The Edgefield potteries, or Edgefield District, was the name of an area of pottery production located in
Edgefield, Aiken and Greenwood counties and near the town of Edgefield, in west-central South Carolina.
Edgefield is known as the "crossroads of clay": the potters there blended English, European continental,
African and Native American pottery traditions with Chinese slips, glazes and kilns to produce original,
durable and nontoxic alternatives to lead-glazed ceramic vessels.
In its heyday in the mid-19th century, Edgefield was a collection of industrial workshops which sprang from
the stoneware manufacturing brothers Abner and John Landrum. The Landrums came from a long line of
potters: their father Samuel was associated with potters in North Carolina before he settled in Edgefield
District in the late 1700s.
E d g e f i e l d P o t t e r y
One of the many jars created by Dave. This one is inscribed with "Lm may 3rd
1862 / Dave"
1801-c. 1870s) was an American potter who lived
in Edgefield, South Carolina and produced over
100 alkaline-glazed stoneware jugs from the
1820s to the 1860s. An enslaved African
American, he often signed his works "Dave."
Dave was born around 1801 on a plantation in
South Carolina, and continued to work there until
the emancipation. Afterward, he adopted the
surname "Drake." Historians believe this is after
Harry Drake, his master until 1832, who is
presumed to have taught him to be a potter.
Jars between 5 and 10 gallons are the most
common examples found - larger jars up to 40
gallons are rare also Jugs are uncommon but
1 - signed initials LM for Lewis Miles
2 - signed in script DAVE with a date
3 - signed in script Dave with a date and a
2 line poem verse in script