Objects from the Collection:
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pitcher 26.34 pitcher 37.454.77
pitcher 26.34 pitcher 84.46.2
plate 37.454.128 plate 37.454.97
plate 82.22.1 bowl 84.46.1


This pearlware pitcher features a blue transfer print design of the Grand Erie Canal inscription honoring Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York for his contributions in the successful completion of the Erie Canal on one side facing and an inscription eulogizing the Village of Utica in 1824 on the reverse. This pitcher also has a copy of the Arms of the United States printed below the spout and medallions of canal boats and canal scenes along the rim.

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Pitcher (MC 565, Acc. No. 37.454.77)
Produced in Staffordshire, England, by an unknown manufacturer, c. 1825.
6.5" (16.5cm) high.


Arms of America, below spout.

Medallion with Canal Scene, above DeWitt Clinton Inscription.

Medallion with Canal Boat, above Utica Inscription.

Erie Canal Inscription - DeWitt Clinton Eulogy

Detail of pitcher

This inscription is also portrayed on plate, 37.454.97. The description and historical background for the inscription is presented on the page dedicated to the plate.

Utica Inscription, 1824

Detail of pitcher

Source of Inscription: Because pottery using this design was produced by an unknown manufacturer, or a series of manufacturers, and because the design does not include an image of a specific location along the canal, the source of the inscription is not known.

Border: Large medallions of canal boats and canal scenes.

Some Variations in Size and Type:
Pitchers: 5.25, 6.5, and 7 inches; (Reverse, Utica Inscriptions, 1824). Under spout, American Coat of Arms with two fanciful* scenes of the canal above and below the design.)
Plates: 7.5 inches.1

Description: In the center or the plate or pitcher is an inscription eulogizing the Village of Utica in 1824. The inscription reads "A VILLAGE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK THIRTY YEARS SINCE A WILDERNESS NOW (1824) INFERIOR TO NONE IN THE WESTERN SECTION OF THE STATE, IN POPULATION, WEALTH COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE ACTIVE INDUSTRY & CIVIL IMPROVEMENT."

Historical Background: Until after the Revolutionary War, Utica was a frontier post on the Mohawk River. It was settled by Germans and later by colonists from New England. Utica was incorporated as a village in 1798. The town prospered with its fine dairy farms, being especially noted for its cheese. In October 1819, just more than two years after the groundbreaking ceremony at Rome, another crowd gathered to celebrate the official opening of the first section of the Erie Canal. The first section of the canal completed ran approximately 15 miles between Rome and Utica, New York. As the sluice gates opened, water rushed into the 40-foot wide, 4-foot deep channel that was known as "Clinton's Ditch." With that rush of water, the Chief Engineer of Rome, became the first canal boat to float on Erie Canal water. The canal from Rochester to Utica was finished in 1823. This stimulated trade.2

1 Larsen, Ellouise Baker -- American Historical Views on Staffordshire China, Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, NY, 1950, p. 238.

2 Andrist, Ralph K. -- The Erie Canal, American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc. New York, New York, 1964, p. 47.

  Larsen, Ellouise Baker -- American Historical Views on Staffordshire China, Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, NY, 1950, p. 177.

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