Potters Joint Emigration Society

In the late 1840’s the potter’s unions in Staffordshire devised a plan to help Staffordshire potters emigrate to Wisconsin to farm. At the time there was a severe recession and new pottery-making systems equipment being introduced that resulted in a large percentage of potters being unemployed. Those who still had jobs faced low wages and terrible working conditions, so many were eager to go, especially after reading glowing reports from some who completed the migration that were published in a potters newspaper.

Many potters successfully emigrated to Wisconsin, but Philip Pointon and his son were the only Society members we know of who ended up potting in Wisconsin. Most took up farming successfully. Very few returned to England.
Listed below are some excellent articles on the topic.

Articles:

From the Wisconsin Historical Society Magazine of Wisconsin History –  Settlement of English Potters in Wisconsin by Grant Foreman

From the Wisconsin Historical Society Magazine of Wisconsin History – The Road to “Desolation Ferry – The Story of the Potters’ Emigration Society” by Roger Bentley

Chipstone  “Our Home in the West”: Staffordshire Potters and Their Emigration to the America in the 1840s” by Miranda Goodby

From History of Columbia County by Andrew Jackson Turner The Potters Emigration Society. Andrew is the son of James Turner who immigrated under this program and who was a partner with the Pointon’s in the Baraboo Pottery.

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