Room 11 Object Highlights
'Am I not a Man and a Brother' Medallion
This anti-slavery medallion was produced by William Hackwood, Senior Craftsman to Josiah Wedgwood.
As a member of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, the Staffordshire pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood instructed his senior craftsman, William Hackwood, to prepare a medallion that would, like Wesley's 'Thoughts upon Slavery' pamphlet, encourage people to join their campaign. Hackwood produced a small cameo which featured a kneeling slave in chains and the motto ‘Am I not a Man and a Brother’. The medallion, first made in 1787, became a popular icon and it was worn in hatpins, brooches and necklaces and inset into other items, such as snuffboxes.
At the time Wesley wrote 'Thoughts upon Slavery' many Christians were saying that there was nothing wrong in slavery because the Bible contains many accounts of people owning slaves and it never condemns slavery. For Wesley that was a nonsense: slavery ran counter to Christ’s command that we should show love to all and ignored the worth of every individual as a child of God.