Slave Cemetery in Pickens Co, SC
- Hi All!
I thought this post from the SCPicken rootsweb list might interest you all.
Take care, Patricia Cantrell, Columbus, GA
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 18:06:54 -0400
From: "Paul M Kankula - nn8nn" <kankula1@...>
Subject: [SCPICKENS] Pickens Plantation Slave Cemetery - Clemson
Scouts clear years away from slave cemetery
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 8:13 pm
By Anna Simon
CLEMSON: Armed with yard tools, Brandon Blake and about 15 other members of
Clemson Boy Scout Troop 235 attacked a 100-foot by 100-foot tangle of fallen
leaves and downed trees inside two strands of sagging barbed wire.
Their mission on that overcast February day was to begin to uncover and
restore what is believed to be a slave cemetery owned by Gen. Andrew Pickens,
an American Revolutionary era leader who Pickens County is named for.
Pickens, who is buried at Old Stone Church in Clemson, lived near the high
knoll that today is in woods behind chicken houses at Clemson University's
poultry farm on Cherry Road.
Two months later, the site looks like a park. New fencing and a gate surround
a stand of tall blackgum, sourwood, dogwood and oak trees that rise above the
Scouts uncovered row after row of fieldstones that mark about 150 unmarked
There are only three headstones. Two bear names: Hannah, the wife of James
Reese, who died in 1807 at the age of 49, and Loutilda Thompson who was born
June 10, 1916, and died Dec. 20, 1918. The third stone bears only the
"You couldn't see much at the beginning," said Blake, 17, who organized the
effort as his Eagle Scout service project.
As they removed the rotting leaves and forest debris, the Scouts uncovered
stone after stone and worked carefully to avoid moving any rocks.
"You'd just trip over them," Blake said. "You're digging away and there's
another rock. There's a lot more here than I thought there would be."
Scouts have marked all the graves with short sections of white PVC pipe
hammered into the ground. They will add permanent markers later. The next
step will be to try to piece together the history of the cemetery and map out
the graves, Blake said.
The most interesting part of the project has been connecting with local
history, said Blake, a junior at D.W. Daniel High, who is considering
majoring in history in college.
There's not much information to go on as Blake tries to put a history
together, said Paul Kankula, a genealogist, who is working with the scouts to
determine if the cemetery was the slave cemetery of Pickens, whose homestead
was only one-quarter mile away.
Kankula believes the cemetery was a slave cemetery because so many graves
were unmarked, because they are shallow and because of the proximity to where
slave quarters were in relation to Pickens' home.
He also believes the cemetery was multi-generational because of the number if
graves and the centuries spanned by the two marked headstones.
Kankula hopes that a sibling or niece or nephew of two-year-old Loutilda
Thompson, buried there in 1918, might be in the area today and know some of
Anyone with information about the cemetery can contact Kankula at (864)
886-9666 or kankula1@....
Paul M Kankula - nn8nn
GenWeb County Coordinator
Oconee County SC Homestead:
Pickens County SC Homestead (Acting Coordinator)
(NOTE: this is the official genweb site for Pickens. There is another one
that Traci Parsons-Holder has if anyone wants it-I contribute to Traci's as
well as some of my kin do. PC)
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