Ancient Ritual Celebrating Ownership of One Person by Another Hosted on a Plantation
CHARLES CITY COUNTY, Va. — Soon-to-be newlyweds Fred Hutchins and Samantha Francis recently announced that they’d be bucking current trends by having their upcoming nuptials take place at the idyllic Shirley Plantation in rural Charles City County.
The plantation, built on the back of human bondage, has become one of the most popular wedding destinations in the state. The couple reportedly chose Shirley Plantation for its antebellum charm and riverside vistas. In addition, an anonymous source close to the couple claims they convinced the owners to set up a private groomsmen’s bar in the restored kitchen, which included quarters for enslaved workers.
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“Fred and I absolutely love history,” Francis said, excitedly speaking of the upcoming occasion through which, in earlier times, a woman’s legal ownership was transferred to her significant other.
“We were both history majors at UVA, so Shirley was the perfect choice,” Francis added. “For hundreds of years people have tied the knot there. We want to be a part of that rich tradition.”
According to Hutchins, the grand ceremony will be held on the plantation house’s lovely back porch, where he and Francis will promise to honor and obey each other in a building constructed by people who were undoubtedly working purely on their own volition with no negative connotations, whatsoever.
“I’m kind of an old-fashioned guy,” Hutchins said. “And I think it’ll be a beautiful ceremony to begin our new lives. Particularly Samantha’s new life of staying at home, taking care of some chores around the house, and not working for any money, just like my momma and her momma before her.”
Additional festivities for the big day include a gospel group that is set to perform songs closely tied to the plantation’s history. The couple have even arranged for their guests to arrive and depart on a replica ship from the antebellum era. This may be the most sensible part of the plan, despite the racist undertones of people taking a boat to a plantation, as it’s a 30 minute drive from just about everywhere, something that surely will not be at all an issue for an event marked by copious alcohol consumption.
Lastly, the couple will top off the momentous occasion with a lavish reception where people will most certainly do the “Cupid Shuffle” just steps from where enslaved men and women were beaten for not harvesting crops fast enough.
“Shirley Plantation is the perfect place for our wedding,” Francis added. “Everyone there has been so gracious with our special requests. They allowed us to move our cocktail hour to the old tobacco barn and they are going to let us hang our engagement portraits from the branches of the big oak tree.”
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