The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: stories of my family's generational journey to freedom

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Atria,
Pub. Date:
2009.
Language:
English
Description
When John F. Baker Jr. was in the seventh grade, he saw a photograph of four former slaves in his social studies textbook. When he learned that two of them were his grandmother's grandparents, he began the lifelong research project that would become The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation, the fruit of more than thirty years of archival and field research and DNA testing spanning 250 years.

A descendant of Wessyngton slaves, Baker has written the most accessible and exciting work of African American history since Roots. He has not only written his own family's story but included the history of hundreds of slaves and their descendants now numbering in the thousands throughout the United States. More than one hundred rare photographs and portraits of African Americans who were slaves on the plantation bring this compelling American history to life.

Founded in 1796 by Joseph Washington, a distant cousin of America's fi rst president, Wessyngton Plantation covered 15,000 acres and held 274 slaves, whose labor made it the largest tobacco plantation in America. Atypically, the Washingtons sold only two slaves, so the slave families remained intact for generations. Many of their descendants still reside in the area surrounding the plantation. The Washington family owned the plantation until 1983; their family papers, housed at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, include birth registers from 1795 to 1860, letters, diaries, and more. Baker also conducted dozens of interviews -- three of his subjects were more than one hundred years old -- and discovered caches of historic photographs and paintings.

A groundbreaking work of history and a deeply personal journey of discovery, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation is an uplifting story of survival and family that gives fresh insight into the institution of slavery and its ongoing legacy today.

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ISBN:
9781416567400
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full_title washingtons of wessyngton plantation stories of my familys generational journey to freedom
author baker john f
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2016-12-14 05:06:50AM

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author Baker, John F., 1962-
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oclc (OCoLC)227570665
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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physical xi, 419 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
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record_details ils:.b13008043|Book|Books|1st Atria Books hardcover ed.|English|Atria,|2009.|xi, 419 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
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subject_facet Robertson County (Tenn.) -- Antiquities, Wessyngton Plantation (Tenn.) -- History
table_of_contents Introduction: My thirty year journey and research (1976-2006) -- The photo -- The search begins -- The founding of Wessyngton Plantation, 1796 -- The mansion they built : the early years -- By the sweat of their brows : the largest tobacco plantation in America -- Their community -- The search continues -- The dig -- Their daily lives -- Their health, customs, and traditions -- Defiance -- Runaways and rebels -- On the road to freedom : Wessyngton under siege, part I -- On the road to freedom : Wessyngton under siege, part II -- Emancipation and change -- New directions -- Generations in transition -- DNA roots -- Epilogue: Family reunions.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation : stories of my family's generational journey to freedom
title_display The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation : stories of my family's generational journey to freedom
title_full The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation : stories of my family's generational journey to freedom / by John F. Baker, Jr.
title_short The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation :
title_sort washingtons of wessyngton plantation stories of my family's generational journey to freedom
title_sub stories of my family's generational journey to freedom