Return to Assorted Documents of the
Freedmen's Bureau
Letter from C. Thurston Chase to AMA
Describing Proposal for Old Folks Home on Johns Island S. C.
April 16, 1867

American Missionary Association H6547
The Old Folks Home on John's Island
for South Carolina

Proposed Location  -

The Sudiarson plantation on John's Island 10 miles from Charleston by the ? ? 2300 acres of land for 5,000. Locality fine and healthy of soil rich do the Edisto Island soil;
much richer than that of Hilton Head Is,. Bureau is now building a school house on this place for 300 pupils and a teachers' home at an expense of $2,000; also on the place
are 14 or 15 cabins.

General Scott, Asst. Commissioner, would recommend an expenditure of $6,000 to $8,000 in cabins for old folks and an institute of learning. All his recommendations for
school purposes have been sanctioned by General Howard. Gen. H. has also expressed a strong desire to have a home provided for the Old Folks and Orphans of whom
there are many cast off in the state, now beggars and homeless.

With regard to expenses the Ass. Comm. pledges to supply the food and clothing and pay superintendent's, matrons and nurses' salaries during the existence of the Bureau.
After that they would become a public charge on the hands of the state to be provided for by the state and the Association not to be held in way morally or legally under
obligations to continue its care over them.

The Association is not asked to expend any money for the support of the Old Folks or Orphans who may be sent there. But the buildings would be left by the Bureau on its
withdrawal to be held as the private property of the Association.

The John's island is the largest of these near Charleston named Wardenalaw St. James, and John. It has a colored population of 4,000 souls and would made a good nucleus
for preparing teachers for the adjacent islands or any other part of the State.

The idea of establishing a home for the children would also include their educational interests. It could be enlarged upon to any extent as in cultivating the land, training the
girls to housework in the institution where the old would be in needle work and the like.

The Association would have the right to select all officers and others connected with the establishment of the Home and control the institution. The Bureau would pay them as
before stated.

This is the substance of Gen. Scott's proposition as stated to me. He requests the Association to pay $5,000 for the estate and in return erects the normal school building in
Charleston at Bureau expense.

C. Thurston Chase

Note: I have not found a record of this "Old Folks Home or Orphanage." One of the problems was the return of property to the prewar owners. C. Thurston Chase would move
to
Florida and become important there as Superintendent of Education.
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