*SLAVERY ~ Charleston Slave Tags and Slave Badges. Badge laws existed in several Southern cities, urban centers such as Mobile and New Orleans, Savannah and Norfolk; the practice of hiring out slaves was common in both the rural and urban South. But the only city known to have implemented a rigid and formal regulatory system is Charleston.
In the seaport of Charleston, one of the wealthiest and most important cities in the South, the city treasurer’s office issued all badges, with fees set according to the category and skill of the laborer. The most common occupations were servants and porters, though Charleston slaves also worked as skilled artisans (such as furniture makers and silversmiths), fishermen and fruit vendors..