September 19, 2013 The Mepkin Plantation was originally deeded to Lord Proprietor John Colleton who later sold it to Henry Laurens, a merchant and slave trader. The property stayed in the Laurens family until it was sold to Time and Life founder Henry Luce. He and his wife Clare Boothe Luce, a playwright, ambassador and congresswoman, donated most of the property to The Cistercian Trappist order of monks after she converted to Catholicism. The Cistercian Trappist order of monks began at a Normandy monastery in 1664. They are a silent order that sold eggs and dairy to make money for a number of years until they switched to selling mushrooms following protests by PETA.