MAKER: The bowl is attributed to the B. F. Landrum pottery in the Edgefield District of South Carolina. Benjamin Franklin Landrum (1812-1900) was the son of John Landrum (1765-1846), a Baptist minister associated with the Horne’s Creek Church. John Landrum, in addition to being a minister was also a potter, as were two of his brothers (Amos and Abner). The Landrum family was, in fact, a pottery “dynasty,” including no less than ten important potters, including in-laws Collin Rhodes and John L. Miles. Benjamin’s pottery was located near the town of Trenton, South Carolina on the east bank of an unnamed stream which empties into a pond along Little Horse Creek in Aiken County, South Carolina.
Like his father, uncles, and many of his neighbors, B. F. Landrum owned slaves who probably worked in his pottery. The 1850 census, for example, lists eight slaves: six males and two females. Slave labor played a great role in the development of Edgefield stoneware. In fact, a significant portion of the black labor force in Edgefield stoneware factories were often named in court proceedings and newspaper advertisements. The most frequently named occupation for slave potters was turner, but they most certainly participated in all aspects of stoneware manufacture.
Horne, Catherine Wilson. Crossroads of Clay: The Southern Alkaline-Glazed Stoneware Tradition. (McKissick Museum, 1990)
Early Decorated Stoneware of the Edgefield District South Carolina. (Greenville County Museum of Art, 1976)
Archaeological Survey of Alkaline-Glazed Pottery Kiln Sites in Old Edgefield District, South Carolina (McKissick Museum, 1988)