16 November 2016

Sad tree loss

Adam Bennett tree down, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC   
I had read about the loss of this grand tree during Hurricane Matthew but it hit me fresh when I had to walk around it on a recent visit to Magnolia Plantation Gardens. Here is the story as told by the Post & Courier:
Magnolia Plantation lost the Adam Bennett tree, a huge oak near the Drayton family tomb in the center of the garden. The tree is 4 feet across and snapped off near the ground, according to Tom Johnson, the director of gardens. Fortunately, it didn’t fall on the tomb. Adam Bennett was a slave who oversaw the gardens. He stayed behind when the family fled to Flat Rock, N.C., as Union troops approached. According to the stories, soldiers tied him to the tree and threatened to hang him when he refused to tell them where the family silver was buried. They let him live and burned down the house. Supposedly, he walked all the way to Flat Rock to tell the family the news.
Mr. Bennett walked from Charleston all the way to Flat Rock, North Carolina to let his slave owners know their silver was safe from the Union troops. By my calculations he walked 245 miles.

I do admit to sneaking a look around the uprooted stump just in case any forgotten silver had been buried there. No luck.