Notice from the Enoch Wood scrapbook - "Our cause is gained!"

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Date:16th of June 1812 - 20th of June 1812 (c.)

Description:A big decision

In 1812, the people of the Potteries were struggling for their livelihoods. One government decision could make all the difference, but would it all come too late?


Years of war between Britain and France had cut trade ties with continental Europe.

To make matters worse, American ships had been caught up in the conflict - both sides had barred the United States from trading with each other.

US President Thomas Jefferson replied by banning trade with Britain.

No trade meant no business, and no business meant no jobs. Britain was close to ruin.

At home, Burslem endured the worst of it. Potbanks struggled and many workers were left unemployed.

"Our cause is gained!"

On June 16th 1812 Britain decided to abandon its 'Orders in Council' - a set of rules that had helped cause the row with the US.

Ralph Stevenson of Cobridge was among the first to hear the good news, and this notice was printed to share it.

A turn for the worse

Sadly, this was all too late.

The United States declared war on Britain on 18 June - probably even before most Potteries people had heard the earlier good news.

Peace would not be secured until 1814.

About this document

This document is now part of the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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