πŸ₯‡ BANNER 1837 SLAVE TAG & Rev War PEWTER!

VMI Digger

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Hey guys,

Been overseas for 2 weeks and have been itching to get back to the lowcountry and knock the dust of the CTX. While I would have been perfectly happy to walk away with a flat button, I could never have predicted a night like this. This particular site has proven to be a great spot to meet other diggers on TNet. Over the course of the last month, we have had multiple group hunts with amazing success. Affectionately known as the watermelon patch, the dirt is packed with 300 years of history and continues to produce. The evening started out as most do, surface pottery, glass, and brick shards- the normal indicators for a killer site. Given the volume of targets and age of the site, everything dug ends up in my pouch for later identification. After arriving home I had no idea what I had dug. As I was working through my round stuff pocket, I noticed the familiar look of pewter. While only a partial, I carefully tooth picked away the corrosion hoping for a design of some sort...6...7!

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First Revolutionary War button of 2016, and finally an end to a 1 year regimental drought. Curiously, the 67th Regiment of Foot did not serve in North America during the war although 1 other example is noted in Troiani's book as being recovered in SC. Perhaps the soldier was attached to another unit during the occupation.

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At this point I am already running around the kitchen, until I notice a familiar shape in the misc pocket-rectangular and made of brass. May have dug my first plate? After a bit of careful cleaning, my heart started pounding. Could this actually be what I think it is...holy **** its a Charleston Slave TAG! 1837 Servant #573. For me there are no words to express how it feels holding such a piece of history. The stories this discarded object could tell- stories which would have been lost after the site is covered in concrete.

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Among the other digs was a curious pewter spoon with an unknown benchmark, flat buttons, round balls, and a tiny pewter heart. Any ID help with the spoon is great appreciated.

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Certainly a night I will never forget- Rev War Regimental and a Charleston Slave tag at one site. This is why we spend the hours we do digging and swinging. As always, thanks for looking and get out there and save the next piece of history.

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Update- After 48 hours in oil and a light brushing I am happy with the balance of patina and corrosion...after all its been in the ground for 179 years :laughing7:. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and for giving this history the attention it deserves.

After a bit of research I have been able to confirm the tag was manufactured by Charleston silversmith William M. Rouse. He apprenticed until 1834 as a silversmith under John Ewan and subsequently went into business for himself. In 1836 he was awarded the city contract for manufacturing tags. Rouse's tags are unique in that he used a series of small dots around the stamped occupations on his badges from the 1830s. He continued making badges until 1840, size though growing increasingly smaller due to the increased cost of materials or diminishing profit margins. In 1837 he manufactured 3722 tags for a total contract of $8,141. Unfortunately the trail goes cold regarding the poor soul who wore the tag. All records were lost after the Civil War-

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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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The only only hand that beats that regimental pewter is a straight flush and you laid it down. Amazing find buddy. Banner all the way. Congratulations on saving an incredibly sad but special piece of history.

Well said Ryan, always hoped I'd dig one of these some day, but its hard to express what its like to have it in your hand.
 

can

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Very nice finds
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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Excuses, excuses!

Great job in those finds. Which do you think is better...having one super hunt with two of your desires found or spreading them out so you get two great hunts? I will take either please!

I'll take them anyway they come, as long as they keep falling out of my plugs
 

CoilyGirl

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Congratulations on that banner slave tag, that site is killah!
 

Darby

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Way to go Jon!! That tag is in great condition! Great save on an awesome piece of history! Banner for sure. Huge congrats.
 

P@tch

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Congrats Jon on a banner find. That place is killer. Hope to make it back to the WP before it's gone.
 

BagLady

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What a find in that slave tag.
Are you going to research it? There should be a paper trail as to who the "Owner" and Slave were.
 

Carolina Tom

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Absolutely awesome Jon. Congrats on the find of a lifetime!
 

bonepicker

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Wow. Allen told me you dug a rev war pewter, but didn't mention the slave tag.
Id be happy with either of those finds, but finding both in one day makes for an incredible hunt.
I can only imagine the excitement you must have felt.
I have been looking forward to seeing pics of the button.
The Melon patch is truly an amazing site.
Cant wait to see what comes next. Great Job.
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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What a find in that slave tag.
Are you going to research it? There should be a paper trail as to who the "Owner" and Slave were.

Hey lady, yes for sure- I'll post an uplate once I track down the tax record from 1837
 

bill from lachine

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If memory serves me correctly most of the slave tag records were lost in a fire....in any event good luck tracking down some info.

Regards + HH

Bill

Hey lady, yes for sure- I'll post an uplate once I track down the tax record from 1837
 

Steve in PA

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A couple great recoveries there, the slave tag is going on the banner, I will put my vote in next to put it over the top :laughing7:

"everything dug ends up in my pouch for later identification" Word of advice...don't throw those pewter buttons in the pouch with everything else or you may end up with a chipped or broken Rev War button and a sad look on your face. Happened to me when I was a rookie 25 years ago.
 
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tony curnick

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Man I would be stoked!
 
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VMI Digger

VMI Digger

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A couple great recoveries there, the slave tag is going on the banner, I will put my vote in next to put it over the top :laughing7:

"everything dug ends up in my pouch for later identification" Word of advice...don't throw those pewter buttons in the pouch with everything else or you may end up with a chipped or broken Rev War button and a sad look on your face. Happened to me when I was a rookie 25 years ago.

Hey Steve, normally my pewters end up wrapped in a damp paper towel and are placed securely in a medicine bottle. The stuff from this site comes out in protective blobs, but you are spot on...pewter most be kept moist and handled delicately.
 

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