Plantation Owners in Liberty County

According to the Liberty County tax digest for 1851, of the approximately 100 plantations along the county coast that year only six were larger than 1,000 acres and 100 slaves. They were owned by Joseph H. Jones Sr., T.B. Bar­nard, Moses L. Jones, Roswell King Jr., G.W. Walthour, and Jacob Walburg. The Plantation of the last named (Jacob Walburg) was on Saint Catherines Island, which he owned.


In the 16th Militia District, or western part of the county, there were 66 landowners, and only half of that number owned slaves, never in any great number.


In the 17th Militia District, or central part of the county, there were 66 landowners, and only half of that number owned slaves-again, never in any great number. Mary Jane Hazzard Bacon resided just outside of Hinesville and owned 42 slaves, more than anyone else in that part of the county. Some of those slaves, however, may have been used on a coastal plantation she also owned.


William and John Eatton LeConte, brothers, established plantations in Liberty County around 1760. John Eatton Le Conte’s property, Woodmanston Plantation, was taken over by his son, Louis LeConte, in 1806. The Liberty County Tax Digest says that in 1851 the Louis LeConte estate con­sisted of 45 slaves and 3,183 acres, while the William LeConte estate consisted of 66 slaves and 1,720 acres.


In the upper part of Liberty County around Taylors Creek, W.W. Martin was the wealthiest planter in 1851. He owned 3,925 acres of land and 44 slaves. His nearest rival was Angus Martin, who owned 1,857 acres of land and 32 slaves. There were only four other planters in the Taylors Creek area in 1851 who owned more than 1,000 acres of land and more than 20 slaves, and they were Eli McFail, John Perry, D.B. Sapp, and Ezra Stacy.


There were five gentlemen in the 16th Militia District in 1851 who owned very large tracts of land, most of which was not under cultivation. They were W.M. Dunham, who owned 1,860 acres of land and 27 slaves; Stouten Hay­mans, who owned 4,412 acres of land and 22 slaves; Ed­mond Rogers, who owned 6,103 acres of land and eight slaves, and William Smith, who owned 4,255 acres of land and 18 slaves.


Because slaves were expensive and land was not in 1851, Jacob Walburg, Moses L. Jones, Roswell King Jr., Joseph H. Jones Sr., T.B. Barnard. and G.W. Walthour controlled most of the material wealth in Liberty County in 1851.