Breakfast Table

Breakfast Table James Woodward (1769–1839) and Shop Norfolk, Virginia 1819 Mahogany, poplar, white pine, sycamore HOA: 27 5/8”, WOA: 50 ¾”, DOA: 38" MESDA Purchase Fund (3813)

Breakfast Table
James Woodward (1769–1839) and Shop
Norfolk, Virginia
1819
Mahogany, poplar, white pine, sycamore
HOA: 27 5/8”, WOA: 50 ¾”, DOA: 38″
MESDA Purchase Fund (3813)

In 1818, James Woodward, a Norfolk, Virginia cabinetmaker, loaned an enslaved craftsmen named James $120 to purchase his freedom.  In return, James promised “for 12 months next ensuing… he shall… work as a Journeyman Cabinetmaker… until the full value… shall be repaid to him.”   The following year Humberston Skipwith of Elm Hill, Mecklenburg County, Virginia purchased a “large Pillow (pillar) & claw Breakfast Table” – now in the MESDA collection – from Woodward’s shop for $45.  While we can never be certain if James worked on this table, it was through the construction of furniture like this table that James was able to achieve his freedom.