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New PDF release: Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation

By Melanie Pavich

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

Anna Matilda web page was once reared with the expectancy that she might marry a planter, have young ones, and have a tendency to her family's household affairs. Untypically, she used to be additionally schooled via her father in all elements of plantation administration, from seed cultivation to construction development. That grounding may serve her good. by means of 1842 her husband's houses have been seized, as a result of bills accrued from crop disasters, monetary downturns, and broad investments in land, enslaved employees, and the advance of the within sight port city of Brunswick. Anna and her family members have been sustained, despite the fact that, through Retreat, the St. Simons Island estate left to her in belief via her father. With the exertions of 50 bondpeople and "their raise" she used to be to attempt, with little reduction from her husband, to maintain the plantation solvent.

A precious list of King's many jobs, from accountant to mom, from general practitioner to horticulturist, the letters additionally exhibit a lot approximately her courting with, and attitudes towards, her enslaved employees. Historians have not begun to totally comprehend the lives of plantation mistresses left on their lonesome via husbands pursuing political and different specialist careers. Anna Matilda web page King's letters supply us perception into one such lady 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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John Couper and his plantation at Cannon’s Point gained a reputation for unrivaled hospitality and culinary excellence. Couper’s chef, Sans Foix, was said to be able to debone a whole turkey and maintain the roasted bird’s shape. Wheeler, Eugenia Price’s South, 23–28. 5. Anna is referring to one of her husband’s brothers. Monticello 2nd December 1839 My dear Miss Jane I received your very acceptable letter whilst I was on a short visit with my dear husband and children to Waverly. I desired dear Miss Jane to have acknowledged your kindness sooner than this but since Mr Kings departure my time is very much taken up with endeavouring to instruct our three elder children all the morning and the rest of the day to our younger ones; and house hold, as well as out door matters.

It is dreadful to a believer but Oh! how much worse for those who have no faith in our precious saviour who feel not the mercy of our God! I was truly shocked to hear of the cruel murder of poor Peter Mitchel and was at the same time informed that his poor wife died last summer and that Mrs Albirty (Mary Sadler of St Marys) from nursing Mrs Mitchel imbibed her complaint and she too died after great suffering. And again your excellent friend Mr P Houston of Savannah. The death of the last named can only be regretted on account of his children and friends.

Give my best love to my dear papa and Cousin Mary. Mr Mc[Nish] and Maria desire their love and best regards to you all. Good morning. May God bless and preserve you—and on my return may it be my happiness to find you all well and happy. Your affectionate Daughter A M Page 1. Miss Jane Elizabeth Johnston of St. Simons and Savannah and her sister Ann Mary would remain Anna’s friends for many years. The Johnstons were the orphaned daughters of Thomas and Mary Dews Johnston of Savannah. Thomas Johnston was a distant relative of John Couper (of Cannon’s Point, St.

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