Am I Not a Woman & a Sister
Object Name: Antislavery token
Dimensions: Overall: 1 1/8 in. ( 2.9 cm )
Place made: North America, U.S.A.
Description: Circular metal token, obverse with kneeling African-American woman in chains, inscribed "AM I NOT A WOMAN & A SISTER"; reverse with laurel wreath, inscribed "LIBERTY" and "1838" at center and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" around perimeter.
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Object Number: INV.13745
In 1837 the American Anti-Slavery Society in New York commissioned a New Jersey firm to issue copper tokens featuring a kneeling slave with the legend "AM I NOT A WOMAN & A SISTER." Based on an earlier design of a chained and kneeling slave used for the seal of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, founded in England in 1787, this version substitutes a woman for the customary enslaved male. The appearance of the female icon in Britain and the United States symbolized not only a growing awareness of the special vicissitudes that women suffered under slavery as victims of sexual exploitation but also recognition of the prominent role that women were playing in the antislavery movement.
"New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War," New-York Historical Society, November 17, 2006-September 3, 2007.