May 17, 2003 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief Bounty and Pension Association of the U.S.A.,

Association Badge. An excessively rare item from a largely unknown chapter of American history. This medal was worn by ex-slaves who joined this Association attempting to obtain reparations in the late 19th century. It is a two piece medal with a simple top bar below from which hangs a crescent moon and star on which are printed: "National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief Bounty & Pension Ass'n of the U.S.A." This sophisticated group is reported to have been organized by I. H. Dickerson in 1897 in Nashville, TN. Dickerson stated that the objective of the group was to unite all the ex-slaves and their friends in petitioning Congress to pass the Mason Bill, which would provide Federal assistance to ex-slaves. Callie D. House became the secretary of the association, and ultimately took it over when Dickerson died. This association chartered several groups and sponsored agents throughout the South, and held annual conventions. By the end of World War I, the movement, for the most part, had come to an end. The realization that Congress had no desire to provide pensions also settled in among the ex-slave generation. What remained were broken dreams, lost money, a few rare badges such as the one offered here, and a small amount of Federal Records that help tell the story.


Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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