Take a look around the Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island in Jacksonville, Florida with these amazing 360-degree panoramic images captured at the historic site. Do you like urban exploring? Here is a map with tons of GPS locations for you to get out and explore.
About the Kingsley Plantation
The Kingsley Plantation is located on Fort George Island, at the mouth of the St. John’s River, and at the center of Spanish colonization efforts in North America from the early 1500s onwards. While the current park is sited on about sixty acres, the original plantation as gifted to John “Lightning” McQueen by the Spanish in 1793 was around 1,000 acres. McQueen, a veteran of the American Revolution, settled with 300 slaves and began construction on an architecturally unique plantation.
Economic misfortune saw the estate pass to a Georgian for several years until slave magnate Zephaniah Kingsley bought the land and buildings for $7,000 in 1814. Zephaniah Kingsley was an English-raised slave trader and shipping magnate who had moved from colonial South Carolina to Florida in the late 1700s. By the time he purchased Kingsley Plantation, he had been married to his first wife (Anna Madgigine Jai, a former slave) in 1806 when she was 13 and he was 41. This was not an uncommon occurrence in Spanish Florida, which had a whole class of free mulatto people.
Zephaniah Kingsley was a man who was fiercely proud of his mixed race family, he had children with at least four different former enslaved women that he considered his wives. Even though Kingsley had mulatto family and was extremely proud of them, he was also a very serious slave trading magnate who owned multiple plantations of his own, including Kingsley Plantation on Fort George Island. The layout of the slave quarters on Fort George Island was known to be unique amongst all antebellum plantations. Laid out with 32 slave quarters in a semi circle with the main house in the middle point between the two furthest quarters, it is thought to have been designed like this personally by Kingsley’s first wife Anna.
Most of the slaves that Kingsley had on his plantations were of West African origin. Especially Igbo and Calabari people from the deltas of the bights of Benin and Biafra, if this is Anna’s origin as is expected, it would explain the layout of the slave quarters as it would follow the traditional layout of a West African village, with the king’s house in the middle and a semi-circle of houses splayed out before it. Kingsley’s slave quarters were built to keep his slaves happy, and Kingsley, being an unusual slave owner of the time, would arm his slaves for their own protection, teach them to read, write, and teach them trades and crafts, many would use these skills to buy their freedom, but the main purpose of all this was to fetch Kingsley a higher return on his slaves at market.
Kingsley’s unique life and circumstances contributed to a truly unique plantation with a totally unique arrangement and layout, with quarters much nicer than were typical of plantations of the era.
You might also enjoy this abandoned Florida mansion, The Neff House, that is located down the street from the Kingsley Plantation. Also located down the street and also on Fort George Island is the Thomson Tabby House. You might also fine the Huston House at Butler Plantation interesting. You can also check out our top abandoned places in Florida page.
Here is a list of all the abandoned locations around the world that are featured on Abandoned in 360 website.
Do you have 360-degree panoramic images captured in an abandoned location? Send your images to Abandonedin360@gmail.com. If you choose to go out and do some urban exploring in your town, here are some safety tips before you head out on your Urbex adventure.
Equipment used to capture the 360-degree panoramic images:
If you want to start shooting 360-degree panoramic images, you might want to look onto one-click 360-degree action cameras.
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