Combining research services with community education to bring the stories of Beaufort's Influential Black Past to Life.
The Slave Street
Number of Slaves:
The Orangeburg Historical Society was kind enough to serch their entire holdings for me and go to the cemetery and photograph the Hamilton graves for me. My interest is in Capt John A. Hamilton who married Eliza Perryclear. He was overseer on her families plantation in Beaufort, SC. I have a photo of him in his Confederate Uniform ca. 1860. He served with the Moultrie Guards during the firing on Ft. Sumter.
Here is and exerpt from the Hamilton papers in Orangeburg on Eliza Perryclear.
"A kinswoman tells me that Eliza was a sister of Captain William H. Perryclear, father of the lateDr. John Perryclear. She was a noted beauty, but when her baby was born here, the child was found to have that dreaded scourge of those war days, smallpox. Within a few short days both mother and babe had died and this lovely girl was buried with none of her loved ones allowed to follow her to the grave. Her body still rests at the corner of Amelia street, where now stands a little brown house. Capt. Hamilton wanted to move it to the Legare lot where his other wives are buried, but was not permitted to do so by the authorities, for fear that the smallpox germs would spread again. For, as it happend at Eliza's death, negroes had stolen the sheets, bedding and clothing from the contagious rooms, and soon the village was overrun with smallpox. The story goes that Eliza's brother became so indignant when her tombstone was moved, that he refused to speak to Capt. Hamilton for years." She died Feb. 14, 1866 in Orangeburg.
T. & D., Mar. 31, 1943
In 1868, African Americans from all over Beaufort District voted in the first election since Emancipation and the close of the Civil War. What resulted was the election of African Americans in almost every section of South Carolina and even moreso the sweep of the Post Civil War Republican Party in the state. Beaufort's leading Post Civil War Republican was a man by the name of Robert Smalls who would peddle his respect and influence creating Beaufort into what was then known as, " Negro Paradise." Where elected officials and business owners were all African Americans. From the Civil War on, during this time many famous Americans called Beaufort home Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Johnathan Jasper Wright, Laura Towne, Charlotte Forten, William Henry Brisbane, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Frances Rollins Whipper, and Rufus Saxton. Well known visitors include: President Ulysses S. Grant, General William Tecumseh Sherman and Martin R. Delany to name a few.
More on Perryclear Plantation:
Slave Street, Perryclear Plantation, Port Royal Island, SC