These medallions were worn by people involved in the abolitionist campaign or displayed in their homes. Sometimes they commemorated a particular event, such as the 1807 Abolition Act. This one uses the famous image of a kneeling slave with the caption, 'Am I not a man and a brother'.
It was designed in c.1787 as a seal for Josiah Wedgwood, the famous Midlands pottery manufacturer, who supported the abolitionists (and who also had a keen eye for a marketing opportunity). It was an extremely successful image which appeared on leaflets, snuff boxes and pots as well as medals. It is probably the first example of a 'logo' designed to support a political cause.
- Why do you think abolitionist campaigners would have produced, sold and worn medals?
- What equivalent things might we wear today in the context of a campaign?