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Hal E. Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh
The Quaker Ceramic Tradition in Piedmont North Carolina

Ceramics in America 2010

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Map showing southern Quaker communities. Reproduced from Stephen B. Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery: A Study in Institutional History (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press, 1896). (Courtesy, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Dennis and Webb family tree. (Compiled by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

    n            Documented potter

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Plat map showing the location of the Dennis Pottery and surrounding landowners. Dates represent the year individuals either applied for or were granted land from the state of North Carolina. 

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Indenture of George Newby, Randolph County, North Carolina, May 3, 1813. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    William Dennis House, New Salem, North Carolina, ca. 1820. (Photo, Hal Pugh.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Dish fragment recovered at the Thomas Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1812–1821. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection; unless otherwise noted, all photos by Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Kiln tiles recovered at the Thomas Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1812–1821. High-fired clay. (Private collection.) The tiles on the right are fused together with glaze.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Saggar recovered at the Thomas Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1812–1821. H. 7". High-fired clay. (Private collection.) The saggar is representative of the type and size used at both Dennis potteries. On this example, part of the rim has been pinched between the thumb and forefinger to form a decoration, but the vessel was never finished. 

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Kiln furniture recovered at the William Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1832. High-fired clay. (Private collection.) The ungrooved tile shown at top is vitrified from continual refiring and has adhering saggar and creampot rims from a kiln mishap.

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Dish fragments recovered at the William Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1832. Bisque-fired earthenware. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Saggar fragments recovered at the William Dennis pottery site, New Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1832. High-fired clay. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Dish, attributed to the William Dennis pottery, New Salem, North Carolina, 1812. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 13 1/8". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Dish, attributed to the Dennis potteries, New Salem, North Carolina, 1790–1832. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 13 1/2". (Courtesy, North Carolina Pottery Center.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Indenture of Moses Newby, Orange County, North Carolina, August 31, 1798. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Indenture of Joseph Watkins, Randolph County, North Carolina, August 3, 1818. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Jar, Henry Watkins, Randolph or Guilford County, North Carolina, 1821–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 7 1/2". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of the incised signature on the bottom of the jar illustrated in fig. 16. 

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Dish, attributed to Henry Watkins, Randolph or Guilford County, North Carolina, 1821–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 12". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Fat lamps, attributed to Henry Watkins, Randolph or Guilford County, North Carolina, 1821–1850. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 6 1/8" (right). (Private collection [left]; courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens [right].) The example on the right shifted in the kiln and fired upside down.

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Dicks Family of Potters. (Compiled by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

    n            Documented potter

    n            Undocumented potter claimed through family tradition

    n            Documented maker of clay smoking pipes

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Indenture of Isaac Beeson, Randolph County, North Carolina, November 3, 1806. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Pipe press and molds, Cornelius Dicks, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1850–1920. Hardwood (press) and pewter (molds). H. 13 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Hal Pugh.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Photograph of Mary Elizabeth Dicks Davis (1842–1920). (Courtesy, Ann S. Turner.)

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Clay smoking pipes, Mary Elizabeth Dicks Davis, Randolph County, North Carolina, ca. 1900. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Jug, Nathan Dicks, Randolph County, North Carolina 1890. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 5 1/2". Inscribed on shoulder: “N. B. DICKS. new market n.c. Jan 12 1890 1 Pt.” (Private collection.) Handles on earthenware associated with Dicks family potters often have an elongated lower terminal.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Skillet, attributed to Nathan Dicks, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 10 5/8" with 5 1/4" handle. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Pitcher, attributed to Nathan Dicks, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 6 1/4". (Private collection.) 

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Jars, attributed to Nathan Dicks, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 9 1/2" (right). (Private collection.) These jars exhibit the elongated handle terminal and incised wavy line decoration characteristic of Nathan Dicks. 

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Fragments recovered at the Nathan Dicks pottery site, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. Lead-glazed earthenware. (Private collection.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Hoggatt/Hockett Family of Potters. (Compiled by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

    n            Documented potter

    n            Undocumented potter claimed through family tradition

    n            Documented decorator

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Dish, possibly made by a member of the Hoggatt/Hockett family of potters, northern Randolph/southern Guilford County, North Carolina, 1785–1820. Lead-glazed earthenware. D. 6 1/2". (Private collection.) The rear profile of this dish is similar to that of Moravian examples, but it was removed from the wheel with a twisted cord—a technique not associated with Moravian work.

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Photograph of William Hockett III (1799–1880). (Courtesy, Jane Coltrane Norwood.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Bottle, attributed to William Hockett III, northern Randolph/southern Guilford County, North Carolina, 1879. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 7 1/4". Inscribed on shoulder: “WM RR H 4-19-1879.” (Private collection). 

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Photograph of Rachel Rodema Hockett (1866–1944), granddaughter of William Hockett III and daughter of Himelius Mendenhall Hockett. (Courtesy, Jane Coltrane Norwood.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Photograph of Himelius Mendenhall Hockett (1825–1913). (Courtesy, Jane Coltrane Norwood.) 

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Chest, attributed to William Hockett III, northern Randolph/southern Guilford County, North Carolina, 1828. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 3 3/8". (Private collection.) The chest is slab-built.

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Petition from John Branson to Jefferson Davis, May 18, 1863, requesting the exemption of Himelius Hockett and others. The petition, written on an older account ledger page, was signed by ten neighbors, including potter Henry Watkins. (Courtesy, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College.)

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Reverse side of the petition illustrated in fig. 37. On this side, numbered page 34, is recorded an earthenware sale between John Branson and William Osborn: “Oct. 2 1842 Wm Osborn fr J Branson for Earthen Ware 5 dishes at 10 cts a piece 1 pan 6 1/2.”

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Colander, attributed to the William Hockett/Hoggatt family of potters, northern Randolph/southern Guilford County, North Carolina, ca. 1860. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 4 3/8". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Drain tile, David Franklin Hockett, Randolph County, North Carolina, ca. 1875. Unglazed earthenware. L. 6 1/2". (Private collection.)

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Exterior view of the David Franklin Hockett kiln, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. (Photo, Hal Pugh.)

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Interior view of the David Franklin Hockett kiln showing rock lining, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1875–1910. (Photo, Hal Pugh.)

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Drawing of the David Franklin Hockett kiln, based on eyewitness accounts. 

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Overhead view of the partially excavated William Dennis kiln footprint, Randolph County, North Carolina, 1790–1832. (Photo, Linda F. Carnes-McNaughton.) It is similar in size and shape to the firing chamber of the David Franklin Hockett kiln.

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Mendenhall Family of Potters. (Compiled by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

    n            Documented potter

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Richard Mendenhall house, Jamestown, Guilford County, North Carolina, ca. 1811. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, Norh Carolina.)

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Richard Mendenhall store, Jamestown, Guilford County, North Carolina, 1824. (Courtesy of the  North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.) The store was situated across the road from the house illustrated in fig. 46.

  • Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Tilghman Vestal, photo taken in 1866 by H. G. Pearce, Providence, Rhode Island. (Courtesy, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College.)

  • Figure 49
    Figure 49

    Letter from Delphina Mendenhall to J. B. Crenshaw, October 7, 1864. (Courtesy, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College.) The letter describes the difficulty in acquiring pottery.

  • Figure 50
    Figure 50

    Fat lamp, attributed to the William Hockett/Hoggatt family of potters, northern Randolph/southern Guilford County, North Carolina, ca. 1860. Lead-glazed earthenware. H. 4". (Private collection.) 

  • Figure 51
    Figure 51

    Beard Family of Potters. (Compiled by Hal Pugh and Eleanor Minnock-Pugh; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

    n            Documented potter

  • Figure 52
    Figure 52

    Jar, Benjamin Beard, Guilford County, North Carolina, 1810–1830. Salt-glazed stoneware. H. 9 11/16". (Courtesy, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.)

  • Figure 53
    Figure 53

    Detail of the unusual pulled and pinched handle on the jar illustrated in fig. 52.

  • Figure 54
    Figure 54

    Detail of the impressed mark on the jar illustrated in fig. 52.

  • Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Deep River Friends Meeting,  Deep River Community, Guilford County, North Carolina, 1873–1875. (Courtesy, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College.) The meetinghouse was built using 133,000 bricks made of clay dug at Benjamin Beard’s land.