Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Unknown [Pair of abolitionist slave tokens]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08551 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: s.l. Type: Object Date: circa 1838 Pagination: 2 metal tokens ; 2.7 cm diameter.

Summary of Content: One token, dated 1838, depicts a kneeling, shackled female slave, accompanied by the words: "Am I not a woman & a sister." Verso depicts a laurel wreath surrounding "Liberty 1838." Other token depicts a male figure with inscription "Am I not a man and a brother." Verso portrays two hands clasped as if shaking, with the inscription "May slavery and oppression cease throughout the world." Appears identical to abolitionist token originally created circa 1792.


Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: AbolitionAfrican American HistorySlaveryWomen's HistoryReform Movement

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery

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