On Thursday, September 12th @ 7 pm, Elizabeth Laney of the Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site will be at the McCormick County Library to share the history of the plantation – from its founder, SC Governor and US Senator James Henry Hammond, to its current status as a South Carolina State Park. This free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the McCormick Library.

Located in Aiken County, Redcliffe Plantation (completed in 1859), was once the home of James Henry Hammond, three generations of his descendants, and numerous African-American families like the Henleys, Goodwins, & Wigfalls who worked at the site as slaves and later free men and women. Now one of the many historic plantations South Carolina has opened to the public, this site symbolizes the ambition, wealth and power of James Henry Hammond a successful cotton planter, congressman, governor and senator, who spent his life defending the southern plantation system and his status within it. It was Hammond who coined the phrase that “Cotton is King” in an 1858 speech to the Senate.

Redcliffe provides a setting for exploring the experiences of the enslaved, as well as the larger institution of slavery and reflects the historical experiences and impact of the white and black families who lived and worked at the site.


James Henry Hammond 1807-1864