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Phoenix Button - Joseph

This artifact is a phoenix button, or a small, metal, coin like object that has an imprinted phoenix on it as well as a phrase and a number on the bottom. It had a fastener on the back of it used to attach it to another object, most likely clothing, which broke off before it was discovered, and most all of its engravings (like the phrase and number) have also been well worn and are now unreadable. It was going to be used for King Christophe of Haiti as an army button stating that the person who wore it was in his army, and it stated which regiment of his army they were in.  After being manufactured in England in the early 19th century, King Christophe of Haiti got ill and later that year committed suicide, so the buttons where put out as trade items and got into the hands of Nathaniel Wyeth. He was just starting a trading post on Sauvies Island (which later challenged Fort Vancouver and the Hudson's Bay Company) and many of the buttons he got were supposedly traded to the native Americans, whom then traded them up and down all along the west coast as a little trinket or coin. This button could have been a decoration, or something that they thought others might have wanted to trade for a more necessary item like clothing or food. This button shows globalization and trade with how far the buttons were planned to travel, and how far they actually did travel, but it also showed many cultures valuing this button and coming in contact with each other. It is a piece of art and cultural expression, but it also shows that the owners of this button liked things like coins, trinkets, and designs. 

Phoenix Button - Joseph by iTechFVvr on Sketchfab