Lang Syne Plantation - Fort Motte Calhoun County South Carolina SC

Lang Syne Plantation – Fort Motte – Calhoun County

Basic Information

  • Location – Fort Motte, St Matthews Parish, Calhoun County

    Located near Fort Motte in the vicinity of Lang Syne Road

  • Origin of name – Renamed Lang Syne by Langdon Cheves to remind him of the carefree (or good old times) days of his childhood and the good time he expected to have (2, XII: 47) (7)

  • Other names – Home Place (7)

  • Current status – Privately owned


  • 1824 – Earliest known date of existence

    Andrew Heatly, an early owner (he may have been the original owner), died and left the estate to his three sisters. One sister, Anne Heatly Reid Lovell, bought out the other two sisters and joined their property with hers.

  • There are two theories on the next transfer of ownership from Anne Heatly Reid Lovell:

    ?Langdon Cheves inherited the plantation from his aunt Anne Heatly Reid Lovell (9).

    ? – Joseph and Sophia Heatly Dulles may have purchased the property.

    ? – Langdon Cheves acquired the plantation through his marriage to the Dulles' daughter, Mary Elizabeth Dulles (2, XII: 47).

  • A 1836 plat shows Cheves as the owner of Lang Syne and Goshen plantations. The combined acreage was 2,703 (2, XII: 47).

    It has been said that Langdon Cheves named the plantation Lang Syne because it represented an escape from his arduous duties as Congressman in Washington and President of the United States Bank in Philadelphia and reminded him of his carefree youth (2, XII: 47).

  • 1840 – Langdon Cheves gave Lang Syne to his daughter Louisa Susanna Cheves when she married David McCord. However, the contract and marriage settlement stated Louisa would always be the plantation's owner and David, nor his children from his first marriage, would ever be entitled to any part of the plantation (5, pp. 88, 92).

  • 1860s – Louisa Cheves McCord and her family moved to her house in Columbia and did not stay at Lang Syne during the Civil War (3) (6, p. 179).

  • 1865 – Louisa Cheves McCord's daughter Lou, married Augustine "Gus" Smythe. On their wedding day, Louisa signed the title of Lang Syne Plantation over to Gus. Gus and Lou Smythe immediately moved to Lang Syne (6, pp. 179-180).

  • 1870 – Gus Smythe could not make Lang Syne a profitable plantation and sold it to Daniel Zimmerman but did retain the rights to the family cemetery (6, p. 180).

  • 1883 – James Alexander Peterkin purchased the plantation (7).

    One of the residents of the plantation was Julia Mood Peterkin. She married William George Peterkin who inherited the plantation from his father. Julia Peterkin was a writer of fiction, but she used the Gullah residents of the plantation as her characters and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1929 (2, XII: 47) (5) (7).

  • 1901 – A white, frame house was constructed at Lang Syne that would be lost to fire in 1912 (4) (7).

  • 1915 – Another house, which was designed by George Eugene Lafaye, was constructed during William George Peterkin's ownership (7).


  • Number of acres – 1,500 circa 1900; 65 in 2015 (5) (7)

  • Primary crop – Cotton; potatoes after the Civil War (3) (5) (6)


  • Number of slaves – "several hundred" circa 1840; 15 in 1855; 500 field hands and servants circa 1900 (5) (9) (10, pp. 78-79)

References & Resources

  1. Daniel Marchant Culler, Orangeburgh District, 1768-1868: History and Records (Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Company, 1995), pp. 320-321
     Order Orangeburgh District, 1768-1868: History and Records

  2. Claude Henry Neuffer, editor, Names in South Carolina, Volume I through 30 (Columbia, SC: The State Printing Company)
     Order Names in South Carolina, Volumes I-XII, 1954-1965
     Order Names in South Carolina, Index XIII-XVIII

  3. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    – Renee Standera, Columbia Landmark Home, 1865 Fire Survivor On Market - WIS, September 14, 2015

  4. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    Calhoun County Historical Sites - Calhoun County Museum & Cultural Center - click link then scroll down

  5. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    – John H. Tibbetts, The Lowcountry's Jazz Age: Gift of Story and Song - Sea Grant's Coastal Heritage - Fall 2009

  6. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    Leigh Fought, Southern Womanhood and Slavery: A Biography of Louisa S. McCord, 1810-1879 (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2003)

  7. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    – Martha Rose Brown, Lang Syne Significant for Agriculture, Literature, Architecture - The Times and Democrat, March 16, 2015

  8. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    Louisa S. McCord - Portraits of American Women Writers

  9. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    Edward Pattillo, Carolina Planters on the Alabama Frontier: The Spencer-Robeson-McKenzie Family Papers (Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2011)

  10. Information contributed by Cyndi Shull from:
    Jan Onofrio, South Carolina Biographical Dictionary (Santa Barbara, CA: Somerset Publishers, Inc, 2015)

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