Lost Plantations of the South

Lost Plantations of the South

Marc R. Matrana

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 1578069424

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The great majority of the South's plantation homes have been destroyed over time, and many have long been forgotten. In Lost Plantations of the South, Marc R. Matrana weaves together photographs, diaries and letters, architectural renderings, and other rare documents to tell the story of sixty of these vanquished estates and the people who once called them home.

From plantations that were destroyed by natural disaster such as Alabama’s Forks of Cypress, to those that were intentionally demolished such as Seven Oaks in Louisiana and Mount Brilliant in Kentucky, Matrana resurrects these lost mansions. Including plantations throughout the South as well as border states, Matrana carefully tracks the histories of each from the earliest days of construction to the often contentious struggles to preserve these irreplaceable historic treasures. Lost Plantations of the South explores the root causes of demise and provides understanding and insight on how lessons learned in these sad losses can help prevent future preservation crises. Capturing the voices of masters and mistresses alongside those of slaves, and featuring more than one hundred elegant archival illustrations, this book explores the powerful and complex histories of these cardinal homes across the South.

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front porch and stone chimneys. By 1760, Washington wrote of a smallpox epidemic that was ravaging the slave quarters at Rock Hall. He instructed his overseer to have slaves in the “upper quarter” who contracted the disease removed to his own house and to call for the nurse. The original house was later enlarged by Washington. In addition to producing his own crops, Washington also began dividing the plantation into two-hundred-acre tracts that he leased to tenant farmers. These farmers were to

Gazette, “a frame granary, log corn house, cow and sheep shelters, Overseers’ houses, negro quarters, dairy, blacksmith shop, ice house, smoke house, &c. . .”34 The first notation of the plantation being referred to as Bush Hill is from a 1797 real estate transaction. It was also during this year that the estate was expanded to include some additional acreage from a neighboring tract. Furthermore, it was during 1797 that Bush Hill was sold by Watson to Richard Marshall Scott, collector of

community that has committed itself to historic preservation. The ruins of the plantation’s master house and even of Horton’s early brewery can still be visited today. HORTON HOUSE 107 This page intentionally left blank chapter five Alabama and Florida . . . the murmuring stream sings, perpetually, its gentle requiem. —Charles Wickliffe Yulee The American South is a geographical entity, a historical fact, a place in the imagination, and the homeland for an array of Americans who consider

thousand acres of land in northern Mississippi, near his ancestral homelands, where few of his people were allowed to remain. Negotiating the treaty was a pivotal point in Leflore’s chiefdom. He was seen by his own people as a traitor who befriended U.S. officials and squandered the Choctaws’ sacred lands for his own personal gain, ultimately leading to the forced removal of his people. Most whites viewed Leflore quite differently, as a hero—a noble, savvy, and wise man. Aside from his

responsibilities as chief, Leflore found much success in planting. He amassed over fifteen thousand acres of lands in various tracts, but his principal plantation was Malmaison, named after the estate of the Empress Josephine, whom he greatly admired. At the height of his agricultural empire, he owned over four hundred slaves whose labor created great wealth from his property. In the mid-1850s, Leflore set out to build a plantation mansion at his estate. Designed by James Clark Harris, the

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