Ceramics - Daniel Coxe, Burlington

“Dr. Daniel Coxe is generally recognized as having founded the earliest commercial-scale pottery in what is now New Jersey.”(1) A physician at the court of Charles II, Coxe did not come to this country himself; the business was operated by his son, Daniel Coxe, Jr., and an agent, John Tatham. The pottery was constructed sometime between 1683 and 1685 near the present-day city of Burlington.

A document left by Dr. Coxe includes an inventory of the Burlington property, which comprised about 95,000 acres. As Coxe described the business, “I have erected a pottery at Burlington for white and chiney ware, a greate quantity to ye value of 1200 li have already been made and vended in ye country, neighbor colonies and ye Islands of Barbadoes and Jamaica, where they are in great request. I have two houses and kilns with all the necessary implements, diverse workmen and other servants. Have expended there about 2000 li.”(2)

Coxe held title to the Burlington property until 1692. Although the pottery was not a long-lived, commercially successful venture, “it was the forerunner of what was to be a major industry in the state.”(3) No ceramic wares produced there have yet been identified.

(1, 3) Helen Henderson, “New Jersey Stoneware,” Maine Antique Digest on-line (see link below).

(2) Walter Hamilton Van Hoesen, Crafts and Craftsmen of New Jersey (Rutherford, Madison, and Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1973), p. 153.

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