The first known Silk Hope plantation belonged to Sir Nathaniel Johnson, Governor of South Carolina 1702 to 1709, born 1644 in Durham, England. He settled in Charleston ca 1683 and built Silk Hope in old Berkeley County, Huger, South Carolina. After the American Revolution, Joseph Butler of Charleston owned thousands of acres around Charleston and as far south as the Ogeechee River which bordered Georgia and South Carolina. He must have acquired the land after Governor Johnson. The family planted rice and acquired a vast number of acreage north of Savannah on the South Carolina side and called this plantation Silk Hope. When he died, he bequeathed the plantation to his son, Shem Butler, who died ca 1799 in Savannah (his estate in Chatham County. See this record on Georgia Pioneers) When Shem died, his estate was found in Liberty County (see this record on Georgia Pioneers and he mentioned his plantation Silk Hope). At some point this fabulous plantation was sold to Lewis Hines of Liberty County (Hinesville), because his last will and testament also mentioned it. Apparently, Shem Butler also named his Liberty County plantation Silk Hope because of archeological digging near Richmond Hill revealed some pottery. The earliest of the three occupations occurred at the Silk Hope Plantation. Archaeological evidence discovered the remaiins of slave quarters. The house was built in the 1750's along the Ogeechee River and combined with its South Carolina acreage to grow probably the largest rice crops in Georgia.
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