From Plantations to the City: African Americans in the South Carolina Lowcountry
Students begin at Drayton Hall where they identify the connections among people through time and place and demonstrate an understanding of African-American life.
By using primary documents, artifacts,
photographs, and stories, students analyze and interpret African American life during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. They learn about the interactions between
whites and blacks and how cultural exchanges have influenced South Carolina and America today. By observing and examining African instruments and baskets that are
still made in both Senegal and the Lowcountry today, students learn to identify and describe how trans-Atlantic traditions have survived in a similar fashion for
almost three centuries.
Students then travel downtown for an African-American history walking tour of Charleston, led by a Drayton Hall guide. While observing and examining sites tied to
Charleston's African-American history such as the Old Slave Mart Museum, Philip Simmon's gates, and the National Freedman's Bank, students
compare and contrast slave life on a plantation and in urban settings. By examining Charleston's architecture and landscapes, students appreciate the critical roles
that African Americans played in the building of the city, ranging from the wealth their labor produced to the decorative architectural details wrought by their skilled
craftsmanship. They see what life was like for slaves, empathize with the hardships they faced, and identify steps taken to resist their masters. On-site discussions
and inquiries enable students to describe the important roles that African-Americans, enslaved and free, played in the American Revolution and the Civil War as well as
the challenges faced by newly freed African-Americans. Students conclude the tour with observations and discussions about the civil rights movement and its influence
on South Carolina and the nation.
The American Revolution: War Comes to the Lowcountry
Students learn to describe and interpret the American Revolution and learn to identify and evaluate the ideas and beliefs
that shaped decisions and actions. In hands-on, inquiry-based workshops, students learn about leaders, such as William Henry Drayton and British generals Clinton and
Cornwallis, and about the common soldiers of the British and Continental armies, who encamped at Drayton Hall as part of the campaigns for Charleston. Students are introduced to historical weapons, uniforms, marching drills, and camp life. They learn to describe and evaluate how the Revolution affected everyone in South Carolina, from plantation owner
John Drayton and his young wife Rebecca Drayton to an enslaved African American named Sam, who escaped to freedom.
After lunch or a break, students leave Drayton Hall for a walking tour in Charleston. During the walking tour students compare and contrast the effects of the war on rural
and urban settings. Through observations, lectures, and inquiries, students learn that Charleston was the thriving, wealthy, and powerful capital of the colony and therefore
a target for both the British and the Continental armies. During the tour, students observe buildings and places important during the American Revolution and locate and
identify important battles in Charleston, including the Battle of Fort Moultrie and the Siege of Charleston. Drayton Hallīs educators introduce students to factors that
caused the war, such as the "Intolerable Acts," as groups observe places where colonists, including members of the Sons of Liberty, responded to these acts with boycotts
and petitions. Students also identify South Carolina leaders, such as William Henry Drayton, Christopher Gadsden, William Moultrie, Col. Isaac Hayne, and Francis Marion.
These walks enable students to summarize and interpret the course of the Revolution and the effects of independence.
Customized packages are also available. Please contact Debbi Zimmerman, group tour coordinator, at 843-769-2630.