Handle to left: Inscribed, in plate, upper left to right: Success to AMERICA whose MILITIA is better than Standing ARMIES [curved around top of oval]; inscribed, in plate, upper center: E PLURIBUS UNUM [on Great Seal design on flag]; inscribed, in plate, lower left to right: May its Citizens Emulate Soldiers And its Soldiers HEROES [curved around bottom of oval]; inscribed, in plate, lower left to right: While Justice is the Throne to which we'are bound to bend [curved around bottom of oval, outside decoration]
Under spout: Inscribed, in plate, upper center: EPLURIBUS UNUM [in banner of Great Seal design]; inscribed, in plate, upper to lower left to right: Peace. Commerce, and honest Friendship.with all Nations_Entangling Alliances with none_JEFFERSON [curves around in oval around seal motif]; inscribed, in plate, lower center: Anno Domini 1802
Handle to right: Inscribed, in plate, center to upper left to right: The Memory of WASHINGTON and the Proscribed PATRIOTS of AMERICA [curved around top of oval]; inscribed, in plate, upper center: GW [in script] / SACRED to the memory / of G. WASHINGTON / who emancipated Amer / -ica from Slavery and / founded a REPUBLIC / upon such just and eq- / uitable principles that / it will serve as a model / [illegible]; inscribed, in plate, lower left: S [sun with face] A; inscribed, in plate, lower right: J [sun with face] H; inscribed, in plate, lower left to right: Liberty. Virtue. Peace. Justice and Equity to ALL Mankind [curved around bottom of oval]; inscribed, in plate, lower left to right: Columbias Sons inspir'd by Freedoms Flame
Samuel Adams and John Hancock appear beneath a memorial claiming that George Washington “emancipated America from Slavery” to establish a nation built on “just and equitable principles.” This exaggerated text falsely equates Washington and his contemporaries as people enslaved by the British Empire, thereby justifying the American Revolution and the founding of the United States. Washington did not emancipate the nation from enslavement. On the contrary, these “equitable principles” only applied to straight, white, cisgendered, landowning men, including enslavers legally protected by the newly formed US government.
Under the spout, a quote from Thomas Jefferson reads “Peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations. Entangling alliances with none,” ignoring how the US government broke treaties with sovereign Indigenous nations. Readily affordable, this ceramic pitcher suggests how racist ideologies proliferated in white middle-class homes.
From the 2022 exhibition Historical Imaginary, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art
HIST 27, WGST 23, Gender and Power in American History from the Colonial Period to the Civil War, Leslie Butler, Spring 2012
HIST 9.1, Empires and Colonies in North America, Paul Musselwhite, Fall 2014
WRIT 5, America's Founding Fathers: Why They Still Matter, Marlene Heck, Winter 2015
ANTH 12.13, Moving House in Prehistory, Benjamin Valentine, Spring 2015
HIST 9.01, America: From Invasion to Independence, Paul Musselwhite, Fall 2019
HIST 5.14, Americas: Invasion to Independence, Paul Musselwhite and Ernesto Mercadeo-Montero, Fall 2022
Film Studies 42.23, Travelers and Tourists, Heidi Denzel, Spring 2023
History 63.02, Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science, Whitney Barlow Robles, Spring 2023
Historical Imaginary, Luise and Morton Kaish Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 17, 2022-November 12, 2023.
John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 64, ill. fig. 9.5.
Descended for many generations (possibly from its era) in a Dedham, Massachusetts, family; antique shop in Boston region (co-owner had inherited it); sold to Art and Kathy Green (dealers), Newton Centre, Massachusetts, 2008; sold to present collection, 2009.
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