The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Apparent 19th-century slave cemetery uncovered on former cotton plantation in Florida
Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution, and a Kingsley descendant, talks about the importance of the find during a press conference, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 in Jacksonville, Fla. Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be a slave cemetery at a 19th-century plantation in Jacksonville. The discovery at the Kingsley Plantation was made last year but finally announced Thursday after conducting additional research and making contact with descendants of the slaves. AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bob Mack.

By: Matt Sedensky, Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (AP).- A 19th-century cemetery, believed to hold the remains of slaves, has been uncovered at a former cotton plantation in Florida, archaeologists announced Thursday.

The discovery of six gravesites was made last year at the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, but the announcement was delayed to allow for further research and to alert possible descendants of those buried there. It brought a sense of accomplishment to those who spent years finding the site and a surge of emotions to those whose ancestors were enslaved there.

"The word emotional almost seems not powerful enough," said Johnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art and a descendant of the Kingsley family. "I wept. This is not ordinary; this is not an everyday experience."

A team led by James Davidson, a University of Florida anthropologist, worked with just two vague century-old leads to find the site, which was described as being adjacent to a giant oak tree. Once Davidson found the graves, a smattering of clues helped determine they were, in fact, apparently those of slaves.

Square-cut nails in the coffins helped pinpoint the fact that they were from the 19th century. Five-hole buttons and brass coat buttons narrowed the time frame even further. And measurements on the skeletal remains indicated they were likely those of Africans rather than Europeans or Native Americans.

None of the materials ever left the gravesites, though, out of respect for the dead.

"We were not going to exhume anybody, we were not going to collect any material," Davidson said.

The remains include a man who appeared to have died at around age 40, a woman who lived to 60 or older and three children. The age and sex of the sixth body was not determined.

Because there is little documentation of who was enslaved at Kingsley Plantation, identifying the remains and whether they have any living descendants has not been possible, the investigators said.

The gravesites are on Fort George Island, on land administered by the National Park Service in an area called the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. No decision has been made yet on whether to pursue additional excavations to determine if other graves are located there. Nor has there been a decision made on whether to mark the gravesites.

Zephaniah Kingsley moved to Fort George Island in 1814 with his wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, who he purchased as a slave in Senegal. Historical records show she helped manage the plantation and, after she was freed by Kingsley, owned her own slaves. The couple is Cole's great-great-great-great grandparents.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Today's News

November 12, 2011

Public gets first look at Wal-Mart heiress' new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Today, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Turner Contemporary

Indianapolis Museum of Art presents "Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku"

£9M Imperial Chinese vase tops Bonhams stunning Chinese art sale in London

Paris' Arts Decoratifs museum retrospective celebrates ad man Jean-Paul Goude

Reflex Gallery offers rare opportunity to view a selection of Roger Ballen's work in Amsterdam

The Collection of Will Fisher, founder of Jamb, to be offered at Christie's London in February 2012

Amid a time of economic uncertainty, United States history museums struggle to update exhibits

'Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear' at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum

Norton Museum of Art names LACMA's Tim B. Wride as new Curator of Photography

Apparent 19th-century slave cemetery uncovered on former cotton plantation in Florida

Home decor on offer in early December period art & design auction at Bonhams

Ultra-rare and pristine copy of Action Comics 1, lost 11 years, up for sale at

University of Michigan Museum of Art to present five contemporary photographers in Face of our Time

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum announces monumental Owen Gromme gift

Edgy Brooklyn Museum to show film of ants on crucifix

Local talent the focus at August Wilson Center for African American Culture

Record for any photo sold at auction set in Christie's in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful