The Bennett Family
These are the children of Adam Bennett, the overseer at Magnolia Gardens during the ownership of Rev. John Grimke-Drayton, who developed a close relationship with Adam, his slave, through their common interest in gardening.
Adam and his wife, Hannah, are buried in the African American cemetery at Magnolia. In the photo from left to right are the following people – Ezekiel (1886-1949), Susan, John (1878-1926) and Gabriel.
Ezekiel and his older brother John were caretakers of Magnolia’s garden until the 1940s. They succeeded their father, Adam Bennett, who managed the gardens both prior to and following the Civil War. Magnolia was home to the Bennetts for over a century.
Deborah Weston Grace and her two brothers, Albert and Franklin, are 4th generation descendants of Adam Bennett. They are also linked to Nancy Weston, with whom Henry Grimke had a relationship of affection from which three sons were born – Archibald, Francis and John.
In 1865 when the plantation houses were being burnt down during the chaos in the aftermath of the Confederate defeat, Adam, who had been left behind to look after Magnolia Plantation while the family were up in the hills in Flat Rock, North Carolina, was strung up on a tree to persuade him to reveal where the family silver had been buried. He said nothing. He was released and then walked the 250 miles or so to Flat Rock to let Rev. John know that no-one had left the property and were waiting for him to return. Most were employed as gardeners and housekeepers and other tradespeople, as the gardens were opened to the general public.
Here are Census records from St. Andrews parish, Charleston for the Bennett family.
Here are the SC Death Records of three members of the Bennett family.