Saturday, April 30, 2016

Two Cemeteries


Beneath this grassy field lie the tired bones of those who came to America on slave ships, were sold in the Charleston and Savannah slave markets and purchased to work the rice fields of the Lowcountry by white planters like the Huguenins of Roseland Plantation. The Huguenins owned 329 slaves who worked the 25,000 acres of Roseland Plantation rice and cotton fields.

The island we live on is surrounded by that plantation land.

The slave cemetery on Roseland Road is a beautiful resting place for those hardest working of slaves, those who built and labored in the disease and mosquito-ridden rice fields.

No one knows how many men, women, and children are buried here, who they were, how they died. If the graves of slaves were marked at all, it was with a pile of shells, a small bouquet of wildflowers, a wooden cross long ago turned to dust.

There are a few old marked graves, of slaves who died after the Civil War and Emancipation.


"Our Beloved Pastor, Rev. P. Smalls

Born Sept. 1, 1807, Died July 21, 1887"





Surrounding the field of unmarked graves are the modern graves of the descendants of the slaves who still live up and down Roseland Road.

One of the newest graves is that of a little boy, 8 years old, who was shot to death in the crossfire of bullets fired by three men who had been arguing all afternoon.

Khalil and the son of one of the men had been playing outside his grandmother's home when he was shot.

The men were between 19 and 37 years old and amongst the three, had previously been arrested in Beaufort County a total of 74 times!



The remains of the plantation owners, the Huguenin family, lie under giant oaks a few miles away,

in a cemetery near where one of three plantation houses stood.

In this brick tomb are the bodies of three little Huguenin brothers -- Thomas, Theodore, and Lawrence -- who lived only 16 months, two years, and one day.

Though the planters made fantastic sums of money, it was not an easy life or one without tragedy and grief.

I wonder if their wives would say it was worth it.





Outside the brick walls at the back are the unmarked graves of the house slaves -- the cooks, personal servants, the nannies, laundresses, midwives, seamstresses.












The Writer thinks I'm a bit obsessed with slaves and slavery and all that. But I think it's that I am fascinated with a way of life, a history, a culture that as a northerner I knew very little about. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a foreign country, or on another planet! Anyway, I hope I haven't bored you.



  1. It is part of our history on both sides of the Atlantic. Not a part that we are proud of but neither should it be forgotten.

  2. Certainly not bored, Cynthia. Your blogs are always a pleasure to read
    as you go into great detail on the subject matter. That is why you are
    one of the 8 bloggers who I comment on from around the World.
    These 8 cover travels, farm life, resorts and travel and historical

    I suppose with 25,000 acres of rice and cotton lands - the ratio of working slaves
    would have to be over the 300 mark for the "field hands".
    Huguenin - that looks like a French surname???
    Great to see that the history of Roseland Plantation preserved for future
    Not so good to read of the recent unfortunate addition to the cemetery,
    Khalil Jamar Singleton (2002/2012). I think you know my views on gun
    access in the USA - when will someone have the guts to stand up to the
    demented Gun Lobby lot and bring in laws of to limit this lawlessness???
    I think everyone around the World with any intelligence knows why it is
    in the USA constitution when it was written, but the "Poms, Frenchies, Dutch
    and Spaniards are no longer interested in regaining their ex-colonies.
    Amend this part of the Constitution.
    Cheers and great historical report.
    PS: Almost 7.00 am Sunday 1st May - overcast and miserable morning
    here in Brisbane, not BBQ or Beach/pool weather I can assure you.

  3. This post has been the farthest thing from boring! Thank you for sharing it

  4. The killing of African-Americans by African-Americans in the Savannah-South Carolina area is horrendous. We lived in Augusta, Ga in the 80's and I don't remember this violence. So much hatred.

  5. No, not boring but quite instructive. I, too, was fascinated with many aspects of southern history when I visited Charleston and Mount Pleasant

  6. Not boring at all. You're learning about your new environment and not taking anything for granted.

  7. You always pick the most interesting stuff. The slaves had a tough life but they also had a culture

  8. You live in an area rich in history. I have been doing some online volunteer work. Part of what I was doing was the Slave census of 1860. They are listed by Slave Owner and then M or F and their age....sad.
    I love old cemeteries and enjoy walking around in them. So sad about the little boy Kahil, that seems like just a few arrests...74 too bad someone wasn't in jail:(

  9. Cynythia it is really interesting post of the salvery which I had known only from the films

  10. Never boring, never.
    Great post.
    Different times and what a shame the names have gone, and some names never there.
    Have read several books on slavery and plantations, though fiction they are based on the truth.
    Sad about the young boy getting shot - and fiery tempered men the cause.

  11. You never bore me, I like to read those inside histories you tell us. I have read about your history of the slaves and even visited Savannah and plantations but to read stories by locals is always very interesting. The death of that little boy is so tragic and I hope the weapons in your country will ever be forbidden. So many innocent victims...

  12. Another very interesting post. One hopes that deaths like that of little Khalil are not in vain and one day we will look back on these times, when all kinds of crazy people insisted on their right to carry weapons, with the same horror and shame that we now look back on the days of slavery.

  13. Certainly not boring, I am always interested to learn more about the history, culture and events from around the world. A great post.

  14. Another interesting posts, don't stop. We need to understand the culture of all the US and this helps us do that.

  15. Oh my goodness, you make history so interesting. I love your stories and pictures. How sad about that little boy being shot. Isn't that a shame, and it happens every day.

  16. Yes you'd like to think that the world has developed, Slavery is no longer and random shootings are a thing of the past, but I'm not so sure. We have just had the 20th anniversary of our Port Arthur massacre which killed 35 people, wounded 23 in Tasmania and resulted in a major reform of Australian gun laws, we've not had a mass shooting since that day. No amount of plantation money would make up for losing three boys and all so young. I loved this post, I did not get a sense from you being there that it felt creepy wandering around the two cemeteries?
    Wren x

  17. I was fascinated and saddened reading this. It is sometimes easy for forget painful parts of history...thank you for posting this, Cynthia.