Anna's Manumission and Will

Manumission Paper

1 March 1811
St. Augustine, Florida

In the name of Almighty God, Amen: Let it be known that I, Zephaniah Kingsley, resident and citizen of the St. Johns River region of this province hereby state: That I have as my slave a black woman named Anna, about 18 years old, who is the same native African woman that I purchased in Havana...
I recognize [her children] as my own; this circumstance, and as well considering the good qualities of the already referred to black woman, and the truth and fidelity with which she has served me, impels me to give her freedom graciously and without other interest, the same accorded to the aforementioned three mulatto children whose names and ages are for the record: George, three years and nine months old; Martha, twenty months old; and Mary, a month old...I remove my rights of property, possession, utility, dominion, and all other royal and personal deeds which I have possessed over these four slaves. And I cede, renounce and transfer [my rights] to each of them so that from today forward, they can negotiate, sign contracts, buy, sell, appear legally in court, give depositions, testimonials, powers of attorney, codicils, and do any and all things which they can do as free people who are of free will without any burden...

Excerpted from document in Escrituras, Reel 172, Bundle 378, 17A-B, 18A-B, of the East Florida Papers, Library of Congress (microfilm copy at P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida). Document is in Spanish; this version was translated by Caleb Finnegan.


Know all men by these presents, that I Anna M. Kingsley of the County of Duval and State of Florida being of sound mind and memory but feeble in strength, do hereby, and by these presents constitute and appoint my daughter Martha B. Baxter my true and lawful attorney in fact and trustee...And I have and hereby place in her hand the full and undisturbed possession of the following amount of money and property, viz: three thousand dollars in cash and four Negro slaves viz: Polly a woman aged about 17 years, Joe a boy about 14, Elizabeth a girl about 12, and Julia a girl about 9 years. Also all my right title and interest in and to a certain claim I have as one of the Legatees of and under the will of Zephaniah Kingsley late of East Florida in which he the said Kingsley bequeaths and devises to me, one twelfth part of an amount or sum of money that shall be allowed his heirs by the government of the United States for losses sustained by him during the War of 1812 and 1813 by the operations of the American Army, the principal having been allowed, the interest money is now pending before the Congress of the U.S....Given under my hand and seal this 24th day of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty.

Anna M. Kingsley

Excerpt from trust/will of Anna Kingsley. Typescript of complete document in NPS files at Kingsley Plantation (made from Duval County probate file 1210-D).

Last updated: June 15, 2021

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