Location: West Pointe A La Hache, Plaquemines, Louisiana, United States
Surnames/tags: Johnson Slavery
Woodland Plantation was built in the 1830s by Captain William Johnson and his partner, George Bradish, were sea captains/pirates from Nova Scotia who had come to what would become Louisiana in the late 1700s and worked for river pilot Juan Ronquillo.
In 1793, just before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Captains Johnson and Bradish built Magnolia Plantation, 4 miles south of where Woodland now stands. Both families lived at Magnolia for 40 or so years until William sold his shares of Magnolia and built Woodland.
Captain Johnson and his 4 sons built a thriving sugar cane plantation with one of the most modern mills of its time. In the slave census of 1850, William Johnson’s son George Washington Johnson – who inherited the plantation after his father’s death in 1849 – owned a total of 181 enslaved people.
"William was also in partnership with pirate, Jean Lafitte. Lafitte would pirate ships off shore then bring the slaves up Grand Bayou, which was a short cut to the Gulf of Mexico from Woodland, and hold them at 4 large two-story brick slave quarters. These buildings were built at the same time as Magnolia, but on the site where Woodland would eventually be built. From there, Captains Johnson and Bradish would pick up the enslaved people and trade them up and down the river– taking part in the domestic slave trade, that was flourishing during the early to mid-19th century."
Bradish Johnson, the third son who eventually owned Woodland, died in 1897. His heirs sold the property to the Wilkinsons, who owned it until 1997.