Debbie Snapp, ECB Publishing, Inc.
The establishment of the Casa Bianca Plantation of Jefferson County in Florida involved a president, two congressmen and a slave ship. But the story of the majority of the population living and working at Casa Bianca – the enslaved men, women and children – is a complicated and unstudied history.
Martin Violette and Miranda Burnett have been colleagues for several years, working together as part-time guides at James Monroe's Highland in Albemarle County, Virginia. They began their research by trying to answer simple questions, “What became of the people Monroe sold to Florida in 1828? Can we identify them? Can we find living descendants?”
This work, which they are conducting as independent researchers not affiliated with Highland, has expanded to include all members of the African-American community of Casa Bianca, as they have found at least two other sources of White's purchases of enslaved workers for the plantation. Their goal is to make historical and genealogical information available to all interested parties as well as bring back together two communities separated by the 1828 Monroe sale. In conjunction with this research, they have created a website, TakeThemInFamilies.com intended to make this information and future findings readily available.
Violette and Burnett invited the community to their presentation of research findings on September 6 at the Jefferson County RJ Bailar Public Library. Their Thursday evening focus was to tell the history of the African American community of Casa Bianca, and their presentation was to describe the research they have to date and the functionality of the website.