Try to imagine Mandarin in 1763: giant cypress, oak, and pine trees covered the land.  Dense wildlife filled marshes, making it for difficult passage. 

The unpaid labor of enslaved Black individuals made possible the transformation of this land into massive profitable British plantations. Imagine being knee deep in a swamp, digging ditches to drain the land, or cutting pine trees for turpentine while keeping watch for rattlesnakes.

Julianton Plantation, one of the most elaborate plantations of East Florida, required 80 enslaved persons to build and maintain a sizable network of roads, hanging gardens, a vineyard, and a wharf measuring 180 feet long for the docking of ships.