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Near Bordeaux in McCormick County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail

 
 
John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
1. John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail Marker
Inscription.
Lethe Farm was a colonial and early federal period plantation owned by Dr. John de la Howe, founder of John de la Howe School. The farm was operated from about 1770 until 1806.

An archeological survey and limited test excavations were conducted at John de la Howe School, on Little River in McCormick County, South Carolina. Archeologists with the Diachronic Research Foundation, along with students and staff of John de la Howe School worked during the excavation. The project was made possible under a grant from the South Carolina Humanities Council. Additional funding was provided by John de la Howe School, the John de la Howe School Alumni association, the Diachronic Research Foundation, the Archeological Society of South Carolina, and private contributors.

Signs throughout the trail and brochures are made possible through a grant award from the International Paper Company Foundation, Stamford, CT.
 
Location. 33° 56.142′ N, 82° 23.776′ W. Marker is near Bordeaux, South Carolina, in McCormick County. Marker is on Tomb Road. Click for map. Marker is located at the head of the trail, at the end of Tomb Road, adjacent to the de la Howe Family Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Carmel SC 29840, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers
Marker and Entrance to the John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
2. Marker and Entrance to the John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail
are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John De La Howe Forest (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bordeaux Worship Site (approx. 0.7 miles away); New Bordeaux (1764) (approx. 1.4 miles away); De La Howe Hall (approx. 1.9 miles away); John De La Howe School Enterprise Market Program at "The Barn" (approx. 2.1 miles away); John De La Howe School (approx. 2.1 miles away); John De La Howe / John De La Howe School (approx. 2.1 miles away); Andre Guillebeau (approx. 2.7 miles away); Guillebeau Home and Family Cemetery (approx. 2.8 miles away); Badwell / Badwell Cemetery (approx. 3.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bordeaux.
 
Also see . . .
1. John De La Howe School. Originally founded in 1797 as a farm school for local poor and orphaned children, John de la Howe School has evolved into a first-rate, child caring agency committed to meeting the behavioral, educational, and social needs of the children in its care. (Submitted on July 21, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. The Diachronic Research Foundation. The Diachronic Research Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the study of South Carolina’s past and people. (Submitted on November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
Detail of James Cook's 1773 Map image. Click for full size.
By James Cook, 1773
3. Detail of James Cook's 1773 Map

1. About John de la Howe
The welfare of orphans not taken into homes was mainly left to individual benefactors. John de la Howe settled on the Savannah River after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. In 1797 he left instructions in his will for his estate to provide for the education and support of twelve poor boys and twelve poor girls, preference to be given to orphans, so that they might be educated in a manner similar to that of an independent French peasant. (Source: In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina by Orville Vernon Burton (1987), pg 144.)
    — Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Dr. John de la Howe Death Notice
Died, on the 2d inst. at Long-Cane, in Abbeville county, district of Ninety-Six, in the 80th year of his age, Doctor John De La Howe. As a practitioner of physic, he was eminent in this country, for upwards of 30 years past; as a man of extensive learning he had few equals, and his benevolence endeared him to all who knew him. About twelve years ago he retired to Abbeville county, of which he was made a judge; there his whole time was spent in assisting those who stood in need of his advice. By his last will, having no children,
John De La Howe Forest Marker and Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
4. John De La Howe Forest Marker and Cemetery
The white structure is De Le Howe's Crypt. His wishes were that his grave not be marked by a headstone or monument, but by a wall. Others buried in the small cemetery are: Grave 1: Rev. James Bennett Branch, Aug 2, 1882-Jul 8, 1931, Superintendent of the de la Howe School, 1919-1931; his wife, Nora Pryse Branch, Apr 3, 1881-May 4, 1983. Grave 2: James Bennett Branch, Born Nov 13, 1921, Died May 10, 1945; He gave his life in the service of his country at the battle of Okinawa in WWII. Grave 3: Mary Naomi Beard, Mar 12,1909-Jun 9, 1936, wife of P.B. Moragne. Grave 4: Ernest Gray, Born Jul 28, 1916, Died May 18, 1929. Grave 5: In memory of Clifford Williams, Jan 1, 1919-Jan 23, 1929. Grave 6 and 7: Unmarked.
he has left his estate to support a public school in Abbeville county. (Wednesday Jan. 18, 1797.) (Source: The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Volume 23 by the South Carolina Historical Society (1922), pgs 210-211.)
    — Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. The De La Howe Gift
Dr. John De La Howe, of Abbeville District, on the 7th day of September, 1796, made his last will and testament and thereby gave all of his estate, consisting of both personal and real, to the Agricultural Society of South Carolina, in trust, for the purpose of establishing on the plantation where he resided an agricultural farm and school, out of the yearly income, to feed, clothe and educate twelve poor boys and twelve poor girls, giving orphan children the preference. The testator requested Peter Gibert, Esq., to act as executor of the will until the Agricultural Society should name some of its members to perform that duty. By a codicil, without date, he appointed William Hutton a joint executor with Mr. Gibert. Dr. De La Howe died on the 2d day of January, 1797, and his will was admitted to probate on the 27th of March, 1797, by the County Court of Abbeville. An appraisement was made on the 5th of April, 1797. The appraised value of the
De La Howe Crypt Door image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
5. De La Howe Crypt Door
personal property at that time amounted to $5,438.68.

In 1805 the Agricultural Society surrendered their trust to the Legislature, who accepted it, and by Act passed on the I4th of December, same year, appointed Col. Joseph Calhoun, Peter Gibert, Andrew Norris, Rev. Moses Waddel, Ezekiel Calhoun, trustees, to carry into effect the terms of the will, conferring on them the power to fill their own vacancies, and directed them to account Annually to the Ordinary of Abbeville District.

On the 3Oth of December, 1806, the trustees sold the residue of the personal property. This sale amounted to $6,556.14. On the 27th of June they returned a statement of the personal estate, at that time amounting to $10,639.69.

The real estate consisted of quite a number of tracts of land situated in the Districts of Abbeville, Edgefield, and on the Edisto River. A certain part of the land was sold about this time, which produced a sum—added to the amount realized from sale of personal property—aggregating some $32,237.

The institution has had a changing experience since the above date. Today the institution is in possession of 2,700 acres of land, valued at $54,000, besides having $14,000 invested in good bonds. There is erected on the premises one brick building containing twelve rooms for the use of Superintendent and girls, and one four-room brick building
John De La Howe School Mall image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
6. John De La Howe School Mall
for the boys, a commodious chapel in which preaching is held regularly—preacher paid by the trustees. The annual income of the farm is $3,500; expenses for maintaining school, Superintendent, etc., are $2,000.

In view of the above facts, it is strange to state that the trustees find great difficulty in procuring as many children as the school can accommodate. Notwithstanding the fact, the trustees are now begging for children from adjoining counties, offering to pay their transportation from and to the institution, educate, feed, clothe and pay their medical expenses. I must admit I am unable to explain this state of circumstances.

Dr. De La Howe was buried on the hill opposite to the dwelling on the plantation named by him "Lethe Farm." He requested a substantial brick wall should be built around his grave—not less than ten feet square, eight feet above the ground, with an iron door and lock, and that the following inscription, in large iron capitals, shall ever be kept encased: "Joes De La Howe, fundator, hipes Seminarie Agriculturalis," with date of his decease. (Source: Handbook of South Carolina, 2nd Edition by South Carolina Department of Agriculture (1908), pg 215.)
    — Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

4. Description of the De La Howe School
The American Farmer
1831

We have no information of the character of the deceased, nor of his wealth or will, but what is contained in an advertisement which we find in a South Carolina paper. By this advertisement it appears that provision is made in the will of the late John De La Howe for the education of twenty-four poor children, twelve boys and twelve girls. The trustees appointed to carry the will into effect, advertise for a teacher to superintend a farm school as planned and provided for in the will of the deceased. They have provided a good farm, suitable buildings, utensils, provisions and necessary stock, and offer a liberal salary for a teacher. According to the plan of the school in the will, the children will live together in one family, and the expenses are to be defrayed out of the funds of the estate with the addition of the labor of the children on the farm.
    — Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. AgricultureColonial EraNotable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,873 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5, 6. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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