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e05 "IT IS NOT ANYBODY'S DAMN BUSINESS" By HAMPTON DUNN FT. GEORGE ISLAND A distinctive personality in Florida history was Zephaniah Kingsley, a native Scotsman who came to this country as a boy and migrated to Laurel Grove, Fla., in 1803. The well educa ted Kingsley was a coffee buyer at one time but was best known as a shrewd slave trader. He fell in love and married Anna Madgigene Jai, daughter of a chief of Senegal, on the east coast of Africa. His father in law assisted him in procuring slaves. Kings ley moved to Florida, then under the Spanish flag be cause he foresaw the U.S. would outlaw the importation of slaves. This happened in 1807. The slave trader acquired Ft. George Island, near the mouth of St. Johns River, in 1817. He paid only $ 7, 000 for it, a bargain even then. Several houses used by the family still stand and are part of a State Park here. Kingsley believed in taking good care of his slaves and in training them well. They always brought premium prices on the market because of their ski ll. Kingsley was described by a high official as a "classical scholar" and he was appointed by the U.S. President to the second Legislative Council. Kingsley's niece was Anna Matilda NcNeill Whist ler, the "Mother" in the famous painting by her son, James Whistler. Mrs. Whistler was one of the heirs who challenged the will of Kingsley who left his property to his African wife noting "It is not anybody's damn business what I do with it"
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"It is not anybody's damn business..."
h [electronic resource] /
by Hampton Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed July 14, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes Ft. George Island's Zephaniah Kingsley, a coffee buyer and slave trader during the first decades of the 19th century.
Fort George Island (Fla.)
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.