Cotton and transatlantic slavery

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Do you know what these objects are, and what the connection was between them?

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Union patriotic envelope, 1861, Museum of Science and Industry

See this object at Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI)

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This envelope was published in New York in 1861, at the start of the American Civil War. Both the northern anti-slavery Union and southern pro-slavery Confederate states published illustrated envelopes from the 1850s as political propaganda to support their cause. Over 4,100 different envelope designs were produced, with versions published in most of the major cities, especially New York and Boston.

Slavery was a common theme as the northern Union states wanted to abolish it and the southern cotton growing Confederate states wanted it to continue.

The verse called 'Cotton is King!' mentions Manchester and says:

Old England is mighty; Old England is free; 
She boasts that she ruleth the waves of the sea;
(But between you and I, that's all fiddle-de-dee:)
She cannot, O Cotton! she cannot rule thee.
Lo! Manchester's lordling thy greatness shall own,
And yield more to thee than he would to the Throne:                                                                             
For before thee shall bend his fat marrow-bone,                         
And deaf be his ear to the live chattel’s groan.                    

The words suggest that wealthy English traders valued American cotton extremely highly. The images reinforce the poem. John Bull, the stereotypical Briton, is showing respect to a cotton bale whilst kneeling on an enslaved African, showing what was more important to him.