Historic Sites and Buildings
Colonel William Thomson's Belleville Plantation was occupied by the British in 1780. They built a supply base here and a fortified post overlooking the Santee River. Belleville and nearby fortified supply points changed hands several times in the course of fierce partisan warfare in which the South Carolina patriot leaders Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion were prominent. The Battle of Eutaw Springs (see p. 226) brought this seesaw conflict to a climax. Among the historic remains at and near the plantation are earthwork fortifications overlooking the Santee; the Thomson Cemetery, said to contain the remains of troops who died in the area; a camp and hospital site; McCord's Ferry, a strategic crossing of the Camden Road over the river; and Gillon's Retreat, plantation of Alexander Gillon, a commodore of the South Carolina Navy during the War for Independence.
John Stuart, recently arrived from Scotland, became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District in 1762the counterpart of Sir William Johnson of the Northern District. He became an influential member of various colonial councils and in 1772, at the height of his career, at a cost of £18,000, he built a fine three-story white frame residence in Charleston. He lived here until the outbreak of the War for Independence when he fled to British Florida where he continued to manage British-Indian relations in the South until his death in 1779. The Stuart House is surmounted by a hip roof with a captain's walk. The house is privately owned and has been remodeled in the original style.
William Rhett came to South Carolina in 1698 and soon achieved high rank as a colonial leader. He commanded the flotilla that repulsed a Franco-Spanish attack on Charleston in 1706 and led the expedition that captured Stede Bonnet, a notorious pirate. He acquired a plantation outside the fortified walls of the town and, by 1716, had completed the present house. Wade Hampton, famed Confederate cavalry leader, was born here. The exterior of the house has been altered greatly since it was built. The original entrance was probably on the west. Sometime after Hasell Street was built the south side was made into the entrance, and two-story piazzas were added on east and west. The house has been restored and is privately owned.
The powder magazine was erected, several years after it was authorized in 1703, near the northwest bastion of the city's fortifications. It held the public powder supply for the rest of the colonial period, and shortly before the fall of Charleston in 1780 the powder was removed and successfully concealed in The Exchange. The Powder Magazine is owned by the Colonial Dames and used as a public museum. The low, single-story structure is of unusually small brick covered with stucco. A massive arch supports the central portion of the heavy tile roof.
Lord William Campbell, South Carolina's last Royal Governor, lived in this house in 1775. Shortly after the Revolution it came into the possession of the Huger (pronounced "UGee") family, members of which still own it. Hugers have been prominent in South Carolina for generations. The Huger House is a good example of the unique Charleston "double house." A flight of stone steps leads from the street to the elevated first floor, through which runs a large center hall, to the back door that opens onto a garden. The three-story piazza on the south side is a recent addition. The Huger House is in excellent condition, a showplace of the historic area of Charleston.
The Exchange was built 1767-71, following adoption of the Townshend Acts which were designed to tighten the system for collecting customs duties. Confiscated tea was stored here in 1774, and the Provincial Congress met here in the same year. The Exchange was used as a military prison when the British captured Charleston during the War for Independence. The Federal Government purchased the property in 1818 for use as a customhouse and post office. It was damaged badly by the Federal bombardment of the city during the Civil War, and in 1913 the Daughters of the American Revolution acquired it for museum purposes. The elaborate building has undergone extensive modification over the years. The classic portico facing the Cooper River has been removed, leaving the secondary facade on Bay Street as thmaintenancece and the riverfront setting destroyed by land reclamation. The cupola and monumental urns are gone from the attic parapet and the spacious arcades have been walled in. The building still presents a solid, imposing appearance, however, and could be restored at least partially.
NHL Designation: 11/07/73
Eutaw Springs was the last major engagement of the War for Independence in South Carolina. Here, on September 8, 1781, Gen. Nathanael Greene's Continentals shattered Col. Archibald Stuart's British command. This led to the British evacuation of Orangeburg, leaving the American Army in undisputed possession of the interior of South Carolina. The battlefield is now a State park.
Huguenots fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, many coming to the larger cities of the English Colonies and especially to South Carolina. The sizable Huguenot population of Charleston gave the city a distinctly French flavor by the early 18th century. The first Huguenot congregation had been formed in Charleston in 1680, and they erected a church soon afterward. The present handsome Gothic structure, third on the site, was constructed in 1845. For years it was the only Huguenot church in the United States, but it no longer has an active congregation. Badly damaged by an earthquake in 1886 and a tornado in 1938, it has been restored and appears to be in excellent condition. The neatly kept church plot includes a small burial ground which, together with the church, is open to visitors.
NHL Designation: 11/07/73
Richard Capers built this brick "double house" about 1745 which later was the home of Col. Jacob Motte, longtime public treasurer of the colony. Through his 19 children he became father-in-law to a number of notable individuals, including Mrs. Rebecca Motte, Thomas Lynch, and William Moultrie. The house was damaged by shellfire during the Civil War and has been altered inside somewhat. Adam-style mantel-pieces were installed and the two upstairs front rooms were combined into a single drawing room about 1780. The house is privately owned.
Last Updated: 09-Jan-2005