INACCURATE: Leffers Cottage circa 1778 ACCURATE: "Leffers Cottage" circa 1840
Samuel Leffers came to Beaufort from Hempstead, New York in 1764 and spent 58 Years as schoolmaster, surveyor, clerk of court, merchant and planter.
On September 13, 1775, Leffers purchased lot 12 New Town (southwest corner of Front and Live Oak streets) from town commissioner for 30 shillings proclamation money; a provision in the deed required Leffers build a house within two years or the deed would become null. (deed bk 1, pg 159) One year later, on September 12, 1776, Leffers sold this lot including a "singular premises" to Daniel Guthrie for £3 proclamation money. (deed bk I, pg 251)
What has been designated as the "Samuel Leffers Cottage circa 1778" was donated and moved to the Beaufort Restoration Grounds in 1983.
However, an analysis of the fabric of the house, by Carl Lounsbury and the Architectural Research Department of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2012 Field Study in Beaufort, revealed a building date of 1840-1850, some two or three decades after the 1822 death of Samuel Leffers:
The Leffers House is a one-and-a-half story small frame house with a later shed addition. Originally located on the corner of Live Oak and Front Streets, the house was moved to this site on Turner Street in the 1980s and restored and open to the public by the Beaufort Historical Society. The dwelling is said to have been built about 1778 by Samuel Leffers who was a school master in late colonial Beaufort and later became a surveyor, clerk of court, merchant, and planter. He died in 1822 at the age of 86. Unfortunately, this is not the house that Leffers built and lived in. Rather it was built perhaps two to three decades after his death in the late antebellum period.