This story takes us to Fort George Island - midway between Jacksonville and Amelia Island by the St. John's River and Atlantic Ocean. This is the location of Kingsley Plantation, named for its owner Zephaniah Kingsley. His, however, is not the most interesting story to be told there; that story belongs to Anna Madgigine Jai. To learn more about Jai, Craig recommends the book "Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley: African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Slave Owner," which he quoted from during our interview with Emily Parker, a visual information specialist for the National Park Service specializing in the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, which includes Fort George Island and Kingsley Plantation.
Craig Pittman is the award-winning author of Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, The Scent of Scandal, Cat Tale, Manatee Insanity and The State You’re In, and co-author of Paving Paradise. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him “the most destructive force on campus.” Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature.