Owners of Historic Snee Farm

Richard Butler (Owner from 1696-?)

In the late 1600s, Richard Butler received a 500-acre land grant in Christ Church Parish. "Butler's Causeway," a feature found on 1700s and 1800s maps, was possibly built by Butler when Long Point Road was established along the northern boundary of his land (c. 1707).

John Givens (Owner from ?-1730)

Between 1696 and 1730, Butler transferred the 500-acre parcel to John Givens, who in turn left it to Benjamin Law in 1730.

Benjamin Law (Owner from 1730-1738)

When Law received the property the grant was described as a "situate in Berkeley County butting and bounding on land of Thomas Boone to the Northeast and upon the land of Mary and Sarah Sims to the Southwest."

John Allen (Owner from 1738-1748)

In 1738, John Allen purchased the 615 acres of land, including Butler's original 500-acre grant. Captain Boone's Land marked the northern boundary of Allen's new holdings. In 1744, Allen increased the size of his farm by purchasing the 100 acres owned by James and Sarah White (formerly Sarah Sims), consolidating the farm into a 715-acre tract.

Anne Scott Allen and John Savage (Owner from 1748-1754)

John Allen died in 1748. His widow, Anne Scott Allen, married John Savage. In 1754, Savage sold Snee Farm to Colonel Charles Pinckney, a member of the Lowcountry gentry. The origins of the word "snee," as applied to the property, are currently unknown. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as "bountiful, plenteous." The term first appeared in documents made at the time of the Pinckney family purchase in 1754.

Colonel Charles Pinckney (Owner from 1754-1782)

Colonel Charles Pinckney was a wealthy Charleston attorney, public servant, and planter. He was born in Charleston but was educated in England, and he kept close economic and social ties with the mother country. He acquired Snee Farm in 1754, shortly after his marriage to Francis Brewton. The farm was one of three plantations he owned outside of Charleston. Col. Pinckney served as the commanding officer of the First Battalion of Charles Towne Militia. However, with the fall of Charleston to the British in 1780, he abandoned the American cause and swore loyalty to Britain. By so doing, he avoided the destruction of his property. Col. Pinckney died in St. Andrew’s Parish in 1782. He was buried at St. Phillip’s Church in Charleston. Snee Farm appears to have been at its most productive between the years of 1754 and 1790, under the ownership of Col. Pinckney and later, his son, Charles Pinckney.

Charles Pinckney (Owner from 1782-1817)

Because his family visited the property frequently, Charles Pinckney spent part of his youth at Snee Farm. He inherited the plantation after his father’s death in 1782. It is not known how often he visited the plantation as an adult, but by 1791, his political career was keeping him away for long periods of time. Even though Snee Farm was his established country estate, Charles Pinckney owned several other plantations in the lowcountry. His other properties included the two plantations of Frankville and Hopton, situated on both sides of the Congaree River, five miles from Columbia; a Georgetown plantation consisting of 560 acres of tidal swamp and 600 acres of high land; a tract of 1200 acres called Lynches Creek; Fee Farm on the Ashepoo River. After his marriage to Mary Eleanor Laurens in 1788, the elegant three-storied brick home at 16 Meeting Street in Charleston presumably became his principal residence.
April 28, 1810, Pinckney placed an advertisement in the City Gazette (Charleston), in which he offered for sale his properties across the state of South Carolina. Pinckney Farm was described as “A very valuable tract of about eight hundred acres of Land, ten miles from the city, in Christ Church Parish, consisting of about one hundred and twenty acres, more or less of rice lands, and the rest fit for the culture of grain of every kind and great part for black seed cotton: as very little of it has been planted for near thirty years, it is as good as new land. On this are a comfortable Dwelling House, new Kitchen, brick Barn and some other Buildings, and a very handsome Garden of eight or ten acres, at the back of which, there is a landing for a large schooner--this may be made a very valuable place for planting of cotton and corn, attending the market, or for stock, or cutting wood. The Negroes now on it will be sold with it."

Francis G. Deliessleine (Overseer from 1817-1828)

Francis G. Deliesseline was the overseer at Deliesseline Farm for at least seven years before he purchased the farm from Charles Snee owned 25 slaves in Christ Church Parish. His name appears as a resident of Charleston, suggesting that he did not consider Pinckney's Farm his primary home. Some time after 1826, Deliesseline was unable to meet the terms of the Snee Farm mortgage, and he and his family abandoned all holdings to his creditors. Given Deliesseline's financial woes, the site must have been in poor condition by this time. The property was sold to William Mathews in 1828.

William Mathews (Owner from 1828-1853)

William Mathews owned considerable property, including five plantations, a ferry on the Cooper River, and "my house and lot in Charlotte Street where I now reside." When he bought Snee Farm in 1828, he paid $3,150, a significant devaluation of the land holding since the sale to in 1817. In his last will and testament, Mathews described himself as a planter and made reference to certain articles of furniture at Snee Farm. This reference indicates that, although he apparently did not reside at the farm, he did spend some time there. Mathews died in 1848, leaving Snee Farm to his daughter Susan (wife of Benjamin F. Hunt). Equity court proceedings describe the unfortunate condition of Snee Farm by this time: "Snee Farm … Devised to Mrs. Hunt containing about 700 acres of land and settled by a gang of about forty-eight Negroes, is, as your Orator has been informed, an unproductive place: That the testator bought it with the intention of making corn and hay here for the use of Milton Ferry; that over and above the provisions used on the place itself, Snee Farm has scarcely done more than to furnish bread for the hands at the Ferry, with hay for the work-mules and horses at the livery."

William McCants and Lockwood McCants (Owners 1853-1900)

William McCants, who identified himself as a planter, purchased Snee Farm in 1853. In addition to Snee Farm, he kept a house and lot in Mount Pleasant, and depending on the time of year, probably divided his time between these properties. Probate records indicate that his son, Lockwood Allison McCants, inherited the farm in 1859. L. A. McCants owned Snee Farm until 1900.

Thomas J. Hamlin and Osgood Hamlin (Owners 1900-1936)

In 1900, Thomas J. Hamlin bought Snee Farm from the McCants estate. The Hamlins grew Sea Island cotton at Snee Farm until the 1920s. Osgood Hamlin inherited the farm from his father and managed it until 1936.

Thomas Ewing and Thomas Stone (Owners 1936-1968)

Thomas Ewing bought Snee Farm in 1936, three years later after his daughter, Alexandra Ewing Stone, and son-in-law, Thomas Stone, bought Boone Hall, on the north side of Long Point Road. Snee Farm passed to his daughter and her husband, who moved to the property in 1943.

Guilds and Joyce Hollowell (Owners 1968-1986)

The Hollowells purchased the 28 acres of Snee Farm from the Stones in 1968. The property consisted of the house complex, the grove, the entrance from Long Point Road, the barn area and part of the agricultural fields and avenue. The Hollowells removed the overseer's house and related structures. They added a swimming pool and used the Stone's library/cottage as a pool and guesthouse. A basketball court, located to the east of the residence, was built during this time. The Hollowells maintained the Stone' camellias and azaleas for their own enjoyment.

C and G Investments (Owners 1986-1988)

In 1986, the property was sold to C and G Investments for development of 40 residential lots. Initial road grading began but was soon halted when local residents objected to the farm's destruction.

Friends of Historic Snee Farm (Owners 1988-1990)

Shortly after the property was sold in 1986, private citizens organized a non-profit group, the Friends of Historic Snee Farm, to protect the last remnant of Charles Pinckney's original Snee Farm. The community-based group succeeded in securing congressional action to preserve the site. The National Park Service established Charles Pinckney National Historic Site on September 8, 1988. With financial assistance from the Friends, the NPS purchased the 28-acre site in 1990.

Last updated: October 17, 2017

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