Dubose Heyward is a 1920s poet, author and librettist who is a descendant of Thomas Heyward, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who owned this home in Charleston, South Carolina. The home is now known as The Heyward-Washington House. Read about its history at www.nationalregister.sc.gov/charleston/S10817710014. Arrange a visit through charlestonmuseum.org. The population of Charleston is approximately 130,000.
Fee-based tours of the elegant estate are conducted in small groups by guides who explain the history and significance of the home and its residents. After the tour, visitors are welcome to tour the grounds independently in order to see the quarters of the enslaved persons who once lived there and adjacent gardens.
Dubose Heyward is best known as the author of the novel entitled Porgy (1925) and the libretto of Porgy and Bess, which is considered to be the first major US opera ever published. The music for the folk-style opera was composed by George Gershwin. While Porgy and Bess has weathered controversy, it continues to hold a unique place in US music history. The original cast included Leontyne Price and Cab Calloway.
The Grimke Sisters
Approximately one century earlier, Angelina Grimke and Sarah Grimke lived in the same house when they were children. While their rooms on the top floor are not accessible to visitors, some of their childhood belongings are on display on the lower floors. The sisters published abolitionist pamphlets and spoke out against slavery while traveling along the East Coast.
The Grimke sisters are the subject of the bestselling novel The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Read more about the Grimke sisters at the website of the National Women’s History Museum at nwhm.org/online-exhibits/youngandbrave/asgrimke.html.
The Heyward-Washington House is on our South Carolina Trail: