We uncovered this wonderful ANTIQUES magazine from June of 1926 and were very thrilled to find documentation of this incredible jug with incised design work. The jug was evidenced after research to be made in the 1860's in Athens, Ohio, by an unknown potter.
The jug lacks a makers stamp, but that shortcoming is completely overshadowed by the mention of one Governor Jacob Thompson and an odd and dangerous looking animal.
The article which accompanied the pictures stated that although the jug was initially believed to be a commemorative jug, it then became much more. Turns out there was much speculation as to whether or not there was such a person as Thompson. The jug evidently, was incised with Thompson's name, after the success of his election to the Governorship of Mississippi, as documented by several encyclopedias. This fact proved to be quite at question!
The beginning and perhaps the end of the story is that this all happened during the Civil War when some of America's best stoneware was created. Aside from the heralded pieces in museums depicting flags being waved, soldiers marching off to war and President Lincolns bust, here is a jug with an obvious bias against this "so called" Governor. The country was at war and documentation was perhaps the least important thing to save when lives were at stake. So we know little about this jugs personal connection to this J. Thompson.
This Governor...or so called Governor, was elected in a Confederate State, during the war and REALLY hated the North and it's "repressive policy" towards the South. He plotted ways to introduce germs to cities, burn towns to the ground and wanted to seize the city of Chicago and release any prisoners in the jails there. He was, in the end, suspect in the plot to assassinate President Lincoln.