For Immediate Release:

Aug. 16, 2022


Marie Cheek

Community Relations Coordinator

 Culture & Heritage Museums


Historic Brattonville’s annual event “By the Sweat of Our Brows” honors the descendants of the plantation’s enslaved community

This year, descendants of the enslaved people, along with descendants of the Bratton family, gather to continue the conversation of their shared history and lineage 

S.C. State Historical Marker Dedication at noon during the event on Sept. 10


McCONNELLS, S.C. – From the 18th through the 19th century on a cotton plantation in York County, the enslavement of African Americans and ‘the sweat of their brows’ brought prosperity to the Brattonsville community. On Sept. 10 at Historic Brattonville, descendants of the plantation’s enslaved community gather to honor their ancestral legacy. Since 2005, the descendant community has helped to organized the annual event “By the Sweat of Our Brows.” The site’s African American programming arises through their dedication to telling a true narrative.

New for 2022, additional families, both white and black, will be represented and participating in “By the Sweat of Our Brows.” Throughout the day, the families will greet visitors, showcase memorabilia and share stories in the Oak Grove. Around the site, period-dressed interpreters demonstrate what daily life was like on a plantation in the 19th century.  Traditional African American foodways are on the table, textiles are on the loom, furniture is in the works at the wood shop, and hands-on activities are in place for growing minds. In Historic Brattonsville’s Orientation Room, archived videos will be shown that tell the stories of the descendants and the significance of the historical Bethesda Presbyterian and Mt. Zion Baptist Churches.

At 10:30 a.m., the  traditional ‘Calling of the Names’ will be read from Harriet Bratton’s 1865 Freedmen’s List.

At 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., tours of Historic Brattonsville and on-going historic preservation projects are scheduled.

At noon, the new S.C. State Historical Marker is unveiled; the historical marker commemorates the legacy of the Brick House and of Capt. James Williams, a South Carolina civil rights leader who was formerly enslaved on the Bratton Plantation. The Brick House features the new exhibit “Liberty & Resistance: Reconstruction and the African American Community at Brattonsville 1865-1877” and the recreation of the Bratton General Store.

At 1:30 p.m., a formal presentation by Dr. Lisa Bratton focuses on the ongoing conversation of shared history and lineage between the black and white descendants.

WHAT: “By the Sweat of Our Brows” – Historic Brattonsville’s annual gathering of the descendant community

WHEN: By the Sweat of Our Brows on Sept. 10, 2022 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. (rain date: Sept. 17)

WHERE: Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, S.C. 29726

Look for detours; Brattonsville Road will be closed for public safety.

Visitors Services phone – 803.684.2327

TICKETS: Online Purchasing | Culture & Heritage Museums (


IMAGE: During the annual event “By the Sweat of Our Brows” on Sept. 9, 2017 at Historic Brattonsville, Wali Cathcart displays his family photographs and memorabilia while talking to visitors about being a descendent of Brattonsville’s enslaved community. Contact for high resolution images.