Working

Working (HMVBZ)

Location: Port Orange, FL 32129 Volusia County
Country: United States of America

N 29° 8.478', W 81° 0.338'

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Inscription
The Dunlawton Plantation was no leisure spot. As a frontier agricultural and processing site, it demanded hard, physical, un-glamorous work. Without the labor of African-American slaves and hired free workers, this nineteenth-century venture would not have been possible.

In 1850 John Marshall reportedly had 25 slaves producing sugar, and he could have borrowed others from a relative during busy times. Elsewhere, house slaves probably helped Mrs. Marshall at the family home near the Halifax River. Yet most of Dunlawton's enslaved people labored outdoors and in the sugar factory. They cleared the stubborn land, plowed and planted cane fields, and cut and processed the crop - a continual job once the harvest began.

Even so, Dunlawton's needs went beyond cane handling, and slaves helped keep the plantation running in many ways. John Marshall also owned a sawmill, for which black workers would have cut timber, rafted logs, and more. To restart the sugar factory, he brought in free craftsmen - but also another planter's skilled slave. "I have no white carpenter," Marshall wrote in 1849, "but Mr. Sanchez' man John is a fine framer & works well." Labor of all kinds was a constant here.

Even Dunlawton's fields left footprints for many decades. Historian Harold Cardwell (who grew up near the ruins) recalls finding old cane furrows well into the twentieth century.

[ Photo ]
Florida farming in the nineteenth century. Clearing land and managing cane fields were basic to the life of a sugar plantation.

Photo courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection/State Archives.

[ Image ]
At work in the Florida woods, John Marshall reported rafting logs from Spruce Creed for his sawmill near the Halifax River.

Detail from a print in the Picturesque America, 1872.
Details
HM NumberHMVBZ
Tags
Placed ByVolusia County and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 3:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 499452 N 3223640
Decimal Degrees29.14130000, -81.00563333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 8.478', W 81° 0.338'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 8' 28.68" N, 81° 0' 20.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)386
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 852-898 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange FL 32129, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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