A youth created joint project by Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team, Timucuan Parks Foundation, Jacksonville Arts and Music School, and the National Park Service to tell the stores of enslaved people at Kingsley Plantation.
Descendants Peri Frances Betsch and Bouna Sémou Ndiaye Legacy Interview
Ndiaye family descendants Peri Frances Betsch and Bouna Sémou Ndiaye explore topics of heritage, legacy and family in this interview for the 2021 Virtual Kingsley Heritage Celebration.
Hello and welcome to virtual Kingsley heritage celebration today. We will hear from Peri Frances Bestch and Bouna Semou Ndiaye descendants of our family heritage and the meaning of legacy. Bouna Peri Francie welcome. Fifteen were nine die underneath my. You see negative number. Nine mine, see. How is this is the you that you believe in again? I'm happy to have this trend. Is minute conversation today?
Though most exciting so on the first question or are against the listeners is what is your connection with an eye Kingsley for Zephyr, nine Kingsley, who is Anna Kingsley, are under much again guy to you have year a church value. My relationship with Anna in the lives, love and a yellow Mark. One is on my mother's side and the other one. He's on my father's side. I was stabbed with my mother site. I am the son of flats to enjoy more. But today more wide we have to have have more.
Is that her father is more mildly? Same day, Mama listen. Guy was shiftless Council of Bucky Melissa gays. Mother is Lisa Dillon Jimmy. And this I and me is the son of Byram Jamie guessing. And Dylan on I sin is the son of Butler Adams, Seattle in Philadelphia. A is the son of my up where Kinsey, from all my friends aside my father is Debra fighting. Yea disease. And even putting guys mother is particularly gay day. Dakota gay is the daughter of but by Yasin. But I assume is the son of matter someone away.
In Madison. Bloody either son of my. Bring a book. So you see them both came from neighbouring Abu as well as an American guy Kinsey. So on all, let me see if I got this both your father's side and your mother's eyes. You are descended from her. Believe are her parents her best. Okay. What gave little my booting up? La Bodega enabled. Hannah has three siblings of same size the same mother. Could you imagine player? Good. I am legend player. A limp couldn't wait to get back.
But all of them percent of Muslim mumbling in DC pizza. Okay. In Iran is a direct father and mother relationship to us, but all of them came from mobile number. Which is on top of guys here for fears? So fast, like the literal sense, you know, the actual genealogical chart. I am also, and not just in terms of like a symbol or a feeling or I'm like, why does the story of on how much you enjoy are indistinctly mean to you. Well if Kosovo is is is a joy to find a long lost sibling.
You can learn a lot about slavery and all those kinds of things and not thinking about maybe your own ancestor sort of what happened, but once you find that out, then you somehow try to overcome the feeling of sadness, but want to know more about what happened. An does does the school the feeling that I have. And then you learn more engines. You feel proud of seeing her still keeping something a legacy even though she was a it.
There is always something there that is remaining that major stand tall ramps yours. Yes. Think you might ask well for me. Ah. I don't have a choice. Excuse me. So am I know my data under much enjoy or Anna. Kingsley is my belief. Seven great grandmother. So oh, Anna on you get a stream had thought Anna, simply antagonizing me had a daughter. Mary Francis them in Mary. Frances. Change with them. She married John them.
They so they're grim. John salmons, and Mary Kingsley grand daughter. The great granddaughter is Mary, Frances. Dammit Lewis, who married Abraham Lincoln Louis Abraham Lincoln. Louis is my great great grandfather. So he is the founder of American beach. He was the on one of the leaders of the Afro American life insurance company. He's a person of of some importance in Jacksonville by history. But he married into the Kingsley damage. Enjoy family, because he's his first wife was the great granddaughter of definite at night and indistinctly. And I am is or there.
Great. Great granddaughter. So that is the connection. So my grandmother was Mary, Frances Lewis. Batch. And that is why I am Harry. Francis fetch so on so Sue me who Amis Kingsley is is, um, you know, very few lifestyle. You know, it's a rare air up here. There are very few on people of African descent living in the Americas who connection only name that person. Then you know who can call the name of that ancestor that made die as that voyage that too fast.
Trip then transferred our identity from African to African Americans of knees. Use my link swastika. She is the person that enables me to know. Um not just a continent, but or even a country, but and as they grew up. Oh oh. Kingdom a nation state of language group of culture. Das I. I'm late to. So she is a very special cherish person on to me, though. Our next question? Ah is? Can you tell me a little bit about how you found out that you were related to the Kingsley abilities, insisting a long story University of Chicago professor?
Who lived in North Carolina? His name is doctor Gerald Han historian. A liar there. During the black history month, one year sent me a link of the celebration happening at the Kingsley plantation. Knowing that I am gay. She saw that they may be some connection. Okay. So I read it guy, okay, and I'm questioning myself? It is okay. Black history month. I'm very inquisitive. Four silver, black history month. Why. Black history. Month and have started doing research. I used to see a lived with John. Hope. Franklin historian. So I am familiar with some things that he has done.
So I started going through black history month. Why? Black history month access to and I went to the web page of black history month, and I saw about thirty two forty people. I mean, African American women elites with their biographies in of the century autobiographies, an ethical was named but place. One was Barack Obama and the other one was Nelson Mandela.
Okay. So Adkisson Dean and then I went to Lucca, some senses about eye damage again, guy casually where she was in Cuba. How many people pay taxes how many children she bore? And then I learned about the book written about her as somebody other the library. Show me the book. And the later I spoke to the rider, and then he told me about our family, our siblings in different parts of the world from the Dominican Republic to England to nothing. And then I saw in his book that he went to.
I was only gonna empire and met with the bigger the sub grills of that area, and I know this was done something random, and that's what made me be more and more interested in knowing more and more about. And that's how I found out about Anna Kingsley. And my relationship is about you. So I found out about my relationship to an end in. Please enter a from my asked my Auntie Navin, who was on many, many things on people around Fernandina island, know her as the beach late the American beach and Marvin was very like you very inquisitive. She was very much on.
Email on a scholarship would read up and research thing, all different things that were in her body of interest from nature and the environment and animals in history in African history, in African American history. And she was very passionate about obesity an on she she would always tell me you. You have to meet Roger Carroll. Roger hero, Roger in general. So I I met my really, was coming to no monkeying around the age of like eighteen, nineteen twenty. I did not grow up in Jacksonville. So she was I ahead of me a lot of people. So I somehow in my mind thought that Roger and Carol some more cousin or relative.
And I came to find out know, is, where is the Ranger and King. Do you think legalization at that time? They were zoo superintendent of of Kingsley plantation. Um. And she was also say, oh, you gotta meet Schaefer, you gotta meet Shaffer Schaefer was doctor Jacob Schaefer, who's the man who wrote the book then spoke about. But I feel like on the connection that I had was Mcbean enabled a connection with on tough that has followed me for now some nouns twenty five years because she had told me the story on has she is said to me, I think at that time Shavers book was not actually a book yet. It was still in pamphlet form.
And um, there was a woman who had been a really close friend of my father's. My father, as you know, is a jazz musician and he lived in Paris. Oh? But has he has met a woman who was working at the Village Vanguard in New York. And she was from Copenhagen, and her name was built a Fisher, and at some point in time, said the Fisher left New York, she came to Florida. She was studying. I. I don't know whether that you now or ass anyway. She was just completing her her study, and she took a class that included Shavers work, Shapers pamphlet. And so she wrote, she also knew movies. You know the beach lady. Because she knew that that was my dad's sister. And they had developed a relationship, so she wrote her kind of term paper about.
The Cambridge connection to the Lewis batch family, and I happened to get in on. Hello from Mommy with Shavers pamphlet and then does term paper. These was December. I believe of ninety ninety seven or ninety ninety eight, and she sent it to me at my father's house in Paris, because I was there for Christmas in route to Senegal. I was already on my way to Senegal. You know, the French major in undergrad. I was really interested in like the nigger to literary movement. And is there an answer on the job and all the things I really wanted to go to Panama? At that point, I really had some.
Foggy the idea that there was some connection, but I've got that term paper. Read the paper. Read that pamphlet. And within five days of receiving it, I was at eyes so to me, it was very, um, you know, Legos of naming synchronicity to receive a confirmation yet got factual data. And then be in that lane where I know you know she. She walked in in that them was. So basically, the short answer is Thurman on Monday. The long answer is your beneficiary. And I think hunter much again by herself. Good too.
So the next question I have for you and appointed you have anything you wanna say or chime in on any of my responses or anything? I know you have, you know, always interesting reflection the toilet or lifting that of us kids above what I had to say with it. I wrote an article about black history month African American history. Where are the Africans were an article about it? Oh it's just what is saw against. I wanna tell you because I know you other people are that it's newest amazing tattoo on where in North Carolina and new John hope. Franklin. I'm speaking to you from my mother's passed. The National Tennessee about a block away from me is the John hope. Franklin library at the University.
John hope. Franklin knew my my son, my mother's side. He was a pall bearer at my grandfather's funeral. They were friends, though. We're all is bright. There's no getting around it. We're all connected. So so what has some of your personal research on your family allowed you to discover? He raises vision with a job that I showed you. That's what it has allowed you to discover the all no sense. We are related every game from the same source here released near you. Anna and myself, okay. However the.
And so here we had when I called oral tradition as you know, so does the Rios who can tell us. And then you fly to cross reference. Whatever information you get from here and there, and we have a family girl who has also informed Schaeffer. And then other people who know and were old enough to also know that something may be right, over, unfamiliar be right. And I've met all those people and does less less. It came down to giving credibility to the charge that I showed you. Yes.
I'm sorry you did. You know your family history then traced it back to arm robbery in trouble before. But you just didn't know where that she was apart of death. Not at all. Actually I didn't even know analyst other, yo say what you know is. Who is your ass as your grandfather have we on? And you know, you go to a family and is it oh, you're such and such in. And they they give you all your limits. And it was really that important to me for somebody. Tell me that you just from nobility or whatever it is.
Oh you know is people will tell you such such grew up on your grandfather's house or court over. Rejoice and it it places you somewhere. There's some little sense of pride that you get out of it, too. If for people who believe in them, but it missed it doesn't make you go above all that. Because you're not a historian, you an incentive, your honor. But then when the story of black history month came around, and then this lady named language education, gay guy, Kingsley. You had to find out what is happening, him animal young guy and my grandfather, whom I love.
And then how you have to go and climb up the ladder until you can connect the dots. Justices will happen. Acts coming in now. My me on my first while my personal research on my family allows me to discover allowed me to still discover. Senegal allows me to travel around than a God looking for the descendant of the siblings of under my began die at that time. I didn't know of view because you were in North Carolina and I was in Dhaka. It's on, you know. That was a very important, significant time in my life was like ninety seven to around two thousand that I was going back and forth to Seneca a lot, and, um.
Even if it wasn't specific details to put on a tree, even just being there and learning about the culture and new in fashion history and needing people and on, you know, it was an amazing time was very young and very much like an adventure on. At the time. I was a teacher. I was able to bring high school student to Senegal on a traveled around. Because I mean that you know, when you when you come as a tourist you pretty much in on like Dakar. I think Lee maybe send me, but you don't go like into the inferiors. Who little town you don't? You know I went to Xinjiang for your farm. I went to new government to rupees than went to all the places that were kind of off the beaten path that may be, you know, unless you were on.
A historian or an aid worker or really like I'm an American. You wouldn't necessarily just stumble upon them. But I was there about looking for the the traces of of honor. Also my personal research allowed me to discover you on hikes. I think it was the park service. It allowed me to discover new put on also allowed me to really. I understand my connection, like I said, I didn't grow up in Jacksonville. So um. I knew that my Dad was from there. I knew that you know. His family was prominent in the founding of American beach by never really had like a fool for Jacksonville Jacksonville. Because I went. Oh. I just come and go directly to the island to hang out with my aunt Maureen. And then I was Jack on the highway from extra Lana.
Go even you know finding an upgrade, stay in Arlington or knowing that there was a mother on home in what is now orange orange park on or Bay Meadows are know. I've been all of these places. Some of them went out knowing where Anna are his. A Neo was like, even before. I knew the story. I had already been to the Dominican Republic and the part of the been through the part of the Dominican back on they settled, which was then Haiti. Oh. I've been to Saint Thomas, which is where one listened for. He was before he settled in in Florida, was almost like. I've been drawn to these places where they were even without knowing that that was why, though on.
Yeah. So it is allowed me to discover a whole different world. You know, I, um, I grew up in the seventies on as you know, an African American child ended in seventy black was beautiful, and people were very much in this resurgence of discovering bear on their history. I went to a live a small small little child went to a school called New world today school and we used to thing on lift every voice and sing every morning instead of the pledge of allegiance. I didn't know that, you know. James Weldon Johnson author was connected to Jacksonville. Um you know we would do these seasons used to do. Please report great profiles in courage in new research on different figures for for black history month, but throughout the year, and we always beats holds that you know, you are the descendants from King and Queen.
In I everything to this post, your theories that was sponsored by Budweiser, and we had beautiful art by Leo and Diane Dillon. And and by great kings and Queens of Africa and those be in month month will sign Queen in Zion. All these things been. So you high man believed it, but then you kind of feel like well. Maybe that's just. You know, the part of the whole like Douglas theme encourage men cry, black pride thing, and then then learn the story of under months you can die in hurling into my life. Wow. They weren't lying, etc, sugar. Is it really was what they said that it was? I mean, of course not for everybody. That's so rang. True to what I had been taught since a small child, but not ever thinking that you would be able to, you know, call the me anything. When is something that I have discovered space to other?
Why is young young? Which is the capital city, was the capital city of the yellow Empire? I've never been to Union before until when I led a delegation. Geoffrey was one of them at the members about thirty people, and I were the interpreter when they went to young young. I've never been the. And before I knew about young young that say, outgoing guys headquartered was vicious towards the King of the dollar empire. But that was about it. I live a little went there until I sat it being this having this particular interest about an hour because I'm planning to make a movie about Anna and my relationship, the only reason I'm alone, but also with the communities.
After gonna do she in their connection is Silica as a whole, the is need the heating eating habits, the culinary arts. I mean, they lose the tie. Dyes all those kind of things will be included in the movie. Sissy well. And that's what made me travel from place to another and what got me actually last year to the plantation and met you. How many years were we talking on? The phone or on staff are on Facebook or via text before we actually met. Virginia's thirteen year. Old years is so valleys misses the next. My my real nice question is what took you so long? Like okay. So my next question is, what does Kingsley plantation mean to you? What did you feel when you visited now that that does first of all?
In the place, I am fortunate enough to find out who one of my ancestors is. Yeah. When I came to visit the plantation Ella, you explain to me although things the dwelling and I went to the house when to different cottages, an area, then ashes to go with you to the cemetery. Alright. Right. You explain to me why she'd ever have any his tombstone an offense after then obligated to pray for her?
Remember that I was dismayed to holding like a phone camera like interviewing you, and when you told me why she gonna have to store. And after the island to pray for her, I knelt down, forgetting to turn off my camera, and I started praying a you in an offensive, very, very lonely. I started really crying and I didn't want you to see me cry. I'm Heidi.
I stood up trying to show my back to you to go away in my. It was taking most gloomy feeling. Can men looked lady at that camera? I saw my fears rolling down my cheeks. That's how powerful the connection was at the time it was a very, very heavy, a moving experience for me and asking them that means that this is the place for me to come back, because this is where my SSC is. Yes yes. What about you?
Wow. So that would mean that whole experience of being able to go with you to a Christian cemetery. And so have you see as King players is when anja metal was the keynote. And all of that was so amazing. Bestow magical on. I vowed to twist in almost every time I go to Jacksonville and I. You know, I'm sure the neighbors know my little red Mini Cooper. You know, I bring her flowers and bring her gifts. I can. I just sit there on to. He is a very, it's a very grounding place is a very empowering place. And my only because you spoke of loneliness, you know, um.
I only want her to know that we remember her. We think about her Dad. You know, her family still calls her name and longs for her, though it was really, really amazing to be able to bring you their job. But on there with my student groups are friends, or you know, people that I'm using tours of American beach or during the camp out or something. But go there with you. But something very special on. So what does Kingsley plantation needs me on? So now that I've been going there for I don't even know how many years Kingsley plantation is on a lot of nostalgia, because I remember I remember going there with my mean, you know, she always would likely to come working player to celebration. I went there one year and was one of the this centers on, and that's the year tag.
She transitioned. She was to be a provender, and four. She was no longer there, but I've presented in her place on. That was actually the years I met on a manual blame. Among while Le Bron on, I have been had the honor to be a speaker at the same time and stopped Schaefer and the thing program for Kingsley player to celebration of friends. Mayor brought people there. You know, I was able to be at Kingsley, or is the um commemoration of sixteen the anniversary of the see nineteen four hundred years of of the African American presence in America on almost two years ago showed it to me. It is like a place of pilgrimage on is a place that I go.
Because I think that it is important to to honor and to perpetuate your investors, high school, because I think there is such a uniquely American and African American story, but it's not the typical story that you know you normally read in history books or see in movies or in. I think it allows you to know, really on a very core level that there's so much more to the story of people of African descent in America or two enslavement, or to the impact that die that institution has not just on the African, but also on the European mainly look at.
Therefore please like he's super impacted by the presence of Africans and not just not just the ones blue, you know labor. He benefited from all of his. These children were biracial or mixed race. He you know, altered the force of his life over here his sons could inherit. His property is is there's so many things that a symbolic or a microcosm of where you can begin gain access to a new understanding difference, perhaps than the story that you may have been told. You know, this is not on gone with the wind pipe tail on the offensive, so it's very, um, a very important. You know, sometimes when I when I bring people to American beach, and then we know we're looking for other things to do. And I say, can we go to Kingsley. Some people like I don't know. I don't wanna go. So plantation?
But when I went my wife, forty me on and to me is also I when I go to Kingsley, I'm very seldom focused on to be honest on Japanese and focus on the people who lived in those folders. And what were their lives like in when I got married? And I want them to know that I'm grateful for them, and I'm thankful for them and that their their labor in their efforts were in vain and that you know their children and their children's children. Keep coming back to tell them. Thank you in the loo. A think service history is good.
An African American history is not an American history. He alone is also an African history. Yeah for sure. Absolutely as she went there, and she did what she has to do with great honor. Now it came from somewhere the that she had to have had a young age to accomplish for which he has accomplished, learned that from somewhere. Yes and it's not by. Go do this is by seeing it being done.
U C N N in. This is something that I think is worth commending this. I think that you know is in a time where are is tightening that. There's very few, you know. First hand accounts are are documents on her genome. Kingsley has their interviews. There's letters. There's um you will. There's. He wrote a treatise of the thing. There's all very few accounts of people actually encountered her. But if you read them, everybody remarked upon you know, hurt, hurt. Her countenance her presence, her arm reality, her strength, her courage, which.
Mikey said he didn't get that from from nowhere, huh. She you know she was display. She was not a place that she was was raised to be, but she was still the person that she was raised to be exactly. She doesn't. So my next question is, do you see any traditional law African influence in the way that honor manage the plantation? Well the way she met at the blurred vision is with courage based on what I learn and good management skills. Because you did you given.
Need people any kind of way what. There is a kind of skill set that you have to have to make. People do what you expect them to do. And actually has the definition of management giving job done through people. Now it takes character is discourage all that is ah thing that she has seen in where she came from and she has held and used apply. You know, it's where you belong to a certain group clear. I take my own example.
My mother used to tell me as a child dominate. Go back. Nearly deaf dumb is a sibling of a sudden, nickelback is a good person meaning nobility to do this. You do this to avoid issues of it as a child growing up to a point that sometimes you say dumb ass, it don't say anything. I know it all because I've heard this so many times Dominic Cooper negative demolished by such and such to just instill in you some character and some some some those kind of upbringing, things that are known from people of nobility. Now you grew up in that environment. You hold those values, and that's the only way you know how Angela, how to do things and get things done.
So that's what I understand her courage and has she has held. The household is beautiful. What about you to me am? So I first traveled to Africa when I was twelve, which is the same age at which Anna left. Oh. When I first came from, I went to Nigeria, and then you know, I. I went to stand up on. So when I look at the story of Anna and defamation least I think of.
The things that I observed a vow because the way that West African winning run their households run the market, you know, always how multiple enterprises on you know, you might meet a woman and say, oh, she's a professor at the University, always yoga. Father saw in the market, and she owns land, and she she now sits on the board of a bank, and she has an angio. You know, an African woman is rarely ever like the thing that her job title it, and she has six children when you think about all of the things with life. Unbelievable. I remember when I was in Senegal, and I went be travelling with people and someone when enlightening or or on dinner or a meal. And sometimes the people, Xena, we would just be traveling and we drop through someone's home.
No real warning or notice or whatever and Menino you tapings. Those lies underneath the children. And then an hour and a half later, there's this huge fees, you know, if the platter with purple been vegetables and fish and lamb, and also seem em one, why more. Maybe so wife, who made all like fish fed like fifteen. He bought a drop of a dime like that is. That's a stupid he knows. But when I think about the things that I observed about West African women and think about the way that like you said she had to manage there is yeah, of course, mixed feelings and conflict being a person.
Cool have been in Maine. Who then author own way that you know, that's often not necessarily? The typical story that you learn from history, books or years old, ever actually met him. Please do a little bit away about it. When I look at the bigger picture when I look at you and back, you know, Elia had three while sandwiched in women who in children who you know he gave position though of some authority or management will he must have trusted dislike? They were coming from a polygamous society. Where? That was a very functional way of operating so.
Beijing done. It seems to me that they indoctrinated him into their culture. You know, and they say they raise their family. They raise their children. They you know, assisted him to be prosperous in his business for the benefit of their their children for their family foot inside of a construct that this from their culture, not his. So how? How is Anna on some understood within your family? You said earlier than you're fortunate to find out about your ancestors. I know for me, is rare for an African American to know the name of their ancestor who made our voyage. But I wonder for an African. Are there many people who really know the story of what happened to their ancestors wore immortal? Yes yes. Low good the fuck does.
People are trying to write and projects about film like me. Get the word out. You communicate with so many different people about this. I mean wonderful woman. Fired and disgraced things. Harry things editor before arriving on on on newspapers about her more and more now it is, which is a great thing. Great think. I was yesterday at the museum of love glass civilizations, and I'm working with the chamber of the board on the projects.
The film faggot. They allowed Anna Anna the correlation between the Senegalese in the delegation people. So yes. People are getting more and more interested and informed about her honor in her letters. Yes. And we try to. Yes. I think it's about time for us to have blacks black history. Month is Sylvia professor. Yeah. My shoe, at least somebody who has written a book about this summer, African American people have the people of the black diaspora who have done so many great things that had never been acknowledged in the history, books and authors, somebody. I was with somebody yesterday at the museum. Who was telling me about his book?
There are other issues. I think that soon is gonna be really something. An Arab name is some way on was played in every Fisk, so she. She was named after a street in this escalates was the point of application, the wrestlers getting more and more popular now. Yes that's wonderful. And to him. Yeah. Saw my car when I say anything guy you want to stay in quarantine that you like to share with the NEA with our audience. Well. First of all, I'm very happy for this opportunity to express how I feel about earlier in my trip to Jacksonville.
That deafness, one thing. And the other thing is that it gives me more and more courage to really wanna do something for this project is, how do you say taking her out of the unknown is, I think my main, my subjective is my duty through these projects that have to do God Anna, the galaxy, people selling an exception exit and then hopefully getting a book out for the kids to learn between Senegal and.
All the delegates area South Carolina. Okay later. Jacksonville with Florida and Georgia, etc, etc. Through the thin man what has changed his African culture, which has remained what has been lost. Those kind of things that does not really what. I hope I'll be able to accomplish this test. If approved. Rafi at Rosie. An Akashi vs on his desk Matthew Elliott villagers newcomer Henry Francis, are. Thank you so much for joining us today for virtual can here celebration and sharing your stories. I learned so much. I am thank you to visitors for listening.
For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/timu or and especially come visit us at Kingsley plantation where open Wednesday through Sunday from nine am to five pm.
Descendants Peri Frances Betsch and Emanuel Kingsley Legacy Interview
Kingsley family descendants Peri Frances Betsch and Emanuel Kingsley talk about history, family, and heritage in this interview recorded for the 2021 Kingsley Heritage Celebration.
Hello and welcome to virtual Kingsley heritage celebration. I'm Susie Sernaker Park Ranger with the National Park Service today we will hear from Peri Frances Bestch and Emanuel Kingsley two Kingsley's descendants about family heritage and the meaning of legacy. Peri Francis and Emanuel welcome. Thanks so much for having me. Thanks for having me pleasure to be here. Thank you so much. It really is a pleasure to be here and to be able to come to you from New York in my case and pair you are in.
Right now I'm currently in Nashville, Tennessee, and we're beaming into the plantation. Exactly. So it was virtually I Kingsley Butler other lie out in Brooklyn, so it's good to see I haven't seen many parts salon menu any time many years billing time. And I'm wing regards little picture in the museum of a super nice little picture. Anza. I tried one doing I own a blog. And said, I'm your Aunt is like, you know, shamefully outdated. But that feature view and me there is there. And it's a really cool creature. Severe as well as your earnings doesn't a this. Picture's larger, global earnings are and moving. I remember a lot, of course, DEF coins and people.
Its so good to be with you and sit down and talk with you again and to be here on this occasion for the virtual Kingsley heritage that I know you were so instrumental in, you know, starting the Kingsley celebration. So my question to you is on? Can you tell me a little bit about how you found out that you were a Kingsley? The descendant? Oh yeah. Absolutely. The first summer ever heard of over a virtue. Please. I'm sure it was so long ago. I I I wanted I was late for five or six, but I really honestly do not know for my babies who earlier was so so and I was at Grandma's house and dumb sourcing something letters, low, yadda, yadda the familiar, and only later does like, oh, no, you sell your Grandma and Grandpa is gonna Kingsley like loser.
I clearly remember. These details am dumb. Then my mom. My mom loves the story, but sometimes she's not, you know to exactly details and so she's like, yeah, no. He was an English pirate, and he's like your great grandfather. And yet an African wife and love, you know, like very. And well, you know, like after that ever since then, the hugely simply sinuses come up absolutely everywhere. And anytime there's a family reunion November weather person from Luke Perry per. Absolutely absolutely presence. I also think about it. How you know how this story? Actually that started in different places right in England in Africa.
In two thousand, how that story actually crossed from Florida to the Dominican Republic, which was then occupied my Haiti administered by him. And then, Unitas like when down through the family as something that's very precious insight. It was a big deal now. Always every family reunion had the story of the kings is, you know we have to stick Arabia. So we don't gather by the fire by you know, it was late, you know. Gather by the icy. I guess. And that was always always presents since since then the on I remember, really, wow, I mean, why not migrate. My great grandmother on her. Lessening was key resource. It was the last one to to carry the name not anymore besides circuit recently, but my great grandmother was the last one thousand carry the name, and she's a person that knows very close to me and.
On maybe say my Grandma, my Grandma. They were always there. You know. So the name itself was always visual sensation like Heinlein, my family, well, we called her Mama Mia, but her name was Maria, the donor Harris, Kingsley. Don't know. Harry Kane Bettis. Today it is. Yes Kingsley. A C wow. Centuries of an IQ, these great granddaughter. So I didn't really know by Kingsley connection until I really started to get to know Mafia.
I and I started to get to know Marlene. When I was in, I first started using know her when I was in college, I was in was at Spelman, my other artwork President. And I just remember like there would be certain milestone occasion in her life. You know, she gets, she's getting married or there was the um. And when she was inaugurated at the President's salmond nor win on the Cosby's made their twenty million dollar gift, which at that time was like the largest single gift ADHD. You know, by all in the news, there would be these Blake, you know, gossipy, little murmurs and whispers the few here among the faculty or staff at Spelman, or you know, people in and Lana society likes to think she's in the code, I. You should never leave the island and she comes can bring all that hair. What anyone? What would it be like if she you know? And so she was to me isn't mom. Levine was like this. Hum.
I didn't even make it larger than life. Huge person of thumb. You know, definitely like a President put some like trepidation among. So I I is. I remember I saw her in life. I think it was ebony essence. Magazine issued by standing on top of non a Dude in. You know those some blank but travel feature a maze listed. Her piano bar now is like a half. And so I wrote down the address, I come. I wrote her a note and biking one animals. You're gonna remember me. Come on, Johnny daughter a mini done in Atlanta. I'd like to see you know member. I got back this big Manila envelope with all kinds of newspaper clippings and like this leak this letter that was written on, you know, legal paper, but it had all these like high lighters in my pink and yellow and orange in and instead on.
Greeting on the black rhino, vegetarian society and revolutionary headquarters on American beach house do by the specially. Maybe course I remember you and like so arm. So she was the person. Ooh really. Call me about the story like and I, we started corresponding in the I came and I met her, and she terminology people should be like, no. You gotta me, you know all you gotta be told those articles, buzzards, known dividing, grew up in Jacksonville. Oh. So I'm were always in the area through know. So so. It's interesting because I had come to Jacksonville as a small child. And then the last time I've been out for my grandmother's funeral and I was three.
And then I didn't go back. My father move to Europe when our skin hum high school. So when when week I went back to Jacksonville, wished him to visit Mommy. And I wanna say I was twenty, and she hadn't been back in eighty years. Old ass found my whole life low in the midst of all of the people that he oh, you gotta be. So oh, she kept saying, we gotta go see Roger Carroll gardens the project zero. And I remember my mother him terrorists. Are those like me who I am do, sir? Roger or cousin. There were is two people that I mean each other related, because sheep's also she spoke of them was such like.
You know friendship and love in like those are my people. So I thought they were literally are people come to find out secret. The Rangers at the National Park Service. Hum. And the actual day the eyes first read read his work, which at that time wasn't a book. It was a pamphlet. Yes. I remember when I was standing the first fast hands list with a term paper that was written by a friend of my father's who he meant when she worked at the Village Vanguard, New York. But then she moved to Florida and studied, denounce the stick, Kingsley connection and the connection to a Lewis admit the Legion. So she wrote their armpit. She sent me the term paper and the pamphlet. She tended to my father's house in Perry. Because I was on my way to Senegal.
Right? Yes. So I injuries a vaguely knew that there was some kind of connection, but then I'm actually we had like, you know, the document with the dates in the names in the thing. And then like a week later, I was on my own crystallized in ozone, some retailers, Rogers race, similarly of like, made it really President and really real Fermi flow. Remember. Oh sorry, none of you are. I remember. We must me. You know, doctor. Super nerd are very close and dumb when we visited own genes, a producer for the first time we were when we went to Florida, often home since I grew up in Santo Domingo, and then we often wondered the sharp March, our shopping and jealous or loose interpretation of the time and Disney or less. Um. And I remember hundred and hold I was maybe eleven, twelve and.
Rip it. I was if our Internet Tilly Lucas, but here without you know, they graduate high school class of ninety four the price. So how come somehow making in an online class of ninety five? I just have my bachelor's is Plaza two thousand. So yeah. So this was a while ago, rice and done the best I could do was lay at the at the at the airport late on the store. I just browsed and found Florida. Florida is exploding nuclear. They knew that frontier of the naturally the South. But um. And then there was, I wanted to see if I could find use a transition because we always knew that it was you don't museum. We actually had, um, family members have visited in the seventies.
Right? And and so, you know. And then I, I, I actually found this, and I'm like, wow. And I called up from the airport and like, you know, I'm actually a descendant end NASA. They were late so excited. Then we visited any of the doctor Schafer was their Ninos. And I spent some time in in a few years ago, a years later, I am if I interned at Kinsey, but I did an internship at volunteer Kingsley plantation and said with the safer. But the point is of it's accuracy for contacted me like you won't believe it. I actually located Kingsley descendants in in the Jacksonville area. And I'm like well. I clearly remember that another he said from Martha writes, is surprisingly his daughter Martha was or Mary Mary to manager Sam is yeah right. And I was so excited and I'm late. Well no, but.
The less when you guys hung out as well through doctor supers, resources. I correct. You know, I really don't know if Mommy knew of the story before learning of Shapers research the I when she was the person for me crazy, he told a story. Now how it all leads, you know, it's because like we always heard about the Afro, the upper American life insurance company in Illinois, and so he's my great great grandfather held at Kingsley connection is actually Abraham Lincoln. It married Mary friend.
Ben Kingsley Amis and he was a bright like millionaire. Was it? You said so he could go back. That's what they say, Florida and need like millionaire in the state of Florida. Now we don't know that you know has had enough, but however, Viet Nam that's the story that he was the like millionaire in the state of Florida. We do not have the Afro American life insurance company would be first insurance company in the state of Florida, black or white. Oh so right on. So I've often wondered you know he. He is a formidable character. Their story is amazing, but I have often wondered how much of his own.
Yeah. Dhabi real estate knowledge came from. You know that initial, his first marriage in his first marriage was to a Kingfisher beer. You know if if that helped him get a leg up in acquiring property or noon art business or you know, I just always wonder, but courted by lawyer? There were like the wealthier stone, probably residents of of counties beer, the two daughters, Mary, and Martha married snide one point. Yes. Someone pointed so resolutely and is always late one. You is clearly tell. Some stories are handed own infantilism others are not, and I'm like, you know what. What is it that you know that is it? Because we went to an island and others. You know the fear aspect of of insularity. There's always something that you want to connect. And maybe but the story pass that way because of the the owner is is um, maybe because seniority.
Usually written Abraham Lincoln Louis Louis was such a big personality that overshadow that the King, these barriers for us like that for now. You know, there's only become legendary ancestor that describe any narciso was open area and energy and self conscious. I just sometimes wonder, you know, like wages. I mean, well again, my my perspective is a little different, because I didn't grow up in Jacksonville. And the story that I'm definitely knew, but I really didn't even understand the significance of death or either was Abraham Lincoln really affirmation, like just somebody an American beach one until very much later that I am even on. And then I learned the Kingsley story, but I didn't really get at the connection was because Abraham Lincoln Lewis married a seemingly ready and also because that marriage was relatively short. She she die.
And he remarried in you married again and go on like a lot of the pictures. But I stopped him or the stories that you know. My Dad and my uncle tell both of us of his Mama zone with another one voter reader. I'm in shape for Tonia even just recently within the past. Are they probably five or ten years? Dad. He once he found both the story and the connection he has made an appointment to interview. My grandmother was Mary, Frances Lewis. Bench on. And he was on his way she was. She worked at Edward waters college, and he was on his way for office, and she was she had fallen ill, and she was taken away in ambulances and cheese.
You know he'd later transition for. He never got to interview her, but she remembered her grandmother. Who would the us? You know who remember her grandmother remembered? I'm spending time as the house in Arlington. That is weird was in cemeteries right across. You're exactly where clarion is very erdos. It comes round. So um, what would you say is your connection to an end? And I am just that there's a. There was a story of the legendary investors know. It's more than that. I feel that ladies room. It's really. You know it really, isn't. I revere juices internal having to own up to my identity. Um really, I feel that, um.
Listen another few constants in my life. You know the second tab, you know? I started very early on to be interested. There's always one in the family that likes the family history. You know, enzymes, I think out against ice. And Russia is in central United Starlet lake, as a child is asking questions and and always wanted to visit my great aunt's the one who the ones who are still alive and and and here their their stories. And I was fascinated and, and, you know, come to think of it. Also they you when you're in an elderly person. And someone takes an interest in someone young from the family or just anyone at all in the story. But also you do know for them. It was wonderful. I suppose as well when when I visited them and they came alive and it was just amazing. Nice to talk about these things.
To talk about justice, like connection that we have some think also like he has my connections to, you know, being a Kingsley. It's such a multinational look at cultural multiracial. Everything in their story that, you know Sage's reveals different aspects. Every time you do the attorney page rate, different aspects of contradictions. Damn this is another the you know what. What you expect? Three light yellow that is not terrorize. I sat down with a waste. Not that China anxiety I now a time like this is not a. Thank you. Sorry. I keep thinking. Oh no, no, no. This is a racket. Oh. So this is kind of like mean to me. Yeah.
Now does man listen? I should, but I just have to tell you, dear dear to you reclaimed the name. How did that come about in? And like, what does that mean? He's here. You will lose home. It's about a kind of like a feeling of belonging and identifying arms. So my parents married my my father. His parents were from screen earns home, so sort of them maternal side from Barcelona, the fraternal stars from certain counties in the South in in those year end. So but they were, you know, like, I mean, they're, they're my family, but it's just, you know, they were townsfolk vacuum, you know.
In in in in Spain, until there was nothing really that that stood out, and I looked, and you know, and all of the stories, um, and ask questions. And you know, the usual stuff with the other side of the family. But I just never really just connected that much. There's just something about being a Kingsley that that really to me. It's just at, um. It is very impressive, very, very, very special lines. You know, it's double edged and it carries weight, but you know, it's just this is similar, but um, that kind of a connection, really. That's why I decided to choose my name. And I had I was in Spain for ten years on and so on I went. I went to Barcelona in two thousand and six because idols are like.
Because I'm a French citizen as well. Does your son is a bit more no matter where you're born here if you liked the Senator Senator? So it's like, like kind of like Zia vs theater nationally. And so I went there in two thousand six on one of the reasons was beef because I was, you know, my boyfriend at the time time, and I could not really. Mary hears. He's from Germany. His visa was running out. We. I mean, I like him. He went on diet pills. Let me tell you. He loves movies. He's saying, like no Dude like she was singing. She was singing are silo me in ass and only about every outlet in a hula hoop know a lot about an offer much more than high through Emily. Yeah. And he's trying to impress, you know, like you don't understand. That's like the big roads. You gonna have that? Radiohead had athlete that they eat really excited about that, Adam.
Let's move in and everything like that just accumulate in Seattle and will from everywhere. Really? Yeah. But so one of the reasons is, I like in Spain we could marry in two other safe third country in the world and that, you know, you hear in a suitably, so there's not much we can do this. And we went there, and it was a great time. And I started using the Kingsley name around that time. I kind of like I knew myself that I kind of identified more and more. I started using it. But it's not that easy to change your name being in a place where the civilized late codified likeness on the on the Napoleonic law. So like in France or in an hour Italy, I kind of stuff is not that easy, whereas in in Anglo Saxon like common is very easy. So I I used did, but it was nice not officially when I came back to me are ah.
Then I just, I just managed really sixty bucks down there in city hall and then ended. It feels it felt great. And um, flea also want to like a family unit, the name, and so recently, and also sent for Kingsley name. Because you know, for Aetna we we we met. Remember the plantation? I I was staying there. Ah. I I uselessly at home in met him. When you were staying active, I know. Tommy Haas went to get a house like our first big trip together and camping out in oil. It was a like, and we stayed. We let their idea and one of the rooms in the media. The cloud has idea.
The answer is on the Rangers. You know like the Minneapolis is that there's like to play for other volunteers day. We stay there ends. At midnight. We walked over to the plantation to the site of the old house in the rivers there, and it is very it was something that really got it together. Alonso is that this history. Freedom of the kings is also like it's become, is he really just absolutely loves it. I mean, now. It's pretty amazing to me that, while operating in in an error I am now you eyes are many time was quarantine. Nasty. Adding a hot desert, though, Nina, Hoss, because I Humpty in Atlanta for the French center. But we shared office faced with the ghost is which, because the German culture center, and tells the executive director of the defense on hum.
I typically go by Francis, which is to talking about name. But really it just because I was a high school teacher, and you really don't want to stay super? Fourteen year old time is test on. I know that you know is there is important recently. It's become so my interest according to my another that I be a bad storm hearing claiming Tibet. But you. When he found out that that was my name. No question that were to become prominent, had told him the story, and then I told him about my aunt, and he actually hold up like me. Micro film reviews from the familiarity of her performances in Germany and unite. He kind of told me the same thing. Best your partner did like Choo Choo is like a sensation everyone asking about you know religious.
Young African American are in. I bet I was young colored woman who was singing. He knows fellow man, I'd. I'm doing all the figure and she's done for the German state. Auburn with it. You know us. See she was she was so much larger than life entirely that she was dating em. Yeah. You both believed her, but she also was pretty dramatic in that machine or whatever. So it was a fight so many times she would pay something, and he didn't know whether ticket with a brain father as gospel, and it was her out to be like one hundred percent torture. Mommy was. The troops is was, and always will be. I remember those who actually saw release of fright. Me write me earns the bushes. Are you really feel about? You deserve marine. Ah offered you a weirdo. African bees were an American beach range as well, and then she's like the wind, gorgeous writer.
How is you like many you in the? We may end the year. I think the year that she had transitioned two thousand and five. You're in twenty fourth cheating. And they open the door on the American beach museum for there's a museum now are calmer. Here is a mare. There's a whole, you know, a mile from. Peter was aware here, Oliver. Her there. So I go to opening for what hand on ways what you mean? Her hair. Is there light at home? She got older she could wanted it to be preserved the big long lonesome. Not yes. So it was most of the later little and all kinds of spices do in a way that it did. The date displayed. It is just genius is in this, like the center of the museum and encased in like a glass or Plexiglas solemn. And it has on to say, yeah. Orange ribbon, infamous orange ribbon, a hand on butterflies.
Did you have a lot when I'm at home? Many analogies to like Marion's on. It's week or something. You know, yeah. And she was there. There's no doubt that it should be preserved and should be displayed Google. I'm Abba museum opening in a very emotional. The first time I've actually heard her voice when she transitioned posted by here, they're recording my ethics. I always people are coming up in introducing both me and my Dad and and if something comes up to me, she's like are older. White male mean by hair, parted down the middle of in dark, eating it. She's then. I'm so happy to meet you. She says system museum was my friend like, ah, man. I knew her for many years and nobody knew a lot of people in and around. If I did, how did you meet her. He's dead. I was her postal carrier.
And so before she had a house before she had a piano bar, she would need me on Wednesday afternoon on the cop like it was like, literally like Marvin fed. I'll be on the corner. Julia and a one I just pull up. She's pulled up, and marine just like emerged from the Spanish mosque in the trees and was like, hey, get my mail. And since made about airport since this is a magical creature, but go home. My next question in on what does more, you can answered it already? But I am Bruno go. What does Kimberly conditioning you? And how do you feel when you visit know, you know, like, um?
So if Sam I for me, I am very conscious of of the different aspects of the different things that happen there, the good and the bad life for me. When I go, there it is. It's almost like a pilgrimage. It is kind of like, um, it's kind of like, you know, like some people say, likely my ancestral castle, in whatever less a for me. That's kinda like being pastoral own home. You know, like a locus of of of of of obsessive of connections of some contradictions as well. It's kind of late to me. It really feels like a spiritual kind of Homecoming of sorts.
Really really does say how you feel similar. I mean, get class. I definitely feel like it's like a pilgrimage. I feel like he is. Umm Tina. I feel very blessed and honored and privileged to be of person of African descent in though so called new world who can actually claim an mean failure is Laurie. I know that is rare. Um. I know that, you know people sometimes in Lansdale a certain way about the preservation of plantation owners. The whole debate about, you know? Should they be places where people have weddings and should they should be sorting? Will there be focused on the slave owners rather than the people who were enslaved? But to me, it's like I know.
Then I, you know, like those people are directly related to me is my thumb like you said, it's not some faraway gone with the worm, or even like my personal work, you know. So when I followed air, my orientation is is more towards the quarters, then sports to how, if that makes sense, you know, I'm thinking about the visa mean the life that I saw end DEF entire lives possible. And so I, you know, I when I go there often like I'd go to the porters, I walk each for foreigners and then just say, thank you in. Oh. Thank you so much. Because I want them to know that they not forgotten that their that their labor was not in vain that.
You know the life that they live continue to be a source of inspiration. Bad you know. Yeah. The complicated history know mom like the. It's funny. You say you claimed the name Kingsley iron. When people ask me what my relations I say. I must kindling guy because I always feel like I don't wanna leave her out and that he or she was then occasionally she was on too much again. Yeah. And so highly of it is, you know, it's a complicated place. It's also it's like, can we go to Goree island in Senegal. You're struck by like the horrific things that happened here was. The absolute beauty of the place is gorgeous island. And I, I feel kind of the same way about Chamblee is like this meme is such. I mean, like the landing with the water and dark house in the rear open. You know, like is gorgeous and it's a place of.
Commemoration is the place you know, like I am. I have the opportunity to the air for the national Parks Conservation Association. So we're really looking at, you know, funding of an assisting the National Park with fundraising in the backlog of maintenance and upkeep death is artistic angle. But like all the basic around the country goes by twelve, twenty billion dollars or something ridiculous. And I'm saying, like, you know, there's these places in America that was old ass, Holy estate written. People talk about New Plymouth, rock or people talk about is island, are they talk about. You know these battlefields or like filler to me, this is my. This is my Palestine. You know, this is the place where my American Americans story.
Sorry. This is mine. The place where I link back to find a pioneer in with a with a stickler claimed begin to claim the African on an endless, even like when I bring people here, some people ars at first. They're just quieted like they don't really want to be there. And then they kind like ease into it. Apache people. I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like I can feel them like outfield, present here. Arms been some people who are just like I still saw peaceful year like it's been almost feels wrong. Feel so peaceful here. Knowing what occurred here so on it is also having come there, private family to think that you have insomnia so often or so were so many years to become the rear of the Hausa like.
I can go to Cambridge and not think about Mommy or not. Think about previous times that I went there or in a carrier group of students there or you know, had a funny theory. I one time I went with a friend of mine who like a big guy and in the parking lot of a P car came in like attack. The car are any so he's. You know he's a is being consumers' corner. Those assuming most vicious we got, you know, in climbing on top of the car. I mean, just all kind of things that I'd marked by female going to Kingsley, um year. So remove memories as we go along to insulate, those members are moving barrels loaded with my husband is like my resort we made is delivery storied. Where Eddie's our is home and Sonos also are supposed to absolute misery simply uses?
Is that is well on. You know the historian. I also take the long view on things and dumb Soviets also, like, for example, anarchism of the definition, Kingsley or the Kingsley story. I really do think that you know. Say it is a difficult thing right now. I'm guys at the moment. I feel that there is a lot of, um, you know the eyes about noise and extremes immediate action, instant things convention. And I feel at late with seven actively will never understand it, unless you go into nuances into radiations into the undertones. You know, um, step back and reflect less. What exactly was?
Is a billion stories. The nice. They really are three ways it. You know, what is it about is Billy? You know, indicators of I, Kingsley being some of the his funny olive branch for us, the, you know something. That's very, very important. Is the mayor just gonna conquer, which is the land? That was it stylish there. And though you know, when you think about it as well net fifty nine CFO, fifty nine am so people that were enslaved. Slurs liberated. Hum given lands in a case, Reddit and years of Labour, thus through nine years of of labor. But at the end, they were given their lands.
I really do think that an and having study also, you know how doctor Schafer said, and I agree with having studied more and more that there were a lot of them. Abolitionists tendencies lose. If an AI Kingsley. I've been studying a bit the later years. Understanding you know night. He died here in New York City, taking forty four. It was, so, you know, trying to find exactly where he was. He was in a place that was called Franklin Square. It no longer exists because when they built them Brooklyn bridge overpass, it was in the Navy. The whole area was torn down. But he say they're at. I think he was in a hotel or something at the time of the house. A pinch. I don't know. That's where he died, but he was dealing writing practice three with an agent that was that had a free labor store.
It really read the time meant Los labor, but also am worried that was not my kids, not by only the whole free labor movement say was like associating with these people. He was. So when I when I sick, when I think about that, I also think about lake, you know how he also was not late, personally prejudiced against core of black people. I think about it from a Latin American perspective says, well, not from the U S American perspective in which we we have lakes own fluidity in terms of identity earn.
So late, I think about I. I used to not go into one direction and understands, you know, I need to really balance balance evil judiciously as you said, I, I, that's alright. Let's play a very good. You know where humans are messy. We are. We're not. We're not. We're not consistent or not, you know. So I really think that that's part of my series as well. And eight. When I when I try to like analyze things, I think that one of the things that he can definitely learn from the story of stuff, nine and Jain, in fact, yeah, like to that people are complicated. Life is complicating. Things are not always what they seem. Things are not one trick bag.
Yeah. Here is this summer. You know, while everything was going on in the world, even like I'm in a. I'm in Atlanta, where I live out. My house is like within two miles from the Wendy's. That was the site of all of the Omri hard worker uprising. So I'm Lenora, at least in my house, hearing helicopters for two weeks three, and I'm reading that treat it. And I'm reading. That treat is that he Rose to try and purchase seem you know, to try and persuade his counterparts to, you know, open their minds to a possible new economic way of looking at their economic system.
At the same time, as I'm watching all of these corporations and companies come to term and comes the graph with the, you know, lack Rs. You know the lack of diversity, equity, inclusion, no acknowledgement of my contributions and and creative like film, just like all of these things that are making parallels from the past to now. I know for myself. I feel like I have, um, grown in my compassion for possessing. I am an end for Anna, because at first it was just very easy to just look at like just the sort of the timeline in the back and just like, oh, get a forty old man Murray, thirteen or Pearl, you know, protein was warlord. I never saw the lower system on this very outgoing or my perspective, arguably, does I looked at it like in there. I learned, and I understand in the flesh foods of young people. I say like, oh, it was. She was his wife was like, okay, partner else. Does she have a lot of option?
I think you know being oriented as a woman as a person of African descent. Mine. Paul was always to her and to understand her story and look at her and even having to grapple with the fact that she was, she has a formerly enslaved people person who then on play. But for me for a long time, just to be honest. He he lived in. My memory is despite owning like, you know, the creepy guy, who, ah. So who started this thing on with this girl who was a girl nine? And then I started to look, you know, like, what would it have taken once he tried to persuade is.
Counterparts in a white land, owning other voting man to to go his way. And he failed and realizing that his all his wealth and all his land in on all the things that either your sacrifice or even though they were coming from, you know, the split of other people, brow that he would not be able to to leave them to his guns. So he knows that there is a, um, a settlement in in the Dominican is because he realized that he wanted is for the preservation of his family rojo boost the mood act. Two makes him an even your best that bike he something a little of what you know in. Oh yeah.
So looking at him from that perspective, looking at him, I did. You know, this is the way that the world was looking living inside of this economy. He's living inside of this way of doing business. This is the way of the world. And then he has these relationships. These three African women annually have these children, and he's looking for whenever they looking for. You know a place to be a place to be a place to be a place to be with your family. A place to, you know, be the creator of your own reality to to, you know, for failure, destiny. Two so.
God help me to like, expand my view of him until to have more compassion for him. Even inside of you know, like when you are like I. You know, I'm a black child of the semi, the pheasant, the back of beautiful people were really claiming their aftermath. It was all about. You know, being having pride and self esteem in your hair. Here is what I vacillate. Are you next door? Which one your hands is why it or even know why is a light skin? Is our info kind of like the question was always like so? Yeah. Why Michael. You're Mercury. When did it start? And so discovering him, an Earth was, like, got an answer. But then the answer just brought more question.
Friday I can. I can understand oscillates for me. It was like, oh, I have a black ancestor. You see, come and screw you. It was. I always, I might like I. I think opposite sides of that, but but you know, like, um, late, as I said, like my perspective is as a Latin American prison, and we, you know in that, I. I don't think it was only for the preservation of his family. Because then why would you liberate in a pretty known people there? I do think that. Um. She doesn't remember. He then goes to America in Florida. It was Spanish at the time. Like where black people could own property where freed black people basically had all their rights.
Where inflamed my people could consume and their masters, and so did their owners. And whenever the the I held them so that you know, and and for the actors are replete with with who is in play people suing, you know, there was like a different idea also in terms of racial mixing, it was absolutely a completely different idea and Jenna self again. I would never condone I. I I do not share this period of enslaving anyone. Hello. But I'm just saying that at the same time then comes. The Ameri can system which is very binary, which is which does not allow.
You're a, you know, a free pie. You not nigger on new lines, nature now museums. And that's what I mean when the and when he tried to convince people to to sort it maintain more into the Spanish system. And he was rejected, and he saw the, you know, the American way, honey, he knew. And this is a direct threat to my family my way of life. My we. I know we can't stay here. Yeah. Um yeah, that's the only reason or that name. Close? Knowledge and action must have mean that is it can't be overlooked. So no, absolutely not. No no, no. Absolutely not. But yeah, I. You know her fur in see room from a lot of different perspectives at the same time in that. You know, I just view. I do think that he was in a process of both over an emancipated.
And am dismayed. I think that you have to fail at the end that you know he was doing something bad. In order to like later on be able to, he is fifty nine individuals and their families who were given London. And I I really do believe that that's where it would it would have been headed eventually. I really do think so. Um. I also think that on foot late again. It's it's not defensible at all, you know. But he finally went at slavery as an economic system that a racial one and an economy would make sense because he. He traveled all around the world at the time. And you can see this is not what about autism. But as you can see in Africa, the societies also were holding slaves. Yes. There are differences in terms of like the treatment of slaves in their status. That is true.
Fidelity. Everybody had the Arab slave trade, and the trend for heroin was arguably still going on are meeting play South of Hebron. My people Africans are being enslaved today in Mali, in Sudan by you know my by populations of the north. There's no doubt about that silly. You know, those illnesses is very complex. Ah. Yelped. And but I feel that you know at someone that has ancestry from both sides, I can I have this. You know the possibility of analyzing things from two sides. I really really do. I think that you know we are get on even if you're not directly related to the story. Eating beans so many on.
The economy's hansbrough contradict you, but also just nuances like it's so much easier more nuanced than the typical way that we are taught to view that period of time or that period of time in our history. And it's relationship to today, yea, or what those sort of typical hear what you learned, basically, there was no typical way that of was Bron or that people were enslaved or that you know you're on. And so just when you may think that, you know, like I know it for myself in the African American community lot of times, people have this old debate or discussion like, why are they still making plays movie. You know, I don't want to see the dramatic images I don't wanna hear. And I'm link, though you really think that you learn everything there is to learn about the thing that was like so in crucial in his adult life to me, like maybe there's.
They should be told in a different way or in a more nuanced fashion was just they like enough of that. All genre, we just funny way. I look at it unlike your your your your are Jewish community really, really Greece. Oh Subaru. So I feel like we have hit upon the vast majority of the question without necessarily like going through the list of the question. Um. So you know, like one of the questions were what are your feelings being distant from both? Ah those enslaved people and those who owns a young son office ending us when ad about that. No. I mean, like rivets are a gym were contradictions and a new hit upon it too late in the same like animals animosity. He also was a slave owner is something that she would have grown up with homes for her was not a racial thing thing as well. You know. So this is like it is really, it's own.
If Lou contradictions, and and there, that's where the beauty lies in reality, I believe fleas. So I think I can already emphasized, do a move on from now and then and I think you pretty much dead lift of being a Kingsley mean to you. Yeah. I think I reduces lose by religious than one person. You know, better job so for me, I don't. I feel like it expanded my view. Our knowledge of what what family mean you know? Yeah. Um like I wasn't expecting to like I was. I came to Kingsley after I guess you know, you interned in, and I think the heretic was really more about.
Gathering defendant. I came. I was already more about just celebrating the history of northeast corridor. Hum and loose change one night when the states over override. Because when I first went there and you have mentioned before you, I was at peak hour span, and there was beer. It was like, and is the chair where he sat down and all that. And then I feel like once the park service took over them. More voices started being heard homes, and then the descendants came around in. Our story, was included to making a bit more like of living space. So I I. I agree with that. And I've seen that changes will really physical such vandalism than that. I was like, oh, know this. This wasn't a peacock mantis was a living he caught on. I know I know gay anymore. They used app. Hi. I missed that whole thanks. I think the first time I ever went to England is probably ninety nine ones. Ninety nine missing so many stories and mix them all up.
Yeah. I thought about that, you know, like when used to go there back the M when it was like a states, the Florida. I really don't know what it's called like. These toys are similar similar Florida State park. I never win. I now I went there then when it was transitioning sign painted on national territories, and there was a, and so it was more like this is how this the owners lived, right. So that's difficult with other species is actually, you know, select, you would go there anyway. Seeley and this year was different eyes, and this one was from the other family. It was like furnished as a living. How bad the peak? I fainted when they told the story of the hashing was standing, and now it was like on the on the on top of the Amazon on the ceiling of the dining room.
Then there was a peak of man, and then the lady was selling necessarily associate. The place was like, yeah, Forza fan, and it was I a peak. I find a cigar centers, and I, it's only made us there's a solution is moving. I answered, and just like as they image, not enlighten create. Yeah I. I'm grateful that we've come a long way from that. I first came to King. Pleased with the it was Roger Castor was a National Park by my most residents her. And I think that that's just part of the beauty. Is that you know the National Park system include, you know, places reaching go and experience The Majesty of nature? Anybody Yosemite in the Grand Canyon? But you can also go to Stonewall you can also go to Kinsley can also go. You do in a hurry, home and death like so.
Here now and there he is looking at how do the fan the system and how it tells be American story like there is not one on. So the last question I think it's on hit onto is that on you're are. Our family includes later by a black ass, best American and African as wide as European arm. And what are your thoughts about? Identity will again come from a Spanish and Latin American viewpoint is our superiors home. So situational, it is very humorous. View us me. How you identify Schrader, either identify as Hispanic whites and Hispanics. Um oh, that whole Hispanic, um. Qualifier is a comfortable saying, because it's kind of allows you to understand, okay. Yeah.
My. I'm overwhelmingly European. I went to isolate the DNA, and it turns out I'm like seven percent African and it could be anything from. And then there were suggestions, but it could be anything like less than three points level seven and three points more than a, you know, depend on the algorithm and love it. Just give you a general idea of of of you where you stand and so late when you are Hispanic and white. And you understand is, is, it's a very different thing, because it means that we are very well aware of how their backgrounds. And it's something that I think more and more like you know in the United States is happening written on more armed, less people largest lake, embracing more aspects of their identity rather than just Geno relationship. You know, this dichotomy, Holmes.
My idea that I mean, you know, like taking all of those aspects into consideration. I'm very aware and speak about on the stereo of Anna all the time. Really? I'm. I'm very proud of of data on both sides of the family. Um. I think it's really cool. Though that you have been able to go go to Senegal in an index analyze that actually does more. I lived in London. I. I actually was able to go to the literature. Say Marylebone, London, where surprisingly, senior marry a housewife, and so that was a really interesting thing. I've been also. I suppose there is more your arguments or evidence on that site is. It's a bit easier in that sense to be able to. Ah. I recently also am studying like the young, the loyalist aspect of different items. The senior you know. He was in in South Carolina. They arrived before the revolution.
On doomed where by the way, which is also like an interesting thing, because I am an immigrant from the Dominican Republic? Hear the same time I guess is, you know proudly say that, you know, like my family arrived in this country before the revolution you can from Nikki assets. I think that's pretty cool. You know, ends life when you're into the air. It's interesting when people both like Italy of the U S is part of my ancestral plays rather than an stayed in the S and is by. So I am still a I recently I've done. I've been working on documenting everything from me. The ass, every generation for me in my mom's in mind, you know, like through all kinds of documents, haven't been easy and so on. I got ah. This is a United Empire Loyalists Association certificate certified you menacingly as provided a documentary evidence.
In the central different accusing was a United Empire Loyalists and so on. You know, she sent for me again. Your life you can use do so many sides to the story that you can just feel crowded and and really just going to our family was basically this means is that this man's economic, usually senior really during the revolution stayed loyal to to to what he as his country, which was a Great Britain to the crown was able to, you know, C he was, she suffered a great deal. He lost a lot of his properties. He was imprisoned three times and went to Canada. And you know like these people basically started English. Speaking Canada like when people say Canada's awesomely and I don't have a pretty siphoning silly.
They you know how you become law still in there. One is because these Americans went there the loyal the young United Empire Loyalists, and they basically started English speaking Canada and ask myself. Americans U S American history, Canada. So although these stories are are are super interesting, and I love the human, I love them. I mean, I think that guy dream is the name of the posting again. I think that you know we have on. We have this common link, and we also sometimes divergent approaches. You know where we're coming from is very afraid of iffy. And we each can see something that speaks to us in cost to us in this story and go. I mean like Dan is, that is the beauty of it on. And we can see the ways in which knowing this story have impacted an enriched.
And sometimes complicated enough, both of our lie and says, does our philosophy. The thing like Pearl salubrious, those eyes remind us exactly. So it's been a great pain pleasure to speak with you again. Cutler. Yeah. We would buy me a lot with three. Maybe some day and I am not Bara, hopefully. Massless future, we can all go back to kingly and Musa Red army southern in one I enjoy. Oh yes. I would love that. Gather under the terms, so we are over time, and I'm thankful to. Fossil fuels is charged, dabbled in keep in touch. And I hope that from now on our is taking something from this. In addition to largest economies to be able to talk reconsider years and ended big Rangers well to the National Park Service does a really good care of gender translation.
Peri Francis and Emanuel. Thank you so much for joining us today or virtual occasionally hears in celebration and for sharing your stories and thank you to visitors for listening for more information, you can visit us at and TS. Dot Gov flash. I am you or you can come on out to Kingsley plantation. We are open right now. Wednesday through Sunday from nine am to five pm.
A youth created joint project by Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team, Timucuan Parks Foundation, Jacksonville Arts and Music School, and the National Park Service to tell the stories of enslaved people at Kingsley Plantation.
Hello I'm ranger Emily Palmer from Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Sadly today I'm not talking to you from our beautiful park but rather remotely so all that's behind me is a wooden wall rather than a maritime forest. We've had to change a lot of things up this year including how we go about ranger programming this has extended to our 2021 Kingsley Heritage Celebration I have had the privilege of attending over a decade's worth of Kingsley Heritage Celebrations. The event has attracted thousands of people over the years from a gathering of the descendant community of both free and enslaved peoples to a celebration of the rich cultural legacy of the plantation era this event has taken many forms this year it's going to take a digital one join us as we mark the event with ranger demonstrations descendant podcasts a very special project debut from the Jacksonville green team and more the last two Saturdays in February the event will be posted to our social media platforms which thank you for joining me if you're coming to us from our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages but it will also live on our park website at www.nps.gov/timu find the link on our homepage thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the 2021 Kingsley Heritage Celebration.
Hello I'm Ranger Cicely. I'm standing in front the barn at Kingsley Plantation it is made out of an oyster shell cement called tabby. The oysters may have been consumed thousands of years ago, long before European ships reached our shores. The Timucua as they are called now, were loosely related indigenous people that lived in large villages throughout northeast and central Florida and southeast Georgia they used forest materials and resources from the salt marsh to make life here dramatically shaping the land. The Timucua of this area where fish are hunter gatherers and harvested one of the most abundant and accessible animals around the oyster shells and other bits of refuge were piled together forming large trash heaps called shell middens by studying them we learned important details about Timucua culture sometime later the middens also served as raw materials for enslaved Africans to create structures like this one although the Timucua are not here to speak for themselves their impacts are long-lasting and provide a record of life pre-imposed European contact and long before the establishment of Kingsley Plantation.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in beautiful Jacksonville Florida. Today I'm coming to you from our museum curatorial facility and because this is federal property I will be wearing my mask throughout this presentation this facility houses thousands of artifacts related to our preserve including many artifacts that are related to one of the more important and interesting aspects of Fort George island's history the Spanish mission period.
(wind) Native American people lived on what we know today as Fort George island for thousands of years they established their own life ways their own culture their own linguistic traits. Those began to change in the mid 16th century with European contact in 1565 the Spanish established Saint Augustine just down the coast from us here soon thereafter the catholic church and the Spanish government made it a priority to begin to missionize the indigenous people in this region. In 1587 the Franciscan order of the catholic church established the mission doctrina San Juan del Puerto on the western banks of Fort George island it was a rather large mission system it served up to nine smaller missions called visitas in the region at any given time spanish records have told us that there were as many as 500 native americans being served by this mission on Fort George island uh it was uh it lasted until 1702 when it was attacked and destroyed by British militia on their way to lay siege to Saint Augustine this makes it one of the longest lasting and largest missions within the Spanish system in North America.
We are now inside the museum curatorial facility here at Timucuan Preserve this is the room that stores and curates thousands of artifacts that are related to the Timucuan Preserve many of these artifacts are related to the mission San Juan del Puerto throughout the years lots of archaeology has been conducted on Fort George island to determine the whereabouts and the precise location of San Juan del Puerto some of that was avocational archaeology meaning amateur some of it was professional archaeology being conducted by the national park service or the University of Florida or the state of Florida we can learn from all of it though and we have several artifacts that really do demonstrate the cultural change that the mission represented perhaps the most interesting artifact we have here in the collection is a collection of lenten sermons that was published in 1474. this particular book was found buried in a shell midden on Fort George island it is almost certainly associated with San Juan del Puerto it certainly fits the time frame of interest is a handwritten inscription of the marginalia uh dated 25 October 1579 it is in Latin uh we had it sort of roughly translated and roughly what this Latin phrase says is live as if you will die tomorrow love as if you will live forever dated 25 October 1579 the fact that it was found at Fort George island on the site of San Juan del Puerto buried in a shell midden is remarkable but it is a a great story and uh and a very interesting artifact next we have a representation of a war club that was found in 1955 by William Jones uh an avocational archaeologist it's about two feet long and represents the Alimacani or Timucua culture of the site at the mission period.
One of the primary missions of the National Park Service is to protect and preserve artifacts such as these as well as to interpret the history of these sites the San Juan del Puerto mission represents a clash of cultures between the indigenous Native Americans and the colonial catholic missions it's one of the sites that makes the Timucuan Preserve and Fort George island so interesting.
The short-lived British fort, which gives Fort George island it's name is explored here in a musical fashion. Rangers Ted and Susie, accompanied by volunteer Carey, sing the tavern song Nottingham Ale.
Image description: The costumed trio stand inside in front of a white fireplace with dishes and props along the mantle.
Hi I'm Susie and I'm standing here in the kitchen of the Fort George clubhouse which is the visitor center for Kingsley Plantation. It is a kitchen much like any other with a stove and a sink and well in our case two refrigerators. Now you may remember me from our previous uh festival the virtual harvest day when I did a demonstration on how indigo was produced. Well today I'm going to show you a technique that you can do in your own home this is wax resist and wax resist fabrics were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries and I will do a simple version of it that that you can try out yourself. So let's get started you'll need white cotton fabric, beeswax, vinegar a dye like turmeric, mask to cover your face so you don't inhale the powder old pans, old utensils, ones you won't use to prepare food again paper pencil and a paintbrush, and if you have it some craft paper to cover your surface an apron and gloves
A tablespoon of powdered turmeric will be enough to dye a handkerchief sized piece of cloth a rich orangey yellow add a quarter cup of vinegar to that powder mix the two into a paste
and then add enough water to cover your cloth about two or three cups
We've reached the design phase it helps to draw a cartoon of what you want your project to look like in my case i love polka dots so I drew polka dots in an offset pattern of threes and twos and then drew a line on either side of those dots.
Fill a pot with water and then place the container with your wax over it in my case an old plastic food container the water doesn't need to be boiling it just needs to be hot enough to melt the wax the wax will be clear when it's ready.
Once your wax is ready carefully take it to your paper covered work surface and place it on a potholder dab the wax onto the fabric along the lines that you drew then flip the fabric over and apply wax along the same lines and dots in my case put your fabric in an embroidery hoop if you have one that way your fabric won't stick to the paper when you go to wax the other side which happened to me. Another method is to crumple up your cloth and dip all of it into the wax then let the wax harden and crumple it up again this will make a kind of neat crinkly pattern for a final product.
Place your wax covered fabric into your die pot and push down to completely submerge the cloth swish it around a little to make sure the dye gets all of the fabric put on your gloves first unless you want yellow fingernails for the next few days... like me. Let the fabric rest in the dye solution overnight then the next day remove the cloth from the dye pot and give it a good rinse then let it dry. The easiest way to remove the wax is to get out your iron grab some craft paper and place it on your ironing board lay your fabric on the paper then layer more paper on top of the fabric, put your iron on a low setting and use it to melt the wax off of the cloth, the melting wax will stick to the paper so you'll need to refresh your paper occasionally, this will take about five to ten minutes.
Here are my finished products I'm absolutely delighted one cloth is a golden yellow with white polka dots and stripes and the other cloth is the color of butter and has paler splotches running across the fabric not bad for a first try there are many ways you can show off a prized piece of cloth in the 18th century ladies might have used a wax resist dyed cloth as a neck handkerchief for a pop of color and for modesty, maybe you'll use yours as a bandana or for a small bag or maybe you'll turn it into a new mask like I did.
At any rate stay safe and tell us in the comments what you'll be doing with your piece of cloth thank you.
Ranger Susie demonstrates the steps of making a wax resist dyed piece of fabric in the ranger office at Kingsley Plantation. She repeats the historic step with modern tools so people at home can try it out.
Hello and welcome today we'll be talking a little bit about the building technique that was used to build these slave quarters, barn and other buildings and structures here on the Kingsley Plantation that building technique is simply called tabby. Tabby's been around for hundreds if not thousands of years maybe even as far back as the Roman Empire but it was introduced to the southeast coast of the united states in about the 1580s to the St. Augustine area to make tabby you need four ingredients you need oyster shells you need sand you need water and you need lime lime being the key ingredient is the bonding agent or it's basically the glue that kind of holds everything together so lime was hard to get during that time period it had to be imported from Cuba and the cost of it and the availability of it left the settlers wanting for something different so what they come up with was making something called quick lime from oyster shells. That process takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of manpower but chemically speaking it's pretty simple what you have to do you take the oyster shells and you have to fire them but before you do that you have to build something that you can fire with so what they did they built a kiln and it's simply called a rick kiln because you're alternating layers of logs with layers of oyster shells until you get the quantity that you need it and you put logs around the outside of it and before you set it on fire you got to think a little bit ahead what are you going to do with it once you make the quick line are you going to use it right then if so you'll have to make yourself some brick molds like these if you're going to make bricks if you're going to pour it like tabby then you'll have to make something like this which is called a cradle mold if you're not going to use it as soon as you make it then you're going to have to build something to store it in and it's basically you're building barrels. So what you do you make your rick kiln you got it all put together and you set it on fire and it burns for a couple of days and hopefully what comes out the other end is something called quick lime the whole oyster shells the key component of it is something called calcium carbonate and when you subject it to an intense heat what comes out the other end is something called calcium oxide or quick lime is what uh what I have right here in this this wheelbarrow so we know that we're going to use them immediately so we're mixing it up make sure it's time fixed. (sounds of metal against wheel barrel)
and since we're going to be making bricks with it the only thing i have to add to it is sand if I was going to pour it like concrete then i would have to add whole uninspired oyster shells to it as in that grate or simply as a volume monster so since I know I'm going to be making bricks I'll mix it up give me some sand preferably river sand because beach sand is much too salty and it'll start breaking down your building in a very short time so I'll put the sand at it
mix it (sounds of scrapping metal)
a little too wet so add some more sand to it
I'm sure there's a formula for this but basically it just comes from working with it until you get the right consistency of it
can't be too thick it shouldn't be too thin
when you add water to it like I've done it changes the calcium oxide into what's called calcium hydroxide or slake lime and you know you got the mixture right if your slake line puts off heat and it starts bubbling
and it did both
and it looks like it's about mixed enough
so what I'm going to do is take my trowel and I'm going to put the slight slight lime mixture into my brick molds and you can really feel the heat coming off of it now fill it up so it's got a level at the top that you're satisfied that will make a nice brick out of.
Drying is also part of the chemical reaction now remember when we first burned it when we heated it up it burns off a carbon dioxide element which changes it from calcium carbonate into calcium oxide we added water into it and changed it to calcium hydroxide now it's absorbing carbon dioxide from the air back into the mixture and going back to the original form which is calcium carbonate, which is what we started with in the first place in the form of oyster shells. So to start with you have calcium carbonate in the form of oyster shells you have calcium carbonate in the in the building of tabby and that's the process itself. So thanks for stopping by but if you'll excuse me I got some more bricks to make.
Volunteer Eddie demonstrates the process of making tabby and explains the chemistry lesson behind it. This skill practiced by those enslaved at Kingsley Plantation required hard work, knowledge of the process, and building prowess. Tabby buildings tell the stories of those who built them, and the people who lived there. The largest collection of standing tabby slave cabins is at Kingsley Plantation.
Hi I'm Herb a National Park ranger here at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. If you look around me we're seeing many palm trees mixed in with oak, live oaks and in down behind me you'll see one of the largest oaks on the plantation. This is over 500 years old and can tell many stories about what has happened here.
On this plantation there are over 25 tabby slave cabins this is the only place in the United States that you'll find these cabins if you also look behind me with this massive live oak this is where they came to have weddings also funerals where they had sorrow in their lives and at the same time the enslaved people enjoyed song, dance, and hopeful prayers for the
future. The New York Times did a project on the 1619 research of slavery, at that time the story came up with a child that was brought here with her family, her family was sold into slavery all to different plantation owners, herself only being five came to the plantation to help a man that had a sick wife but at the same time missing all her family members, she came out to a live oak and would stand under it and start to remember each family member, their face and their names and named each branch after that as you can see this also brought her sorrow at times and happiness thinking that one day she might rejoin them. In 2004, the oak tree became the national tree of the United States so we think it has earned the right to be called a witness tree because it has experienced catastrophes, slavery, and wars so we invite you to come out to this plantation that has many witness trees and experience it yourself. We're here Wednesday through Sunday from the hours of nine till five thank you.
Hi everybody I'm ranger Fiona and I'm here at Kingsley Plantation. Today we're near the site of the old Fort George hotel in my background we've got some tall trees and vegetation we have green grass around the landscape and we've got clear blue skies today. I'm wearing a floor-length skirt a blouse that has long sleeves and a really high neck and I've got a boater hat on top of my head you won't find many women dressed like this on Fort George island today but if we took a journey back in time this is almost exactly what the women that were on the island would have been dressed like. Around the turn of the century entrepreneurs tried to take advantage of the natural beauty and the warm climate of the island and they tried to turn this into a weekend haven for local elites and also a refuge for northerners that were trying to escape the cold weather. So all of the fashionable elites of the time would have been dressed like this when they visited the island now the neat thing about fashion is that it tells part of a national conservation story we see history woven into the trends of the time the one thing that might look different about me if we traveled back in time is my hat if this were 1880 my hat may have had feathers on on the rim or I might if I had a lot of money and really wanted to impress my friends I may have an entire taxidermy bird on top of my head. Now this was a time when people became fascinated with the outside world they viewed nature as something that was integral to your health so if you were to visit somebody's house they might have a collection of bones, shells, feathers, they might have big bay windows that let in lots of natural light they may have a plant collection and this fascination with the outdoor world also translated into fashion which is where the plumed hat craze came into play. Now the problem with this fascination with plumed hats is that it exploited and plundered bird populations bird populations across the us but especially in Florida were absolutely decimated. If you were a plume hunter during this time you were making a lot of money because at one point plumes were worth more than twice their weight in gold but this was a bad thing for birds because if you were to walk down a street in any major city at that time you might see more birds on people's hats than you would have seen in the trees.
In 1888 the Fort George hotel burned down and dreams of turning the island into a booming tourist economy faded away and around the same time we start to see a national conservation movement pick up steam people were reading about all of the destruction of native bird populations and some people were so disturbed that they decided that they would do something about it and two of these women were Boston socialites named Harriet Hemingway and Minna B. Hall the two decided that they would host tea parties and when they invited women over to these tea parties they would encourage them to boycott wearing plumed hats at the same time they encouraged them to join a society that would advocate for the protection of birds the two soon established the Massachusetts Audubon society and local state and national organizations soon followed and this is the same Audubon society that we know and is still active to this day. In the early 1900s birds began to gain some protection that were there were laws that were put into place that protected birds you see Theodore Roosevelt establishing the first wildlife refuge in the united states right here in Florida and states begin to imply employ game wardens the laws that protected birds were great but if you didn't have anybody there to enforce them it didn't really mean much because some wild areas in Florida were basically like the wild west one of these game wardens was employed in south Florida and his name was Guy Bradley while on the job trying to protect birds Guy Bradley was murdered by two plume hunters so he effectively lost his life for the cause the two that were accused of murdering him were acquitted of the charge and this made national headlines and it caused outrage across the country. Soon after in 1918 you see the introduction of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and this remains to this day one of the strongest protections for migratory birds luckily for us we have all of these early conservationists to thank for their work in helping to protect birds and today Fort George island is protected mostly as park service property so if you visit the island today you can see a lot of natural birds thriving in their natural habitat and the neat thing about this story is that this is a conservation story that was started by a few women organizing tea parties and we see over 400 local chapters of the Audubon Society to this day.
Good afternoon. I'm Corinne and I would like to welcome you to Fort George island. I'm standing on a sandy trail in a forested area I'm wearing my full National Park Service uniform complete with my flat hat. I have my gray backpack because I'm going to be continuing my hike in just a few minutes. A visit to Fort George island provides opportunities to learn about history to recreate and to improve wellness in 1989 the state of Florida purchased this property to preserve its ecology and history there are two places to learn about history on the island one is Kingsley Plantation part of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, the other is the Ribault Club part of Fort George island's Cultural state park. Kingsley Plantation offers an audio tour where you can learn about the history of the site the Ribault club offers an exhibit where you can learn the story of the six thousand plus years of human history that took place on this barrier island there are also many opportunities for recreation including water-based recreation the Ribault club has a small boat landing where you can launch a small boat a paddle board or a kayak there's also a three mile loop boat through the island the fairway loop trail will take you through the former Fort George golf course where visitors to the Ribault club could play the nine holes during the 1920s. Today the golf course is returning to its natural state as the forest reclaims it the trail provides sweeping marsh views and is popular among birders. Keep an eye and an ear open for night herons and warblers. Spending time in nature may also improve wellness many studies have shown that time in nature can reduce anxiety lessen stress and can help people solve problems more cooperatively and creatively. Kingsley Plantation has benches throughout the grounds where you can sit and take in the natural setting of this island in your own way when visiting Fort George island we ask that you follow the principles of leave no trace.
By planning ahead and preparing it's always a good idea to pack insect repellent water and snacks we also ask that you dispose of waste properly respect wildlife and leave the forest as you found it for more information visit Timucuan Preserve's webpage or the Florida state park webpage. Happy