In 1770 John Burnett acquired 1,600 acres in three tracts along Trout River between the St. Johns and Nassau Rivers and a fourth property: a 300-acre island. Thirty enslaved men and women cleared and fenced a ninety-acre provisions field. The workers then constructed a commodious dwelling house with loft, piazzas, and detached kitchen, slave quarters, barn, stable, and other farm buildings. Prime yellow pine and oak was cut and the logs floated on streams to a sawmill on the property. Burnett resided in East Florida for nearly fifteen years with his wife and four children and served as Captain of Militia during the rebellion. When the province was evacuated in 1784 and 1785, Burnett was unable to arrange transport to the West Indies and migrated instead to Georgia .
Survey maps of John Burnett's properties have not been found, making it impossible to mark their exact locations. The immediate foreground is a possible location for his access to the Trout River, with the remainder of the property running to the north and Nassau River.
Public Record Office, Kew, England, Treasury 77, Box 19, also Public Record Office, Kew, England, Treasury 77, Box 28, File fragments.