University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2016.4.1
Object Name Mug
Description This small mug decorated with a scene of a slave auction and an anti-slavery poem was meant to teach its young user that slavery was wrong.

The poem was taken from "The Sorrows of Yamba, or The Negro Woman's Lament", which was written by Hannah More and Eaglesfield Smith in 1797. It reads:

DRIVEN like cattle to a fair
See, they sell us, young and old
Child from mother too they tear -
All for love of filthy gold.

Abolitionists, recognizing that a picture could be worth more than a thousand words, used objects decorated with anti-slavery images to confront viewers with the humanity of enslaved Africans and the horrors of slavery.

Year Range from 1820
Year Range to 1860
Material Creamware (Lead-Glazed Earthenware)
Place of Origin Made in Staffordshire, England
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by W. Groke Mickey
On View Reeves Center, European Ceramics Gallery
Gallery ID Number 114