Aventine Plantation


Location: on Second Creek, Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi
Date Constructed/ Founded: not determined
Associated Surnames: Davenport, Shields, Surget
Historical Notes: Aventine was originally part of the extensive property of Francis Surget. Ownership passed on to Major Gabriel B. Shields, husband of Surget’s daughter, and son of William Bayard Shields, a former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice. The Shields’ lived at the mansion estate “Montebello” near Natchez, which received products from Aventine. Aventine Plantation has been described in “Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy” (Winthrop Jordan, 1995), in the narrative of former enslaved person Charles Davenport, as well as by overseer Charles Sauters in the historical document the “Aventine Plantation Ledger, 1862.”
Associated Pages: Fish Pond Plantation (Adams Co., MS)


From Voices From Slavery: Charles Davenport interview, edited by Norman R. Yetman

Davenport family: William Davenport – left Aventine Plantation with Union soldiers during the Civil War; Lucindy Davenport – wife of William Davenport; died shortly after son Charles’ birth; father was Choctaw; Charles Davenport – son of William and Lucindy Devnport; born at Aventine; later worked at Fish Pond Plantation (Adams Co., MS); “Granny” – cared for all the Black children on the plantation

Individuals: Allen – skilled laborer, farming equipment repairman; Dixon – skilled laborer, farming equipment repairman; Patience – mother of a child who was born on July 18, 1859; Lucy – seamstress; Fanny; Davenport; Jacob

1860: 91 slaves [1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Adams Co., Mississippi, Gabe B. Shields]


Surget family: Francis Surget (b.1784-d.?) – owner; Eliza Dunbar Surget (b.1791-d.?) – wife of F. Surget (m.1817); Francis Surget Jr. (b.1815) – son of F. and E.D. Surget; Catherine Surget (b.1817) – daughter of F. and E.D. Surget; Lenox Surget (b.1827) – son of F. and E.D. Surget; Jane Surget (b.1829) – daughter of F. and E.D. Surget; Eustace Surget (b.1832) – daughter of F. and E.D. Surget; Sarah Surget (b.1835) – daughter of F. and E.D. Surget

Shields family: Gabriel B. Shields (b.1787-d.1867) – owner; Catherine Surget Shields (b.1817-d.1888) – wife of G.B. Shields, daughter of F and E.D Surget; James Surget Shields (b.1847) – son of G.B. and C.S. Shields; Wilmer H. Shields – son of G.B. and C.S. Shields; Catherine Surget “Kate” Shields – daughter of G.B. and C.S. Shields

McGovern family: Patrick Frances McGovern (b.?-d.?) – overseer (1857) for G.B. Shields, immigrant from Ireland

Sauters family: Charles Sauters (b.?-d.?) – overseer (1859) for G.B. Shields, immigrant from Wurttemberg, Germany; wife and young children.


  • Aventine Plantation Ledger, 1862; Briscoe Center for American History, UT Austin.The Aventine Plantation Ledger, 1862, contains a daily account by Charles Sauters of the expenses and business activities of the Aventine Plantation. Also included is a transcription of the ledger by Nate Mathews and his essay, “Slavery, the Civil War, and the 1862 Aventine Plantation Ledger.” https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/01242/cah-01242.html


  • Montebella was the mansion home of Gabriel Shields; at the end of Shields Lane.
  • C. Sauters’ ledger noted frequent corporal punishments including jailing, whippings (39 ‘biblical’ lashes), and placing enslaved persons in a stockade. Assaulted persons included Fanny, Davenport, and Jacob.
  • Frances Surget purchased many enslaved persons from the Forks of the Road Market in Natchez, MS.


  • Briscoe Center for American History, UT Austin. A Guide to the Aventine Plantation Ledger, 1862, https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utcah/01242/cah-01242.html
  • Jordan, W.D. Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave Conspiracy. 1995. LSU Press.
  • Yetman, N. R.Voices From Slavery: 100 Authentic Slave Narratives. pp 71 – 76.
  • Owen, H. Database ID: hom42. Rootsweb World Connect Database.

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