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The Abolitionist Plate from Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm

February 5, 2013

In present day society our values flow freely.  We have forums of all types to express ourselves and make it known where we stand on the issues.  We use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to make sure our voices are heard and our opinions are known; whether the opinion is popular or not.  Some people choose to be more vocal than others, but in the end there are many more opportunities today than existed long ago to share your values.

The Wistar-Haines family who lived at the Wyck House from 1690-1973 (almost 300 years!) had a more subtle way to share their beliefs.

Abolition Plate from Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm.  The curvy, Rococo revival form puts it in the c.1840s-50s.

Abolition Plate from Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm. The curvy, Rococo revival form puts it in the c.1840s-50s.

The picture shown is of an Abolition Plate from the vast collections at Wyck.  This plate, with its curvy Rococo revival form puts it in the c.1840s-50s.  The curator of Historic Germantown, Laura Keim, imagines the plate being a bit like a bumper sticker, but less public.  You would have friends over for tea, use the plate to serve your guests and all in the room would know your values without necessarily fully engaging in the subject matter.

The “Am I Not a Man and a Brother” emblem was designed by ceramicist Josiah Wedgewood in England who was an English Potter and founder of the Wedgewood company as well as a prominent abolitionist remembered for his “Am I Not a Man and a Brother” anti-slavery medallion.

"AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER"

“AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER”

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