Of the nearly 3000 enslaved craftsmen who have been identified by MESDA, Dave is the only one whose work we can positively identify. Despite laws prohibiting literacy among slaves, Dave was taught to read and write. His pots–more than 150 signed examples are known–testify to both his literacy and his skill as an artist. Once freed at the end of the Civil War, he adopted the more formal appellation “David” and the last name “Drake,” after one of his earliest owners.
Baldwin, Cinda K. “Great and Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware of South Carolina.” Athens, GA: UGA Press, 1993.
Calfas, George.” NIneteenth Century Stoneware Manufacturing at Pottersville, South Carolina.” Ph.D. Diss., Department of Anthropology, Univ. of Illinois, 2013.
Wingard, Philip. “From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler’s Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA, 2013, 38-76.