In 1811, he freed Anna and their three children. They would have one more child together. He and his wife lived in Laurel Grove until 1813, prior to moving to Fort George Island. Some sixty years later in 1877, the town of Orange Park was established on Laurel Grove plantation land, but that's another story.
There were 60 slaves that worked the plantation on Fort George Island. Besides farming, Kingsley trained his slaves in carpentry, blacksmithing, and cotton ginning. They labored under a task system where each slave had a quota of work to be accomplished. When they finished their tasks, they were free to do as they pleased, usually tending their individual gardens, fishing, and even selling their produce. It seems that Kingsley was a more lenient slave holder than some. Thirty two slave cabins were constructed out of tabby and were arranged in a semicircular arc within view of the main house, an arrangement that was unique among the plantations of that era. Each cabin had two rooms, one with a fireplace, and a sleeping loft. Today, these remains are some of the best examples of the use of tabby as a construction material.
Today the plantation grounds are forested where fields and gardens were once cultivated. Ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss keep watch over the remains of the slave cabins. Scattered wild flowers add to the quiet dignity of the area. They whisper of the people who lived, labored, and loved here long ago.
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