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Object Name Tobacco
Catalog Number 0985.09.00158
Date 1861
Description This is a yellow paper package with black letter stencilling that reads "Magnolia" over an Native American, who is sitting on a stack of boxes beside a tobacco plant. Printed on one of the boxes beneath his foot is "PIPES". Printed on another box on which he is seated is "STAR"; on another box, "PRIDE / of / Greensboro"; and printed on another box, "N. C. / LUXURY". Printed on one the side of the package is "W.C. Benbow/Greensboro." Printed on the other side of the package is "Magnolia / Put up by H. F. Owens"
Dimensions H-4.5 W-3 inches
Made Dr. W. C. [believed DeWitt Clinton] Benbow; H. F. Owens, NC, CSA
Provenance This is "Magnolia" brand tobacco, which was grown by H. F. Owens and sold by Dr. W. C. Benbow of Greensboro, North Carolina during 1861. The ground tonca beans provided the flavor.

This is believed to be Dr. DeWitt Clinton Benbow of Greensboro, North Carolina. The son of Quaker parents, he seems to have been a Quaker himself, and thus a pacifist. Originally a resident of Fayetteville, he relocated to Greensboro in 1861 after being made to feel uncomfortable for not being militarily involved in the war; he also
hired a substitute to fight.

On April 16, 1862 the Confederacy adopted a law that allowed for individuals subject to conscription to hire a substitute, who would normally be exempt from service. Substitution quickly proved to be unpopular since it allowed for wealthy men to escape military service while leaving men of lesser resources exposed to the draft. The individuals who served as substitutes also were viewed with suspicion since it was felt they were mercenaries and would desert at the earliest possible moment. In late 1863, substitution was abolished by an act of Congress; in January, 1864 a second act required that men who had hired substitutes report for duty as either volunteers or inductees.

It is not believed that Benbow ever served in the Confederate Army.
People Benbow, W. C.
Benbow, DeWitt Clinton
Owens, H. F.
Search Terms Quakers
Greensboro, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Subjects Native Americans
Smoking
Tobacco
Substitute soldiers
Pacifists
Religion & politics