An Amazing Relic Found in Charleston, S.C. after Hurricane Hugo in September 1989 – Has to do with Surgeon John Drayton “In charge of Negro laborers on James Island”

We purchased this relic from the late Joseph T. Holleman, historian for the State Museum in Columbia, S.C., who we would see each year at the Charleston Civil War show. The relic is an envelope addressed to Surgeon John Drayton “In charge of Negro laborers Camp Hinson, James Island”. John Drayton is Dr. John Drayton, 4th Generation Joint-Owner of the family estate. His father was the founder of probably the most famous historic plantation home in America… Drayton Hall (Which is a “must visit” if you have never been there). See our photo taken from the Drayton Hall website that mentions Dr. Drayton and his brothers. It states that he “served as a surgeon caring for enslaved workmen that constructed earthern fortifications to depend Charleston. Serivins as a surgeon enabled John to reside at Drayton Hall until 1865.” (When Union troops moved in and he had to flee).

Besides the slavery connection, and that the cover is addressed to the owner of Drayton Hall, the cover has on it one of the rarest Confederate stamps! A fine orange 2 cent Andrew Jackson with a clear “Charleston, S.C.” postmark.

Ok, now the truly amazing thing… how Joseph Holleman got a hold of this cover. He wrote out the story and signed it… and this of course comes with the relic:

“Hurricane Hugo in Sept. 1989 blew the roof off several houses in Charleston. The cover addressed to Surgeon Drayton blew out of the attic of a house in the negro part of town and were picked up by two negroes – one took his pile down to the antique district and sold them cheaply. The other contacted me and I paid him a fair price for his pile. The one that you bought is one of the better ones. I have its mate, in only slightly better condition, in my own collection & exhibit. Joe Holleman”

#HC192SC – Price $265