The Thornton Tract near Pottsburgh
A 10,000-acre tract south and east of the St. Johns River was granted to Christopher Thornton in 1765. It bounded south on the Arlington River or one of its eastern tributaries, possibly Strawberry Creek, and north on a 700-acre property that became New Castle Plantation. Thornton's tract is sometimes confused with Pottsburgh Plantation, which fronted the St. Johns and lay west of Thornton's land. Access to the river was at Pottsburgh Creek or Mill Cove. This tract was not developed by Thornton. Francis Levett purchased it in 1768, hired Alexander Gray to to turn it into a plantation, but then decided to abandon it and establish a settlement further upriver on Julington Creek. The 10,000 acres originally granted to Thornton probably remained idle until large numbers of Loyalists refugees arrived in East Florida in the 1780s.
T77/24/fragments-Christopher Thornton. Richard Oswald to James Grant, 1 June 1767, JGP, introducing Levett and describing the arrangement with Gray; Patrick Tonyn to Grant, 9 July 1767, identifying Levett as his brother-in-law.