Anna Kingsley


by Daniel L. Schafer

This file contains notes on the first edition a short pamphlet about the life of Anna Kingsley, a Senegalese woman who was brought to Spanish Florida as a slave in 1806. For further information or a copy of the Revised and Expanded Edition , contact the St. Augustine Historical Society, 271 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, Florida, 32084.

Daniel L. Schafer Anna Kingsley (St. Augustine, FL: St. Augustine
Historical Society, 1994), 44p.
JJones collection

I. Senegal                                                     
p1

p1   Anna lived in a village in Wolof country, a dry, barren
     region north of Cayor.  In April 1806, near the end of the
     dry season, she and other members of her family were
     enslaved by tyeddo horsmen with "long, braided hair and
     warrior apparel."

p1   The Tyeddo warriors were royal slaves of Amari Ngoone
     Ndella, the king of Cayor.  They formed a professional army
     loyal only to the king, whose job was to protect Cayor and
     raid enemy villages to obtain slaves to sell along the
     coast.  The European traders provided cloth, liquor, guns
     and powder, horses and luxury goods in exchange for slaves.

p1   Tyeddo slave raiders operated during the winter and spring
     (dry season).

p1   Cayor was one of the four parts of the legendary Wolof
     kingdom, but Cayor was unstable since 1790 when it became
     divided by a series of religious wars.

p1   The Tyeddo were only supposed to attack non-Wolof people,
     but when supplies of slaves from other sources ran low, they
     sometimes attacked Wolof villages too.

p2   As the situation deteriorated 1790-1806, many residents of
     Cayor fled south and west to Cape Vert, where they built
     independent walled cities for protection against the Tyeddo.

p2   The Tyeddo attacks spread in all directions, and even
     involved the Muslim state of Futa Toro.  When they captured
     slaves, they conveyed them to the coast at Rufisque for sale
     to Europeans.

p2   In the raid on her village, Anna's father was killed.  The
     raid began before dawn and lasted until the late morning. 
     After looting, they burned the village and led the captives
     away.

p2   Unlike many of the captives in the column that marched to
     the coast, Anna and her family were not already slaves. 
     Most of the surrounding villages were "slave villages" whose
     mostly Bambara inhabitants belonged to local Wolof owners. 

p3   Anna's family was distinguished.  Her father's side was
     Ndiaye, descended from the legendary Njaajaan Njaay, founder
     of the Jolof Empire.  Her mother's lineage, Majigeen, had
     already produced two Burbas Jolof (Jolof leaders).  Her
     family was free, and owned both land and slaves.

p3   The route to Rafisque led from Wolof through Cayor.  As they
     marched, Tyeddo warriors left some of the captives in their
     home villages as "spoils of war."

p3   Anna's slave column was unusual because it contained more
     female slaves than male slaves.  Most slave convoys had 2-3
     males per female because the American market preferred male
     slaves for agricultural work.  On the other hand, the
     African market preferred female slaves who could be easily
     incorporated into their lineage group.

p3   Anna's column was also unusual because it contained Wolof,
     who were rarely enslaved and brought to the coast.  Is this
     evidence of increased demand for African slaves in 1806,
     that induced slavers to get all of the "product" that they
     could find?

p3   One unusual factor was that Ndella's Tyeddo warriors had
     recently crushed Muslim resistance in Cayor and sent them to
     the coast. ...
p4   ... As the war widened, Ndella's warriors began to obtain
     slaves from neighboring regions including Wolof and Futa
     Toro.  The European posts at St. Louis and Goree did a
     booming business in slave trading.

p4   In Rufisque, the captives were offered for sale at the
     central market to mulatto buyers from Goree.  They were the
     descendants of European men and African women who controlled
     the sale of slaves along the coast.

p4   Ndella controlled all of the slave trading at Rufisque, and
     used agents to handle his "product."

p4   Late in the afternoon, after all of the trading was done,
     Anna and others were transported in long canoes along the
     coast towards Cape Vert and Goree Island.

p4   Goree Island in 1806 was small with few buildings.  One was
     an "imposing two-story building flanked by several long and
     narrow one-story structures."  The one-stpry buildings were
     holding pens for slaves--dark, with manacles hanging from
     the walls.

p4   Except for daily delivery of food and occassional exercise
     sessions, Anna remained imprisoned for days.  On the first
     occassion when she was taken out for presentation to
     European buyers, Anna was sold.

p5   Some days after that, she and others were loaded into long
     canoes for transport out to a larger vessel offshore.  It
     was the "Sally," a Danish vessel, which sailed with nearly
     150 people in May 1806.  A few of the other slaves were
     known to Anna, so she had some comfort as she traveled
     through "the Middle Passage."


II. Havana                                                     
p6

p6   The demand for slaves was high in Cuba in 1806, because new
     sugar plantations had opened to take advantage of the loss
     of Haiti's sugar production following the revolution of
     1789-1803.  JJ: Instead of sugar, Zephaniah Kingsley planted
     cotton.  Perhaps Zephaniah Kingsley chose cotton, which was
     in demand by English textiles mills.

p6   The demand for slaves was increased further by the
     expectation that a number of nations, including England and
     the United States, would outlaw the slave trade in 1807.

p6   The "Sally" was captained by a man named Gisolfo, who had
     sailed with this vessel to Havana several times already. 
     This was the first time that he carried a cargo with more
     females than males.  In this cargo of 120 Africans, there
     were 99 women and 22 teenager females.  (From the info on
     page 5, the ship's crew must have been about 30, or a ratio
     of 4 slaves per crewmen.)

p6   New, unacculturated Africans were known as "bozales."

p6   Anna and the other slaves were in bad condition when they
     reached Havana, after subsisting on inadequate food and
     water in the tightly-confined, overheated (120F) hold of
     the ship.

p6   Medical precautions were minimal.  Cuban doctors examined
     each slave and ...
p7   ... quarantined them briefly to prevent the spread of
     epidemic disease.  They were fed good food, bathed, and
     oiled to give them a healthy appearance for the market.

p7   The Havana slave market was a major center for commerce in
     Spanish America.  It attracted buyers from all over the
     Caribbean and North America, and as far away as France and
     Norway.  Major exports included sugar, rum, pork, and
     African slaves.

p7   By coincidence, Zephaniah Kingsley was in Havana the day
     that Anta went up for sale.  Although he had come to buy
     molasses and rum for resale in North America, he had
     experience as a slave trader (sold 250 slaves in Havana in
     1802), and he outbid everyone else for Anta. 

p7   Zephaniah Kingsley and Anta remained in Havana for three
     months while he waited for his ship to return from the
     Danish West Indies.  His ship, the Esther, was captained by
     Henry Wright, and returned to Havana in October.  Kingsley
     added his Havana purchases to the cargo, including four
     hogsheads of molasses, 28 half pipes and 12 whole pipes of
     rum, and "tres negras bozoles," one of whom was Anta.

p7   The Esther left Havana on 1806/10/10 and reached St.
     Augustine, Florida, in 14 days (1806/10/23).  After clearing
     customs, the ship continued and reached the St. Johns River
     on 1806/10/25.

p8   The Esther anchored at Doctor's Lake, about 40 miles from
     the mouth of the St. Johns River.  Anta saw another, similar
     vessel already anchored there when they arrived.

p8   Kingsley took Anta to live with him in his own house, not in
     the slave quarters.  She was already pregnant with his
     child, and would live with him for the next 37 years as
     husband and wife.  She added his name to her own, becoming
     Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley.  (Zephaniah Kingsley must have
     died in 1843).

III. Laurel Grove                                              
p9

p9   AK was sold in Havana in 1806/07 to Zephaniah Kingsley, who
     impregnated her and took her to his Eastern Florida
     plantation within the next three months, by 1806/10.  Anna
     Kingsley was thirteen years old, so she must have been born
     in 1793.

p9   Everyone at Laurel Grove was African except for Zephaniah
     Kingsley and an occasional craftsman hired to work in the
     shipyard.  Africans performed both unskilled and skilled
     labor, including blacksmithing and carpentry.

p9   The more than 100 slaves at Laurel Grove came from all over
     Africa.  Two field laborers, Jacob and Camilla, lived as a
     couple with their son Jim.  Jacob was an Ibo from Nigeria
     and Camilla was a Susu from Rio Pongo (Guinea).  Jim was
     born at Laurel Grove.

p9   Jack and Tamassa were from East Africa, from a place called
     "Zinguibara" by Kingsley (Zanzibar).  Jack was one of the
     plantaiton carpenters, and by 1812, he and ...
p10  ... his wife Tamassa were the parents of four children.

p10  Laurel Grove plantation had separate slave quarters behind
     the house and at a nearby location called Springfield. 
     Besides houses and slave quarters, there were barns, poultry
     houses, carpentry shops, mill houses, and corn and pea cribs
     at each location.  

p10  The manager of Zephaniah Kingsley's plantation at Laurel
     Grove was Abraham Hannahan Kingsley, a mulatto deeded to
     Zephaniah Kingsley by his father, Zephaniah Kingsley Sr., a
     Quaker in Charleston, SC.  He arrived in Florida in 1804 so
     presumably, Zephaniah Kingsley arrived there the same year. 
     He probably borrowed his first money from his father, and
     used it to transport slaves to Charleston in 1802.  With
     that money, plus additional help from his father, he bought
     a plantation in Florida.

p10  An African named Peter was in charge at Springfield,
     directly under Abraham's command.  Kingsley referred to
     Peter as a "mechanic and valuable manager" worth at least
     $1000 in 1812.  The workers under Peter's direction produced
     800 bushels of corn and 400 bushels of field peas in a year,
     and cared for hogs, poultry, and cattle.  Peter also
     supervised a mill house.

p10  At Laurel Grove, Zepheniah Kingsley's workers farmed 200
     acres of Sea Island cotton.  They also had 760 Mandarin
     orange trees and 2000 feet of other edible orange trees. 
     They also grew potatoes, beans and corn to feed the
     plantation's population.

p10  Kingsley also operated a general store that sold to families
     in the neighborhood.  

p12  Zephaniah Kingsley bought another Wolof woman named Sophia
     Chidgigine around the same time as Anta.  (see page 31) ...
p13  ... Sophie became the wife of Abraham Hannahan Kingsley.

p13  Other white plantation owners had African wives.  John
     Fraser married Phenda from the Rio Pongas River, where
     Fraser owned a "slave factory."  Fraser also operated his
     own ships to bring slaves from Africa to the Americas. 
     After the USA outlawed the importation of slaves in 1808,
     Fraser moved to East Florida and brought 370 slaves to farm
     rice and cotton on his plantations.

p13  Molly Erwin was the African wife of James Erwin, who owned
     fifty slaves on a plantation on the St. Mary's River.

p13  George Clarke, an important official in the Spansih
     government of East Florida, had two African wives and
     children.

p13  Francis Richard, Francisco Xavier Sanchez and several other
     men all had black wives or mistresses, and interracial
     children.

p13  Kingsley, Clarke and Richard were all planters who hoped to
     strike it rich in East Florida and believed that slavery was
     essential to their prosperity.  "Yet they felt race did not
     automatically and permanently consign persons to either
     slavery or freedom.  According to Kingsley, `color ought not
     to be the badge of degradation.  The only distinction should
     betwen slave and free, not between white and coloured.'"

p13  Kingsley justified African slavery by claiming that they
     were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climate than
     whites were.  In his mind, whites either had to employ
     slaves or else give up in East Florida.

p13  In order to reduce the likelihood of slave rebellion,
     Kingsley proposed liberal manumission laws, encouraged
     humane treatment, and encouraged slaves to live as families. 
     For instance, Kingsley freed Abraham Hannahan Kingsley in
     1811.

p13  During the nearly forty years that the Kingsleys were
     together, Anna held the position of first wife in a
     polygamous household--familiar in Africa but controversial
     in Florida.

p14  Zephaniah Kingsley emancipated Anna Kingsley on 1811/03/04,
     along with their three children, George (3y9m, born 1807/06,
     so probably conceived in 1806/09, after Zephaniah Kingsley
     had owned Anna Kingsley for more than a month), Martha (20m,
     born 1809/07), and Mary (1m, born 1811/02).

IV. Mandarin                                                  
p15

p15  Zephaniah Kingsley also emancipated his general manager,
     Abraham Hannahan Kingsley, on 1811/03/04.

p15  Zephaniah Kingsley entered the slave trade in 1802 at age
     39, and by 1811, he was a rich man.  He owned at least eight
     ships between 1802 and 1817.  He also hired men to captain
     his ships when he had other responsibilities.  His ships
     traded between Cuba, Jamaica, St. Thomas (DK), Puerto Rico,
     Charleston, Wilmington, New York and Fernandina (north of
     modern Jacksonville).

p16  In 1812, soon after Anna Kingsley received her freedom, she
     moved off of Zephaniah Kingsley's land and established her
     own farm at Mandarin, on five acres across the St. Johns
     River from Laurel Grove (South Jacksonville).  She owned 12
     slaves of her own.  She raised corn, poultry and "farm
     animals," and at one point had 50 bushels per slave stashed
     in her storage area.  How much corn was a bushel?

p17  Spain resumed control over East Florida in 1784, following a
     deal that exchanged St. Augustine for occupied Havana in
     1762, at the end of Seven Years War.

p17  Following a series of border skirmishes between 1784 and
     1812, an American invasion reached eastern Florida in 1812. 
     Raiders from Georgia and South Carolina who called
     themselves "Patriots" invaded Florida and besieged St.
     Augustine.  They left Anna Kingsley alone but kidnapped
     Zephaniah Kingsley and held him for ransom.  

p17  In 1812/07, the Seminole Indians joined the struggle by
     attacking the rebel siege lines at the request of the
     Spanish governor of St. Augustine.  That forced the patriots
     to withdraw, and as they went, they burned and looted the
     plantations in the area, including Zephaniah Kingsley's
     Laurel Grove.  This showed Anna Kingsley tht she had to
     leave, because had she been captured, she would have been
     sold into slavery in the USA.

p18  Between 1812/07-1814/01, the Kingsley's lost most of their
     property al_ng the St. Johns biver.  In 1814/01, they moved
     the remainder to Fort George Island, near the mouth of the
     river.

V. Fort George Island                                         
p19

p19  In a description of the Kingsley's voyage from Fernadina to
     Fort George Island, the author revealed that Fernandina was
     located on Amelia Island.

p20  The order in which they performed the tasks needed to start
     up life at Fort George Island gives a clue to the priorities
     of plantation life.  The first requirement was shelter and
     the second was to clear the fields for planting.  They
     planted corn, beans, potatoes and cotton--the same as they
     had done at Laurel Grove.

p20  Zephaniah Kingsley's slaves worked 5.5 days per week.  They
     had the remainder of their days, plus Saturday afternoons,
     Sundays, and two annual holidays to work on their own garden
     plots.  

p21  George became the owner of the Kingsley plantation in 1831,
     the same year that he married Anatole Franoise Vauntrauvers

p21  The family plantation at Fprt George Island was just across
     a causeway from Pilot Town, where pilots lived who guided
     the ships into the St. John River.

p21  Using local sea shells, lime, sand and water, the Kingsley's
     constructed buildings out of a concrete-like material called
     "tabby."

pp22-28   illustrations

p29  In 1823, Zephaniah Kingsley served a term in the Florida
     Teritorial Council, where he learned that the new government
     (USA since 1819) intended to pass stricter laws separating
     the races.  Since Zephaniah Kingsley and his children had
     been citizens of Spanish Florida, they were protected from
     the changes, but Anna was not, and neither would any
     children born after 1819.

p29  John Maxwell Kingsley was born in 1824.  That convinced
     Zephaniah Kingsley to get his family out of Florida.

p31  In order to tidy up their affairs in Florida, the Kingsley's
     transferred title of all lands to George and his wife, his
     two daughters Mary and Martha, and Flora Hannahan and her
     son Charles.  Flora was the daughter of Abraham Hannahan
     Kingsley and Sophia Chidgigine (see page 12), who later
     became one of Zephaniah Kingsley's mistresses.  If Sophia
     and Anna were contemporaries, then Flora was a generation
     younger.  Zephaniah Kingsley must have been about 45-50
     years older than Flora, but she still bore him children.

p31  Zephaniah Kingsley had lived in Haiti for three years during
     the 1790s, so he was interested in an offer made by
     President Boyer to attract planters to rebuilt the Haitian
     economy.  As a free black republic, Haiti seemed unlikely to
     offer any racial difficultues.

p32  Anna Kingsley moved from Fort George Island to Haiti in
     1837, after nearly a quarter century in residence.

p32  Martha Kingsley married a northern immigrant named Oran
     Baxter, a shipbuilder and planter.  Mary Kingsley married
     John S. Sammis, a planter, sawmill operator and merchant. 
     Both men were of Scots descent.

p32  In 1829, John Maxwell Kingsley was baptised a Catholic on
     Fort George Island.

p32  Zephaniah Kingsley converted to Catholicism before 1803,
     because that was when he took his oath of loyatlty in order
     to receive permission to live in Spanish Florida.

VI. Return to the St. John's River                            
p33

p33  Zephaniah Kingsley visited Haiti several times between 1835-
     1837, and once rode over the mountains to visit President
     Boyer, even though by this time, Zephaniah Kingsley was over
     70 years old.

p33  Beginning in the 1820s, Boyer invited free blacks from other
     countries to come to Haiti to rebuild its economy after the
     independence war.  In 1835, he purchased land near Cabaret
     Harbor on the north coast of the former Spanish part of
     Hispaniola.  

p34  George Kingsley established a plantation named "Mayorasgo de
     Koka" along Cabaret Creek.  Anna lived there for two decades
     from 1837 to 1857.

p34  Zephaniah Kingsley died in 1842/09 at age 78 while preparing
     to return by ship from New York to Haiti.  He had recently
     had his fifth child with Flora Hannahan, Roxanne Marguerite
     Kingsley.

p36  In 1846, while sailing to Florida to look after the
     execution of his father's will, George Kingsley's ship was
     wrecked by a storm and he died.  John Maxwell took over the
     planatation in Haiti.

p36  AK made several subsequent visits to Florida on legal
     business and to visit her family.

p37  The Kingley family in Haiti received exellent, honest
     representation from Mary Kingsley's husband, John Sammis,
     based in Florida.

p37  In 1860, Anna Kingsley moved back to the St. johns River in
     Florida, despite rising racial tension in that state
     throughout the 1850s.  Although her motives are not clear,
     she was able to live near he daughters, who were two of the
     wealthiest women in Duval County.  Anna was accompanied by
     Bella, the illegitimate daughter of John Maxwell Kingsley.

p38  The area along the St. Johns River between Mary and Martha's
     land was unique in northeastern Florida because it had eight
     free black familes, in addition to all the relatives of the
     Kingsleys.

p38  In 1861/04, Florida joined the Confederate States of
     America.  The Union occupied Jacksonville in 1862/04 and
     evacuated Anna Kingsley to Hilton Head SC, and then on to
     Philadelphia and New York.  The Kingsleys were Union
     sympathizers and John Sammis accepted a position with the
     Union administration in Fernandina.  After the war, the
     Union permanently occupied Jacksonville and Anna was able to
     come home to Florida again.

p39  Ia 1870, Anna was 77 years old.  Her daughter Martha died in
     1870/02, and Anna herself died in 1870/07.  She was survived
     by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, one of
     whom, Egbert Sammis, entered the Florida state legislature
     in 1884.