Center: young Richmond Bowens (1908-1998), the seventh-generation descendant of enslaved people who lived and worked at Drayton Hall. He would grow up to become the greatest resource on the site's African American history. Shown with (L-R) his mother, Anna Bryan Bowens, and his aunt, Harriett May.
Richmond Hershel Bowens (1880-1920), resided at Drayton Hall and worked for the phosphate mining company in the late 1800s. He married Anna Bryan (1893-1937) and they lived in a house along the entry road. Their son, Richmond Bowens, Jr. (1908-1998), grows up at Drayton Hall.
Descendants of the Drayton and Bowens families. L-R: Charles H. "Charlie" Drayton III (1918-) and Richmond Bowens, Jr. (1908-1998)
Charlotta Drayton (1884 – 1969) with her beloved dog, Nipper, and an unidentified boy. She was the last member of the Drayton family to spend a significant amount of time at Drayton Hall. An early preservationist, a provision in her will asks that her family not make major changes to Drayton Hall.
Francis "Frank" Beatty Drayton (1923-1979) With the passing of their Aunt Charlotta in 1969, Frank and his brother Charles inherited her share of the plantation; each already owned a quarter share from their father. After thoughtful consideration of the ever-increasing costs to maintain their ancestral home, Frank and Charles decide to sell the house and 125 acres to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the remaining acreage to the state of South Carolina, thereby fulfilling their Aunt's wish to preserve the property for future generations.
Charles Henry Drayton (1847 – 1915)
Richmond Bowens, Jr. (1908-1998) The seventh-generation descendant of enslaved people who lived and worked at Drayton Hall, Mr. Bowens was the greatest resource on the site's African American history.
Miniature portrait of charles Drayton (1743 - 1820). Painted c. 1760 when Charles was a young gentleman (artist unkown). Watercolor on ivory, supported by burnished bezel case with hanging loop and mounted brooch pin. Drayton Hall Museum Collection, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gift of Mr. Charles H. Drayton, III. Photograph courtesy of Mr. Russell Buskirk.