These fragments were discovered during an investigation of a well that had been filled in at the Williams Fort site in southeastern Illinois. The site was the location of a farmstead occupied by the family of Aaron and Tabitha Williams from about 1811-1838. To defend against the possibility of attack by Native Americans during the War of 1812, a stockade was constructed. A tavern was operated at the site in the years following the war.
Decorated with hand-painted designs and molded edges, these fragments of saucers, plates, and a teapot were made in the Staffordshire, England, pottery district and exported for sale to the American market. The colors and designs used on the fragments were common to the first two decades of the site’s occupation. The number of tea service vessels found in the assemblage of artifacts recovered from the well could suggest they were used in the tavern.