Storage jar

Storage jar, #31

Storage jar, #31, alkaline-glazed stoneware, 1860, Dave, Lewis Miles pottery, Edgefield District, SC (private collection)


Burton, Orville. In My Father's House are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (University of North Carolina Press, 1985).

Koverman, Jill Beute ed. I Made This Jar… The Life and Works of the Enslaved African-American Potter, Dave (McKissick Museum, 1999).

McKissick Museum Symposium, Pottery, Poetry and Politics Surrounding the Enslaved African-American Potter, Dave (McKissick Museum, 1998)

Wimbush, Vincent. African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures. Continuum, 2000.

Finkelman, Paul. Rebellion, Resistance, and Runaways within the Slave South. Garland, 1989.

Rodriguez, Junius P. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistence and Rebellion. Greenwood, 2007.


1. Dave, an enslaved African American potter often signed his name and wrote poetry on the vessels he created. Discuss the prohibition against teaching slaves to read and write, why this was so, and how Dave's poetry was a powerful statement of resistance.

2. Discuss the ways in which, short of rebellion, African American men engaged in daily acts of resistance against the oppression of slavery.

3. Dave was only one potter in a much larger community of potters working in Edgefield, S.C. Discuss the history of the industry, the kinds of works produced there, and the role of African Americans in the industry.

4. Many of Dave's pots contain verses related to the Bible. Use Dave's poetry to discuss African American Christianity in the 19th-century.

Storage jar