In 1722 English naturalist Mark Catesby visited him at Ashley Hall, and, according to the Charleston artist [[Charles Fraser]], Catesby “planted by his hand” an [[avenue]] of live oaks leading from an [[orchard]] of pear trees to the house [Fig. 2].<ref>Charles Fraser, ''Reminiscences of Charleston'' (Charleston, SC: J. Russell, 1854), 68, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/VTRNRRX8 view on Zotero]; Hartley 1984, 59, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/KD3GH3QU view on Zotero].</ref> In the first volume of his ''Natural History'', Catesby illustrated the evergreen dahoon holly (''illex Cassine L.''), which he described as “a very uncommon Plant in ''Carolina'', I having never seen it but at Col. ''Bull’s'' Plantation on ''Ashley'' River, where it grows in a Bog” [Fig. 3].<ref>Mark Laird, “From Callicarpa to Catalpa: The Impact of Mark Catesby’s Plant Introductions on English Gardens of the Eighteenth Century,” in ''Empire’s Vision: Mark Catesby’s New World Vision'', ed. Amy R. W. Meyers and Margaret Beck Pritchard (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 207, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/VIMR65QV view on Zotero].</ref> Fifteen years later, the Anglican divine John Wesley noted other rarities at Ashley Hall. <span id="Wesley_cite"></span>Declaring the estate “the pleasantest place I have yet seen in America,” he observed that the [[orchard]] and garden abounded with “those sorts of trees and plants and flowers which are esteemed in England,” but which American colonists rarely took the trouble to cultivate ([[#Wesley|view text]]).
In 1742 William Bull transferred much of the Ashley Hall property (including the two houses) to his son, [[William Bull II]], who in 1770 laid out gardens interlaced with serpentine paths between the house and the water’s edge.<ref>Meroney 1991, 2 and 11, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/ZDU4XXDA view on Zotero].</ref> A long, straight [[avenue]] bisected the garden, affording an uninterrupted [[vista]] of the Ashley river and the city of Charleston beyond. It may have been at this time that broad [[lawn]]s were planted on either side of Catesby’s oak-lined [[avenue]]. A [[lake]] bounded by cypress trees lay to one side of the house, abutting an open [[park]] and elk and [[deer park]]s. The property also featured a pool encircled by cypress trees and a [[statue]] of Diana atop a prehistoric Indian [[mound]].<ref>For a reconstruction of the garden, based on “considerable data and a few sketches,” see Loutrel Winslow Briggs, ''Charleston Gardens'' (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1951), 106–7, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/A3NA59DZ view on Zotero]. See also Bull 1952, 62, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/keywords_in_early_american_landscape_design/items/itemKey/VIMR65QV SPT8JW7G view on Zotero].</ref> Following [[William Bull II|Bull’s]] death in 1791, his widow erected a monumental [[obelisk]] in his memory on the grounds [Fig. 4].<ref>Bull 1952, 66, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/SPT8JW7G view on Zotero].</ref>
Ashley Hall’s strategic riverine location exposed it to abuse during the Revolutionary War. Errant British troops “plundered and greatly damaged” the property in June 1777. Five years later, the Continental Army general Nathaneal Greene (1742&ndash;1786) commandeered Ashley Hall as his headquarters.<ref>Geraldine M. Meroney, “William Bull’s First Exile from South Carolina, 1777&ndash;1781,” ''South Carolina Historical Magazine'' 80 (April 1979): 91&ndash;104, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/F3DT2VK8 view on Zotero]; Henry Lumpkin, ''From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South'' (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1981), 56, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/F9H2RMSF view on Zotero]; C. Harrison Dwight, “Count Rumford: His Majesty’s Colonel in Carolina,” ''South Carolina Historical Magazine'' 57 (January 1956): 27, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/BMZ8FVF7 view on Zotero].</ref> The last member of the Bull family to own Ashley Hall, Col. William Izard Bull, added a [[piazza]] and circular red stone steps to the house in 1853.<ref>''Ashley Hall'' 1975, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/QTGI37VX view on Zotero].</ref> An English visitor reported spending “a delightful day” with Col. Bull at Ashley Hall in 1863, “roaming over cotton-fields and rice [[plantation]]s, [[woods]], and ‘[[park]]-like [[meadow]]s,’ studded with the most magnificent live oaks,” and sampling the indigenous Scuppernong grapes that grew in the garden.<ref>Fitzgerald Ross, “A Visit to the Cities and Camps of the Confederate States, 1863&ndash;65,” ''Blackwood’s Magazine'' 97 (January 1865): 31, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/3JI6MXMR view on Zotero].</ref> Bull intentionally set the house on fire during the winter of 1865, destroying the building and all of its contents, rather than allow his ancestral home to be desecrated by approaching Union troops.<ref>Bull 1952, 66, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/SPT8JW7G view on Zotero].</ref>

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