Cotton bale

Cotton bale

Museum lore tells us that this miniature bale of cotton, banded and wrapped with a Confederate States of America $20 bill, was sold as a souvenir ca. 1900. Two very divergent schools of thought, from opposite ends of the spectrum, exist about its intent: 1.) it might have been an attempt by northerners to gloat that the South had lost the Civil War and to mock the institution of slavery on which cotton production depended; or 2.) it’s also possible that the keepsake bales were sold to raise money for southern orphans of dead Confederate soldiers.  Crowing or charity? What’s your opinion?

Location, W3, bale is quite small in a case on the left wall

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