Dave and Mark jar

Dave and Mark jar

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This alkaline stoneware jug alkaline-glazed stoneware storage jar is inscribed “Mark and /Dave” and “LM/ March 10, 1859. It was made on the plantation pottery of Lewis Miles in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. Only Edgefield and a small area of East Texas employed enslaved labor in local potteries-- and the number of enslaved potters and the range of wares produced in Texas were insignificant in comparison with Edgefield. Only Edgefield potteries trained and relied on large numbers of highly skilled black potters to produce a wide range of exceptionally well-made useful wares in a fiercely competitive regional market. Edgefield, with its rich clay deposits, wealthy planters/stoneware manufacturers, and abundant labor force was truly a unique place in the ante-bellum South.
This jar is one of only two pieces known in which the enslaved potter David Drake inscribes the name of a slave assistant along with his own name. The name Mark probably refers to Mark Jones, another of the few documented enslaved potters working in Edgefield. Twenty four years old in 1859 when this pot was made, Mark Jones appears in the 1870 census as a pottery turner living near the stoneware maker, John Miles (the son of Mark's previous enslaver, Lewis Miles). He later worked at another local pottery before losing his sight and becoming a preacher.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Date made
March 10, 1859
Lewis Miles' Plantation
Associated Place
United States: South Carolina, Edgefield
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
stoneware (overall material)
wheel thrown (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 15 in x 14 1/2 in; 38.1 cm x 36.83 cm
overall: 15 in x 14 1/2 in; 38.1 cm x 36.83 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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