Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Hunters Return

James Heyward had two loves in life, his books, and hunting. James’ father was killed in the Revolutionary War, and his mother was disappointed when James, her eldest son, took no interest in running the family’s rice plantation.

1800s Rice Plantation S.C.
At the end of the war, the widow Heyward had a refined 2-story house built on the fashionable Legare Street in Charleston, South Carolina. She loved to entertain friends, and her children often came to visit.

One early morning in January of 1805, she went into the home’s library. There as usual sat James in an alcove. He was hunched over, holding his head in his hands.

The widow concerned approached the table. She asked him why he had not left yet. He had informed her the night before that he and friends were going to leave Charleston early the next morning to go quail hunting at the family plantation.

When she received no response, she asked, “James, are you ill?” She watched as her son just faded away.

Now certain what she had seen was a bad omen she sent for a servant. She demanded this man go to the plantation immediately and see if something was amiss with the hunting party.

However, before this servant could leave, there was a commotion on the front porch. The door swung open, and a group of plantation workers entered, carrying the lifeless body of James Heyward—his grieving friends, trailed behind.

They told the widow as they had galloped across a field that morning a cow had startled James’ horse. He was thrown and killed instantly.

At the precise moment of his death Mrs. Heyward had seen and spoken to her son in the library.

Library window.
It has been over two hundred years since this tragic accident, but James’ ghost still makes appearances in the Legare Street home’s library.

Fourteen families have lived in this home since the widow Heyward had it first built-in 1789. Several of these residents have claimed to see James’ ghost.

He is seen wearing his green riding coat and reading a book in the alcove. At other times he is seen gazing out the window toward where the family’s plantation once stood.

This residence at 31 Legare Street has 7 bedrooms and 9 baths. The home is almost 7,000 square feet in size and is valued at $1.2 million. The owners’ wish is that everyone respects their privacy.

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