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History of Early American Landscape Design
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Elizabeth Pitts Lamboll and Thomas Lamboll

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Elizabeth Pitt Lamboll (1725-1770) and Thomas Lamboll ( ) developed one of the earliest gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, and contributed to the expansion of the Bartram Botanic Garden and Nursery through the exchange of seeds and information with the Philadelphia botanist and explorer John Bartram.

The fiery sermons delivered by the English evangelist George Whitefield in Boston during the autumn of 1740 altered the life of Elizabeth Pitt. Addressing the children in his audience on October 8, Whitefield commanded, “If your parents will not come to Christ, you [should] come and go to heaven without them.”[1] Heeding this call, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth left Boston and enrolled at Whitefield’s Bethesda Home for orphans near Savannah, Georgia, on December 13, 1740. One of only a handful of girls, she was categorized as one of the “Poor [children], that had fathers or mothers, or both.” [2] She received religious instruction, picked cotton, and practiced skills intended to make her “serviceable”: sewing, spinning, knitting, washing, house cleaning, and “housewifery.” [3] During her first months at the orphanage, she would have witnessed the building of her new home — a brick “great house” with “a piazza of ten feet wide…all around it, which will be wonderfully convenient in the heat of summer.” [4] Twenty acres of land was cleared around the house.

Elizabeth left the Bethesda Home in June 1742. She may have been sent into service in service in Charleston, where on November 19, 1743 she married the widower Thomas Lamboll, whose second wife had died two months earlier. [5]
  1. Thomas S. Kidd, George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), view on Zotero.
  2. George White, Historical Collections of Georgia: Containing the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc., Relating to Its History and Antiquities, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time; Compiled from Original Records and Official Documents; Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings (New York: Pudney & Russell, 1854), 335 view on Zotero.
  3. George Whitefield, “An Account of the Money Received and Disbursed for the Orphan House in Georgia” (December 23, 1741), quoted in Eric McCoy North, Early Methodist Philanthropy (New York: The Author, 1914), 157, view on Zotero.
  4. George Whitefield, “An Account of the Money Received and Disbursed for the Orphan House in Georgia” (December 23, 1741), quoted in Eric McCoy North, Early Methodist Philanthropy (New York: The Author, 1914), 158, view on Zotero.
  5. She had left Bethesda prior to the evacuation of the orphan home on July 10, 1742, when the children took refuge in the Charleston plantations of Jonathan Bryan (1708-1788), his brother Hugh (1699-1753), and their brother-in-law Stephen Bull ( ). See George Whitefield, The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield, M.A., Late of Pembroke-College, Oxford, and Chaplain to the Rt. Hon. the Countess of Huntingdon Containing All His Sermons and Tracts Which Have Been Already Published; with a Select Collection of Letters ... to Which Is Prefixed, an Account of His Life, Compiled from His Original Papers and Letters, 6 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1771), 3: 455-59, view on Zotero; Alan Gallay, The Formation of a Planter Elite: Jonathan Bryan and the Southern Colonial Frontier (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2007), 41, view on Zotero.
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