About the Collection
The diaries include information on the day-to-day management of Drayton plantations, (particularly Drayton Hall, Jehossee and Long Savannah), focusing on crops, livestock, labor, and the movement of these between estates. Charles describes (in brief) meeting and dining with President George Washington, receiving plant specimens from Thomas Jefferson, a visit from Andre Michaux, the winding up of Bob Savannah plantation, lease of plantation on the Wateree River, abuse of slaves, sending slaves from Drayton Hall to reside at Jehossee, family deaths, division of the deceased’s estates and family acrimony.
The travelogue includes descriptions of towns including: Baltimore M.D., Wilmington D.E., Albany N.Y., Washington D.C., Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C. Information is also given on countryside, roads, buildings, bridges, agriculture, and flora. Attention is given to architectural features throughout. Included are occasional sketches and descriptions of estates, including William Hamilton’s The Woodlands and the “Palace of the President” [White House] (especially the interior), and the Capitol buildings. Drayton travels part-way with Eli Whitney (1765-1825), creator of the cotton gin.