Expansion and Reform

Cotton Gin Patent Drawing

Detail from Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin Patent Drawing, March 14, 1794. Image from Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, NARA.

Learn more about the plantation system, politics, and culture of antebellum South Carolina.

Agriculture

Culture

See also the section on Slavery for more information about slavery and the plantation system.

Maps & Transportation

  • "A New Map of South Carolina..." 1849
    This map of South Carolina shows canals, steamboat routes, and railroads that people used to travel and transport cotton and goods.
  • Antebellum Maps
    Look at lots of maps from around the state to see where people lived and gathered.
  • Landsford Canal
    Landsford Canal was a canal built in 1823 so boats could travel inland from Charleston.
    • Lock Keeper’s House
      See the remains of the house the lock keeper would have stayed in downstream of the Landsford Canal.

People

Robert Mills House
The Robert Mills House in Columbia, SC, designed in 1823. Image courtesy of the Historic Columbia Foundation.
  • John C. Calhoun 
    John C. Calhoun was a national politician from South Carolina who became vice president, serving with President John Quincy Adams. 
  • James Gadsden 
    Learn more about James Gadsden, the minister to Mexico who was the namesake of the Gadsden Purchase.
  • Andrew Jackson 
    North and South Carolina have a friendly fight over who can claim to be the birth state of the 7th president.
  • Robert Mills 
    Robert Mills was one of the first Americans to become a professional architect. He designed many buildings in South Carolina including private homes, court houses, and the University of South Carolina campus. Mills also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.