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Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"Abolitionist Hymn"
From Ballads of the Civil War 1831-1865
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Wedgwood Slave Medallion
about 1787

"Am I not a man and a brother?"
So reads the inscription on this oval, white jasper medallion featuring a black basalt relief figure of an African slave in chains. Britain's Committee to Abolish the Slave Trade adopted the phrase as its motto in 1787, and anti-slavery campaigner Josiah Wedgwood began to reproduce the design on fashionable jasperware medallions and seals. The following year Wedgwood sent some of these medallions to Benjamin Franklin, who was President of the Abolition Society in America. He hoped that they would "acquaint [Franklin with a subject that] is daily more and more taking the possession of men's minds on this side of the Atlantic as well as with you." The British parliament outlawed slavery in 1807.

1-1/8" high x 1-1/4" wide
Manufactured in Staffordshire, England

Learn more!
· Abolition
· "Abolitionist Hymn"

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