In the 1800s Brookgreen Plantation was the largest rice plantation of its kind in the Georgetown area. Owned by Josh and Bess Ward it was a very successful business for them mainly because of the overseer Fraser. Fraser was an especially cruel man who delighted in punishing the slaves. He would go so far as to punish the family of a slave who, in his eyes had done wrong. His favorite punishment was to take a slave into the barn, tie him or her down, and whip them. And that is the basis for our story…
As time went on, the slaves began to discuss the beatings and torture brought upon them by the overseer in their weekly prayer meetings. They decided to tell the Wards about the horrible treatment at the hands of Fraser. A woman slave who worked in the house and was liked by the family was chosen to deliver the message to the Wards. She was told that if Mr. Ward asked for proof, she should take him to the barn and show him the blood on the floorboards. The girl agreed to tell the Wards what was happening, but it was not to be as the family had gone to North Carolina to avoid getting ‘the fever’ as it had been going around the area. When the finally returned to Brookgreen, the girl had lost her nerve. Try as she may, she could not bring herself to tell the family about the brutality brought down by the overseer Fraser.
Before long The Civil War broke out and the Wards left the area for good. Once the slaves were set free, they searched high and low for Fraser with the intent of strapping him down and lashing him as he’d lashed so many of them. But they never found him. Fraser, the brutal overseer of Brookgreen Plantation, had gotten away with his crimes against the slaves.
But it is said that a record of his deeds did survive.
The floorboards of the old barn were stained with the blood of the slaves. No matter how hard they were scrubbed, no matter what was used to cover it, the blood was always back the next morning and what ever was used to cover it was also stained red from the blood. It is said that the blood stayed on the floor until the 1930s when the plantation was bought by Archer Huntington. One of his first acts as owner was to demolish the old barn. So it seems that the only way to removed the blood from the floor, was to remove the floor itself.