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Daily at 11:15 am and 2:15 pm Drayton Hall presents the most important history talk in Charleston, SC – Port to Plantation: Slavery and the Making of the Early Lowcountry Economy, an interactive educational talk included in admission to Drayton Hall. Years of research went into developing the Port to Plantation presentation, Drayton Hall’s new presentation which explores the economic ramification of slavery at Drayton Hall and throughout the Carolina Lowcountry. Primary source documents are the chief source of information for this program discussing the Lowcountry economy based on slavery and using Drayton Hall as a case study.
Perhaps the hardest, but certainly the most important educational presentation you will have an opportunity to join in Charleston; the impact of the institution of slavery to the building of Charleston’s remarkable colonial and post-revolutionary wealth and to the Charleston you see today has clarity in this talk. 40% of all the slaves which entered America came through the port of Charleston – some to Drayton Hall and many more to Drayton landholdings across the Carolinas which were in total 145 properties, 76,000 acres. The Port to Plantation talk helps us to keep at the front of our visitors minds the enslaved persons who built both the wealth which created Drayton Hall and the house itself.
Interpreters share with you the reality of this practice of slavery in the map and numbers of African American people being transported to the Americas as well as their ports of entry. The nature of the journey itself was horrific and grueling; these trips were meant to be economically profitable, not humane. The lives these captured people faced in the British colonies of the Carolinas were equally as inhumane: Port to Plantation addresses the rules of Drayton plantations and details what enslaved people could expect to face for various infractions. It is revealing and deeply troubling but among the most critical conversations we need to have as a nation.
For accuracy, Port to Plantation draws heavily from the actual diary entries of Charles Drayton, (second-generation owner of Drayton Hall and various other Drayton land assets), from 1784 to 1820 as well as other newspaper primary sources to provide first-hand accounts of the perspective of slave-holding land owners during the period when the South was flourishing economically as a result of the labor of hundreds of thousands of enslaved persons. Achieving clarity and accuracy for the attendees of all of Drayton Hall’s educational presentations is Drayton Hall’s most fundamental goal. We are first an educational institution and our commitment to the truth is unparalleled in Charleston’s plantation museums.
Your experience in the Port to Plantation presentation will be both riveting and deeply thought-provoking; an opportunity to understand Charleston and the South in a new, important way. Join us at Drayton Hall for Port to Plantation daily at 11:15 and 2:15. These presentations are included with your admission and membership, so be sure to leave 45 minutes for this talk in addition to your house tour and museum gallery visit.