We drove out to Middleton Place Plantation. Over 200 acres of carefully manicured gardens, ponds, period buildings, and what remains of the Middleton home. It was an interesting day. On the one hand the plantation is a testament to the success of an enterprising successful rice grower with all the trappings of the day. The grounds are stunning, the scenes tranquil, reminiscent of Versailles. On the other hand Middleton Place and 18 other plantations owned by the Middleton family were built and maintained on the backs of slaves – 2500 human beings bought and sold and treated like any other property. While a beautiful place and a look back into pre and post-Civil War history I could not get past the human toll – perhaps that is its true value.