Lord Cornwallis occupied the space during the Revolutionary War. Union troops occupied it during the Civil War.
Now, it’s a Buckley School tradition to occupy the Kershaw-Cornwallis house for a Thursday night banquet during our Executive Seminars, giving us a chance to toast one another with historic Camden as our backdrop.
The original house was built by Camden’s founding father, Joseph Kershaw. The town was known as Pine Tree Hill when young Mr. Kershaw arrived in 1758 to set up a branch office of the Charleston Mercantile Firm. Ten years later, Joseph Kershaw changed the town’s name to Camden, in honor of Lord Camden.
When the British occupied Camden in 1780, Lord Cornwallis claimed Mr. Kershaw’s Georgian house for his headquarters.
After the Revolutionary War, the house became a school for orphans until it was occupied again in the 1860s, by Union troops for their headquarters during the Civil War. They burned the house—and many others in Camden—in 1865.
An archaeological dig in 1968 uncovered the original brick foundation, and the house was reconstructed on that foundation in 1977.
Over the mantle now, you’ll see a portrait of young Andrew Jackson, a gift from the Buckley family. Andrew Jackson was only 13 years old when he was wounded, captured by a British officer, and held prisoner in Camden.
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