Detail of painting of South Carolina College, circa 1820

Slavery at South Carolina College, 1801–1865:

The Foundations of the University of South Carolina

First Stewards Hall, 1806

Detail of First Stewards Hall from painting of South Carolina College, circa 1820
First Stewards Hall, ca. 1820, SCL

South Carolina College hired a contractor named Richard Clarke to construct Stewards Hall in 1805, and he finished construction in 1806. Stewards Hall stood on the current site of Harper College, and the building contained two stories: a ground floor for dining and an upstairs for the steward’s family. To accommodate larger student enrollment, the college later purchased an off-campus house for the steward and his family. Comparable to the tenement housing for students, Stewards Hall was one of the main confluences of slaves and students: the hall required fifteen slaves for cooking, serving, and cleaning. Three slaves owned by the college—two named Jim and one named Henry—boarded in Stewards Hall in the late 1820s and early 1830s. With the construction of Harper College in 1848, the college purchased a home on the corner of Main and Greene Streets to serve as a new commons hall. The first Stewards Hall was demolished in 1847.

Photograph of coffee cup from Stewards Hall
Stewards Hall coffee cup, McKissick Museum