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Thomas Drayton (ca. 1710-1760)

Name: Thomas Drayton
Born: ca. 1710
Place of Birth: Magnolia Plantation, St. Andrews Parish, Charleston District, SC [1]
Married: 1. Elizabeth Bull, 26 Dec. 1730 [2] 2. Lady Mary MacKenzie, 4 Aug 1757 [3]
Died: 11 Nov 1760
Place of Death: Charleston, SC

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Biographical Information

Thomas Drayton's recorded history begins on April 22, 1729, when he and his mother Ann petitioned the Charleston Probate Court for a division of his father Thomas Drayton, Jr.'s estate. The petition states that Thomas the younger was "desirous to take into posession" his share of his father's estate in order to establish himself as a planter. The petition was granted and Thomas and his siblings received their inheritance shortly thereafter.

Thomas married first, Elizabeth Bull, daughter of Lieutenant-Governor William Bull. They bore ten children, five of whom lived to adulthood [29].

He married second, Lady Mary MacKenzie, daughter of George MacKenzie, third Earl of Cromartie, Scotland. A year after their son Thomas' birth in 1759, the elder Thomas died, on November 11, 1760. In the settlement of his estate, fourty slaves were sold, including sawyers, cattle hunters and "one of the best negro gardeners in the province [30]."

With the division of the Elder Thomas' estate to his wife and children, the Drayton family land and slaveholdings diverge. We shall follow each line of inheritance and bequest separately.

Inheritance, Acquisitions and Bequests


From father Thomas Drayton:

  • One-half of enslaved Africans and Native Americans after Mary Drayton Fuller had chosen one enslaved person
  • From mother Ann Drayton:

  • One half of slaves other than those named in special bequests
  • Thomas to place the lot of enslaved people which falls to him on the Horse Savanna Land
  • Above property to pass to son Stephen Drayton after Thomas Drayton’s death
  • From brother Stephen Fox Drayton:

  • 130 acres adjoining Magnolia Plantation, purchased by mother Ann Drayton from John Cattell, for which he had not yet received title from mother Ann Drayton
  • 500 acres on Caw Caw Swamp, left to Stephen Fox Drayton by father Thomas Drayton
  • From father-in-law William Bull:

  • 19 acres marsh land on the Ashley River
  • 9 acres of marsh land on the south side of Charleston
  • 6 lots in the town of Radnor
  • Bequests:

    To wife Lady Mary Drayton:

  • Use of Magnolia plantation, its furnishings and 24 milk cows for term of her widowhood
  • "Four Aged and Faithful slaves named Robin, Charles, Samuel & Maria"
  • To children:

  • Lands and slaves left to Stephen by grandparents to be set aside
  • Slaves to the value of four times that amount to be divided equally among wife Mary, sons William, John and Thomas, and son-in-law Edward Fenwicke
  • Remainder of slaves and stock to be divided equally among wife and all children
  • To son William:

  • Magnolia plantation and Ashley River lands, upon marriage or death of wife Mary
  • Lands in St. Bartholemew Parish
  • To son John:

  • House and lot at Whitepoint
  • To sons Stephen, Thomas and John:

  • Lands in St. Helena Parish, to be divided equally
  • Slaves in the Estate of Thomas Drayton

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    Newspaper Advertisements: Slaves Belonging to Estate of Thomas Drayton


    South Carolina Gazette, Monday, December 21, 1767: “Run away some time in May last, a likely young negro fellow, about 19 years of age, five feet nine or ten inches high, of a yellow complexion, named CAPTAIN, belonging to the estate of Thomas Drayton, deceased: Whoever will apprehend the said negro, and bring him to me, or deliver him to the warden of the work-house, in Charles-Town, shall receive fifteen pounds reward, from STEPHEN DRAYTON, St. Luke’s Parish, Dec 17, 1767.”


    South Carolina Gazette, Thursday, February 16, 1769: “Run away from the Subscriber in September last, a NEGRO FELLOW named Tom, late the property of the estate of Thomas Drayton, deceased, advertised already in this paper, and supposed he would attempt to pass for being free, having good reason to conclude he is harbored and encouraged to keep him from his duty, by some who strengthen him in the notions of freedom & I hereby [several illegible words] ... He is generally known almost throughout the province, more especially about Stono, where he has a wife and children Belonging to one of the Mr. Harvey’s. STEPHEN DRAYTON”

    Estate Sale Adverisement:

    South Carolina Gazette, Saturday, January 23, 1762: "To be sold on Friday the 29th of January instant, if a fair day, if not on the first fair day after, at the house late of Thomas Drayton, Esq; deceased, on Ashley-River, Upwards of ONE HUNDRED NEGROES, among whom are many valuabale tradesmen; about 200 head of tame cattle, 100 sheep, and a large number of hogs; likewise a thorough-bred English STALLION, rising six years old, and other horses; together with 150,000 bricks, and several other particulars, being part of the personal estate of the said deceased. The conditions of the sale will be, cash for all sums under fifty pounds, and for all above, three months credit, and such security as shall be demanded by JOHN DRAYTON, WILLIAM DRAYTON, Executors.

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