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

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 one hundred fifty letters to her husband, youngsters, mom and dad, and others. Conveying the substance of way of life as they chronicle King's ongoing struggles to place foodstuff at the desk, nurse her "family black and white," and continue religion with a disappointing husband, the letters provide an soaking up firsthand account of antebellum coastal Georgia life.

Anna Matilda web page used to be reared with the expectancy that she might marry a planter, have youngsters, and have a tendency to her family's household affairs. Untypically, she was once additionally schooled via her father in all features of plantation administration, from seed cultivation to development development. That grounding could serve her good. via 1842 her husband's houses have been seized, as a result of bills accumulated from crop mess ups, financial downturns, and huge investments in land, enslaved employees, and the improvement of the close by port city of Brunswick. Anna and her kinfolk have been sustained, in spite of the fact that, by way of Retreat, the St. Simons Island estate left to her in belief via her father. With the hard work of 50 bondpeople and "their bring up" she used to be to attempt, with little reduction from her husband, to maintain the plantation solvent.

A priceless list of King's many jobs, from accountant to mom, from health care professional to horticulturist, the letters additionally show a lot approximately her courting with, and attitudes towards, her enslaved staff. Historians have not begun to totally comprehend the lives of plantation mistresses left all alone 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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Additional info for Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation Mistress, 1817-1859

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The church is crowded every night and his eloquence his precepts and the example he holds out are to the admiration of all who are capable of understanding him. On Sunday we went to Church—Mr Snodgrass was also eloquent. In the afternoon a Methodist minister preached and in the evening I had an opportunity of hearing Mr Capers with whom I was highly pleased. There were 81 ministers of that denomination in this City. Last night I went to the theatre—Hilsons first night for this season. ] or Sprig of Laurel neither of which I was much pleased with.

I went with Mr McNish the other day to look at some fresh crackers which I think will suit you—I did not send any thing by Capt Porquet who remained here but a few days, but hope by the next opportunity to send on most of the articles. The trunk I will be obliged to have opened as there was no key to it nor could the Capt give any account of it. It will probably amuse you to hear how I have past the last week. On Friday Col and Mrs Marshall gave a dinner party the company amounted to twentyfive ladys and 15 gents—Miss Wylly 2 and myself among the former.

Our children are all at home and I, as inefficient as I really am, have undertaken to instruct the three elder ones until we can do better. 5 Georgia and Florence still go to Miss Burton—who tho’ a very excellent teacher of young children is not calculated to instruct girls and boys of the age of our elder children. Georgia is most anxious to undertake her promised letter to you. I can hardly convince her she cannot write well enough. Our dear little Mallery is about as well—at all events he uses his arm as well as before he received the last injury.

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