This is a partial document missing its beginning and end pages, therefore, the name of the deceased slave owner and the date of the document is not known. HOWEVER, the document remains EXTRAORDINARILY RARE AND UNUSUAL as it proceeds to, first, categorize the 40 slaves using the word SLAVES instead of Negroes, and secondly, proceeds to list the male slaves BY NAME, ALONG WITH NAMES OF THEIR WIVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, with monetary value listed in the right column of the document!!!! In two instances, the number of years married is also listed! Children are labeled "Girl, "Boy", or "Infant". Total value of these 40 slaves was calculated at $24,200.00
Such documents listing ENTIRE SLAVE FAMILIES BY NAME is simply not found, as slaves were viewed as property, not individuals with rights and privileges who had wives and children, the whole of which, constituted a family. It would indeed be a phenomenal piece of history to be able to identify the plantation and/or deceased slave owner as such an estate listing speaks to an uncommon, albeit, rare and unique perspective of slave ownership. Such a listing makes this particular document all the more heart-wrenching, and it certainly begs the very sad question of whether or not these slave families were allowed to remain united and intact once the final estate disposition was conducted.
The document measures approximately 8 1/2 inches wide x 14 1/8 inches long, is double-sided and is in good condition, with fold lines evident along with some age-related foxing at top and bottom fold lines. 1 3/4 tear along the fold line of the top fold at right edge. The ink color is sepia toned (likely as a result of some fading over time) on a pale blue, vertically-ruled, heavy paper. This phenomenal piece of cultural ephemera is ready for appropriate archival preservation/framing.
The listing of slaves is on the back side of the document with the front side listing farm animals, equipment and supplies along with values- "The following property set apart for the use and benefit of the farm".
The Middle Passage Museum was the dream of Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Mississippi as well as that of an anonymous Georgian benefactor who had together compiled a collection of slave artifacts numbering over 15,000 pieces and who had hoped to find a permanent site in Mobile, Alabama, for their museum. While they formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for their hoped-for museum, their dream was never realized.
In a 2003 statement, Jim Petty remarked, "The importance of the exhibit of these artifacts is to understand the harshness of what slavery and segregation was all about. The items in the exhibit remind us of the terrible heinousness of slavery. Viewing the collection can be very emotional, but it is a tool through which we can understand, honor and respect a great culture. We want to realize that out of slavery, a great culture emerged, and carried on, and continued to strive for a better life regardless of the adverse conditions that were placed upon them."
The little black doll retains its original cloth diaper and swaddling blanket with arm holes. The blanket shows spotted soiling. The baby doll features a nicely hand-painted face with the bisque in excellent condition with the exception of the right foot. The top front of the right foot appears to have been chipped during production as it retains the original paint that is applied over the white bisque during the manufacturing process. The doll is marked on its upper back: "made in Japan".
The 2 piece peanut shell is quite lightweight and appears to be made of layers of heat-pressed paper that was fashioned into a peanut via a mold. The two peanut shells retain the original hinges. A 1 inch long piece of the interior paper liner has separated from the peanut shell, but the separated piece remains (see photo). These delicate peanut shells are in fine condition overall!
Perhaps originally intended as an ornament, the peanut shell still retains a hanging string at its top edge. A rarely found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Constructed of hand-cut, ¼ inch wide, black painted wood, this darling little black girl has hand-painted eyes and smiling lips, and is dressed in a hand and machine stitched, cloth-stuffed, one piece, black, tan and green dress! She has a hole in each ear, a metal hanging loop atop her head and one metal hook on each shoe for hanging keys or potholders!
She is in fine condition given her 70+ years of age and has great “patina”. Some minor paint loss, a few teeny holes in her outfit, but very visually appealing Black Americana Folk Art, none the less!
Following the conclusion of World War II, the American Tobacco Company of Virginia changed its product name from Nigger Hair to Bigger Hair, seeking to broaden the product's marketing appeal as well as viewing the latter label as the more-socially acceptable one. (The earlier Nigger Hair moniker was used by the American Tobacco Company from the 1890's through the early, pre-WWII 1940s; the lithographed can was manufactured by the B. Leidersdorf Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.) Interestingly, the company DID NOT change the image of the African woman, but merely added the words Fiji Islander to the left of her face in its indifferent and weak attempt to move further away from the earlier, severely derogatory label.
Measuring 7 inches high x 5 3/4 inches wide, the container is in good condition, perhaps a 7 out of 10, with one side exhibiting minor surface scuffing, while on the other side more scuffs and rubs are evident. Some minor wear around the edge of the top of the container likely occurred from simply taking the cover on and off; however, this is completely concealed by the cover. The original cardboard cover was lost with the passage of time; the replacement tin cover shown was in place when this container was acquired.
The original brownish orange color of the container remains consistent throughout, and the structural integrity of the cardboard is quite sturdy. Superficial rust is evident on the inside and outside of the metal base; this rust does not impact integrity of the tin base. The container retains partial remnants of its paper Federal Revenue Tobacco seal on both sides.
This very rare tobacco container is just a wonderful example of latter Black Americana advertising. The container looks better "in person" than in the photos as the camera actually accentuated the appearance of the scuffing, especially on the "better" side!
If the Nigger Hair Tobacco container is currently in your collection, the addition of the Bigger Hair container will complete your collection from both a cultural and historical perspective!
This circa 1920-30's Johnny Griffin item is constructed in solid brass and is known as a document clip used to hold together important papers. It remains functional for such use today or may be simply used as an attractive desk paperweight!
It is in all original condition with delightful patina- not a reproduction- no replaced parts- and measures 4 1/8 inches long x 2 3/8 inches wide. It does not retain any marking other than a mold number 5241.
Johnny Griffin Black Americana collectibles should form the cornerstone of any serious Black Memorabilia collection!
To see all of the Johnny Griffin items currently available for sale, simply type “Johnny Griffin” into the search box on our web home page.
This unique, Japanese made, 6" tall Black Sailor or Pirate ceramic nodder by UCAGCO is in mint condition--no cracks, chips, paint wear or repaint!!! Any white spots, etc in photos are purely the function of poor photography!
This interesting fellow wears blue and white striped pants, yellow and green shirt, and yellow jacket. His head nods "yes" and his flowered-painted fan can be made to wave in any direction.
Both head & fan have "Pat T.T." impressed on the weighted stem.
Truly a rarely found piece of Black Americana with a 2005 book value exceeding $450.00!!
These signs have a very colorful, folk-art appeal and certainly are utterly unique! They very much fit into the American, Southern "Outsider Art" collecting genre, a genre which highlights the work of self-taught, rural area artists who create fabulous and highly expressive art using the media and materials that they have at hand and which reflects the world that they know and live in.
The signs are quite heavy as each is made from a solid wood board. The signs are nearly identical in size and measure approximately 25 1/2 inches wide x 14 5/8 high x 3/4ths of an inch thick. One of the signs has very, very slight warping, but the warpage is not readily evident as seen by pictures. Each sign has 2 holes from which to hang them, and the old rusted hanging wire which is seen in the photos has been replaced by new hanging wire.
This fabulous game features a brightly colored lithograph target depicting the dapper, banjo-playing, "Jolly Darkie" with a gigantic mouth.
The target box remains in very fine condition, appearing to have seen little, if any, use. It has four openings through which one was to toss the four wooden balls that the game originally came with, but which are no longer present. It measures 13 inches tall x 6 3/4 inches wide x 1.5 inches deep.
As evident in the photos, the box cover shows expected wear given its 100+ years of age, with some pencil writing in the mouth and some surface soiling.
As indicated earlier, the extant game pieces do not retain a copyright year or maker name; however, this game is very similar to two other Milton Bradley Jolly Darkie Target games that were manufactured from 1890-1910, suggesting that this game was also manufactured during this era by Springfield, Massachusetts' Milton Bradley Company. The directions to this game are not present, and it is quite possible that the manufacturer and manufacture date both appeared on the direction card-- as has been found to be the case on other Milton Bradley games of this era.
The game cover as well as the JOLLY DARKIE target box display absolutely wonderfully and would be a colorful asset to one's vintage black Americana game collection!
She wears a green headscarf with white polka dots and a grouping of five, cream-colored, choker-style necklaces around her neck. Her lips are painted a bright red and her dark eye(s) is large and luminous.
The headscarf is constructed of fabric that has been coated with a stiffener--it almost feels like a very soft leather. The necklaces appear to be wire; the woman's head and neck are constructed from some sort of a composite material.
Very nicely done!
This late 1930's toy is the later version of the two Mammy walker toys produced by this company. It is marked on back just under the white apron tie, "Lindstrom Corporation Made in USA". The marking is very faint, and thus, difficult to read without scrutiny. The contrast in this photo has been enhanced so that the manufacturer labeling is easier to visualize online.
Mammy shuffles along quite vigorously via her original wind-up mechanism while she holds her broom and quickly "sweeps" back and forth.
Over 70 years old, Mammy is still quite sturdy as she was well made, but she does show some minor scratching and paint loss from play over the years as the photos indicate. Her coloring remains brilliant!
The box remains in very good condition with minimal wear to seams considering its age. Coloring is strong. One flap at the top of the box is detached but present.
Sweeping Mammy is a must-have addition to any Black Memorabilia Toy collection!
Featuring a delightful, cartoon-like caricature of a black man, this board is in very good condition with minor edge wear, slight age-discoloration and a teeny missing piece of the front rim of the hat.
An interesting, seldom-found piece of Black Memorabilia!
Please disregard reflections in photos that are due to the presence of protective plastic wrap.
Manufactured by FOSTA Products, this highly sought after piece of Black Memorabilia is in lovely, all-original condition with very light, superficial surface wear as seen in photos; this wear is reflective of less-than-typical use. A bonus--the original recipe cards remain inside! Fabulous color and condition contribute to the wonderful visual appeal of this delightful and essential, vintage piece of early 50’s Black Americana!
Please see the YELLOW Aunt Jemima Fosta Recipe Box available as separate purchase.
The first dexterity game features a beautiful and vividly-colored graphic cardboard housed in a metal casing of a black gentleman blowing smoke rings out of his mouth. The original cardboard backing remains intact. The game marked "Made in Germany", features a cut-out hole where the gentleman's mouth is. I do not know the rules or details of how the game was played. This game is in very nice condition, a 9 out of 10 rating, and displays wonderfully! Quite visually-appealing!
The second dexterity game features a Googly-Eyed African Native. It is also German-made and has a documented copyright history of 1914. The original string remains attached, and when pulled, the eyes circle around in their sockets! Two vertical pins attached to the back side make it possible to attach this game to clothing as a gag pin. Minor paint wear is evident, all parts are original and functional.
Measuring 13 inches tall, he is constructed of black, machine-stitched, vintage 1930-1940's, polished cotton which has been stuffed with cotton batting. Facial features have been hand-embroidered, are quite expressive and are exceedingly well done. His hair has been styled in tightly wound little ringlets.
His brown-patterned, machine-stitched shirt and pants are also vintage 1930-40's fabric, accented with two miss-matched buttons holding up cute red suspenders.
A delightful piece of Black Memorabilia Folk Art! This wonderful, 1940's-vintage-look, one-of-a-kind, Artisan Doll was constructed in the 1990's by a Maine Folk Artist who is now deceased.
Please take a moment to view his big sister by typing the words "Maine Doll" into the SEARCH box.
Manufactured by FOSTA Products, this highly sought after piece of Black Memorabilia shows some wear to the gold lettered word, “RECIPES”, although the majority of the paint remains intact. Small paint rubs are present here and there on Aunt Jemima’s face as seen in photos. The tiny plastic knob on the left side of the box that acts as a hinge for the cover is missing, but this minor imperfection detracts little from the fabulous color contrast and visual appeal of this delightful and essential, vintage piece of early 50’s Black Americana!
Please see the RED Aunt Jemima Fosta Recipe Box available for purchase separately.
Mr. Layton was a skilled pitcher with a strong bat who had a four-year career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Indianapolis Clowns, the New York Black Yankees and the Raleigh Tigers. One of his teammates was a promising infielder by the name of Hank Aaron, who signed with the Boston Braves in 1952, and eventually became a Hall of Famer. Layton received an invitation in 1951 to try out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but by then his shoulder was troubling him so he declined, hoping it would heal and another opportunity would present, which unfortunately never came. As of 2016, Mr. Layton, at the age of 87, was enjoying retirement as an associate pastor in a North Carolina ministry.
A brief history of the Negro League:
African-Americans first began to play baseball in the late 1800s on military teams, college teams, and company teams, eventually finding their way to the established professional baseball teams of white players. However, racism and “Jim Crow” laws would force African-Americans from these teams by 1900, with black players left to form their own teams.
In 1920, an organized league structure was formed under the guidance of Andrew “Rube” Foster, a former player, manager, and owner for the Chicago American Giants. In a meeting held at the Paseo YMCA in Kansas City, Mo., Foster and several other Midwestern team owners joined to form the Negro National League. Soon, rival leagues formed in Eastern and Southern states, which brought black baseball to major urban centers and to rural countrysides in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. The Leagues maintained a high level of professional skill and inspired economic development in many black communities.
In 1945, when Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers recruited Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson became the first African-American in the modern era to play on a Major League roster. While this historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil rights history, it marked the decline of the Negro Leagues. The best black players began to be recruited for the Major Leagues with their black fans following them, and the last Negro Leagues teams folded in the early 1960s.
As a doll collector myself, I just LOVE this doll. I love it as his composition head is in just flawless condition. I love it as he is completely original including the light soiling to and single broken button on his machine-stitched, renowned Stifel-Brand denim overalls! (see photo---the overall's bib is stamped with the trademark cowboy boot logo encasing the word "STIFEL" and the words, "Reg US Pat Office" above the boot.). I love it as his compo hands are in nearly perfect condition with the exception of the tip of his pointer finger on his right hand. And I love it as he has three tiny little holes in his left black sock! He obviously was very well cared for over these past 99 years!
In addition to his overalls, he wears a cream-colored, machine-stitched cotton shirt that comes complete with two button holes, but no buttons. His shirt has been carefully and competently sewn via both machine and hand. His black cotton stockings travel all the way up to his hip where they meet a pair of cream-colored silk underwear! He has no shoes!
His body, arms and legs are stuffed with cotton batting and covered in muslin. With the exception of his stamped Stifel overalls, this sweet boy is unmarked.