City Directories and History: The plantation house is significant as one of the earliest extant main houses of the Georgetown County rice plantations and for its association with Christopher Gadsden. Beneventum was one of the earliest successful rice plantations in the area, and was owned by Gadsden, who built its main house ca. 1750. Gadsden was a prominent statesmen and soldier of the American Revolution, the originator of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, and Federalist leader in the early national period.
After his death in 1805, Beneventum was sold to John Julius Pringle, Attorney General of South Carolina from 1792 to 1808 and member of the state House of Representatives. At its peak production, Beneventum was believe to be the plantation that produced 420,000 pounds of rice with 142 slaves in 1850 under Robert Pringle, a son of John Julius. The Georgian house has a formal entrance, centrally located and sheltered by a one-story portico which extends across the center two-thirds of the façade. The rear half of the house was added ca. 1800, with further rear additions made probably early twentieth century. Listed in the National Register October 3, 1988. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
“Pringle, Col. Robert of “Beneventum” plantation, Charleston, and Paris, France. Born Mar. 28, 1793 (S.C.?); died Oct. 26, 1860. Education: Harvard College, A.B., 1813. Church: Episcopalian (?). Public Service: Lieut. Col. (Gov. Andrew Pickens’s staff). Slaves: 114 (Prince George, Winyah, Parish, Georgetown District).”
The Last Foray, C. Gaston Davidson, SC Press – 1971
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