Slavery Gardens

Exodus 6:6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (NIV)

            Outside of Charleston, South Carolina are two magnificent gardens.  The Magnolia Plantation and Drayton House are owned by the same family and are old rice Plantations on the Ashley River.  The first Camellia to be brought to America was the start of the Camellia Garden at Magnolia.  Birds, butterflies and the ubiquitous alligators provide life in this naturalist garden.  

            Founded by the Drayton family in 1676, it is the oldest public garden in the nation opening in the 1870s after the Civil War. They are unrestored with wild growth of nature between winding paths separating the different sections.  

Drayton House

            The tour “From Slavery to Freedom” highlights four restored slave houses in different periods of the Plantation’s history.  The slaves built much of the gardens and helped to create the rice industry in South Carolina.  

We walked for two hours around the property with bridges, late summer blooms and even an alligator could not squelch the experience.

Alligators at edge of Lake

The history of the family who owned the property is fascinating and a fictionalized novel “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd, tells the story of the Grimke family in the early 1800s.   How John Grimke Drayton created the natural and less formal gardens is detailed in 

How do you discuss the history of slavery in America?  What courage do you show in injustice? What cultural injustices are you willing to fight to change? 

Leave a Reply