Row boats in Skull Creek. Photo by Will Warasila.

Share This

Gullah Livelihood

This piece is an excerpt from Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge, 1861-1956, a book that explores the Gullah culture, borne of isolation and slavery, that thrived on the US East Coast sea islands from pre-Civil War times until today, and nowhere more prominently than on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. On this small barrier island descendants of the first generations of Gullah people continue to preserve Gullah language, customs, arts, and cuisine. The three authors of Gullah Days are among those descendants, and in this book, they chronicle the amazing history of their secluded community from the Civil War through the 1950s, when real estate development connected Hilton Head Island to the mainland with a bridge, using primary sources and family and oral history to create a comprehensive and vivid representation.

I used to go fishing, in a rowboat by myself. Go all day and take the bateau and the oars, throw the anchor out. When I done throw the anchor, [I] put my boat up in a place, a creek like. A little water be around. That tide coming up then. It would come and rise with the tide. I cast that net and get my shrimps.

When I done get my shrimps, I pull my anchor up, and I throw it out and go in the deep like. Throw my anchor out there. I had my line and hook. You used to rig that yourself, and you throw that out in the water down in the deep you know like. Fish catch right on to that hook. And you know when it catch it. You just pull them in. Pull them in until you get them in that boat.

—Nancy Ferguson

For Gullah people to muster enough resources to feed their family and allow their children to get at least some schooling took hard physical work and ingenuity.

The land and the sea was all they had. As Elijah Jones, Jr., born in 1925, put it, “[W]‍e had to work out of the field and creek—catch fish and crab and such and go in the field.”

Most Gullah families on Hilton Head farmed at least a small plot of land but pieced together their livelihood from both the land and the sea. They farmed from spring to late fall and then, especially during the 1920s into the 1940s, often worked at one of the oyster factories on Hilton Head and surrounding islands during the winter months.

Besides the major categories of farming and catching or harvesting seafood, some islanders owned small community stores, built boats, or piloted large boats that shipped fish and produce to Savannah. Some women picked a plant called “musk” to supplement their income. Other Gullah people gained employment by filling the needs of well-to-do hunters who visited the island to shoot wild game. A smaller number of Gullah people taught school or were midwives on the island.

Still others worked off-island, at least periodically, in order to earn more money than they could on the island. Often the men worked as longshoremen and women provided domestic help for white families in Savannah or other locations, and returned to Hilton Head on the weekends.


William Kellerson with marsh tacky horse plowing his field along U.S. Highway 278, the main road traversing through the Chaplin community on Hilton Head Island. Collection of Abraham Grant and Charliemae Grant.



Farming was critical to people’s daily lives, not only to put food on the table but also for cash crops to sell off-island. Planting began in March and continued through April and beyond, but preparing the fields began much earlier. The islanders tilled the soil and fertilized the fields, often using mud from the marsh, and prepared furrows for the seed.

By the time the bridge to the mainland ended Hilton Head’s isolation, a few farmers had tractors. Most Gullah families farmed on a smaller scale, however, and relied on horses or mules. If they lacked seasoned work animals, they had to tame and train a horse (a wild marsh tacky from the beach) or train a mule.

Both horses and mules had to be taught certain commands. “Gee” meant go right, “haw” meant go left, “whoa” meant stop, “get up” meant go, “alright” meant turn around and go from one furrow to the next. Back up commands also were used if a point in the row had been skipped.

Common crops included beans (both low-growing and high bush beans grown on a pole), corn, early June peas, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cabbage, greens, cucumber, squash, and cotton. Cotton usually was harvested in September or October. Corn was harvested in October or November.

To harvest corn, a horse- or mule-pulled wagon proceeded down the middle row of a corn field and field workers would break the corn off the stalk. When the wagon was full, it was driven to the barn and unloaded.

Some corn was taken to market in Savannah, but the corn was too important to a family’s survival for all of it to be sold. Corn was ground into grits or cornmeal, staples the family needed year-round. Corn also was fed to horses, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals during the winter. Corn shucks were used to start cooking fires in woodstoves, make pillows for the beds, or make nests in the chicken coops.

Traditional Gullah foods included some that were domesticated in Africa and introduced to the New World through the slave trade. Okra, benne seed (sesame), sorghum, and yams fell into this category. Peanuts and lima beans, although originally grown in other countries, probably were brought from Africa during the slave trade.

Other traditional Gullah crops, including cow peas (a form of field pea or black-eyed pea) and watermelon, had been introduced to Africa by the Spanish and then brought to the United States in the hulls of ships along with slaves.

Some species of cotton closely related to the luxurious long-staple cotton grown in the sea islands and surrounding areas were first domesticated in Africa and had long grown there. Indigo was cultivated in Africa for many years. Rice had been grown in Africa. Because they knew how to cultivate these crops, many enslaved people were brought to Hilton Head and other sea islands for this purpose.

In addition, corn and tobacco, although domesticated in the Americas, were also cultivated in Africa. Cow peas and watermelon fall into the same category. Many Africans arriving on Hilton Head likely already knew how to grow all of these crops. Gullah islanders drew from a body of passed-down knowledge in planting and tending their crops.

Families that did not own land often rented it from others. Almost no official sharecropping existed on Hilton Head. Gullah people resisted the practice. In a few cases, when a white landowner wanted a family to farm on shares, that family moved rather than submit to what usually turned out to be an unfair practice.

Likewise, a number of families moved to Hilton Head from nearby Pinckney Island after a new owner introduced sharecropping there. Gullah people were determined to preserve their independence.

Planting watermelons, Hilton Head, 1904. American Museum of Natural History, Library: Julian Dimock Collection.


In my great-grandfather’s time, [at] Braddock’s Point, they planted peas, beans, corn, rice, benne (sesame), peanuts, and vegetables. Green vegetables would be all in the summer. We would can them. [We] dried peas and you raised hogs, . . . and cured it for the summer. . . . The only thing you selled was your cotton, and you would sell pigs. But these beans and peas, you would dry and have for your own use.

Isabel Brown


They cut it, the green marsh; and then after it dry, then they sprinkle it in the fields. . . . My dad had everything on the farm. Had everything you can name. Dey had a cow, they had horse, they had chicken, they had hog. And they plant everything on the farm: okra, peas, butter beans, onion, cabbage, collard greens, corn, everything. . . . See, we were livin’. We had no money, but we had plenty to eat. Ooh, had plenty to eat.

Laura Mae Campbell (Campbell said that they took the horse to the marsh, loaded the fresh mud in a wagon, and hauled the green marsh back home to dry.)


My mother and father were born on this island and lived at Joe Pope [also known as Leamington]. They used to rent, and they pay their rent [to a white landowner]. How much they paid now, I don’t know. They [her parents] worked for themselves. They worked on the white man property . . . but they worked for themselves. What they had was their own. They work for what they need. They didn’t take [shares] you know. . . . No [they were not] sharecroppers.

Nancy Ferguson


When I came here these people had a lot of beans and vegetables of every kind. They had fruit trees. They had a big freeze here one year and [it] kill a lot of the orange trees.

I don’t think there are many homes you could go in there, and they didn’t have plum trees and peach trees, and fig trees. Some had banana trees. They had everything. They didn’t have to worry about anything. People used to raise a lot of turkey and chicken. . . . And watermelons, those folks use to make some watermelon that was so big. I remember a man who is dead now, Mr. Wiley, Gene Wiley’s daddy, gave us some Stone Mountain watermelon one night when we came here. He was cutting it with a saw. It was just that big.

—Naomi Frazier


I guess they would start sometime as early as March planting things, but they knew what to plant when, even when it came down to sweet potatoes. They would plant the sweet potatoes, which would be the actual sweet potatoes, little pieces, you know, they would put in the ground. When that came up and it got vines, then about June or July, they’re gonna cut the vines and then they’re make another field and they’re gonna do what they call “stickin’ the potato vine.” That where you’re gonna get your new potatoes from. We used to call the ones that you originally put in the ground the “big mommas,” because they used some big ones. But the new potatoes would be from the ones where you “stuck” the vine.

My brothers and my father, they would do the plowing of the field and then when it comes to planting process, like my mother would help, because again, our family was small as I came along. Say if my mother was digging the hole because she didn’t want us to put it in too deep, she would tell me how many of the seeds to drop in, and you had to bend your back when you put it in there, and then my brother would come along and he would cover the hole. And so that’s the way we would do the planting.

—Ruth Germany


Now once it came up, I would help, but my mother used to say I used to cut too many of her stuff down. So I didn’t get to hoe very much. Usually it was her and my brother and my older brother did that. And then when it comes time for harvesting, I would help to pick the beans, pick the peas, you know, I would go in the field and cut the okras and pick tomatoes, stuff like that. I would help to do that.

When it comes time to harvest the potatoes now, which would be sometime in October, November, I would have to help again with taking the hoe. They would cut down the rows and then you take the hoe and you just turn it over so that the potatoes come, and then I would go along and have to pick up the potatoes, and you make piles as you go along.

Regina Bennett


We used to plant anything for farm market, something for our children, yourself and your children—corn, peas, potatoes, butter beans, cotton, Irish potatoes. Older people used to do the same thing and we come behind them and we do the same thing, too. Somebody carry you to Savannah, you get ten cents a peck for butter beans. And when you get there and you couldn’t sell them, you bring them back and destroy them. You couldn’t eat them then because they get soft.

— Nancy Ferguson


A lot of people left Pinckney Island and moved to Hilton Head ’cause we couldn’t stand the pressure that they put [on us]. When you plant things you had to give them some [a share — sharecropping], and so we just move. . . . ’Cause our father make our things, and they [the landowner] want so much every time. So we all move over here. —Corrine Lawyer Brown (Brown was born on Hilton Head Island. Early in her life, relatives took her to Pinckney Island to be raised. Her grandfather, Abraham Jones, had a large farm there.)

About the mid part of February or the early part of March, I would come here and spend that time just to help the old man [his father, Ben White, Sr.] with some work because I loved to farm. I would get absence from my job about twice a year, between February and March, and again ’round about the last of October or the early part of November. I would take that time and help the old man. There wasn’t a tractor on Hilton Head in those days. Different people began getting mules. They figure the plow been too heavy for the horse, and they could get something that was a little more stronger with a mule. The old man got a mule. Mr. Chris Green used to work for the old man for $40 a month. He used to work from January to January. . . . I would ask the old man—I was a young man in those days—how can he work for forty dollars a month, and take care of his wife and children? “Ben, you ask a good question, but you know you don’t cross the bridge until you get to it.”

—Ben White, Jr. (born 1925)


Oh, my God, we came from a mighty long ways, the hard way. Boy, the first time I hit the lucky number on the farm was in 1943. It was after the 1940 storm put the tide over that land. I gone and plant a field of watermelon down by the salt-water bridge, right down there on this side of the Fort. There was a creek call Coggin Creek.

Three rows of corn and four rows of watermelon. That watermelon grow unusual. And boy, we never could gather all them watermelon. Ollie and Little Mack, they tried to pick up each end of a watermelon, and they couldn’t do it. And that watermelon, the first trip I made to walk the row, you would pick up about three hundred. Go over to Savannah on Charlie Simmons’s boat with them.

I pray to God from Charlie’ boat on to Savannah. I said Lord, if we was to get three and a half, not over five dollars a hundred. I say Lord, I am going to see if I can get seven dollars a hundred for my watermelon today. I prayed to God all the way. I didn’t enjoy myself at all on the boat.

When Charlie’ boat docked, a man I had never seen nor heard of was standing on the dock. Ben Givins, he was a wholesale buyer. The man step on board of Charlie Simmons’s boat and said, “How do you do, Mr. White?”

“I’m feel pretty good, how are you sir?”

He said, “How many have you got?”

I said, “About three hundred.”

He said, “The Old Man [Ben White, Sr.] and I agreed for twenty-five dollars a hundred. He is supposed to be back in here around about Tuesday.” He said, “I think I better take your melons.”

When that man paid me that seventy-five dollars, I said, “That man must be crazy. Get away from that market, Doc. Something wrong with that man.”

Before God, when we quit shipping, in ’43, I had nine hundred dollars put aside in the Citizens and Southern Bank from the field. And keep a hundred dollars in the house in case of sickness or anything happen. We had a good start.

—Johnny White (born 1909, Grassland Community)


Making a living on the island? You either did things on land or you did things in the water — either you did farming or you did the creek for oyster, clams, fishing.

So he [Ben White, Sr., the biggest farmer on Hilton Head] chose to be a land-based operator. He was very ambitious, and you know, for a person that only went to school to the third grade, his ideas were far-reaching for the time and would probably be far-reaching even at this time because his thinking would have changed. He always looked to have bigger and better things.

As I understand it, at one time they used to grow cotton, but the boll weevil wiped that out. But the watermelon, butterbeans, okra—truck farming really was the thing.

—Charlie White


At one point he [our father] also had beets in there because that’s why I don’t like beets. Since it’s a root type plant, you can pull it up, clean it off, and you can eat it raw, and I used to eat it raw, you know. I guess it very nutritious, but by the time I became an adult, I had no desire to eat beets at all.

David White (born 1940, Grassland Community)


Big Hill was the first land purchase he [our father] made, and then he kept adding to it, and I reckon now there’s thirty-two point something acres. Of course, at that time it could’ve been listed as thirty-five or thirty-six because people used to step things off, you know, and when they did the later survey, they had the instrument and what used to be this much was shrunk some because of the instrument. That’s why most of the old deed read “ten acres more or less” or twenty whatever.

In the 1940s, we had acres and acres of crops on what is now Port Royal—we called the Old Fort down there. It was mainly watermelon and corn. We didn’t own that, just rented it. Union Cemetery Road used to go straight down to the Old Fort, and that’s the road we used to go down there and we used to plant both sides. We just about had that whole area planted. Then we planted a place call Capers Landing. I would say we had a good twenty acres we used to plant there. We also planted on Dillon Road, mostly corn there. Cotton Hope—we used to plant down there, where the Wileys are now. We had a lot of watermelon there. We also planted down in Jonesville, planted butterbeans and stuff back there. And then where Oak Grove Church is, at the end of the marsh in Broad Creek, we planted corn there.

It wasn’t cost effective to sell to people on the island. He dealt in volume, and if someone came to him and they wanted some butterbeans to eat or some watermelon to eat, he’d give it to them.

— Charlie White


One of the things that I can recall from being at the market at Savannah is the notion of volume sales. For example, if you had say two hundred watermelon and a potential purchaser came by and said he wanted a hundred, then our dad would negotiate a price based on volume to sell, you know, to sell that amount to him versus someone who only wanted ten or twenty-five.

I think one of the things he figured out was how to constantly have crop that he could take to market, and I guess all that was tied in with the idea of being visionary in a sense, to figure out when to do this and what volume to plant so you can get a certain yield. And I guess you could also take that further and say you could really project what that would bring in terms of dollars.

—David White


You know in terms of taking crops to market, there was nothing but dirt roads at the time, so you use the horse and wagons, the mule and wagons. The wagons had four wheels, a box type of arrangement, sides at least thirty-six inches to forty-eight inches high. If it’s watermelon, you stack them from the front to the back and then you, you see, you load in the field, from the field to the wagon, from the wagon to the boat because that was the only way to get off. You go to Savannah, then you have to offload it onto a truck, then you take it to the city market, then you unload it off the truck onto the ground of the market. During the watermelon season, there was a constant movement. Dad would be gone to the market, and we would just keep the crop going to him by whatever transportation we had. The sailboats looked like bateaux. They had a cabin so when the weather was inclement, you could be out of the weather. That’s where they cooked. The rest of the boat was pretty open, and the crops were stacked. We used [to] put the butterbeans in these burlap bags about three feet wide and four feet deep.

He [Ben White, Sr.] had a series of people working with him. Nathan Rivers, Sr., was one of his foremen, and we had Herbert Chaplin and Dennis Sheppard. They were sort of the staple, and then you hire people to do things like planting season or harvesting. He paid them on the basis how many bushels, and what he paid ’em I don’t recall, but I assure you it wasn’t much. Mostly women did the harvesting of the butterbeans and stuff. Men handled the watermelon.

When we harvest the sweet potato, that calls for a lot of hoe work, so you wouldn’t destroy the potato. You take the plow and you get it as close to the center of the row as you can, and then you use the hoe, then you rake it out, and people gather them up by size, and you put them in these bushel baskets. Women did most of the sorting and putting into the baskets.

There was one guy there in Savannah, a guy called Nappy, that he’d send stuff to if the season was winding down. He was the wheeler-dealer on the market, and they say people used to send things to him and he sold it for I guess a percentage of whatever he collected, like a broker. We used to write on the bag using this blue ink “from Ben White to Nappy” and put it on Simmons’s truck or somebody’s boat and you know, off it goes. And then he would send the money back with somebody.

—Charlie White


Folks tended to work on the honor system. I don’t think it was a lot skepticism about if I send this product over to you that, you know, you’re gonna rip me off or anything like that. It was pretty much an honor system kinda thing. . . . There were a few suppliers in terms of seed, fertilizer in Savannah, Leon Grocery, and I think it was Alexander’s.

—David White


Man plowing with his horse. Courtesy of the Coastal Discovery Museum.


“Musk”— a plant also known as deer tongue because its long narrow leaves remind some of the tongue of a deer — flourished in the woods on the north end of Hilton Head. The leaves of the plant grew from spring to late fall.

Gullah women, and sometimes men and children, slung burlap bags over their shoulders, picked the leaves, and sold them to musk dealers. Some took their harvest directly to Bluffton by sailboat. The leaves were processed there in a warehouse, wrapped in burlap, tied with wire, and shipped to Virginia. Musk was a common additive to pipe tobacco and cigarettes until the 1960s.

Musk-picking provided a seasonal income in July, August, and September. After picking the leaves of the plant, the women stuffed them in their bags and took them home to dry in their yards, as the price for musk increased slightly for dried leaves versus green ones. Then the women sold the dried brown leaves for approximately twenty cents a pound.

Picking musk held dangers though. The plant thrived in the deep woods among palmettos and the thick underbrush where rattlesnakes thrived. The women had to contend with mosquitoes and guard against poisonous snakes. As they picked the leaves, which clustered near the bottom of the plant, their hands shared the habitat claimed by snakes.

When crushed, the leaves had a scent some compared to vanilla.

We made a good living with mus’ and put it in the closet to make the clothes smell good.

Georgianna Bryan (born 1900, Squire Pope Community)


My mother come home with a sack of musk on her head. When she threw the sack down a rattlesnake came out the sack. I don’t know how that happened, but the snake must have gone in the bag. It didn’t bite her, but she been in the woods and was picking musk.

Thomas Holmes

A number of Gullah men on Hilton Head were distillers, turning out quantities of well-made corn liquor popularly called “moonshine.” Making moonshine was an additional—and valuable—source of family income, and the men took pride in their craft. More than one distiller claimed the title of the “best” distiller on Hilton Head. They did not publicize their distilling off-island, as making moonshine was illegal. But their whiskey was well known by those who wanted it.

The quality of the moonshine produced by one of the largest moonshine operators on Hilton Head was so good that it is said that Thorne and Loomis, the northern owners of Honey Horn Plantation (from the 1930s through the 1950s) always purchased a large quantity whenever they were on the island.

The same distiller also had loyal customers on nearby Port Royal Island and in Savannah. He shipped his moonshine to the mainland by boat in five-gallon jugs placed in croaker (burlap) sacks.

Some of the whisky stills on Hilton Head were quite sophisticated. The Internal Revenue Service periodically swooped in to destroy the stills, but moonshine was made until the bridge to the mainland was built.

I know when I was twelve how to make moonshine. That was the only way a lot of ’em could really get something to drink that help ’em, you know, but back in them days, we used to cook moonshine with pride. Knowing how to do it and do it clean because, you know, like once you set your barrel up, we used to tie a bag around it to keep insects from falling in it. Then when you cook the liquor you take your time. And if you rush it, you’ll scorch it, and when you scorch it, everybody can tell it’s bad liquor. And I had to be careful ’cause if I didn’t [I’d] get a good behind-cuttin’. The low wine, that’s the last pot coming out. So you take that to cut the real moonshine to the strength you want it to be. The old man [his uncle, Willie Kellerson, who raised him] before he had a truck, he used to put it on that horse, carry it to Squire Pope, Baygall, and all over town to sell it. Everyone knew it was the best.
I remember when it was eight dollars a gallon, then it went up to ten dollars, then it went up to twelve dollars, then it went up to fifteen dollars, eighteen dollars. The last time I heard it was like twenty-five dollars or twenty-nine dollars for one gallon. I don’t know when they stopped making it. I leave home in ’56 and the old man still had a barrel, so I guess it must be ’56.

Abraham “Abe” Grant, Sr., (born 1937, Chaplin Community)

Fred Owens had a store with kerosene and gas and plenty corn liquor.

Ben Miller

You know, from what I was told Dad was the best in the county in terms of the moonshine.

Charlie White

Hunting was divided into two types: the hunting Gullah men did to feed their families and to get game or hides to sell in Savannah, and the hunting outsiders did during the winter months on Hilton Head. The latter provided jobs for some Gullah people.

Gullah men hunted for rabbits, raccoons, deer, wild turkey, wild hogs (boars), squirrels, possums, ducks, and sometimes doves. Hunting techniques varied depending on the animal.

Rabbits, for instance, were hunted with sticks and dogs. Dogs chased a rabbit to its hole and when it ran out the other end, the hunter hit it with a stick.

Dogs would “tree” a raccoon, and the hunter would throw bricks up into the tree to force the raccoon down.

Some Gullah men also used homemade iron or metal traps, which were later outlawed. Others used guns, ranging from hand guns to rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

Gullah men also caught alligators and mink and then dried and stretched their hides to sell in Savannah. A far easier type of hunting was gathering, or digging, turtle eggs on the beach.

Well-to-do visitors, from both the North and the South, were drawn to Hilton Head. Every need was attended to by Gullah people, giving the visitors the chance to bask in the natural beauty of the island, to relish the chance to hunt wild birds and other game, and to enjoy the time spent in each other’s company.

Hunters began coming to Hilton Head shortly after the end of the Civil War. The island had grown quieter when the soldiers departed, and soon flocks of birds reappeared and wild game grew abundant. Wealthy white northern landowners—from Roy Rainey to W. P. Clyde and William L. Hurley, to Landon K. Thorne and Alfred A. Loomis—invited their friends to Hilton Head to hunt.

Thorne and Loomis bought Honey Horn in the early 1930s. They would arrive for spring and fall hunting seasons. Ben Jones was a chef at Honey Horn then, and Rosa Miller Bryant cooked for “Old Man Lawrence.” Annie Driessen and Laura Cohen cooked there, too.

Jim Cohen of Jonesville was largely responsible for training the hunting dogs. Cohen would get the dogs to hunt for birds and make them fly up from the grass and bushes so the hunters could shoot them. He also raised some birds in cages and imported other birds. Prior to a hunt, he would “plant” the birds so that the hunters had plenty to shoot at. Cohen also trained the horses not to flinch or move when a gun was fired. He took care of the animals during the hunt and retrieved the dogs when the hunt was over.

Richard Chisolm of Spanish Wells drove the hunters to the point where the hunt would begin. He also loaded and transported the dogs in cages on the back of a truck to where the hunt would take place. With a saddlebag on each horse, the hunters had a gun, shells, and a pouch for carrying the kill.

Jim Cohen used to ride the horses while [the hunters] kill the birds. Jim Cohen and my brother John [Miller] take ’em where they can kill them quail. . . .

Chamberlin Robinson used to take care of all the horses, the garden, and the cattle. Old Man Chamberlin.

Ben Miller (Robinson was the father of Thomas Robinson, the first Hilton Head Gullah islander to earn a PhD.)


I used to pump the water for to wash. You all pump the water. And if you pump two tub of water, and if anything happen every bit of that water have to throw out. Mrs. Lawrence [at Honey Horn] would not let her clothes wash in that water—say it’s sour.

—Georgianna Barnwell

A hunt club, officially organized as the Hilton Head Agricultural Society, also operated on Hilton Head. Started by well-to-do North Carolina cotton-mill owner Freno Dilling in 1917, the club lasted until 1967.

“Camp Dilling,” a rustic hunt camp with cabins and bunks, was located in the Leamington area on 1,770 acres of land. Men from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee joined the club. Most islanders referred to it as the Dillon Hunting Club.

Gullah residents Jake Brown and his wife, Eliza, lived in a wooden house with a brick chimney on club property. A lean, strong man, he was the “go-to” man on hunting days. Wearing a vest slotted with gun shells and trousers tucked into high boots, he guided the men to game. His sons, Walter, Sam, and Luther, also acted as drivers on the deer hunts.

Charlie Wright, a Gullah man, was among the club cooks. At one dinner, Wright prepared what the hunters considered a “feast fit for a king”—venison, squirrel, wild boar, and raccoon.

In 1955, “Brown cracked his skull and died when thrown from the passenger seat of a speeding Jeep on a sandy logging road.” He had been the “master of hounds for at least 28 years and perhaps for the entire history of the hunt club” and acted as a liaison between the hunt club and Gullah people. Brown’s death was considered the end of an era at Camp Dilling.