City Directories and History: (Hopsewee-on-the-Santee; Thomas Lynch, Jr., Birthplace) Hopsewee was the birthplace and boyhood home of Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence for South Carolina, planter, soldier, and politician, from 1749-1763, when his father sold the farmhouse. It is the only extant house closely related with Thomas Lynch, Jr., the only son of a wealthy rice planter. Thomas Lynch, Jr. entered public life in 1774. He was a member of the first and second provincial congress (1774-1776), of the constitutional committee for South Carolina (1776), and of the first state General Assembly (1776).
Built by Thomas Lynch, Sr. in the 1740s, Hopsewee is a two-and-one-half story frame structure on a brick foundation covered by scored tabby, with a hipped roof, dormers, and two interior chimneys. A broad two-story porch or piazza with square columns extends across the front of the house. The frame, comprised of black cypress, is of mortise and tenon construction and the walls are clapboard. The farmhouse has a central hall plan. The mantels, wainscoting, cornice mold, and heart pine floors are all original and of excellent craftsmanship. There are two one-story cypress shingled outbuildings on the property, probably originally used as kitchens. Listed in the National Register January 25, 1971; Designated a National Historic Landmark November 11, 1971. [Courtesy of the S.C. Dept. of Archives and History]
“Hopsewee plantation, where Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born, is one of the oldest, most historic homes in Georgetown county, yet the writer has been unable to leam the meaning of the word “hopsewee,” which undoubtedly is of Indian origin. This territory once was inhabited by the Santee Indians. It would be interesting to learn the significance of the name if anyone is able to shed light on the matter.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
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