How fortuitous! I recently finished reading "The Other War of 1812" - a history about the Patriot War in NE Florida. I started reading this because IHow fortuitous! I recently finished reading "The Other War of 1812" - a history about the Patriot War in NE Florida. I started reading this because I had recently visited Payne's Prairie and thought it would be more about the ecology of the prairie and an insight into allllllll the alligators. It has a lot more -- including several chapters about the Patriot War and subsequent Seminole Wars from the point of view of the Native Americans in the Payne's Prairie region! This book dovetailed perfectly into my recent historical interests.
This is a very easy read. While it has a satisfactory bibliography, there are no citations that link the information in the text to the source. So for the bits that I found especially interesting, I have no way of figuring out where the info came from for further research. A bit frustrating. ...more
I bought this while visiting the Kingsley Plantation (whoever selects books for the National Parks bookstores does a really spectacular job.) If you hI bought this while visiting the Kingsley Plantation (whoever selects books for the National Parks bookstores does a really spectacular job.) If you haven't been there, you really ought to go. It has the oldest plantation house in Florida AND the largest known amount of slave quarters still standing anywhere in the US. The guided tour we took was just of the plantation house, and the Ma'am Anna house/kitchen behind it was only open on the bottom floor for private perusal. The tabby slave quarters quietly ring the back part of the plantation, and you're left to wander them alone. My traveling companion wished the guided tour had included those. I felt it was less obtrusive to approach them on ones own, rather than having a tour group with impatient children standing around and staring at the remnants.
The entire tour left me out of sorts and very confused and I *had* to read Anna's biography to learn more. The book is very well researched and does an excellent job of tracing her life, but it still leaves the biggest question unanswered: How could a former slave turn around an own her own slaves? There is evidence that her treatment of them was in keeping with the Spanish method - slaves could purchase their own freedom at half their going rate. They worked on a task system, rather than a gang system, which meant once they finished their assigned tasks, the rest of the day was theirs to spend as they wished, mostly tending to their own gardens where they could in turn sell produce at a local market to save their own money. Each of the slave quarters had fireplaces and at least two rooms to accommodate the four people on average in each building. But they were owned - bought and sold. There is also evidence that while Anna and her husband favored certain slaves, there are other families they broke apart - mothers separated from children, husbands separated from wives.
This book doesn't answer the biggest question, nor does it pretend to try to get into Anna's head. But it does a fine job of detailing the events that made her who she was.
This book also contains an extremely well-annotated works cited section. I love a good annotation. ...more