Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Incredible Story of Zephaniah Kingsly Part 2

Click to enlarge this historic document

Sir William Johnstone and Lady Catherine Melville were the maternal grandfather of ZEPHANIAH KINGSLEY.

About 1285, Sir John De Johnstone bestowed on the monastery of Solbray "The Manor if not the Advowson" of the church of the church of Johnstone and corfirmed his father Hugo De Johnst ,"OUNCE GIFT OF LANDS IN HADDINGTON, "

Isabella Johstone,married Zephaniah Kingsley, an Englishman from Westmoreland, in Scotland. The Kingsly's first six children were born in England and Scotland. Zephaniah the subject of this research was born in Scotland on December 4, 1765

In 1773, The Kingsly with their 8 years old son,Zephaniah, settled in Charleston,South Carolina.

The Kingsly prospered in South Carolina a prosperous ,sophisticated cosmopolitan city with an active port.

On November 21,1774, the ship Brittania under Captain Samuel Ball arrived at Charleston from London having on board seven cases of tea, subject to tax. Three of these were consigned to Kingsly, There was a period of great turmoil in Charleston and eventually Zephanias Kingsly worked his way to Florida.

During a voyage to Africa as a navigator , Zephanias lost his wife and on a subsequent trip to Africa he married Anna Maadgigene Jai, an African woman.Later commentators described her as an "African Princess."

Zephanias settled in San Agustine on November 26,1803 paying 5,300 dollars for a property of 2,600 acres called Laurel Grove.

He brought with him 50 Africans and started trading with the Indians.Meanwhile Zephanias had transformed his property by the San Juan River that was called Fort George.

Zephanias built an enclave and begun buying slaves which he would observe to determine what inclinations and especial abilities they possessed . He would then teach them highly skilled trades and teach them to speak languages, so successfully was this experiment that "Kingsly Niggers." as they were called were highly coveted in all the south of the Unites States and brought up to ten times the price of a normal slave in the open market.

The first slaves were introduced to Florida by Ponce De Leon, however Zephanias did not differentiate between the races and treated his slaves like family, even insisting when he traded them off that they would be able to buy their freedom after a certain time.

IN 1804 Florida had a population of 4,445 out which 2,300 were African slaves.In 1821 Florida came to be American Territory, by then Kingsly's wife and their children were in control of several plantations that he deeded over to his family.However the American authorities had problems with the administration of the plantations, new laws blocked people of color from owning property and things begun to get more difficult until they ran Zephanias off and confiscated his properties.

Fonchi Lockward a Newspaper columnist writes: Some titles to land that belonged to Zephanias were not recognized by the Uites States Government when they took over Florida, but even then it is recognized that his holdings included 915 acres by Rio San Juan,2,300 acres in Twelve Miles Swamp,2,000 acres in Drayton Island,1,500 acres to the south of River Santa Maria,300 acres in Saw Mill creek,150 acres in Saint John Bluff..

Historian Jose Augusto Puig notes that Kingley immigration took place between 1837 and 1840 , taking with him 53 people which settled in Puerto Plata,Cabarete ,Sosua. Kingsly entourage consisted of three wives,eight (8) children a number of servants and 42 slaves.

In1842 he would write" My colony in Cabarete is doing well, you should see how happy the human race can be in a beautiful place living in harmony ,it is a beautiful place, about 30 miles from Puerto Plata, the land is very fertile we have built windmills, roads I can't wait to build a school there"

Kingsly now used his established ship transport routes to ship oranges and built a prosperous business there in orange groves, in time he became owner of most of Puerto PLata and surrounding lands.

"After his death his heirs continued to live in his properties in Florida and Puerto Plata as a sort of guests, even today is not easy to obtain property rights for his heirs in the tribunals, the property rights that were denied his heirs.

"Maybe nobody will ever try and maybe even if they try they will not succeed, but maybe one day preferably on the North Coast, someone would recover a piece of land in honor of the memory of that indomitable man, lover of freedom and equality of the races that was called Zephanias Kingsly."

Key West, The Africans Buried at Higgs Beach and Zephanias Kingsly


Anonymous said...

Got a wonderful venture and a very good experience by simply reading through your blog

Anonymous said...

You got great points there, that's why I always love checking out your blog.

My blog:
simulation pret puis taux de Rachat de credit