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Elliott, Stephen (11 November 1771–28 March 1830), planter and botanist, was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of William Elliott and Mary Barnwell. Orphaned as a child, he grew up in Beaufort in the home of his brother William. He graduated from Yale College on 14 September 1791, being elected to Phi Beta Kappa and selected to deliver an oration. He spoke “On the Supposed Degeneracy of Animated Nature in America,” challenging some ideas of Georges de Buffon, a French naturalist....

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Elliott, William (27 April 1788–03 February 1863), planter, writer, and sportsman, was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of William Elliott, a planter, and Phoebe Waight. Elliott was educated in the schools at Beaufort and at Beaufort College. He entered the sophomore class at Harvard in 1806. He withdrew from Harvard in 1808 because of ill health; he was later awarded a B.A. in 1810 and an A.M. in 1815 from the school. After leaving Harvard, he returned to Beaufort and devoted himself to the management of the family rice and cotton plantations. In 1817 Elliott married Ann Hutchinson Smith; they had nine children....

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Ravenel, Henry William (19 May 1814–17 July 1887), planter and botanist, was born in St. John’s Parish, South Carolina, the son of Henry Ravenel, a planter and physician, and Catherine Stevens. Upon the death of his mother in 1816, Henry went to live with his grandparents on the family plantation, “Pooshee,” in South Carolina. He was educated locally at Pineville Academy and then studied privately in Columbia for a few months before entering South Carolina College in 1830. He married Elizabeth Gaillard Snowden in 1835; they had four children. Henry wanted to study medicine, but his father dissuaded him, emphasizing the rigors of life as a physician. So the elder Ravenel gave to his son a 600-acre plantation, “Northampton,” along with slaves and equipment to operate it. By 1839 Ravenel was well established as a South Carolina planter....