Thursday, August 29, 2013

Four Year Old Singing Books Of The Bible

THIS WILL MAKE YOUR DAY!  Only 1 minute and listen to the end…THIS WILL MAKE YOUR  DAY! Give kids a stage, and you never know what you will get. I think I detected a little Texas twang.
This little boy is 'singing' the books of the Bible, but, watch the whole thing (takes less than a minute) for the surprise ending he gives.
 Click Here For Video.

Source: Internet

Progressive Insurance Owner

PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE is owned by Peter Lewis: Who is he? Read this...VERY IMPORTANT INFO TO PASS TO EVERYONE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY. You’ve seen and smiled at the Progressive Insurance TV commercials. Well, you’re about to learn the rest of the story: 

Click Here
All of a sudden I don’t care
for their “funny commercial

Source: Internet

Crank, Dial, Tone & Touch Screen

 1983 Cellphone

Can you believe it's been 40 years since the invention of the first cellphone? This calls for a celebration!

Can you believe it was 1973 when Motorola executive Martin Cooper made the first public cellphone call from a noisy Manhattan street? Normally unflappable New Yorkers gaped. A photographer circled him. In this historic moment, whom would Cooper call? He punched in the number for his chief rival, a Bell Laboratories research engineer named Joel Engel. “Joel! This is Marty Cooper. I’m calling you on a cellphone. But a real cellphone. A personal, portable handheld cellphone.”

Had they been making an episode of That ’70's Show back then, here’s where the Ashton Kutcher character would have burst through Engel’s door and yelled, “Burn!” But rivalry aside, who better to share such a moment? Cooper’s folks would have been proud, but did they get the principles of cellular telephony? Would they get what it really meant to take that concept—conceived by Bell Labs, incidentally—and use it to call them from outdoors? Cooper and Engel must have shared a pure moment of understanding. They were two of very few who understood this new device beyond the initial Whoa!

Source:  reminisce

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The History Of Nottoway Plantation

      On the western banks of the Mississippi River, southwest of Baton Rouge and northwest of New Orleans, stands a stunning and truly awe-inspiring Greek and Italianate style “White Castle”. This is Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest antebellum mansion, and the mere fact that she actually is still standing is a tribute to the tenacity, courage and commitment of many people throughout her history. Nottoway has survived the Civil War, a variety of owners, and years of decline and disrepair to become a favorite destination for visitors the world over.

     Completed in 1859, Nottoway’s 53,000 square foot palatial white mansion awes visitors with its 64 rooms and countless extravagant features like 22 massive exterior columns, 12 hand-carved Italian marble fireplaces, exquisitely detailed plaster frieze moldings, soaring 15½-foot ceilings, enormous 11-foot doors and a lavish pure white oval ballroom, as well as unheard of innovative features, like modern bathrooms with running water and a gas plant providing gas lighting throughout the home.

     The construction of Nottoway was commissioned by John Hampden Randolph, a very prestigious sugar planter, to be the ultimate showplace of his wealth; he wanted no expense spared and ordered that it include every extravagance and innovative feature possible. Stately, opulent Nottoway would be home to John, his wife, Emily Jane Randolph, and their 11 children, but also the perfect setting in which to elegantly and dramatically entertain their many visitors.
     John’s wish was to build the finest mansion on the Mississippi River, a spectacular home without equal that would be admired by all who saw it, whether from a riverboat on the Mississippi or a horse-drawn carriage traveling on the Great River Road. However, although he was considered to be an astute businessman and remarkable visionary, it is doubtful that even John Randolph could have foreseen that, more than a century and a half later, his magnificent and beloved Nottoway Plantation would be revered and visited by thousands of people around the world.

Painting of the John H. Randolph family, circa 1841     Born in Nottoway County, Virginia on March 24, 1813 to an affluent Virginia family John Hampden Randolph was the son of Judge Peter Randolph, Jr. and his wife Sarah Ann. When John was six years old, President James Monroe appointed his father was appointed a federal court judgeship in Woodville, Mississippi.  In 1819, Judge Randolph moved the family from Virginia to Mississippi where he purchased Elmwood Plantation, a successful cotton farm.

     At Elmwood, John was raised in the family tradition of planting, growing mostly cotton, and as a young man, the dashing, six-foot tall John met Emily Jane Liddell, a petite five-foot tall blonde from a neighboring plantation. In 1837, 24-year-old John married 18-year-old Emily who brought with her a substantial dowry of $20,000 and 20 slaves.

     In 1841, four years and two children later, John had become a bit bored with what he saw as a rather ordinary cotton plantation and had begun toying with the idea of switching his crop to sugarcane, which he believed would be much more lucrative than cotton. 
     So, with grand visions of becoming a wealthy sugarcane planter, John Randolph moved his growing family to southern Louisiana and began searching for the perfect acreage on which to grow sugarcane. However, John soon realized that he had arrived in Louisiana too late — all of the Mississippi River-front land he so desired for both its agricultural riches and valuable shipping access had already been grabbed up by other eager planters, forcing him to buy a property several miles away from the river.

     John was subsequently forced to find land several miles away from the river, and in 1842 he purchased a 1,650 acre cotton plantation.   Forest Home, as John named it because of the heavily Forest Home Plantationwooded area in which it was located, cost him $30,000, and included a four-room house, and a variety of livestock, farm supplies and 2 slave cabins. The Randolphs’ 17 years there would see eight more children added to their original two, resulting in John adding two wings to the house to accommodate his growing family’s needs. Their eleventh child would be born later at Nottoway, giving them a total of four sons and seven daughters.

     Although John raised successful cotton crops in 1843 and 1844, he was still determined to become an affluent sugar planter, and he began making ambitious plans to build Iberville Parish’s first steam powered sugar mill. In 1844, he took the risky step of putting Forest Home and 46 slaves up as collateral for a loan to fund the construction of a steam engine sugar mill, levee, and drainage system.

Plans and Preparations for the Building of Nottoway

   By the end of his first year as a sugar planter, Randolph had already tripled his profits over his crops of cotton. His steadily-increasing revenue now allowed him to buy land as it became available, especially Mississippi River-front land, and within 10 years of moving to Louisiana, he had increased his holdings to 7,116 acres. In 1855, he acquired the property on which his majestic home would one day stand. The purchase included 400 acres of highland and 620 acres of swamp, as well as 13 more slaves, 400 barrels of corn, 2 horses, 5 oxen, 5 cows and calves, and ploughs. It was a beautiful property that faced the Mississippi River, a major transportation thoroughfare on which a great variety of riverboats, steamboats, and shipping barges travelled regularly.

     John Randolph made it clear from the very beginning that no expense was to be spared in the construction of the opulent structure he planned to build; he wanted a house that would be completely different from anything ever built before, no matter what the cost. After consulting with several New Orleans architects, he chose the highly respected Henry Howard to design his new home, instructing him to build “the finest house on the river”. Randolph named his future home “Nottoway”, after the Virginia county in which he was born, and it is said that he so jealously guarded the design of Nottoway, that as soon as the house was completed, he destroyed the architectural plans to prevent the mansion from ever being duplicated.

     The Nottoway mansion was to be constructed of very durable cypress wood, cut from trees which grew in great abundance in the swamps of Forest Home. However, before the cut cypress logs could be used, they had to be cured underwater for six years, after which they were hauled by the slaves over miles of plantation ground to the construction site. There the slaves finished preparing the timber by cutting the logs into planks and allowing them to dry.


Nottoway Plantation Mansion     Construction of Nottoway began in 1857 and was completed in 1859 at an estimated cost of $80,000. When finished, Nottoway had 64 rooms on 3 floors, 6 interior staircases, 3 modern bathrooms, 22 massive 3-story high columns, 165 doors and 200 windows. Befitting the Greek Revival and Italianate style designed by Henry Howard, the mansion featured soaring 15½-foot ceilings and massive 11-foot tall doors.

     Nottoway’s incredible 53,000 square feet included a grand entrance hall, a formal dining room, a ballroom, a gentlemen’s study and library, music room, front parlor, master bedroom, girls’ bedrooms, Ancestral Hall, sitting rooms, breakfast room, wine room, dairy, laundry, servant rooms, a bowling alley, and the boys’ wing. Its most unique room was and still is the exquisite semi-circular all-white ballroom, with beautiful Corinthian columns and elegant archways adorned by elaborate hand-molded designs. The kitchen was located in a separate building, adjacent to the house, so that in the event of a fire, the home would not be destroyed. Since the bottom floor was susceptible to flooding from the Mississippi River, it was not as detailed as the rest of the home; however, it did include a bowling alley for the Randolph children as well as a wine room.

Elaborate frieze plaster designs in Nottoway's White Ballroom     Among the most beautiful aspects of the Randolphs’ castle was the extraordinary plaster frieze work throughout the house. The frieze plaster, of which enormous quantities were used, was made using a combination of mud, clay, horsehair and Spanish moss. 4,200 yards of it were used for plastering the walls, with more than 1,500 feet required for the elaborate cornice designs, and 140 feet more for the scroll ornaments in the parlors. The ornamental frieze work was done by Jeremiah Supple, a young, talented Irishman, who lined the seams of the ceilings with meticulously hand-carved moldings, creating a different design for each room. He also made all eight of Nottoway’s ornate ceiling medallions.
     Besides the massive home, Nottoway Plantation included some 1,900 acres of prime farmland, 5,636 acres of swamp, a variety of other buildings including slave quarters, a schoolhouse, greenhouse, stable, steam-powered sugar house, copper-lined wooden water cisterns, and other necessary buildings essential to an agricultural operation.

A Few of the Mansion's Extravagant Features:
  • 12 hand-carved, imported Italian marble coal fireplaces. Most plantations at the time, unable to afford authentic European marble, had surfaces painted “faux marble”, hoping they would look genuine. Also, coal-burning fireplaces were a very forward-thinking feature that saved on both room space and firewood.
  • 3 modern bathrooms (one on each floor), with flushing toilets, and hot and cold running water, all unheard of at that time.
  • Gas lighting throughout the home, produced by an on-property gas plant, again, very unique at the time.
  • Closets instead of traditional chiffarobes (similar to a large armoire). Homes at that time were not built with closets because they were taxed as additional rooms.
  • Exquisite, detailed plaster frieze work moldings throughout the home
  • 165 doors and 200 windows - one opening for each day of the year!
  • 15½-foot ceilings, 11-foot doors and 6 interior staircases.
  • Brass and baccarat crystal chandeliers.
  • Hand-painted German Dresden porcelain doorknobs and matching keyhole covers.
  • A bowling alley on the ground floor for the children.
  • Honduran mahogany banisters lining stairways carpeted with green velvet.
  • Cast-iron ornamental railings, custom-made in New Orleans.
  • An enormous matching set of curved granite front steps.
  • A concrete ground floor with 14-inch thick brick walls.
Curved granite steps of Nottoway Plantation's mansion
Innovative Features

     While many planters balked at progressive ideas or new agricultural machinery, John Randolph not only enthusiastically embraced the use of leading-edge technology in his business, he also brought his passion for it into his home.

     Among the innovative features that Randolph incorporated at Nottoway were modern bathrooms, indoor hot and cold running water, gas lighting, and an advanced servant call-bell system.  Nottoway was the first home in Louisiana to have a bathroom on more than the main floor; in fact, there were three bathrooms, one on each floor, and all had flushing toilets and running water, a rarity at the time. 
     Gas lighting was also very uncommon in 1859, especially in rural locations, so Randolph had a small gas plant built on the grounds to produce the gas used for the lighting throughout the mansion. 
     And while servant call bells weren't new when Nottoway was built, the system installed by John Randolph was innovative in its complexity and expansiveness.

A Sampling of Nottoway's Rooms

     Atop Nottoway’s curved granite front steps and across its expansive rocking-chair appointed porch, the mansion’s grand front door opened into a spacious main hall. A stroll down this elegant hall revealed all of the lavish rooms used for entertaining; however, when initially stepping through the front door, a visitor would already have been struck by the glittering crystal chandeliers suspended from soaring ceilings, the towering, massive white doors, and the exquisitely detailed frieze molding flowing throughout every space.
The White BallroomNottoway White Ballroom
It was seeing the proposed White Ballroom in Henry Howard’s mansion design that convinced Randolph that he had found the perfect architect for Nottoway. As the father of seven daughters, Randolph was reported to have instructed Howard that he wanted the room to be pure white in order to highlight the beauty of his ladies. Nottoway’s most stunning and famous room, this radiant all-white ballroom was the site of countless Randolph events, including their daughters’ debuts to society, five of their weddings, and countless parties and events. The room features exquisitely detailed frieze work, stately Corinthian columns, elaborately embellished archways, two fireplaces of imported Italian marble, and chandeliers of baccarat crystal. The oval part of the room was made of exactingly curved cypress wood that took six years and excruciating patience to soak and bend slowly into the precise shape. This rounded end of the ballroom is the second level of Nottoway’s dramatic rotunda.
Dining RoomPlantation Formal Dining Room
The formal dining room was a reflection of the elegance and graciousness of Emily Randolph. Sparkling with stunning crystal chandeliers and brightened by the light of elegantly draped windows that reached almost to the 15½-foot ceiling, the warmth and laughter emanating from the room’s frequent dinners and parties often spread a lively energy throughout the house. Mrs. Randolph had added her own personal touch to the frieze molding, where hand-painted camellias, her favorite flower, oversaw every festivity. The ornate marble fireplace burned coal, rather than wood, which was very unusual for the time; it even had a hole in the back where the spent ashes were swept, dispersing them down a chute and out of the house. Adjoining the dining room was a Butler’s Pantry, a small room used both as a food holding area for servers and for storage of the china.
Gentlemen's StudyPlantation Gentlemen's Study
As John Randolph’s private domain, this was the room to which he and his gentlemen guests retired after dinners and events. Here, free from the social proprieties required in the presence of ladies, the men would drink fine liquor, smoke Cuban cigars, and discourse on the issues of the day. The windows were dressed with heavy silk damask drapes which “puddled” their excessive length onto the floor in a show of great wealth. Large bookcases held leather-bound collections from Shakespeare to Audubon and traditional classics, as well as copies of the leading newspapers of the day. The fireplace’s black, imported Italian marble, which had been shipped from Europe to the Port of New Orleans and then sent by steamboat up the river to Nottoway, had been carefully hand-carved in exquisite detail.
Master BedroomPlantation Master Bedroom
When John and Emily Randolph retired to their private quarters, they entered a sanctuary richly appointed with intricately hand-carved rosewood furniture, sumptuous draperies and bedding made from the finest imported fabrics, and a black Italian marble fireplace. An ornate canopy hovered high above the poster bed holding mosquito netting to protect the sleeping couple, while at the bed’s end, two brightly burnished rosewood posts quietly concealed their hollow interiors, in which Emily would one day hide her valuables from Civil War intruders. Opening off of this main room were a private dressing room, used initially as a nursery for Julia Marceline, a hunting closet to hold John’s rifles, and a modern bathroom. The bathroom’s flushing toilet, as well as its hot and cold running water, were astonishingly innovative for the times, as was the mere existence of such a room on an upper floor.

Antebellum Planatation Bedroom
Cornelia's Bedroom
As with all of the mansion’s numerous bedrooms, the domain of the Randolph’s seventh child was unique and luxurious. The soaring canopy bed, made in New Orleans around 1840, was draped in rich imported fabric which had been carefully coordinated with the expensive carpet, curtains and furniture. Mosquito netting, another sign of prosperity, hung nightly from the canopy, while the bed’s extra height from the floor allowed storage space for a small bed underneath. When a child was young, this would have been pulled out at night for use by a servant, but as she grew older, it would have provided accommodations for her friends to stay overnight.

Ancestral Hall
Nottoway Ancestral HallCovered in emerald green velvet, the steps of the grand mahogany staircase led upstairs to the bedrooms and the Ancestral Hall. Located on the third floor, the Hall was where the family would gather to relax together. It was appointed throughout with Louis XIV furniture glowing in rich, red damask, while on the walls, the Randolphs’ ancestors stood silent watch from their elegantly framed portraits. At the east end of the Hall was an immense floor-to-ceiling window that was often used as a door to access the balcony. From here, the family was able to enjoy a spectacular view of the Mississippi River and its bustling activity, as well as the many acres of lush grounds in front of the mansion. Every doorway in the Hall opened into a different luxurious bedroom, each one unique with its own distinguishing color or exclusive wood texture.
Bowling Alley
Since the bottom floor of Randolph’s grand castle was susceptible to flooding from the Mississippi River, it was not as detailed as the rest of the home. However, being made of cement with 14-inch brick walls, it still held several features used for the running, and even amusement, of the household. A wine room, dairy and some house servants’ rooms were found there. And, amazingly, so was a ten-pin bowling alley, added for the Music Room at Nottoway Plantationentertainment of the children. It was so popular that the younger Randolphs, having to reluctantly retire from their family competitions earlier than their older siblings, often fell asleep to the rumbling of balls far below them. Today the bottom floor is the site of the restaurant, lounge and museum.
Music Room
Although this room was originally a bedroom, today it is used to display an assortment of valuable musical instruments from the period, which were put to frequent use for both entertainment and children’s music lessons.


Slaves cutting sugar cane in the field     In 1860, John Randolph owned 155 slaves and 42 slave houses which made Nottoway one of the largest plantations in the South, at a time when most owners possessed fewer than 20 slaves. Made up of both field hands and house servants, the Nottoway slave community played a very significant role in running the plantation and house.

     The field hands, by far the largest group of slaves, were mainly responsible for growing and harvesting the plantation crops, primarily sugar. On average, field slaves worked 5½ days a week, with Saturday afternoon and Sunday free to tend to their own needs. A bell, still present in the Nottoway courtyard, was rung by the overseer to announce the time for rising, meals and retiring.

     The life of a field hand, whether male or female, was very physically demanding, especially during harvest time. By the 1850s, plantation owners expected each slave’s labor to yield about 270 (dry) gallons of sugar in a season. When not tending a crop, the field slaves were busy clearing new land, digging ditches, cutting and hauling wood, slaughtering livestock and making repairs to buildings and tools. The women workers, on top of their daily field work, were also responsible for their own families — in addition to caring for their children and cooking the daily meals, there was also spinning, weaving, and sewing to be done. With the exception of young children and the elderly, everyone worked.

     While Nottoway’s house slaves lived in the servant’s section of the house, the field slaves lived in The Quarters, a collection of cabins that stood in even rows among shade trees behind the main house. Although no original Nottoway cabins survive, it is thought that they probably each contained two rooms and a fireplace, with a vegetable plot in the back. The whitewashed houses Freed Slaves who chose to stay and work at Nottoway Plantationstood a few feet off the ground supported by pillars of bricks or logs.

     The slave quarters also included a bathhouse, a hospital, and a meeting house, a relatively large and important building used for a variety of functions. During the week, it was a nursery where the oldest women watched the youngest children while everyone else worked in the fields, and on Sundays, it was used for church, as well as for weddings and other special occasions.

     Considering his slaves to be valuable tools in the operation of his business, Randolph provided the necessary care to keep them in good health. He understood the importance of hygiene in controlling the spread of illnesses and disease, so he provided a bathhouse where slaves could bathe daily if they wished. He also had a slave hospital; he paid a local physician to make weekly visits and trained one of the slaves as a nurse to care for his slaves.

     Ever the astute businessman, Randolph knew that in order to maintain a willing workforce, it was necessary to provide not only for his slaves’ basic needs for housing, food and medicine, but to also offer additional compensation and rewards when their work was especially productive. Every New Year’s Day, John Randolph would give the field slaves a hog to cook and the Randolph family would eat with them in The Quarters. There would be music and dancing, and the Randolphs would give the slaves gifts of clothing, small toys and fruit, as well as a sum of money for each family. In addition, the workers received an annual bonus based on their production.

     It is difficult to accurately assess the treatment of Randolph’s slaves; however, various records indicate that they were probably well treated for the time.

     After the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, most of Randolph’s slaves chose to stay and continue to work at Nottoway, but finally, as properly compensated free men and women. Many descendants of those freed slaves have worked at Nottoway throughout the years.
     Just as the family became truly established at Nottoway, rumors began of war among the states. Randolph was opposed to secession from the Union, frankly because he did not think the agricultural South could win a war against the industrialized North. But once the war began, he donated money to the Southern cause and saw three of his sons go off to war with the Confederates.

     Like some of the other Louisiana planters at the time, John decided to move both himself and his workforce to Texas, where the shipping would be much easier, for the duration of the war; however the change in location would also necessitate him switching his crop to cotton.  For the duration of the war, Randolph raised cotton in Texas to obtain the revenue that would allow him to hold on to his property in Louisiana.

     Before John Randolph left Louisiana for Texas, he and Emily decided together that if Nottoway were to be left completely abandoned during the war, it was certain to be occupied or burned to the ground by Union troops. So they made the very difficult decision to have her remain behind at Nottoway with only her youngest children, including her baby Julia Marceline, and a few trusted house servants. The elder girls were sent away to safety at an uncle’s plantation in another part of Louisiana, and Emily endured the war with very little communication from her husband or other family.

     Although Emily hoped that their presence would save Nottoway from destruction, it was still an extremely disquieting time for both family and servants alike, all of them keenly aware of the constant threat of attack by both enemy forces and thieves. And yet, the indomitable Emily Randolph never faltered in doing whatever she possibly could to ward off destruction and tragedy. One day, as a large Northern gunboat appeared on the river, she went out onto the second floor front balcony to make her presence known — one tiny, but courageous woman standing between the massive Union cannons and Nottoway. The Union officers must have been stunned by the sight of this brave, petite woman, who went on to surprise them even more by inviting them into the mansion and proceeding to entertain them in her typically gracious fashion. The Union soldiers were so taken with Emily and her elegant hospitality that a bond was forged between them that continued long after the war.

     During the war, the grounds of Nottoway were occupied at various times by both Union and Confederate troops, and were also shelled periodically as Northern gunboats fired at Southern soldiers who were passing by. However, by the end of the war, although the grounds were badly damaged and the plantation had been stripped of most of its animals, the only damage to the castle itself was to a front column hit in 1863 with lead grapeshot. The grapeshot actually fell out on its own in 1971 and is on display today in the Nottoway museum.

     Randolph’s daughter, Cornelia, wrote in her diary that just before the 13th Amendment freeing the slaves was enacted, her father received a lucrative offer to sell his slaves to a man from Cuba, where slavery was still legal. However, honoring his earlier promise to the slaves to abide by the outcome of the war, John set them free, and then hired 53 of them, with a legally binding contract, to stay with him in Texas to work the cotton crop. And when Randolph finally returned to Nottoway, most of the slaves chose to go with him and continue working as free men and women. 
     After the war, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation against Confederacy supporters with taxable property of more than $20,000, requiring them to travel to Washington to personally apologize to the President and request a pardon. The penalty for those refusing to do so was the revocation of their U.S. citizenship and the confiscation of all their assets by the government. So Randolph sought the pardon, and it was granted to him on February 14, 1867. A copy of his pardon hangs in Nottoway’s museum today.

     Although never again as wealthy as before the Civil War, the ever-ambitious Randolph started buying up more plantations from less solvent neighbors who were unable to pay their taxes. He had a brilliant mind for business, and several times he manipulated the system to his advantage by selling Forest Home and Blythewood to his sons, but with no money actually changing hands. The promissory notes they signed were used by Randolph as collateral against loans for the financing of his crops. After the harvest, the notes and loans were then paid off, and ownership of the plantations was returned to Randolph.

     However, the sugar business was no longer as profitable for Randolph as it had been before the war, and his annual income was considerably less than what it was in the 1850s. He continued to grow sugarcane, but the abolition of slavery and a depressed economy took their toll. By 1875, Nottoway plantation was reduced to 800 acres, and Randolph’s finances continued to diminish until his death at Nottoway on September 8, 1883.
     After John's death, Emily continued to live at Nottoway, frequently traveling to see her children and grandchildren. But in 1889, at 71 years old, she very reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was time for her to give up her beloved home. Nottoway was sold for the sum of $50,000, which she divided equally among her nine surviving children and herself.

     It is said that on the last day in her cherished home, Emily Jane Randolph, dressed in black as if in mourning, walked slowly around her empty castle and carefully, lovingly closed the shutters on each of the mansion’s 200 windows.

Ella Eugenia Randolph, 1838-1917, was the Randolph’s oldest child and was born at Elmwood Plantation in Mississippi. She married Lovik Feltus in 1861, and the couple moved to Natchez, Mississippi. Lovik tried his hand at sugar planting, but the venture was a failure and eventually, he turned to alcohol. According to Ella’s descendants, her life was a very difficult one.  Finances became so tight that Ella, still diligent about fulfilling her social obligations, resorted to giving away her valuable first edition John James Audubon prints as wedding presents. 

Algernon Sidney Randolph, 1840-1863, also born at Elmwood and the family’s first son, was the only Randolph child to die in the Civil War. He studied to become a doctor, but when the war broke out, he left school to join the Confederate army.  Sadly, he was killed in the Battle of Vicksburg in May of 1863.

Moses Liddell Randolph, 1842-1907, was born at Forest Home Plantation, the first of the Randolph children to be born in Louisiana. Moses served briefly in the Civil War, but contracted malaria and was sent home without ever seeing combat.  However, the disease caused him to suffer debilitating medical problems for the rest of his life.  He married the Jane Connor, the daughter of a prominent Natchez, Mississippi family, and they had 10 children, living at Blythewood Plantation near Nottoway. It was a very lively, happy home.

John Hampden Randolph, Jr., 1844-1915, whose older brothers were already serving in the Confederate army, enlisted in 1862 as soon as he turned 18. John served in the war with great distinction, but was imprisoned briefly when his unit surrendered to Union forces in June of 1865. After the war, John earned his degree in Civil Engineering, and then returned to Louisiana to becoming a professor at Louisiana State University and eventually, the founder of LSU’s mechanical engineering department. He was married to Sarah Walker with whom he lived in Baton Rouge and had two children.

Mary Augusta Randolph, 1846-1937, was 14 years old when the Civil War began, and was thus unable to travel North to study as her older brothers and sister had done before her. She was married in 1875, at age 29, to Iberville Parish lawyer Horace Upton and moved with him to New Orleans. Said to have been an extremely kind woman, Mary Augusta raised six children and maintained close ties with two of her sisters, Emma Jane and Cornelia, who also lived in New Orleans.

Emma Jane Randolph, 1848-1932, the middle child of the Randolph’s eleven, was married at Nottoway in 1870 to Rev. Marmaduke Richard St. James Dillon, an Episcopalian priest and they had 2 children. Sadly, Marmaduke Dillon died in 1879 when he was only 33, and Emma Jane remained a widow for 20 years, then marrying her cousin Frank Liddell Richardson after the death of his wife. Emma Jane was remembered by descendants as a very proper, distinguished woman who insisted on conducting a meticulous tea service whenever she visited.

Cornelia Randolph, 1851-1931, was an enthusiastic eight-year-old when her family moved to Nottoway Plantation, and she was enthralled with everything about the plantation. She later wrote a thinly veiled account of her experiences growing up at Nottoway and called her book “The White Castle of Louisiana” under the pseudonym M.R. Ailenroc, which was actually her first name and married initials spelled backwards. At age 32, Cornelia married Dr. David Murrell; they lived in New Orleans, and although they had no children, they maintained close social ties with her sisters and their families who also lived in the city.

Sarah (Sallie) Virginia Randolph, 1853-1893, was a frail child who was afflicted with an unknown disease for most of her life. She was also the only Randolph daughter who never married. In 1889, after Emily Randolph sold Nottoway, she and Sallie lived together at Forest Home, but sadly, Sallie died in 1883 at the age of 40. The epitaph on her headstone reads, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal”.

Annie Caroline Randolph, 1855-1942, married Valle Rozier, a Missouri-born attorney, and moved to New Orleans with him. Tragically, their only child, Geraldine, died the same day she was born, and her husband Valle then died in 1886 at the age of 39. The engraving on his headstone says, “With thee many hopes perish”. But, Annie did find love again, marrying Steven Williams, a civil engineer.  Annie often accompanied Steven on his frequent work travels, and they had one daughter.

Peter Everett Randolph, 1857-1931, was only eight years old at the end of the Civil War and grew up in a plantation system that had been forever changed. In his mid-20s, while still living at Nottoway, Peter fell in love with Alice Thompson, the beautiful mulatto daughter of a former slave, Eliza Thompson. While never married, Peter and Alice ran off to New Orleans where they lived together and raised two daughters, Bertha and Tessie. At that time, a multi-racial relationship was considered to be extremely scandalous, and Peter was written out of the family will for quite some time. However, Bertha and Tessie produced many descendants, some of whom have come to Nottoway over the years to learn more about their heritage.
Unfortunately, there are
no known pictures of
Peter Everett Randolph

Julia Marceline Randolph, 1863-1949, the youngest of the eleven children, was the only Randolph to have been born at Nottoway Plantation. In 1883, she married Francis Valle Reyburn and moved with him to his home city of St. Louis, where they became a prominent couple. Valle was a Judge of the St. Louis Court of Appeals, and Marceline, in addition to raising seven children, was active in the St. Louis Symphony Society and other cultural activities. Sadly, Valle died in 1907. However, in 1915, Marceline married Charles Fletcher Sparks who was in the flour milling business.

NOTTOWAY PLANTATION & RESORT    ▪    31025 Louisiana Hwy. 1,  White Castle, LA 70788    ▪    866-527-6884    ▪    225-545-2730    ▪    email    

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Mississippi Plantations

The impact of setting up numerous plantations in Mississippi in the 19th century could still be felt nowadays. This period of history has some fascinating tales. Some of them relate to a gruesome and dark past, when slave labor was common and accepted. Some tell remarkable tales of virtuous and good people.

Woodland Plantation
Finally, there are still places that managed to retain their original character and style for the last 150 years. Mississippi is full of old plantation houses that are now turned into museums - and are open to guests from all over the United States.

Dunleith Historic Inn

Dunleith Historic Inn is a great example of the 19th century style. A former plantation house built in the Greek Revival style was renovated and converted into an impressive hotel and a restaurant, capable of organizing weddings and other functions. The spacious courtyard still has the air of the 1850s about it and the Dunleith grounds contain an old dairy barn and a well-preserved cotton warehouse, all accessible to the guests.

Rosswood Plantation

Rosswood cotton Plantation originally spread across over 1200 acres. Established long before the Civil War, this plantation boasts a large, 14-rooms mansion, with 10 fireplaces and ceilings reaching as high as 14 ft. The original slaves' quarters are also preserved and could be visited during the Rosswood Plantation trip. The plantation is officially recognized as a Mississippi Landmark and has its place in the National Register.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation is really a magnificent place. The original mansion, walled by ageless oaks and accessible via a picturesque alley, under a tight canopy of branches and leaves, was thoroughly restored in 1925. Now Oak Alley offers beautiful accommodation, whether in the mansion itself or in one of the overnight cottages around it. It also caters for weddings and group events and is famous for a number of movies that were filmed there (including 'Primary Colors' or 'Interview with a Vampire'.

Woodland Plantation

Woodland Plantation was built in the 1830s. A grand home that was built on the grounds survived the Civil War, as did four two-story brick slave quarters. In 1883 the Spirits Hall was built - formerly known as St. Patrick's Catholic Church. In 1960 hurricane Betsy destroyed some of the buildings in Woodland Plantation, but that only triggered massive renovations works. At present Woodland offers rooms and accommodation, caters for weddings and private parties, provides rooms for conferences. For guests who like nature and outdoor activities Woodland organizes fishing and birding tours.

Circle M Plantation

Located in the fertile lands of Eastern Mississippi, the Circle M Plantation was turned into beautiful hunting grounds over 75 years ago. The former plantation revives the classical values of the old gentlemen's ways - concentrating on hunting and fishing activities. Circle M offers various lodging options; moreover, it has a game room, a gourmet dining room, a swimming pool and picnic facilities. Shooting competitions are regularly held in this fabulous place that offers the full package to all fans of the old style outdoor activities.

The Mississippi plantations outlined here give a taste of Southern history and what the homes and people were like back them. Do yourself a favor and visit one of these Mississippi plantations soon and experience the nostalgia and education of days gone by.

Tennessee Plantations

Tennessee plantations are historical landmarks (mansions) which now serve as excellent sites for tourists. These sites offer a great insight into our American past and allow us to savor history in a way never experienced before.

Tennessee Plantation
Belle Meade Tennessee Plantation
You see, most of these Tennessee plantations were owned by popular families (ones which, back in the day, had a lot of influence and power). These plantation homes are sometimes two to three generations deep. Lucky for us that they were preserved too as they allow us to see what American life was like during the 1700's and 1800's.

In this article, I am going to cover some of the more popular plantations located in Tennessee. I'll give you a bit a history lesson and some attractive features about each area. With that said, let's get going.


Built in 1853, Belmont was built by the Acklens family. It has an extraordinary 36 luxurious rooms, 19,000 square feet, and is one of the most elaborate mansions in Tennessee.


This two story log home was built somewhere between 1807 and1809. It is constructed of chestnut logs and has a beautiful limestone fireplace with poplar floors. Words don't give this home justice.


This home was built in 1787 in the "good o' town" of Goodlettsville and is the oldest brick residence in the state of Tennessee. Located near it you can find various attractions including gift shops and vintage restaurants most of which are family operated (by the same family). This provides that "classic" feel and can easily send you back in time to the days of yore.


This fabulous home was built in 1830 and is still considered a National Historic Landmark. Back in the day it was home to three generations of Carter family (hence the name) and today, is owned by the state of Tennessee.


The Cragfont mansion was built in 1802 (just over 200 years ago) and was the home of historical legend, General James Winchester.

Belle Meade

The Belle Meade is one of the most interesting estates in Tennessee. Actually, this site incorporates a few different mansions: the first is a 1790's station log cabin. The second is an 1853 Antebellum Mason home and the third is an 1890's Carriage house with luxury stables. These are the most important sites along with seven other less popular sites. As for the rest of the estate, you can find a restaurant and a gift shop both which cater to your souvenirs and your appetite.


These Tennessee plantations are historical gold. You can find other plantation homes across the United States. However, Tennessee provides some of the most captivating estates around. They are historical legends and will continue to attract thousands of people from all across the nation. You can get in almost any day of the week and for a relatively low price as well. Tell the kids that it's time for a little vacation where they will actually learn something of historical significance.

South Carolina Plantations

South Carolina is a land of both beauty and history. Historic regions are one of its many attractions and the South Carolina plantations it upholds attracts thousands every year. In this article, I am going to cover some of the most well-known South Carolina plantations.

Hampton Plantation
Hampton Plantation

This well-kept South Carolina plantation home was a trail blazer. Not only was it once of the largest generators of wealth during it's time, it motivated others to apply the same principles and do the same.

Visitors can explore the Hampton Plantation and make their way around the property grounds where they can view Wambaw Creek or the remains of an abandoned rice field. How amazing would it be to stand where 1st President George Washington stood back in 1971? It would be a piece of history that you could take with you forever.

Here at the Hampton mansion, you can also enjoy beautiful oak trees and visual impressive camellia gardens. The natural beauty is bar none and you can find an experience like this anywhere else in the world.

Here is some more general information:

County location: Charleston County
Number of acres: 274
Pets: In some areas they are acceptable if you are using a proper leash.
Admission: $4 to $6
Hours of operation: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Office hours: 11 a.m. to noon

Old Town Plantation

The Old Town Plantation is again, another of the beautiful South Carolina plantation homes which is located in the heart of Charleston County. Visitors can visit this plantation as well and are provided with an array of beautiful scenery to gaze at. This is too, an historic mansion which has been around since before the 1900's and continues to attract many tourists from across the globe.

It is located nearly the Ashley River, West Ashley and sits right off of SC 171 at 1500 Old Towne Road. Here is a quick timeline to give you an overview of the homes history:

1670: Became the home of the first permanent settlement in SC.
1680: It was abandoned by settlers and then granted to a man named James LeSade.
1940's and 1960: Ferdinanda Legare Waring started and operated a business called Old Town Gardens, a popular flower garden for commercial florists and marketing eggs.

Nobody is sure exactly when the house was built, but most believe that it occurred between 1700 and 1750. Today, the Old Town Plantation serves many guests and continues to be a tourist site for many.


Southern Carolina plantations have gained tremendous amounts of exposure over the past several decades- and rightfully so. History and beauty are both meant to be expressed and appreciated and that's exactly what you can expect in SC. Note, these are only two of the many plantations offered year around.

However, reading about it doesn't give them justice. To truly appreciate these plantations you have to be there and experience the natural beauty they exude.

Prior to the Civil War, the agricultural economy and much of life in the South revolved around plantations.

Alleyways of live oaks, magnificent estate houses and old-world gardens are part of any story about the gracious living, hospitality and elegance of plantation life in the Colonial and antebellum South. But plantations also reveal the story of the social, economic and political changes that shaped the present-day South.

Charleston’s wealth in the 18th and 19th centuries was derived, in large part, from the plantation system. In the early 1700's, planters began the arduous process of clearing and diking inland swamps to provide water for cultivation. They also began experimenting with a variety of crops. The first attempts at rice growing failed, but in 1726 rice was successfully introduced in the colony. With its success came the first wave of economic prosperity. By the mid-1700's, another profitable crop was introduced: indigo, a plant that produced a valuable dye.

Charleston Harbor served as a major shipping port for the rice and indigo cultivated throughout the region. It was also the first and largest port to receive the fuel with which the plantation system ran: slaves.

With the abolition of slavery in 1865, the society characterized by the opulent lifestyles of the plantation owners and their families collapsed. Without the labor needed to operate them, many of the plantations were abandoned and then fell into ruins or burned. Fortunately, several of the plantations survived and continue to this day to make major contributions to the community as living centers of education and research, preservation and commerce.

The Charleston area has five plantations that are open to the public regularly, each uniquely reflecting various aspects of plantation life, as well as their vital roles in today’s Southern society.

Drayton Hall

3380 Ashley River Rd.
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 769-2600

Drayton Hall is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America open to the public. After seven generations, two great wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house of this National Historic Landmark, built in 1738, remains in nearly original condition, showcasing three centuries of American history. In fact, the mission of the plantation is to preserve and interpret Drayton Hall and its environs in order to educate the public and inspire people to embrace historic preservation.

The main house is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States. In addition, the grounds represent one of the most significant, undisturbed historic landscapes in America.

On any given day, Drayton Hall is alive with tourists, eager to get a glimpse into the plantation’s Colonial and antebellum past. Groups of students can often be spotted roaming the house and grounds, intent on the inspiring lessons in history or architecture being taught by a knowledgeable guide in this magnificent one-of-a-kind living classroom. It’s not uncommon for an archeological dig to be going on somewhere on the property, or for artisans of the building arts to be studying the structure to determine the most authentic way to reinforce or repair any deterioration to the house brought on by time.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

3550 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
(843) 571-1266 or (800) 367-3517

Just down the road from Drayton Hall lies Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has also survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold, from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest public garden in America.

At Magnolia, a typical day includes tourists and students visiting the Drayton family home, which is the third to grace the site in the plantation’s more than three centuries of Drayton family occupation. The current main house—the core of which was built prior to the Revolutionary War near Summerville, S.C., and floated down the Ashley River to Magnolia after the Civil War—gives a glimpse of plantation life in the 19th century. The 10 rooms open to the public are furnished with early-American antiques, porcelain, quilts and other Drayton family heirlooms. Guides describe life in the 19th century, using the furniture and household objects to bring plantation culture alive. Upstairs, a room dedicated to the late John Drayton Hastie, one of the plantation’s most recent owners, displays part of his private art collection.

Lessons in horticulture abound at Magnolia Plantation. Its gardens are of such beauty and variety that they have brought tourists from around the world to view them since they were open to the public in the early 1870's. However, some sections are more than 325 years old, making them the oldest unrestored gardens in America. Because the plantation has stayed within the ownership of the same family for more than 300 years, each generation has added its own personal touch to the gardens, expanding and adding to their variety. Today there are various varieties of flowers such as camellias, daffodils, azaleas and countless other species in bloom year-round, with the climax of incredible beauty building toward the spring bloom.

Middleton Place

4300 Ashley River Rd.
Charleston, SC 29414
(843) 556-6020 or (800) 782-3608

Another walk through history is available at Middleton Place, an 18th-century rice plantation and National Historic Landmark comprising America’s oldest landscaped gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the Plantation Stableyards.

Middleton Place was established early in the life of the Carolina colony, and served as a base of operations for a great Lowcountry planter family. Begun in 1741 by Henry Middleton, president of the First Continental Congress, the landscaped garden was both an intellectual and emotional focus for successive generations of Middletons. Until 1865, the garden was nurtured and embellished by Henry’s son, Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Arthur Middleton’s son, Henry Middleton, who was governor of South Carolina and a U.S. minister to Russia; and Governor Henry Middleton’s son, Williams Middleton, who signed the Ordinance of Secession.

Guided tours of the Middleton Place House Museum, built in 1755 as a gentlemen’s guest wing, interpret the Middleton family’s role in American history. And a visit to the Plantation Stableyards offers a look into 18th and 19th century working plantation life. A weaver, cooper, carpenter, potter and blacksmith are at work demonstrating the skills practiced by artisan slaves at Middleton Place.

 These demonstrators and guides discuss slavery and plantation life from the earliest periods through Emancipation, Reconstruction and the first half of the 20th century.

The Gardens at Middleton Place reflect the elegant symmetry of 17th-century European design. The 65 acres of landscaped terraces, shadowy allées, ornamental ponds and garden rooms laid out with precise symmetry and balance made Middleton Place the most unique and grand garden of its time.

Today, as they did then, the gardens represent the Lowcountry’s most spectacular expression of an 18th-century ideal—the triumphant marriage between man and nature.

Charleston Tea Plantation

6617 Maybank Highway,
Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487
(843) 59-0383

Charleston Tea Plantation, the only tea farm in America, offers visitors a look into the daily operations of a working, living plantation. Located on Wadmalaw Island just outside Charleston, the history here focuses on the Camellia sinensis, or tea plants.

In the 1700s, tea plants arrived in the Colonies from China. Over the next 150 years, a number of unsuccessful attempts were made to propagate and produce tea for consumption. Finally in 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, S.C., and American-grown tea became a reality. Tea plants grew wild at Pinehurst, where  Shepard worked to develop award-winning teas until his death in 1915.

In 1963, the Lipton Tea Company purchased a 137-acre potato farm on Wadmalaw Island and brought Shepard’s tea plants from Pinehurst. Over the next 24 years, Lipton conducted research here. Then in 1987, William Hall purchased the farm from Lipton. Hall, a third-generation tea taster, converted the research and development farm into a commercial operation, the Charleston Tea Plantation. Thanks to him, the plantation became the home of American Classic Tea, the only tea grown in America.

In 2003, Bill Hall partnered with the Bigelow Family, which brought more than 60 years of experience in the specialty tea business to the plantation. Today the Charleston Tea Plantation presents a learning experience unlike any other in the country. There, visitors can learn about the history of tea, the plantation site, and the actual harvesting and production process that takes place on-site at the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens
1235 Long Point Rd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-4371

Located in Mount Pleasant, Boone Hall is one of America’s oldest working plantations. It has been growing and producing crops for more than 320 years. Once known for cotton and pecans, Boone Hall actively produces strawberries, tomatoes,  pumpkins and many other fruits and vegetables.

History is also on the menu at Boone Hall, where visitors can experience what plantation life was like in the 1800's by learning about the day-to-day activities of those who lived there.

Boone Hall’s newest exhibit, Black History in America, uses nine original slave cabins to present different themes to tell the black history story. Visitors are able to see several aspects of daily life including how they worked and lived and the struggles they faced, as well as follow different periods of historical progression. Life-size figures, pre-recorded narratives, audiovisual presentations, photos, pictures, biographical information and actual historical relics are interwoven and meshed in displays throughout this powerful and informative exhibit.

One of the most distinctive features of Boone Hall is its spectacular entrance. In 1743, the son of Major John Boone planted live oak trees, arranging them in two evenly spaced rows along the long road leading to the main house.

This Avenue of Oaks (which also appears at the top of this page) created a spectacular approach to the home which came to symbolize Southern heritage. Today, the moss-draped Avenue of Oaks is one of the many reasons why Boone Hall is known as America’s most photographed plantation.
In addition to farming and tourism, Boone Hall is the site of many events and festivals held throughout the year, making this a unique venue.

Kentucky Plantations

When you visualize Kentucky, you may envision white fences and green grass. Kentucky is the heart of the Thoroughbred horse industry in the United States, but there are also plantations, which have nothing to do with race horses.
Richwood Plantation 
You usually think of South and North Carolina as plantation states, but Kentucky also has its share of historical mansions. They are integral to the history of the area, and are becoming more widely known and visited. People also hold events at these locations.

The Richwood Plantation in Milton, Kentucky is located near the mighty Ohio River. It was built back in 1803. Visitors to this elegant plantation stay at the bed & breakfast and wander the 100+ acres that the plantation covers.

Guests use the plantation inn for weddings and receptions. The home itself has hot tubs and even an indoor pool. Outdoors you'll find walking trails, stables and a riding arena. You will also see small cottages dotting the acreage, where people who want seclusion may choose to stay.

Finery Winery ... 

The Springhill Plantation and Winery in Bloomfield, Kentucky, also boasts a bed & breakfast. Springhill was established back in 1857 and covers more than one thousand acres. There has been a good deal of renovation done throughout the years, and today the winery, gardens and the bed & breakfast are available for visitors.

Many people visit the Springfield Plantation and Winery and enjoy the amenities that come with a stay there. There are wine tastings available and you can also browse a gift shop. You can book the site for a wedding and the first night of your honeymoon. This plantation even offers ghost tours and murder mystery weekends.

Mind Your Manors ... 

The Maple Hill Manor is a restored antebellum plantation in Springfield, Kentucky. The 15 acre plantation is still used for farming. The owners open the home for special occasions like weddings, as well as other events. Outdoor and indoor weddings alike can be held on the grounds. Whether they marry in the gardens or gazebo, the wedding is one to remember. Brides can even arrive in a horse-drawn carriage.

If you want to take a piece of Maple Hill Manor home with you, visit the gift shop, where you can find items that have been made right on the plantation. The land and home can be rented for romantic getaways, murder mystery weekends and people seeking a true Kentucky experience.

The farm lands of Kentucky stretch from the hills to the Ohio River. Preston Plantation was owned by a key player in the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves to escape to Indiana, and safety, before the Civil War. This plantation has a rich history and is being preserved as a museum of living history.

The property of the Preston Plantation is protected under an agricultural conservation act, and is a cornerstone of the Freedom Corridor area of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The farm still is a lot like it was when owned by Mary Preston and used to help people escape slavery. 
There is still a one-room schoolhouse on the property, where Mary once educated black and white children, alike.