Reviews
Media praise for John Baker’s The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.
Post a review on The Washingtons of Wessyngton blog page or others such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
“This is a solid document of human caring, historic wisdom and perseverance of several African American families pressed to the limit and surviving with all of the lessons of life intact.” --Publishers Weekly
“Fascinating book…. [A] moving story.” --Library Journal
“A sweeping look at nearly 200 years on a Southern plantation, told by a descendant…Riveting, and the importance of Baker’s research can’t be overstated…Enriching, deeply personal history.” --Kirkus Reviews
“Outstanding book” – On with Leon, Sirius Radio XM
Reader Reviews...
"Highly recommended book to anyone tracing African American genealogy." -- Michael Hait, African American Genealogy Examiner
I learned more from your book than I learned from reading my friend Alex Haley’s book called Roots.” -- John Seigenthaler Sr., A Word on Words Television Show
An amazing view into history that resonates” –Amazon.com (24 5-Star Reader Reviews)
This well-detailed book about an African American family's ancestry originated when Baker was in seventh grade and saw a photograph of four former slaves in his social studies text, sparking a curiosity that led him to spend more than 30 years researching his relatives. The author, a recipient of a national award from the American Association for State and Local History, also traces the story of Joseph Washington, owner of the Wessyngton Plantation in Tennessee and a distant cousin of the first American president, working the 274 slaves to build the largest tobacco concern in the nation. Although the stories of the Washingtons, Terrys and Cheathams are not presented with dramatic flair, Baker captures the arduous daily grind of life in slavery and later Jim Crow with a steely precision, all because he puts a human face on every birth, death and struggle. Baker should be truly commended for his tenacity in interviewing and acquiring letters, diaries and birth records. This is a solid document of human caring, historic wisdom and perseverance of several African American families pressed to the limit and surviving with all of the lessons of life intact.
Bookshelf: [B]egan when the author, then only in the seventh grade... His fascination...set the author on a 30-year quest...resulting in this book chronicling 10 generations of African Americans, their relationships with one another and their owners.
Culture, Black History Month Special. Check out these five new titles that reveal untold stories of our past.
History: When Baker was in a seventh grade social studies class... This discovery sparked a lifelong interest in genealogy, culminating in this fascinating book....Historians will find this book useful for its examination of rural life in the 19th-century South, and general readers will find a moving story of a family achieving freedom. Recommended for all libraries. Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ., Parkersburg
“Baker’s book turns focus on Washington family”
By J. Mark Lowe, Robertson County Historical Society
Springfield and Tennessean Online, Robertson County Times
Kirkus Review A sweeping look at nearly 200 years on a Southern plantation. . . [T]old by a descendant of the slaves who lived there....[T]he importance of Baker's research can't be overstated....Enriching, deeply personal history.
Book Acquisition Announcement Publishers Weekly, June 18, 2007.