Thomas Boone

Governor December 1761 – May 1764

Thomas Boone was born in England about 1730, and educated at Eton and Cambridge. His parents were connected to powerful South Carolina families, the Boones and the Colletons, and in 1752 Boone traveled to South Carolina to claim Boone’s Barony plantation in St. Bartholomew’s Parish, which he had inherited from Joseph Boone.
Thomas Boone went back to England about 1754, then in 1758 he returned to South Carolina, where he married. Through his political connections, in 1759 Boone secured the post of governor of New Jersey. His popularity there led to appointment as governor of South Carolina. He arrived in Charleston in December 1761, and replaced acting governor William Bull II.
Powerful men whose financial interests put them at odds with Great Britain made the royal colony of South Carolina almost ungovernable, and Thomas Boone was unable to manage the Commons House of Assembly. With the government at a standstill, he gave up.
In May 1764, Thomas Boone left lieutenant governor William Bull to fill in as acting governor, and went home to England. He made a successful career as a British government official, and died in England in 1812.
When he left South Carolina, Thomas Boone retained ownership of Boone’s Barony plantation. In 1782, as a Loyalist, he lost it to the Confiscation Act, and the State of South Carolina presented Boone’s Barony to General Nathanael Greene.

Lockhart, Matthew A. “Boone, Thomas.” Walter Edgar, ed. South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press, 2006.
Ravenel, Mrs. St. Julien (Harriott Horry Rutledge). Charleston. The Place and the People. New York, 1912; rep. ed. Southern Historical Press, 1972.
Smith, H. A. M. “Boone’s Barony.” In “The Baronies of South Carolina.” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine. Vol. 13 (1912).
Waddell, Gene. "Charles Pinckney's Double House." Charleston Architecture, 1670-1860. Charleston: Wyrick & Company, 2003.


Walker, Evans & Cogswell. “Map of Charleston, South Carolina.” 1877. (Copy in S. C. History Room, Charleston County Public Library)

Thomas Boone bought a seventy-seven acre suburban plantation with a waterfront residence on Charleston Neck from Sir John Colleton. Called Exmouth by the Colletons, and Bachelor’s Hall by Boone, the tract was later subdivided. In 1823, the State of South Carolina bought forty-eight acres known as Laurel Island and built a complex of powder magazines. The interior portion of Exmouth/Bachelor’s Hall was developed as the Village of Romney.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Governor Thomas Boone followed several of his predecessors in making his official residence in the Pinckney mansion. The house had been completed in 1750 for Charles Pinckney and his wife Eliza Lucas, who moved to England in 1753. The Pinckney mansion burned in the fire of December 11, 1861.

Bishop Roberts and W. H. Toms, The Ichnography of Charles-Town at High Water. London, 1739.

Site of Pinckney Mansion, 1739. The bridge that led north from the fortified town eventually became known as Governor’s Bridge.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

The Pinckney Mansion was not occupied by family members until Charles Cotesworth Pinckney returned from Europe in 1769. During their terms in office, royal governors James Glen, Thomas Boone, William Henry Lyttelton, and Charles Greville Montagu all resided in this “commodious mansion house.” Ca. 1865 view of the house, which burned in 1861.

City Engineer's Plat Book, page 2 (S. C. History Room, Charleston County Public Library)

Ruins of the Pinckney Mansion, 1866.

Henry Mouzon, “An accurate map of North and South Carolina … from actual surveys by Henry Mouzon and others." London, 1775. American Memory, Library of Congress

Approximate location of Boone’s Barony, conveyed in 1711 to Joseph Boone (d. 1734), inherited by Thomas Boone, and given to General Nathanael Greene in 1782.

Mills Atlas, Colleton District, 1825. American Memory, Library of Congress

Approximate area of Boone’s Barony, 1825. By a 1796 survey, the tract was 7,420 acres. In 1801, it was divided and sold to Andrew Burnet and Felix Warley.