Historic Markers Across South Carolina

The Landscape of the Enslaved

Marker ID:  
Location: 51 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 46.432    W 079° 55.867
  32.77386666    -79.93111666


The rear work yard of the Nathaniel Russell House was adjacent to the line of dependencies noted on this plat of the property from 1870.

The dependencies included the extant kitchen and laundry buildings that was at the center of most domestic chores, as well as a carriage house, stable, and storage area for wood and coal (now gone). The rooms above these indoor work spaces served as living quarters for the 8 to 18 enslaved African Americans who lived and worked on the property. The kitchen and laundry building was connected to the main house as early as 1820 with a one story hyphen.

The work yard would have been used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to housing and butchering livestock, growing medicinal and cooking herbs, carpentry and drying of laundry.

As you enter the former kitchen and laundry building, take note of the large hearths where enslaved African Americans prepared food for the entire household. Today's famed Lowcountry cuisine has its roots in the combined elements of African, European, and Native American foodways and cultures.

Historic Charleston Foundation.