Dave: Enslaved Potter and Poet

[Train Whistle] David ‘Dave’ Drake, enslaved by the Landrum family of Edgefield, South Carolina, was born in approximately 1800. He was illegally taught to read and write, most likely by Doctor Abner Landrum, in order to work as a typesetter for Landrum’s his newspaper. In 1831, Dr. Landrum moved to Columbia, South Carolina, leaving Dave to his nephew Lewis Miles. Dave began producing pottery for Lewis Miles on the Horse Creek Plantation in the early 1830s. It was here that Dave producing large scale jars and jugs (up to 40 gallons) demonstrating a very high level of both artistry and skill. Some of Dave’s pottery is signed and dated. Look closely at the jar on display and you can see where it has been inscribed “Dave Sept. 14, 1857” Even rarer are the pots on which Dave inscribe lines of poetry. Dave was emancipated in the early 1850s and continued making pottery into his 80s. He is believed to have died in the 1870s. [Train Whistle]


Augusta's Story
  1. Paleo-Indians
  2. Stallings Island
  3. The Age of Exploration: The DeSoto Exhibition; 1540
  4. Early Colonial Period; 1685 – 1736
  5. Late Colonial Period
  6. The American Revolution, 1776 - 1783
  7. Antebellum Society
  8. Dave: Enslaved Potter and Poet
  9. Cotton
  10. Civil War; 1861 - 1865
  11. Reconstruction
  12. The Golden Blocks
  13. The Augusta Canal and the Cotton Industry
  14. Petersburg Boat
  15. Industrial History
  16. Mill Life
  17. World War I
  18. The Great Fire of 1916
  19. 1920s
  20. World War II
  21. Savannah River Site
  22. Integrating Augusta
  23. The Augusta Riot
  24. 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s in Augusta
  25. Augusta and the Late 20th Century to Today
  26. Thank you to our partners