Did you know about Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley?
Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley was an African princess, known as Anta Majigeen Ndiaye, who was captured from Senegal, Africa, and sent to Cuba where she was purchased by Zephaniah Kingsley, a slave trader and plantation owner from Spanish-owned Florida. Anna married Kingsley, and had four children with him. He granted her freedom in 1811. Anna managed her husband’s properties so well that he never worried about the plantations. She also bought land and owned slaves herself.
Once Spain sold Florida to the United States, the laws surrounding free slaves forced the Kingsleys to flee their land. Some time after settling in Haiti, Kingsley died. After his death Anna returned to Florida, sued Kingsley’s relatives who sought to exclude Anna and her children from their inheritance and won. Her skill at running a plantation, her battle for property rights and her business successes made Princess Anna a celebrated and influential figure in the free black community of Jacksonville. The Kingsley Plantation at Fort George Island, Jacksonville, is a tourist site today. Jacksonville, Florida is also the home of Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, the great-great granddaughter of Princess Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley.
This fact was provided by Ida E. Jones, national director of The Association of Black Women Historian, and Karen May, a member of ABWH.