Posts Tagged ‘John Baker’

Ann Nixon Cooper 1902-2009 Tribute

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I was deeply saddened upon learning that my dear friend Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper had passed away at her home on Monday evening.

I first became acquainted with Mrs. Cooper in 1996, when she was 94 years young through my genealogical research on Wessyngton Plantation, which she also had family ties to.

Mrs. Cooper was a very beautiful person and I treasured our friendship over the years.  She was always very loving and kind when I visited her and also very helpful in providing me with information. 

Mrs. Cooper lived a very long, productive and interesting life.  I loved to listen to stories about her childhood in Tennessee and her adult life in Atlanta. She was so sharp it was hard to believe that she was more than 100 years old.

Mrs. Cooper became known worldwide last year when CNN television news chronicled her voting early for then Senator Barack Obama.

Although Mrs. Cooper became well known for voting for President Obama, she led a very interesting life before then which is told in her forthcoming book A Century and Some Change: My Life Before the President Called My Name.

I will truly miss my dear friend.

With Love,




My Story in June Issue of Ebony

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Ebony Article

Ebony Magazine Article

Check out my story in this month’s Ebony. “Telling our Stories: Relaying family history to children can keep our heritage alive.” On page 94, Shirley Henderson describes my story. A photograph of my ancestors and the Wessyngton Plantation slave cemetery memorial illustrate the article.

John Baker Presents Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper with The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation-Video

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009


While in Atlanta for a presentation and book signing at Auburn Research Library for the National Black Arts Festival in February I had the honor of presenting Mrs. Ann Nixon Cooper a copy of my book; The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom.  I also had Mrs. Cooper to sign a copy of the book for me on the page she was pictured on.  Mrs. Cooper is now 107 years old.

How Did Your Story Begin?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Your Tennessee Social Studies Textbook

Your Tennessee Social Studies Textbook

My story began when I was in the seventh grade. While flipping through my social studies textbook I spotted a photograph of four former slaves, entitled “Black Tennesseans.” For some reason I kept being drawn to the photo and would look at it each time I went to class. Soon afterwards my grandmother told me that the two people seated in the photograph were her paternal grandparents, Emanuel and Henny Washington, who were enslaved on Wessyngton Plantation. That discovery led me on a thirty year journey of researching my family and all the others connected to the plantation.

Would you share a story of how your research began with others?  Please send a short e-mail telling me about it.  Also please let me know if I could post the story on my blog.  I would not post your name or e-mail address. Thank you.


I’m on Facebook

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I invite you to join my Facebook page.  Please let your friends know about it as well.

The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation – John Baker’s look into history

Book Tour- First Stop

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I’m starting on my Book Tour. I’ll be going to Evansville, IN to speak at a museum, to school, and other venues. I will also be on television and radio. My dates there will be Friday Feb. 6 to Saturday. These events were set up by my Washington cousins. For years at every program some would ask “When is your book coming out?” Now I can answer, “Here it is!” You can see all the events:

I’m on MySpace

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I now have a MySpace page. Hope you will check it out.

Finally after 30 years

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009


Well, it has been 30 years, and now the date is here. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to go to the bookstore and see my book on the shelf. Why did it take me 30 years? In addition to tracing my own ancestry, I have traced the history of each family associated with Wessyngton Plantation, including the owners of the plantation. This involved examining tens of thousands of documents, census records, wills, bible records, reading hundreds of letters, and interviewing descendants of the slaves and the plantation owners.