Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation by Melanie Pavich

By Melanie Pavich

As the spouse of an often absent slaveholder and public determine, Anna Matilda web page King (1798-1859) was once the de facto head in their Sea Island plantation. This quantity collects greater than a hundred and fifty letters to her husband, kids, mom and dad, and others. Conveying the substance of way of life as they chronicle King's ongoing struggles to place nutrition at the desk, nurse her "family black and white," and hold religion with a disappointing husband, the letters provide an soaking up firsthand account of antebellum coastal Georgia life.

Anna Matilda web page was once reared with the expectancy that she may marry a planter, have little ones, and have a tendency to her family's household affairs. Untypically, she was once additionally schooled via her father in all points of plantation administration, from seed cultivation to development development. That grounding might serve her good. by means of 1842 her husband's homes have been seized, due to accounts collected from crop mess ups, fiscal downturns, and wide investments in land, enslaved employees, and the improvement of the within reach port city of Brunswick. Anna and her relatives have been sustained, even though, by means of Retreat, the St. Simons Island estate left to her in belief through her father. With the hard work of 50 bondpeople and "their raise" she was once to try, with little relief from her husband, to maintain the plantation solvent.

A worthwhile list of King's many jobs, from accountant to mom, from physician to horticulturist, the letters additionally exhibit a lot approximately her courting with, and attitudes towards, her enslaved employees. Historians haven't begun to completely comprehend the lives of plantation mistresses left all alone through husbands pursuing political and different expert careers. Anna Matilda web page King's letters provide us perception into one such girl who reluctantly entered, yet still excelled in, the male domain names of commercial and agriculture.

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Extra resources for Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation Mistress, 1817-1859

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Frederick Wilkinson places the “Cotton Caterpillar” and the “Cotton BollCaterpillar” among the most devastating cotton pests. The former lays hundreds of difficult-to-detect eggs on the underside of the upper leaves of the plant. Several generations may be produced during a growing season, thus preventing the plant from putting out leaves and buds. The latter is similar in its life history to the first but attacks the newly formed boll. See Wilkinson, The Story of the Cotton Plant, 35–36. 2. Of the years between King’s marriage and his financial losses Steel writes: “Besides enlarging and improving his wife’s property, he extended his operations to the rice-growing area of the mainland in 1830 when he bought for $12,000 part of the Middleton Barony, comprising some 4,700 acres on the Satilla River.

18. Jekyll Island was named by Oglethorpe after Sir Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls, who contributed 600 pounds to the establishment of Georgia as an English colony. In 1791 the island was purchased by a group of Frenchmen, one of whom bought out his partners a few years later. Le Sieur Christophe Poulain de la Houssaye du Bignon (who shortened his name to Poulain du Bignon) repaired the old tabby buildings on the island, planted Sea Island cotton, and became rich. He and his wife, Margaret, had two sons, Henri and Joseph.

33. Georgia Page King to Henry Lord Page King, December 15, 1857, tbk, shc. 34. Amanda Eliza Fitzallen Scott was an heir of William Page. She was married on February 22, 1832, to Rev. Vardy Woolley by Simeon L. G. Anna always referred to her cousin’s husband as “Mr. ” See Cate, Our Todays and Yesterdays, 246, 269. 35. Florence Marye states that “there was a Scottish head nurse affectionately called Mammy Gale to help in this task [child care]. Her husband, captain of a sailing vessel chartered by Mr.

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