|Title||Wedgwood Anti-Slavery Medallion|
|Description||Blue, round, ceramic jasperware medallion with a kneeling figure in bas-relief at the center. The figure's wrists and ankles are bound with a length of chain, and he holds his hands upwards in a pleading gesture. "AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER." is inscribed in bas-relief around the outer perimeter. Unsigned and undated.|
The APS holds two Wedgwood anti-slavery medallions, one of which was likely owned by Benjamin Franklin. Depicting a chained, kneeling slave, and inscribed "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?", these medallions were most frequently seen in black on white jasper dip (see B / F 85). Other colors, such as this blue and white version, may reflect the desire for the medallion to be a fashion statement as well as a political one. English ceramics manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood, who was also a committee member of the Society for the Suppression of the Slave Trade, sent a package of medallions to Benjamin Franklin in 1788 for distribution in the United States. Franklin, a former slave owner turned fervent abolitionist, realized the power of such an image for the anti-slavery movement. He replied to Wedgwood, "I am persuaded it may have an Effect equal to that of the best written Pamphlet, in procuring Favour to those oppressed People."
|Dimensions||H-1.25 W-1.125 inches|
|Credit line||American Philosophical Society|