Eldorado Plantation - McClellanville Charleston County South Carolina SC

Eldorado Plantation – McClellanville – Charleston County

Eldorado Plantation 2011 - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Eldorado Plantation 2011 © Pam Bohnenstiehl —

Basic Information

  • Location – South Santee River, McClellanville, St. James Santee Parish, Charleston County

    Original plantation lands were located in what is today the Santee Coastal Reserve.

  • Origin of name – Rebecca Brewton Motte probably named the plantaion Eldorado because of the golden pitcher plants that grew in profusion there.

    Another possible reason for the name was that Rebecca Brewton Motte's son-in-law, Thomas Pinckney, concluded a treaty between the United States and Spain, establishing the right of Americans to use the Mississippi River and the Port of New Orleans.

  • Other names – El Dorado

  • Current status – The land is part of the Santee Coastal Reserve managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Eldorado Plantation - Charleston County, South Carolina
— Eldorado Plantation in Charleston County —


  • 1715 – Earliest known date of existence

  • 1784 – Rebecca Brewton Motte, of Mount Joseph Plantation, purchased 400 acres from the estate of Sampson Neyles.

  • 1797 – Rebecca Brewton Motte and her son-in-law, Thomas Pinckney, Sr., designed and built the house (Bridges & Williams, p. 126).

  • ? – During the Civil War, a Union steamer on the South Santee River shot at the plantation house and knocked out one of the brick arches of the raised basement (Bridges & Williams, p. 218).

  • 1897 – On May 10, a fire broke out in the chimney of the house. Archibald Hamilton Seabrook and his family were living in the house at this time but they were unable to control the fire. The house burned completely to the basement (Bridges & Williams, p. 287).

    The chimney apparently had been damaged in the 1886 earthquake but no one realized there was a crack. Ruins of the house can still be found in the woods (Bridges & Williams, p. 311).

  • 1900 – The Seabrook family decided to move to Columbia. The rice crop was declining in the area because planters could not compete with the low costs of rice from Texas and Louisiana (Bridges & Williams, p. 317).

  • ?Josephine Pinckney, a noted writer and poet, inherited the plantation from her father, Thomas Pinckney.


  • Number of acres – ?

  • Primary crop – Rice


  • Alphabetical list – Daniel McGregor, Rebecca Brewton Motte, Sampson Neyle, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Frances Pinckney, Josephine Pinckney, Thomas Pinckney, Santee Gun Club, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources


  • Number of slaves – ?

  • January 1854 – Charles Cotesworth Pinckney had the following slaves confirmed by Bishop Davis: Isaac, Tony, Moses, Peter, Mary, Clarista, Flora, Guy, Camilla, Stephan (Bridges & Williams, p. 437).


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