According to family records, Zephaniah Kingsley was born in Bristol, England on December 4, 1765. He came to Charleston, South Carolina, with his parents in 1773, where his father became a prosperous merchant. The Kingsleys were Loyalists and after the American Revolutionary War, they immigrated to Canada.
Little is known of Zephaniah Kingsley’s early life. In an 1842 interview, Kingsley stated he “carried on the slave trade several years” and that “slave trading was a very respectable business when I was young.” He also said he had seen “almost all parts of the world.” A knowledge of many countries is revealed in his writings.
Follow the links below to learn more about the life of Zephaniah Kingsley.
"Papers Concerning the Will of Zephaniah Kingsley, 1844, 1846" at Florida Memory (State Archives of Florida)
"The Atlantic Mind: Zephaniah Kingsley, Slavery, and the Politics of Race in the Atlantic World" - Master's Thesis by Mark J. Fleszar, Georgia State University, 2009 (leaving NPS site)
Return to History of Kingsley Plantation.