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There is no better insight into antebellum life than that provided by the Aiken-Rhett House, built by merchant John Robinson in 1818 and greatly expanded by Governor and Mrs. William Aiken in the 1830s and 1850s. The property still looks as it did in 1858, before the outbreak of the Civil War. From Europe, the governor and his lady brought back crystal and bronze chandeliers, classical sculpture and paintings, and antiques with which to furnish the elegant abode. Original outbuildings include the kitchens, slave quarters, stables, privies, and cattle sheds.