Hopewell Plantation joins the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

CLEMSON — Hopewell Plantation, adjacent to the Clemson University campus, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.

Rebecca Calhoun Pickens’ coverlet utilized a candlewick technique, which traditionally uses an unbleached cotton thread on a piece of unbleached muslin. It gets its name from the nature of the soft-spun cotton thread, which was braided then used to form the wick for candles. Motifs are created using a variety of traditional embroidery stitches as well as a tufted stitch. Pickens used flowers, insects and pine trees in her coverlet, which were all native South Carolina plants. It is a variation of the vase or basket of flowers design popular in the late 1700s. Pickens was the sister of U.S. Senator John Ewing Calhoun Sr., aunt of vice-president John C. Calhoun and wife of Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens.

General and Mrs. Pickens had a dozen children, including a lieutenant governor and governor, six daughters who married into prominent families and three children who died young.

Their home, Hopewell Plantation, was built about 1785 and is representative of a rural house common in the late 18th and early 19th century in the South Carolina backcountry. The home’s historic significance rests on the national stature of Gen. Pickens, who is remembered for his significant contributions as a Revolutionary War general and later as a Native-American negotiator. Hopewell is where Gen. Pickens negotiated the Treaties of Hopewell with the Cherokees in 1785 and the Choctaws and Chickasaws in 1786. These treaties still today provide civil liberties to First Peoples.

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