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A Tale of Two Plantations

Based on the research of Richard S. Dunn, the Tale of Two Plantations website provides a glimpse into the lives of about 2,000 slaves at Mesopotamia plantation, a sugar estate in western Jamaica, and Mount Airy plantation in tidewater Virginia. The site covers two overlapping time periods, 1762 to 1833 at Mesopotamia, and 1808 to 1865 at Mount Airy. One significant point of contrast between the two plantations is that at Mesopotamia, many more slaves died than were born, while at Mount Airy it was the reverse. This in turn meant that in Jamaica the slave owners imported large numbers of new slaves to replace those who had died. In Virginia, the owners sold off many slaves. Both procedures lead to the break up of families, underscoring the importance of the family records at the site. Family trees and lists for three families at the Mesopotamia plantation and four at Mount Airy can be viewed on this website, enhanced with detailed information about most of the individuals listed. There is also a hand drawn diagram of the largest of these families, Sally Thurston's, traced through four generations from 1801 to 1865. Richard Dunn extended Thurston's chart to 1870, and located fifty-one members of the Thurston family in the U.S. Census.
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2016-01-27 12:57:39
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2016-01-28 13:12:07
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