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Object Record

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Object Name SHOE
Catalog Number 0985.10.00122
Description The Brogan style single left shoe consists of a soft wood (poplar) outsole and insole with oznaburg, or homespun jean, cotton upper lined with cotton. Two-button closure with metal-look buttons potentially added at a different time; hand-stitched buttonholes. Interior of dark brown-red leather heel counter with two eyelets on each side reinforced with brass grommets, which may have been an original shoe with the fabric added later or possibly a second interior closure and no toe box. Outsole and insole attached with metal nails and screws in the toe of the sole. Possible men's shoe size of 9 or 10. Inside of the shoe is a piece of rough linen (possibly donated with the shoe) wrapped around a modern shoe last covered in brown fabric used to maintain the structure of the toe.
Dimensions H-4.5 W-5 L-11 inches
Owned J. J. McIver
Made unidentified slaves, McIver plantation, Darlington, South Carolina, CSA
Provenance The cloth of the upper part of this single shoe was made on the McIver plantation in Darlington, South Carolina. The material was dyed and woven by the slaves living on the plantation. Mr. J. J. McIver, owner of the plantation, wore the pair of shoes to which this single one belonged.

"Shoe, and cloth for uppers made on the plantation of Maj. J.J. McIver, Darlington, S.C. and worn by him."

The 1860 census shows that a J. J. McIver of Darlington County, South Carolina, owned 46 slaves.

Supplies of leather in the south quickly dwindled as it was used to make thousands of cartridge boxes, belts, horse equipment such as saddles and harnesses, boots, holsters, and a myriad of other items. For shoes, cloth and wood often served as substitutes for leather.
People unidentified slave
unidentified African American
McIver, J. J.
Search Terms ersatz
Subjects African Americans