On the slave plantation, slaves were used to harvest cash crops and complete other related agricultural work. Indigo had been the East Florida "hobby horse" he had ridden to lucrative earnings, but his true "fortune makers" were the enslaved black men and women he employed at Guana River. In 1861, nearly all of Hilton Head Island was covered by plantations worked by slaves, according to maps from The Heritage Library and Beaufort County historians. Expansion in the New World colonies enabled Europeans to develop production of a tropical plant, known as the indigo plant, from which a blue dye called indigo was produced. Indigo Plantations Indigo was the highly prized source of blue dye. They were built using a number of unique architectural styles. Slaves helped the economy and got the work done on the plantations and it was cheap for the masters. Once cut, the indigo plants, which were grown nearby, were placed in the first larger tank, known as the soaking tank, and filled with fresh water. By 1850, slaves made up almost half of Louisiana’s population. Unlike other plantations, Whitney Plantation doesn’t sugarcoat the lives of enslaved Africans who worked the former indigo and sugar farm. By opening a duct, the liquid was allowed to drain away progressively. The archaeological finds uncovered when digs were conducted around the stirring tank (glass bottles, pipe fragments, ceramics), dating back to the era during which indigo production unit was abandoned, confirmed the belief that operations had ceased during the eighteenth century, at a time when the indigo production of Saint-Domingue took over from that of Guadeloupe. She ran the plantation while continuing her father’s experiments in horticulture and being active in early Washington society. L'Anse à la Barque was also a sheltered mooring place for ships, thus facilitating loading operations for the indigo, for which the final destination was Europe. A plantation complex in the Southern United States is the built environment (or complex) that was common on agricultural plantations in the American South from the 17th into the 20th century. Middle Passage. Rice. l'Anse à la Barque indigo plantation is part of the Slave Route—Traces of Memory network organized by the Conseil Général of Guadeloupe. The slavery system in the United States was a national system that touched the very core of its economic and political life. The physico-chemical reaction which then occurred formed the indigo particles, which sank to the bottom of the tank. The complex included everything from the main residence down to the pens for livestock.Southern plantations were generally self-sufficient settlements that relied on the forced labor of enslaved … In the seventeenth century and in the first half of the eighteenth century, this was a sector of choice for the production of indigo, a blue dye produced from the indigo plant. [Click on the image for a larger version.] Indigo is a brilliant blue dye produced from a plant of the same name. In the 17th and 18th centuries, black slaves worked mainly on the tobacco, rice and indigo plantations of the southern coast. The letters reveal the desire of some plantation owners to sell because of the growing unrest in the profitabl… This allowed the liquid produced by fermentation to flow, when the duct was opened, into the stirring tank located below. The crop could be grown on land not suited for rice and tended by slaves, so planters and farmers already committed to plantation agriculture did … It was also a trade-good used in the purchase of West African captives in the Atlantic slave trade. Transatlantic Slave Trade. Catherine McKinley traveled through nine West African countries a decade ago to track the history of indigo, the blue dye that was made very valuable by the African slave … Shepherd's Plantation On June 9, 1836, while the whites and the Creeks were at war with each other, a battle was fought at the plantation of … © 2021 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation | About, Ruins of the windmill tower and sugar complex. The tour is absolutely fascinating and an incredible insight into the history of Louisiana. Indigo was not grown on colonial plantations until an enterprising woman called Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722–1793) developed the indigo plants as an additional cash crop for the Southern slave plantations. Nine out of ten enslaved people in Louisiana worked on rural farms and plantations. In the 17th and 18th centuries, black slaves worked mainly on tobacco, rice and indigo plantations on the south coast. (Tristan YVON). Despite being freed in 1865, former slaves who worked for wages still had to buy food from the plantation shop: they were still trapped. Unlike other plantations, Whitney Plantation doesn’t sugarcoat the lives of enslaved Africans who worked the former indigo and sugar farm. Eventually slavery became rooted in the South’s huge cotton and sugar plantations. The Saragossa Plantation is located just a few miles outside of Natchez. Jim Cummings, the owner of Whitney Plantation, has spent millions on the museum’s artifacts and restoration to give visitors a true sense of life in the antebellum South. Lime, which was an essential ingredient in the mortar used to bind the solid-built structures, was obtained by burning coral. © 2021 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation | About. Rice was a widespread and important British crop which played a crucial role in the establishment of slavery along the coastal southeast, including Northeast Florida, the Carolinas and Georgia. Shirley Plantation Description: Map with a corner detail depicting slave labor on an indigo plantation. Slaves worked in the fields, they plowed, planted, and chopped cotton, and took care of the plantation (Life for Enslaved Men and Woman). ... On Hilton Head, Indigo … The plain of Les Galets is home to a large quantity of remains of the solid-built tanks used for indigo production. It … By 1721, some 2,000 Africans had been imported into the Louisiana colony, primarily for work in the fields of indigo, sugar cane and tobacco. Labor on British Plantations in Florida During 20 years of British occupation, Florida plantations exported significant quantities of indigo, citrus, sugar and naval stores. Go forward to next section. Resistance to Slavery. Today the site of Guana River State Park. Collection of 22 handwritten letters pertaining to potential sales of various plantations and holdings, including slaves, in St. Domingue (present-day Haiti). Indigo is a brilliant blue dye produced from a plant of the same name. Accompanying the correspondence are inventories, legal agreements, and an account book. The earliest iconographic representations of working slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are largely centred on the production of indigo. Only the liquid was kept; the indigo plants were discarded as soon as the fermentation process was complete. They harvested things like rice, cotton, tobacco, and indigo. This indigo production unit comprises two solid-built tanks, corresponding to the two stages in the indigo production process. There were two slaves per hectare on average on the indigo plantations. This is a list of plantations and/or plantation houses in the U.S. state of Virginia that are National Historic Landmarks, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, other historic registers, or are otherwise significant for their history, association with significant events or people, or their architecture and design. Jim Cummings, the owner of Whitney Plantation, has spent millions on the museum’s artifacts and restoration to give visitors a true sense of life in the antebellum South. The liquid was then vigorously oxygenized by manual stirring to trigger the physico-chemical reaction which forms indigo particles. The insides of the tanks were rendered with a water-resistant mortar, generally made of small terra-cotta fragments mixed in a conventional lime mortar. Work on the plantations was hard, and the smells produced during fermentation were extremely nauseating. This dye was important in the textile trade before the invention of synthetic dyes. Enslaved women worked in the indigo fields growing and maintaining the crop. Slavery first came to Louisiana in 1706, when 20 Native Americans of the Chitimacha people were captured by the French in one of the frequent battles between the early colonists and the native peoples. It was confusing to absorb so many slaves’ experiences from various plantations; people relate more easily to individual stories and a sense of place. The plain of Les Galets has the ideal geomorphological conditions for this production: relatively dry conditions which suit indigo plant growth and water in abundance in the limestone subsoil, essential for the production process. Enslaved Africans carried the knowledge of indigo cultivation to the United States, and in the 1700s, the profits from indigo outpaced those of sugar and cotton. It was built in 1823 for Stephen Duncan, the wealthiest cotton planter in the antebellum south. Slavery existed under Spanish rule; however, African slavery became more prominent after the British took control of Florida. Though some are in a poor state of preservation and others are located on private land, hikers can access the plain to the North, at a place called Le Gouffre to view one of these indigo production units located on the seafront. Cecilton was the fourth East Florida estate developed by Egmont’s slaves, says the website. Indigo Plantations of the East Coast is part of the Slave Route—Traces of Memory network organized by the Conseil Général of Guadeloupe. Magnolia Plantation. Africans in the Americas. By 1850, slaves made up almost half … In the seventeenth century and in the first half of the eighteenth century, this was a sector of choice for the production of indigo, a blue dye produced from the indigo plant. Indigo significantly impacted the world in the start of production of indigo in the America's by Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who started the trade of indigo through the slave trade route. “In addition to economic motives, indigo production also succeeded because it fit within the existing agricultural economy. By 1721, some 2,000 Africans had been imported into the Louisiana colony, primarily for work in the fields of indigo, sugar cane and tobacco. Information about Indigo Point Plantation, including its location, history, land, crops, owners, slaves, buildings, and current status. The slave plantations were significant to the life and economics of the United States in the time before the outbreak of the … Slavery in the Americas. Denser than water, the particles sank to the bottom of the tank and were drained by opening a duct: the liquid was then discarded and the indigo trapped in a small tank, known as the resting tank. The mixture was then left to dry, before being sent to Europe on merchant ships. Though most … There were two slaves per hectare on average on the indigo plantations. The larger tank was known as the soaking tank, in which the harvested indigo plants were immersed, and has a slightly sloping bottom. Indigo Point Plantation - Charleston Charleston County South Carolina SC Furthermore, the fact that the island was difficult to defend during the wars of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries led colonists to turn their focus to this production, which required minimal financial input, while avoiding the destruction, each time the enemy landed, of the more costly sugar refineries. These were then goods were sold for money. The indigo crop failure turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Destrehan Plantation quickly became the leading sugar producer in St. Charles parish in the early 1800s. Egmont’s slaves later created Cecilton Plantation at what was known then as Cowford. Her parents began Riversdale Plantation in Maryland, then returned to Belgium. It was also a trade-good used in the purchase of West African captives in the Atlantic slave trade. Return to … Archaeological surveys that were carried out and a comparison of the indigo production at L'Anse à la Barque with that recorded on Grande-Terre and Marie-Galante would appear to show that it was built from the seventeenth century onward. This material, dated 1779 to 1791, is an excellent source of information about the French colony in the decade leading up to the revolt by black slaves in 1791. According to records, it was just one of several plantations Duncan owned. Work on the plantations was hard, and the smells produced during fermentation were extremely nauseating. This dye was important in the textile trade before the invention of synthetic dyes. Eliza reminds me of Rosalie Stier Calvert. The journals provide a record of the lives of the slaves on Kollock's plantations: their births and deaths, sick days, and daily tasks are noted.] The local volcanic rock, called Andesite, was used to build this indigo production unit. These same people produced the built environment: the main house for the plantation owner, the slave cabins, barns, and other structures of the complex. In 1861, nearly all of Hilton Head Island was covered by plantations worked by slaves, according to maps from The Heritage Library and Beaufort County historians. Indigo was a non-edible plant that was grown on the slave plantations in the Colonial period. The plantation economy of the 17th- and 18th-century American South was created by insatiable demand for cotton, indigo, rice and tobacco. This tank, which can no longer be seen, was examined when archaeological surveys were carried out in 2006, before being covered over again to preserve it. Indigo production was an extremely labor-intensive, multi-day process that could only be profitable when done on a large scale with slave labor, which limited it to plantations. Enslaved women worked in the indigo fields growing and maintaining the crop. The cove at L'Anse à la Barque has some well-preserved remains of this industry: a succession of solid-built tanks, which were used in the indigo production process. Houses were built on both sides of the water using materials brought back and forth, but these plantations also grew items like cotton, indigo, and sugarcane to be sold elsewhere. The indigo crop failure turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Destrehan Plantation quickly became the leading sugar producer in St. Charles parish in the early 1800s. This indigo production unit comprises two solid-built tanks, corresponding to the two stages in the indigo production process. By 1860 there were 332,000 enslaved workers in Louisiana. Indigo Plantations of the East Coast Guadeloupe, France To the East of Marie-Galante, on the driest part of the island, lies a vast coastal plain known as "Les Galets." Abolition of Slavery. 1862 photograph of the slave quarter at Smiths Plantation in Port Royal, South Carolina. Though Spanish settlers were the first indigo producers in Central America from the sixteenth century onward, the French soon followed suit from the middle of the following century, following the colonization of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The slavery system in the United States was a national system that touched the very core of its economic and political life. ... On Hilton Head, Indigo … It was not until 1878 that an artificial form of blue dye was created which could replace natural indigo. Information about Indigo Point Plantation, including its location, history, land, crops, owners, slaves, buildings, and current status. I did, though, learn some interesting details. The Caribbean. After several hours, the liquid produced by fermentation was drained into the second tank, known as the stirring tank. However, we do know that indigo was the main product of both the Wassamsaw and Wampee plantations, which were owned by the Middletons in the mid-18th century," he said. Though most South Carolinians had few slaves, some landowners had many. Magnolia Plantation is one of the most visited plantations near Charleston. Indigo Plantations of the East Coast is part of the Slave Route—Traces of Memory network organized by the Conseil Général of Guadeloupe. Indigo Point Plantation - Charleston Charleston County South Carolina SC: Indigo Point Plantation – Charleston – Charleston County. Colonial travelers to South Carolina's plantations called the rice and indigo fields " charnel house s." More slaves were imported to colonies in the American South (such as South Carolina) than the North. The indigo, which resembled a blue dye mixture, was then collected in a third small circular tank which, though covered over nowadays, was examined when archaeological surveys were conducted. Indigo significantly impacted the world in the start of production of indigo in the America's by Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who started the trade of indigo through the slave trade route. More than a third of enslaved children died before their first birthday, mostly due to malaria and malnutrition. By embracing the consoling beauty of indigo and acknowledging the full breadth of its local history, we remember the enslaved people with blue-stained hands whose lives and labors contributed to the success of this community. Surveyor’s map of Grant’s Villa, a British East Florida indigo plantation, circa 1784. The first enslaved Africans in Louisiana were six people captured by the French army during the War of Spanish Succession in 1710. The plantations also used slave labor, brought in on the same river. Go forward to next section. The value of the plantation came from its land and the slaves who toiled on it to produce crops for sale. Cultivating indigo fields was the main task for the plantation's workforce, which was initially made up of enlisted workers; however, these were soon to be replaced by enslaved laborers. During the 17th and 18th centuries, African and African American (those born in the New World) slaves worked mainly on the tobacco, rice, and indigo plantations of the Southern seaboard. 6 thoughts on “ Life on an Indigo Plantation ” Cathy Richmond October 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm. Description: Map with a corner detail depicting slave labor on an indigo plantation. To the East of Marie-Galante, on the driest part of the island, lies a vast coastal plain known as "Les Galets." The tour is absolutely fascinating and an incredible insight into the history of Louisiana. Indigo is a beautiful substance that is inexorably linked to a long and painful chapter in the history of South Carolina. [Click on the image for a larger version.] It was then vigorously stirred manually to oxygenize it. 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