The Drayton Building
Like the Middletons, the Drayton family travelled to the Carolina Low Country via the England-Barbados-Carolina route. Thomas Drayton I and his son Thomas Drayton II arrived in Charleston from the island in 1679. The family settled along the banks of the Ashley River, first establishing Magnolia Plantation and then Drayton Hall Plantation. They were one of a small group of planters related through marriage who were an exceedingly powerful force in colonial South Carolina politics: John (1713-1779) was Chief Justice of South Carolina and on the Royal Council; William Henry (1742-1779) was a Revolutionary War Patriot, Chief Justice in South Carolina, and a member of the Continental Congress; Dr. Charles Drayton (1743-1822) was Lt. Governor; and John Drayton (1767-1822) was Governor of the State of South Carolina and a federal judge.
The Middleton-Drayton connection was established in February 1774, when Dr. Charles Drayton married Hester Middleton, daughter of Henry and Mary Middleton. The couple had four children before Hester’s death in 1789 at age thirty-five. The marriage of their daughter Charlotta to Joseph Manigault in 1800 created further family connections within the powerful Low Country planter class.