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A More Perfect Union
PHOTO: CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM, ICHI-066367
Created to aid infirm and wounded Union soldiers in the Civil War, the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) staged Sanitary Fairs in several cities. Organized by women volunteers, the fairs cumulatively raised an estimated $2.7 million by selling donated goods, such as pot holders, dollhouses, and even copies of the Emancipation Proclamation autographed by President Lincoln, one of which sold for $3,000. The pot holder shown here from the Chicago show depicted dancing slaves, signifying the hope of manumission from the chains that held 13 percent of Americans in bondage.
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