El Destino Plantation

The Nuttall and Jones Families

El Destino was first owned by John Nuttall, a wealthy resident of Virginia and later of North Carolina. He presumably purchased the land as a frontier speculation in 1828. In that same year, John sent his son, William B. Nuttall, to operate the plantation. He took with him fifty-two slaves, thirty-two of whom were rated as working hands. Those slaves were property of John and James, another son of John’s. The profits from the plantation were to be divided between the father and two sons.

Overseer's House at El Destino
Overseer's House at El Destino

John died a few years later, and in 1832, William B. Nuttall bought El Destino from his father’s estate for $17,000. Besides being a plantation owner, William also had a law office in Tallahassee and was a speculator in Florida lands and bank stocks. On June 20, 1832, William married Mary Wallace Savage, a Savannah heiress who had fifty-four slaves and some other property. They had a daughter, Mary Savage Nuttall. William died on April 20, 1836 from apoplexy. Before her husband died, Mary Nuttall inherited some more property from an uncle, William Savage. She took it in the form of about eighty slaves. To employ these slaves, Hector Braden, a friend of William’s, sold Mary a plantation six miles north of El Destino. Its name was Chemonie. On May 18, 1840, she married George Noble Jones of Savannah. He bought El Destino and all but one slave from the Nuttall estate.

Noble Jones crossed the Atlantic with Oglethorpe. He was a volunteer colonist of some substance. He settled a plantation called Wormsloe, near Savannah. His son, Wimberly Jones and his grandson, Dr. George Jones maintained the prestige and enhanced the family fortune by marrying heiresses. Dr. George Jones took as his second wife, Sarah Fenwick, widow of Macartan Campbell who had sprung from a mercantile family of Charleston but who in later life was a wealthy citizen of Augusta, Georgia. In addition, Noble Wimberly Jones, son of Dr. George Jones and his first wife, married Sarah Campbell, one of the daughters of Macartan Campbell and Sarah Fenwick, who was thus his stepsister. In 1811, George Noble Jones was born to Noble and Sarah. George Noble Jones married Mary Wallace Savage Nuttall at the age of twenty-nine. By the time he was married, he was already well versed in plantation management. He helped manage a plantation in Jefferson County, Georgia which his mother and two aunts owned. In due course, Jones not only inherited a share of this plantation but also in considerable wharf and mercantile property in Savannah, bank stock and other investments, and a cottage in Newport, Rhode Island. He spent most of his time in Rhode Island and in Savannah. He would occasionally visit El Destino, Chemonie, and the Georgia plantation. After the close of the Civil War, he took up residence on El Destino. To George Noble Jones and Mary were born four children, George Fenwick, Wallace Savage, Sarah Campbell (who renamed herself Lillie Noble instead), and Noble Wimberly. George Fenwick is the only one to have married out of the four children. He married Anna Wylly Habersham in 1871 and died in 1876. He left three children, George Noble (the one who gave the Society the collection), Josephine (the late Mrs. J.A. Crisfield), and Mary Savage (the late Mrs. Clarence G. Anderson Jr.). [Source: Florida Historical Society]

Location of El Destino
El Destino was located in western Jefferson County at what is now Nuttall Rise. It extended into Leon County, Florida by 6 miles and 3 miles south of the W.G. Ponder Plantation.

Map of Ponder Plantation
Map of Ponder Plantation Location
[source: wikipedia.org]

The land to become El Destino was purchased from the U.S. government in 1828. In 1832 William B. Nuttall bought El Destino from his father’s estate for $17,000. Nutall died leaving the property to his widow, Mary Savage Nuttall. Mary Nuttall would inherit slaves from her uncle, William Savage. To employ these slaves, Hector Braden, a friend of William’s, sold Mary the Chemonie Plantation 6 miles north of El Destino. On May 18, 1840 George Noble Jones married Mary Savage Nuttall and purchased El Destino.

Plantation House
A large beautiful home, it was destroyed by fire in 1925.
Plantation Map

About The Owners
John Nuttall was a wealthy planter from Virginia and later North Carolina.
William B. Nuttall, son of John Nuttall. William had a law office in Tallahassee and was a speculator in Florida lands and bank stocks. John died from a stroke on April 20, 1836.

George Noble Jones married Mary Nuttall and purchased El Destino, as well as Chemonie Plantation in Leon County. That plantation was located on the Leon County/Jefferson County line and bordered Evergreen Hills Plantation on the west and bordered a tip of Tuscawilla Plantation on the north.
Map of Chemonie Plantation Location
Map of Chemonie Plantation Location
[source: wikipedia.org]

George was well acquainted with plantation management having managed a plantation in Jefferson County owned by his mother and two aunts. Jones would inherit part of this plantation as well as a home in Newport, Rhode Island, considerable wharf and mercantile property in Savannah, Georgia, and bank stock and other investments. Jones would become an absentee planter preferring to spend his winter months in Savannah and the summer months in Newport.

Kingscote Mansion (c. 1890)
in Newport, R.I. was originally built in 1849 by Richard Upjohn
as a summer residence for George Noble Jones

The overseer of El Destino was D.N. Moxley


JUNE 4 1828 - The “El Destino” plantation, near Tallahassee, was purchased today by the Nuthall Family for $2350.00. The plantation contained some 480 acres and was primarily a cotton growing operation.
[source: flahistory.net]

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