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Partly-Printed 1845 Vicksburg City Tax Receipt - Slaves
Partly-Printed 1845 Vicksburg City Tax Receipt - Slaves

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This is a partly-printed tax receipt from the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The document states that there was “Received of O. S. Conklin Eight Dollars and forty Cents City Tax on his Taxable property for the year 1845 …”, followed by a listing of the lots of land on which there were taxes due. Apparently, these lots must have had some form of street frontage, as their value was listed as “… 1200 Street Tax (specie) at 40 cents on $100 --- $ 4.80 …. This is followed by a list of taxable items, including “… Slaves … Merchandise … Horses … Pleasure Carriage …”, as well as “… Money loaned at interest …”. There is also a notation for “… General Tax half Scrip, at 30 cents on $100 $ 3.60 …”, bringing Conklin’s total due to “$8.40”. The breakdown of his payment appears at the lower left, noted as “Scrip, $1.80 and “Specie, $6.60, beside which is a manuscript statement that indicates that the “tax on lot 11 paid”, though the significance is unknown. Interestingly, this piece was never signed, though a space was left for the “Assessor and Collector for the City of Vicksburg” to sign. A decorative border appears at left, with some manuscript computations is the blank area beyond. The back is blank except for the number “190” penned near one end. What makes this piece unusual is the breakdown between scrip and specie, and the question as to what the scrip was (the Federal government was not issuing paper money at this time, and neither was Mississippi, so it is possible that it was some form of local issue). It is also interesting that no one signed for the receipt of the payment. Further research may shed some light on the nature of these issues.

The presently offered piece exhibits signs of period use and less than perfect long-term storage. Toning is present across the entire surface, imparting to the document a beige to light brown hue. Several stains are present along the right edge, though only a few manuscript letters are affected. Numerous folds, both vertical and horizontal, are noted, with one causing a 2-inch tear from the bottom toward the top (this has been repaired with archival tape). The lower edge is uneven, while the remaining three appear straight. Measuring 3.10 x 8.00 inches, this piece would make an interesting addition to any Mississippi, tax related, or slavery related collection.

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