Schafer, the biographer of Anna Kingsley, has based his account of her early life on conjecture given his research into the history of the area. She was born Anta Majigueen Ndiaye in in present-day Senegal , in a portion of West Africa that was disrupted by a fierce war between the majority Wolof people and the minority Fula. Slave raids were frequent occurrences during incessant violence that left many small villages deserted, as people were abducted to be sold into slavery or they fled in fear for their lives. Wolof tradition holds that a mythological figure named Njaajaan Ndiaye established the Jolof Kingdom that existed between and Through her father, Anta was a Ndiaye descendant and carried that name. Her mother also had ancestors who had held the title of the Buurba Jolof, or king of the Wolofs.

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Rating: 4. Once home to an African princess, wed to a Spanish plantation owner, the home stands as a piece of living African American history. Life for Anna Madgigine Jai was immensely different from the lives of most African slaves in the Americas.

As the supposed daughter of a ruling family in Senegal in West Africa, Anna went on to lead a royal lifestyle in Florida and to leave behind a legacy of strength and determination. After her purchase at a slave market in Cuba, Zephaniah Kingsley- 30 years her senior- took Anna as his wife and brought her to his plantation, Laurel Grove, in then-Spanish East Florida, south of modern day Jacksonville.

The practice of interracial marriage between slaves and Europeans was not uncommon in Spanish colonial times, as society was much more racially mixed than society in English colonies. The Spanish treated slaves more humanely than the French and the English, and gave them many chances to gain their freedom, allowed them to become full citizens after liberation, and frequently built families with Africans.

In fact, the first free black town was formed in Spanish Florida. In , just five years after her purchase, Anna was unbound from the ties of slavery by her husband. The three mulatto offspring- of both African and European ancestry- were also freed by their Spanish father.

She raised four children who were constantly discriminated against for their mixed heritage, and, throughout her lifetime, policies regarding slavery and race in Florida underwent drastic changes that directly affected her life and her family. Her story is one of extreme difficulty, bravery, and endurance, but also of luxury unknown to the majority of Africans in the Americas.


Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley

The document was a manumission paper which ensured her legal freedom. The young woman, a native of Senegal whom Kingsley had purchased in a slave market in Havana, Cuba, was his eighteen-year-old wife and the mother of his three children. Her name was Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley. A free woman, Anna Kingsley petitioned the Spanish government for land, and land grant records show that in she was granted title to five acres on the St.


Anna Kingsley: A Free Woman

His son grew up in Charleston, South Carolina , where the father became a successful merchant. In total, he owned probably around slaves in all, and thousands of acres of land. His first ventures were in Saint-Domingue, during the Haitian Revolution , where coffee was his main interest as an export crop. Kingsley traveled frequently, prompted by recurring political unrest among the Caribbean islands. Development of new cotton plantations in the Deep South in the United States, especially after Indian Removal , sharply increased the domestic demand for slaves.

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