Kingsley Plantation: Freedom and Slavery in Antebellum Florida
Research Starter

Anta Majigeen Ndiaye was from Senegal in West Africa. She was sold into slavery and taken to Havana, Cuba. In 1806, while still a teenager, she was purchased by Zephaniah Kingsley. Kingsley was a 41-year-old plantation owner from England living in Spanish Florida. He freed Anta and they married. She then took the name Anna Kingsley. Together they managed the affairs of what has become known as Kingsley Plantation.

Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821. Fearing for their safety as free people of color, Anna and her children moved to Haiti. Zephaniah Kingsley died in 1843, leaving a significant amount of property to Anna and their children. Relatives contested the will, arguing that Florida law did not allow blacks or children of mixed race marriages to inherit property. Anna returned to Florida in 1846 to personally argue her case, citing the United States’ treaty with Spain, which stipulated that all free people of color living in Florida before 1822 would enjoy the same rights as they had when Spain controlled the territory. She was successful and lived the remainder of her life in Duval County.

Drawing of the Kingsley mansion at the Kingsley Plantation (1878)

Drawing of the Kingsley mansion at the Kingsley Plantation, 1878

Florida Memory

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