Documenting the American South Logo

North Carolina State Issue, 1862
NC Five-Dollar Note
Written date "March 1st, 1862."
Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, stands at the center of this note. Perched atop her spear (obscured by the top inscription) is a pileus, a Latin word for a felt cap that was worn by Roman slaves when they were set free. The use of such a symbol of freedom by a southern slave-holding state underscores the glaring contradiction between the ideal and the social reality of the Confederacy. Seated next to Libertas, atop a cornucopia replete with produce, is the Roman goddess for agriculture. This depiction of the two goddesses is almost identical to that found today on the official Great Seal of North Carolina.

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