Surrounding the eagle on this creamware plate are the words from Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address delivered March 4, 1801: “Peace, Commerce and honest Friendship with all Nations. Entangling alliances with none.”
In 1807 Jefferson’s inaugural promise was broken when Congress approved an embargo, sponsored by Jefferson, prohibiting ships from trading with Europe and banned the importation of manufactured goods from Britain. A more severe Act in 1808 prohibited the export of all goods. The Embargo Acts resulted in severe financial and maritime losses for Americans from which many citizens, particularly in the New England seaport communities, never recovered.