The Complex Dynamics of Plantation Owners and Enslaved People in Broward County, FL

In the era of Spanish colonial rule, few African slaves were imported to Florida from Cuba, as there was little need for them in terms of mines or plantations. However, starting in 1687, any slaves who managed to escape from the English colonies to the north were granted freedom upon arriving in Florida, provided they accepted Catholic baptism. After Florida came under British and later American control, black slavery became a widespread practice in the region. Theoretically, slavery in Florida was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 issued by President Lincoln. However, since the state was then part of the Confederacy, this had little immediate effect.

Plantations had already been established in Florida as early as the 16th century, and according to Evan Bennett, associate professor of history at Florida Atlantic University, these plantations occupied most of South Florida. American colonists began to set up cotton plantations in North Florida, which required a large number of workers that were supplied by buying slaves on the domestic market. When the western city of Broward was created in 1953, it was advertised as an ideal refuge from the hustle and bustle of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. However, Dharyl Auguste, a resident of Plantation, recently started engaging in conversations about his own city and Broward County as a whole. He believes he has an ally in Councilmember Denise Horland. Beginning in 1862, Union military activity in East and West Florida encouraged slaves on plantations to flee from their owners in search of freedom.

A year later, Commander William Dunlop, a Carolina militia officer, arrived in Florida to seek compensation for Spanish attacks against Carolina and the return of Africans to their enslavers. In October 1687, eleven enslaved Africans made their way from Carolina to Florida in a stolen canoe and were emancipated by Spanish authorities. The 1860 census also revealed 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 relationship between plantation owners and enslaved people in Broward County was complex. On one hand, there were those who sought freedom through escape or emancipation; on the other hand there were those who were bought on the domestic market for labor purposes. The initial advertising for housing in Plantation also suggests that segregation was an issue during this period.

Despite this complexity, it is clear that slavery played an important role in Broward County's history.

Leave Reply

All fileds with * are required