John Drayton (1715-1779)
The Hon. John Drayton, of Drayton Hall, S. Carolina; Member of the Privy Council
His parents came to South Carolina via Barbados and he was most likely educated in England. Being the youngest son, his beginnings were modest. He was a warden for Saint Andrew's Parish Church and at the age of 25 his mother assisted him in purchasing 350-acres on which he would build Drayton Hall, eventually expanding the estate to 600-acres. He went on to own upwards of 76,000-acres in South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky & Texas. In 1756, he was appointed Assistant Judge for the Justices in the Commission for the Peace before taking a seat on His Majesty's Privy Council (1761-1775). As a planter, he raised cattle and pigs for exportation to the Caribbean sugar islands; and, grew rice and indigo for the European markets. He developed a passion for horses and racing, co-founding the South Carolina Jockey Club. He was married four times and fathered nine children of whom six (shown above) survived to adulthood.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 05/07/2019 and last updated on 08/12/2019.
Old Charleston Originals: From Celebrities to Scoundrels (Arcadia Publishing, 2011) by Margaret Middleton Rivers Eastman