first contrabands. On the evening of May 23, three slaves made their move, rowing a small boat across Hampton Roads to Fort Monroe, one of the only Union-controlled outposts in the South. The fort's commander, Gen. Benjamin Butler, was no abolitionist—he had voted for Jefferson Davis at the 1860 Democratic National Convention. And Union policy on slavery was clear: President Abraham Lincoln maintained from the outset of hostilities that he had no intention of interfering with the "peculiar institution"; rather, the Union's aim was to crush the Southern rebellion. Nevertheless, Butler realized the absurdity of honoring the Fugitive Slave Law, which dictated that he return the three runaways to their owner. They had been helping to construct a Confederate battery that threatened his fort. Why send them back and bolster that effort? So the general struck upon a politically expedient solution: Because Virginia had seceded from the Union, he argued, he no longer had a constitutional obligation to return the runaways. Rather, in keeping with military law governing war between nations, he would seize the three runaways as contraband—property to be used by the enemy against the Union.
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The War’s FIRST Contrabands

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $275.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $400 - $600
Auction closed on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
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