Clifton Plantation - Georgetown Georgetown County South Carolina SC

Clifton Plantation – Georgetown – Georgetown County

Basic Information

  • Location – Waccamaw River, Georgetown, All Saints Waccamaw Parish, Georgetown County

    Original plantation lands were located on the Waccamaw Neck, off US 17, and stretched from the Waccamaw River to the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Origin of name – ?

  • Other names – Mitchell Tract

  • Current status – Part of Arcadia Plantation


  • 1718 – John, Lord Carteret, one of the Lords Proprietors, claimed 12,000 acres and called it Hobcaw Barony (Linder & Thacker, p. 3).

  • 1730 – Lord Carteret sold the property to John Roberts for £500.

    John Roberts sold the land to three men: Sir William Baker, Nicholas Linwood, and Brice Fisher. The three men appointed two agents to sell off the land. Hobcaw Barony would eventually be divided into many plantations (Linder & Thacker, p. 3).

  • 1766 – Thomas Mitchell bought 2,412 acres of Hobcaw Barony. He died before he could do much with the property. It went to his son Edward Mitchell.

  • 1785 – Edward Mitchell sold half of the place to William Alston. The other half went to Captain John Allston and was called Forlorn Hope (Linder & Thacker, p. 70).

    William Alston also owned Fairfield but he chose to build a house at Clifton. The house was probably constructed shortly after he purchased the property. It was two stories on a raised basement and featured a double staircase that lead to a central double-tiered portico (Linder & Thacker, p. 70).

  • 1791 – George Washington visited Clifton and had breakfast during his Southern Tour.

  • ? – A few years after Washington's visit the house burned down. William Alston moved his family to live at Fairfield.

  • 1838 – William Alston made his will and left Clifton to his oldest son William Algernon Alston. William Algernon Alston was already living at Rose Hill so he probably planted Clifton but managed it from Rose Hill. By 1850 he owned three contiguous tracts of land along the Waccamaw: Rose Hill, Clifton, and Forlorn Hope (Linder & Thacker, p. 71).

  • 1860 – William Algernon Alston died. The property was confiscated during the war and managed by the Freedmen's Bureau (Linder & Thacker, p. 66).

    A court case was filed to get the land back, and it was returned to the children of John Ashe Alston, one of William Algernon Alston's sons (Linder & Thacker, p. 72).

  • 1909 – Clifton was sold to Dr. Isaac Emerson.

    He already owned Prospect Hill, and he eventually owned seven other plantations. He combined all of his property and called it Arcadia.

  • 1931 – Dr. Emerson left his property to his grandson, George Vanderbilt.

  • 2006 – The property is owned by Lucille Pate, daughter of George Vanderbilt.


  • Number of acres – 1,206 in 1785

  • Primary crop – Rice


  • Alphabetical list – William Algernon Alston; William Alston; Sir William Baker, Nicholas Linwood, and Brice Fisher; John, Lord Carteret; Dr. Isaac Emerson; Edward Mitchell; Thomas Mitchell; Lucille Pate; John Roberts; George Vanderbilt


  • Number of slaves – ?


Web Resources

Print Resources

  • Alberta Morel Lachicotte, Georgetown Rice Plantations (Columbia, SC: The State Printing Company, 1955).

  • Suzanne Cameron Linder and Marta Leslie Thacker (with preliminary research by Agnes Leland Baldwin), Historical Atlas of the Rice Plantations of Georgetown County and the Santee River (Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 2001).

  • South Carolina Highway Historical Marker Guide (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1998), p. 101.

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