SANKOFA'S SLAVERY DATA COLLECTION
Location: Berkeley Co., SC
History: The house, built about 1795, is probably in as good condition as it was a hundred years ago. The "Negro street" is just as it was in ante bellum days. Each house is neatly whitewashed, and each has its own garden. The chapel, built for slaves, still stands. Descendants of those slaves have their prayer meetings in the same house of worship as did their forefathers.
The plantation is a mile northwest of the battlefield of Eutaw Springs. Captain James Sinkler, who secured the grant to Belvidere in 1770, according to available records, was a son of the Scot emigrant, and lived at his plantation, Old Santee, in St. Stephen's Parish. When Santee River began its series of disastrous freshets in the latter quarter of the eighteenth century, Captain Sinkler, with his brother, Peter, of Lifeland, made early experiments in a series of dikes to protect crops from the river water. For some time these embankments proved successful but as the freshets rose higher and higher valuable swamp lands had to be abandoned and new lands had to be secured for cultivation. It was probably for this reason that Captain Sinkler secured his Belvidere tract in St. John's Parish.
Together with Captain Peter Gaillard, of St. Stephen's Parish (later of the Rocks), Captain Sinkler began experiments in cotton in St. John's. So successful were these experiments in the new staple crop that both men forsook their St. Stephen's plantations and moved up to their St. John's lands. By 1800 both had made fortunes in cotton cultivation.
Belvidere is now the property of the heirs of the late General Charles St. G. Sinkler, who are Mrs. W. Kershaw Fishburne, of Philadelphia and Gippy Plantation, Berkeley Co., and Mrs. Dunbar Lockwood of Boston. The plantation is still planted extensively, and the house is still the scene of weekend parties.
Associated Surnames: Sinkler
Associated Plantations: Old Santee Plantation (Berkeley Co., SC)
Associated Free White Names
Associated Black Slave Names
Description of Associated Architecture