The innovation and development of alkaline-glazed stoneware pottery in America was introduced by potteries operated by the Scots-Irish Landrum family in the Edgefield, South Carolina area early in the nineteenth century. The potteries employed enslaved African-American laborers and later free African Americans. Documentary evidence indicates that many enslaved Africans were brought to this area of pottery production throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, providing newly arrived cultural influences from societies targeted by the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Edgefield potteries present fascinating research questions of understanding technological innovations and investigating the impacts of African-American, European-American, and Asian manufacturing traditions and knowledge on a rural industry and its cultural landscape. This article provides an introduction to a thematic collection of studies on these subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • African-American artisans
  • Alkaline glaze
  • Edgefield
  • Nineteenth century
  • South Carolina
  • Stoneware potteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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