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Inventory of the Middleton Family Artwork, 1809-1867

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Collection consists of assorted architectural drawings, ink sketches, pencil drawings, and watercolors attributed to John Izard Middleton, Henry Middleton, and Thomas Walker as well as several sketches of additions to Middleton Place, the family seat located along the Ashley River near Charleston, South Carolina.
Title: Middleton family artwork
Creator: Middleton family
Date(s): 1809-1867    
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
(1 flat box)
Repository: Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
Call Number: Mss 0001
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

John Izard Middleton (1785-1849) was born at Middleton Place to Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) and Mary Izard (1747-1814). An amateur painter and archaeologist, he was referred to as "The First American Classical Archaeologist." Williams Middleton (1809-1883), son of South Carolina Governor Henry Middleton (1771-1846), served as an attaché to the American legion in Russia and resided at Middleton Place after inheriting it in 1846. Williams and his wife, Susan Pringle Smith (1822-1900) had two children, Elizabeth Middleton (1849-1915) and Henry Middleton (1851-1932).

Collection Overview

Collection consists of assorted architectural drawings, ink sketches, pencil drawings, and watercolors attributed to John Izard Middleton, Henry Middleton, and Thomas Walker as well as additional designs created for Williams Middleton by Fred J. Smith. Sets one through six contain measured architectural drawings attributed to John Izard Middleton with dates and watermarks ranging from 1808 to 1813. Five country houses and one greenhouse are depicted in these twenty five drawings. All buildings are in the Adamesque style and none of the designs is known to have been executed. Sets one through three are initialed "J.I.M." Set four is neither initialed nor dated, but has the same format, ink with watercolor, and is on the same paper as some of the drawings in sets one through three with watermarks from 1808 to 1809. Sets five through six are in pencil on paper by different manufacturers, though some are also watermarked 1809. All six sets appear to be by the same architect and to have notations in the same handwriting. Set seven contains an elevation for Adamesque flanking wings to an existing country house by Thomas Walker. The design is dated 1809, and the original house was constructed circa 1790. Set eight consists of four pencil sketches including one marked "Plan for altering & adding to Middleton Place. Front View. W. M. 1864." The initials are those of the owner of the plantation at the time, Williams Middleton, and the drawings relate to others prepared in 1863 by a builder Fred J. Smith. The main house would have been more than doubled in size, and it and the wings would have been renovated to resemble 17th century Dutch architecture. Set nine contains miscellaneous drawings including designs for a stable, a gate, and a watercolor perspective view of a street in Cambridge, England. Set ten contains two maps "drawn by Henry Middleton Jun[io]r. 1867."

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.


    • Middleton, John Izard, 1785-1849
    • Middleton, Henry, 1851-1932
    • Walker, Thomas
    • Middleton family


    • Architecture--South Carolina--Charleston--19th Century
    • Architecture--Designs and plans
    • Neoclassicism (Architecture)--United States


    • Middleton Place (S.C.)

    Types of Material

    • Architectural drawings (visual works)
    • Maps (documents)

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in Special Collections include the Nathaniel Russell Middleton papers, 1823-1881 (Mss 0032).


    Set 1, "Plans for a House for South Carolina," 1811   box 1 | folder 1

    Consists of one floor plan and four elevations. Also includes designs for a villa with one tall story on a high basement. The plan shows two apse-ended rooms, and it has structural details for the roof. The ground floor has elliptical arches. A hipped roof is partially concealed by a parapet with a Doric entablature. The front door surround has Doric columns, and a piazza has slender Doric columns.

    Set 2, Designs for a country house, 1811   box 1 | folder 2

    Designs are initialed "J. I. M. 1811. No.2" and includes two plans and one elevation. This two-story house has a high basement and a hipped roof fronted by a parapet with a dentil cornice. The plans show four apse ended rooms and one circular room. A semi-circular porch has slender Ionic columns and a pair of curving steps.

    Set 3, Designs for a greenhouse, 1813, undated   box 1 | folder 3

    Designs are initialed "J. I. M. 1813" and includes three sheets of elevations with one in ink and watercolor and the other two in pencil. The main elevation has four Roman Doric columns in antis with glass in between, and a Palladian window is at one end of the building.

    Set 4, Designs for a country house with two stories on a low basement, undated   box 1 | folder 4

    Consists of three plans, three elevations, and one section. The main front has a one-story Roman Doric portico, and each side has a semi-hexagonal projection. An alternative plan and elevation are included.

    Set 5, Designs for a country house with two stories and a monumental Roman Doric portico with four columns, circa 1810   box 1 | folder 5

    Consists of one plan and elevations. The back of the house has a pair of semi-hexagonal projections. The plan has an elliptical staircase and a built-in bath tub with cisterns.

    Set 6, Designs for a country house with two stories, circa 1810   box 1 | folder 6

    Includes two plans and two sheets of elevations. This house is basically L-shaped, and it was given two main fronts: what appears to be the land side has a one-story Roman Doric portico (with a door opening into a central hall), and what may be a river front has a two-story Roman Doric portico (giving a one-room wing the appearance of a temple-form building). The plan shows an oval staircase and a built-in bath tub.

    Set 7, Elevation for flanking wings, 1809 February 4   box 1 | folder 7

    In the center of this single drawing is a two-story house marked "The Ground of Old House." It appears to date from circa 1790, and it has a high basement, a tall hipped roof, and a one story porch with a slightly projecting portico. Walker designed alternatives for a pair of adjacent wings. Both wings have round projecting bays, and one bay has three windows and the other a Palladin window. Both wings were to have a high basement to match the house, but mezzanine floors rather than a full second story. The house and each wing was to be of similair width, and the architect noted "The whole extends 160 feet."

    Set 8, Designs to enlarge Middleton Place, 1864   box 1 | folder 8

    Four pencil sketches including one marked "Plan for altering & adding to Middleton Place. Front view. W. M. 1864." These designs relate to others which were prepared for Williams Middleton in 1863 by a builder Fred J. Smith, and they were intended to be used to greatly enlarge Middleton Place and to change its style to resemble 17th century Dutch architecture.

    Set 9, Miscellaneous drawings, undated   box 1 | folder 9

    Includes two measured architectural drawings are for a stable, one sheet of measured drawings for a gate (since an alternative has a large "M," the designs may be for Middleton Place), and a perspective drawing in ink and watercolor of a Cambridge, England, street scene including Great St. Mary's Church, medieval houses, and 18th century store fronts. Also includes color wheel in pencil and watercolor.

    Set 10, Maps of the Eastern United States, 1867   box 1 | folder 10

    Maps of the Eastern United States "drawn by Henry Middleton Jun[io]r. 1867." One map is of the New England states, and the other is of states from New York to North Carolina. These pencil drawings appear to have been based on printed atlas plates.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Middleton family papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Alternate Form of Materials

    Digital reproduction available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Gene Waddell, 1998.

    Encoded by Joshua Minor, September 2016.

    Reviewed, edited, and uploaded by Joshua Minor, September 2016.

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