port royal south carolina

Port Royal, South Carolina, slave quarters, 1862.

Taken in 1862, when freedom came to the Gullah in the area of Beaufort and St. Helena, this photo shows a row of slave quarters. This grouping is very unusual for quarters before emancipation, because they are not in a straight row. They are relatively well built, with brick chimneys. The areas between the houses are fenced, indicating a level of personal and family space defined in the grouping. The man in the foreground is sitting on a bench in front of a pot on a fire.

Civil War Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

View on Mill’s Plantation, Port Royal Island.

Taken after the Northern Army took control of the region, this view of the former slave quarters on Mill’s Plantation shows the reality of daily life. The slave quarters are laid out in the typical straight line, and show the work areas in front. The woman on the far right is standing next to a wash tub set on a stool, and there is another four-legged stool in the foreground. Two women in the center of the photo are carrying buckets or tubs on their heads. To the left a man and woman are sitting on chairs with a small boy at their feet (probably a family group) with other men sitting or standing in the group. There is a pile of oyster shells in the background.