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Levi Jordan

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 3 months ago





Brazoria Co.


Date Constructed/ Founded



Associated Surnames

Bowers, Boxley, Caster, Davis, Green, Grice, Grimes, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnson, Jones, Jordan, Lemmons, Mack, Martin, McNeal, McNeill, McPherson, Silbey, Williams, Wright


Historical notes

Levi Jordan and twelve slaves arrived in Brazoria County, Texas in 1848, from Union County, Arkansas, in an attempt to establish a new plantation. According to the family’s oral history, Jordan was attempting to obtain land that would "outlive" him. In 1848, Jordan purchased 2,222 acres of land from Samuel M. Williams for $4.00 an acre. Shortly after this land purchase, Jordan returned to Arkansas, and adjacent Louisiana (where his daughter, Emily, her husband, James McNeill, and their children resided), to sell their plantations and move to Texas. The twelve slaves remained behind to begin the development of what would become one of the largest sugar and cotton producing plantations in Texas.


The primary cash crops produced during the antebellum period were sugar and cotton. Jordan built the largest sugar factory/mill in the county to process the cane from his farm and several neighboring plantations. Black researchers with roots in this area are likely to find connections to the Jordan plantation since, based upon a variety of historical records, Jordan raised and imported slaves for trade. Following the Civil War, the importance of his sugar production declined. After 1865, emancipation had nearly eliminated the work force and sugar was produced in very small quantities. However, sharecropping fostered the subsequent increase in cotton production. Staple food was produced on the plantation in large quantities throughout both periods. Thus, after 1865 Jordan shifted to a farming system which employed many of his former slaves and their descendants in a system of sharecropping and tenancy.


Associated Slave Workplaces



Associated Free Persons


  • Levi Jordan - Jordan purchased land from Samuel M. Williams; established the plantation
  • Sarah Jordan - wife of Levi Jordan


  • Emily Jordan McNeill - daughter of Levi and Sarah Jordan
  • William A.C. McNeill - son of Emily J. McNeill


  • James C. McNeill - grandson of Levi and Sarah Jordan
  • Charles P. McNeill - grandson of Levi and Sarah Jordan


Associated Enslaved Persons


1848 - 1886: Enslaved people, Freedpersons, Tenants and Sharecroppers

From Names of Enslaved people, Freedpersons, Tenants and Sharecroppers who lived on the Jordan plantation, 1848-1886: http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/afamres.htm Listed by last name.


  • Bowers Emeline
  • Bowers George
  • Daniel Boxley
  • Easter Boxley
  • Charles Caster
  • Jeff Davis
  • Laura Davis
  • Francis Green
  • George Green
  • John Green
  • Sarah Green
  • Aaron Grice
  • Hannah Grice
  • Caroline Grimes
  • Fannie Grimes
  • George Grimes
  • Anthony Hendricks
  • Becky Hendricks
  • Doc Hendricks
  • Bobby Holmes
  • Clayborn Holmes: descendants
  • Clayborn Holmes Jr.
  • George Holmes: descendants and historical records
  • Hannah Holmes
  • Isaac Holmes: descendants and historical records
  • Moscow Holmes
  • Margaret Holmes
  • Sarah (Grice) Holmes
  • Sophia Holmes
  • Ellen Johnson
  • David Jones
  • Docia Jones
  • Edward Jones
  • George Jones
  • Louisa Jones
  • Nathan Jones
  • Ely Lemmons
  • Lilon Lemmons
  • Jefferson Mack - descendants and historical records
  • Julia Mack
  • Lewis Mack
  • Narcissa Mack
  • Patsy (Taylor) Mack
  • Rebecca McNeal
  • Abner McNeill
  • Fannie (Grimes) McNeill
  • John McNeill
  • Promise McNeill
  • Manuel McPherson
  • Mariah McPherson
  • Effy Silbey
  • Henry Silbey
  • William Williams
  • Robert Wright


Research Leads and Plantation Records


  • none reported yet


Miscellaneous Information


Slave and Tenant Quarters

The quarters were occupied by slaves from 1848 until 1865, and by sharecroppers and tenant farmers (many of whom were the same people and their children) until about 1888-1892

  • Political Leader's Cabin: "It contained a number of carved bone artifacts which, taken together with other indications of status, seem to indicate that the person who occupied this cabin functioned as an internal "political leader" for the other residents of the quarters." (from http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/politica.htm)
  • The Curer's Cabin: "The archaeological remains indicate that someone was living on this plantation practiced healing techniques that were very closely tied to African beliefs for curing, conjuring, and medicine. This person could have been a doctor for the people living there, or a healer, or a midwife – or all of those things. Therefore, the area this person lived in is now referred to as the 'curer's cabin'." (from http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/curer.htm)
  • The Shell and Bone Carver's Cabin: "The items found in this cabin constitute a large percentage of all of the carved bone found on African-American sites across the entire south. They are remarkable not only because, simply, they exist, but also because some of them are beautiful and, even more importantly, they illustrate the ways that Africans, later African Americans, found to "connect" to the homes they were forced to leave. According to census records, several people living on the plantation came directly from Africa – these objects were expressions of the power of the African religions they and their ancestors practiced." (from http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/boneand.htm)
  • The Munitions Maker/Blacksmith's Cabin: home of the slaves(s) who served as metal-worker(s). (see photos of artifacts here: http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/munition.htm)


Juden Cemetery

"was in active use during the time of slavery, through emancipation, and into recent decades ... The symbolic attributes of these artifacts were hidden from Anglo-European surveillance through the re-use of material from the plantation landscape. Further, there is provocative evidence that the cognitive framework surrounding some of the symbolic forms found at the Jordan Plantation and the Juden Cemetery have been adapted from Kongo cosmological attributes." (read more from Hidden Power, Burial Practices from an African-American Slave and Tenant Community by David Bruner)




  • The Levi Jordan Home Page: http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/. Very comprehensive site with links to families researching Levi Plantation slave genealogy; features extensive work done on archealogical studies of the slave cabins and black plantation life
  • Names of Enslaved people, Freedpersons, Tenants and Sharecroppers who lived on the Jordan plantation, 1848-1886: http://www.webarchaeology.com/html/afamres.htm


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