Showing posts from December, 2022

Middleton Place, South Carolina

  Plantations and their stories seem to permeate the south.  The antebellum fiction can fill you with wonder and awe of these beautiful places while ignoring how they became to be.  Massive land grants, in the new world, given by the King in recognition of some service rendered.  Then carved out of the wilderness, and turned into productive use providing tobacco, indigo, rice, cotton and sugarcane.  This made a few men very rich.  Many others the same through the transportation and sale of these products.  All of it made possible by the backbreaking work of slave labor. The average life expectancy of a slave was 21 years.  In todays dollars, the price of a slave ranged from $60,000 in 1809 to $185,000 in 1859. When you dig through the mythology and adjust census figures at the time, about 25% of the citizens of the southern slave holding states were slave owners.  Some owned only one, while larger plantations owned 200 or more.  The Middleton family owned 19 plantations, and at one tim