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Belvidere
A Plantation Memory, Commemorative Edition

Anne Sinkler Fishburne
Introduction by Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClecrq

The rich history of a Southern cotton plantation and the many generations of the family it served

"Belvidere is underwater too deep for any eye but that of memory to reach," begins Anne Sinkler Fishburne's reverential recollections of her ancestral home. Located between the Santee River and Eutaw Creek near present-day Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, Belvidere Plantation once produced Santee long-staple cotton (a hybrid of the famed Sea Island cotton) and short-staple cotton on its nearly eight hundred acres of rich lowcountry soil and served as the home of the Sinkler family from the 1770s until the 1940s. The author's great-grandmother Margaret Cantey Sinkler had an elegant two-story timber house built on the property in 1803, complete with full-brick basement, brick foundation, a welcoming piazza across the front, and a large wing balanced on the opposite side with a brick-paved sun piazza. In 1936 the author established a racetrack at Belvidere to host races for the St. John's Jockey Club (originally the Santee Jockey Club). The storied and vibrant life at Belvidere came to a close in 1941, however, with the completion of the huge Santee Cooper hydroelectric development. Belvidere, like many plantations of the parish, now rests below the waters of Lake Marion, but its past can still be experienced by the modern reader in this plantation memory.

First published in 1949, Belvidere chronicles life at the plantation through letters, memoir, and historical narrative. When Fishburne composed this volume, she wished to preserve for her grandchildren the story of the plantation that had been her beloved home and that of many generations of her forebears. Its publication shares that story with generations of readers. Written in an invitingly authentic lowcountry voice, the resulting narrative is an opportunity to sit on the piazza and walk the gardens once more and share stories of a way of life from a bygone era. Featuring twenty-six illustrations, this commemorative edition of Belvidere is enhanced with a new introduction by Fishburne's granddaughter, the late Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq, an accomplished family historian, author, and editor. LeClercq's memories of Belvidere and her grandmother are both celebratory and elegiac.

Anne Sinkler Fishburne (1886–1983), a daughter of Charles St. George Sinkler and Anne Wickham Porcher Sinkler, was married to William Kershaw Fishburne, a Berkeley County, South Carolina, public-health doctor. She also published William Kershaw Fishburne: Doctor to Hell Hole Swamp.

Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq (1942–2014), a native of Charleston, was a granddaughter of Anne Sinkler Fishburne. LeClercq was also the author of An Antebellum Plantation Household: Including the South Carolina Low Country Receipts and Remedies of Emily Wharton Sinkler and A Grand Tour of Gardens: Traveling in Beauty through Western Europe and the United States and the editor of Between North and South: The Letters of Emily Wharton Sinkler, 1842–1865 and Elizabeth Sinkler Coxe's Tales from the Grand Tour, 1890–1910.

"Nan preserved every letter, diary, photograph, memoir, and guest book important to the history of Belvidere and kept them in her Pinopolis home. Because I was the librarian, she gave many of them to me. In the process of discovering my family history, I made a personal commitment to preserving those memories by editing and publishing those valuable records. They have been the sources for four edited works. This revised edition of Belvidere: A Plantation Memory serves as my final act of homage to [our] beloved Belvidere."—Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClecrq, from the new introduction

 
 

 

book jacket for Belvidere


 

SOUTH CAROLINA | SOUTHERN HISTORY
(2015)
6 x 9
184 pages
26 b&w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-554-7
paperback, $21.95t
ISBN 978-1-61117-555-4
ebook, $19.99t
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