Henry Middleton, 1717-1784
Henry Middleton, who built the gardens and added the unattached wings, or flankers, to the existing house at Middleton Place, was an influential political leader. He was Speaker of the Commons, Commissioner for Indian Affairs and a member of the Governor's council until he resigned his seat in 1770 to become a leader of the opposition to British policy. He was chosen to represent South Carolina in the First Continental Congress and on October 20, 1774, was elected its second President.
He was among the wealthiest landowners in South Carolina with more than 50,000 acres and at least 800 slaves. After the death of his wife Mary Williams in 1761, he lived at his birthplace, The Oaks. He remarried twice, but had children only by his first wife. Their eldest son was Arthur, who received Middleton Place in 1763, upon on his coming-of-age and return from school in England.