How were southern plantations acquired?

Feb 2013
4,263
Coastal Florida
#2
In the original colonies were from royal land grants? Was the land purchased from the government in AL, MS, and so on?
The result of fraud and corruption ( [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazoo_land_scandal"]fraud and corruption[/ame] )? I'm not sure what you're looking for exactly.
 
May 2013
1,696
Colorado
#4
In Virginia, landowners got their land in a variety of ways. Some, like "King" Carter's land holdings comprised of land inherited and bought. His ancestors originally purchased the land which started the plantation. On the other hand, Thomas Fairfax (who was the only peer residing in late colonial America) owned land which was originally a land grant to a predecessor. Berkeley Plantation started out as a land grant, but not from the Crown, rather it was from the Virginia Company of London to several aristocrats and members of the gentry of whom Berkeley was just one. Richard Kemp(e) (1600 ca. to 1650 ca.) while a favorite of King Charles, an acting Governor of Va. and a member of the Va. Council, had to purchase his land. Others obtained grants because of a specific service to the Crown, such as serving in the militia/army. And of course, marriage was a way of getting even more land. (Though in Virginia, women did not loose all their rights to their property upon marriage.)

Richard Kemp's holdings are perhaps illustrative on how some plantations started (and ended). He purchased his land from George Menefie (1596 ca. to 1645 ca.). Menefie was the merchant for James City (then a "corporation"). Menefie had to buy his land. Kemp, buying Menefie's land, turned it into what later became Rich Neck Plantation which later became part of William and Mary College. (Not the same as Richneck Plantation just a few miles away in Warwick Co.)

Unfortunately, many records are now lost. In other cases, such as Brunswick County, Va. the County has been broken up over the years so how one counts a land grant can be confusing. Right now, for all of Brunswick County Va., there are only three land grants listed in the Library of Va, (41008) Brunswick County (Va.) Land Grants, 1726-1794. This contradicts other sources, for example the work the Denny family has done. They show three land grants on just one day to a John Denny on April 5, 1748.
 
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May 2013
1,696
Colorado
#5
One other way in which plantations were established in colonial Virginia were land grants similar to homesteading. In 1738, the Virginia General Assembly granted tax free status to those who would inhabit areas near the Roanoke River. The tax free status lasted 10 years. Later, this area became part of Virginia's "black belt" - large landholdings with large numbers of slaves. From William Henning, Va. Statutes at Large 1822.
 
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