Brazoria: Levi Jordan Plantation State Historic Site
Levi Jordan was already a successful planter in 1848 when he purchased more than 2,200 acres in Brazoria County, Texas. After an initial visit to the acreage, Jordan began construction of the family home, slave quarters, and ancillary buildings utilizing slave labor. The two-story Greek Revival-style house served as the focal point of the large plantation operation, which produced primarily sugar and cotton using 134 enslaved workers. The site provides a unique opportunity to understand the evolving agricultural history of the South and a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the lives of African Americans in 19th century Texas.
Following the Civil War, Levi Jordan and other Southern planters faced economic decline in both market value and productivity. A tenancy system, known as sharecropping, replaced slavery as the source of labor in the years following Emancipation. Cotton became the cash crop. Jordan died in 1873, leaving the property to family members, who continued its agricultural use.
Today, the Levi Jordan Plantation State Historic Site is a Texas Historical Commission property, and is a significant example of the plantation system in Texas before the Civil War and during Reconstruction. The site consists of the plantation house and significant archeological remains, including the slave quarters that were subsequently occupied by freedmen until the 1880s.
While the site is currently under development and will not officially open to the public until summer 2017, guided tours are available on a limited basis and by appointment. Explore the Levi Jordan Plantation website (link below) to learn more about this important historic site and to book a tour.
Watch the following videos to learn more about reconstruction era tenant farming in Texas and recent archeological excavations conducted at the Levi Jordan Plantation. These videos were produced for inclusion in the African Americans in Texas mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. For more information about the mobile tour and African American cultural heritage in Texas, visit the African American Heritage theme page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-african-american-heritage