The Hopsewee Plantation is a National Historic Landmark that is found in Georgetown, South Carolina. This house has stood the test of time as it was built almost 40 years prior to the Revolutionary War. This was the birthplace of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Lynch Jr. Besides the historical significance, it is a beautiful house that is built on lovely terrain overlooking a majestic river.
Backstory and Context
The Hopsewee plantation is estimated to have been built from around 1733 to about 1740. Thomas Lynch Jr. was born August 5, 1749 to Thomas Lynch Sr. and Elizabeth Allston. Thomas Lynch Sr. was an important political figure in politics at the time. After falling ill, Lynch Sr. recruited his son to the Continental Congress. Lynch Sr. was unable to sign the Declaration because of illness, but his son did and was the fifty-second person to sign it. Lynch Sr. passed not long after, and his son, Lynch Jr., left politics due to an illness he contracted while working with the militia out of South Carolina. He and his wife left for France in 1779 but the boat was lost at sea.
Rice fields were the major income that was coming from the plantation, and the families that owned the plantation continued growing rice up until the civil war. According to the Hopsewee website, in an 1850 Georgetown census, the plantation had 178 slaves and produced 360,000 pounds of rice. After the war ended and people returned to their homes, the plantation wasn't planted again. Even though slaves were now free, many remained on the land to work and pay rent on what property they were on (Hopsewee). Throughout the years, the Hopsewee Plantation has only been owned by fived different families. The Lucas family held it the longest for close to two hundred years.
The other owner's of the Hopsewee plantation include; International Paper Company who bought it in 1945, Colonel Reading Wilkinson purchased the house and a few acres in 1947, Mrs. Wilkinson traded houses With Jim and Helen Maynard in 1969, and Frank Beattie obtained the house in 2000. The Maynard's are the ones that acquired the National Landmark status for the property in 1972. The Hopsewee Plantation remains open to the public.
Snell, Charles. "Hopswee, (Thomas Lynch, Jr., Birthplace)." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. January 25, 1971. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/7be0bfae-427c-411c-8d72-08e2c61e1be3.
"Thomas Lynch Jr." USHistory.org. Accessed February 2, 2015. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/signers/lynch.htm.