During the 19th century Major Butler was known as one of the richest men in Georgia, owning thousands of acres from Savannah to Brunswick. He utilized the marsh land for rice patties and also grew the Sea Island Cotton. He married Fannie Kemble, an New England actress who hated plantation life. Her book Fanny Kemble may be read on Genealogy-Books Although she despised Butler's plantations, she lived the life of a wealthy Southern Belle during the prime days of the South. During the War Between The States the family left the plantation and Pierce and his daughter, Frances,did not return until 1866. Butler died a year later.
Major Pierce Butler inherited these lands from his grandfather (Pierce Butler who married Mary Middleton). His grandmother's family had many slaves, and this assisted Pierce Butler in his start. This plantation house still stands. It is located on the Altamaha River Estuary, and faces Hwy 17 North into Darien (on the left). He purchased from John and Frances Graham of Savannah for 6,000 pounds, Hampton Plantation which was located on the north end of St. Simon's Island, which he had as early as 1774. Cotton and rice was grown on his plantations, and he had many slaves. Butler's Island, surrounded by the Chimney and Altmaha Rivers, was designed to grow rice, having many irrigation ditches dug, a nd flood gates. Roswell King was the manager of the Butler plantations from 1802 to 1819, when he was succeeded by his son, Roswell King, Jr.
Butler's Island, Hampton Point, Experiment (between Hampton River & Buttermilk Sound) & Five Pound Tree Plantations. - Directions: North from Brunswick on Hwy 17. Before crossing the bridge into Darien, historical marker -
As you drive this route, thousands of acres of marshland lie before you. Most of this landscape was use for rice plantations by Georgia and South Carolina owners. More Information