Antislavery medallion, about 1787
This jasperware cameo, made at Josiah Wedgwood's factory in Staffordshire, England, features the motto adopted by the British Committee to Abolish the Slave Trade in 1787: "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" An active abolitionist, Wedgwood sent one of these cameos to Benjamin Franklin in 1788, hoping to promote American support for the antislavery cause. This medallion originally came to the Smithsonian in 1968 as part of a large loan from Lloyd Hawes, a prominent collector of English ceramics. The medallion was featured in a major exhibition, After the Revolution, and in 1987 the loan was converted to a gift.
African American History, Ceramics, Political Protest