African-American History Tours

“This is the place where my
ancestors walked.”

Connections: From Africa to America

Focuses on the connections, contributions, and experiences of Africans and African Americans to South Carolina, Charleston, and Drayton Hall. Museum interpreters will present images of primary sources, artifacts, and people to tell the story of the enslaved and their descendents who were connected with Drayton Hall. It’s a unique glimpse into the past, a chance to discover how African and European traditions blended to create the rich Lowcountry culture that exists today. Connections is a perfect complement to the house tour and allows for a deeper appreciation of the rich and complex history of the site.


“I am an historian of Africa based in Knoxville (Univ. of Tennessee). I was initially hesitant, but came away thoroughly impressed, especially by your treatment of the African heritage of Drayton Hall. Well done.”

—Catherine H., Ph. D., Knoxville, TN


Carolina Gold Rice Connoisseur House Tour

Led by senior interpreters, the Carolina Gold / Rice Connoisseur Tour will introduce groups to rice cultivation and its importance to South Carolina, particularly in the 18th century. Drayton Hall was the headquarters of a vast network of as many as fifty other Drayton-owned plantations where rice was grown in inland water swamps that were drained into the Ashley River—but it was the labor, knowledge, and skills of its enslaved Africans that made production viable and the plantations prosper. Excerpts from the diary of Charles Drayton, who owned Drayton Hall from 1784–1820, will describe the growing and processing of rice and the task system that assigned daily jobs to the enslaved workers. The program provides visitors with the time and flexibility to freely ask questions, photograph, videotape, and immerse themselves in that period of plantation life at Drayton Hall.

90 minutes. By reservation only.



African-American History Walking Tour

This tour enables participants to interpret the important roles of African Americans, enslaved and free, in the history of Charleston. The tour—spanning the African slave tade, life in the American colonies, the American Revolution and the Civil War, emancipation, and the Civil Rights movement—will present the places, people, and events that are key to African-American history. Also, by observing Charleston’s architecture and landscapes, participants will come away with a new appreciation of the importance of African-Americans to the building of the city as seen in decorative architectural details wrought by their skilled craftsmanship.

1–1½ hours.

For questions, reservations, and pricing:

Debbi Zimmerman
Group Tour Coordinator,
843-769-2630 or by e-mail.

Drayton Hall Reimagined — Learn about the future of Drayton Hall.