Kingsley Plantation, Duval County, Florida

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Fort George Island, Duval, Florida, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Slavery Kingsley Black_Heritage
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Index of Plantations


Kingsley Plantation History of Owners

A plantation was established on Fort George Island by Richard Hazard in 1765 while under British rule, using slave labor to produce indigo. Then Spain regained ownership of Florida in 1783 after the American Revolution. "By 1783 the island had been acquired by Patrick Tonyn, the second royal governor. In that year, however, as part of the treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution, Florida was ceded back to Spain. In 1790 the Spanish instituted a land grant system for Florida, including grants to foreigners willing to swear allegiance to Spain and make improvements on their land."[1]

"In 1793, American Revolution veteran John "Lightning" McQueen (1751–1807) was lured to Fort George Island from South Carolina by the Spanish government, which rewarded McQueen with the island. McQueen settled with 300 slaves and constructed a large house in a unique architectural style exhibiting four corner pavilions surrounding a great room. McQueen was soon bankrupt due to misfortunes, and the possession of the plantation turned over to John Houston McIntosh (1773–1836) from Georgia who revived it in 1804. McIntosh, however, took a leading role in the Patriot Rebellion, an insurgency by Americans to hasten the annexation of Florida to the United States. The rebellion was unsuccessful, and McIntosh fled back into Georgia to escape punishment from the Spanish."[2]

Zephaniah Kingsley Jr. (1765-1843) then leased the island from McIntosh in 1814. In 1817, he purchased the island from McIntosh for $7000. He and his family lived there for 25 years. As a result, it became known as Kingsley Plantation.

Zephaniah Kingsley, Jr. was a plantation owner, slave trader, and merchant who built several plantations in the Spanish colony of Florida in what is now Jacksonville. "In 1823 President James Monroe appointed Kingsley to Florida's Territorial Council, where he tried to persuade them to define the rights of free people of color. When it became apparent to him that they could not, he resigned."[3] Florida was still under Spanish rule at the time, and did not become a state as part of the United States until 1845.

In 1839, when Kingsley became aware of the newly planned laws regarding slavery, he took his family to Haiti, and sold Kingsley Plantation to his nephew, Kingsley Beatty Gibbs (1810-1859). Zephaniah Kingsley died in 1843.

After Kingsley's death, his estate in Florida was the subject of dispute between his widow Anna Jai and other members of Kingsley's family. A petition by his family, Martha McNeill & others, to have his will made null and void was filed in filed Nov 27 1844 before Honorable Farquhar Bethune Judge of the County Court of Duval County in the Territory of Florida.[4] The family was objecting to Zephaniah leaving his estate to his Negress wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, and other former slaves. They also objected to his freeing the slaves and sending them to Haiti.

Slaves Owned by Zephaniah Kingsley

Kingsley reportedly owned over 200 slaves.

The following slaves mentioned in his will, whom he freed and sent to Haiti, were his wives and children:[5]

  • Jack "Gullah" Pritchard (bef.1785-): Kingsley purchased Jack "Gullah" Pritchard in 1805 and sold to Paul Pritchard in 1806. Gullah was an interesting character who was a skilled laborer, African priest, conjurer and rebel.[6]

The names of the enslaved are listed in the probate papers of Zephaniah Kingsley, with the names of slaves sold in the pages that follow:[7]

Negroes claimed by George Kingsley from the Zephaniah Kingsley Estate, listed by family group (p572):[7]

  • Carpenter Bill, Hannah, Frank, Rebecca, Lavinia, Alonzo, Marianne, and Bill
  • Carpenter Bonafy (?), Mary, Beck, Scipio, Louis, Esther, June, George, Tena (?), Sarah
  • Josi, Penda, Mira, Nacebo (?), Mary and William
  • Coota, Tamba(?), Jeffry, Hard Times, Thomas
  • Genoma(?), Jenny, Mike and Ausgustus
  • Rose, Jack and David
  • Horse Bill, Yamba(?), Bolivar
  • Old Rose
  • Andrew
  • Hannibal
  • Davy
  • Sam
  • Romeo
  • Prince
  • Tomasson

(43 need profiles)

Names of Negroes recovered by Anna M. Kingsley (p573):[7]

  • Linda
  • Qualla, Letitia, and Victorine
  • Abdalla, Bellor(?), Amy
  • Elsey
  • Jim
  • Stepney(?), son of Elsey born since appraisement of estate


Negroes included in the appraisement in the possession of John Sammis (?) Esq who claimed them as the attorney in fact of George Kinglsey (p573):[7]

  • Betty, and her two children, Patty and Jenny
  • Genoma and Jenny, from George Kingsley's previous list


Lists of Negroes in possession of Executors of Zepha. Kingsley for which no claim has been set up (p574):[7]

  • Sophy, Sabo, George, Phillip
  • Paul
  • Julia, Ann
  • Peggy, Eliza, Nancy
  • Nanny, Jacob, Sylva(?), Adam
  • Bryant, Nancy, Chloe, Joe
  • Toby and Patty
  • Cooper, Dick, and Comba
  • Dick
  • Betsey, Celeste, John and Emma


Slaves sold at auction 1 Jan 1847 (pp 579-580)[7]

Charles McNeilL, purchased:
  • Nancy & Chloe
  • Cornelia
Samuel Houston, purchased:
  • Julia
  • Ann & child
J. H. McIntosh, purchased:
  • Nanny
  • Sylva
  • Jacob
  • Adam
  • Edwin
Jas. Latimer, purchased:
  • Amelia
John Black, purchased:
  • Joe
John S. Sammis (?), purchased:
  • Sophy
  • Sabo (?)
  • George
  • Phillip
  • Polly
  • Joe
  • Toby
  • Patty
  • William
George Gibbs, purchased:
  • Dick


Children born since the appraisement (p575):

  • Stepney
  • Salina
  • Napolean
  • Sally
  • Sandy (died)
  • Polly
  • Charles
  • Raphelia
  • Adam
  • Edwin


Crops of Kingsley Plantation

The main commercial crops grown were sea island cotton and indigo, a plant used to make dark blue dyes. Subsistence crops grown to feed the family and slaves included okra, beans, potatoes, peas, sugar cane, squash, gourds, and many more.[8]

Post Civil War History

After the Civil War, the property was managed by the Freedman's Bureau. In 1869, a new Hampshire farmer named John Rollins purchased the property. When farming was unsuccessful, he turned it into a resort.

In 1955, Kingsley Plantation was purchased by the National Park Service, where it is now part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.


  1. Library of Congress article on Kingsley Plantation, 11676 Palmetto Avenue, Jacksonville, Duval County, FL (
  2. Wikipedia: Kingsley Plantation[1]
  3. Wikipedia: Kingsley Plantation[2]
  4. Petition to the will of Zephaniah Kingsley (
  5. Kingsley, Zephaniah (1765-1843). Will of Zephaniah Kingsley. -20617. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. (, accessed 1 February 2022.
  6. “Gullah” Jack Pritchard (
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990: "Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990"
    Catalog: Probate packets, approx. 1805-1906; index, 1805-1960 Probate packets, no. 1190-1204.
    Image path: Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990 > Duval > Probate packets 1805-1906 no 1190-1204 > image 572 of 1456
    FamilySearch Image: 3QS7-L9QR-M6CR (accessed 15 May 2022)
    • loose probate papers, Duval Co, FL,
  8. Crops of Kingsley Plantation(

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Kingsley Plantation category created and added - Gina
posted by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi