In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

502Southern Cultures eral officials were uncomfortable in summarily dismissing the claims of either freedmen or Indian wards of the government. Kevin Mulroy's history of this small but significant group represents both a sophisticated analysis of the ironies of ethnic identity on the American frontier and an extraordinary research effort. A professional social science bibliographer at UCLA, Mulroy has engaged in a labor of love that matches in persistence, skill, and scope the exploits of the remarkable people whose story he has pursued. His narrative has its maddening lapses— one still wonders, for instance, how the scouts fought their way out of a seemingly hopeless encirclement by Mescalero Apaches on the Rio Grande in 1877 or how the group purchased the tract in Brackettville, Texas, that has been the base of their community since 1914. Yet Freedom on the Border remains an uncommon achievement and a compelling story. Great & Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware of South Carolina. By Cinda K. Baldwin. University of Georgia Press, 1993. 234 pp. Cloth, $39.95. Thomas S. Edwards teaches history in the Chatham County, North Carolina, public schools. He and his wife are dealers in and collectors ofsouthern pottery. At an exhibition at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1986, I encountered a handsome alkaline-glazed pot turned in the Edgefield District of South Carolina by a slave potter named Dave. Sturdy and functional, the piece represented far more than just a useful storage vessel. With a clever verse and the able potter's signature incised expressively on the exterior, the pot was not only a historical document, but a work of art as well. I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about South Carolina folk pottery. Unfortunately, a comprehensive collection of information on the subject was not available to the layman at that time. Now it is. Cinda K. Baldwin's Great & Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware ofSouth Carolina—with information drawn from a great number of disparate sources—surveys the development of South Carolina pottery making from the discovery of suitable clays in the colonial period to the reestablishment of a folk pottery today. Baldwin's book deepens our understanding of the products and processes that distinguish South Carolina's traditional pottery from that of other southern states. South Carolina potteries produced a wide variety of utilitarian objects. Much of this ware was employed in the preparation, storage, or consumption of food. Other objects were created for the use of tobacco and for household, horticultural, and even funerary use. Baldwin illustrates design characteristics that not only enhance the function of many objects but also help in ascertaining the age and identification of a piece and its area of manufacture . For example, many large antebellum jugs produced in the Edgefield District feature exceptionally sturdy loop handles, each attached at a point on the shoulder below the neck and extending vertically to the side. This is in contrast to other jugs of the period that had handles attached directly to the neck. Although most southern potteries in the early to mid-nineteenth century were small operations staffed by family and neighbors, those in the Edgefield District had largescale production. The flourishing plantation economy and the extension of the South Carolina railroad through the area so stimulated pottery manufacturing that slaves as well Reviews503 as journeyman potters were employed to meet production needs. The inclusion of African American artisans at the most creative stage of production resulted in what Baldwin terms "distinctive pottery forms that have been traced to Africa and the West Indies." This was, she states, "perhaps the most single important influence on stoneware in the area." African American influence is most evident in sculptural forms, and Baldwin explores possible links between African religious practices and the development of sculptural face jugs in Edgefield. The most famous of the slave potters, known only as Dave, worked in Edgefield from the 1830s to the 1860s. He was, as the seventy or so known examples of his work attest, a potter of great artistry, strength, and wit. His largest known pots are two forty-gallon jars, and like his other works, they exhibit a sure-handed technique and a good eye for form. Dave...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 502-503
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.