Braddock's Point Plantation
and Slave Quarters

Located in The Sea Pines Plantation development at the junction of Baynard Park Road and Plantation Drive

Hilton Head, Beaufort County, SC

Pictures were taken by K. Torp during a visit to the area.

Artist's rendition of possible appearance of the Plantation House
[picture from on-site exhibit, taken by K.T.]

Map Showing location of the Plantation on Hilton Head Island
[picture from on-site exhibit, taken by K.T.]



• Named for Captain David Cutler Braddock, commander of the colonial half-galley Beaufort in 1742.

• Other names – Braddock Cove, Calibogue Point, Stoney-Baynard Hall

•1793-1820 – House built by James Stoney

• November 10-11, 1861 – Civil War engagement

• 1867 – Stoney-Baynard Hall burned sometime between the middle of August and the middle of December

• Number of acres – 1,000 (at least from 1776 to 1840)

•Primary crops – Cotton, corn, peas, sweet potatoes - also sold butter.

• Owners:
Peter Bayley, John Mark Verdier, Captain James Stoney and Captain John Stoney (1776), Dr. George Mosse Stoney, eldest son "Saucy Jack" (given name unknown, 1838), William Baynard, Catherine Adelaide and William Eddings Baynard, Ephraim Baynard, William P. Clyde (1894), Roy A. Rainey (1919), Thorne and Loomis (1931), Hilton Head Company (1951)


When Union troops invaded Hilton Head Island on November 7, 1861, Baynard and other plantation owners fled inland. The Federal government seized the property. Shortly after the war, the main house was destroyed by fire. Other structures were salvaged for building materials. Baynard heirs bought back most of their holdings in 1875. Various owners held the land over the next 80 years, while the Stoney-Baynard estate quietly reverted to forest.
In 1956, Sea Pines Plantation Company purchased the ruins with 5,280 acres on the south end of Hilton Island.
In 1966, Sea Pines founder Charles E. Fraser established a nine-acre site as permanent open space. At the site are remains of the main house, slave quarters, plantation kitchen and a military structure.
(From on-site exhibit)

The description below is contained in the application to the National Register of Historic Places,
and you're welcome to read all of the history of the place
here. (PDF file located off-site)

These are just excerpts since it's a very long file.
The pictures were taken by K.T. on-site at Hilton Head

[Excerpts from the application to the National Register]

The Stoney/Baynard Plantation is an early nineteenth century Sea Island cotton plantation situated on the southwestern end of Hilton Head Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina. The site consists of below ground archaeological remains covering an area just under six acres and a series of four ruins — three associated with the plantation and a fourth associated with the site's occupation by Union pickets during the Civil War. Today the site is incorporated into green spaced land owned by a property owners' association and is consequently preserved. .....

While the Stoney/Baynard Plantation originally encompassed nearly 1500 acres of woods and agricultural fields, today only the 5.6 acres of the main settlement remains, the rest having been converted into private neighborhoods, a golf course, and a marina (see Attachments 1 and 2).... Although the history of the Stoney/Baynard Plantation is not perfectly understood, there is good evidence that the plantation was begun in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, perhaps as a speculative venture by its first owners to supply cotton to their factorage. The plantation continued as a large and apparently prosperous holding until Hilton Head fell to Union troops in November 1861. Like many other properties on Hilton Head, the plantation fell into gradual decay and, although redeemed after the Civil War, it was never again a major working plantation. During the island's occupation by Union troops the plantation, at the southern tip of the island, was constantly stationed by pickets....

These investigations revealed that the tabby mansion was likely built sometime between 1790 and 1810, with intense occupation immediately following its completion. The structure was 1 1/2 stories in height, possibly with a garret above. While this structure fails to compare with elaborate tabby mansions built at Dataw, Callawassie, Spring, or Daufuskie islands, it is the only tabby plantation dwelling constructed on Hilton Head. The absence of a kitchen structure on the site argues convincingly that the Stoney mansion incorporated a kitchen area on the ground floor. The basement floor was only slightly below grade and had a poured mortar floor. Interior excavations reveal that the building was almost certainly abandoned and stripped of architectural details before it burned sometime in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

The exact nature of the partnership is unknown, although it is likely that the brothers were engaging in land and slave speculation, perhaps with the ultimate goal of James Stoney operating the plantations and using his brother John to handle the factorage of the cotton. The legal documents remaining clearly indicate that the two brothers were equal partners in the venture (Charleston RMC, DB C9, p. 179), with each entitled to one moiety or a half-interest in the combined property and slaves. Regardless, some evidence has survived which suggests that this venture ended in disaster

An 1838 Federal hydrographic map of Hilton Head is the earliest plat found of the Stoney/Baynard tract (Attachment 7). This plat shows the mainhouBe with a smaller structure just to the north. Further north, along the shore, is another building which could be an overseer's house or a utility building. To the east are what appears to be 22 slave houses in two rows with a structure at the east end which may be an overseer's or driver's house. These structures probably represent what could be seen from Calibogue Sound. Whether the map shows all the buildings or only the buildings visible from the water is unknown.

Artist's rendition of what the slave quarters looked like

John Stoney died in November 1838. During the following several years a series of court cases evolved from the indebtedness of the estate and its inability to satisfy all of the creditors. According to testimony, John Stoney became engaged "to a very heavy extent in some commercial engagements and in consequence of the Bankruptcy of the Parties with whom he was connected a debt for a very heavy amount devolved upon him and for the discharge of which he was legally bound" (South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Charleston Equity Bills, 1840, #85, Roll CH247). In an effort to repay the creditors, Stoney mortgaged virtually all of his real and personal property to the Bank of Charleston in 1837 for the amount of §400,000. Lands specifically on Hilton Head include Leamington and Calibogie plantations, as well as over 300 slaves. Upon Stoney's death, his executors were unable to repay the mortgage to the Bank of Charleston or a number of additional debts, including one for over $19000 owed to the Estate of Francis Dalcour. Stephen C. Tennant, Administrator of the Dalcour estate, then sued to obtain payment. The Master in Equity, Edward R. Laurens, sold several tracts, including Leamington and Shipyard plantations, between 1841 and 1846 in order to pay off the debts of the estate (South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Charleston Equity Bills, 1840, #85, Roll CH247). Some of Stoney's property was purchased by the Bank of Charleston, while other parcels, such as Leamington and Shipyard, were sold to individuals.

After the initial sale, the widow of John Stoney filed suit in circuit court alleging that her rights of dower were not protected in the sale of Stoney's estate and that she did not receive her one-third share of the property. The circuit court denied her petition, ordering the case dismissed, upon which Elizabeth Stoney appealed the case in February 1843. The Court of Appeals in Equity concurred with decree of the circuit court and the appeal was also dismissed (1 Richardson 275). As previously mentioned, a clear understanding of the relationship between James and John stoney is difficult. A connection between the heavy speculation in which the two brothers were involved during the early nineteenth century and the collapse of John Stoney's financial empire in the mid-nineteenth century is ambiguous and circumstantial at best. This rise and fall, however, seems all too well tied to general economy of South Carolina. ...

Unfortunately, no deeds have been identified which document how or when Captain John Stoney or his son, James Stoney, acquired what was later to become Baynard Plantation. Some additional information, which yields even greater weight to the scenario, is provided by the deed for the tract from the Bank of Charleston to William E. Baynard. On December 17, 1845 the Bank of Charleston sold William E. Baynard: that plantation tract or piece of land on Hilton Head said to contain twelve hundred acres more or less ...

There is virtually no doubt that John Stoney, probably on the death of his brother James, acquired the plantation at the southwestern tip of Hilton Head Island and that the tract was a part of his estate sold to pay debts. James Stoney's gravestone confirms that he died prior to John:

Sacred To the Memory of James Stoney,
who died at his late residence on Hilton Head island,
St. Luke's Parish, State of So. Carolina on the 10th of February 1827
aged 54 years 10 months and 11 days
(Little 1937:18)

The inscription also confirms that Stoney was living on Hilton Head in 1827. This indicates that a structure of some sort was present for Stoney's use at that date, just as his father's obituary of 1821 indicates that the structure existed six years earlier (Charleston City Gazette, October 19, 1821).

Baynard died four years after purchasing the tract from the Bank of Charleston in 1845 and this short period of ownership is relatively undocumented. The 1850 Agricultural Census for St. Luke's Parish fails to provide a listing for William E. Baynard or for the estate of William E. Baynard, although there are four listings for Baynard's son, Ephraim. ....

There is certain evidence that the house was standing in 1864, when Captain Alfred Marple wrote his wife: [t]hey are quartered in a large plantation House known as the Baynard property. Wild plums and dewberries are very abundant, and they have plenty of bird music .... I made a drawing of the House a quaint old building [the drawing does not accompany the letter] (South Caroliniana Library, Diary of Captain Alfred Marple, June 4, 1864).

While it may be hazardous to infer too much from this brief mention, it is curious that the structure is referred to as "quaint," rather than "qrand" and that it is specifically called "old." This may suggest that the mansion, by 1864, was in deteriorating condition, due not only to the war, but also because of the long period of absentee ownership. In another letter dated June 11, 1864 Marple mentions that there are 1300 acres of land in the Baynard Plantation.

.... On September 23, 1893, Elizabeth D. Ulmer sued Joseph S. Baynard and the other heirs for partition of the redeemed estate and the case was heard by the Beaufort Circuit Court the following year. The tract was ordered to be sold by Thomas Martin, Master-in-Equity and on February 19, 1894 a deed was recorded selling the property to William P. Clyde for $4,683 (Beaufort County RMC, DB 19, p. 439). This deed describes the property as: Braddock's Point containing 1561 acres Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Calibogue Sound and River and lands late of Lawton known as "The Sisters Place," excepting the 23 acres reserved by the U.S. Government for Light House purposes, the shape, mets, and bounds . . . delineated on a plat made by S. Reed Stoney . . . dated February 3, 1894 (Beaufont County RMC, DB 19, p. 439). This plat, however, cannot be located in the Beaufort County records and is presumed lost. Clyde held the property until 1919 when it was sold to Roy A. Rainey as part of a 9,000 acre tract for a total of $10,000. ...

The Baynard Plantation is contained within the first tract described, being "all that certain tract of land on the southern end of Hilton Head Island" (Beaufort RMC DB 37, p. 61). Roy Rainey held the property until 1931 when the entire 9,000 acre parcel was sold to Landon F. Thorne and Alfred L. Loomis for $180,000. In 1950 Loomis and Thorne sold 8129 acres, including Braddock's Point or the Baynard Plantation to the Hilton Head Company for $450,000 (Beaufort RMC DB 70, p. 7).

Eventually a large portion of this property arrived in the hands of the Sea Pines Plantation Company.

[Listed in the National Register February 23, 1994]

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