Shaftesbury Plantation account book
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Shaftesbury Plantation account book

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Shaftesbury Plantation (Ga.)
Title: Shaftesbury Plantation account book
Dates: 1869-1898, 1913
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1720

Biographical/Historical Note

Shaftesbury was a prominent rice plantation situated on Argyle Island (today part of the Savannah River Wildlife Refuge). Originally owned by James Deveaux, he named Shaftesbury in honor of the Earl of Shaftesbury. With more than twenty acres of prime swampland, Shaftesbury was likely one of the most prosperous pre-Revolutionary plantations on the Savannah River. Deveaux died in 1785 and Shaftesbury was left to his sons, William and Peter. After Deveaux's death the property rapidly deteriorated due to split ownership and the economic downfall that followed the Revolution.

Shaftesbury was purchased in several tracts by Thomas Gibbons (1757-1826) beginning in 1799 when the Deveaux family began borrowing funds against the acreage. The tracts were sold individually through Sheriff's sales and Gibbons began consolidating tracts on the island and mainland. Gibbons entire holdings were known as Whitehall Plantation. Individual units within Whitehall included Shaftesbury, Fairlawn, Orange Valley or Caton, Pine Land, and Mansfield. Shaftesbury was considered one of Gibbon's most productive tracts.

After Gibbons' death, his son, William Gibbons (1794-1852) inherited Whitehall Plantation. During his ownership of the land, William had a canal constructed in Pipemakers Swamp in order to straighten Pipemakers Creek on the boundary of Whitehall Plantation. Upon his death, the land passed to Gibbons' son, William Heyward Gibbons, who then passed the land to his nephew, William Gibbons Lathrop. Per William Heyward Gibbons' will, his brother, Francis, became owner of the estate upon the early death of William Gibbons Lathrop. Francis Gibbons died in 1909 and left the plantation to his sister, Louise. When Louise died, she left Whitehall Plantation to her cousin, Richard Hopkins. (Savannah River Plantations, Georgia Historical Society: 1947).

Scope and Content Note

The Shaftesbury Plantation account book contains Shaftesbury information for the years 1869-1898 and Fairlawn and Whitehall Plantation information for the years 1889-1898. Information in the journal includes expenses, sales of crops, overseers' names, acreage planted, salaries for the hands, equipment, building material, taxes, and net profit. Also included is a clipping, memorandum regarding the 1913 rice crop, and a note about the 1897 rice crop that were originally located inside the front cover of the account book.

Index Terms

Account books.
Fairlawn Plantation (Ga.)
Shaftesbury Plantation (Ga.)
Whitehall Plantation (Ga.)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

This item was acquired by the donor from her parent's who were dealers in Americana via direct mail in the 1950s-1960s operating from Marietta, Georgia, and Kennesaw, Georgia, under the name Continental Book Company.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Shaftesbury Plantation account book, MS 1720, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Judy Schrader, 2007.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and as the owner of copyright in items created by the donor. Although copyright was transferred by the donor, copyright in some items in the collection may still be held by their respective creator(s). For further information contact the Division of Library and Archives.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Shaftesbury Plantation account book, 1869-1898
Items originally located inside front cover of account book


1Clipping, circa 1888


1Memorandum 1913 rice crop


1Note on 1897 rice crop