There were no good slave owners. Perhaps some of them could have been considered “good” people in other areas of their lives but James Henry Hammond, owner of Redcliffe Plantation and more than 300 slaves, was a horrible person through and through. We know this because he kept diaries in which he detailed abusing his four young nieces and raping his slaves and their children. Surprisingly his family turned the diaries over to the University of South Carolina where they sat in storage for 50 years before being published in book form in 1988.
The plantation was given to the state of South Carolina by Hammond’s great-grandson. The house is opened for tours. A small visitor center has exhibits about the Hammond family and the families of the slaves and freed men and women who lived on the plantation.