In the days following the election of President Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina Gov. William Henry Gist was characteristically blunt: “The only alternative left, in my judgment, is the secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.”
Today, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site stands as a fine example of plantation homes of the South, and its purpose is to interpret the life and legacy of the man history has come to know as the “Secession Governor.”
The son of a Charleston merchant, William Henry Gist rose from modest beginnings to be elected governor of South Carolina in 1858. By then he had come to accept the belief that South Carolina could protect slavery only by withdrawing from the Union.
Today, visitors can tour one of the finest plantation homes of the South, walk the elegant grounds, admire its beautiful rose gardens and explore other original plantation buildings. The site also includes a short hiking trail down to the Tyger River.