Slavery at San Francisco Plantation
Tours of San Francisco Plantation focus on the lives and labor of plantation’s enslaved. Through the restored living quarters and school house buildings and artifacts, this museum gives the visitor more than a glimpse into what antebellum life on the plantation was like while recounting stories of the plantation’s enslave population. Today guests can admire the craftsmanship and honor the skilled workers and artisans who constructed the beautiful historic home.
Edmond Marmillion a crew of enslaved skilled carpenters for the construction of the home. Lead carpenter John Trotter had the highest value, at $2,000, of any enslaved worker on the plantation before the Civil War. The building’s sturdy construction and its’ continued existence is a testament to these carpenters’ work. In all the decorative details and intricate painting on the second floor are a testament to the different painters and artists’ skill and creativity.. It has been meticulously restored to its late 1850s appearance representing Southern history’s antebellum period when slavery was at its most dominating and complex level.
Using the example of Pierre Rillieux, the original founder of the plantation in 1830, the tour touches on the history of the Free People of Color in our state. Along the main plot of the planter’s family, the Marmillions, the story of the enslaved workers functions as a parallel narrative. There are frequent references to work and personal life, routine, rituals and exploitation of the enslaved. Apart from the main house, San Francisco Plantation features a number of historic outbuildings, among them an original 1840s slave cabin and a school house dating back to the 1830s. The pictures and texts exhibited at these buildings serve as an introduction to the extensive research on the history of San Francisco Plantation.