Explores the world of this wealthy planter and landholder
Jonah Horry Dent was born on 5 August 1815 in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of John Herbert Dent and Elizabeth Anne Horry Dent. Dent grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent summers with his family on a plantation in Colleton County, South Carolina. When he was still a young child, his name was changed from “Jonah” to “John” when an older brother, named John, died, leaving little Jonah as the oldest living son. He was known as John Horry Dent the rest of his life.
Dent married Mary Elizabeth Morrison in 1835 and moved to Barbour County, Alabama, in 1836. He purchased 360 acres of land on Cowikee Creek, paying $15 an acre, and named the new plantation “Good Hope.” Dent amassed a good fortune but lost most of it after the Civil War when slavery was abolished and his slaves became freemen. In 1866 he sold his properties in Barbour County and moved to Cave Springs, Floyd County, Georgia.
Dent kept detailed records about his crops and properties until very late in life. He died in Cave Springs on 17 May 1892.