Near McCormick in McCormick County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Badwell / Badwell Cemetery
Three miles west is the site of "Badwell," home of James Louis Petigru (1789-1863), leader of opposition to secession in South Carolina, outstanding Charleston lawyer, and S.C. Attorney General. He studied at Willington Academy under Moses Waddel and at South Carolina College. The Petigru Law School at the University of South Carolina is named in his honor.
Located four miles west is Badwell Cemetery. Among the graves are those of Rev. Jean Louis Gibert (1722-1773), leader of the 1764 French Huguenot settlement at New Bordeaux and grandfather of James L. Petigru, his son, John Joseph Gibert, William and Louise Petigru, parents of James L. Petigru, and Louise Gibert Allston, daughter of Governor R.F.W. Allston.
Erected 1973 by McCormick County Historical Commission. (Marker Number 33-6.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Settlements & Settlers • War, US CivilSouth Carolina, McCormick County Historical Commission series list.
Location. 33° 55.775′ N, 82° 19.836′ W. Marker is near McCormick, South Carolina, in McCormick County. Marker is at the intersection of Savannah River Scenic Byway (State Highway 28) and Barksdale Ferry Road (County Route S-33-61), on the left when traveling west on Savannah River Scenic Byway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mc Cormick SC 29835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dorn Mill (approx. 2.3 miles away); McCormick County / MACK (approx. 2.4 miles away); McCormick County Veterans Monument (approx. 2˝ miles away); McCormick County Confederate Monument (approx. 2˝ miles away); McCormick Train Station (approx. 2˝ miles away); New Bordeaux Worship Site (approx. 3˝ miles away); Welcome to Baker Creek State Park (approx. 3.6 miles away); John De La Howe Forest (approx. 3.7 miles away); John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail (approx. 3.8 miles away); Long Canes Massacre (approx. 4.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McCormick.
More about this marker. From the marker, proceed west on Barksdale Ferry Road (Road 33-61) and continue for about two miles. Turn right onto Huguenot Parkway and proceed for another two miles. Turn left on Badwell Cemetery Road (a dirt/gravel road). Take the left fork to the cemetery.
Regarding Badwell / Badwell Cemetery. Local legends speak of a troll that lives near the cemetery. He can be seen watching over the hallowed ground.
Also see . . .
1. James Lewis Petigru. James Louis Petigru (May 10, 1789-March 9, 1863) was a lawyer and politician in South Carolina. (Submitted on September 17, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. James Lewis Petigru, the Willington Academy and Their Enduring Legacies on South Carolina. (PDF) Calhoun Lecture Series, January 24, 2006 (Submitted on September 17, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Moses Waddel. Moses Waddel (June 20, 1770 - July 21, 1840) was an American educator and minister in antebellum Georgia and South Carolina. (Submitted on November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Ghosthunting -- Badwell Cemetery Daytime Investigation. CSRA Ghostbusters take a daytime look at Badwell Cemetery in McCormick County, SC. (Submitted on November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Badwell Plantation – Willington – McCormick County. Location – Buffalo Creek (a branch of Little River), Willington, Abbeville District, McCormick County. (Submitted on November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Badwell Cemetery Index. Location: Go north from McCormick approximately 3 miles on Highway 28 to McCormick Country Club sign. Turn left and follow "Badwell" signs to the cemetery. (Submitted on December 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Badwell Plantation
Badwell Plantation, located on Highway SC 28 south of the eastern terminus of SC 81, was the home of the Rev. Jean Louis Gibert. He is buried in a small family cemetery near the house site. After his death, the property eventually passed to his grandson, James Louis Petigru, the son of his daughter Louise and William Pettigrew. (Petigru preferred to use the French spelling of his father's family name.) He improved the plantation at every opportunity and planted a handsome White Oak Avenue from the highway to the house. The origin of the name Badwell is doubtful; however, Petigru went to much trouble and expense to drill a dependable water well on his property and this well may have been the source of the name, The house at Badwell was destroyed by fire in the late 1920's. Only the stone spring-house remains.
— Submitted December 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. James Louis Petigru (1789-1863)
by Richard D. Starnes
Historians have traditionally portrayed prominent antebellum white southerners as monolithic in their support of slavery and states' rights. Such a view minimizes the
Petigru was born near Abbeville, South Carolina, on May 10, 1789, the first of eight children. his father, William Petigru, soon lost his land to gambling and drinking and came to rely on his wife's brother to support his family. James grew up doing farm chores much as did any youth of the period. However, his mother imbued him with a deep intellectual curiosity and schooled him at home until he was fifteen, when he entered a local academy. Two years later, he began his studies at South Carolina College in Columbia. Graduating in 1809, James read law with Beaufort attorney William Robertson and was admitted to the bar in 1812. During this time, he also changed the spelling of his name to "Petigru," a reflection of his poor relationship with his father. Then he embarked on one of the most brilliant and controversial legal careers in the history of southern independence.
Petigru's legal practice was initially lackluster, but he found success after David Hugen, a prominent South Carolina lawyer and politician, took an interest in his career. In rapid succession, Petigru became a state solicitor, a partner in a powerful Charleston firm, and state attorney general.
Petigru's opposition to slavery was not the only view that placed him in conflict with prominent leaders on his state and region. He also opposed nullification, a stand that placed him at odds with powerful politicians such as John C. Calhoun. Petigru considered nullification an unconstitutional act. In Petigru's view, federal law superseded state laws, and if a state took issue with a federal act, it should seek relief through the judicial and legislative channels established by the U.S. Constitution. Armed confrontation, according to Petigru, was not a viable solution. For many of the same reasons, he later opposed secession, becoming a vocal unionist until his death in 1863. His
— Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. Petigru and Badwell
When James [Petigru] was eleven years old, his father went bankrupt. William lost money on horse races at nearby Vienna and Petersburg, on farm prices and land speculation. he dreamed too much and did too little. William sank into brooding despair, only to have his family rescued by his wife's brother -- John Joseph Gibert [son of Jean Louis Gibert].
Joseph lived on a beautiful nearby farm named "Badwell." It was a breathtaking sweep pf land, with rolling hills, rich fields, bordered by Little River and Buffalo Creek. There was room and work for the Petigru family at Badwell.
From the moment his wagon wheel hit the first inch of Badwell land, young James fell in love with the farm. The wind in the trees, the flowers, the birds, spoke to the boy in a sunburst of beauty. For the next sixty-three years, Badwell spoke to Petigru's
Petigru often said that no air smelled so sweet as the air that rustled in Badwell trees. No water tasted so cold and pure as that in the Badwell well. no flowers (not even in Charleston) bloomed in such a riotous rainbow and no October colors shown so russet, red and gold.
At age eleven, with his first glimpse of the farm, he determined to own it someday. In his mind's eye, he saw a mile-long avenue of trees, stretching from the entrance gate to the house on the crest of a hill. Indeed, as a man, Petigru lavished thousands of dollars on new trees, a deep well, Scottish gardeners and expensive landscaping...
It was Badwell, his upstate boyhood home, that throughout his life spoke to Petigru's heart. He came to Badwell for his month-long August vacations, and at every other opportunity. There he could be at ease. He enjoyed the company of his favorite sister, Jane, and lavished the "gentleman farmer" lifestyle. He did physical work on the farm that was therapy for his demanding legal profession. on Badwell he could escape the torment of constantly impending one-after-another political crisis.
With the first money Petigru earned he built a new house for the family at Badwell. He strived to improve the farm and at every opportunity added to its acreage. Bordering farms
Petigru provided an Episcopal Chapel-of-Ease for holding worship services at Badwell.
For years he worked on a mile-long avenue thirty feet wide from the home to the main road. On either side he planted oak trees, spaced fifty feet apart. The oak avenue was planted predominately to white oaks, but also included laurel oaks, Spanish oaks, red oaks, cork oaks, and willow oaks. Some trees were sent to him from other states. Each tree he named for a friend, thereby making the oak avenue a living memorial.
A local stone quarry was established to provide material for the construction of a stone spring house and a stone enclosure for the family cemetery. Petigru established walks and gardens around the home. Live oaks brought from lowstate and blooming flowers and shrubs can still be identified at the site of the Badwell home.
Petigru was a serious history scholar. He was a founding member and first president of the South Carolina Historical Society in 1855 and an honorary member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He was instrumental
— Submitted December 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
4. Moses Waddel and the Willington Academy in South Carolina
One morning in the late autumn of the year 1794, a Presbyterian preacher left the Georgia side of the Savannah River and crossed over to South Carolina. He was of low stature and had a boyish face, for he was only twenty-four years of age. He rode to a schoolhouse that stood in the Calhoun Settlement, on Long Cane Creek, in Abbeville District, and found assembled there a company of Scotch-Irish people. When he arose to speak, the congregation was surprised to hear a deep-toned, musical voice. The preacher's calm, gray eyes looked straight into their eyes and his earnest, rapid talking caught their attention. When the sermon was ended, Patrick Calhoun, patriarch of the community and elder in the neighboring church, led the minister to his home. While they were seated, that evening, around the wide, old-fashioned fire-place in the Calhoun home, the door was opened and a youthful face looked in, but was at once withdrawn. The face belonged to John Caldwell Calhoun, Patrick Calhoun's
Moses Waddel was born (1770) in Iredell County, North Carolina. His parents were Scots from North Ireland. Soon after Moses completed his eighth year he went to James Hall's school and began to study Latin. After six years of work, he finished the courses of study in Greek, Latin and mathematics, as far as these subjects were taught in the school. Then he took charge of various schools in North Carolina and Georgia until the year 1789, when he gave his heart to Christ. After a long struggle within his own breast, young Waddel determined to become a preacher. In the autumn of 1790, therefore, he mounted his horse and made the long journey from Georgia to Virginia. In the month of September in that year he began a course of study at Hampden Sidney College. A little more than a year later he left the college, and in May, 1772, was licensed by Hanover Presbytery to preach the gospel. The year 1794 found him established as pastor of Carmel Church, south of the Savannah. At the same time he organized a school in Columbia County, Georgia. Near the close
The food furnished to the students in Waddel's log college was plain, for it was usually nothing more than cornbread and bacon. A blast from a ram's horn called them all together for morning and evening prayers. When the weather was mild the students sat or lay beneath the trees to prepare their lessons. The sound of the horn told the class in Homer when to assemble, and all of the members of it rushed at once to the recitation hall in the main building. Then the horn called up, in regular order, the Cicero, the Horace and the Virgil classes, as well as those engaged in the study of mathematics and English.
Waddel had a clear mind and a strong will. He gave his pupils an admirable training in all of their studies.
A large company of ministers received their entire training in Waddel's school. Of these we may name Richard B. Cater, John H. Gray, David Humphreys, James Gamble, James C. Patterson and Thomas D. Baird. Some famous scholars and statesmen also were educated in this log college, among whom were William H. Crawford, Howell Cobb and A. B. Longstreet, of Georgia, and John C. Calhoun, Hugh S. Legare, James L. Petigru, George McDuffie, and many others, of South Carolina.
The Willington school building was also a church. Waddel preached every Sunday to his students and to the people of the community. In 1809 these worshippers were regularly organized as a Presbyterian Church. A revival of religion took place there and many of the students became Christians.
During a period of about fifteen years Moses Waddel kept up at Willington the best school in all that part of our country. In 1819 he went to Athens, Georgia, to take charge of the University of Georgia as President. He was then the most famous teacher in the far South, and he at once placed this school upon a high plane of literary excellence. He preached the gospel every Sunday to the body of students assembled in the chapel. He conducted the
— Submitted December 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
5. Reverend Jean Louis Gibert
The maternal grandfather of James Louis Petigru was the Reverend Jean Louis Gibert, pastor at New Bordeaux, the third and last of the French Protestant settlements in South Carolina.
Situated in the foothills of the Cevennes Mountains, fifteen kilometers from the town of d'Alais, in the Province of Languedoc, is the village of Lunes. Here the Gibert family had owned and occupied a small but comfortable house for two hundred and sixty years. They belonged to that strong race of mountaineers who after the Revocation of Nantes were in rebellion against the government of the great King.
Pierre Gibert and his wife Louise Guy had three sons. Pierre the eldest, whose son Pierre was the progenitor
Jean Louis was imbued with piety from an early age. In 1746 he entered the Seminary at Lausanne, and after three years' study he was ordained and assigned to the parish of San Martin du Bouboux. He had black hair and gray eyes, classical features and an attractive and determined expression; he was of medium height, well built, strong and active. He was naturally a man of action—a leader of men—and had he not been endowed with the spirit of an evangelist he probably would have been a soldier.
In 1750 he plunged into the work of his pastorate with irresistible courage and zeal, and his duties were continually extended. Tradition tells how he would sometimes appear disguised as a countryman or shepherd, assemble his flock at night in some secluded spot (in French "the Desert") and preach, baptise and administer the sacrament. These assemblies often numbered four to five thousand people. They were frequently dispersed by the soldiers, but this seemed merely to increase his resolve and a few days afterward he would hold another meeting.
In 1755 Jean Louis Gibert with his brother Etienne, who for two years had accompanied him as secretary and a companion, escaped
Jean Louis continued his work, and with the presence of mind and nerve of a trained scout managed to escape the traps and stratagems to capture him.
When dealing with his flock he was a strict disciplinarian, insisting on temperance and that on Sundays they should abstain from work and amusements and devote themselves to prayers and meditation. He insisted that children should be baptised regardless of the fear of persecution. To a man fearing to have his child baptised by the Pastor the latter told him that he "would be damned by all the devils and hell would be his portion." The man, however, had the child baptised by the priest. When Gibert was informed of the fact the man was immediately excommunicated. The Bishop suggested a modification of the treatment of his parishioners,
In 1755, when there was a relative calm in the persecution, believing that large assemblies in the woods were exposed to the inclemency of the weather and easy detection by the soldiers, the Pastor decided that they should gather in smaller groups, and he had constructed as churches, small unpretentious buildings which if destroyed could easily be replaced. Each was provided with an altar and benches for about two hundred people. The services were very simple. The garb of the preacher was a square black cap, a long straight coat and a blue silk collar.
Persecution was renewed. The churches were used as barracks for the soldiers, were either torn down or burned.
In 1760 Gibert was elected president or Moderator of the Provincial Synod of the churches of Saintonge, Angumois, Perigord and Bordelais, and in spite of persecution the converts increased till they numbered about sixty thousand.
After ten years of unequal struggle he decided to obtain from the government of England authority to conduct a colony to America, and provided with suitable testimonials he arrived in England in April, 1761. He wrote to Stecker, Archbishop of Canterbury, and explained that the object of his mission was to carry a certain number of his people to America for the purpose "of cultivating
Gibert returned to France and after a delay of two years obtained from the Synod permission to withdraw from his duties and leave the country. In the month of March, 1763, he arrived in London and announced the coming of the emigrants. Though they had been promised a welcome no arrangements had been made for their reception. Archbishop Stecker again came to his assistance and through his influence King George contributed a thousand pounds for the benefit of the emigrants. To avoid observation they came in small groups and were assembled at Plymouth on the 25th of August.
Unfortunately there was a long delay; consequently, many renounced the projected expedition to America and remained in England. However, through the efforts of Gibert and his colleague, Pierre Boutiton, on the 25th December, 1763, the last emigration of Huguenots to America began to embark at Plymouth on the ship Friendship Captain George Perkins, bound for Charleston, S.C.
While waiting for a fair wind the emigrants found the food bad and some violent language
After a monotonous voyage of forty-seven days they arrived in Charleston on the 15th of April, 1764. They were sheltered in barracks and food provided for them by the descendants of their bourgeois compatriots, many of whom were from the same province in France and had come to America immediately after the Revocation edict of 1686.
On the 18th of April, 1764, they received from Governor Thomas Boone and Lieutenant-Governor William Bull a grant of ten square miles of land for which they were to pay yearly a penny an acre, which sum was paid until the Revolution.
They selected a section in Abbeville County, then known as the District of Ninety-six. This was on the banks of Little River, twelve miles above its confluence with the Savannah.
On the 12th of October
By June, 1765, they had finished planting corn and beans on the land assigned them.
At first they suffered the usual hardships of pioneers, but after the second year they produced all that was necessary for the support of their families.
The vine and silk were cultivated, but the productive crops were tobacco, corn, hemp and indigo; and after seven years of hard work the colony was in a most prosperous condition.
The Pastor devoted himself to the spiritual and temporal progress of the country.
Before sailing for America the Pastor had married the sister of his colleague, Pierre Boutiton. According to family tradition her given name was Isabeau and Mr. Petigru uses this name in the epitaph of her son, Joseph Gibert.
She may be entitled to both names. But little is known about her, but we can infer that she was a lady of practical tastes from the fact that she brought with her from France a wafer iron marked with the initials "I. B." This wafer iron is still preserved, and occasionally used at Badwell.
The Pastor located his home one mile east of New Bordeaux, selecting the end of a ridge overlooking the valley of Buffalo Creek. He built a comfortable house in which were stored a classical library and various papers relating to his work in France, and also the records of the colony. Unfortunately, all were lost when the house was burned during the war of Independence. After he had succeeded in bringing the colony to a prosperous condition he was, at the height of his usefulness, suddenly cut off by a stupid accident. His cook, John Le Roy, served him at dinner with what he supposed to be mushrooms; he was taken violently ill and died a few days afterwards, in August, 1773, at the age of fifty-one.
The sudden death of the Pastor was mourned as a public calamity and his parishioners wept for him as for a father. He was succeeded by his nephew, Pierre Gibert, the son of his elder brother before mentioned, and under him the colony continued to prosper until 1777, when it was found that living in the town produced fever and the people began to settle in the adjacent country. About this time the value of cotton began to be recognized and it was cultivated with other crops. Being unable to wait till the culture of silk and the vine could become profitable it was practically abandoned, although continued by a few for a generation longer.
Pierre Gibert had been educated in England by his uncle, Etienne, and was brought to the colony by his uncle, Jean Louis. He taught school and the colonists are indebted to him for their education in English. He was among
— Submitted November 24, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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