Thomas Commeraw was not another potter of European descent working beside the Croliuses and Remmeys. He was a free African American. I discovered this fact some time ago by chance and at the time I was so shocked by this revelation that I wondered if there were two different Thomas Commeraws running around Manhattan during the time period. But there were not, and since then I have spent a lot of time trying to flesh out the life of this man whom history forgot. I believe Commeraw’s story demands nothing less than a book on his life and work, and I will be finished writing this book soon. I have launched a website, www.commeraw.com, to keep those interested in my project updated on its progress, and to enable people to easily contact me. At this time, I am asking for your help. I have many photographs of Commeraw’s work, but I am trying to amass as large of a photographic record of his pottery as possible. I am also looking for pieces by David Morgan, his fellow potter in Corlears Hook, and the fairly well-known pieces stamped “COERLEARS HOOK” and incised with elaborate floral decorations. In many cases I can travel to you, and in some cases I will ask for you to mail or email me photos. If you attend our regular auctions in York, Pennsylvania, or would like to in the future, I can have your pieces photographed conveniently there, as well. I of course promise complete discretion and anonymity. If you are interested in helping me by providing photographs, please feel free to contact me: http://www.commeraw.com/contact.
I invite you to visit my website, www.commeraw.com, and thank you in advance for your interest and for helping me restore Commeraw’s deserved place in American history.