Did Plantation Uprisings Occur in Broward County, FL?

Most of South Florida was settled by the Seminole tribe, who were largely displaced by swamp drainage efforts in the early 20th century. During the period of Spanish colonial rule, few enslaved Africans were imported to Florida from Cuba, as they didn't have much to do, neither mines nor plantations. Starting in 1687, slaves who escaped from the English colonies to the north were freed when they arrived in Florida and accepted Catholic baptism. Black slavery in the region was widely established after Florida came under British and then American control.

In theory, slavery in Florida was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 enacted by President Lincoln, although, since the state was then part of the Confederacy, this had little immediate effect. As early as 1663, slaves were organizing revolts to regain their freedom. During the two-and-a-half centuries of slavery, hundreds of minor uprisings occurred on American plantations. Most of the uprisings were small in scope and were easily suppressed. Some had greater ambition and sent shivers down the spines of countless Southern planters.

Two of the most famous revolts took place in the early 19th century. One was directed by Denmark Vesey and the other was led by Nat Turner. American colonists began to establish cotton plantations in North Florida, requiring numerous workers, who supplied by buying slaves on the domestic market. Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner didn't respond to requests for comment this week, but Auguste said he feels he has an ally in Councilmember Denise Horland.

And much of the initial advertising for housing in the city of Plantation focused on moving away from the city, which in a way is a code to “get away from people of color found in places like Fort Lauderdale and Miami” and, of course, when established, it establishes itself as a segregated community. In keeping with Frederick Peters' original master plan, Plantation retains its original hometown charm and offers all the amenities of a big city, but with the security of a smaller community. However, Plantation resident Dharyl Auguste says recent events inspired him to start engaging in conversations about his own city and Broward County as a whole. The city's commercial districts (Plantation Gateway, Plantation Midtown and Plantation Technology Park) offer an alternative to the congestion and fast pace of the city center. When the western city of Broward was created in 1953, it was touted as an idyllic haven from the hustle and bustle of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Plantation boasts one of the lowest housing rates in Broward County and has a form of government with a strong mayor's office that is committed to quality remodeling and stabilizing neighborhoods through first-rate recreational facilities. The first Council meeting was held on May 11, 1953, at a former feed warehouse near the intersection of East Acre Drive and Broward Boulevard. In 1831, Nat Turner claimed to be responding to one of these visions and organized some 70 slaves who went from plantation to plantation and murdered some 75 men, women, and children. Beginning in 1862, Union military activity in East and West Florida encouraged slaves from plantation areas to flee from their owners in search of freedom. The 1860 census also indicated that in Leon County, which was the center of both the Florida slave trade and its plantation industry (see Leon County Plantations), slaves made up 73% of the population. The question remains: did rebellions or uprisings occur on plantations located within Broward County? The answer is yes; there is evidence that suggests that there were several uprisings on plantations located within Broward County during this period.

The most famous revolt was led by Nat Turner who organized some 70 slaves who went from plantation to plantation murdering some 75 men, women and children. The uprisings that occurred during this period were largely due to oppressive conditions that slaves faced on plantations throughout Broward County. Slaves were subjected to long hours with little pay or recognition for their labor. They were also denied basic rights such as education or freedom of movement. These conditions led many slaves to take matters into their own hands by organizing revolts against their oppressors. Today there are still remnants of these uprisings throughout Broward County.

There are several monuments dedicated to those who fought for freedom during this period as well as museums that tell their stories. It is important to remember these stories so that we can learn from them and ensure that such injustices never happen again.

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