Hiram Wilson Stoneware Pottery Jar

Hiram Wilson Stoneware Pottery Jar

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This stoneware jar was made in Guadalupe County, Texas, by H. Wilson & Company, as shown by the impressed mark on the shoulder. The company was formed when a group of formerly enslaved potters, including Hi[y]rum (1836-1864), James (1847-1917), and several others bearing the surname Wilson, separated from the Guadalupe Pottery when John Wilson sold his remaining interest in the latter company in 1869. Hirum Wilson and the others learned the pottery craft while owned by John Wilson, who was a minister and a farmer. Upon emancipation, they took Wilson as their surnames. The shape of this stoneware jar and others produced at H. Wilson & Company suggests a strong connection to the Edgefield District of South Carolina where enslaved potters worked between 1820 and 1860. The Edgefield potters brought their skills when they moved to eastern and central Texas.
Object Name
Jar with Lid
Date made
1869 - 1884
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
stoneware (overall material)
thrown (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 9 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 24.13 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Many Voices, One Nation
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I live in Austin, Texas and recently found an H. Wilson & Co stamped pottery jar at an area Goodwill thrift store. Creamy brown and 8" tall, it's smaller than just about any other Wilson jar I've seen since. At the time, standing in the aisle, I hadn't even heard of Wilson pottery, but loved the jar's beauty and character and took it home for 4.99 USD. Six months later I know more and I'm thrilled of course, but the jar's core attraction remains to me the way it looks and feels. (That said, the history makes its surfaces glow more and hum a little.)
That's awesome to hear! My husband is related to Hirum Wilson and we go to the museum once a year in San Marcos Texas!

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